Oct 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning in game three of the 2014 ALDS baseball playoff game at Comerica Park. The Orioles move on to the ALCS with 2-1 win over the Tigers. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
1. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore’s formula for winning during their recent run of success has been an excellent lineup, excellent bullpen, and decent starting rotation. They certainly held true to that method last season, with the 6th best offense and 3rd best bullpen in the American League, and it appears that they’ll do the same in the upcoming season.
The Orioles have a phenomenal front four in their bullpen, with young closer Zach Britton (1.65 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9), Tommy Hunter (2.97 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9), Brian Matusz (3.48 ERA, 9.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9), and Darren O’Day (1.70 ERA, 9.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9) working in the late innings. However, unlike the other teams in the AL East, the Orioles don’t have a steep drop off in talent after that front four. Wesley Wright (3.17 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9), Ryan Webb (3.83 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9), and T.J. McFarland (2.76 ERA, 5.2 K/9, 2.0 BB/9) are all effective relievers and should give the O’s an elite group this season. The Orioles have the best bullpen talent and depth of any team in this division and it should show in the coming year.