The Orioles are not exactly predicted to dominate the AL East this season. But do they have what it takes to beat the single-season home run record, regardless?
In 2013, the O’s came in fourth in their division despite racking up an impressive list of achievements — including the lowest-ever error rate and Chris Davis’s MLB-leading 53 home runs and 138 RBI. This year they’re predicted to return to the bottom of the pack, but some are saying they have slugging power to make a run at the single-season home run record.
Justin Odenthal of Delmarva Now has prophesied as much. He figures if Davis, Manny Machado, and Adam Jones can average at least 40 home runs apiece and new comers Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez each earn 30 and Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, and Matt Wieters combine for 60, then that puts the team at 240 home runs right there, within striking distance of the current record of 264.
The Baltimore Sun‘s Peter Schmuck is even more optimistic, calling the Orioles’ 2016 roster “an unprecedented collection of power hitters” who have the potential to “bash opposing pitchers into oblivion all year.”
Make no mistake — my hope is that the Orioles are competitive this year. But if the losses start to pile up, this at least gives us a consolation prize to root for.