A walk may be as good as a hit, but for the Baltimore Orioles, walks are few and far between.
Yearly, the Baltimore Orioles are figured to hit a ton of home runs while finishing near the bottom of the standings in the American League East. The O’s are considered a team that can get on base by smacking the ball out-of-the-park, not drawing a free pass.
Through five games in this young season, the Orioles have drawn just 11 walks. That’s the fewest walks per team in the AL.
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What more can you say about the Orioles? They enjoy swinging the bat, and if it means swinging at the first pitch if it’s a good one, they’re all in.
Since 2010, the Orioles have posted less than 500 walks in a season seven consecutive times, and have finished inside the top ten in the AL just one time. That was in 2012 when the team finished seventh in walks (480).
Do base-on-balls correlate to postseason success?
Of teams that made the postseason in 2016, only the Texas Rangers had fewer walks than the Orioles. The Rangers were a free-swinging team last season, going after the first pitch 27% of the time. The Orioles, meanwhile went after the first pitch 31%.
The Orioles lost the Wildcard game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Rangers lost in the divisional round.
What about the teams that had success in the postseason though? The Cleveland Indians represented the AL in the World Series, as they defeated the Blue Jays four games-to-one.
The Cleveland Indians represented the AL in the World Series, as they defeated the Blue Jays four-games-to-one in the ALCS. The Indians were a team that swung at the first pitch just 26% of the time last season and finished fourth in the AL in walks (531). They also drew 15 total walks during the postseason; that’s second of all AL postseason teams.
The team that finished first? The Toronto Blue Jays. They drew 23 walks in the postseason and finished the regular season with 631, good for best in the AL.
As stated, everybody knows the Baltimore Orioles Modus operandi is to live-and-die by the long ball. Though, if they were able to work a few more walks per game, imagine how dangerous they could be?