One thing I commonly hear when discussing the Orioles, their progress, and their chances of contention, is that things would look so much brighter if they were in another division*. * I'm ignoring the NL since the level of competition there is generally much lower than the AL - or, at least, has been recently - and would perhaps require different team building philosophy. That is, the Orioles in the NL Central this year might have been smart to go after some big name players in an effort to win 85-90 games this year and in the next few years.
This tends to take two forms:
(1) If they were in another division they'd be more likely to make the play-offs
(2) If they were in another division they'd win more games
These may seem like the same idea, but they're not. (1) I think is pretty clearly true, as far as the divisions stand now. The Yankees came in second place in the AL East last year, but would have finished first in the Central or West. The Red Sox finished second in 2009, and though their 95 wins would have been behind LA's 97, they would have taken the Central in a walk (the Twins and Tigers ended 162 games with 86 wins each). The preceding couple of years played out similarly - to win a division title recently, one needs to beat two 90+ win teams in the East but only one (or zero) 90+ win teams in the Central or West.
In the AL East, the Orioles need to build themselves into a 90-95 win club and hope to catch a break or two to even compete for the division. In the Central or West, coming into the season as an expected true talent 90-95 win club makes you a prohibitive favorite at the moment. So yeah, moving to another division would up the team's chances of making the play-offs.
Point (2) though, is a little different. It posits that the O's moving to the Central or West would actually see a significant increase in raw win total, by virtue of not having to play their unbalanced schedule against the tougher AL East teams. I don't think that's really true, after looking into the matter at Beyond the Box Score last year