This has been a tough week for picking baseball games. The Yankees have lost three straight to teams you would think they would beat. The Indians and White Sox seesaw back and forth each night and the picks have been a day late for each. The Pirates took a game from the Cardinals and showed some resilience doing so. And there was a great pitching duel between Ross Detwiler and Ian Kennedy, just as this picker predicted there would be. However, this picker backed the wrong pitcher and Detwiler was better. That's the way it goes some times.
But there were some really good picks in there. The Marlins were predicted to sweep the Giants. They did. The Reds were predicted to beat the Cubs. They did. Joe Blanton was featured as a good choice. He was. And Brandon Morrow was the pick and he was totally awesome yesterday. And of course, the Bay Rays keep winning.
So, what about Friday? A full schedule and lots of interesting games to consider. The picks:
- The Dodgers over the Cubs: Paul Maholm has won two games in a row in convincing fashion. But the Dodgers hit better as a team than the Phillies do and present much bigger problems offensively. Chad Billingsley had one bad start between all the rest of his good ones. He should win.
- The White Sox over the Tigers: The Tigers are reeling and can't even get a win when Verlander pitches. Tonight they face Jake Peavy who has turned the clock back to 2007 the way he is pitching. The Emoticon, Drew Smiley, has been very good for the Tigers. Going with Peavy.
- The Reds over the Pirates: If there is one constant thus far, it is that the Reds win when Johnny Cueto pitches. And it is hard to not like their chances hitting Kevin Correia.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: How times have changed. Last year, this would have been an automatic pick for the Phillies. Not this year. Stephen Strasburg over Kyle Kendrick.
- The Rangers over the Indians: The Rangers have some health issues in the outfield. But they have plenty of other weapons to dismember Jeanmar Gomez. Colby Lewis should be decent enough to win.
- The Diamondbacks over the Mets: The Mets have been a mild surprise thus far. But the Diamondbacks are the better team. Wade Miley has been terrific. Dillon Gee has been uneven. Despite the Mets being home, going with the D-backs.
- The Red Sox over the Orioles: The Orioles aren't backing down from anyone and Wei-Lin Chen has been very good. But it appears the old Jon Lester is back and the Orioles can't touch that no matter how much spunk they have,
- The Cardinals over the Astros: Kyle Lohse goes for his fifth win tonight against the Astros and Lucas Harrell. He should get it as the Cards have too many weapons for Harrell to beat.
- The Yankees over the Royals: C.C. Sabathia will once again have to be the stopper to end the Yankees losing streak. He has done that many times for the Yankees before and his last two starts have been terrific. Bruce Chen is Bruce Chen: gritty, determined. But it won't be enough.
- The Braves over the Rockies: This one will probably be a slug-fest. Tim Hudson has historic troubles in Coors and is only making his second start after missing all spring. Guillermo Moscoso doesn't frighten anyone. Big score.
- The Marlins over the Padres: The Marlins should continue to make the most of their West Coast trip and Josh Johnson should win his first game of the season over Anthony Bass and the hapless Padres' offense.
- The Angels over the Blue Jays: Which slugger will get out of their funk sooner, Pujols or Bautista? Ervin Santana is 0-5. He has to win some time. Henderson Alvarez is good, but feeling this is the Angels' game to win.
- The Mariners over the Twins: Jason Vargas versus Carl Pavano isn't exactly a dream match-up. And the Twins just look dreadful. Going with the Mariners and Jesus Montero will be the difference.
- The Brewers over the Giants: Zack Greinke should enjoy pitching at AT&T Park and the Giants are sinking after getting swept by the Marlins. And this isn't the same Tim Lincecum we've known in the past.
- The Bay Rays over the Athletics: The Rays might have started out with a tough schedule. But it sure has been cushy the last two weeks. David Price over Tyler Ross. With ease.
Games of the Day: 17-11