Yu Darvish came as close as you can get to a perfect game and not get one. But the Game Picks did not come close to having a perfect night. The picks could have come out ahead at least but the night turned when Jake McGee had a horrible inning for the Rays and cost them the game in the seventh inning. Ah well. The picking season has had a mediocre start.
Today marks the first time this season where we have a full slate of fifteen games and everyone is in action. Now, the season has officially begun. Let's get right to the picks:
- The White Sox over the Royals: The Royals had the best spring of anybody, but their hitting will lag for a bit after the giddy times in warm, dry Arizona. I have no faith in Ervin Santana, so the pick is with Jake Peavy and the White Sox.
- The Rangers over the Astros: The Astros will get more hits off of Alexi Ogando than they did against Darvish, but it won't be enough as I think the Rangers will get some runs off of Philip Humber. My first impression from yesterday is that the Rangers have lost quite a bit on offense though.
- The Tigers over the Twins: The Twins are not going to have a fun season. Kevin Correia is hardly the answer for their rotation. I always want to call him "Chick" Correia. Anyway, Anibal Sanchez bends but he does not usually break. Tigers win.
- The Red Sox over the Yankees: The Red Sox have a much better team and I really like where Clay Buchholz is right now with a quicker tempo. The Sox will get to Hiroki Kuroda. The Yanks start, 0-2 and panic ensues.
- The Cubs over the Pirates: Edwin Jackson has a good game. The Pirates' offense starts the season in a funk and Wandy Rodriguez only pitched five innings this spring (that I could find). He will barely go five, if that, and that is too many outs for the bullpen.
- The Blue Jays over the Indians: It's amazing how far the stock of Ubaldo Jimenez has fallen since his 19-win season in Colorado. He had an awful season a year ago with no command. He cannot be picked until he shows something this season. Brandon Morrow, on the other hand, is a stud.
- The Reds over the Angels: C.J. Wilson does not inspire confidence. But the Angels have a great lineup. Mat Latos will be dinged a bit. But the Reds prevail in a high scoring game.
- The Bay Rays over the Orioles: Wei-yin Chen did not look good this spring but he had a decent season last year. But the Rays are not as helpless against left-handed pitchers as they have been in past seasons. Jeremy Hellickson will do his high-wire act for five innings and the Rays' bullpen will do better tonight of holding the lead.
- The Phillies over the Braves: There has been a lot of concern about Roy Halladay this spring. His velocity is down. Nobody really knows if he is healthy. But it sure is hard to pick against a guy who has been among the best of his generation. And Paul Maholm has never inspired much confidence here.
- The Mets over the Padres: Clayton Richard is completely a BABIP pitcher, so depending where the balls are hit well depend how successful he is. His numbers this spring were pretty awful, but that was in Arizona. Matt Harvey, on the other hand, is a blow-you-away stud whose success depends on keeping his pitch count down. The Mets start, 2-0.
- The Rockies over the Brewers: The Brewers should get to Wily Peralta and then will need Juan Nicasio's fly balls to stay in the ballpark. If that happens, the Rockies win.
- The Diamondbacks over the Cardinals: This one is tough. Lance Lynn is a big, powerful pitcher who has had spurts of greatness. Brandon McCarthy is the Twitter darling with the high ground ball rate. I'm guessing the Diamondbacks because of the home ballpark.
- The Mariners over the Athletics: I think Tommy Milone being left-handed plays right into the strengths of the Mariners. He should get hit around pretty good. I'm not real confident over Joe Saunders who looked like a batting practice pitcher in Spring Training. But there it is.
- The Dodgers over the Giants: Whatever happened to Tim Lincecum? Didn't he used to be a good pitcher? Didn't he win like back to back Cy Young Awards? Those days are long gone. Now he is a wish and a prayer for Giants fans whenever he pitches. Then again, he faces Josh Beckett whose fastball and better days are behind him.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Nationals over the Marlins: This one should be easy to pick and those are always the scary ones. Gio Gonzalez should easily be better than Kevin Slowey
Games of the Day: 2-0