Young, coming off no-hit stint, is dominating right-handed batters

Right-handed batters are hitting a measly .165 against Chris Young this season.

Tony Dejak/AP

In his last start, Kansas City Royals right-hander Chris Young pitched five innings of no-hit ball just hours after his father passed away. He gets the start again tonight as the Royals open their final regular-season series of 2015 at Minnesota.

Young has been tough to hit all season, holding opposing batters to a .203 batting average. And he has been lights-out against right-handers, who have been frustrated to the tune of a .165 average this season — the lowest mark against any hurler with more than 100 innings pitched. That’s 48 points lower than Young’s career mark of .213 against right-handed batters, which is second only to Clayton Kershaw (.211) among active pitchers who have thrown at least 1,000 innings.

LOWEST BATTING AVERAGE ALLOWED VS. RIGHT-HANDED BATTERS IN 2015*

Pitcher Team Batting average allowed
Chris Young Kansas City Royals .165
Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers .182
Jacob deGrom New York Mets .186
Max Scherzer Washington Nationals .190
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers .192
* Minimum 100 innings pitched MLB average .254

Young will face Ervin Santana, who started for Kansas City in 2013. Santana was suspended for the first three months of this season, then posted a 6.05 ERA through his first 10 starts. Since the end of August, however, he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.

LOWEST ERA AFTER AUGUST 29, 2015*

Pitcher Team ERA
Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs 0.37
Cody Anderson Cleveland Indians 1.38
Ervin Santana Minnesota Twins 1.47
John Lackey St. Louis Cardinals 1.74
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers 1.84
* Minimum one IP per team game MLB average for starting pitchers 4.32

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been one of the most improved hitters in baseball this season, especially when measured by on-base plus slugging percentage.

LARGEST INCREASE IN OPS FROM 2014 TO 2015*

Player, Current team 2014 OPS 2015 OPS Differential
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles .704 .904 +.200
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians .640 .824 +.184
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals .632 .814 +.182
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays .798 .952 +.154
Yunel Escobar, Washington Nationals .664 .798 +.134
* Minimum 500 plate appearances both seasons      

The Royals will have the fewest batter strikeouts in baseball for the fourth straight season. That will tie for the longest streak in the last 100 years.

MOST CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH FEWEST BATTER STRIKEOUTS SINCE 1915

Team Years Number
Kansas City Royals 2012-15 4
New York Yankees 1971-74 4
Boston Red Sox 1986-88 3
Atlanta Braves 1968-70 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 1932-34 3
Boston Red Sox 1915-17 3

STATISTICS FOR ROYALS’ LAST 23 GAMES AT MINNESOTA (June 30, 2013-present)

Statistic Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins
Wins 16 7
Runs per game 5.0 3.7
Batting average .280 .221
Batting average with runners on .304 .222
OPS .749 .651
ERA 3.11 4.52
Starters ERA 2.94 4.49