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My powers of prognostication are well known in these parts, so I'm going to put my reputation on the line right off the bat and make a startling prediction about tonight's game. We've all spent a lot of time bemoaning the lack of time Kevin Millwood spent on the mound against major league competition this spring, so there's a lot of fatalism in the press box right now, but I'm going to predict he pitches well and the Orioles open with a victory.

I understand that it's a longshot, especially when you consider that Rays starter James Shields is 6-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 15 career appearances against the O's and had an outstanding spring, but that's why I'm going to look so smart after the game.

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It's just a hunch, of course, but it seems like every year the Orioles are in this position and somehow they find a way to win the first game. They've won seven of their last nine openers, which should count for something, though all of those victories were at Oriole Park. They have lost the last two times they played the opener on the road, most recently against the Twins in 2007.

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