Thursday was disappointing. Bullpen meltdowns cost three picks, the Yankees, the Phillies and the Cardinals. The latter was the Game of the Day too (sorry Kryss). And so the day ended just a game over the .500 mark and left a pretty sour taste in the mouth.
And because the morning started with a bit of the grumpies, yesterday is no longer going to be discussed. Some things are just better left behind and discarded. Instead, we'll focus on Friday which starts some new and interesting series around baseball. Here are Friday's picks:
- The Tigers over the Orioles: This pick has to go to Justin Verlander at home. It seems totally unlikely that Tommy Hunter can pitch well enough to keep up with Verlander. There is some urgency building with the Tigers and Miguel Cabrera is on his usual end of the season tear.
- The Yankees over the Red Sox: Sure, the Red Sox could elevate their game because it is the Yankees. But that works both ways. Franklin Morales goes for the Yankees and they should get to him. The big thing is how Phil Hughes will do at home. Hughes has not been consistent and must pound the strike zone early against the Red Sox.
- The Nationals over the Mets: The Mets had a nice win yesterday over the Reds. And they might be attractive to pick if it were not that Johan Santana has been hit so hard in his last half dozen starts. Santana will be better next year when he can build his shoulder up more. Ross Detwiler will pitch well for the Nats.
- The Reds over the Cubs: Travis Wood is decent and he'll make the game slightly interesting as will Bronson Arroyo if he is not on. Either it will be low-scoring with the Reds bullpen being dominant, or it will be a slugfest. Either way, the Reds win.
- The Braves over the Dodgers: This picker can't see Chris Capuano's game translating well to Fulton County Stadium or Turner Field or whatever they call that place in Atlanta. It is definitely easier on Chipper Jones' knees when he can trot around the bases. Tommy Hanson is the key to this game though.
- The Diamondbacks over the Astros: Wade Miley has been quite the story this season. Have you seen his walks per nine rate? How does 1.77 grab you? That is awesome. Miley should beat Dallas Keuchel.
- The White Sox over the Royals: Chris Sale. How good has he been this season? Haven't you been expecting him to fall off a cliff or something statistically? Same here. Except it hasn't happened. Luis Mendoza starts for the Royals and can be decent.
- The Brewers over the Phillies: Yovani Gallardo has been on a roll lately, and no, he is not a sandwich. He is starting to hit too, so this Fan's article about his hitting must have spurred him on. Heh. Vance Worley has been decent, but not great this season. If the Brewers get the lead, can they hold it late? 50/50.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: Like the Cardinals at home in this one even though they lost a heart-breaker yesterday. Jake Westbrook will need to pitch well and he should against Pittsburgh. James McDonald looks like he should be skipped a start or two as he has been faring poorly for the last month or so after starting the season well.
- The Rockies over the Marlins: Who knows, really. This game could go either way and this picker has no clue what to do here. Jeff Francis is capable of a good game at Coors. He is just as capable of a clunker. The same goes for Wade LeBlanc. Going with the home team.
- The Indians over the Athletics: The A's have fallen off a bit though they had a nice win yesterday. The feeling here is that Zach McAllister will pitch better than Tommy Milone. Milone has had a series of sub-par starts of late.
- The Giants over the Padres: It really isn't nice that Ross Ohlendorf's name leads to so many jokes. Ending his name in, "dork," or, "doof," just isn't fair. It's funny, but not nice. He will lose of course, as the Giants have Matt Cain on the mound.
- The Angels over the Rays: The Rays used their ace to beat the Angels last night. The Angels will counter with their ace tonight in Jered Weaver. The only problem is that James Shields has stepped it up of late and become pretty dominant himself.
- The Mariners over the Twins: Another game that seems awfully muddy to predict. Nick Blackburn has to get lucky with contact to win. That is not a good formula. Hisashi Iwakuma seems to have a better chance to pitch well. But who knows.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Rangers over the Blue Jays: Yu Darvish goes to Canada. And he was better his last time out. The Blue Jays are still scuffling with major injuries. J.A. Happ won't hold the Rangers down.
Games of the Day: 72-56