The Baltimore Orioles will look to compete in the always challenging AL East in 2018. There is much uncertainty about the status of star player Manny Machado, but Baltimore still has the talent on its roster to make a run towards the postseason. Manager Buck Showalter enters his 8th full season as manager of the Orioles, hoping to bring October baseball back to Baltimore.
As long as he is on the roster, Manny Machado gives the Orioles one of the best position players in Major League Baseball. Machado has already won two Gold Glove awards and made the All-Star Game three times in his young MLB career. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has also emerged as one of baseball’s best overall hitters, giving the Orioles an elite 1-2 punch in the middle of the lineup. Throw in veterans Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Mark Trumbo, and the Orioles once again have a dynamic offense. Expect shortstop Tim Beckham and outfielder Trey Mancini to play key roles as well, hoping to replicate last year’s 20+ home run campaigns.
Baltimore’s lineup has consistently been one of baseball’s most productive offenses, but its starting pitching has limited the team’s upside. The Orioles will once again look to get the most out of their subpar pitching staff in 2018. Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy in particular need to take major strides this season. Making up for a weak starting rotation, however, is one of baseball’s best bullpens. Darren O’Day, Brad Bach, and Zach Britton arguably make up the best trio of relievers in baseball. Unfortunately Britton will be sidelined until around the All-Star break recovering from a ruptured achilles, but O’Day and Bach will look to hold down the fort until their closer returns.
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