Not many national baseball analysts are picking the Orioles to return to the playoffs, let alone finish first in the big, bad A.L. East this season. But one prominent MLB reporter believes the Orioles will take the division.
“I’m picking the Baltimore Orioles to win,” ESPN’s Buster Olney said on his "Baseball Tonight" podcast.
Olney, once an Orioles scribe here at The Baltimore Sun, pointed to the team’s pitching depth as one of the main reasons why he likes their chances. Since he was hired last offseason, executive vice president Dan Duquette has stockpiled pitchers, adding to all the young arms acquired by his predecessor Andy MacPhail.
“They have so many more options than I think what people realize,” said Olney, mentioning a Sunday conversation he had with one general manager. “[He said], ‘What do you mean?’ And I started listing the names beyond the major league level, beyond guys like Jason Hammel and Miguel Gonzalez. And I started listing guys like Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.’”