MLB Picks: Orioles To Power Their Way Over 79.5 Wins & Possibly Win AL East

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 7:28 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2016 7:28 PM GMT

I know Spring Training means very little, but the Orioles are just 5-12 and have left a negative impression on me. It's not enough to deter an 'over' NHL pick if their hitting can carry this team.

In 2015, the Baltimore Orioles were 3rd in the Major Leagues in home runs and now have acquired, 3rd baseman, Pedro Alvarez, from the Pittsburgh Pirates. While their pitching might be suspect, expect this team to go yard all season long. While the Orioles pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired, Bovada Sportsbook has their seasonal win total list at 79.5?.I always say good pitching wins games, but with an offense such as this and a home run-friendly park, the O's have a chance to surpass the .500 mark for the season. Let's take a look at the players and MLB odds for this team.

 

Pedro Alvarez
Being that Manny Machado, who is a major star on this squad, play's third base, Alvarez will be in the DH spot and that could preserve some of his energy. Last season, he hit a mere .243 with 27 HR and 77 RBI. He's simply not a guy that's going to get on base often, but is a threat to go yard everytime that he steps to the plate. Alvarez has a good arm defensively and this is still a superb pickup for the O's. It might be the push that Alvarez needs to get on base more often and we could see his numbers increase. 30 home runs look very attainable.

 

Manny Machado
Being that I mentioned him, Machado has always been know for his ability to hit the baseball in the gap as he's a huge extra-base hit hitter. There is a traffic jam at 3rd base, but nobody is getting ahead of Machado, who is the best overall hitter on this squad. Last season, his power numbers were huge as he had 35 HR, 86 RBI, and a .286 BA. He's not likely to reach 100 RBI's as he's near the top of the order, but this guy can do it all as his speed also enhances his value to the team.

 

Crush Davis
It's been a couple of years since Chris Davis had 50 HR and he might not be the same player as he had a terrible 2014, but in 2015, Davis had a huge bounce back season as he had 47 HR, 117 RBI, and a .262 BA. Opposing pitchers will need to proceed with caution at Camden Yards when facing Davis as he went deep 29 times in 2015 in his home ball park. He actually has a sweet spot in the outfield that he's known to go deep often.

Davis is a great player, but I wouldn't put him at elite status after he got busted with amphetamines. That said, if Crush keeps tearing the cover off of the baseball, his power numbers will measure with some of the all time greats. I don't see any reason why he should have a poor season. He has tons of protection as this team eats their spinach. Another positive aspect about Davis is his ability to get the free pass as no pitcher wants him to go deep on them.

 

Wacha Wacha?
I'm not talking about any major league pitchers and I'm not talking about Adam “Pacman” Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals, I'm referring to Adam Jones of the Orioles from the AL East. Jones has a been a very reliable source of productivity in his career and tailed off slightly where his batting average was concerned last season.

In 2015, Jones hit 27 HR, 82 RBI, and a .269 BA. Jones can field well and comes up with huge hits. The one Achilees Heel to his game is his inability to draw a walk. His on-base% is a real detriment to the club although he has possibly the most pure talent aside from Machado on this squad. I'm not sure what to expect out of Jones this season as this lineup is stacked, but don't expect him to retract.

 

Yovani Gallardo
Where the pitching is concerned, a pitcher that I'm very high on is the Orioles #2 starter, Yovani Gallardo. I actually think that he's better than Jimenez and Tillman, but there's no legitimate ace on this staff.

The O's need Gallardo to have another stellar season as he did in 2015 when he was 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA and was very well balanced on the road and at home.The negatives to his game are that he's not a strikeout pitcher and he allowed opposing hitters to hit .268 off of him last season. Even though this is true, the runners on base, didn't score as his ERA indicates. Look for Gallardo to elevate his game this season. This is a 102-75 career pitcher with a 3.66 ERA. He's certainly the real deal.

 

Outlook
I love the acquisition of Pedro Alvarez to an already powerful club in a hitter's park in Camden Yards. Look for Baltimore to easily surpass the 79.5 win total for the season and might contend for a division title. They would be my AL East sleeper and MLB pick this time.

 

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