Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore OriolesBaltimore Orioles Tickets

The Baltimore Orioles are in a division with heavy hitters, and are constantly viewed as the underdog of the AL East. When previews emerge at the start of each season, this team is usually ranked in the basement, with very low expectations, and somehow shock their critics by contending. As we head towards the start of the 2017 season, the same narrative exists, but look for this talented group to rise above and make a legitimate run for the post season.

Depth, rather than super star talent, will be the strength of the Orioles pitching rotation this season. Chris Tillman remains their ace, now fully recovered from a shoulder injury that ended his promising 2016 season. Former first-round picks Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy are still growing when it comes to talent, but have the potential to be strong pitchers for this Baltimore team. Veterans Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley and Yovani Gallardo will be fighting for the two remaining spots in the rotation throughout spring training. Lefthander Zach Britton posted a 0.54 ERA with an unbelievable 47-out-of-47 save opportunities last season. A feat like that will be difficult to achieve again, however the Orioles’ bullpen contains tons of set-up talent, ready to get the job done. Darren O’Day, Brad Bach and Mychal Givens return in 2017, along with Donnie Hart, who emerged as a solid specialist after being called up from Double-A. The duo of Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy create one of the most effective double-play combos out there, with Schoop’s incredible arm and Hardy’s dependability at short-stop. Manny Machado is a stud at third base, with his rock-solid defensive skills, along with a powerful bat which posted 37 home runs and 40 doubles at the plate last season. Across the infield at first, Chris Davis is very effective when healthy, and should be fully recovered from a hand injury which he dealt with for much of the 2016 season. In the outfield, the Orioles will rely on Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim and Mark Trumbo,

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with Joey Rickard as a potential platoon for Kim. Matt Weiters will not be behind the plate in Baltimore for the first time since the 2009 season, as he will be replaced by Welington Castillo, who inked a one-year, $6 million deal which also includes a $7 million option for the 2018 season.

The Orioles have put together five consecutive winning seasons with three playoff appearances in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The 2017 season is shaping up to be another one that can exceed expectations if this talented squad can remain healthy, and the starters take care of business. Fans, be sure to purchase your Baltimore Orioles tickets early, because you won’t want to miss out on the exciting summer ahead in Charm City.   

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