Part of the reason why the Minnesota Twins are in first place of the AL Central division is because of pitcher Joe Ryan.
Ryan has three of the Twins’ 18 victories, and is posting an amazing 1.63 ERA in five starts.
He has pitched 27.2 innings so far, with 28 strikeouts and an incredible 0.83 WHIP.
Ryan is both stingy with walks and very tough to hit: as a result, he won’t allow a whole lot of baserunners.
In that sense, he is looking very much like his foe in today’s start: Houston Astros’ great Justin Verlander.
This is not, of course, a direct comparison between Ryan and Verlander’s careers: the latter has won World Series, Cy Young awards, MVP awards, and even thrown no-hitters.
But statistically speaking, they are looking similar in 2022.
“Tonight’s pitching duel is supposed to be a fantastic one. Who will have the upper hand?,” Twins Daily tweeted.
Tonight’s pitching duel is supposed to be a fantastic one. Who will have the upper hand? #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/3SRGzzNNN5
— Twins Daily (@twinsdaily) May 10, 2022
Can Ryan Show He Is Ready To Join The Elite?
The comparison, when it comes to the 2022 season, is very much possible.
Verlander, who is 39, is coming off major elbow surgery in the fall of 2020.
He lost the whole 2021 campaign and re-signed with the Astros before the season, just so he could have another chance at winning the World Series.
He is certainly pitching like an ace: in 32.2 frames he has a 1.93 ERA, with 31 punchouts and a 0.70 WHIP.
It’s a battle of generations: the budding 25-year-old ace against the seasoned veteran.
Ryan, of course, will want to show the world he can hang with the greats.
He will face a quality offense, full of good hitters such as Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, and others.
Let’s see what he’s got.