Joel Thorman of SB Nation Kansas City, our less-alliterative sister site, kindly agreed to trade a few answers with me on the occasion of this year's iteration of the I-70 series, which begins tonight when Zack Greinke takes on Jeff Suppan. Here are his thoughts:â†µ
Why the Royals Will Win: "Zack Greinke is one reason. Sure, he doesn't have the win/loss record any of us would like to see, but he's still Greinke. He'll still be tough to play against and, at some point, the Royals have to start scoring runs behind him (... right?). In addition, the Royals are a solid batting club. They're one of the top few teams in MLB for batting average.â†µ
They're also among the tops in not striking out. Evidence of this is the recent surge of Jose Guillen (currently an 18-game hitting streak) and David DeJesus. That's a good combination. They've had some trouble turning those into runs but when you hit the ball a lot, and don't strikeout a lot, you've given yourself a chance and, frankly, that's about all the Royals can ask for against the Cards."â†µ
Why the Royals Will Lose: "Because they usually do. As I said before, the Royals hit the ball well and don't strikeout. But... Their team ERA is near the bottom of the league and, like I said, they don't score a lot of runs. That's not a good combination. The Royals are still batting Jason Kendall second and still waiting for the medicinal breakthrough that allows Greinke to pitch five days a week."â†µ
Series Prediction: "Friday night, Kauffman stadium—correction: people actually inside Kauffman stadium—Greinke pitching... I think this game one goes to the Royals, then reality sets in after that. Royals fans need at least one win against St. Louis because, let's face it, we need something to cheer about. Cards take two out of three and the series."