Maybe this interleague stuff is not so bad after all. Picking the dang things was just so difficult last season. But after two days of picking the interleague packages, the picks are 21-9 including 11-4 yesterday. Sweet. Of the few bad picks yesterday was a San Diego win. But how could a picker know that the Padres would win and the pitcher responsible would be Ross Ohlendorf? Sometimes baseball is simply serendipitous. The Marlins were simply a stupid pick as was the Blue Jays. And this picker thinks the reason is obvious. There is an emotional empathy for those teams. The Blue Jays have earned the soft spot due to this writer's admiration for the team's bloggers like Tao of Stieb and Navin Vaswani. The Marlins play in south Florida and that area is particularly loved by this Maine writer. These soft spots cloud reason. Call it a flaw. But it is what it is.
Today will be a good day. It is our wedding anniversary, the sun is shining and the golf round should be enjoyable. And then an afternoon of baseball will bring it all home. Thank goodness for a wife that loves the sport too! Here are Sunday's picks:
- The Yankees over the Mets: Andy Pettitte will finish the sweep but it should be a close game as Jonathan Niese is pretty darned good. But he is a lefty and the Yankees love lefties.
- The Royals over the Pirates: The Pirates have had their way in this series but it turns around today. Bruce Chen has been the ultimate bamboozle for five of his last six games now and A.J. Burnett will bend enough for the loss.
- The Phillies over the Orioles: This picker must admit a bit of a wry smile that Cliff Lee has not won a game yet. But all personal biases aside, the man has to win a game sooner or later. Today should be that day. The Phillies' offense will need to get him a few runs off of Jason Hammel though.
- The Blue Jays over the Braves: Yeah, this picker knows what the first paragraph said. But it is logic and not the heart that dictates that Ricky Romero should be better than Julio Teheran. Teheran must not be picked until he can show that he can get big league hitters out. He has not shown that ability thus far.
- The Nationals over the Red Sox: The Nats have enough right-handed bats to neutralize Jon Lester who has not pitched well of late. Jordan Zimmermann is the kind of power arm that can cause the Red Sox trouble.
- The Twins over the Cubs: The Cubs' lineup is not patient enough to wait out Francisco Liriano and the big left-hander has turned his season around of late. Ryan Dempster will continue to showcase his talent for contenders down the stretch.
- The White Sox over the Astros: Philip Humber will have to get through the first inning unscathed. If he can do that, the White Sox should win and get a few runs off of Lucas Harrell, who has the added incentive of being waived by the White Sox last season.
- The Brewers over the Padres: Yovani Gallardo will bounce back from his bad start against the Cardinals and Anthony Bass has had a tough time of things since the start of May.
- The Indians over the Cardinals: This is an extremely tough game to call. Ubaldo Jimenez has not been lights out but better in his last couple of starts. Joe Kelly is making his major league debut after pitching superbly in Triple A. Tough call.
- The Angels over the Rockies: This is a sucker punch of a game. The draw in is the recent struggles of Ervin Santana and Christian Friedrich has shown flashes of brilliance. Despite those enticements, the Angels have been on too good of a roll and the Rockies have looked terrible.
- The Rangers over the Giants: Another tough call to make. Alexi Ogando is forced to make the start after pitching out of the bullpen all season. But he is good enough to go five without much trouble. Tim Lincecum beat the Rangers in that classic World Series outing, but that was a different Tim Lincecum that the one that is pitching now.
- The Dodgers over the Mariners: Don't like this pick much better. Chad Billingsley is always confusing for this picker and Blake Beavan has not been very good. The latter fact trumps the former.
- The Diamondbacks over the Athletics: The D-backs seem to have rallied around each other since the team's brass decided to throw Justin Upton and Stephen Drew under the bus. Joe Saunders is always a concern when he pitches. But Travis Blackley seems the weaker of the choices.
- The Tigers over the Reds: Still can't believe that the Tigers were picked yesterday and they actually won. Perhaps the long struggle picking this team is over. The Emoticon, Drew Smyly, should shut down the Reds enough for the Tigers to get to Homer Bailey.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Rays over the Marlins: Okay, William. Forget your love for South Beach and pick with your head. The Bay Rays simply outclass the Marlins on just about every level. And it has shown in spades all weekend. James Shields will finish it off and Anibal Sanchez will keep it close for a while.
Last Week: 53-42
Games of the Day: 37-27