Thorne offers bold predictions for 2016 O's

Thorne offers bold predictions for 2016 O's

BALTIMORE -- As the Orioles get ready to open up the regular season in Baltimore against the Twins at 3:05 p.m. ET on Monday, fans and media alike are wondering: What are this club's strengths and weaknesses?

"Everybody, really, in the starting rotation is a question mark," said MASN broadcaster Gary Thorne, who sat down with MLB.com as part of an Opening Day preview package. "They have the offense that is going to cover a little bit, maybe a run a game, which is huge in Major League Baseball. I think they have the offense that can cover that, and maybe pick up the four or five runs a game that will allow the pitchers to have an ERA that's kind of in the middle of the pack."

Pitching concerns aside, Thorne had some pretty bold predictions for the O's this season, including an expectation of 30 homers from second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"I really think he's going to be an exciting player," Thorne said. "He's young, he's good, he cares and he has great natural abilities. J.J. Hardy, if he's healthy, I think will have a really good season. He still loves to play the game. He had to play it last year hurt, and it showed up in the numbers and in his daily approach to the game, where he couldn't do the things he wanted to do.

"Dylan Bundy as a starter -- I think it's going to happen. And my sense is he's going to be outstanding. I think he's going to be what they hoped for three years ago. ... They need Kevin Gausman and Bundy to both be starters before this year's done, and maybe even be 1 and 2 in the rotation, as far as quality starts. If they get that, they're going to have a really good season."

For the remainder of the interview, watch the video above.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.