The Kansas City Royals will face the Chicago White Sox on Sunday for the second game of a three-game set. Wade Davis will take the mound for Kansas City while Jose Quintana will start for the white Sox.
With all of the scheduled off-days and rainouts in April, Kansas City has had four player make consistent starts, as the team has seldom used Luis Mendoza. Of those four starters, Davis has easily had the worst season so far, as his 5.55 is 2.5 runs higher than the next closest starter James Shields.
That's not to say Davis has been all bad this season, just inconsistent. The former Tampa Bay Ray pitcher has looked electric this season, but has also looked like he needs a return to the bullpen to maximize his value.
We saw Davis' potential against the Atlanta Braves; the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking none. But his last two starts have been underwhelming. Against the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians, Davis threw a combined 8.1 innings, allowing 15 runs between the two starts. He walked seven hitters and struck out five, and surrendered two home runs against the Indians.
The Chicago starting lineup has had a terrible start to the season and couldn't get on track last night, as Jeremy Guthrie tossed a complete game shutout for the Royals. This looks like a good matchup for Davis to get back on track, since he is unlikely to face a more inept lineup than Chicago has at the moment. Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar, however, should both be ready to eat a few innings in relief, just in case.
I find Quintana interesting, but he's not a dominant pitcher. The southpaw burst on to the scene last season with very little acclaim, but gave the White Sox 136.1 quality innings as a rookie. Quintana posted a 3.76 ERA, but his 4.23 FIP suggested he should have allowed a few more runs to cross the plate last season.
Quintana has made five starts this season, and appears to have made some progress as a pitcher. Quintana has boosted his strikeout percentage to 19.1%, placing him around league average instead of well-below. The 24 year-old is still walking hitters at a below-average rate, making his 3.58 ERA look more sustainable this season.
Game Time: 1:10 p.m. CT
Location: Kauffman Stadium