Friday, September 23, 2011

Game Picks - Friday: September 23, 2011

After swinging and missing on the first three picks yesterday on a short schedule, this picker is just fine at finishing 5-5. Things sure looked like they were going to be far worse than that after the Rangers' bullpen squandered a game against the A's, the Cardinal bullpen imploded against the Mets and the Twins actually won a game (in walk off fashion no less). But then the Nationals won again proving that the Phillies have indeed taken the rest of the regular season off. The Indians and Bay Rays won as predicted and the Orioles beat the Tigers as predicted. Then this picker got lucky with an extra inning win by the Blue Jays over the Angels. At that point the day had gone into the black and things were looking up. They crashed back to mediocrity again when the Astros mounted a major comeback on the Rockies and Madison Bumgarner got unexpectedly rocked.

Oh well, that's baseball in the wacky last week of the season when any team can play anybody and anything can happen. Such a week does not favor having to pick a full slate of games on this Friday, but that's what this picker is going to do. Friday's picks:

  • The Braves over the Nationals: So the Braves have to win. There aren't any other options for them. And they get to face Stephen Strasburg. Fun, eh? They better hope Tim Hudson brings his A-game and they can scratch out a run or two.
  • The Tigers over the Orioles: The Tigers will win only because Alfredo Simon is all over the place. Rick Porcello needs to show he belongs in the playoff picture.
  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: The Red Sox need a win. Freddie Garcia looks gassed and faces Jon Lester.  The Yankees should be a bit more on their game than yesterday, but still.
  • The Reds over the Pirates: This pick is difficult. Jeff Locke could pitch a good game but will only get five innings. Then what? Edinson Volquez has been on a steady diet of losses. Who knows.
  • The Indians over the Twins: Justin Masterson should win his thirteenth in this one over Carl Pavano.
  • The Phillies over the Mets: Yes, the Phillies will win a game before the playoffs start. Cole Hamels needs to pick it up after struggling of late. R.A. Dickey goes for the Mets.
  • The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: The Jays bullpen has to be a little tired after that long game yesterday. Brandon Morrow looked great against the Yankees. But he faces David Price in a must win game for the Rays.
  • The Rockies over the Astros: Drew Pomerantz is the real deal. He faces Brett Myers who has been very good lately after a tough season.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: The Rangers would like to nail this division coffin shut and Matt Harrison has won three straight and is 5-1 against the Mariners. Meanwhile, Anthony Vazquez hasn't yet shown he belongs on a major league mound.
  • The Royals over the White Sox: Bruce Chen holds on long enough for the Royals to put another win on the board against Zach Stewart who they beat a week ago.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: The Cardinals will probably run out of time this season, but Chris Carpenter will delay the call of the reaper for another day. Ryan Dempster will get hit in St. Louis.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: Matt Cain is simply better than Joe Saunders. That is all.
  • The Dodgers over the Padres: Give it up for the Dodgers who could have packed it in long ago but continue to play with a lot of pride. Ted Lilly over Wade LeBlanc.
  • The Athletics over the Angels: Gio Gonzalez loves him some Angels. He's got a great record against them. Jered Weaver's stuff has diminished some of late but he's still a great pitcher with a huge heart. We'll see.

And the Game of the Day!

  • The Brewers over the Marlins: It's time for the Brewers to clinch and a home game with Yovani Gallardo on the mound is as good a time as any. Chris Volstad has been better lately but won't be able to stop the Brewers completely.

Yesterday: 5-5
Week: 37-30
Month: 180-115
Season: 1311-1025
Games of the Day: 107-64

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