We focus in on the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff and it's no wonder why they're a +5000 longshot to win the World Series. The hitting is there, but with no legitimate ace and no go to guy, this bet looks like one to avoid. Let's take a look at what's holding Baltimore back as we look at their pitching staff.
An Ace or a Disgrace?
Chris Tillman is far from a disgrace as his career record indicates, but 2015 certainly wasn't his season as he was 11-11 with a 4.99 ERA and equally bad on the road (5.33 ERA) as he was at home. This isn't a pitcher that's going to go out there and throw 10 strikeouts and overpower an opposing team.
Last season, Tillman allowed opposing hitters to a 2.67 ERA. He's listed as the ace, but we'll have to see where he's placed in the rotation as the season progresses and manager, Buck Showalter, certainly won't stand for another season of disappointment out of Tillman. Tillman is a question mark coming into 2016.
Starter, Miguel Gonzalez, is very similar to Tillman in that he's had a fairly good career in 72 decisions and a sub 4.00 ERA, but he was also a disaster last season; to the tune of 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA. His numbers look almost identical to that of Tillman's in 144 2/3 innings pitched, but I think the fans and critics had seen enough that a full 200 inning season wouldn't have helped. Gonzalez has another issue in giving up the gopher ball. Baltimore can't be happy with the way that their rotation looks and the MLB odds indicate this as good pitching wins games.
A Given Entity
Veteran ,Ubaldo Jimenez, is currently slated as the #3 pitcher and regardless of who is the ace, this is just about where Jimenez belongs. He's a pitcher that will provide a ton of innings, but at this point in his career, will give Baltimore no better than a 4.00 ERA and a similar 12-10 record as he did last season, so keep that in mind when placing your MLB picks. He fits as a good innings eater that can occasionally come up with a big performance and has the ability to strike out the opposition on a good day. Look for Jimenez to remain consistent, but he won't take the Orioles to the World Series.
It Only Gets Worse
25 year old, Kevin Gausman (4-7, 4.25) and Mike Wright (3-5, 6.04) both have youth on their side, but have a lot of maturing to do at the Major League level. Wright particularly pitched poorly, allowing opposing hitters to hit .291 off of him while walking 18 batters and striking out 26 batters in just 44 2/3 innings.
The abysmal pitching on this staff will hold them back from winning anything substantial. Add in the fact that they play at Camden Yards, which is a hitters park, and this team is going absolutely nowhere after the regular season except for maybe golfing and vacationing, because the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays are the teams to beat in the AL East.