Tough day for the old picker yesterday. With only four correct picks in nine attempts, a couple of upset picks did not pan out and Mariano Rivera blew a save. Is this going to be a long season in San Diego? Only four players have had any hits for that team in the first two games. They may never score a run. Brandon McCarthy wasn't as good yesterday as expected and the Mariners scored seven runs in their game against Oakland. At least Yoenis Cespedes hit another homer to give the A's fans something to talk about. The Game of the Day feature is 2-0 so far. The Angels did indeed dispatch the Royals, but it wasn't Bruce Chen's fault. He blanked the Angels for six innings. It was the KC bullpen that gave up the game. Jered Weaver was fabulous.
Today is baseball's official Opening Day. Well...that should be rephrased. Baseball doesn't consider today Opening Day but this picker does because it will be the first time all 30 teams will be in action. Now that is Major League Baseball! For the first time this season, fifteen picks can be pondered. How much fun is that!? Here goes:
- The Blue Jays over the Indians: Brandon Morrow is better on the road than he is at home and the game is in Cleveland. Ubaldo Jimenez gives no confidence these days and can't be trusted.
- The Cubs over the Nationals: Gio Gonzalez will be fine for the Nationals, but Matt Garza will be too much for the Nationals to handle. Garza is going to have a big year for the Cubs. The only question is if the Cubs' bullpen can bounce back from a horrid opening day.
- The Braves over the Mets: Jair Jurrjens is a bit of a concern, but look for Dan Uggla or Freeman to go deep on Dickey.
- The Tigers over the Red Sox: Is Doug Fister the second coming of Greg Maddux? He sure seemed like it last year for the Tigers. Meanwhile, Josh Beckett has a bad thumb on his pitching hand and is a bit dubious to take here.
- The Angels over the Royals: The feeling here is that Luke Hochevar is going to have a good season. But even so, Dan Haren should be better and shuts down the Royals' offense.
- The Diamondbacks over the Giants: Madison Bumgarner is now the Giants' best pitcher. But he faces the tough Daniel Hudson who also pitched well against the Giants last year. But those Giants did not include Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera. Still can't believe the Melkman is this good!
- The Brewers over the Cardinals: Haven't picked the Cardinals yet this season and they are 2-0. This picker should learn from mistakes, right? But Zack Greinke is going to be a Cy Young Award candidate this season, just watch. Adam Wainwright makes his debut for the Cardinals after missing all of last season.
- The Rockies over the Astros: It would go against every rooting Fan grain to pick against Jamie Moyer. It just would. And he has an excellent chance to win against an Astros team that can't hit and made four errors in their debut game yesterday. Lucas Harrell goes for the Astros.
- The Twins over the Orioles: The Orioles are the better team, but Francisco Liriano looked great in the preseason and Tommy Hunter never inspires much confidence.
- The Reds over the Marlins: Mat Latos is really good. And he makes his season debut for the Reds. Ricky Nolasco looked better this spring than he did last year, but the Reds' offense should get to him in that bandbox of a stadium. Look for Votto to do some damage. This picker's early view of the Marlins as contenders is starting to dry up.
- The Bay Rays over the Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda makes his debut for the Yankees and should do well enough. David Price goes for the Bay Rays. Price hasn't seemed as dominant, but Joe Girardi is trying to prove he is as good a manager as Joe Maddon and it is not working. His cute line up today is a case in point.
- The Rangers over the White Sox: Derek Holland is really good. Much better than people think. Jake Peavy was once really good. Now he's just a guy throwing junk and trying to prolong his career. Adam Dunn seems like he is back though.
- The Dodgers over the Padres: The Padres may never score a run this season. The Dodgers are starting to look like a team that can have a surprisingly good season. Chris Capuano is going to like pitching in the west. Dustin Moseley goes for the Padres and gets yet another hard luck loss.
- The Mariners over the Athletics: Bartolo Colon really shut down the Mariners his first time out. What are the odds of a repeat? Long. Felix Hernandez goes for the Mariners. He should get the win.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Phillies over the Pirates: Cliff Lee. Hate the guy. Just hate him. But he is very, very good. So the respect is there. He will beat Jeff Karstens and the Pirates. The prediction here is that the Pirates get four hits, tops.
Games of the Day: 2-0