Monday, April 09, 2012

Game Picks - Monday: April 9, 2012

Another day at .500 with a 7-7 picking record. And the game of the day feature clanked meaning that everything across the board sits at a .500 record. How bland! How boring. Of course, it's better that a blog feature is boring and not the baseball season. That has been spectacular so far. The Red Sox, Yankees, Braves and Giants are all 0-3. Wow. The Phillies are 1-2. Blown saves are everywhere. Pitchers are taking no-hitters deep into games and others can't get anyone out. Unless your team has been on the wrong side of the games scores, this week has been loads of fun.

And for a Monday, there is a pretty good schedule of games going with twelve games to be played. You have to like that for what is usually an off day. Let's see if this picker can get with the program here and have a good picking day. Lord knows, this mediocrity is starting to get inside the head a little bit. Here goes:

  • The Phillies over the Marlins: Things are starting to get a little dicey for the Marlins. Ozzie got his mouth in trouble again. Their high-priced closer lost a big game and the team is now 1-3 to start the season. Things won't get much easier as they face Cole Hamels. The Marlins do have a chance in this one as the Phillies aren't scoring runs and Anibal Sanchez can be terrific. But the feeling here is that Hamels will be too tough to handle and the Phillies' offense will break out a bit.
  • The Angels over the Twins: The Angels had kind of a tough weekend, but should get righted on facing the Twins, who truth be told, are a pretty bad team. Nick Blackburn had a great spring. But that was spring. C.J. Wilson gets his first start in an Angels' uniform and should win this one.
  • The Rockies over the Giants: The Giants haven't won a game yet and go into game four of the season with Barry Zito pitching in Coors Field. Not ideal. Jhoulys Chacin isn't exactly a lock either. But Chacin should give up less runs than Zito.
  • The White Sox over the Indians: Chris Sale gets his first major league start. He was impressive in the spring with 22 strikeouts against only two walks. But again, that was spring. We'll see how he does in the real games. Josh Tomlin starts for the Indians. He is a BABIP pitcher so it all depends on where the ball bounces.
  • The Cubs over the Brewers: Chris Volstad is one of this picker's picks for a comeback season. He should thrive in Chicago. The Brewers go with Shaun Marcum who had some shoulder problems during the spring. The Brewers did not have a good weekend against the Cardinals.
  • The Yankees over the Orioles: The Yankees have to win some time and the Orioles have to lose some time. That convergence could happen here. Brian Matusz had a nice spring, but it is hard to forget how much damage the Yankees did to him last year. Ivan Nova really needs a big stop for the Yankees to get them going.
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: Really want to pick the Blue Jays in this one but they are due for a win after a tough series in Detroit. All will depend on Felix Doubront for the Red Sox and Henderson Alvarez for the Blue Jays. The feeling here is that Boston's killer lineup will be too much for Alvarez to handle and they will wear him down by the fifth inning or before.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: Another series for two teams that hate each other. So it should be fun. Both have sported good offenses thus far. The difference in this one is that Jake Westbrook has a better chance to pitch a decent game than Homer Bailey who got murdered all spring.
  • The Nationals over the Mets: The Mets' early success has been good for an organization that has had difficulty in the past two years. The only problem is Mike Pelfrey. He simply has looked awful since the middle of last season and it carried over into the spring. The Nats got Edwin Jackson for this very reason, to deepen their rotation and that should be the difference in this game.
  • The Braves over the Astros: The Braves need to get off the pavement here and Brandon Beachy could be just the guy to do it. The Astros counter with J.A. Happ, who simply doesn't scare anyone.
  • The Royals over the Athletics: Luis Mendoza is much maligned by some KC bloggers and they have a point. He's been pretty lucky to this point and it has to catch up with him sooner or later. Unfortunately for the A's, the only batter Mendoza has to fear is Yeonis Cespedes. Tom Milone has looked terrific for the A's and is a bright prospect. But he faces a KC lineup with great prospects of their own.

And the Game of the Day!

  • The Rangers over the Mariners: The Mariners are going to hit a lot better this season if early indications are correct. But this is the grand opening of the phenomenon called, Yu Darvish. Everyone will be watching this game. Hector Noesi is solid if unspectacular and gets the start for the Mariners.

Yesterday: 7-7
Week: 7-7
Season: 24-24
Games of the Day: 2-2

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