Washington Nationals At Kansas City Royals Series Preview (5/3-5/5)
Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 3.42 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (3-1, 3.34) – 8:15 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN
In his first four outings of the season, Gonzalez has shown the consistency fans have been looking for since last season. Against the Phillies back on April 27, he took the loss, but pitched a quality game. He went 6.1 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out five, and walked three on 108 pitches. He did walk three batters, but he was able to get 13 groundball outs to keep the damage down.
Gonzalez’s April ERA of 1.42 is over three runs lower than what it was last April when he had a 5.01 ERA in four starts and opponents were hitting .312. Plus, left-handed bats this season only have three hits in 18 at-bats against him.
In eight career starts against the Royals, Gonzalez is 3-3 with a 7.49 ERA with five of those starts coming at Kauffman Stadium (7.71 ERA). Hosmer is 4-for-6 against him with two home runs and four RBI’s against Gonzalez.
Volquez was the Opening Day starter for the Royals this year and pitched well in his first four outings. But, he had a rough start last time out against the Angels. The 32-year-old right-hander went five innings, gave up eight runs on 12 hits, struck out three, and walked two in his first loss of the season.
Besides that Angels start, Volquez had given up just three runs in his first four outings of the year and allowed only one home run. He has won 13 games each of the past two seasons and consistently pounds the strike zone. His ten walks are tied with Chris Young (tomorrow’s starter) for the fewest on the team.
From his time in the National League, Volquez is 2-2 with a 4.68 ERA in six outings against the Washington Nationals with his last start coming against them in 2014. Daniel Murphy is 6-for-15 (.400) with a double, two RBI’s and three walks against him. Last October in the World Series, he was 1-for-5 against him with two strikeouts.
Prediction: Out of the three games, I expect tonight’s to be the one that gives us the best pitcher’s duel if Volquez can bounce back. This will be an interesting test for Gonzalez against the defending champs and I liked how the Nats’ offense bounced back in St. Louis and I think it will carry over into this game. With that being said, I’ll take the Royals’ bullpen to steal a win here.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup