Friday was highly successful and it could not have come at a better time. With sixteen games being played, a great day with the picks could rescue a week that had two really bad days. And that is just what happened. Only four picks were incorrect. Those plucky Twins beat the Red Sox, 6-5. Justin Morneau and Jimmy Carroll each went 4-4 and Carroll drove in the winning run. The Marlins, behind Josh Johnson, won the second game of their double- header with the Nationals. A sweep was predicted. The White Sox never gave up after blowing a four-run lead and came back to beat the Angels. And R.A. Dickey lost a heart- breaker to the Padres as Clayton Richard pitched well and the Mets' defense let Dickey down. Those were the only four incorrect picks all day.
It would be nice to have another good day on Saturday to end the week looking like it was a good week. Here are Saturday's picks:
- The Yankees over the Mariners: This could be a tough day for the Yankee hitters as Felix Hernandez already beat the Yankees his last time out. But that was in Seattle and this one is at the Stadium in the Bronx. Hiroki Kuroda needs to come up big for the Yankees. And my my my my Kuroda has been brilliant in day games this season.
- The Athletics over the Blue Jays: Ricky Romero has not been good and that is putting it politely. On the other hand, A.J. Griffin has been very good, particularly at home in Oakland where this one is being played.
- The Rangers over the Royals: Scott Feldman has slowly gotten better as the season has progressed. He should hold the Royals back enough so that the Rangers have time to dispatch with Will Smith. Smith has trouble with left-handed swingers so look for Josh Hamilton to do something big today.
- The Phillies over the Diamondbacks: The feeling here is that Roy Halladay has been somewhat forgotten this season and he will have a great day and make people remember that he is the best pitcher of this generation. Joe Saunders will not get in the way of that happening.
- The Tigers over the Indians: The Indians have become a sad bunch and simply aren't scaring anyone. Sure, Ubaldo Jimenez could have a big game. But Doug Fister will match him and the Tigers can win late if they need to.
- The Nationals over the Marlins: Here is the thing: Mark Buehrle keeps his team in the game almost all of the time. But he will always give up three or four runs. The Marlins have trouble scoring three or four runs, and that is the problem. Jordan Zimmermann sure has a good season going.
- The White Sox over the Angels: Tough pick here. Neither Gavin Floyd nor Ervin Santana are a joy to pick to win a ballgame. That being said, it will come down to the bullpens. The White Sox have a better pen than the Angels and hence the final decision on the pick.
- The Rays over the Orioles: The bad news for the Orioles is that they never score many runs off of Jeremy Hellickson. The good news is that the Rays have trouble scoring runs and should struggle against Wei-Yin Chen. But the Rays always find a way to win these kinds of games.
- The Astros over the Braves: This is the upset pick of the month and a scary one. Lucas Harrell has been good for the Astros but always loses. But this pick is based on it being Paul Maholm's first start for the Braves. The first start for any pitcher traded this season has been awful. Look it up. Not a gem in the lot.
- The Red Sox over the Twins: Clay Buccholz has come on strong and is having a very good season. Too bad he has so little help in the rotation. Cole De Vries has been decent, but decent isn't usually good enough against the Red Sox' lineup.
- The Pirates over the Reds: Wow, is this a tough pick! Both James McDonald and Mike Leake have struggled lately. Which one bounces back tonight? McDonald has the kind of stuff to overcome the small ballpark. Not sure Leake does. No clue on this one.
- The Giants over the Rockies: Madison Bumgarner has decent numbers at Coors Field and decent is all the Giants will need here. Jeff Francis is a battler, but the Giants win this one.
- The Padres over the Mets: Edinson Volquez is no picnic to pick to win a ballgame. But this picker can't see Jeremy Hefner winning a game for the Mets either. Going with the Padres.
- The Dodgers over the Cubs: Chris Volstad is back for the Cubs after that team traded everyone else away. You have to feel bad for Volstad in how his career path has gone downhill. But picking games isn't about sympathy and neither is Clayton Kershaw, who was back to being dominant his last time out.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Cardinals over the Brewers: The Cardinals rarely lose to the Brewers in their home ballpark and today should not be any different. Adam Wainwright will have a good game and even if he doesn't, Mark Rogers will only go five or six innings for the Brewers and that terrible bullpen of theirs will have to get twelve outs. Good luck with that.
Games of the Day: 65-50