We’re less than a week from the return of baseball in the Charm City, with the Baltimore Orioles looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2016.
The Orioles surprised many by finishing above .500 in 2022, taking a preseason win total of 62.5 on BetMGM Sportsbook Maryland and finishing 83-79.
Fast forward a year, and Baltimore finds itself with a preseason win total of 77.5 at Maryland sports betting operators, showing how far the franchise has come over the last two seasons.
BetMaryland.com broke down the starts of the O’s best (and worst) teams since moving to Baltimore in 1954 to see how each one fared out of the gate.
Best Orioles Seasons*
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Worst Orioles Seasons
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What Data Tells Us About Early Success
The best and worst seasons in O’s history all featured similar 20-game stretches out of the gate, illustrating how important a solid start is for this year’s team.
Each of Baltimore’s three World Series championship teams (1966, 1970 and 1983) posted above-.500 stretches in their first 20 games, averaging 13.7 wins.
Conversely, the three worst seasons in franchise history (2018, 2019 and 2021) saw Baltimore win an average of 7.3 games in the first 20.
O’s Face Daunting Opening Stretch in 2023
According to Power Rankings Guru, the O’s have the second-hardest strength of schedule in 2023, based on where their opponents finished a year ago.
That could hurt Baltimore’s postseason odds, as it will have to survive road clashes with Boston and Texas, before hosting the New York Yankees, Oakland and Detroit in April.
With the right mixture of luck and fortitude, the O’s could hit their stride by May, when they’ll play Kansas City and Atlanta away from Camden Yards, before hosting Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Anaheim in succession.
One thing that should buoy O’s fans’ hopes entering the 2023 regular season is the club retained the services of centerfielder Cedric Mullins and catcher Adley Rutschman, who posted a combined total of nine wins above replacement (WAR) a year ago.
Now, Baltimore needs both to spearhead a renaissance season in what should be a very competitive AL East, as the O’s look to capture their first division crown since 2014.