Last season the Baltimore Orioles completed an official 180 from the previous season. In 2012, the Orioles posted and impressive 93-69. They had their first winning season in 14 years and made the playoffs for the first time since 1997. As for 2011, they did the exact opposite while finishing last in the AL East with a record of 69-93.
Each year the sports books in Las Vegas set their over/under win total expectations. Before the 2012 season Vegas set the Orioles win total to 69.5. Obviously the birds exceeded those expectations by a mere 23 wins. The reason for the low number of 69.5 is not surprising considering their previous season woes. The win total in 2011, was set at 77.5 and the O’s went 69-93 which went under their expected total by nine games.
Typically, Vegas tries to set these numbers based on a number of factors. The most common being how they did the season before. Bettors tend to only remember the most recent course of events. Since the Orioles won 93 games last year and made a little noise in the playoffs, the line makers will try to feed off of that. Thus, the reason for an increase of seven wins from the previous season.
They do not want to set the line too close to 93 because, odds are the Orioles are not going to replicate last years success and the gamblers would profit in the masses by taking the under.
As for this season to predict whether the Orioles will indeed win more than the set line of 76.5. Going off the information I had mentioned earlier, here are the last three season actual win totals for the Orioles: 93, 69, and 66. Now here are their respective predictive win totals from the past three seasons: 69.5, 77.5, and 74.5.
With the AL East becoming arguably the most competitive league in MLB, the win totals can show signs of this trend. We are used to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees always being in the picture. Tampa Bay Rays have also been consistently good over the past five years. The Toronto Blue Jays had one of the most active off-seasons as they signed R.A. Dickey, traded for the entire Miami Marlins roster, and kept most of their core players such as Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Listed below are the win totals for the rest of the AL East in 2013
Boston Red Sox – 79.5
New York Yankees – 86.5
Tampa Bay Rays – 86
Toronto Blue Jays – 86.5
As you let those numbers settle in, keep in mind the Orioles win number I mentioned earlier (76.5). This may not seem right, considering the Orioles finished better than three of those teams last season; and had 93 wins, which is 26 wins higher than the set line. However, the line makers expect some sort of regression to occur, especially with the moves AL East teams made.
Corey Righter is a columnist/writer for RantSports, primarily covering the Baltimore Orioles. You can follow him on Twitter @Mrrighter.