So Baseball Prospectus forecasts the Orioles to be scoring, and giving up the second most runs in all of baseball. To me, this is a very good sign. Obviously scoring a lot is good, beyond that none of the projections on offense seem particularly crazy. Markakis is expected to hit .286/.368/.466, B-Rob to hit .274/.355/.428, AJ .278/.331/.470 (with 22 HR), Wieters .311/.395/.534, and Pie to hit .274/.333/.435
All of these seem reasonable to me. This team is going to score some serious runs.
The pitching makes me feel good too, for maybe a sort of twisted Orioles-ish reason. It is projected to be so goddamn bad, that it actually can't really be worse, and could be way better. If these projections pan out, the team would have a pythag. of 76-86. If even ONE of our pitchers exceeds expectations (i.e. not having an ERA of 5.72), this team should be better than that. It also gives me real hope for 2010 and beyond. The offense is only going to get better, all of are young bats are still 2-3 years away from their peaks, and the old, solid, boring bats (Huff, Luke, Wigg, Mora) are pretty easily replaceable.
But again, the pitching is going to be so bad, that even if Matustz and Tillman and Arrieta don't all pan out, or are just "ok" This offense will be able to provide a ton of runs. The O's look to give up 898 runs this year. 5.5 runs a game. If in 2010-2011, the team's pitching is just mediocre (not great), we could expect to give up...770 runs a game (4.75 ERA). THEN even if the offense doesn't improve We'd be looking at a team that scored almost 100 more than they give up. If the offense does improve modestly, as we should expect, this team could very well lead the majors in runs scored in 2010-11. If the pitching DOES work out, it is not hard at all to see a team that scores 900 and gives up 725. That's big time playoff material.
Sorry this is rambling, but it's got me all hot and bothered.