Five Bold Predictions for the 2015 Baltimore Orioles

3. Kevin Gausman will lead the Orioles in victories.

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In my nearly 20 years of Orioles fandom, I have yet to witness the franchise develop a true ace. Chris Tillman is good, and would make an excellent number one starter on most rosters, but he is not a surefire ace. I believe the Orioles are finally prepared to welcome an ace to their rotation in Kevin Gausman.

Gausman was electric at times last year in his first full season with the Orioles. The former first round pick out of LSU went 7-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 20 starts last season. Gausman has got to work on pitch efficiency in 2015 if he wants to ascend to acehood. He averaged less than six innings per start, and was often approaching 100 pitches by the fifth inning. Gausman did not reach the sixth inning in half of his starts.

Gausman has all of the tools to lead the Orioles staff, and this will be the year he begins putting it all together. The Orioles have been treated to flashes of brilliance in his first 25 career starts. Now, it is time for Gausman to take the next step. As he learns to harness his secondary pitches, he will blossom into an ace, the likes of which has not been seen in Charm City since the departure of Mike Mussina.

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