Baseball predictions are always fun.
Maybe it’s because most of our NCAA brackets are busted and we need something new to stake our reputation to. Or maybe it’s that the baseball season is so long that six months from now few people will actually remember what we pick.
We at The Baltimore Sun already made our predictions for the 2013 baseball season (feel free to save that link and shove them in our face in October). Now it’s time to document what the other so-called experts think will happen.
Here’s a roundup of national predictions that have been posted in recent days:
If you thumb through the magazine’s preview, you’ll find the Orioles picked to finish in a third-place tie with the Yankees in the AL East (82-80).
Online at SI.com, none of the seven experts they have making picks put the O’s in the playoffs.
Cliff Corcoran has an interesting bold prediction that no AL East team will win 90 games after three teams did so last year.
The Worldwide Leader has a heap of experts making picks online, and former Orioles pitcher Rick Sutcliffe is the only other one taking the O’s to win the division.
Jim Bowden, Alex Cora, Andrew Marchand and Pedro Zayas have them earning a wild card.
ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski projects the record of every team in the AL. He puts the Orioles last in the East witn an 82-80 mark.
“If the O's finish in last place, they're likely the best last-place team in baseball," he writes. "Even projected for fifth, they have a reasonable shot at the division and the wild card. Those percentages would have looked healthier if the team hadn't essentially stood pat all winter, but in most other divisions, 82 wins is good enough for second or third, not last.”
Over at Yahoo! Sports, three of the four experts have the Orioles missing the playoffs. Mike Oz has the O’s going 86-76, good for second in the AL East and a wild-card spot. He also has them beating Oakland in the wild-card game before losing to the Angels in the division series.
None of the Yahoo! guys have the Orioles in last. Three put the Red Sox in the basement and Oz has the Yankees there.
They did a separate set of predictions for award winners. On there, Oz and Dave Brown pick Dylan Bundy as their AL Rookie of the Year. Brown picks Brian Roberts as his AL Comeback Player of the Year.
Former Baltimore Sun writer Ken Rosenthal, who you may have seen on TV once or twice, has the Orioles finishing third in the AL East.
“[The Orioles] will again spend all season cycling through starting pitchers — for better or worse,” he writes.
His colleague Jon Paul Morosi has the Orioles second in the AL East but missing out on the playoffs.
“They weren’t a fluke in 2012," Morosi writes. "Baltimore is here to stay, with franchise players Matt Wieters and Adam Jones in the middle of their primes. Dylan Bundy and/or Kevin Gausman will help the rotation this year.”
CBS’ Matt Snyder unveiled his first power rankings of the season, in which he confesses to being way off with the Orioles last year. He starts the O's in his No. 13 spot out of the 30 teams.
“My gut feeling is they don't rise much higher than this, but as stated above, I won't dismiss them any longer," he writes. "I've learned my lesson.”
Snyder also tackles a bold prediction on when Dylan Bundy will make his first major league start.
“The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas is among the MLB.com staffers to predict the Orioles to win the AL East.
Of their 20 pickers, Alyson Footer and Anthony Castrovince are the only others taking the Orioles to win the division (everyone else has the Rays or Blue Jays).
Jim Duquette and C.J. Nitkowski have the O’s earning a wild-card berth.
SPORTS ON EARTH
Jonathan Bernhardt says he sees the AL East as wide open, but he predicts the Orioles will finish last, mostly because of their starting pitching.
“The rotation is where things will fall apart for the 2013 Orioles," he writes. "Every single pitcher projected to be in it -- Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Jake Arrieta -- has giant warning flags attached to them.”
OK, it wouldn’t be fair to not let you make your pick. Where will the Orioles finish in the AL East in 2013?