The Baltimore Orioles are the Best Bad Team in Baseball

Baltimore Orioles

Camden Yards may have a cool backdrop in the heart of Baltimore, Maryland, but it houses a team that cannot win to save its life.

The Baltimore Orioles have not had a winning season since 2016 when they went 89-73, and they have fallen as low as 47-115 in 2018.

Baltimore Orioles’ Bullpen Frustrations

This year’s version of the O’s has not fared much better than the infamous 2018 squad, currently sitting at 23-49 and in the last place in the American League East. They are 20 games out of first place and second-worst record in Major League Baseball, narrowly beating out the Arizona Diamondbacks for the last place— at least they have that going for them.

The source of the Orioles’ frustrations has primarily been the bullpen, which could not train a pitcher to toss a beach ball into the ocean. Baltimore as a team has a horrific earned run average of 5.04, ahead of only—guess who— the Diamondbacks.

The team’s most-used pitcher and a lone bright spot on the mound is John Means, who has posted a 4-2 record with a 2.28 ERA. In the same breath, Baltimore’s Matt Harvey has pitched the third-most innings on the team and has gone 3-9 with a 7.80 ERA. I am not sure at what point the staff should advise Harvey to try switching throwing arms, or even pursuing a different sport, but that day has to be approaching rapidly.

Baltimore Orioles John Means

The Baltimore relievers, to their credit, are middle-of-the-road in terms of blown saves, although it is hard to blow a save if your team has been losing throughout the game.

For all of the negatives in the pitching corps, Baltimore has enough talent offensively to be above .500: three players have hit double-digit home runs thus far, and Cedric Mullins’ .314 batting average positions him as the eighth-most reliable batter in the major league.

Orioles Looking Good in Terms of Batting Average

The Orioles are a top-half team in batting average, home runs, and fewest strikeouts, among other statistical categories. They truly would not be as bad as they are if it were not for horrendous pitching.

Baltimore has put up a fight lately despite their losing fortunes, playing the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians close and stealing a game off of the Toronto Blue Jays. They also exploded for 18 runs against Cleveland and 10 runs against the New York Mets earlier this month, showing that they can rack up the runs when they gather some momentum.

For as much potential as they may show, Baltimore still has only won one game in their past 12, compounding a streak of 14 winless games they suffered during May. The Orioles desperately need a player capable of shaking up the locker room and bringing the best out of their hitters on a nightly basis while stabilizing the bullpen.

The Orioles’ second-ranked prospect within their organization is right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, a 6-foot-5 righty playing with the double-A affiliate Bowie Baysox. Rodriguez 5-0 this season with a 1.88 ERA and has thrown over 7.5 strikeouts per game.

Whether he can help solve the O’s pitching crisis remains to be seen, but what is evident is that the Orioles truly could be good, if they just were not so bad.

Playing on a shortened schedule this season, Baltimore’s postseason hopes are almost completely dead: but if they get off to a better start next Spring and bring the best out of their young talent, they could be headed for the top half of the AL East in 2022.

Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.

 


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About Grant Mitchell 33 Articles
My name is Grant and I am a DMV native and a sports junkie through and through. My love for sports started when I was four years old, when one day I flipped the channel to Sportscenter on ESPN while I was eating my morning breakfast— not much has changed since then! If I'm not exercising or jamming out to some good music, you can find me listening to, watching or reading about the world of athletics.