Sportsbooks Hold Out Little Hope for the Orioles

sunset view of oriole park at camden yards
Photo: @asianmegan

The forlorn-looking Orioles are praying for a brighter 2019.

The 2018 season was not a fun one for Orioles fans. They suffered an eye-watering 115 losses and recorded the worst win percentage in the league. It was a long, hard season, and there seems little hope of 2019 being any brighter.

Unsurprisingly, the Orioles underwent a significant spring cleaning of their hierarchy in the offseason, letting manager Buck Showalter walk, along with general manager Dan Duquette. The team’s new management team involves Mike Elias and head coach Brandon Hyde, formerly of the Chicago Cubs.

The Orioles’ backroom changes were the main headlines from a mostly inactive offseason regarding their roster, with minimal additions made via trade or free agency. Minor league additions, such as Eric Young Jr. and Alcides Escobar have done little to get the pulse racing. The one ray of hope could be the recent acquisition of promising outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for $500,000 of the Orioles’ international bonus pool.

2019’s Odds Make for Grim Reading for Orioles Fans

According to the Oddschecker Major League Baseball odds, some sportsbooks have the Orioles priced as high as +25000, giving them a 0.4 percent implied probability of winning the American League in 2019. Some might argue that 0.4 percent is a generous figure, given that the Orioles were without third baseman Manny Machado for the latter half of the 2018 season, following his move to the LA Dodgers, and they will have to find a suitable long-term replacement for 2019. Combine that with poor output from the likes of Chris Davis and Dylan Bundy and little up-and-coming talent from the Orioles’ farm system, and their +25000 odds don’t seem lazy from the sportsbooks after all.

In fact, all their 2019 odds to make or miss the playoffs, win the division or even the World Series are either the worst or tied for the worst in the league.

Based only on betting on the money line in 2018, the Orioles would have resulted in a loss of almost 52 units for bettors. According to Action Network, that was the worst single-season performance from any team since 2005 by a 17-unit margin. It’s, therefore, unsurprising that the bar has been set somewhat low for the Orioles in 2019 as they look to rebuild and come back stronger.

It appears that the rebuild will be one of evolution rather than revolution. But improving upon the meager 47 wins they mustered in 2018, should be the primary target in 2019.

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