Yesterday's picks did little to pull the month up to water level. Nine of the sixteen picks were correct. But when you consider that both ends of the Phillies - Rockies double header were picked correctly, the rest of the picks were basically a dead heat. The AL East is really messing up the picks. Every single game of the Yankees - Orioles series was picked incorrectly. Four in a row! The same went for the Red Sox - Blue Jays series. The picks were, however, dead on for the entire Rangers - Rays series. Not to whine or anything, but having to pick the Dodgers with Clayton Kershaw on the line was unfair since he was later scratched. The Dodgers would not have been picked if Joe Blanton was the scheduled pitcher.
The Game of the Day feature is on a major roll. That pick has been correct eight days in a row.
There are ten games on Monday's schedule with a full one-third of teams getting a day off. Thankfully, five of those ten teams are the AL East teams. Phew! At least those games can't get today's picks all fouled up. Monday's picks:
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Kyle Kendrick has really been a nice surprise so far this season. Part of his success comes from walking only four batters in his last five starts. Limiting free passes gains a pick in this picker's book. Wade LeBlanc isn't pitching terribly himself. But the pick goes to Kendrick.
- The Reds over the Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez has been good for the Pirates and has given them a few rare quality starts lately as the pitching of the Pirates has fallen off lately. But he faces Mat Latos, who has been getting stronger and stronger as the season goes along. He has been the once constant since Johnny Cueto has fallen off some.
- The Cubs over the Astros: Chris Volstad finally won two games and was looking sort of good again. And then in his last outing, got absolutely bombed. Perhaps he will win his third game against the Astros. Dallas Keuchel goes for the 'Stros.
- The Brewers over the Braves: The Braves might be a bit flat after traveling overnight from New York to Milwaukee. Mike Minor has been a hot pitcher but perhaps will have Ryan Braun run into one of his fastballs in this one. Wily Peralta was still throwing 96 MPH gas into the seventh inning in his first start. The guy has a big time arm, but does he have enough secondary stuff to survive?
- The Twins over the Indians: Somehow, it doesn't seem that Justin Masterson will survive an outing against the Twins with 80 percent fastballs. Meanwhile, Sam Deduno should hold the Indians down to three runs or so.
- The Tigers over the White Sox: The Tigers can't seem to beat anyone except the White Sox, which is strange. Rick Porcello will be decent and Jose Quintana has seemingly run out of gas. This picker would have skipped his turn in this one.
- The Giants over the Rockies: Ryan Vogelsong has fallen on hard times and has really tanked his last four starts. His job won't get easier at Coors Field. Meanwhile, Alex White struggles along for his weekly 75 pitches but the Rockies' bullpen has really done the job after those pitch limits have been reached. The heart wants to suck this pick over to the Rockies, but the head is screaming, "Giants!"
- The Angels over the Athletics: The Angels seemed to step it into another gear when Dan Haren started pitching better again. This is a big match up for both teams as they fight for a wild card spot. The Angels are the chasers and the hottest team in baseball right now. The A's have been good too and Jarrod Parker needs to have a big game. But the Angels seem to be the right pick here.
- The Padres over the Cardinals: Jaime Garcia may snarl at reporters who ask him about his road splits, but they are a huge problem and though the Padres play in a big park, it is still an away outing for Garcia. Meanwhile, the best lineup in the NL faces a very good pitcher in Eric Stults, who is 5-2 with a terrific ERA.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Nationals over the Mets: The Mets have fallen on really hard times and the Braves really wiped them out over the weekend. Now the Nats come to Citi Field and things won't get any easier. Gio Gonzalez will go for the Nationals and Collin McHugh pitches for the Mets. McHugh was great his first outing and then got torched by the Cards in his second outing.
Games of the Day: 88-63