The silly season is upon us as last night's marathon of a game between the Yankees and the Red Sox proved. The Yankees were determined to win the game as long as their cast of Triple A players were the ones involved. Not one move included a regular player getting a pinch hitting assignment. The only place the Yankees would not use a rookie was in the bullpen where they trotted out a weak cast of veteran losers like Laffey and Proctor. It's no wonder with such shenanigans that picking games is nigh on impossible. And we have three more days of non-meaningful games with only the Braves, Cardinals, Red Sox and Bay Rays playing for anything with gusto and with their regular line ups.This is the time of year where picking games is like picking Preseason games.
Forty-five games stand between us and the end of the regular season--fifteen in each of the next three days. Monday will look like this:
- The Red Sox over the Orioles: Tommy Hunter has been pitching well and the Orioles have enjoyed their role of spoiler. But the Red Sox will win behind Josh Beckett.
- The Tigers over the Indians: The Tigers are still battling the Rangers for the second seed in the playoffs. Does that matter? Perhaps. Doug Fister has been terrific for the Tigers and should be their number two starter in the playoffs. He'll face Ubaldo Jimenez, a pitcher that has baffled this picker all year.
- The Reds over the Mets: Homer Bailey is at least a big league pitcher. Chris Schwinden? Not so much.
- The Bay Rays over the Yankees: The Bay Rays battle to hold on to their wild card hopes. To that end, they pitch James Shields, one of their best pitchers. The Yankees counter with...with...Hector Noesi. Oy.
- The Braves over the Phillies: This game means everything to the Braves and young Randall Delgado has been great. The game is meaningless to the Phillies who will have Cliff Lee throw a few innings as a tune up.
- The Nationals over the Marlins: The Nats are gearing up for next year. Tom Milone might factor into that scenario. The Marlins? They don't know how to gear up. Anibal Sanchez hasn't pitched badly the second half but hasn't won at all.
- The Cardinals over the Astros: Wandy Rodriguez is a good pitcher and will neutralize Lance Berkman at least. But look for Jaime Garcia to keep the Cardinals in the race.
- The Twins over the Royals: Kevin Slowey is 0-7. He's a big league pitcher. The odds have to change right? He faces Felipe Paulino, a pitcher with dazzling stuff and at times zero command.
- The Brewers over the Pirates: Who knows how long Shaun Marcum will pitch today. But the Brewers should score on Charlie Morton and have some fun along the way.
- The White Sox over the Blue Jays: Still admire Dustin McGowan's story, but not his over-six ERA and his 85 pitch limit. Dylan Axelrod gets his first big league win.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: A meaningless game for the D-backs with Daniel Hudson in a playoff tune up. Can't imagine he'll pitch long. Dana Eveland will have a good game against a team with no urgency.
- The Padres over the Cubs: Low scoring game will feature a Matt Latos with great stuff against a rejuvenated Casey Coleman.
- The Rangers over the Angels: Dan Haren got hit with a liner in the eighth inning of his last start and C.J. Wilson left his last start with a blister. Both said they will be ready to pitch. We'll see. The Angels still have small hopes for the wild card but the Rangers will crush those hopes.
- The Giants over the Rockies: Jhoulys Chacin was supposed to start yesterday and didn't. He should have as his mates scored nineteen runs. They won't score that many runs in San Francisco against Ryan Vogelsong. Nope.
And the Game of the Day (remember, this surest pick, not the most dramatic):
- The Athletics over the Mariners: Brandon McCarthy has been the A's best pitcher in the second half. Jason Vargas has been better of late, but will lose this one.
Games of the Day: 109-65