The 2023 regular season has come to an end. While we wait to see our top-seeded Baltimore Orioles play in the division series this weekend, let’s check in on how Camden Chatters thought the Orioles would due six months ago. That’s when the annual pre-season contest took place.
If you weren’t around six months ago, the contest happens every March and allows the fine members of this community to answer 30 Orioles-related questions about the upcoming season. This year we had 270 participants but only one winner. Congratulations to Michimore Wizskins, who answered 23 questions correctly! You win bragging rights until next year’s contest debuts.
To find out how you did, visit the results spreadsheet and CTRL+F to find your name. It is sorted by number of questions answered correctly. How did you do? Tell us in the comments!
I only answered 12 correctly, which frankly is an embarrassment. Blog boss Mark did much better with 19 correct. Good job, Mark!
As always, big thanks to Camden Chatter fart_shoes for his spreadsheet magic. You’re the best!
Now, on to the answers:
Which will be higher?
- Jordan Lyles or Kyle Gibson bWAR? Gibson: 0.9, Lyle: -1.3 — Kyle Gibson was the Jordan Lyles replacement when he signed last off-season. Gibson was far from a star, but he more the held his own and stabilized the rotation. Lyles put up a 6.38 ERA in Kansas City. 83% of you knew that Gibson would be better.
- Home runs hit by Orioles or HR allowed by Orioles pitchers? HR hit: 183, HR allowed: 177 — We chose this question because in 2022 the two numbers were actually the same: 171. This was a close race all year long. 82% chose correctly.
- Doubles hit by Cedric Mullins or GS by Cole Irvin? Mullins: 23, Irvin: 12 — In another world, Mullins hit many more doubles and didn’t miss any time with injuries. And Irvin was good enough to get a full season’s worth of starts. Maybe next year. 86% picked Mullins.
- MLB innings pitched by Grayson Rodriguez or OPS+ by team leader (min. 300 PA)? Adley Rutschman OPS+: 128, Grayson IP: 122. Another close one! I would have preferred it was still close but both numbers were higher. But it all worked out in the win column anyway. 86% chose correctly.
- Ryan Mountcastle extra-base hits or # of players used by the Orioles? Players used by Orioles: 50, Mountcastle XBH: 40 — The home runs didn’t really come along for Mounty this year the way we hoped, possibly because of his health issues midseason. Also because of the wall. Just 34% chose correctly, there was a lot of faith in Mounty pre-season.
- Adley Rutschman OPS vs RHP or Manny Machado OPS overall? Machado: .782, Adley: .778 — This one ended up very close but not for the reasons we imagined. In 2022, Adley’s platoon splits dramatically favored RHP (.889). And Machado’s overall OPS generally ranges from mid-.800s into the .900s. In Adley’s second season, his splits flipped and he spent the season mashing lefties instead of righties. Meanwhile, Machado had one of his worst career seasons at the plate. 47% chose correctly.
- Starts at 2B: Adam Frazier or Ramón Urías? Frazier: 106, Urías: 15 — Welp, this question was a bust. 53% chose Frazier.
- Austin Hays OPS*1000 or Orioles runs scored? Runs scored: 807, Hays OPS: .769 — Hays’s first-half numbers made it look like he could win this one, but a second-half swoon knocked him out of contention. 59% chose correctly.
- Mychal Givens games played or James McCann games started? McCann - 61, Givens - 6 — If Givens had been what we expected, this would have been a really close question! Just a third of you correctly picked McCann.
- More questions right, Mark or Stacey? Mark - 19, Stacey - 12. Well this is embarrassing. 73% of you chose me! I let you down.
- Orioles wins: 83.5 — OVER (101). HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH. 74% of you took the over, but I bet none of you expected it to be this much over.
- Number of MLB teams with fewer SB than Mullins+Mateo - 12.5 UNDER (0). The M&M boys combined to steal 51 bases, more than zero teams. This had the potential to be a great question! 63% chose correctly.
- Longest win streak: 6.5 - OVER (8). The Orioles captured the in late April with seven in a row, then one-upped themselves with an eight-game win streak from July 5-16. 74% chose correctly.
- Number of Orioles to earn a save: 5.5 - OVER (6). This one looked like it would stay under, then on September 28th, Tyler Wells earned his first save of the season. Other players who got saves: Félix Bautista, Yennier Cano, Cionel Pérez, Danny Coulombe, and Shintaro Fujinami. 53% chose correctly.
- Number of trades in July that affect the active (26-man) roster: 1.5 OVER (2). Technically Jack Flaherty was traded for on August 1st, but I am using my powers to declare him an answer to this question. I neglected to notice that the trade deadline was August 1st and not July 31st this year. The other trade is Fujinami. 70% chose correctly.
Who will be the first...
- Oriole to hit a home run? Adley Rutschman. 15% correctly chose Adley. The most popular answer was Anthony Santander (35%)
- Orioles to steal a base? Jorge Mateo. 31% chose correctly. The most popular answer was Cedric Mullins (62%)
- Team to sweep the Orioles? Hahahahahah! The Orioles were not swept this year! Amazingly, 18 people (7%) picked correctly. The most popular answer was the Yankees (31%)
- Team the Orioles sweep? Washington Nationals. The sweep was a two-game series on April 18-19. 23% chose correctly. The most popular answer was the Red Sox (45%)
- Oriole starter to get a win? Kyle Gibson, and it came on Opening Day! He was the most common answer (49%)
- Will John Means start a game by August 1st? No — The good news is that he looks ready for the playoffs! 56% answered correctly.
- Will the Orioles draw at least 1.5 M fans? Yes, and it wasn’t that close. The Orioles drew 1,936,798 fans this year, an increase of 568,431 over last season. 88% answered correctly.
- Will Gunnar Henderson be an All-Star? No — Gunnar has All-Star caliber numbers by year’s end, but he didn’t turn it on in time to be named to the team. Let’s ask again next year! 75% answered correctly.
- Will Jackson Holliday play at least one game for the Tides? Yes — this felt like a long shot when we included it, but Holliday has had a historic minor league season, working his way from Low-A Delmarva all the way to Triple-A Norfolk. Next year, Baltimore! 59% answered correctly.
- Will the Orioles be above .500 against any AL East team? Yes — ALL OF THEM. The Orioles went 32-20 in their division. 95% of you knew the answer to this one.
- Which of these players will have the highest fWAR? Anthony Santander (2.7) Ryan Mountcastle (1.6), Ramón Urías (0.8), or Austin Hays (2.2)? 53% of you chose Santander.
- Which of these pitchers will make the most starts? Kyle Bradish (30), Tyler Wells (20) , DL Hall (0), or Austin Voth (0). This was a close race between Bradish and Wells for most of the year. 91% of you knew it would be Bradish.
- Which of the following prospects will debut first? Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg, Connor Norby, or Colton Cowser. Ortiz debuted on April 27th, followed by Westburg (June 26th), and Cowser (July 5th). 16% correctly chose Ortiz and the most popular answer was Westburg (44%)
- Which relief pitcher will have the most appearances? Félix Bautista, Cionel Pérez, Mychal Givens, or someone else. The answer, of course, was Yennier Cano. 9% chose someone else and the most popular answer was Cionel (49%). He was close, with 65.
- Which player will hit the most HR? Gunnar Henderson, Anthony Santander, Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle, or someone else. Gunnar and Santander tied with 28 each. Note that on the spreadsheet it lists Santander as the answer but bother answers are given credit. 58% of you chose Santander and just 6% selected Gunnar.
That’s it! 30 questions, 30 answers, and a lot of fun. This contest is one of my favorite things to write every year. I hope you all had as much fun as me. Let me know in the comments which answers surprised you.