Short schedule days like yesterday are usually troublesome because there is not enough games to make up for bad picks. But yesterday turned out okay as only two picks were incorrect. The first was the Tigers, who have really dug themselves a hole now and are three games back of the White Sox. They had a nice lead and to the White Sox's credit, could not hold on and win. The other bad pick was the Rays, who have really hit hard times and could not beat the Red Sox yesterday. They could not beat Aaron Cook even. The pick for the Orioles was completely correct. Way to put your best foot forward and start Hector Noesi, Mariners. Nice job. Not.
Tuesday, of course, brings us back to a full schedule. After a dry summer, Mother Nature is starting to rear her ugly side. Games on the schedule are going to be tough and go for a while with the weather pattern we are now in, particularly on the East Coast. Hopefully, all the games will be played. And the picks:
- The Nationals over the Dodgers: The Dodgers are in a precarious situation and losing Clayton Kershaw certainly does not help. Aaron Harang is decent enough at times in his home ballpark, but put him on the road and anything can happen. Jordan Zimmermann needs to have a good start as people are starting to be concerned about him.
- The Brewers over the Pirates: This is a tough pick. Both teams have an outside shot at the last wild card spot. Both are sending out good pitchers in A.J. Burnett and Yovani Gallardo. The pick ultimately comes down to the offensive squads of each team. And the Brewers simply have a better offense.
- The Indians over the Twins: Both teams are sending out converted relievers to starters in P.J. Walters and David Huff. Been a long time since the latter appeared in these picks. This picker used to call him David Hassle-Huff.
- The Tigers over the Athletics: Two teams that need wins. Both are putting out great, great pitchers. This game could go either way and about a thousand strikeouts will be recorded in this one as Max Scherzer duels A.J. Griffin. The thought here is that the only hit of the day might be a Miguel Cabrera homer.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: Ricky Romero is still trying to figure out how this season went so badly. Once considered the ace of this staff, Romero has fallen on tough, tough times. Andy Pettitte makes his first start back for the Yankees. Four or five innings might be the max. But the Yankees have lots of long options behind him with the expanded roster.
- The Braves over the Marlins: There have lots of great pitching match ups in the picks thus far today. This is not one of them. Paul Maholm has not been good for the Braves since coming over and Nathan Eovaldi has not been good for the Marlins since his arrival there. A game of attrition and bullpens here. The Braves win that battle.
- The Rays over the Red Sox: Felix Doubront needs to grow up a little. After watching his last couple of games, the same thing happens over and over. He gets ticked off at a couple of calls by the home plate ump and then loses his cool and gives up runs. Then he blames the ump. Not cool. Jeremy Hellickson should model better behavior and in the end, better pitching.
- The Mets over the Phillies: This is a long shot. But this is also Matt Harvey's last start of the season. He should take advantage and throw everything he's got in this one. And what he's got is very good. The Phillies start Tyler Cloyd. Color this picker less than impressed.
- The Reds over the Cubs: Homer Bailey has had a good September so far and should be able to navigate the Cubs' lineup somewhat effectively. Justin Germano is not having a good time in the majors so far. Isn't it amazing that Alfonso Soriano has driven in over 100 runs? He could have helped someone down the stretch.
- The White Sox over the Royals: While the fact that Gavin Floyd is the White Sox' starter is not a thrilling prospect, the White Sox should be feeling mighty good about themselves right now and should go on a roll. Luke Hochevar stands in the way...whatever that means...
- The Padres over the Diamondbacks: Eric Stults has been amazing, hasn't he? He is a big part of the Padres' great second half and a good hope for next season. Ian Kennedy has been confusing this year. His follow up season to last year's twenty-win season has had some positives, but it's been bumpy.
- The Rangers over the Angels: It seems rather foolish for this picker to always pick against Jered Weaver. All he is, is 17-4. So the picks have been wrong at least a dozen times. Perhaps it is because this picker simply hates the guy. So take that into account, you faithful readers. Going with Ryan Dempster instead. [shrug]
- The Orioles over the Mariners: Once again, the Mariners throw their best pitchers at the O's. Last night it was Noesi, tonight, it is Erasmo Ramirez. (eyeroll). Wei-Yin Chen has fallen off a little bit and the Mariners hit lefties better than the other side. But the Orioles win this one.
- The Giants over the Rockies: It seems safe to jump in the Tim Lincecum pool again. He should be decent enough at home to win. Jeff Francis really shouldn't be much of an obstacle.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Cardinals over the Astros: Doggone it, Cardinals, you can't screw this one up, can you? Kyle Lohse should always be better than Fernando Abad. Always.
Games of the Day: 94-64 thirty games over!