Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Baltimore Orioles

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Orioles contended their little hearts out in 2013, hoping for a return trip to the postseason after reaching it for the first time in 15 years in 2012, but even with surprise MVP candidate Chris Davis giving them far more than anyone could have expected, they fell short, tying with the Yankees for third in the AL East.

Their roster is largely unchanged since then, which of course places a heavy burden on Davis to keep producing. Most Fantasy owners are buying into his 53-homer performance of a year ago, targeting him in the first round. He does have at least one partner in crime in Adam Jones, whose 2012 numbers don't compare but whose track record makes him equally deserving of early-round status. You may see him go in the first round of some drafts, though particularly in Head-to-Head points leagues, he's a better fit for the second round.

2014 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Continued growth for Manny Machado would mean more to the Orioles than any offseason acquisition. The first step is coming back from knee surgery, which he's on track to do. We've been hearing the Alex Rodriguez comparisons since he went third overall in the 2010 draft, and it's not like he underachieved in his first full season, leading the AL with 51 doubles. But at age 21, he's still learning the strike zone and has yet to mature physically. A player of his pedigree could explode any given year, making his value on Draft Day a source of debate. Even among pessimists, he won't last beyond the top 10 third basemen.

The Orioles' top-heavy lineup bottoms out from there. By now, Fantasy owners know to expect middle-of-the-road production from former top prospect Matt Wieters. Soon to be 28 and already five years into his big-league career, the big breakthrough most likely isn't coming. J.J. Hardy will hit more home runs than the average shortstop but provide virtually nothing else. Nick Markakis, still only 30, has been in decline for about five years now and is on the verge of becoming mixed league irrelevant.

The starting rotation is the team's real weakness, though. Kevin Gausman offers ace potential and will get his chance this spring but hasn't exactly earned the benefit of the doubt yet, meaning the Orioles will most likely trot out the same collection of No. 4 starters. OK, so Chris Tillman may have emerged as something more last year, but even he's more of a late-rounder in standard mixed leagues.

Since Dan Duquette took over as general manager, the Orioles have earned a reputation for rescuing players off the scrap heap, and Jemile Weeks is this year's most likely candidate. He'll compete for playing time at second base, looking to hold off prospect Jonathan Schoop with longtime albatross Brian Roberts out of the picture.

Underappreciated ... Chris Tillman, starting pitcher

2014 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Nick Markakis RF
2. Manny Machado 3B
3. Chris Davis 1B
4. Adam Jones CF
5. Matt Wieters C
6. J.J. Hardy SS
7. Henry Urrutia DH
8. David Lough LF
9. Jemile Weeks 2B
Bench Nolan Reimold OF
Bench Delmon Young OF
Yes, Tillman ranked 19th among starting pitchers in Head-to-Head leagues last year and 26th in Rotisserie, but most Fantasy owners can sniff out a fluky win-loss record and compensate accordingly. He's not that much better than Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen, right? Who's to say he'll be the one to win 16 games in 2014 and not them? But his designation here has less to do with how he finished 2013 than how he progressed over the course of it. His success was easy to overlook in the first half, when he averaged 7.2 strikeouts and 3.3 walks per nine innings -- a middle-of-the-road ratio that suggested he hadn't actually transformed as a pitcher and was simply having better luck. But then, after the All-Star break, he averaged 8.6 strikeouts and 2.6 walks per nine -- a good ratio by anyone's standards. He also had a 1.07 WHIP that, over a full season, would have ranked ninth among all starting pitchers. A former top prospect, Tillman always had the potential for those kinds of numbers and may have finally met it at age 25.

Buyer beware ... Chris Davis, first base

In the interest of full disclosure, Davis was my "bust" pick for the Orioles last year, meaning before he emerged as an MVP candidate and probable first-round pick. So yeah, sorry about that. As expectations increase, though, so does the potential to disappoint, giving me a better chance of getting it right this year. Everything that concerned me about Davis prior to 2013 is still true today and actually came to light in the second half. Those who didn't own him probably didn't notice -- he was so far ahead by then that it hardly impacted his final numbers -- but after the All-Star break, he hit .245 with 16 homers and an .854 OPS. In other words, he was the same guy who hit .270 with 33 homers and an .827 OPS in 2012 -- a solid player, but nothing near elite. As someone who strikes out every third at-bat, he may be incapable of anything more and simply caught pitchers by surprise in the first half last year. At some point, the risk is worth the reward, but the first round isn't it.

Sleeper ... Tommy Hunter, relief pitcher

2014 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Chris Tillman RHP
2. Wei-Yin Chen LHP
3. Miguel Gonzalez RHP
4. Bud Norris RHP
5. Zach Britton LHP
ALT Kevin Gausman RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Tommy Hunter RHP
2. Darren O'Day RHP
3. Ryan Webb RHP
4. Brian Matusz LHP
5. Steve Johnson RHP
Truthfully, any reliever in line for saves for the first time is a sleeper in Fantasy. When only 30 players are capable of contributing something everybody needs, all of them have value. But Hunter even more so because he's getting his chance in the same place Jim Johnson recorded 50-plus saves each of the last two seasons. And he might be even better equipped for the role. You wouldn't have thought so when he was a back-of-the-rotation starter for the Rangers a few years back, but he's found his niche in the bullpen with the Orioles, boasting a fastball that reaches triple digits. He's not any more of a bat-misser than Johnson -- or he hasn't proven to be yet, anyway -- but his control is so good that you can count on a low WHIP and ERA. Of course, he has to win the job first, so most of the "proven" closers still take precedence on Draft Day. But among the bottom-feeders, Hunter is one of those worth the extra dollar.

Prospects Report

What the Orioles lack at starting pitcher in the majors they're cooking up by the vat in the minors. Kevin Gausman is the big name now, but Dylan Bundy was actually ahead of him before losing all of 2013 to Tommy John surgery. By 2015, they'll likely have emerged as Nos. 1 and 2 in the big-league rotation, with Gausman the more likely of the two to contribute this season. ... Eduardo Rodriguez doesn't quite profile as an ace, but the Orioles consider him a long-term option for their starting rotation and could give him a taste of the majors at some point in 2014. ... Hunter Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, gives the Orioles another ace in the making, but at 19, he's at least a couple years behind the others. Now is the time to scoop him up in dynasty leagues. ... Jonathan Schoop is one of those prospects whose numbers have never quite lived up to the pedigree, but now that he's at the doorstep of the majors, he deserves AL-only consideration. He has decent pop for a middle infielder, if nothing else. ... Henry Urrutia is among the many candidates competing for time at left field and DH, but at age 27, he may be a finished product and has yet to show the power to hold down a full-time job in the majors. He has impressive bat-on-ball ability, though.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rockies P Kyle Kendrick gives up 4 runs in loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:51 am ET) Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick allowed four earned runs in Friday night's 11-8 loss to the Giants. 

Kendrick went 6 1/3 innings and struck out four batters while walking three. 


Royals' Kendrys Morales drives in five runs during Friday's win
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:50 am ET) Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales provided all the offense that the Royals needed to defeat the Cardinals on Friday.

Morales drove in all five the team's runs Friday. He did it by hitting two home runs off Lance Lynn. Morales went 3 for 5 in the game to raise his average to .305.

Prior to his three-hit game Friday, Morales had been hitting .154 with no home runs over his last four games.


Giants' Ryan Vogelsong pitches 6 scoreless innings
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:47 am ET) Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong went six innings without allowing an earned run during Friday night's 11-8 win over the Rockies. 

Even though his relievers gave up eight runs, Vogelsong was still able to get credit for the win thanks to some great run support from his offense. Vogelsong finished the game with five strikeouts and three walks. 

Vogelsong gave up only two hits throughout the game. He now has a 4.60 ERA for the season. 

Vogelsong's next start is now projected for May 27 against the Brewers. 


Cardinals SP Lance Lynn receives loss during Friday's game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:45 am ET) Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn received his fourth loss of the season during Friday's 5-0 loss to the Royals.

Lynn allowed five runs on 10 hits over six innings during the outing. He struck out four batters and walked one. He surrendered two home runs to Kendrys Morales.

Lynn has pitched at least six innings in his five last starts. Friday's loss broke his two-game winning streak. His next expected start is set for Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.


Royals SP Chris Young pitches six scoreless innings Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:39 am ET) Royals pitcher Chris Young tossed six scoreless innings to earn his fourth win of the season during Friday's 5-0 win over the Cardinals.

Young scattered six hits while striking out two batters and walking two. He lowered his ERA to 0.78 on the season.

Young (4-0) has not surrendered more than one run in any of his four starts this season. His next expected start is set for Wednesday at the New York Yankees.


Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen earns second save of season Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:28 am ET) Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his second save of the season during Friday's 2-1 win over the Padres.

Jansen entered with a one-run lead and he shut the door on the Padres. He struck out Will Middlebrooks to end the game.


Rays P Chris Archer strikes out 8 in win
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:27 am ET) Rays pitcher Chris Archer gave up only one earned run during Friday night's 5-2 win over the Athletics. 

Archer gave up his lone run in the fourth inning to Stephen Vogt on a solo home run. The Athletics were able to get six hits on Archer. Archer struck out eight batters while walking four. Archer now has an ERA of 2.40 this season. 

His next start is projected for May 27 against the Mariners. 


Dodgers OF Joc Pederson hits 11th home run of season Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson smacked his 11th home run of the season to propel the Dodgers to a 2-1 win over the Padres on Friday.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Pederson hit a solo shot off Joaquin Benoit. He finished the game 2 for 4. Pederson is 8 for 40 with two home runs over his last 10 games.


Red Sox P Rick Porcello rocked in loss to Angels
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello allowed seven earned runs during Friday night's 12-5 loss to the Angels. 

Porcello was only able to go 4 1/3 innings, with his appearance in the fifth inning a particular disaster for him. Five of the nine runs that inning were credited to Porcello. Porcello struck out four batters while walking three. 

Porcello has now struck out 10 batters over the past two games. He now has an ERA of 5.07 this season. 

His next start is projected for May 27 against the Twins. 


Padres SP Andrew Cashner does not allow an earned run Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner surrendered one unearned run over six innings, but the run haunted the Padres as they fell 2-1 to the Dodgers on Friday.

Cashner (1-7) struck out three batters and walked one, but he received a no-decision for his effort. He lowered his ERA to 2.89.

Cashner has not given up more than four earned runs in six-consecutive starts. His next expected start is scheduled for Wednesday at the Los Angeles Angels.


 
 
 
Rankings