Friday's game picks started out the day 0-5. That was a bummer as the Yankees, Blue Jays, Pirates and Reds all lost. And so a final tally of 8-7 with a correct Game of the Day pick doesn't seem as awful as it usually does. If you want to look at it another way, the last ten picks went 8-2. And of course, one of those two was the Cardinals. Naturally. Let's just chuck the whole day out to the difficult column and move on.
September has been an extremely difficult month for the picks. Like yesterday, the entire month has been like that as teams are stumbling toward the home stretch. When you think about it, the only "hot" teams are the teams behind in the wild card race like the Phillies and the Brewers. Well, that's not entirely true. The A's and O's have been hot. And what an epic series that is going to turn out to be. The Orioles finally lost a one-run game. Will they lose another? We'll find out together as we peruse Friday's picks:
- The Pirates over the Cubs: These are the picks that give you nightmares. The Cubs will start Jason Berken. Berken has a career 1.661 WHIP in the majors, all in the American League with the Orioles. The Orioles put him on waivers and the Cubs picked him up. How will he fare in the NL with a new club? Who knows. The Pirates start Wandy Rodriguez, who is somewhat of a known entity.
- The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: Went with the Blue Jays yesterday and that did not work out so well. Clay Buchholz is the Red Sox most consistent pitcher and should pitch well. Carlos Villanueva can be good at times too. Another tough game to call.
- The Twins over the White Sox: This is an upset pick. Francisco Liriano goes against his former team and that went well the first time, but little has gone well for Liriano since. Meanwhile, Samuel Deduno has been very good for the Twins and should keep them in the game.
- The Tigers over the Indians: These are the kinds of games the Tigers have lost all season. They have no more margin for error and need to win. Anibal Sanchez has been up and down since acquired by the Tigers. Justin Masterson has been more down than up this season.
- The Rays over the Yankees: Ivan Nova has been on the shelf. Before he went on the shelf, he had been awful. James Shields has been terrific for the Rays. The Yankees sure look vulnerable coming down the stretch.
- The Nationals over the Braves: Two untrustworthy pitchers in Edwin Jackson and Tommy Hanson. So then, what do you do? You go with the better team. The Nationals are the better team.
- The Angels over the Royals: The temptation to be cute and pick the Royals is strong because Jeremy Guthrie is so good lately. And the Royals would love to beat up on Zack Greinke as he left on unfavorable terms. But the Angels should win this one no matter how cute the pick looks.
- The Marlins over the Reds: Is Johnny Cueto alright? He has not looked good for his last several outings. And that is not good news with the Reds heading into the playoffs. Mark Beuhrle will do his usual seven innings with three runs allowed. Everything else depends on how well Cueto does.
- The Brewers over the Mets: What a mess this pick is. Shaun Marcum has been uninspiring at best and terrible at worst. The Mets go with a guy, Jenrry Mejia, who has never won a big league game and has pitched two big league innings over the last two seasons.
- The Rangers over the Mariners: Yu Darvish has been horrible against the Mariners all season and broke that bugaboo yesterday. Scott Feldman has been horrible against the Mariners and will break that today. Jason Vargas is a good pitcher, but the Rangers are too good at home to lose this one.
- The Diamondbacks over the Giants: Wade Miley gets the win in this one over Barry Zito. With the win, Miley all but seals up the Rookie of the Year vote.
- The Padres over the Rockies: In a battle of young guns, Casey Kelly pitches better than Drew Pomeranz in San Diego. Both pitchers will probably pitch well. Another toss up game.
- The Athletics over the Orioles: Fascinating series this one. The A's got first blood. Zach Britton goes for the Orioles and he was pretty shaky his last start. Jarrod Parker is capable of really shutting down any team, especially in his home park.
- The Dodgers over the Cardinals: Jaime Garcia on the road? Uh, no thanks. Joe Blanton against the Cardinal lineup? Oy. Not much better. It doesn't matter, no Cardinal pick is ever correct here anyway. It is a given.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Phillies over the Astros: The schedule is so important in these stretch situations. The Phillies have a soft one and the Astros provide little resistance. Dallas Keuchel is not going to slow the Phillies down. Kyle Kendrick has been solid for the Phillies.
Games of the Day: 92-63