This has been a very tough week for picking baseball games. The daily record this week so far has been: 6-7, 6-5, 9-6 and yesterday's 8-7. That is not exactly blowing the joint down. It doesn't help that picking the Tigers and Yankees has been a fruitless exercise. Heck, when a pick for Sabathia against the Blue Jays fails, then the world is upside down. Matt Harvey had another great day to shoot down that pick. The pick was for the Orioles to win and the Bay Rays to lose. It happened just the opposite. It's just tough right now. At least the Game of the Day feature finally ended its four-day slide.
Eleven games are on Thursday's schedule and five of them are day games. So this picker will get an early indication on how the picks are going to go today. Here they are:
- The Athletics over the Indians: Justin Masterson throws 80 percent fastballs. You have to think guys like Reddick and Cespedes and Moss would be able to sink their teeth into one or two of those. But Masterson can be dominant at times. The A's will feature Jarrod Parker who has been very good at times himself. This game time is very hard for the A's since it will basically start at 9:05 A.M. for their internal West Coast clocks.
- The Orioles over the White Sox: Not feeling great about this pick. Zach Britton has provided so many bad memories but seems to be pitching well now. Jose Quintana just seems like a disaster waiting to happen, but it never seems to come. That is almost an art form. Who knows.
- The Mets over the Phillies: This one also vexes. Jon Niese is better than his record and is frustrating in that he doesn't put it all together. Kyle Kendrick seems to be over-achieving this season. Again, ou pick em.
- The Mariners over the Twins: A third straight "Have no idea" game. Brian Duensing has been a disaster. But the Mariners don't have a big offense. That seems to mitigate some of the damage the Twins' pitcher can do. On the other hand, Blake Beavan has had some good outings in between some real clunkers. So which one will this be?
- The Brewers over the Cubs: The Brewers have been open in their desire to trade Shaun Marcum. There are teams where he could be useful as he has some talent. A good effort here will help the scouting reports. Brooks Raley will not be allowed to go more than five innings. That is too many outs for that bullpen.
- The Nationals over the Cardinals: The Cardinals have a tough schedule here. The Nationals are the best team in the National League. But the best team doesn't always win. Since he came back from the DL, Jaime Garcia has excelled once and stunk once. Which is the real deal? This picker thinks the latter. Edwin Jackson is not picnic to pick either.
- The Giants over the Astros: Ryan Vogelsong has given up a lot of home runs lately. Fortunately, that is not a problem facing the Astros. Jordan Lyles was rewarded with a win in his last start for going out there every fifth day and trying to hold back an army with a pea shooter. That win will have to last him a while.
- The Royals over the Tigers: Good for the Tigers. They are finally playing a team that is more frustrating than they are. Frankly, this picker is tired of picking the Tigers to win night after night with quiet desperation. Jeremy Guthrie will have a good night and Rick Porcello will make a mistake or three.
- The Angels over the Red Sox: Zack Greinke will shut the Red Sox down and Jon Lester runs into the bats of Trout, Trumbo and company.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: What a difference a year makes. Last year, Ian Kennedy took on all the aces like Clayton Kershaw and beat them. Not this year.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays won't play the Rays as tough as they do the Yankees. A sweep would not be surprising. Matt Moore should pitch well and the Rays can squeak enough runs off of Carlos Villanueva to win the game.
Games of the Day: 80-61