The Royals first encounter with the powerful Tigers will be countered by some power pitching of their own
It wouldn’t really be Royals baseball until we faced the Shane Greene‘s and Mike Pelfrey‘s that occupy the Tiger’s rotation. I’m actually pretty sad that Kyle Lobstein won’t being that mix and that the days of Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain are over.
However, Greene and Pelfrey will suffice.
This is the first series that we see exclusive benefit from the Royals rotation shift, where two of the Royals best (Ventura and Edinson Volquez) will face the bottom feeders of the Tigers rotation (Greene and Pelfrey).
Greene, who will start tonight, is entering his second season as a Tiger and the AL Central was not kind to him in 2015, with him having an ERA of over 5.59 against all Central teams but one.
That team was Kansas City. And that ERA dropped all the way to 1.13.
To be fair, it was just one start, but in the one start, Greene went eight innings and gave up just one run, while scattering just four hits.
That one start does not vacate the 6.88 ERA he posted over 83.2 innings last season, however.
And his success against Kansas City is fairly vexing, even if it be one start, because he relies primarily on his sinker, and throws it hard.
For a Royals offense needing a boost, this might be a perfect night for it.
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On the other side, we have Ventura, who has looked as raw as he has sharp. He’s striking out more batters than innings pitched, but he’s also walked nine people in those 11 innings.
In those 11 innings, he’s also averaged just 95 MPH on his fastball, which might be one of the more depressing stats we will look at this season.
Coming alongside the dip in velocity, is a drop off in fastballs being thrown. Thus far, he has thrown 48% heaters. In his three previous seasons, he has thrown no less that 57%.
There isn’t a lot to talk about with Ventura other than that we just have to sit and wait. He is throwing the ball well, but it’s really hard to make any judgement until he starts at least six or seven games.
Must-See Matchup – Shane Green v. Mike Moustakas
Remember the last matchups preview I did, when I talked about how Chris Bassitt threw a ton of sinkers and that it may be good to look for some Moustakas success?
Well, that’s exactly what happened, so I’m going to stick with that logic.
Green throws a lot of sinkers and Moustakas loves to hit sinkers.
Although he is hitting just .217, Moustakas already has four homers and has been the best power bat in the Royals lineup so far.
Watch out for him tonight.