Well played, Kyle Lohse. Well played indeed. And doesn't this picker look like a dope. To pull up the old saw by the hemp rope, "That's why they play the game." If you count the two preseason games against the Yankees, the Marlins are now 0-3 in their new ballpark. That's not good. And what a drag that they didn't get to shoot off that home run contraption.
It's been decided here that Saturday will be the official Opening Day. After all, that will be the first time there will be fifteen games on the schedule. Today is just another preview. But the games count and they have to be picked. So let's get to it, shall we?
- The Tigers over the Red Sox: Justin Verlander versus Jon Lester is a terrific opening day match up. Two terrific pitchers. One of them has to win. Verlander at home is just too tough to pick against. Have to go that way.
- The Mets over the Braves: Tommy Hanson just doesn't strike fear in the heart like he used to. Besides, Johan Santana is the heart pick for this one as he makes his first start back after a long, long road. Ike Davis has been mashing the ball. The Mets open with their new dimensions. Santana throws enough change ups to fool enough Braves batters and the Mets get to Hanson.
- The Phillies over the Pirates: People keep predicting Roy Halladay will not be as dominating this year as the past two. That will be believed when and if it actually happens. In the meantime, he is the best pitcher of this generation. Don't bet against him. Erik Bedard goes for the Pirates who are at home.
- The Cubs over the Nationals: Stephen Strasburg is the bomb. But doesn't it seem like his team plays tight whenever he pitches? It seems the offense is never there. Ryan Dempster is not a peach to pick, but he is better at home. The Cubs win their first game of the Theo era.
- The Blue Jays over the Indians: Ricky Romero over Justin Masterson. The Blue Jays are going to make this picker look like a genius this season. Can you feel it? Masterson hasn't quite put things together yet. He will. But not yet. Romero is a tough hombre and tough to beat.
- The Marlins over the Reds: Mark Buehrle is going to drive the Reds crazy with his slow and slower stuff thrown every five seconds before they can get comfortable. He'll have to keep the ball inside that cozy park in Cincinnati though. Johnny Cueto can be untouchable at times. So this game can go either way.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Dodgers over the Padres: Clayton Kershaw begins his defense of his Cy Young Award and does so against a poor offense. The Dodgers will score at least three on Edinson Volquez and that will be enough.