Thursday was a successful day. A walk-off by Cody Ross brought that pick home. And when you pick the Yankees to lose and they do, that is pretty good picking. The only three that were incorrect came from the Game of Attrition between the Astros and the Padres where one run scored would win the game. The wrong team did. And Gio Gonzalez seriously let this picker down with a big crooked number yesterday. But at least R.A. Dickey improved his record to 13-1 doing so. The other incorrect pick was the Cubs beating the Marlins. That is the kind of season the Marlins are having.
Back to a full schedule today. Alas, there are no day games today after lots of them the last two days. And far too many of the games are on the Left Coast. That is great for those folks that live out there, but hell on East Coast writers. Today's picks:
- The Nationals over the Braves: Good match up of Stephen Strasburg versus Tommy Hanson. The Braves are the kind of team that can give Strasburg problems. But Hanson, despite his record is simply a pitcher that can't be trusted from game to game.
- The Indians over the Orioles: Derek Lowe has been better of late and could throw a lot of ground balls at the Orioles. Miguel Gonzalez has had two good starts coming out of the bullpen. Can't see him making it three here.
- The Tigers over the White Sox: Justin Verlander is great. Jake Peavy is very good. Great should beat very good. This is the Tigers' chance to capture some ground.
- The Pirates over the Marlins: Last outing for Ricky Nolasco was typical for him for his entire career. Four no-hit innings followed by allowing four runs in the sixth. Typical. Kevin Correia has made a monkey out of this picker for four straight starts. Perhaps it's time to read the tea leaves.
- The Phillies over the Giants: Isn't it sad that Tim Lincecum isn't a pick of choice like hardly ever? Vance Worley should win this one.
- The Dodgers over the Mets: Aaron Harang always seems to get his starts in big ballparks. Beast mode should appear in this one as Johan Santana is starting to get hit pretty regularly.
- The Reds over the Brewers: It is hard to get used to Homer Bailey being a good pitcher. For so long, he was the butt of jokes because of his first name being apt. But he has been terrific. Marco Estrada on the other hand hasn't been bad, but can't seem to get a win in his win column.
- The Rays over the Mariners: James Shields has not been very good but he should be better in a big ballpark. The way the Mariners scored against the Royals won't happen in this series. That is not good news for Hisashi Iwakuma.
- The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays losses in the rotation are starting to catch up with them. Aaron Laffey is simply not a big league starter. He is barely a big league pitcher. The Red Sox will do some damage with this one and Josh Beckett does not have to deal with Jose Bautista.
- The Royals over the Twins: Let's see. Nick Blackburn has an ERA over eight. Luke Hochevar has an ERA over five. Five is lower than eight. Trusting the math.
- The Diamondbacks over the Astros: It should be easy to pick the Diamondbacks in this game, but nothing about the Diamondbacks' season has been easy. Trevor Cahill over Bud Norris.
- The Rockies over the Padres: Drew Pomeranz had one of his best outings against the Padres. So this pick should work out. Jason Marquis hasn't been easy to beat lately though.
- The Yankees over the Athletics: Tommy Milone has an obscenely good ERA at home. But the Yankees seem to not care about such statistics. Ivan Nova should have a better time in the Coliseum than he does at Yankee Stadium.
- The Angels over the Rangers: There is a personal bias in this one. And the Rangers are liked better here than the Angels. But Jered Weaver will get the Angels closer and make this a closer race for the division. Derek Holland will have to be spectacular to beat Weaver.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Cardinals over the Cubs: The Cubs should have traded Ryan Dempster this week because the Cards are going to hit him hard today in St. Louis. Kyle Lohse will hold the Cubs down enough to get the Cards a win.
Games of the Day: 58-42