Before the Orioles believed in analytics and the power of data forecasting, local fans and media didn’t buy into the win-loss projections by data-driven outlets. Because of that, those same fans didn’t give the Las Vegas betting odds much weight.
Given the team's collapse and subsequent teardown, there's not much disagreement between the data forecasts and the odds about how the 2019 Orioles will fare. What's unique now is how people are betting on the Orioles.
ESPN this week reached out to several sports books and found that the Orioles' 2,000-to-1 World Series title odds were popular, with more action on the long-shot Orioles at William Hill's Sportsbooks than 10 other teams, according to the report.
An oddsmaker at the Westgate Sportsbook told ESPN that while bettors had hammered the under on the Orioles' over-under win total of 59.5 wins, they'd only moved it down one victory to 58.5.
Hitting the over would still be an 11-game improvement on last year's 47-115 season. It’s possible the Orioles improve on last year's league-worst record. They could see improvement in pitching from a host of young arms who got their first taste of the majors last year and get bounce-back years from the likes of Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, and Trey Mancini.
It's also possible that none of those three players will be on the team if they play well and things go badly as the new front office led by executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias looks to add young talent to the organization by any means necessary.
Orioles players expect things to be better for several reasons this year, and broke camp without the burdensome playoff expectations that made all the losing last year a bit harder to take.
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Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projection has the Orioles winning 58 games, while FanGraphs has the Orioles projected at 62 wins.