Finally! A September breakthrough and a great day of picks. With seventeen picks to choose from, only four ended up being incorrect. The second game of the Nationals and Dodgers was incorrect. The Nats almost came back in the game, but the Dodgers held on to the thread of their playoff hopes. The Orioles kept the game tied during Felix Hernandez's innings and won again in extra innings. Amazing. Bruce Chen out-dueled Chris Sale and the White Sox lost. How improbable was that sentence? And the last of the four was picking the Angels to beat the Rangers. That particular game was a pick that was originally typed correct and changed after mulling it over. Always go with your first instinct!
There are thirteen games on the Thursday schedule and seven of them are day games. How cool is that? Here are today's picks:
- The Twins over the Indians: Esmerling Vasquez versus Corey Kluber. Uhh...what the heck do you make of that?
- The Tigers over the Athletics: The Tigers are suddenly rolling. Anibal Sanchez is a good match up against the A's. He has the kind of stuff to miss bats. Tommy Milone has been terrific for the A's but not as terrific on the road.
- The Cardinals over the Astros: Of course Jaime Garcia is going to pitch well at home. And then the media will talk about how talented a pitcher he is. But then he'll pitch again on the road and be terrible. So, whatever. Bud Norris used to be considered a Cardinal killer. But those days are gone.
- The Diamondbacks over the Padres: Tyler Skaggs was bounced around by the Padres the last time he faced them. Let's see if the second time against them will be different. The D-backs have gotten the better of this series so far. Clayton Richard pitching in Arizona does not provide confidence for the Padres.
- The Giants over the Rockies: It will be nice to see Jorge De La Rosa again after a long absence with Tommy John surgery. It is hard to pick him when this is his first start since May of 2011. Barry Zito has burned this picker when picked against. Okay, he wins.
- The Brewers over the Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez has pitched well for the Pirates, but it seems the Pirates' offense has shut down for the season. That should help Mike Fiers win his tenth game and keep him in the ROY mix with a couple weeks to go.
- The Nationals over the Dodgers: Here is how this game is viewed: Ross Detwiler just has to keep on doing what he has been doing to win. Chris Capuano has to do much, much better than he has been doing to win. Advantage, Washington.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: Phil Hughes has been very good lately and will need to be against a somewhat decimated Blue Jays' lineup. He needs to come up big with his bullpen a bit gassed from the double-header. It does not seem possible that Aaron Laffey could hold the Yankees down for more than a few innings.
- The Bay Rays over the Red Sox: David Price is so good right now. He is the scariest pitcher in the American League to face this season. Clay Buchholz is very good too and will have to match Price for the Red Sox to have any chance in this one.
- The Mets over the Phillies: Go with the first instinct, right? The first instinct said that Jeremy Hefner will have a good day against the Phillies. It also said facing Tyler Cloyd gives the Mets' offense a fighting chance.
- The Royals over the White Sox: Going with Jeremy Guthrie in this one. He's found a new home in KC and is pitching really well. Francisco Liriano is always an adventure. He has the stuff to win every game. But will he harness it? Who knows.
- The Rangers over the Angels: This is a great match up of Zack Greinke against Yu Darvish. The pick here is that Darvish will be the better pitcher today.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Reds over the Cubs: There is a lot of concern in this seat about Johnny Cueto. He hasn't pitched well in quite a while. Is he hiding an injury? Did he hit a wall? Does he have a tired arm? If he does not pitch well today, more concern will be added. But the Reds should win against Jason Berken either way.
Games of the Day: 96-64