Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MLB Game Picks - Tuesday: April 21, 2015

I went back into the deep hole yesterday after spending three days trying to climb out. At least the Pick of the Day was correct. The closer ruined me in the Cleveland / Chicago game. The Mariners let one slip away after having a good lead. Alfredo Simon was either really good or the Yankees were really bad. The Orioles were sloppy.
Oh, and Jim Palmer? Right on. David Ortiz thinks he is bigger than everyone, including Hall of Fame players. Respect, Ortiz? How about you respect parents and children with your foul mouth?  Clutch player over the years...but otherwise...an irritant.
Tuesday's picks:
  • The Pirates over the Cubs: I can't quite figure out these two teams yet. Francisco Liriano has always had brilliant stuff and inconsistent results. Travis Wood is sort of like Buehrle-lite. Both have to be on to win. Flip a coin.
  • The Marlins over the PhilliesDan Haren looked good his last time out and I like his chances against the moribund offense of the Phillies. Jerome Williams still has two or three good starts in him this season.
  • The Nationals over the Cardinals: I'm really torn here. I really like Lance Lynn but I also like power lefties against the Cardinals like Gio Gonzalez. I'll go with the home team.
  • The Blue Jays over the Orioles: I don't think the Orioles like playing a game in the morning. They looked so flat yesterday. I like the Blue Jays' offense against Bud Norris. It's just a question of how Mark Buehrle fares.
  • The Yankees over the Tigers: I actually like the Yankees better against left-handed pitching. I think they have a chance against Kyle Lobstein. And it is time for Nathan Eovaldi to show some progress.
  • The Rays over the Red SoxChris Archer is making his fourth start already and his last two have been brilliant. Wade Miley has been iffy for the Red Sox. The Rays aren't hitting at home, so there is that...
  • The Brewers over the RedsMike Fiers is 0-2 and has a high ERA. But I think he's been a bit unlucky as the batting average against him has been very high. His strikeouts are there. The Brewers are due for a win. Jason Marquis goes for the Reds.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: Once again, in Carlos Carrasco, we have a strong starter for the Indians and then fret about the bullpen. Hector Noesi goes for the White Sox.
  • The Royals over the Twins: Tommy Milone is 2-0 including a win over the Royals. The Royals will have some revenge tonight at home as long as Jason Vargas can hold down the Twins.
  • The Padres over the Rockies: The Padres' offense is explosive and they went off at Coors yesterday. I think they will hit again today off of Tyler MatzekBrandon Morrow has pitched very well and has no decisions to show for it.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Rangers: The Rangers lose some offense without the DH and Chase Anderson always keeps the Diamondbacks in the game. Nick Martinez is 2-0. Can he keep that up? I don't think so.
  • The Athletics over the Angels: This again is a toss up to me and all depends on the pitching. Drew Pomeranz has looked good and has only walked one batter in twelve. He was a little unlucky in his last start. Hector Santiago is always there for me to kick and yet wins his share of games. So you got me here.
  • The Astros over the MarinersCollin McHugh is a good pitcher and the Astros' offense has come alive a bit. Taijuan Walker had a great spring and has looked lost once the season started. He is quite capable of making this pick look rather stupid.
  • The Giants over the DodgersTim Lincecum has looked good so far with no wins to show for it and is usually solid against the Dodgers at home. Brett Anderson is a five inning pitcher and the Giants can go after the Dodgers' bullpen. The Dodgers do have a win streak though.
And the Pick of the Day:
  • The Mets over the Braves: I have said it over and over through the years. Jon Niese is much better than people realize. I like him at home against the Braves. Trevor Cahill is ripe in my mind at least.
Yesterday: 3-6, Season: 94-101, Picks of the Day: 7-8

Monday, April 20, 2015

MLB Game Picks - Monday: April 20, 2015

Sunday was not as good as the two prior days, but at least I was (barely) over .500 for the day. That's a far cry better than what I was doing last week. Former Yankees, Shane Greene and Brandon McCarthy continued to shine. And those Yankees swept a series at Tropicana Field for the first time in ten years. But a lot more went wrong such as Jon Lester not winning again.
Today is a short schedule as well as the annual Patriots Day Game at Fenway Park. Here are the picks:
  • The Orioles over the Red Sox: I just can't pick the Red Sox when Justin Masterson pitches. Instead, I will go to Wei-Yin Chen. I know he is a Yankee killer, but no so much with Boston. We'll see.
  • The Pirates over the Cubs: The Pirates are starting to hit a little bit and they will need to against Jake Arrieta gentille Arrieta, who can be tough. A.J. Burnett should never be counted upon, but he does have a good game now and then.
  • The Yankees over the Tigers: Either CC Sabathia will get killed in the first three innings against the Tigers or he'll have an okay day and the Yankees will score freely on Alfredo Simon. One of the two will happen, but I don't know which.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: I'm picking too many visiting teams here, but I need to go with what makes sense. What makes sense is that Trevor Bauer has been outstanding and John Danks has not been outstanding for a long time.
  • The Royals over the Twins: The Royals were beaten pretty good by the Twins last week and will try to even that score. Edinson Volquez will attempt to do his part and pitch well and Kyle Gibson won't beat the Royals twice in a row.
  • The Padres over the RockiesJorge De La Rosa takes his four-name act back to the mound for the first time this season after starting on the DL. That always makes me uncomfortable. The Padres have some mashers who might have fun at Coors. The wild card is Odrisamer Despaigne.
  • The Angels over the Athletics: I always have to pick Matt Shoemaker. He has always been there for me. Kendall Graveman is still too wild for my tastes and until he has better command, I don't trust him.
  • The Mariners over the Astros: Hisashi Iwakuma is very good at home usually so I will take the M's. Randall Asher Wojciechowski is not only tough to spell, but tough to discern on how he will pitch.
And the Pick of the Day:
  • The Reds over the Brewers: The Reds just got swept by the Cardinals...again. They will be hunting for bear and the Brewers are ripe for the picking these days. Anthony DeSclafani over Wily Peralta.
Yesterday: 8-7, Season: 91-95, Picks of the Day: 6-8

Sunday, April 19, 2015

MLB Game Picks - Sunday: April 19, 2015

I had a second very good day in a row. I am feeling much better about myself, but still a far way from even a .500 record. One of the few I got wrong was saying that I really wanted to pick Dallas Keuchel and then not doing so. Listen to your first instincts!
Sunday's picks:
  • The Blue Jays over the Braves: This is a very tough call. Shelby Miller has looked great. But so has Daniel Norris. Shelby Miller has more experience having been to the post season. But the Blue Jays have an explosive offense. When in doubt, go with the home team.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: I'm expecting Shane Greene to have his bubble popped sooner or later. But perhaps not today. The Tigers got whomped last night. Today will be different. Jose Quintana could be a tough customer though.
  • The Mets over the Marlins: It's Matt Harvey day and that has become must-see baseball. Tom Koehler has been doing just fine himself, but he is no Harvey. Taking Harvey at home as it seems a no-brainer.
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: I like thinking about Michael Pineda in the heat where he can be loose and himself. That could be spectacular. I know little about Matt Andriese, who goes for the Rays.
  • The Red Sox over the OriolesMiguel Gonzalez won't pitch like he did against the Yankees. The Yankees make him look like Cy Young. And I think Rick Porcello will keep the Orioles in check.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: Here we go with Stephen Strasburg again. Between him and Harang, from yesterday, the two dog my days and give me bad dreams. But good golly, Strasburg should be better than David Buchanan.
  • The Indians over the Twins: Ugh. Two pitchers I have no faith in with Trevor May going for the Twins and T.J. House going for the Indians. Both but a bad taste in my picks. One of the teams has to win...
  • The Angels over the Astros: First, I have little faith in Scott Feldman. Secondly, it is the 2015 debut for Garrett Richards and all I can say to that is, weeeeee!
  • The Royals over the Athletics: This is a really tough one. I really like Scott Kazmir and I really like Danny Duffy. I am going with the Royals because they are at home and can win in a variety of ways.
  • The Cubs over the Padres: Here are two clubs who thought they were significantly better this season and neither has been. Will either of them live up to the expectation? Jon Lester over Andrew Cashner.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: I'm looking good in my thought that the D-backs made a mistake in acquiring Jeremy Hellickson.  Then again, I never know how good Tim Hudson is going to be these days.
  • The Dodgers over the Rockies: Eddie Rogers has gotten away--thus far--with walking ten batters in eleven innings. That will burn him sooner or later, especially since he isn't a big strikeout guy. Brandon McCarthy has become a wicked tough pitcher again.
  • The Mariners over the RangersJames Paxton needs to tighten it up a little bit but he can be really good. Ross Detwiler gave up five runs in his last outing and his ERA went down. Heh. I think the M's will romp.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: The Cards have had their way this series and finish it off with Adam Wainwright. So it's nice how that worked out. Mike Leake just sort of exists out of the corner of the mind, doesn't he?
And the Pick of the Day:
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: I'm pretty convinced that the Brewers are going to have a really bad season. Gerrit Cole should have his way with their offense and Matt Garza will yield a couple of runs.
Yesterday: 10-5, Season: 83-88, Picks of the Day: 5-8

Saturday, April 18, 2015

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: April 18, 2015

Finally. I broke through the mire to post a good day of Game Picks. What a relief after two weeks of futility. It would have been even better if Corey Kluber could have held on and let those pesky Twins tie the game and eventually win it in extra innings. And it would have been better if the Blue Jays hadn't brought in Brett Cecil. But no matter, it was a good day and I'm so very relieved.
Saturday's picks:
  • The Nationals over the PhilliesAaron Harang confronts me again. The guy just fills me with dread. Jordan Zimmermann should win. Shouldn't he?
  • The Blue Jays over the BravesR.A. Dickey was bashed up good in his last start. I am hesitant to pick him in this one. And Alex Wood is a pretty good pitcher for the Braves. At the end of the day, the Blue Jays can just bash the baseball and that's what I'm thinking will happen.
  • The White Sox over the TigersAnibal Sanchez is a good pitcher who got beat badly his last time out. But I'm thinking that is a fluke. However, on the other team is a guy named Chris Sale who is very hard to pick against.
  • The Twins over the Indians: The Twins have had a good week of baseball. You might not have noticed, but they slowed the mighty KC train and won that series and now have won the first against the Indians. Phil Hughes will keep it going and Danny Salazar will continue to make us scratch our heads.
  • The Cardinals over the RedsHomer Bailey starts for the Reds after starting the season hurting. Carlos Martinez pitched well in his last start but didn't factor in a decision. I think he'll pitch well again today.
  • The Cubs over the Padres: This pick didn't work out yesterday but I'll try it again today. First, Kyle Hendricks is much better than what happened his first start. Secondly, this is the day Chicago falls in love with the bat of Kris BryantTyson Ross, of course, will try to prove otherwise.
  • The Orioles over the Red SoxClay Buchholz was reviled after his start against the Yankees. He looked terrible and acted worse. And while I'm piling on, make the guy wash his hair for heaven's sake.  It's disgusting. Chris Tillman has to be mighty good to hold back this Red Sox lineup.
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: I'm not real confident on this pick. With Kyle Lohse, anything can happen and Jeff Locke never seems like a lock.
  • The Angels over the Astros: I really wanted to pick Dallas Keuchel as I think the guy is really good. But the Astros have not played well and C.J. Wilson should have a good day.
  • The Mets over the MarlinsMat Latos will try to improve on his 17+ ERA, but even if he is much better today, Jacob deGrom is one talented young pitcher. Of course, Giancarlo Stanton could always hit like three homers...
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: The Alex Rodriguez story is so fun right now. Until the next shew drops, I'm having a blast watching him cause curmudgeons to gnash their teeth. Masahiro Tanaka over Jake Odorizzi.
  • The Royals over the Athletics: If Yordano Ventura is on, the A's will be able to do little with him. Jesse Hahn was not good in his one loss but his good pitching last year is still in the memory bank.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: I keep wanting to call, Chris Heston, "Charlton."  But what I will call him is a good looking young pitcher who has pitched well in both his games. Rubby De La Rosa has started really well. I'm not sure he is the real deal.
  • The Rockies over the Dodgers: I'm going for a bit of an upset here. Puig has a hamstring problem and that changes things. Zack Greinke is reliably great, but I think he will be out-pitched by Jordan Lyles. Yeah, Jordan Lyles.
And the Pick of the Day:
  • The Mariners over the Rangers: The M's are kind of scuffling right now and need a big performance by Felix HernandezColby Lewis has been strangely effective. I still can't really believe it or in it.
Yesterday: 11-4, Season: 73-81, Picks of the Day: 4-8

Friday, April 17, 2015

MLB Game Picks - Friday: April 17, 2015

I am simply terrible. I don't know what else to say. I can't pick anything thus far this season. There were six games yesterday. I got five of them wrong. The picks are now fifteen games under .500. The Pick of the Day, which is supposed to be my strongest possibility of being correct is 3-8 for the season. Even the Yankees have to be feeling better about themselves than I am.  It's just amazing. By now, reading my daily output must like some morbid obsession. Heh. Oh my.
Let's try Friday. Kris Bryant will be playing. A new era begins? Let's hope a new success streak begins here too.
The picks:
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: This seems straightforward. David Price should be dominant and Jeff Samardzija keeps doing bad pitching. At this point, I'm wondering of Samardzija should have stayed in the bullpen all along.
  • The Cubs over the Padres: This could be a big day in Chicago. Or it could be a balloon deflating. One just never knows. The pitching match-up is Jason Hammel at home against James Shields. Which way will the wind blow at Wrigley?
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: These two teams have really struggled offensively. And both Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers and Jeff Locke won their first starts. That makes this a hard call. Which team will score three or more runs? I'm going with the Pirates.
  • The Blue Jays over the Braves: If you've noticed, I'm going with a lot of home teams. I think that's been a big part of my problem--thinking that the away team will win often. The Jays came off a bad series against the Rays and need to bounce back. Drew Hutchison is a very good young pitcher. But then again, so is Julio Teheran.
  • The Red Sox over the Orioles: Now, all of these home team picks is making me nervous. If Joe Kelly pitches against the O's like he did the Yankees, he'll be golden. Because either way, I think the Red Sox will rain all over Ubaldo Jimenez.
  • The Marlins over the Mets: I know Bartolo Colon is the ninth wonder of the world. But his entire history is a couple of great performances and a big clunker. I'm feeling clunker today. It doesn't help that David Wright is on the DL. David Phelps returns to the Big Apple.
  • The Yankees over the Rays: Tropicana has been a graveyard for the Yankees over the years. But it's different now with a new manager and all those pitching nemesis gone. Nate Karns is inexperienced. My only qualm about this pick is Adam Warren starting for the Yankees.
  • The Indians over the Twins: Yeesh, now I've gone with three straight visiting teams. That said, Corey Kluber really should be better than Mike Pelfrey, right? The Twins did have a good series against the Royals...
  • The Angels over the Astros: Oh, come on. Now that's four straight visiting team picks. Lord help me. I have no faith in Roberto Hernandez. None. Nada. I have a little more faith in Jered Weaver.
  • The Royals over Athletics: Do I really think that Jeremy Guthrie has more of a chance than Sonny Gray? No. But the Royals are the real deal. Gotta pick them to bounce back after a tough series against the Twins.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: Have the Cardinals faced any pitcher more than Johnny Cueto? I can't imagine it. Normally, I would go with Cueto. But Michael Wacha is back looking studly and I have to go with the redbirds at home.
  • The Dodgers over the RockiesClayton Kershaw hasn't won a game yet. What's with that? I'd say he corrects that today and has a good day at home and beats the Rockies fronted by Kyle Kendrick.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: I have this fixation with Yovani Gallardo. I guess I always think he is better than he really is. But I think he'll do well in Safeco and be better than J.A. Happ.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Giants: First, Jake Peavy is a homer waiting to happen. Secondly, Josh Collmenter is bound to win one here soon. Third...I can't remember my third point...
And the Pick of the Day:
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: This is how this game should turn out. After all, Max Scherzer is as advertised for the Nats. And Sean O'Sullivan has a career ERA of 5.84. But that's been the problem thus far. Nothing goes as planned.
Yesterday: 1-5, Season: 62-77, Picks of the Day: 3-8