On a day where five of the six division leaders lost games, a 9-6 picking day doesn't seem so bad. Almost all of those losses by the leaders were losses in the picks too. So the rest of the games went really well. The only other bad pick was a wild card leader, the Orioles. It was not a good day to be a front-runner. The Braves pick was correct, but it took a dramatic walk-off homer by Freeman to seal the game and the Braves wild card spot. The Cardinals were also correctly picked despite Jaime Garcia pitching on the road. The Cardinals have all but sealed their wild card berth. The wild card in the AL is still a bit of a scrum. The Orioles, still in the division race, look pretty safe, but the A's now lead the Angels by two and the Rays by three. It does not appear that as much drama will come down to the final game like it did last year. But you never know.
Counting down to that day means a full schedule on Wednesday. Only one of the games is a "getaway" day game. The picks:
- The Yankees over the Twins: Yeah, this pick did not work out yesterday. C.C. Sabathia goes for the Yankees and will need to be as good as he was in his last outing. The Twins have a good offense now. Samuel Deduno goes for the Twins and was rocked by the Tigers in his last outing. But as the Yankees showed yesterday, they can sometimes make marginal pitchers look like Cy Youngs.
- The Padres over the Dodgers: The Dodgers are all but done in the wild card race and are now four games back of the Cardinals. Kiss it goodbye. Aaron Harang should pitch well in his old home ballpark at Petco. But Clayton Richard is the new Harang in San Diego and pitches well there too.
- The Royals over the Tigers: This just makes sense. Every time the Tigers have fought back to tie the division lead, they've lost. Plus, Rick Porcello is their weakest starter. Plus, Jeremy Guthrie has been terrific for the Royals. It just make sense. It may end up being wrong. But that's the pick.
- The Orioles over the Blue Jays: Despite the Blue Jays winning the last two games of this series, the expectation has to be that the Orioles win behind Miguel Gonzalez. Though it must be said that two of his uglier outings this season have come against the Blue Jays. A lot will depend on Carlos Villanueva, who was good for most of the season but has hit a wall in his last four outings.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: Kyle Kendrick has had a solid season for the Phillies and he was good his last time out against the Braves. This pick assumes that the Nats will catch up with him though. Of course, John Lannon has to be a lot better than his last outing, which was terrible.
- The Marlins over the Braves: Will the Braves be hungover? Perhaps. Will they rest Chipper Jones? Probably. Is Paul Maholm reliable? Not usually. Will Josh Johnson pitch well? Ah, that is the million dollar question.
- The Reds over the Brewers: The Reds just keep rolling along and Bronson Arroyo is on a hot streak of great pitching. Another win will put a death spike in the Brewers all but lost hopes for the wild card position. Shaun Marcum will probably not last long.
- The Pirates over the Mets: Let's see: We have one pitcher, Jeff Locke, who has allowed five homers in his last fifteen innings and has never won a big league game. Then we have Jeremy Hefner, who in his last start, gave up six straight singles and a walk and was removed without getting anyone out. Yeah, that's a fun one to pick. Oh, heck. Locke has to win one of these days.
- The Bay Rays over the Red Sox: The never-say-die Rays will just keep winning in hopes to sneak into a wild card spot on the last day or something. Alex Cobb usually pitches well. Jon Lester is having a tough season. The Red Sox are moribund.
- The Athletics over the Rangers: The Rangers are fairly secure in the standings and Martin Perez is not a lock on any given night. The A's, on the other hand, have to win. Jarrod Parker is a good pitcher and will have to be at his best to win.
- The White Sox over the Indians: The White Sox have really squandered the last two weeks, haven't they? They need to start winning and win the rest of the way now. Unfortunately, they must depend on Hector Santiago to lead them. Justin Masterson goes for the Indians and has a bloody awful season. But is capable of shutting down a team.
- The Cubs over the Rockies: Drew Pomeranz is 1-9. The Rockies have brought low this once top prospect. Jason Berken looked good in his last outing, but is still...you know...Jason Berken. Toss up in this one.
- The Angels over the Mariners: C.J. Wilson was not good in his last start. And he faces Felix Hernandez. That's not good for him. But as we've learned over the years, just because King Felix is pitching, that doesn't always translate to wins for the Mariners. The Angels must win to stay within two.
- The Giants over the Diamondbacks: The Giants are just playing out the season. Matt Cain is making it look easy this season. Wade Miley is gunning for Rookie of the Year though. So it won't be an easy win. But it will be a win.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Cardinals over the Astros: It's hard to believe that Chris Carpenter is back. And he looked pretty much like Chris Carpenter in his first outing. He gets the Astros and faces the Cards' old nemesis, Bud Norris. But the Cards have handled him fairly easily in the last few head to head match ups.
Games of the Day: 101-65