Dream Bracket 2: 1970, '83 O's to compete

May 20th, 2020

They are two of the greatest teams in Orioles history, two that brought World Series glory to Baltimore. Now, it’s time to see how they stack up against the best clubs in MLB history.

Last week, Major League Baseball and Out of the Park Baseball 21 unveiled the MLB Dream Bracket 2: Dream Seasons. The 64-team, best-of-seven simulation tournament features two of the best post-World War II teams from each of the 30 franchises as well as three Negro League teams and the 1994 Montreal Expos.

The Orioles are represented by World Series champion 1970 and '83 teams, two of the most dominant and successful squads in franchise history. The 64-team bracket is divided into the American League and National League, with two “regions” for each league. The '70 Orioles are in Region 1, while the ’83 Orioles are in Region 2. They could potentially meet to determine who faces the NL winner in the championship.

The Round of 64 begins on Thursday, and the championship round will take place from June 8-9. Select game simulations will stream live on MLB.com as well as the MLB and MLB Network Twitch channels. MLB Network’s Scott Braun and Jon Paul Morosi will provide play-by-play analysis for the live streaming games.

Let’s take a look at where both Orioles clubs stand in the upcoming Dream Bracket tournament.

1970 Orioles
Following their upset loss to the Miracle Mets in the 1969 World Series, the Orioles left little doubt about their dominance the next summer. They went 108-54 to run away with their second consecutive AL East, claiming the division by 15 games. They swept the Twins in the AL Championship Series and cruised to an easy Fall Classic win over the Reds in five games, their second title in a five-year span.

They were led by some of the era’s biggest stars, including World Series MVP Brooks Robinson, AL MVP Award winner Boog Powell, and future Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Frank Robinson. The lineup also featured Don Buford and Paul Blair in the outfield, Mark Belanger manning short and super-sub Merv Rettenmund providing serious punch off the bench.

The Orioles were led on the mound by Palmer, Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally, three 20-game winners who all finished in the top five in the AL Cy Young Award voting that year. Both Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson finished in the top 10 in the AL MVP Award voting that season behind eventual winner Powell, who hit .297 with 35 homers and 114 RBIs.

The 1970 Orioles will begin tournament play against the '95 Mariners, who reached the ALCS behind future Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr.

1983 Orioles
Guided by new manager Joe Altobelli, the 1983 Orioles were fueled by the memory of their late-September collapse of the previous season. This time, they didn’t falter, using a late-summer surge to finish 98-64 and win the AL East by six games. They were led by Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray, who finished first and second in the AL MVP Award race. They beat the White Sox in five games in the ALCS and then topped the Phillies in five, with Rick Dempsey claiming World Series MVP honors.

Though their staff featured former ace Dennis Martinez and an aging Palmer, the O’s were paced on the mound by steady veterans Scott McGregor, Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan and newcomer Storm Davis. The bullpen was anchored by All-Star closer Tippy Martinez, who enjoyed a career year.

The 1983 Orioles will begin their Dream Bracket run against the 2002 Angels, a World Series-winning club that rode rookie closer Francisco Rodriguez and the Rally Monkey craze to victory over the Barry Bonds-led Giants.