Should we jump on the Chris Davis bandwagon?
While seemingly everybody (including his own organization) has jumped off the bandwagon, Orioles slugger Chris Davis is still confident he can return to form.
If you just spit your beverage across your screen, we’ll give you a chance to wipe it off. Ready?
Davis was apparently feeling good about his Spring Training performance, where he smacked three homers, had nine RBIs, and batted .467 (albeit all in a measly 15 at-bats). This followed an offseason where Davis worked on reinventing his body, resulting in him adding 25 pounds of muscle.
“It was nice to see some results and to have a little bit of peace of mind that what I was doing this offseason really worked,” Davis said. “For me, that was a positive — confirmation to know that I could come back home and continue what I was doing and not make any adjustments. I feel like I’m still swinging the bat just as well as I was when the games ended, and I look forward whenever we can start back up.”
Well, good for Chris for believing in himself.
However, if you’re still wiping that beverage off your screen, we’re sure you’re familiar with his track record over the past few years.
Between the 2012 and 2014 seasons, Davis averaged 43 homers, 113 RBIs, and an .858 OPS (per 162 games). That led to the Orioles signing him to an ill-advised seven-year, $161M contract.
Since that time, Davis’s production has fallen off a cliff, and it’s gotten especially bad over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2018 season, the former All-Star has batted .172 with an ugly .564 OPS. He’s also averaged only 14 homers and 42 RBIs per season, and that’s despite the fact that he’s average 437 at-bats per year.
That stretch has also seen him average a whopping 166 strikeouts per year, and he had a historic (by some standards) 0-for-54 stretch between the 2018 and 2019 campaigns.
In other words, pretty much everyone has given up on the 34-year-old, and even Davis himself admitted that he had considered retirement.
Still, with three years remaining on his contract (worth around $17M per season), Davis has plenty financial reason to stick around the game. Plus, the Orioles really don’t have a way out of his contract, and considering their current focus on the future, they really don’t have much incentive to watch the veteran rot on the bench.
What does this mean for us? Obviously, futures bets for Davis are few and far between, but we did find one bookie that offered +10000 odds for Davis to lead the American League in homers. That’s not a bad low-risk option, although we’re sure you could find better odds elsewhere. Trey Mancini is also offered as an MVP candidate by multiple sport books, and a productive Davis would certainly help his teammate’s counting stats. Of course, Mancini’s MVP odds will rely on a whole lot more than a productive Davis.
At the very least, we can root for a potential comeback story that’s worthy of a Disney move (or, at the very least, a Disney+ original series). Davis was always a fun player to watch during his prime, so watching him (somewhat) return to form would provide an awesome storyline for an eventual 2020 season.