Major League Baseball has this Opening Day thing all wrong. On Opening Day of the season, every team should be in action. It should be one grand celebration across the land. Instead, there are twelve games today after one last night and the Orioles, Blue Jays, Rays and Indians do not even play their first game until tomorrow. Plus, two of the games will be at night on the West Coast so that most of the country will be in bed before they start. This needs to be fixed, Bud Selig. Not only should Opening Day include baseball for all fans and all of the games should be day games, but it should be brought to Congress to make a national holiday so that we can all stay home and bask it in.
Ah well. We make do with what we have. The very first Game Pick of the season was successful as the Astros won their first game in their new league. As also predicted, the loss for the Rangers sent their Twitter followers into a tizzy and already Ron Washington should be fired, Ian Kinsler should be traded and Derek Lowe will never recover.
The second day of Opening Day picks:
- The Yankees over the Red Sox: I don't think the Yankees will really win. Sabathia never pitches well against Boston and the Yankees' patchwork offense has more holes than a mobster on Valentine's Day. But they are the Yankees, man. C.C. Sabathia over Jon Lester. Mariano Rivera with the save.
- The Nationals over the Marlins: Two teams heading in different directions. Ricky Nolasco is capable of a good start. Juan Pierre, if he gets on base, could be a problem. But the pick is with Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals to begin their assault on the NL East.
- The Pirates over the Cubs: A.J. Burnett gets off to a fast start, Russell Martin hits a homer (Yankee fans gnash their teeth) and Jeff Samardzija gets the hard luck loss.
- The Brewers and the Rockies: If Jhoulys Chacin is your Opening Day starter, that is a bit of a problem, no? Yovani Gallardo is a notoriously slow starter, but he should get the win for the Brewers at home.
- The Reds over the Angels: I give this game to the Reds because the game is in Cincinnati and already an American League team must go without the DH. Jered Weaver will get tagged for at least one homer in that little ballpark and Johnny Cueto will prove that last year was not a one time thing.
- The Tigers over the Twins: Vance Worley might be the best starting pitcher the Twins have had in a couple of years, but he faces Justin Verlander. And even though the Twins start out at home, it will be with a loss. The Tigers still seem a bit creaky to me, but they will hit.
- The Royals over the White Sox: Chris Sale was outstanding last year and despite the fact that he looks like he will break at any second, he should be the White Sox' best pitcher again this year. But when was the last time the Royals got to start the season with a pitcher as good as James Shields?
- The Dodgers over the Giants: Right out of the chute, the big rich upstart Dodgers face the World Champion Giants. Fascinating. So too is the match up of Clayton Kershaw versus Matt Cain. The Dodgers are at home, so the pick has to go that way.
- The Phillies over the Braves: This is one non-home game pick. The Phillies are pitching Cole Hamels and since he is my Cy Young Award pick for 2013, I have to go with him over the venerable Tim Hudson. One of the Uptons will homer though.
- The Mariners over the Athletics: Okay all you hitters that enjoyed the warm Arizona air. Welcome to Oakland where your bats turn to sawdust. This will be a pitchers' duel between Felix Hernandez and Brett Anderson. The last bullpen standing will win.
- The Cardinals over the Diamondbacks: I still don't understand what the Diamondbacks are doing. It was defense that won them the division two seasons ago and they traded most of it away. Ian Kennedy needs good defense as he is a BABIP pitcher. Going with Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals to win.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Mets over the Padres: Jon Niese's wife will be wearing her blue panties, so he has to win The Mets and Yankees both opening at home is interesting. Edinson Volquez is the Padres' Opening Day starter!? Umm...
This week: 1-0