Chone Smith has used his player projections (which I think are the best in the business) to come up with projected standings. It's no surprise that he has the Orioles in last place, but two things are interesting to me here.
1. The Blue Jays are projected to win only one more game that the Orioles. I've become more convinced over the offseason that the Jays are set up to be a big surprise on the downside. Their offense is the worst in the division, by far, and they've already lost a couple important arms for much of the season. The O's probably won't cross .500 this year, but sweet, sweet 4th place may be in reach.
2. The Power Rankings at the bottom have the Orioles as the 15th best team in baseball. We all know that there are substantial differences between the AL and NL, and beyond that the AL East is a whole other level of pain, but it's still a little suprising to see the Orioles projected to be a slightly better than average major league team. And that's WITH a complete train-wreck of a rotation, so it's not hard to get excited about the possibilities if the O's win the young pitcher lottery.
To put that a little more perspective on that, the Orioles are ranked two slots ahead of the Dodgers, who are projected to finish first in the NL West.
Check it out here: