The Baltimore Orioles have so far lived up to the prediction that they would be the worst team in Major League Baseball. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook at the beginning of the season had the team’s win total at 59.5, the lowest ever posted by the iconic sportsbook.
That line got bet down to 57.5 before opening day at the end of March. The Westgate also put up a prop bet that Baltimore would have the most losses of any team, and established the line at 5/2. Sharps jumped on that, betting it down to even money, then -125.
Bright Spot in Dreary Season
Highlights for the team have been scant. The team is firmly in the cellar of the American League East, 30.5 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. They also have not disappointed oddsmakers, owning the worst record in the majors at 24-59 as of Sunday. The next closest team is Detroit at 27-52.
But all is not dark and dreary with the Orioles. Bettors are feasting on the team’s ability to hit the over in runs this season. The team was 12-2-1 on the over going into last weekend’s three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
Usually it is the opponent that clobbers Baltimore pitching to reach the over. The Orioles have had 16 games where the opponent had scored 10 or more runs.
Runs in Bunches
Last weekend, however, it was the Orioles who put on a rare display of offensive production. They hung 13 runs on the Indians, not once, but twice, shutting out a team that has 21 more victories.
The 26 runs were more than they had scored in their previous four games. It also set a major
Orioles’ first series victory since April 22-24 against the Chicago White Sox and first consecutive wins since league record. No team had ever had back-to-back shutouts and won by 13 runs in the same two games.
On Friday the Orioles won for only the second time in 15 games, and it was the only the third time all season the team had scored 10 or more runs.
“We have not had many of these,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We were definitely due for one.”
On Saturday the Orioles did it again, jumping out to a 7-0 lead after four innings to cruise to their second 13-0 victory.
“We’ve really pitched well the last two nights, obviously, and then we got a ton of great at-bats and a ton of really good swings,” Hyde said. “Just really good at-bats up and down the lineup. I thought we just did a lot of really good things offensively.”
It was the Orioles’ first series victory since April 22-24 against the Chicago White Sox and first consecutive wins since May 4-6 when they beat Tampa Bay and Boston.
Reality Returns Quickly
In the series finale, Baltimore had a chance to win its third game in a row, but were on the other end of a shut out as Cleveland won, 2-0. Indians pitcher Shane Bieber allowed three hits and struck out 11 over eight dazzling innings. He retired 12 straight at one point.
“He’s really impressive,” Hyde said. “Just faced a really good pitcher today who kind of carved us up.”
The team has a three-game series against Kansas City before the All-Star break, and Hyde said it has been a difficult being in the middle of a team that is rebuilding.
“It’s never easy,” Hyde said. “It’s not easy to lose. Fortunately and unfortunately, I’ve been through this before. I’ve been on a hundred-loss club, not in the manager’s seat but on a coaching staff. I’ve been in Miami when we traded away a lot of veteran guys at the deadline and became really, really young with (Giancarlo) Stanton and Logan Morrison and those guys back then. So I understand what this is about. That being said, it’s not easy to lose.”