A pair of last place teams meet in the first game of a two-game interleague series at the “K” tonight in KCMO. In addition two pitchers that start for their respective teams are a pair of righties that will be for sale, or should be, long before the trade deadline. The aforementioned pertains to reality and fantasy baseball. Cincinnati is in Kansas City for an 8:15 p.m. ET first pitch that pits Sal Romano (3-7, 6.23 ERA) against Ian Kennedy (1-6, 5.76). Major League Baseball Free Pick to Click: Reds at Royals.
Romano owns a 1-4 record with a 10.72 ERA over his last five starts. Under normal circumstances the fact that none of the Royals hitters have had live at-bats against Romano would offer the young righty an advantage the first two times through the Kansas City (-110, 9.5) order but his poor form and his 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA history in two career interleague starts doesn’t inspire confidence in the 24-year old.
What started as a promising 2018 for Kennedy has gone south. The veteran right-hander has not won since April 7. Kennedy can’t circumvent his fly ball tendencies with swings and misses. His last start him walk three and on the season he has surrendered 25 walks and 12 home runs in 65 2/3 innings of work.
Romano pitches to contact. He has struck out more than five batters in just one start on the season. And those six punch outs came with a arguably the most inconsistent home plate umpire in the bigs, Tripp Gibson III. Romano didn’t a large number of swinging strikes in the loss but he earned a crazy 17 called strikes from Gibson III in the contest.
Romano doesn’t have the ability to keep hitters off balance. His velocity differential between his slider and his curve is just three mph and his changeup and fast ball. Romano’s 4.4% swinging strike rate for the season and his 40 percent fly ball rate are not big league worthy.
Ian Kennedy can no longer pitch deep into games and the current bullpen of the Royals isn’t a group that can be trusted, save closer Kelvin Herrera. The Royals right-hander has allowed 30 runs across his last six starts, 29 innings of work. Kennedy has a well below league average swinging strike rate and the weather at Kaufman Stadium tonight is picture perfect for a large number of long fly balls and crooked inning work by both starting pitchers.
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Major League Baseball Free Pick to Click: Reds at Royals