The month of June ended with a dud of a day as the picks crashed and burned yesterday. Very little went right and put a sour taste in what was a good week and a good month. Of the five teams in the AL East, four of them lost and the only team that won (the Yankees) was predicted to lose. Oy. Stephen Strasburg wilted in the sun. Young pitchers counted on to win such as Tommy Milone and Wade Miley came up bad as both were bombed. The Pirates beat the Cardinals again. It simply was a bad day.
We turn the page to July and the last week before the All Star Break. Summer heat has gripped the country and that seems to have an effect on who wins and who loses. Trying to figure that out will take some doing. Here are Sunday's picks:
- The Marlins over the Phillies: Just when you think the Marlins are dead in the water, they face a team that is even deader in the water. The Fish jump on Joe Blanton and Ricky Nolasco is good enough to win.
- The Nationals over the Braves: Gio Gonzalez out duels Tim Hudson in this one. The Braves are susceptible to pitchers from the left side.
- The Bay Rays over the Tigers: Alex Cobb is due for a karma reward for taking one for the team his last outing. He is better at home anyway and faces The Emoticon, Drew Smyly <---a smyly face.
- The Yankees over the White Sox: This pick is with some hesitation. Phil Hughes will either be very good or will get bombed. There is no middle ground for him. Which one will today bring? Gavin Floyd brings a string of scoreless innings into the game and the Yankees have had fun ending those lately (Dickey, etc).
- The Brewers over the Diamondbacks: Yovani Gallardo is a good bet at home and Josh Collmenter is getting a spot start. Collmenter is better off in the bullpen and was bashed around earlier in the season as a starter.
- The Twins over the Royals: The Twins swept a big double-header yesterday and have Francisco Liriano on the hill today. Not good for the Royals. The Royals counter with Bruce Chen, who is capable of a good game at times.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: This pick sure hasn't gone well all weekend. But Andrew McCutchen might have to sit today due to a sore wrist. That would help Jake Westbrook hold the Buccos down. Erik Bedard is a decent pitcher.
- The Cubs over the Astros: Travis Wood had a great June. Surprisingly. Wandy Rodriguez toils away for the Astros. Will they finally trade him?
- The Angels over the Blue Jays: Forgive this picker, but a pick for Aaron Laffey just can't seem to come from these fingers. Sure, he had a great outing against the Red Sox. But c'mon! Going with C.J. Wilson for the win. Overrated? No chance.
- The Rockies over the Padres: Yes, Yasmani Grandal was pretty impressive yesterday. But Kip Wells starting for the Padres? Yeesh. Drew Pomeranz is getting another shot in the bigs. Perhaps he will stick this time.
- The Giants over the Reds: The Reds' pitching has slowed the Giants down in the first two games. But Bronson Arroyo can be had a bit and Ryan Vogelsong has been terrific.
- The Red Sox over the Mariners: Despite his last start, this picker still likes Felix Doubront as a pitcher. He should have his way with the Mariners while the Red Sox climb on board a few Jason Vargas offerings.
- The Rangers over the Athletics: This picker agrees with Yu Darvish that he hasn't been good enough for the All Star Game. But if he wins today, he will get in. And he should win against Travis Blackley.
- The Dodgers over the Mets: The Dodgers desperately need a win. Clayton Kershaw hasn't been dominating for quite a while. Perhaps this will be the day he gets back to his ace kind of pitching. Dillon Gee is a resourceful and decent starter.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Indians over the Orioles: Brian Matusz has been sliding back into his old horror show after a good start to the season. And with a left- hander on the mound, Shelley Duncan can shine. Justin Masterson needs to have a good day though.
Yesterday: 5-11 Ugh!
Last week: 56-46
Games of the Day; 52-33