Opening Day's here - so are our 2018 MLB picks - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Opening Day’s here — so are our 2018 MLB picks

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

You can almost smell the hot dogs cooking at the Camden Yards’ concession stand or hear the beer sloshing around at Pickles Pub

It’s Opening Day. I don’t care what the temperature is or what the calendar says – we’ve made it to the real first day of spring.

Dylan Bundy will throw out the first pitch around 3:05 p.m. this afternoon and 2018 – in baseball and Balmer terms anyway – will commence.

Bundy and the Orioles will face the Minnesota Twins, who were the biggest surprises in the major leagues last year, going from 103 losses in 2016 to a playoff spot in 2017.

I didn’t see the Twins’ transformation coming. But, then again, if you recall my predictions from last year, I didn’t see a lot of things coming.

I did correctly predict all six 2017 division winners, but that wasn’t particularly difficult. In contrast, I had the Orioles winning 90 games, finishing second in the AL East and earning a playoff spot. What a ridiculous homer.

Want more from the “Connolly is an Idiot” department?

I selected Ubaldo Jimenez as my biggest Orioles’ surprise for 2017 – seriously. I didn’t think he’d have to do a whole lot to pleasantly surprise a jaded fan base. Let’s just say I was wrong, and now we can all move on.

I’ve come to two conclusions after looking at last year’s BaltimoreBaseball.com’s predictions: 1. I was terrible. 2. We can’t all be Adam Pohl.

Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox and the host of our wildly popular “Minor League Podcast,” was a veritable Baseball Nostradamus last April. He had the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, and, thankfully, for our collective sanity, picked the Dodgers to win it all.

So, he ain’t perfect. But Pohl also predicted the Orioles’ biggest surprise would be Trey Mancini and the club’s biggest disappointment, Mark Trumbo.

If you are a betting person, and believe in Pohl a second consecutive year, go to Las Vegas and put it all on an Astros repeat. And also pay close attention to Caleb Joseph this season – in a good way, Pohl suggests.

Here are all of our predictions, including my bold assessment that the Orioles will finish the year at exactly 81-81. I’m playing it conservatively in 2018.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Creatively_19

    March 29, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Yes! Baseball in Baltimore is Back, Baby!

    I’m not surprised to see none of you picking the O’s to be in the postseason in 2018. No surprise here. O’s are perpetual underdogs, but that’s how we like it in this town.

    I do see good things for Caleb Joseph this year. I’ve always advocated that given a regular job behind the plate, he’d make the most of it.

    My only prediction this season is that at some point this year, Craig Gentry will be removed from the roster.

    Let’s go O’s!!

    • Raymo

      March 29, 2018 at 8:57 am

      I agree on Caleb, and think that Flaherty is another one who would thrive if given consistent playing time… with the Orioles or another team.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Caleb thanks both of you. And Adam Pohl for believing.

  2. Disco Stupid

    March 29, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Sorry Dan I won’t be following your advice and betting with Adam Pohl. Actually I won’t bet at all but BRAVES FOR NL EAST CHAMPION?!? I wouldn’t mind if he is right because of my distaste for the Gnationals.
    Was it allowed to vote Trumbo for biggest disappointment after last season? Just sayin. Go O’s!!!

    • Raymo

      March 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Indeed… the Braves?? I’d love to hear his analysis.

      • Bancells Moustache

        March 29, 2018 at 9:24 am

        Seconded. Mr. Pohl needs to start typing a BaltimoreBaseball.com post immediately Dan. You can’t throw out something that zany without backing it up.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      I’ll investigate it. Maybe he mistyped Mets?!

  3. Orial

    March 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Can’t argue with any of it. O’s win totals a little higher than national media(of course). Speaking of the national media–can they please stop stating how stupid the O’s are or will be about not trading Manny because you know why? —regardless of their record they aren’t.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      I tend to think the local writers — anywhere — are a little more plugged in for individual projections. But when we shoot high (like last year with me) ya look like a homer. So, then again, maybe we are too close. I’ll have to look into an independent study.

  4. DPG0124

    March 29, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I’m also bullish on Caleb – he does seem to hit pretty well when given more consistent playing time. I think outside of the Big 4 (Yanks, Red Sox, Indians, Astros) all the other AL teams are basically jumbled together. So I’ll say O’s find a way to sneak into the 2nd Wild Card (it is an even year after all!). I also think the Dodgers finally get over the hump and bring home the World Series.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      The Dodgers are good. Real good. Wouldn’t surprise me.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 29, 2018 at 10:43 am

    C’mon boys … the O’s win 92 … good enough to win the AL East. And again, Bundy is a lock for the Cy Young award.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      It’s March 29. Happy BoogRR day.

    • Raymo

      March 29, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Ya gotta love the optimism!

  6. garyintheloo

    March 29, 2018 at 10:59 am

    These predictions are generally good for yucks but I think Adam Pohl’s predictions will make for the most interesting season since everything otherwise seems preordained. I think the pleasant surprise will be Santander as Rasmus doesn’t finish the season with us. The biggest disappointments will be Tillman and Trumbo but a deeper farm system should overcome that. This may be a fun year as we neither contend nor crash but 80+ wins will be a nice farewell for Britton, Jones and Manny.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      I think 78-85 is the range. Health could push it either way. But a tough division for sure.

  7. Ben1

    March 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Well, there goes the season. Might as well juat check back in October for tge playoffs since none of the gurua beleive the Os can compete.
    Me? Looking forward for a wild card berth…. gives me a reason to watch.

    • Dan Connolly

      March 29, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Keep checking with us Ben. Even if you have to remind us how far off we were.

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