The red hot Astros face off against the Royals this afternoon. While the Royals are not a common target for strikeouts, I think Luis Garcia has a great chance to hit his over.
Luis Garcia has a line set at 4.5 for this one, a line he has hit in 6 of 9 this season and 31 out of 44 over the last 2 seasons. This year, he has 51 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. He has exactly 1 K per inning pitched on the road where he has been really solid. He has a 2.16 ERA in 5 starts on the road, something that should serve him well vs a weaker Royals offense. He has also been solid in day games where he has a 3.13 ERA with 26 K in 23 innings. He currently sits in the 69th percentile in K%, 60th percentile in whiff%, and 45th percentile in chase rate. He has 3 pitches that generate swings and misses at a high rate. His cutter has a 49% whiff%, his changeup has a 35.1% whiff%, and his curve has a 37,5 whiff%. He is not an elite strikeout guy by any means, but has been very consistent at hitting this line and has some encouraging stats to back it up.
As I mentioned, the Royals have not been a frequently targeted team in the K market for me. They are bottom 10 in strikeouts per game, but some recent developments have me intrigued. They have the 9th highest K% vs righties over the last 30 days. They have also struggled in the past week. They have a 29.4% K rate over their last 5 games. The last 4 pitchers they have faced have hit this mark: Jose Urquidy, Konnor Pilkington, Cal Quantrill, and Zach Plesac. None of those guys have the stuff Luis will be throwing towards the plate today. I think he can pick up 5 strikeouts.