Over the last few years—with the exception of the 60 game sprint in 2020—I’ve provided some form of over/under exercise for the second half of the season. The greatest hits include Hanser Alberto’s batting average, complete games by the pitching staff, and games played by Jahmai Jones.
While Stacey does a tremendous job creating and tracking the Camden Chat Preseason Contest, I’m just here to provide some entertainment before baseball resumes on Friday.
The Orioles have completed 92 of 162 games, so keep that in mind when calculating your projections. Have fun and feel free to share your picks in the comments below!
Games started by Grayson Rodriguez, D.L. Hall and Mike Baumann: Over/under 6.5
Baltimore’s top three pitching prospects have yet to start a game for the club. Grayson Rodriguez appeared to be knocking on the door before he suffered a Grade 2 lat strain. Mike Elias left the door open for Rodriguez to pitch in September, but he acknowledged the possibility that the top arm would be shelved until 2023. The number for just Rodriguez would be 0.5, but I snuck him in just in case the Orioles let him throw at the end of the year.
D.L. Hall represents the meat and potatoes here. Baltimore’s best left-handed pitching prospect has posted gaudy strikeout numbers this season, but questions with his control and pitch efficiency have kept him at Norfolk. The Orioles definitely have some type of workload limit for Hall, but it remains to be seen whether it includes starts at the major league level.
Mike Baumann, the club’s third best pitching prospect, represents the wild card. Baumann made seven relief appearances for the Orioles in the first half, but the 26-year-old started and pitched five innings in his most recent minor league season. How will the club use him in the second half?
Combined steals by Jorge Mateo and Cedric Mullins: Over/under 65
Cedric Mullins swiped 19 bags in the first half. He should bat leadoff in every game he plays and will have plenty of opportunities to add to his total. Mullins stole exactly 30 bases when he joined the 30/30 club, so shout out to anyone that remembers taking the over last year.
Jorge Mateo’s 22 steals look even more impressive when you realize that he hit just .205 and got on base at a .258 clip. A hot streak at the plate would lead to even more opportunities to make catchers pay, but Mateo could lose playing time if Gunnar Henderson or Jordan Westburg force their way to Baltimore.
Games played by Kyle Stowers: Over/under 18.5
Henderson and Westburg are not the only prospects looking to make their way to Baltimore this season. Kyle Stowers played in two games when the Orioles placed Anthony Santander on the restricted list in Toronto. Stowers’ future could easily hinge on Santander’s status with the Orioles moving forward.
Santander has been surrounded by trade rumors for over a year, but the Orioles have yet to part with the corner outfielder. Dealing Santander would create a spot for Stowers, but the rookie would still need to compete with Ryan McKenna for playing time.
Stowers has slashed .251/.355/.521 over 73 games at Triple-A this season.
Orioles final place in the American League East: Over/under 4.5
Stacey had the team’s loss total set at 99.5 in the preseason contest this season. With that number (hopefully) out of the question, we can now turn our attention to whether the surprising Birds can fly their way out of the AL East cellar.
The AL East is the only division where every team has a record of .500 or better. The Orioles trail Boston by just one in the loss column and sit 3.5 games behind the Blue Jays. Can the Orioles catch either division foe before the season ends?
Batting Average for Rougned Odor: Over/under .200
Odor has hit .202 over 81 games this season. The veteran infielder has provided plenty of clutch at bats, but can he hold up for the duration of the year?
Ryan Mountcastle home runs: Over/under 25.5
Mountcastle sits just behind Anthony Santander (15) with 14 home runs this year. Mountcastle accounted for half of his home run total with seven dingers in June.
Orioles wins: Over/under 80.5
The Orioles have played .500 baseball through 92 games. Can they keep it up?
Doubles for Adley Rutschman: Over/under 37.5
Adley Rutschman has 15 doubles in hist first 46 games. How many more can he add over the final 70?