Oriole Park at Camden Yards
45,971 Seat Stadium
Manager: Brandon Hyde
Baltimore (54-108) finished in 5th place in the AL East last season 49 games behind the first place NY Yankees. Once it was apparent the season was lost and going nowhere management made some tough decisions making the record worse than even thought before the season started.
Baltimore used a club-record of 58 players last season and a club record of 38 different pitchers. Those records were held just back in 2018, so the question is are they going to break those records again in 2020? Maybe.
*PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
*There are so many projected starting lineups out there for this young group of Orioles, so this could very well change and be interchangeable with other players.
CF Austin Hays (The O’s really like what they have seen from Hays but the sample size has been small. They think he is a potential .300/100 runs/100 rbi type of guy with some pop in his bat. He has shown it in the minor league and in his short stint in the bigs and now will be given his chance full-time in the show)
RF Trey Mancini (Trey is probably the O’s best and most promising player heading into the season. Mancini along with Nunez became just the 8th Oriole teammates with at least 30 home runs and 90 rbi’s in the same season. He is definitely a 30/35 homer, 100 RBI, .300 batting average type of guy. There are plenty of teams who would love to have him. He is a great have for Baltimore to build a team around)
LF Anthony Santander (99 hits and 20 home runs in 380 at-bats last season. Like most of the young guys on this team, it is too early with not enough experience to tell, but you have to start somewhere. Even the great players started out at this point. His numbers are projected to be similar to last season)
DH Renato Nunez (Read the note what he and Mancini did last season, it is impressive. Yet another young guy with pretty good offensive numbers that can play both 3B & 1B if needed. It will be interesting to see if the big guy can continue to keep putting up these numbers at this level)
3B Rio Ruiz (Ruiz is not known for a high batting average but has a little pop in his bat and will hit a few home runs but is not going to be considered a constant home run threat. He is going to be counted on more for his defense and if that would fail I don’t think they would hesitate to try someone else)
2B Hanser Alberto (Alberto, after coming over from Texas and getting his first chance at playing full-time, has made the most of it having his best season yet hitting .305 in 524 plate appearances and only striking out 50 times. He needs to improve his on-base percentage as he only walked 16 times, but Baltimore has their hopes up that he continues to show growth as he did last season)
1B Chris Davis (Chris Davis is the one player on this roster that does not make sense to me on a team that is dumping salary, but that may be because they cannot find any takers. He has three years left on a seven-year $161 million contract. I guess the best they can do is hope by some miracle he can regain some of the magic back or at the very least be a positive influence of some of the younger guys)
SS Jose Iglesias (Jose came over from the Reds after the O’s gave away Jonathan Villar last season. Baltimore is really short-handed at this position. Nothing to get too excited about. He is ranked by ESPN at #40 in the fantasy rankings. He will do.
C Chance Sisco (Not enough stats to give an accurate opinion here. 2018 he played in 63 games and last year just 59 games. Last year he hit just .210 with 8 homers & 20 rbi’s in 167 at-bats while striking out 61 times. The other choice is Pedro Severino which I do not understand why he is not listed as the starter in all the websites I have looked at. He appears to be the better player. Baltimore must know something that nobody else does not.
LHP John Means (John was just the 5th Baltimore rookie to make the All-star team last year but be careful, does that really mean he is an all-star pitcher or just that Baltimore had to have a player on the team? According to ESPN’s fantasy rankings, he is listed at just #109. I guess his stats are good on a horrible team at 12-11 with a 3.60 era. He allowed 138 hits in 155 innings pitched while striking out 121. The scary part is he is the best pitcher on this team.
RHP Alex Cobb (Cobb spent most of his career with Tampa Bay where he was a decent pitcher and then he was traded to the Orioles and the nightmare began in 2018. He started 28 games and went 5-15 with a 4.90 era. HIs season was cut short last year after having season-ending hip surgery. He was expected to be the teams opening day starter and was scratched and only last three starts going 0-2 with a 10.95 era before his season ended. Of course, Baltimore is hoping he is going to return healthy and be the pitcher he once was before arriving to Baltimore from the Rays.
RHP Asher Wojciechowski (Asher is playing for this 3rd different team in this short three-year major league career. He started with Houston who is known for having a pretty good pitching staff, so there must be something to this guy. His win/loss record is not great, but you would not expect it to be on this team. It was 4-8. His era was 4.92 which is higher than they would like. What Baltimore may be looking at is instead of giving up after a 0-4 start he battled back and went 4-4 the rest of the season including 2-1 in the final month of the season.
RHP Kohl Stewart (Steward was signed as a free agent. He pitched for the Twins the past two seasons. He pitched mainly in relief and occasionally as a starter. He is 4-3 with a 4.79 era in his career. I guess in Baltimore’s situation you just have to take a chance on a guy now and then.
RHP Brandon Bailey (Mr. Bailey has never pitched in a major league game yet Baltimore plans on sticking him in their starting rotation. Unless I am completely misinformed about this but I have read this a bunch of different places, so I think it is correct. He is 16-16 with a 3.07 era in the minors. He will be interesting to watch. It would be a great story if he does well.
The Baltimore Orioles are sort of the Miami Dolphins of Major League Baseball right now, getting rid of the expensive pieces of the team, trading the talented players and keeping the cheaper, younger players with potential. They are building the organization from the ground up and the owners are not hiding the fact they are not willing to break the bank in doing so. This process is going to take years for the O’s to be competitive with the Yankees & Red Sox. No question this is another last-place team this season.
BETONLINE SEASON WIN TOTAL: 56½
They say no matter how good or bad you are, you are going to win a third of your games, you are going to lose a third of your games, and it is the other third of your games that makes up where you finish up in the standings. For the most part, I believe this is true.
With 162 games in the season, 54 is that magical number. Only Detroit is the team that did not reach that number with Baltimore reaching that number exactly, so 56½ makes this a tough call. I happen to be an optimist when it comes to sports and love rooting for the underdog.
Sometimes when you get teams with nothing to lose, they play loose with no pressure and all the pressure is on the other team not to lose to the doormat of the league. The Dolphins shocked the NFL winning games they had no business winning, so I know Baltimore can.
In baseball, anything can happen. Break it down and they only need 9½ per month to go over the total. I think it can happen.