Champs clouding Gallardo's value

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Take Yovani Gallardo off your front lawn right now! And tear off that reduced pricetag while you're at it.

Gallardo should not be for sale.

After all, you like those 207 strikeouts, that 3.52 ERA and those 17 wins he put up last year, don't you? Of course you do, you bought him this year.

And as bad as the Milwaukee Brewers ace has been this season -- he has a 5.79 ERA and 1.65 WHIP through six starts -- this is actually an improvement over where he was at this point a season ago.

That's right, through seven starts in 2011, Gallardo was 2-2 with a 6.10 ERA. He had allowed 53 hits and surrendered 17 free passes in 41 1/3 innings for an ugly 1.69 WHIP.

He also had just 30 strikeouts. This season, he's already fanned 31 in 32 2/3 innings.

After those seven starts were out of the way last season, Gallardo proceeded to go 15-8 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 177 strikeouts in 166 innings (9.6 K/9).

If Gallardo does that again this season, he'll finish 16-11 with a 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 208 strikeouts in 198 2/3 innings.

According to PITCHf/x, Gallardo's average four-seam fastball velocity in April was 92.08, down 1.28 mph from where it was last season (93.36). However, that figure is across the entire season. His average fastball velocity in April 2011 was 92.40, around the same as this season, so his fastball isn't the problem.

No, Gallardo's main issue has been facing the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.

In two starts against the Cardinals, Gallardo has given up 14 runs on 15 hits and seven walks in just 5 2/3 innings. Gallardo allowed seven more base runners (22) than he got outs (15) in those two outings. And on Opening Day, he let four balls fly out of the park.

Aside from those two starts, Gallardo has been ace-like, giving up seven runs on 25 hits and seven walks in 27 innings (2.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP).

Struggling against the Cardinals is nothing new for Gallardo, as the Redbirds have basically bashed his brains in his entire career.

Over 13 starts, Gallardo is 1-9 with a 7.05 ERA against Milwaukee's intradivision foe.

So shut down that yard sale and put Gallardo away. With his rough April stretch out of the way, he's due to give you dominant numbers over the final five months of the season, just like 2011.

Just be sure to send him on vacation to fantasy island anytime those Cardinals come around.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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