The Orioles are coming off a 93-win season in which they improved their record from 2011 by 24 games, finished second in the mighty American League East and appeared in the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
But heading into 2013, the Orioles, who have kept their roster mostly intact, can count Vegas oddsmakers, national baseball analysts and sabermetricians among their many doubters.
Historians are likely betting against them, too.
Of the 14 previous teams to improve by 22 wins or more in the wild-card era, all regressed the following season, according to Sports Illustrated, and only one of those teams made the playoffs. Each of those teams had a different set of...