The Baltimore Orioles had a Cinderella season last year. They came into the year with unproven talent mixed with a handful of veterans who were expected to just fill out the roster. They took advantage of a down year for the Red Sox and had many lucky bounces along the way.
Their #1 prospect infielder Manny Machado was added last season and contributed right away. I expect him to take another jump in 2013. He will be a nice complement to Adam Jones in the lineup for the foreseeable future.
Will any of their young arms mature enough to make an impact in the Majors?
Can the Orioles shock everybody again and make the playoffs for a second year in a row?
Key Additions: SS Alexi Casilla, P Tsuyoshi Wada, P Yamaico Navarro, 3B Danny Valencia, P Todd Redmond, P Daniel Schlereth, 1B Travis Ishikawa, P Jair Jurrjens, OF Chris Dickerson
Key Losses: 3B Mark Reynolds, SS Robert Andino, P Dana Eveland, DH Jim Thome, OF Endy Chavez, 1B Nick Johnson, P Kevin Gregg, P Randy Wolf, C Ronny Paulino
Interleague Schedule: NL West + Washington Nationals
Projected Starters: Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, Brian Roberts, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy, Nate McLouth, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis & Wilson Betemit
Projected Starting Rotation: Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman & Zach Britton
Closer: Jim Johnson
Fantasy Sleepers: SS/2B Alexi Casilla – Brian Roberts seems to be finally healthy for Baltimore. He has only played a total of 114 games over the last seasons…so his backup, Alexi Casilla, would be a smart handcuff for Roberts owners. Roberts was an elite fantasy player from 2006 to 2009. He gave you steals (in years where steals were down) and a nice batting average. He’s 35 years old and I don’t see him jumping back to that level. Alexi Casilla has only averaged about 300 at-bats with Minnesota, but he still gave fantasy owners double-digit steals. If Casilla can register more plate appearances, he could be a source of steals for your team.
Team Analysis: Baltimore came out of nowhere in 2012. Everything bounces their way and they found themselves in the playoffs. They won 93 games and only had a run margin of +7. I don’t remember any team that many games over .500 and barely having a positive run margin. Baltimore won’t be able to keep up their luck this season. They didn’t sign any game changing bats or arms, which was a big mistake. Their starting pitching was an issue last year and they still pulled out games thanks to closer Jim Johnson. Baltimore has some young arms in the minors and hopefully, for their sake, a few get it together and make it to the Majors. I believe the Orioles are a .500 team. They’re still a couple years away from being a favorite in the AL East.
Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 78.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 82-80 (4th in AL East)