The last day of September. Can you believe it? There are just four days left to the season. The AL East is dead even and is really the only race left in doubt. The Tigers are up two with just four to play. All they have to do is win. The wild card is still a little in doubt in the AL but set in the NL, or at least it should be. It must be a ESPN/MLB Network/TBS dream to have all eyes on the AL East. There goes that bias again!
All the while, those games have to be sorted out and predicted. There are sixteen games on the schedule just today as the game in Texas was rained out yesterday. So let's get right to it and see this thing to the end:
- The Rangers over the Angels: This double-header is not what the doctor ordered for the Angels. Sweeping such a thing is difficult. Doing so is doubly difficult in the home park of the AL West leader. Yu Darvish has been amazing in September. Zack Greinke has been amazing for five innings at a time.
- The Royals over the Indians: Luke Hochevar versus Zach McAllister. One of them has to win.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: This pick is still going by what should happen and not by what is going to happen. Yesterday's Yankee loss was so totally unbelievable and so costly and so stupid, it is tempting to just write them off the rest of the season. And that can still happen. Henderson Alvarez should pose no problem for the Yankees lineup. And as always, everything depends on how sharp Phil Hughes is.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: It is not how you finish, it is how the whole season went. Cole Hamels should beat Nathan Eovaldi eighteen of twenty times they ever faced each other. So that's the pick.
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: Did you see how the Red Sox changed their rotation around to save Buchholz and Lester for the Yankees and pitched all their worst guys against the Orioles? There aught to be a law against that kind of gamesmanship and bitter payback. Joe Saunders is slightly more able to bring a win home than Zach Stewart. That's the third Zach/Zack starting tonight.
- The Pirates over the Reds: Baseball history is littered with guys on nineteen wins who get stuck there with one last chance to win twenty. This year, that guy will be Johnny Cueto. Wandy Rodriguez is going to beat him.
- The Tigers over the Twins: The Tigers seized the moment (for the most part) and put the division away when they had to. That is no ringing endorsement for a team that does not field well and has two or three holes in its lineup. But they got it done. Yes, there are four games left and the lead is only two. But it is over. Anibal Sanchez versus Liam Hendriks.
- The Brewers over the Astros: Two teams just playing out the season. But, there are some personal accomplishments yet to be written, so it is still interesting. Jordan Lyles cannot get through the fifth inning. Mike Fiers should not have any major difficulty here.
- The Bay Rays over the White Sox: David Price seals off his best season yet and a worthy candidacy for CYA talk. Jose Quintana has been a nice surprise for the White Sox, but the Rays will take this one behind Price.
- The Cardinals over the Nationals: The Cardinals are going to haunt this picker until the end, aren't they? Lance Lynn has been better since rejoining the rotation. Ross Detwiler is a decent pitcher, but won't be able to hold down the Cardinals offense.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: This is a tough one. Erasmo Ramirez has an exciting arm and could have a big strikeout day. But the pick goes to Tommy Milone, who is pretty darned tough at home.
- The Giants over the Padres: Tim Lincecum has a tuneup before the playoffs and pitches decent for six innings. The Giants have a little uprising against Edinson Volquez and win the game.
- The Diamondbacks over the Cubs: The Cubs are still working on history here going for a season of zero wins against the NL West on the road. Can they do it? Most likely. Chris Rusin is okay but Josh Collmenter will pitch five or six innings band be better.
- The Dodgers over the Rockies: The Rockies have been featuring some kind of Triple A lineup lately. That doesn't help Jorge De La Rosa any. Josh Beckett hasn't gotten a lot of run support since joining the Dodgers. Maybe they will get him a couple today.
- The Angels over the Rangers: Ervin Santana has had a good finish to what was an ugly start of a season. He should be better than a struggling Derek Holland, whose season has been a disappointment.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Braves over the Mets: Kris Medlen. Is there more detail than that needed? Jenrry Mejia won't be able to keep up.
Last week: 56-41
Games of the Day: 104-66