Royals v. Orioles – Pitching Matchups Preview
Thursday: RHP Chris Young (0-3, 7.90 ERA) v. RHP Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 5.90)
Chris Young’s season isn’t getting any easier. It started with a hard luck loss to the Mets, where he opposed Noah Syndergaard, gave up just two hits and two runs, but would have still lost if he hadn’t given up any runs at the pace the Royals offense was moving.
Then he traveled to Houston and gave the all-time most predictably bad performance by a pitcher, giving up six runs over 4.2 IP against the Astros in their little league park.
The A’s were the next team to jump on Young, who previously cited better execution by his opponent as the reason for his struggle, now talked about mechanical issues in this outing.
This time around, he will face the Orioles, one of the most potent power offenses in baseball, riding into Kansas City with 25 home runs to their name, the second highest total in baseball.
That doesn’t exactly bode well for an extreme fly ball pitcher whose one mark on his career has been giving up the long ball.
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However, he is pitching at home, in front of a ridiculous Royals defense, that are doing this against fly balls.
He will be opposed by a familiar face in Yovani Gallardo, who was tied to the Royals in numerous rumors this offseason before signing a two-year, $22 million deal in Baltimore.
He has spent all but one season in the National League with the Brewers, but did face the Royals once last year, going seven innings and giving up two runs.
He doesn’t figure to be a tremendous matchup for the Royals, being another deceptive soft-tossing pitcher, a mold the Royals haven’t fared well against in the past.
He sits in the 88-92 MPH range, and his slider has been his go-to breaking ball, throwing it about 32% of the time.
Must-See Matchup – Yovani Gallardo v. Mike Moustakas
I probably *should* have made this about Chris Young and the Orioles lineup (because that’s probably more important) but Gallardo throws a sinker! And Moustakas is raking everything! But he smashes sinkers more!
I would note that his “sinker” is more like a two-seam fastball. I would compare it more to what Brooks Baseball calls Edinson Volquez‘s two-seam fastball.
Either way, Gallardo is a right-hander who’s most used pitch (29% thus far in 2016) moves right into the sweet spot of Moustakas’ swing path.
Moustakas has been, by far, the Royals best hitter, slugging at a .569 clip so far this season with five early home runs.
Moustakas is hitting .353 with three extra-base hits (including two home runs) over his past four games, so be on the look out for him to stay hot.
Next: Game Two - Kris Medlen looks to stay hot