Royals are suddenly a fearsome opponent for Fantasy pitchers

Anibal Sanchez is far from the only pitcher who has struggled to get strikeouts against the Royals. (USATSI)
Anibal Sanchez is far from the only pitcher who has struggled to get strikeouts against the Royals. (USATSI)

Anibal Sanchez confounded his Fantasy owners on Thursday by turning in a strong seven-inning, one-run performance against the Royals while failing to notch a single strikeout. It was a little reminiscent of Felix Hernandez's no-strikeout effort against the Athletics last month, though his overall results were much less impressive.

The common link, though, is that these Fantasy studs were facing lineups that are very averse to striking out. Just as ordinary strikeout pitchers have managed high K counts against teams like the Astros and Braves, which features some less-than-selective hitters, good strikeout pitchers have been stymied by the Royals, who have the lowest strikeout-per-plate appearance rate (15.1 percent) by far. Michael Wacha and Trevor Bauer are just two of their victims from the last few weeks.

Looking ahead at the Royals' upcoming schedule, they will face the Mariners, Dodgers and Angels. There is certainly no reason to sit Zack Greinke or Clayton Kershaw, both of whom will pitch in Kansas City next week, though they may not get their usual strikeout numbers. However, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jered Weaver become riskier daily league options, and fringier starters like Roenis Elias, Dan Haren, Hector Santiago and Matt Shoemaker should definitely be avoided.

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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