2 games down, 2 games to go. This time the Braves come back from foreign soil to knock the Blue Jays around the friendly confines of Turner Field. Who better to get the benefit of some solid run support than Kris "why don't my hitters love me" Medlen? On to the matchups:
Game 1 - Medlen (1-5) v. Rogers (1-2)
Game 2 - Minor (6-2) v. Dickey (4-6)
Medlen can't catch a break in the first two months of the season. He needs this. We as fans need this. For the love of everything baseball, can we give Medlen 5 runs in the first 5 innings? He's earned it at this point, and the Blue Jays are terrible on the road. Toronto is 8-14 on the away bus, and they are tossing Esmil Rogers, a guy with a career 5.81 ERA, at this power lineup. He's faced the Braves before, and they hit him for .393 average with a 1.229 OPS. Those are batting practice numbers, folks. Meanwhile, Medlen gave up only a single unearned run in his last home start, and his total home ERA is a paltry 2.08 for the season. Medlen's WHIP is a little high at 1.31, but Rogers is way above that with a 1.48. Rogers has also been shelled on the road for a 6.97 ERA, and he's yet to start a game this season. That's right, we're facing a converted reliever in his first start since 2011. Getcha popcorn ready.
Minor and Dickey should be an absolute war. Minor has never pitched better in his career, and Dickey has given guys like McCann, Uggla, and Justin absolute fits in the past. The question is which set of hitters with some success can crack the early dam? Bonafacio is the most dangerous guy against Minor, with a .375 average in 16 ABs with a bomb. Freddie Freeman can hurt Dickey the most with his .500 average in 18 ABs and 4 RBIs. In a battle of current history, it's all Minor with a 0.93 WHIP and 2.47 ERA. Dickey has had some explosion games drive up his ERA over 4, but the WHIP is still hovering around 1.30 even with the problems. The difference is that Dickey has been much better on the road than at home, which speaks to how the knuckleball fares in a smaller park.
I like the Braves to win both of these games, but the first should be a statement win for Kris. Let's see what the CPA thinks of Game 1
CPA Prediction Game 1: Braves 7 - Blue Jays 3
The CPA thinks it's another high scoring type of game. Both teams are hot at the plate, and both pitchers have had issues getting out of innings with a clean sheet. The difference is that the Braves are fielding an actual starter, while the Blue Jays are playing a stop-gap guy. Let's see some Braves hitters put a few in the outfield seats tonight.