Thursday was fun, wasn't it? There were pitcher's duels and diving stops, walk off hits, blown saves, and even a sixteen inning game. Welcome to MLB baseball where there are no grapefruits nor cactus. The season has arrived and today was terrific. Let's all sigh together in relief and happiness! And the picks didn't go so bad either. The only two incorrect picks were the Reds beating the Marlins--a game when picked was said could go either way--and a win by the Nationals over the Cubs. The pick was correct that Stephen Strasburg would get no run support, but Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol of the Cubs ralphed the game away for the Cubbies.
There are nine games on the schedule today including all of the teams that didn't play yesterday plus the Padres and Dodgers not getting a day off like all of the other Thursday teams. Here is how they should go:
- The White Sox over the Rangers: The Chisox ruin the Rangers' home opener as John Danks pitches better than Colby Lewis. Some of the Rangers are a little dinged up and they won't be yet firing on all cylinders. Robin Ventura wins his debut as manager.
- The Orioles over the Twins: A battle of two teams that will probably have difficult seasons. The match up of Jake Arrieta versus Carl Pavano is pretty much a wash. The Orioles' bullpen should pull the win out in this one.
- The Yankees over the Bay Rays: Both CC Sabathia and James Shields pitched well against the teams they are facing last season, but both had losing records too. They should cancel each other out. If it becomes a battle of bullpens, the Yankees win that battle. John Maddon will have Keppinger batting cleanup. Say what?
- The Brewers over the Cardinals: The Brewers match up well against Jaime Garcia. The outcome will depend on how well Yovani Gallardo pitches for the Brewers.
- The Rockies over the Astros. The temptation is not to bed against Wandy Rodriguez who starts for the Astros. But the 'Stros have little offense to offer against Jeremy Guthrie who should thrive in a new league against a team that knows him not.
- The Diamondbacks over the Giants: Ian Kennedy is this picker's man-crush. Plus, he beat a bunch of tough match ups last year. Going with the Diamondbacks over Tim Lincecum.
- The Padres over the Dodgers: Hey, this picker has been boosting Cory Luebke all spring. So he has to come through. Clay Billingsley can be had at times. Both these teams look like .500 teams in the NL West. Might as well have that record after two games.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: The M's will beat a hundred ground balls to the infielders against Brandon McCarthy and Jason Vargas does little to inspire confidence.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Angels over the Royals: Shouldn't Jered Weaver beat Bruce Chen nine out of ten times? That seems like it would be the case. Besides, Albert Pujols makes his first start for his new team at home. He has to do something dramatic, right?
Just a reminder, the Game of the Day isn't about the most exciting game, but the pick most likely to be correct.
Games of the Day: 1-0