October baseball! Is this going to be a fascinating week or what? Nobody has captured what this week will be better than Jeff Passan in his weekly "Ten Degrees" post. If you haven't seen it, by all means, read it. You can skip all the stuff about the MVP and awards if you want (for now) and just head to the section on all the scenarios that can play out this week. It is brilliant writing and amazing what the possibilities are. If your favorite team is involved this week, good luck!
As for yesterday, ten of the sixteen picks were correct, which, when considering that both ends of the Texas - Angels double-header were picked incorrectly, was pretty good picking. Can we talk a moment about the Game of the Day feature? That feature picks what this picker considers to be the most obvious and easy game to be correctly picked. It could be called the, "no-brainer," of the day. Except, it wasn't for most of the season. At one point, the feature was scuffling and its record stood at 72-56. Since that point, the feature has gone on a 33-10 run. Not too shabby.
- The Braves over the Pirates: Poor Jeff Locke has made nine major league starts in his career and hasn't won any of them. Tonight will be the tenth. Paul Maholm will try to make a bid for a playoff start if the Braves were to win the wild card play-in or whatever it is called.
- The Yankees over the Red Sox - The Red Sox have reserved all of their remaining energy to knock off the Yankees this series. It is obvious. They saved their best pitchers just to knock the Yankees off. Though it is unseemly, that's the way it is. C.C. Sabathia needs to be dominant to overcome the good game Clay Buchholz will pitch.
- The White Sox over the Indians: The White Sox must think they have nothing to lose because they are starting Hector Santiago. And really, they don't. All the Tigers have to do is win one of three. As for the Indians, if you say Corey Kluber out loud and make it sort of sing-songy, it sounds like something that chef in the Muppets would say. Try it. You'll see.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: Did this picker read that Ryan Howard broke his toe? Is that right or was it some sort of dream from last night? Anyway, John Lannon has already beat the Phillies once and will do it again. Kyle Kendrick has had a decent season for himself.
- The Twins over the Blue Jays: Aaron Laffey is in uncharted waters with his inning count. Esmerling Vasquez looked great against the Yankees. And somebody has to win the battle of these also-rans.
- The Rays over the Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen has looked like he is tired his last few starts. His stuff hasn't been nearly as sharp. And you know the Rays live for these kinds of moments to somehow miraculously get into the post season with a late run. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Rays.
- The Marlins over the Mets: Who the heck is Jeurys Familia? Whoever he is, he is starting for the Mets tonight. Sheesh. Never heard of the guy. Josh Johnson goes for the Marlins.
- The Astros over the Cubs: There is no real reason for this pick. Two bad teams just playing one last series to end the season. But this picker would love to see Lucas Harrell's season end with a .500 record just because he has become a fond pick this long season. Jason Berken goes for the Cubs.
- The Tigers over the Royals: The Tigers just need one win to clinch. That should happen tonight despite Rick Porcello getting the start. Bruce Chen tries to get in the way for the Royals.
- The Brewers over the Padres: Ryan Braun will try to add to his MVP case in one last burst of play and Shaun Marcum will try to pitch his third good game in a row to boost his free agent case when he hits the open market this off season. Clayton Richard is never a good pick when not in a big ballpark.
- The Cardinals over the Reds: Dusty Baker will be back in the dugout. Will that be an emotional boost for the Reds? Can Bronson Arroyo slow down the Cardinals' bats? Unlikely. Will Jaime Garcia throw a great fourth game in a row? He will need to.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Drew Pomeranz did finally win a game his last time out. But Wade Miley needs to put an exclamation point on his Rookie of the Year Award case. A bad outing by Miley would kill his chances.
- The Athletics over the Rangers: Gosh, the Rangers have hit a buzz saw to end this season. The AL West is as good as the AL East now. And the Rangers have to end their season in that death trap in Oakland called "The Coliseum" Jarrod Parker is very good at home and the Rangers have to start Martin Perez!? Ugh. That's not good.
- The Angels over the Mariners: There are two big problems with this pick. And they make this pick seriously challenging. First, Felix Hernandez starts for the Mariners. Secondly, C.J. Wilson starts for the Angels and the Mariners hit left-handed pitching better than right-handed ones. But the Angels have to win to have any shot.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Giants over the Dodgers: Matt Cain and the Giants will take great pleasure in ending the Dodgers' season and making sure they take their high priced talent home for the playoffs. Aaron Harang will be entrusted to give the Dodgers hope. And that last sentence is one of the big reasons the boys in blue will not make it this year.
September: 226-184 .551
Games of the Day: 105-66