Thursday was a blah kind of picking day. Three right. Three wrong. Boooring. Oh, the games were good. Just the results were not. One of this picker's most faithful readers, Kryss, mentioned that the Game of the Day was correct ten days in a row. That streak came to an end yesterday. That makes the feature the Yankees of Game Pick features. But seriously, how can a pick for Clayton Kershaw be wrong for three straight picks? That never happened last year. And the Rockies proved that even terrible teams can win once in a while. It's just difficult to know when.
Friday puts all thirty teams back in action. Roy Oswalt and Jair Jurrjens are back from oblivion to pitch today. That will be interesting. But how do you pick them? A quick glance at the schedule brought a shudder. This will not be easy. The picks:
- The Pirates over the Tigers: Tough game to pick and typical of how this day will go. A.J. Burnett has only had one bad start. The rest are all good. How will he do against some tough hitters like Cabrera and Fielder? And Doug Fister is good too. Ugh.
- The Phillies over the Bay Rays: It has come to the point in Cliff Lee's season where you have to keep picking him until he wins. You can't keep a guy of his caliber down this long, can you? James Shields will have something to say about it though.
- The Nationals over the Orioles: Tough game Number Three. Jordan Zimmermann has the stuff to shut any team down. Jason Hammel has been lights out at times. Both are good teams. Both are contenders. Isn't this fun?
- The Reds over the Twins: The Twins are just not as good a team without Joe Mauer in the lineup. Nick Blackburn is always a scary proposition. The key is Homer Bailey and what kind of outing he will have.
- The Yankees over the Mets: The Yankees love lefties and Jon Niese is one of those. They know how to wait him out too. Andy Pettitte will neutralize the powerful lefties in the Mets' lineup.
- The Marlins over the Blue Jays: This pick has lots of reservations. Ricky Romero bends but doesn't break. Anibal Sanchez is on a losing streak. Both teams have been the most frustrating to pick all season.
- The Indians over the Astros: Lucas Harrell has been allowing eight runs per nine innings in his last half dozen starts. He lives and dies with his fastball. The Indians love hitting fastballs. But Ubaldo Jimenez is no lock either.
- The Rangers over the Rockies: This pick for Roy Oswalt is made with huge reservations. But the Rangers are home where they love to rake and the Rockies have a pitching staff that is fun to rake. Christian Friedrich goes for his 75 pitches today.
- The White Sox over the Brewers: Going with the home team here as Chris Sale and Zack Greinke seem to cancel each other out.
- The Cardinals over the Royals: Joe Kelly has been just so-so in his early work for the Cards. Vin Mazzaro has been surprisingly effective. But that last sentence just seems to be a fluke. Who knows.
- The Diamondbacks over the Cubs: The D- backs' bats have come alive of late and Joe Saunders has been decent. Jeff Samardzija, unfortunately, has come back to the pack some after a very good season start.
- The Angels over the Dodgers: The Dodgers have not hit in the last two weeks and their grip as the best NL team is loosening. Chad Billingsley drives this picker crazy. Dan Haren, the same.
- The Padres over the Mariners: Clayton Richard is good at home and he is home this outing. Kevin Millwood has been a surprise if he stays healthy. This might be a 1-0 or 2-1 game.
- The Athletics over the Giants: The Giants have lost most of Tim Lincecum's starts. He hasn't given any reason for optimism that will change. Jarrod Parker has been pitching very well.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Red Sox over the Braves: Been saying all season that if you think the Red Sox are dead, you have a surprise coming. Jon Lester needs to pitch well. And he should. And Jair Jurrjens will get treated rudely to the mad-at- the-world David Ortiz and company.
Games of the Day: 47-29