The Royals and Cardinals open up a three-game set at Kauffman stadium this evening. For a little insight into our neighbors to the east, I stopped by SB Nation St. Louis to get some input from editor Dan Moore.
Why the Cardinals will win
Matt Holliday is finally hitting! The narrative over the first three months of Matt Holliday's big contract with the Cardinals has been that he can't hit with runners in scoring position, and while there was no reason to believe it was an actual problem it was incredibly frustrating while it happened. Now he's hitting the ball with runners in scoring position, with the bases empty, and in those quantum situations where it is impossible to tell whether a runner is on base, off base, or asphyxiated inside a small box. Wednesday he drove in a run in the ninth inning of a shutout against the Blue Jays, which is the kind of situational hitting that seemed totally inconceivable last month. Baseball is weird.
Why the Cardinals will lose
Zack Greinke isn't quite as perfect as he was last year, but he's lined up with Jeff Suppan, whom the Cardinals pulled from the Brewers' leftovers a few starts ago. The Cardinals -- and, for the most part, their fans -- have unlimited faith in Dave Duncan's ability to turn anybody with a throwing arm into Frankenstein's Monster for a few months, but so far an effective Suppan has still been unable to get out of the fifth inning. As long as Jaime Garcia remains this good and Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny remain on the DL, there's no greater gap between third and fourth starters than the one the Cardinals have in their rotation right now.
The back of the Cardinals' rotation is a vacuum, but a pitching vacuum is the kind of thing Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen rush to fill. I think St. Louis takes two of three, and given the collective bad luck of Cardinals' fandom's Suppan-hating contingent and Zack Greinke, the Brewers' erstwhile leftovers probably wins a 1-0 shutout against the best pitcher in the American League.