The Baltimore Orioles were not just a bad team last year. They redefined the concept on their way to losing 115 of 162 games. Only three teams have ever lost more games than them—the Oakland A’s in 1916 (117), the 1962 New York Mets (120), and the 2003 Detroit Tigers (119).
It wasn’t just because the other teams were better than them. There were not good at anything. They were one of the worse hitting teams in the league (.239 BA). Only three teams generated fewer runs than them.
As for their pitching—they were the only team in baseball with a staff ERA over 5.0 (5.18). No staff allowed a higher batting average than they did (.276).
As bad as they were, for some crazy reason, there are people putting money on them to win the World Series this year. According to an ESPN report, at the William Hill sportsbook, they have taken more bets on the Orioles to win than ten other teams.
What on Earth are so many people thinking? Easy—they are thinking on the off-chance the Orioles have a miracle-type season, there $2 will turn into a pretty big windfall. Odds on the Orioles going all the way are ranging from 1000 to 1 to as high as 2000 to 1.
Who wouldn’t mind risking $2 for a shot at making $2000? That is what the majority of the bets have been like; smaller dollar amounts that people hope will turn into a lot more. At the Westgate, someone put $25 on the Orioles to win the most games this season at 2,000 to 1.
It will probably not happen. But if it does, that is one heck of a payday.
“People will always bet the super long shots,” SuperBook oddsmaker Randy Blum said, via ESPN.
At the SuperBook, over half of the bets wagered are for the Orioles to lose more games than anyone else. The odds—even money.
So, is there any reason to believe these people are going to get the miracle they are hoping for? Can the Orioles win the World Series?
Of course not.
For one, they are in the same division as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. There is no way they are getting out of the division unless the Yankees and Red Sox experience some sort of catastrophic meltdown.
They needed to do a massive overhaul of the roster to even have a shot at being a little competitive. The Orioles didn’t pick up a single free agent worth bragging about. Their Opening Day starter had a 5.45 ERA last season; typically, teams start their best pitcher on Day One.
At first base, they have a guy who hit .162 last year and hasn’t hit about .250 since the 2015 season. How does he still have a job? There isn’t a single impressive hitter in their Opening Day lineup, and there doesn’t appear to be one on the roster.
Winning a couple grand off a $2 bet is a nice idea, but it just isn’t going to happen this year.