For starters, Bundy and Gausman were good in the AL East

As the Orioles look to build a rotation for the 2018 season, right now we only know for certain that right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will be two of the five starters.

The good news is both are young and under team control for a combined seven more seasons. Gausman cannot be a free agent until after the 2020 season and Bundy after 2021.

And while both posted very good numbers at times last season, their final season stats included an ERA of 4.24 for Bundy and 4.68 for Gausman. But in a somewhat surprising note, both were better within the American League East.

Bundy went 6-5 with a 3.80 ERA in 14 AL East starts and the Orioles went 7-7. In five games versus Boston, he went 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA. Bundy was 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in three games started against New York, 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA in three games against Tampa Bay and 2-0 with an ERA of 0.95 versus Toronto.

sidebar-Gausman-white.jpgGausman went 7-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 18 starts against the division and the Orioles went 11-7. While he was poor against New York, he was stellar against the other three clubs. Gausman went 1-2 with a 9.27 ERA and 2.507 WHIP against the Yankees. But he went 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA in four games against Boston, 2-1 with an ERA of 0.45 in three games against Tampa Bay and was 3-0 with a 1.51 ERA in six starts versus Toronto.

Furthermore, Gausman was 5-3 with a 2.92 ERA in nine road AL East starts. Beyond that, he has been solid in his career within the division. In 72 career games, he is 21-19 with an ERA of 3.51 against the AL East.

At a time when the East’s two perennial big boys were back on top in 2017, the O’s young guns were better in the division than outside of it last season.

These numbers bode well for the Orioles since those right-handers will see a lot of those teams over the next few years. The pair is not timid to pitch within the division against hitters who work the count well, have power and make adjustments.

With his four-pitch mix, Bundy flashed his top-of-rotation potential at various times last season. He pitched to a 2.00 ERA in August, fanned 45 with six walks over 36 innings and pitched a one-hit shuout Aug. 29 versus Seattle.

He ended the year leading the team with 19 quality starts, which ranked tied for eighth in the AL. His .240 average against ranked ninth. The Orioles went 16-12 in his 28 starts.

Gausman ended the year on a tremendous roll, going 6-5 with a 2.70 his last 14 starts. His ERA in that stretch ranked seventh in the major leagues.

Both pitchers could improve in keeping the ball in the park. Both allowed 1.4 homers for every nine innings pitched.

On the other hand, both pitchers had better stats when they struck out more batters. In nine starts with eight or more strikeouts, Gausman went 5-2 with a 1.19 ERA. In eight such games, Bundy went 5-0 with an ERA of 2.50.

We don’t know who else will join Bundy and Gausman in the O’s rotation in 2018. But at least the two right-handers have a chance to pitch well within the division. They did just that last season.

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