July is turning into a struggle for your humble game picker. Three straight negative days have now gone by and the Game of the Day feature is on a five game losing streak. Here is an idea. How about shutting Stephen Strasburg down now until the hot season has passed and then use him later in the season when it is cooler outside? Here is another idea for an inner note: Don't pick the Astros! Duh! That was probably the dumbest pick. But there were a lot on the bad side of the register. The Angels did not win. The Cardinals did not win. The Rangers did not win. The Dodgers did not win. Barry Zito won. Geezum Pete!
This picker is up way too early to do this today, but it is a special day. The biggest local golf tournament begins today and let's hope that goes as good as the picks today. And the Fan's mom turns 86 today. She was born in 1926. Imagine all the things she has seen in her lifetime! Happy Birthday, Mom! Wish this picker was there to celebrate with you.
- The Yankees and Red Sox split a double- header: Yeah, this is sorta cheating. The Red Sox are going to light up one of the Yankee pitchers today with Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes to choose from. The Yankees like lefty pitching and get two of them today with Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront.
- The Nationals over the Rockies: Jeff Francis has been very good for the Rockies and that is a nice story. But Gio Gonzalez has been even better for the Nationals. That is where this pick ends up.
- The Tigers over the Royals: Which of these pitchers will have the better outing, Bruce Chen or Doug Fister? That is tough to call. Fister has a record like his Seattle days and has been getting banged around. Haven't heard a Maddux comparison in a long time with him. Chen's slop has to be pinpoint perfect. It only is about a third of the time.
- The Pirates over the Giants: James McDonald has been this picker's guy all season and he is 8-3. That is a pretty sure bet. Except, he faces Ryan Vogelsong who has been terrific himself. Somebody remind this picker why he tortures himself this way every day...
- The Cubs over the Mets: If Jeff Samardzija can keep throwing split-fingered pitches like he did against the Braves, he is hard to hit. Dillon Gee is not half bad as a starter but his fielders always seem to have a bad game behind him. Going with the Cubbies.
- The Cardinals over the Marlins: Let's try this one again after it did not work out yesterday. Carlos Zambrano just cannot throw enough strikes for some reason. Kyle Lohse is quietly having a very good season. The Cards are due for an offensive explosion.
- The White Sox over the Blue Jays: Ricky Romero may be 8-3, but he has been getting lit up like a fireworks barge on the fourth of July. Gavin Floyd is no gimme pick though. Gracious.
- The Indians over the Bay Rays: Ubaldo Jimenez has seen his velocity increase in his recent outings and he is pitching much better. He still walks too many people. If he is on, he can shut down the weak-hitting Rays. Matt Moore has been underwhelming to this picker. His fastball is straight and looks hittable no matter if it is 95 MPH. Johnny Damon will be saying, "I'll show you Luke Scott."
- The Braves over the Phillies: Tommy Hanson has been homer prone. But he'll keep the Braves in the game long enough for them to square up Joe Blanton. It was fun to see Ryan Howard get two hits in his season debut.
- The Rangers over the Twins: Derek Holland will make his first start off the disabled list. Hope his elbow will be okay. The Twins are starting Samuel Deduno, whose six career relief appearances have totally slipped by this picker's notice. He is making his first MLB start against the Rangers. Not fun for him.
- The Angels over the Orioles: Nice pitching match-up here with Jered Weaver versus Jason Hammel. Weaver is clearly the better pitcher.
- The Reds over the Padres: Homer Bailey was hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun in his last outing. Homer Bailey!? Who knew? Clayton Richard is tough at Petco though as he proved against the Diamondbacks his last start.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: Chad Billingsley. Just saying that name makes the skin on this picker's neck crawl. He is impossible to predict. Trevor Cahill hasn't been as good as the D-backs have hoped.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: Hate this series. Gah! Jarrod Parker has been terrific. REALLY terrific. Jason Vargas can be good too. Sounds like a 1-0 game. But which team will get that one run?
And the Game of the Day! (c'mon now!)
- The Brewers over the Astros: Learning from yesterday's stupid mistake. Do NOT pick the Astros. But Wandy Rodriguez is pitching! Argh! Zack Greinke is the pick.
Games of the Day: 53-38