A week from today, this place will be hopping with revelers – as will Pickles Pub and about 1,000 real joints in the area.
Baltimore’s unofficial holiday, Opening Day, is just a week away. The countdown is on.
If you need a note to get out of school or work, just contact Doctor Dan as soon as possible. I don’t take insurance cards, but I do take cash.
The Opening Day buzz is palpable with Orioles manager Buck Showalter officially announcing the expected today – that right-hander Kevin Gausman will be the club’s starter next Monday afternoon against right-hander Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Showalter also announced that right-hander Dylan Bundy will pitch the second game, Wednesday, April 5, against the Blue Jays. So, the Orioles’ first pick (fourth overall) of the 2011 draft will follow the Orioles’ first pick (fourth overall) of the 2012 draft to start the 2017 season.
You can all exhale now – at least for a moment.
This particular order was created by Chris Tillman’s shoulder injury, otherwise he would have started on Opening Day again.
Instead, you get a double dose of Gausman and Bundy to begin your 2017 season.
And we love double shots here.
I believe these Orioles will be slightly better than last year’s version simply because I think Gausman and Bundy will take the next step in their maturation. I think Gausman has figured it out – he just looks like he’s ready this spring and he has the second half of 2016 to back that up. And I love Bundy’s competitiveness. He might take his lumps at times, but I expect him to have a good year overall.
Here’s my totally blind, totally random numbers for the duo in 2017. Gausman: 16-8, 3.65 ERA 33 starts; Bundy: 13-10, 3.80 ERA, 30 starts. Pretty lofty numbers for young guys in the American League East. But I’m sticking with it.
Now, I want your thoughts on the potentially dynamic duo.
Tap-In Question: What are your expectations for Gausman and Bundy in 2017?