The State of the State – Maryland – May 2023

May 24, 2023

The State of the State

A look at what’s happening on the Maryland sports scene: The Orioles still aren’t getting the respect they deserve.

The American League East is stacked. Every team is above .500, each is a legitimate playoff contender.

On the strength of their hot start, the Rays remain atop the standings. Tampa Bay boasts the best record in baseball.

The Blue Jays would be pushing for the lead in the AL Central. Toronto is dead last in the East, however.

And the Yankees and Red Sox are looming. New York and Boston aren’t going away any time soon.

As a result, the Orioles get overlooked. Baltimore doesn’t get the respect that a second-place team deserves.

The O’s were the second team in Major League Baseball to reach 30 wins, behind only the Rays. But they’re still +1200 to win the American League pennant.

That’s fine. Everyone else can sleep on Baltimore. That creates great value.

Perhaps the slight stems from the lack of stars. After all, the Orioles don’t have anyone hitting above .300 at the moment, with Austin Hays batting .299.

They get the job done as a group, however. Baltimore is fifth in the American League in runs scored. They’re also sixth in team batting average. It’s not one or two big names carrying the load. It’s a group effort.

The same can be said for their pitching staff. Overall, the Orioles are ninth in the American League in team ERA. They have two five-game winners in Kyle Gibson and Dean Kremer. Meanwhile, Felix Bautista is tied for the second-most saves in all of baseball.

It’s not flashy. It’s not eye-popping. But it’s effective.

It’s also sustainable. If the Orioles were being carried by one or two hot bats, or riding a couple of pitchers having career seasons, there might be an expiration date on their winning results.

But a total team effort suggests that they’ll be in it all season long. Baltimore isn’t going anywhere.

So taking a flier on them to win the pennant is a smart move. Are they going to catch the Rays in the AL East? Probably not. Even if they do, will they be able to hold off the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays? Maybe not.

But the O’s can get in as a wild card. And once they do, anything is possible. Postseason baseball is full of surprises.

Having one be a 12-to-1 ticket to cash would be a nice on come October. Riding the Orioles makes that a possibility.

* Odds subject to change