Saturday was a good game picking day, but that fact was somewhat ruined by the unexpected shutout thrown by Blake Beavan against the Texas Rangers. That was the Game of the Day and that feature took a hit for the first time in many a day. It was a crazy day in the AL East, but all the games finished up with their expected results, just not in the ways they were expected...if that makes sense. The Cardinals come from behind victory put them in the driver's seat for the second wild card as all their closest competitors lost yesterday.
Sixteen games are on the schedule today as the Tigers and the Twins make up their rain out from Friday. Here are Sunday's picks:
- The Tigers over the Twins: A lot here depends on how healthy Max Scherzer is. He left his last start early but says he is fine. We'll see. If he is not, then this pick is in trouble as are the Tigers. Scott Diamond is a pretty good pitcher for the Twins.
- The Yankees over the Athletics: The Yankees have won nine of their last ten and even had a rare comeback win yesterday. They have accepted the Orioles' challenge and continue to win. Hiroki Kuroda will need to keep away from the fat part of the bat from guys like Moss, Reddick and Cespedes. If he can do that, he should pitch well. A.J. Griffin looked unbeatable until his last start and the Yankees will look to avenge his defeat of them in Oakland.
- The Marlins over the Mets: Both teams are a mess and that has showed in various ways this series. The pick today is based on the pitching match ups as Ricky Nolasco is seriously better than Chris Young at this stage in Young's career.
- The Phillies over the Braves: This is a great pitching match up of Tim Hudson against Cliff Lee. The Phillies are still mathematically in the wild card race but are an improbably four games back of the Cardinals with two other teams to jump over. But they will keep trying. The Braves have pretty much clinched their spot.
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: The Red Sox cannot muster anything to even play the spoiler role. Alfredo Aceves seems to be on a one-man mission to undercut Valentine and why Valentine would pitch him at this point is strange, especially in any leveraged position. Chris Tillman will pitch a good game and the Orioles will get to Felix Doubront.
- The Brewers over the Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang is one of this picker's favorite players and would love to see him win. But it is not going to happen. Yovani Gallardo has been amazing in the second half and should be the pick as the Brewers still hope to overtake the Cardinals.
- The Pirates over the Astros: The Pirates' offense has dried up completely. But perhaps they can score a couple to support A.J. Burnett who has lost four straight despite pitching well. Jordan Lyles continues to plug along for the Astros and you have to admire the kid's pluck.
- The Royals over the Indians: This is an exciting day in Kansas City as one of their top pitching prospects, Jake Odorizzi makes his major league debut. He is used to facing AAAA players like the lineup the Indians have. Ouch, that was a bit harsh. But somewhat true just the same. David Huff (hassle-Huff) gets the start for the Indians.
- The Cardinals over the Cubs: Kyle Lohse has a really sick winning percentage. It should get even better today as Justin Germano has as bad a winning percentage as Lohse' is good.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Ian Kennedy really hasn't had that bad a follow up season to his 20-game one of a year ago. He could get his fifteenth win if he can limit the damage at Coors Field. Jeff Francis could always pitch a good game though.
- The Angels over the White Sox: The White Sox have run into a buzz saw this weekend as the Angels still hope they can sneak into the wild card slot. But they have the same long odds as the Rays. In either case, you have to pick Jered Weaver over Gavin Floyd.
- The Padres over the Giants: The Giants are probably going to be hung over today after celebrating clinching yesterday. And they are starting Yusmeiro Petit. Who? The Padres start a more known entity in Eric Stultz who has had a fine debut season.
- The Mariners over the Rangers: The Rangers don't like it up in the Northwest, do they? Ryan Dempster might enjoy pitching in a big park but Jason Vargas has had a good season too.
- The Tigers over the Twins: The Emoticon is back! Drew Smyly (emoticon;-a smyly face) goes for the Tigers and normally, that would seem to give the Twins an edge. But P.J. Walters goes for the Twins. Edge gone.
- The Reds over the Dodgers: Aaron Harang is pitching on short rest. That has disaster written all over it even if the Reds rest everybody. Homer Bailey ties up the Dodgers and out-pitches the guy anyway.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: The Rays are trying to stay relevant and have won a string of games in a row. But the hole they dug last week is impossible to get out of and the Orioles are not going to fold and once the A's get out of New York, they should be okay. It's still possible for the Rays to get back in it, but it will be a miracle. Jeremy Hellickson over Chad Jenkins. Chad Jenkins?
Last week: 57-36
Games of the Day: 98-65