The 2022 MLB is finally underway. The AL East is anticipated to become the most competitive division of them all, as four teams possess a serious chance of World Series contention, and then you have the Baltimore Orioles.
I apologize to Orioles fans, but there’s no denying that this Baltimore team is positioned in an unfortunate division versus a killer’s row of baseball squads. And, of course, it isn’t our job to crucify the Orioles and butcher their chances of success this term, but I think most O’s fans would agree – the chips are stacked against them.
The expectations of a bleak MLB season in Baltimore aren’t entirely opinion-based; the statistics of both the teams and players involved in the AL East point to the obvious. BetMGM Maryland Sportsbook has also positioned the Orioles with an impossible chance to win the AL East. The available odds for them to earn a wild card position or reach the playoffs are also low.
BetMGM Maryland has the Orioles listed as +15000 to win the AL East, ultimately giving the Birds a 0.7% implied probability. This meager percentage isn’t the news Orioles fans want to hear, but I wouldn’t expect bettors to approach this market either way. Baltimore has more hope of snatching a wild card spot, and these available odds could seem lucrative to some.
Naturally, the most favorable wagering positions will steer towards the teams expected to win the division and the remaining teams that could do the unthinkable and claim all three wild card spots.
The Current State of the AL East
The New Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have long been the playoff contention favorites. However, there has been a shift in recent years, and the Tampa Bay Rays have transformed into the highlight squad of the AL East.
The Rays have won more games than any other team in the division in the previous four years whilst making the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. They’re x2 AL East champions, and although their payroll is low, they possess a team full of prosper that’ll be still active towards playoff season.
Although, the overlooked team this season is undoubtedly the Toronto Blue Jays, a group who could definitely take the World Series this year. The young talents of Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette combined with veterans such as Matt Chapman, Jose Berrios, and George Springer have evolved monstrous potential for this team.
Let’s evaluate the division following the first week of MLB action in the 2022 season and how the expectations weighed up after the first ten days of play.
1st place – Toronto Blue Jays
As previously mentioned, the Blue Jays are the overlooked team with elite squad depth in the AL East, and they’ve already proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
The Blue Jays are the lone team who haven’t lost a series in just over a week of MLB play. They defeated the Rangers, split a series with the Yankees, and then defeated the Athletics last weekend.
Stand out Vlad Guerrero Jr. has already begun firing away for Toronto’s offense with three home runs in one game. He’s leveled with CJ Cron on five homers for the leading MLB score this term through the season’s first ten games.
2nd place – Boston Red Sox
With just one series success to being the initial ten days of the season, the Boston Red Sox did, however, start their schedule in the Bronx versus a bitter rival in the Yankees, losing 2-1 throughout three meetings.
After another road trip to Detroit, they managed to take this road series 2-1, but their return home was as eventful as expected – splitting a 2-2 set with the Minnesota Twins.
3rd place – Tampa Bay Rays
Taking advantage of bottom dwellers in the Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays swept the opposition in their first series of the season but then gave up a 3-1 set to the Oakland Athletics.
Spirits didn’t rise when visiting Chicago, as the Rays lost a 2-1 series to the White Sox, but I wouldn’t expect these trends to continue.
4th place – New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles defeated the Yankees in their series meeting, and it was a joyous occasion for O’s fans but an incredibly embarrassing one for the New York team.
However, we should note that the Red Sox, Tampa, and the Yankees had the same 5-5 record throughout the first ten games, and despite league positioning, they’re technically in the same position as most other teams.
It could be a rare occasion for the O’s, and I wouldn’t expect too many weeks where they can claim success over the likes of the Yankees.
Orioles enjoyed a series win against the Yankees last weekend, but we cannot neglect the first six games of the season that returned a 1-5 record.
Unfortunately, it would seem like the Orioles could be nothing more than the team that dictates who wins the AL East. How? Well, whichever team can defeat the Orioles more than the others has a great chance of winning the AL East.
The Orioles are rock bottom of the division, and the additional four teams will play 19 games each versus the O’s. Following a 2021 season where Baltimore finished 20-56, many points and wins against this team in 2022 could be crucial in the expectations of claiming the first position.
Without a doubt, the AL East will produce a brawl this season, but it’s difficult to envision the Orioles finding much success. However, they could definitely help dictate which of the four teams walk away as the 1st placed team by October.