The Baltimore Orioles enter the 2015 season as the reigning American League East champions. Baltimore won the AL East crown with ease as its divisional foes dealt with numerous injuries. Baltimore finished 12 games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees. Baltimore carried its regular season momentum into the playoffs and swept the Detroit Tigers in the American League Divisional Series. Baltimore, however, ran into a hot Kansas City club in the American League Championship Series.
Baltimore’s recipe for success was relatively simple. Led by a league-high 211 home runs and a solid bullpen, Baltimore overwhelmed its opponents and shortened games. During the offseason, Baltimore lost Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis in free agency. Cruz led the American League with 40 home runs while Markakis led the team in on-base percentage (.342). Reliever Andrew Miller also left via free agency and signed with the New York Yankees. Despite losing these three players, three key players will return from injury. Third baseman Manny Machado, first baseman Chris Davis, and starting pitcher Dylan Bundy will need to step-up. Machado only played in 82 games last season as he dealt with injuries. Davis flopped after crushing 53 home runs during the 2013 season. Bundy is a top prospect, but hasn’t put together a full-season yet. Bundy may be the lynchpin of Baltimore quest to repeat as AL East champions.
On TicketIQ, the average price on the secondary market for Orioles Opening Day tickets is $249.26 while the get-in price is $112. This is the highest single-game ticket price on Baltimore’s schedule. Baltimore’s season average ticket price is $85.04. Last year, the average price for Orioles tickets was $56.21 at Oriole Park, marking a 51% increase to 2015.
Baltimore did not make many moves during free agency, but getting Machado, Davis, and catcher Matt Wieters back will help replace Cruz’s production. Baltimore’s AL East foes have retooled their rosters, so expect competitive race for the AL East crown.