When a week has gone as badly as this one has with every day in negative territory, one game over .500 on a full Thursday seems like a miracle. But it isn't really. It's just another day of mediocre game-picking. It doesn't help when supposedly good teams like the Tigers and Yankees keep losing and the Rangers decide a game doesn't matter and sits their best player. Give credit to J.A. Happ. He pitched fantastic. But that ruined a pick. And it looks like the Angels little revival sputtered out after two days. Picking the Cardinals was, in hindsight, not a smart pick. Adam Wainwright is not the same pitcher.
Now comes the fun part. As if picking games hasn't been hard enough, now we have to deal with interleague games. How will some AL teams do without the DH? How do pitching match ups differ? It is a nightmare. But, no one ever said this job would be easy.
- The Cubs over the White Sox: The battle for Chicago starts of interleague play in a Friday matinee. Jeff Samardzija should be better than Phil Humber, who has been awful ever since his perfect game. The Cubs will be without their DH for the game and series.
- The Orioles over the Nationals: Jake Arrieta will be unfamiliar to the Nationals and the Nationals are still struggling at the plate. The Orioles will not have the DH. The enigmatic Edwin Jackson goes for the Nats.
- The Phillies over the Red Sox: Cole Hamels is a free agent at the end of the season (unless the Phillies lock him up first). The Red Sox could be potential suitors. Here is a chance to show them what he's got. Daniel Bard is not striking people out as a starter and runs into trouble in the late middle innings. No DH for the Red Sox.
- The Marlins over the Indians: The Marlins get an extra hitter in the game at Cleveland. Justin Masterson can't command his sinker and Carlos Zambrano is enjoying a nice comeback season.
- The Tigers over the Pirates: Only the Pirates could start interleague play by having to face Justin Verlander. They have no luck at all. Charlie Morton could be a ground ball machine. Might be low scoring. Verlander needs to go deep in the game. But that's his usual anyway.
- The Blue Jays over the Mets: Good pitching match up in this one with Jon Niese and Ricky Romero. Romero should bounce back from his off start against the Twins. Jose Bautista is heating up and Edwin Encarnacion is having a great season. Does anyone realize that David Wright is still batting over .400? Wow!
- The Braves over the Bay Rays: Tough game to call. The Braves get an extra hitter and they have them. Tommy Hanson needs to be very good because you know James Shields will be.
- The Rangers over the Astros: Not liking picking against Wandy Rodriguez. But the Rangers are simply better than the Astros and Neftali Feliz has been good in his last two outings.
- The Royals over the Diamondbacks: Luis Mendoza has been great in long relief. Now he gets the start against a good D-backs team. The difference in this one is that Joe Saunders has been brutal so far in May.
- The Twins over the Brewers: Can the Twins win three in a row? Can Scott Diamond keep throwing zeroes? Or will Marco Estrada spoil the party? Going with Diamond and the Twins.
- The Mariners over the Rockies: Was Kevin Millwood that good against the Yankees or did he just catch up with a flat team? How will he fare in Coors? And what of Alex White? Good one outing and horrible the next. Does Coors doom his as well? Ugh. Tough call here.
- The Angels over the Padres: Two pitchers pitching well in Jered Weaver and Jeff Suppan (still can't get over it). Two struggling offenses. Going with Weaver who should plow through the Padres' lineup.
- The Dodgers over the Cardinals: Beltran is hurting and that hurts the Cards. Lance Lynn started the season great. Does his last start indicate a tired arm? Ted Lilly has been terrific and will be the difference.
- The Giants over the Athletics: Jarrod Parker is a good young pitcher. Barry Zito has been surprisingly effective this season. Both teams are challenged offensively.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Yankees over the Reds: Eventually, the Yankees bats should come alive. Perhaps Bronson Arroyo at Yankee Stadium would do the trick. Andy Pettitte makes his second start. He needs to get Joey Votto out.
Games of the Day: 24-18