10 predictions for the second half of the Orioles' season
The Orioles lead the American League East at the All-Star break for the first time since 1997.
With a 52-42 record, they're four games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays (49-47) in the division. Sure, it is impossible to look into the future to tell whether the Orioles will maintain that lead and win the division.
But it is possible to predict what will happen in the second half, including a prognostication on the club's postseason hopes.
Here are 10 predictions for the Orioles in the second half of the season.
-- Dean Jones Jr., The Baltimore Sun
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Nelson Cruz will finish as runner-up for AL MVP( Jim Rogash, Getty Images / July 5, 2014 )
Last year, it was Chris Davis. This year, it is Cruz. For the second straight season, an Orioles hitter ranks near the top of the major leagues in several offensive categories heading into the All-Star break. Cruz ranks second with 28 home runs, second with 74 RBIs, and seventh with a .570 slugging percentage. On pace to surpass his career high in home runs and RBIs early in the second half, the designated hitter could receive consideration for AL Most Valuable Player if he remains hot. But he won't win it. He'll finish second to either the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout or the Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu.