This is the first time we've ever been to this KC stadium to play a baseball game. That's rare. It's also likely that we won't have many statistics against the Royals to base my projections off of. As a result, and the fact this is a 2 game series, my analysis will probably end up being, "See ball, hit ball, good luck!" On to the matchups:
Game 1 - Medlen (4-7) v. Santana (5-5)
Game 2 - Minor (8-3) v. Mendoza (2-4)
First game is going to be a complete crapshoot. I'll start with that. BJ Upton saw a bunch of Santana hitting for the Rays, other than that, we have next to no ABs against the guy. BJ hits him well, so for once maybe BJ will be giving tips out to the dugout. At the very least there's a lot of film on Santana, so the Braves should have a shot at getting some contact. Here's the problem: In June Santana has given up 3 runs in 28.2 innings. That's an ERA of 0.94. Let that soak in. Mmmhmm. It's that ridiculous. Oh and here's the kicker, the Royals are 2-2 on the month in his starts. They actually lost 2 games with a starter that averages 7 innings and an ERA less than 1. How is that possible? The bullpen let him down big time in the 8th and 9th. So if the Braves hang around for the late innings as they are wont to do, there's a shot of knocking a ball out of the park. On Medlen's side you have another guy who's been getting almost no support, and a June ERA of 1.69. This has pitcher's duel written all over it. The difference will be who gets the early runs, and who gets first blood in my mind.
Game 2 is our ace Minor against their disaster Mendoza. At this point, you are all well aware how good Mike Minor has been pitching. There's no reason for me to go into it other than to say he finally lost a game in that awful series against the Mets. He finally had a bad day, and I don't expect another one for a while. He'll be ready to pitch against a Royals team looking to make contact, because they strike out the fewest times of any team in the majors. That may mean a lot of quick innings if Minor is working well. Mendoza hasn't fared well at all for the Royals this year, in fact he's been downright awful in over half of his starts. His last outing was a 5 inning, 4 run performance against Cleveland. He has a home ERA of 5.88 on the season. His WHIP is 1.45 with a terrible K/BB ratio of less than 2. For a team that's prone to strike out a lot like the Braves, that's music to our ears.
How's the CPA (37-28) think Game 1 will go? I think it will have to do with the team that's better in the first few innings.
CPA Prediction Game 1: Royals 3 - Braves 1
The CPA doesn't like the Braves chances of striking first in this game. They may get a run somewhere late in the game, but you have one of the best ERA starters of the month facing off against a team that's really been struggling at the plate for the most part. That doesn't fare well especially since Santana has 77 Ks to 15 walks. That's ABSURD for a K/BB rate. Huge disadvantage to the Braves there as well. The only chance we have is to hit an early homer and establish a lead. Otherwise, look out.