The Orioles are 5-0, and that's a very good thing. That matches the 1970 Orioles' franchise mark for the best start to a season, if you care about such things. That Orioles team went 108-54 and won the World Series. So that's cool.
But these Orioles are not those Orioles, and these Orioles are not going to win 108 games. That's not a knock against them; after all, they can certainly end up having a successful season. They're 5-0, and that's better than 1-4 or 0-5, or even 2-3. I mean, that's just math.
So why are the Orioles 5-0? To start with, they've only allowed 10 runs. Seven of those runs have been allowed by O's starters (in 23 2/3 innings). The bullpen has been even better, only giving up three runs in 21 1/3 innings pitched. Diving deep into the numbers wouldn't really be useful with so few games played, but O's pitchers are getting strikeouts, not allowing a ton of baserunners, and stranding those who get on.
You don't need me to tell you that the starting rotation won't keep this kind of performance up all season, but the O's could go a long way even if they just get serviceable production from their starters. And reliever wise, with a mix of veterans and youth and short and long relief options, the O's bullpen has been dominant so far and is built to be outstanding all season long.
Offensively, Manny Machado has been fantastic and is a clear MVP candidate. Jonathan Schoop, Mark Trumbo, Joey Rickard (of course), and Chris Davis have all gotten off to solid starts as well. J.J. Hardy seems fine after battling some tightness in his calf, and although Adam Jones's rib-cage injury is concerning, he should return to action soon and seems to have avoided a serious injury.
So far, the Orioles have fielded well. And as long as Hardy's healthy, the infield defense should be one of the strongest parts of the team. Rickard helps with his versatility in the outfield, and he's shifted to center field a couple times with Jones out and been fine (though he hasn't really been tested). You also know what you're getting with Trumbo's range in right field, but he hasn't done anything harmful yet.
Another, lesser (but positive) sign is that the Orioles have been taking the extra base. Manny Machado's dash home on a wild pitch in the eighth inning is a pretty good example. The Orioles don't have many fast runners or stolen base threats, but speedsters aren't the only ones who can go from first to third on a single or get an effective secondary jump. When it comes to baserunning, little things can make a difference. Trumbo, who hasn't graded well as a baserunner but has made a couple of strong reads on the basepaths early in the season, talked about that very topic. It's easy to make too big a deal of something like this, especially with so many fans excited just to have baseball back in their lives. Fans also like hustle, grit, and toughness, even when it's difficult to tell exactly when and for whom these qualities apply. Moving up an extra base here and there won't transform a poor team into a good one, but it doesn't hurt.
Clearly, there are reasons to be excited about the Orioles. They have Machado and Davis, after all, and there are several other players who are talented and interesting to watch. But let's get back to that 5-0 start and dig a little more, using data from Baseball-Reference's Play Index.
In the Integration Era (since 1947), 54 teams started out the year 5-0 or better (not counting this season). The collective records of those teams are 4,720-3,818 -- a winning percentage of around 55%. Of those 54 teams, 10 of them won the World Series (with another five making it there). And 10 ended up under .500 (with one finishing with a record of exactly .500).
It's fun to focus on those 10 World Series victors. But just last year, three teams started the year 5-0: the Braves, Tigers, and Royals. The Royals won 95 games and the World Series. Hooray for Kansas City! But the Tigers only won 74 games. The Braves were even worse, winning just 67. Winning the first five games is encouraging, but obviously it's still possible for things to go south. There's still 97 percent of the season left to go.
Enjoy the Orioles' surprising win streak, because they are playing well and it's fun. Paint your face orange. Devour an Esskay hot dog. Shout "JO-EY! JO-EY!" from the rooftops, if it makes you happy. Winning is so much better than losing. There will be plenty of time to worry later anyway.