Friday, April 12, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Friday: April 12, 2013

The final results of yesterday's short list of picks ended at 5-2 with yet another postponement of the Indians and Yankees. Joe Girardi hit the problem right on the nose by stating that scheduling a series in early April against a team that you only visit once a season is stupid. But then again, when did sanity ever rule MLB scheduling? The scheduling problem probably cost the Yankees more than the Indians as the latter team will most likely sort out its pitching problems later in the season. As it stood, the Yankees were facing a rotation in deep trouble and available for easy pickings.

But regardless of that little bit of a snafu, the only incorrect picks were the Blue Jays (who got crushed by the Tigers) and the Mariners who lost despite a Felix Hernandez start. All that hype here about Josh Johnson is looking a bit foolish now that he has had two really bad starts in a row. To put a little more of a positive spin on his results thus far, his velocity is where it should be and his BABIP against is .484 while his strand rate is only 56.1%. Those numbers will certainly get better.

Oh, and did you see that incident with the Dodgers and Padres? Carlos Quentin charged the mound and now the Dodgers have lost Zack Greinke to a collarbone fracture. Nice. Quentin should be suspended for a week for that bit of thug thinking. Trot to first like a man, for pete's sake.

Unless the weather fouls things up, a full schedule of baseball rules the day. Here are Friday's picks:

  • The Giants over the Cubs: Matt Cain is a bit of a concern as he has not looked very ace-like thus far. But the Cubs offer him an ability to get right a bit. The Cubs start Carlos Villanueva, who can be decent enough at times.
  • The Nationals over the Braves: I really like that the Upton brothers really balance out the lineup of the Braves when in past seasons they were a bit vulnerable to left-handed pitching. However, Julio Teheran is going to have to prove to me that he really has turned around after last season. Ross Detwiler is a pretty good fifth starter. Bryce Harper remains hot.
  • The Yankees over the Orioles: The Yankees are back home and have C.C. Sabathia on the mound. That should be enough for a win despite the fact that as a team, they have struggled in the past against Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: Justin Masterson has won both of his starts and they remain the Indians' only victories. So why not stick with that trend. The White Sox just got drubbed by the Nationals but get the DH back. I cannot wait to see Adam Dunn's defensive metrics for his week in left field. Ugh. Jose Quintana goes for the White Sox and was roughed up a bit in his first start.
  • The Pirates over the Reds: A.J. Burnett has pitched two very good starts and is 0-2. So he is due a bit of offense by the Pirates are close to the bottom in all offensive categories right now. Mike Leake is this weekend's best chance for the Pirates to score some runs.
  • The Nationals over the Marlins: I would feel better about picking the Nats if John Lannon was not starting for the Nationals against probably the Marlins' best pitcher in Ricky Nolasco. As bad as the Marlins are, they are going to win fifty games this season. It is simply a matter of picking them judiciously.
  • The Bay Rays over the Red Sox: The Red Sox have not won in the Stephen Drew era. And of course that is just a coincidence. Felix Doubront is decent enough for the Red Sox but can be had at times. But this pick is really all about Alex Cobb, the ground ball machine that wins and wins for the Rays.
  • The Mets over the Twins: I like here that the Mets get an extra bat in the lineup against the Twins. Jonathon Niese is the one guy that's linking tool never picks up. If I say, "Jon," or "Jonathon," it never matters. It is little things like that in life that drive one crazy.  I would bet you that his name will not be bold here and there will not be a link to his B-R page. Vance Worley is not having fun as a member of the Twins thus far.
  • The Blue Jays over the Royals: J.A. Happ looked amazing in his first start. Is it not weird that the Blue Jays hire all these guns for the rotation and it is Happ who gets one of their two wins? Luis Mendoza will never scare anyone. Sometimes, he gets people to hit the ball at people.
  • The Cardinals over the Brewers: I picked against Shelby Miller in his first start and it made me look pretty stupid. Making his first start at home is a bit scary though against a lineup that can hit a little bit. The Cardinals will get to face their old friend, Kyle Lohse, who should feel right at home in St. Louis. I still think the Cardinals should have signed him.
  • The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: At this point, can you pick against Clayton Kershaw? I think not. Patrick Corbin should make it a close game. But the Dodgers should win with Kershaw.
  • The Tigers over the Athletics: There is still something about the Tigers that bothers me as they keep getting called the best team in the American League. They are stodgy as hell with a bunch of big guys who cannot run or field very well. But they keep winning, so what do I know? Max Scherzer should get his share of strikeouts here and Bartolo Colon gets punked by the Tigers' Venezuelan collection.
  • The Angels over the Astros: Don't look now but the Astros have as many wins as the Angels. Who saw that coming? However, let's not get carried away. Bud Norris continues to flirt with greatness without ever reaching it consistently. Tommy Hanson was one of the few starters for the Angels that has walked away with a win.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: Picking Jon Garland to win is like going to sleep and waking up back in 2005. Well...maybe I did. But I have to pick Garland or the alternative is picking Tyson Ross who has proven for most of his career that he knows how to lose ballgames.

And the Game of the Day!

  • The Rangers over the Mariners: Interesting match up of Japanese pitchers here with Yu Darvish versus Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma is a very good and smart pitcher. The trouble is that the Mariners are not going to hit Darvish or anyone else with any kind of consistency.

Yesterday: 5-2
Week: 39-21
Month: 86-51
Games of the Day: 9-2

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