It’s Opening Day and that means it’s time for the Baltimore Sports Report to make their predictions for the 2015 season:
1. Predict the Orioles record, where they will finish in the AL East?
Jabby Burns: 1. Go 92-70 and win their second consecutive AL EAST TITLE. The BoSox finish 2nd (5 games back) but get a Wild Card spot.
Trevor Colgan: The Orioles will finish first in the AL East with a 95-67 record
Cody Colston: 91-71, they finish first ahead of the Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, in that order. They’ll face the Division winning Angels in the ALDS.
Sam Dingman: 92-70, 2nd place.
Jake English: The Orioles will finish the season with a 91-71 record, and successfully defend their 2014 AL East championship.
Andrew Holly: 92-70, 1st place.
Matt Lund: 88-74, 2nd place. As I mentioned on the BSR Podcast MLB Predictions show, the O’s will be in the thick of things all summer with those dreaded Boston Red Sox. I hope I’m proven wrong. I know one thing, the thrill of the chase is back.
Scott Magness: The AL East will be closest than it has been in years with the top three teams all being with five games throughout the season. The Orioles manage to win the division with 92 wins and go wire to wire in process.
Zach Wilt: 90-72, 2nd place in AL East behind the Boston Red Sox. Don’t worry, that’ll be good enough for a Wild Card berth.
2. Who’s wins Most Valuable Oriole?
JB: Manny Machado will be the Orioles MVP and will finish top 5 in the AL for the MVP award. He increases his power numbers (20hrs) and hits 40+ doubles while winning another Gold Glove for his defense
TC: The MVO will be Manny Machado.
CC: Adam Jones wins MVO. Hits over .300 with 30 HRs and 100+ RBIs. Career high in walks.
SD: Manny Machado – in addition to all our favorite Manny things, I think he hits 25 homers this year.
JE: It seems like a boring answer, but the MVO will be Adam Jones – he is simply the engine that drives this team to victory. Even if Chris Davis returns to form. Even if a returning All Star like Matt Wieters or Manny Machado cements himself as a presence on offense and defense… the Orioles will only go as far as Adam Jones will lead them. Expect another Hall-of-Very-Good season from Jones, your 2015 Most Valuable Oriole.
AH: Manny Machado.
ML: Adam Jones. He’s the main cog in this Buck Showalter-led wheel. Jones is the face of this franchise and will have another season we’ve all come to expect with #10: .280 average with 25-30 home runs and 95-100 RBI.
SM: Manny Machado surpasses Jones as the best Orioles player on the team and becomes part of the 200-20-20 club (Hits, HRs, SBs).
ZW: I love guys in contract years. Gimme Chris Davis with a bounce back season and a few clutch homers that make him the 2015 MVO.
3. Best OPACY promotion this season?
JB: The High Socks are my favorite promotion. Although I will make a killing on the Buck Gnome on JabBay.
TC: The best OPACY promotion will be the Buck Garden Gnome.
CC: Not gonna be cliche and say the Buck Gnome even though it’s awesome. The Hawaiian shirt is my pick. It’s so cheesy, it’s good.
SD: I’ve got my eye on the BBQ Apron (5/25 against the Astros)
JE: I think most people will agree that they are looking most forward to the Buck Showalter Garden Gnome giveaway, but the best promotion on the schedule this season is the September 11 hooded sweatshirt. With knit caps, scarfs, and now the sweatshirt, the Orioles are planning to deck its fans out in cold weather gear – because this is a team that plays in October. It may not be the flashiest promotion, but it’s the one I’m most excited about. I can’t wait to rock my “yes, I was there” cold weather gear, while cheering on my Birds in the playoffs.
AH: 3-way tie for Hoodie, Hawaiian Shirt, Buck Garden Gnome
ML: Tie between Buck Garden Gnome and Orioles Hoodie. Love the subtle (not-so-subtle) hint of “Get ready for post season play with this Orioles hoodie!”
SM: Buck Showalter Garden Gnome. Hands Down!
ZW: It’s the Buck Showalter Garden Gnome. Next question.
4. Which player will be the biggest surprise?
JB: You know who my man crush lies-but although Jon Schoop hitting 23+ HR’s would be a surprise-I’ll go even further out of the Tito’s infused limb by saying Dariel Alvarez is the Orioles starting right fielder by the time the playoffs start. How do you like that?
TC: The surprise player will be Ubaldo Jimenez
CC: De Aza will be the biggest surprise this year. I got him making the All-Star game, I think he’ll hit .270-.280 with an OBP around .350 and 10+ steals.
SD: Travis Snider – all things considered, this one’s shaping up to be one of the smartest Dan Duquette gambles so far.
JE: The biggest surprise in 2015 will be Ubaldo Jimenez. Look, he’s not going to be a Cy Young candidate, but after his miserable first season in Baltimore, plenty of us were ready to part with him at all costs. I think Jimenez will earn his spot as one of our best five starters this season, and whereas he might never get back to what he was in the second half of 2013, I think he will bring consistency to the rotation, and help the Orioles win games.
AH: Alejandro De Aza.
ML: Alejandro De Aza. I think “Ahh-le-y” (has Buck called him that yet?) will be able to get on-base at or near the top of the order for the Birds this season, doing the little things and scoring runs. I predict De Aza will score 80+ runs this season.
SM: Travis Snider manages to be third on the team in terms of HR trailing only Davis and Jones.
ZW: I’m a big believer in Brad Brach. I think he’ll be the Orioles best reliever this season and if Zach Britton struggles in the ninth, we could see him close out games for the O’s late in the season.