September had been a tough month for picking baseball games until the last four days. The last two days have been particularly good with the picks going 22-8 in that time span. But despite how good that makes a picker feel about himself, there is always the fact that the Mets were picked to win yesterday. Bwahahaha! How stupid was that!? They only lost by fifteen runs.The A's - Tigers game pick was also wildly incorrect. Lord have mercy, though, as two Cardinal picks in a row have been correct. Well, they did play the Astros, so it's not like that was a genius pick. And hey, how about a random note: We all know by now that bating average is not a stat with status like it used to be. But Mike Trout is batting .324 and Derek Jeter is batting .323. There is eighteen years difference in their ages.
Each game closer to the end of the season gets a little more suspenseful. And Friday will be no different. As all the teams get into action, there are still wild card and division races to be decided. The only teams that can cruise a bit are the Giants, Nats and Reds. Here are Friday's picks:
- The Cardinals over the Cubs: How big a surprise is it that Chris Carpenter is going to pitch a ballgame this season? Once you get over that surprise, how good can he do? Does the Cardinals' ragged bullpen going to be able to eat up twelve outs? Chris Volstad is not an automatic loss anymore.
- The Braves over the Phillies: This series should suck a little wind out of the Phillies' sails. The Braves are the better team. Although the Phillies are at home and that is a huge advantage. Tommy Hanson needs to step it up and the Braves need to get to Kyle Kendrick early.
- The Nationals over the Brewers: The Nats clinched a playoff spot, but that doesn't mean they are going to dry up. Of course, a victory is determined greatly by which Edwin Jackson shows up tonight. One never knows from start to start. The Brewers are in a bad spot when they are forced to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a start from Shaun Marcum.
- The Twins over the Tigers: Rick Porcello hasn't fared well when faced with having to get four outs every inning due to the Tigers' defense. He doesn't have put away stuff. Sam Deduno has been wild of late, but if he puts a good game together, he can beat these Tigers.
- The Yankees over the Athletics: Jarrod Parker made the Yankees look silly in Oakland, but he is not the same on the road. He has a 1.117 WHIP at home and a 1.441 WHIP on the road with double the homers allowed. Ichiro Suzuki is out of his mind hot right now. C.C. Sabathia faces a lineup that will either hit a homer, walk or strikeout. Sabathia needs the latter to happen the most.
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: Here is the Red Sox chance to avenge the Orioles for knocking them out of the playoffs last year. Nah. The Red Sox can't muster up anything right now. Miguel Gonzalez over Jon Lester.
- The Reds over the Dodgers: It just doesn't seem that the Dodgers are going to make it. Joe Blanton has not been much help. The offense sputters. The bullpen collapses. Just can't see them mustering a run. The Reds are on autopilot. Bronson Arroyo pitches for them today.
- The Marlins over the Mets: Which team is more dysfunctional right now between these two? Surprisingly it is not the Marlins. The Mets always find a way to lose a Jonathan Niese start. And Jacob Turner has looked pretty good for the Fish.
- The Astros over the Pirates: Yes, you read that right. Edgar Gonzalez is going to bamboozle the Pirates' weak lineup and Jeff Locke is not very good as a pitcher for the Pirates. This is a sad end for what has been a promising season for the Pirates and their fans. Would love to be wrong, but don't think so.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Wade Miley can do a lot for his ROY big with his sixteenth win tonight. But he will have to do it at Coors Field, which is not fun for a pitcher from away. Drew Pomeranz will get his 75 pitches, but how many innings will that cover?
- The Royals over the Indians: The Royals won a big game yesterday and that could propel them in this series. Luis Mendoza at least has a chance to win against the Indians. Justin Masterson has had a lost season and a loss tonight won't make it better.
- The White Sox over the Angels: Jake Peavy has to have heard stories that his option will not be picked up after the season. That is sure to put a bee in his bonnet. He'll have a good game and the White Sox will hit a couple of dingers off of Ervin Santana.
- The Rangers over the Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma is very tough in his home ballpark. But will the Mariners score any runs? That depends on Martin Perez and how effective he is and for how long. Perez can be dominating, but won't go long in the game.
- The Padres over the Giants: The Panda is back and mashing, but Ryan Vogelsong has suddenly lost his ability to get people out. That opens the door for Casey Kelly to have a dominant outing and to give his Padres a win.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Rays over the Blue Jays: The Jays hurt the Rays in Toronto, but it seems doubtful they can do it again. They just got swept by the Yankees. Though Carlos Villanueva is the team's best pitcher. James Shields faces a terrible lineup due to the Jays' injuries.
Games of the Day: 97-64