If I could keep score of the picks this week, I would say that the good days outnumbered the bad days, 3-2. That sounds good, right? But the two bad days were so bad that the week will never catch up with just two days to go despite those three decent days going 23-13. The good news is that today is always a new day.
Perhaps the Angels can say that after getting blanked by Seattle's Brandon Maurer and two relievers. Perhaps Jarrod Parker can say that after starting he season, 0-4 with an ERA over eight after getting bombed by the Orioles last night. Perhaps the 9-14 Phillies can say that after the bullpen blew a late lead against the Pirates. All of those three surprises led to bum picks that kept the day in check. I also had the Marlins, who had the lead going into the late innings, only to blow it to the Cubs. It is hard enough to pick what the starting pitchers are going to do, never mind the bullpens.
Speaking of bullpens...what was the thinking behind putting Bruce Rondon's debut in a high leverage situation? Most of the time, those rookie relief pitchers get put into low leverage situations and then work their way up from there. But the Tigers threw him right into the fire and it cost the Tigers and Justin Verlander a win...and me a pick, doggonit.
- The Nationals over the Reds: This might be the series that turns the Nats around after a rugged couple of weeks. They got Gio Gonzalez straightened out last night and now follow him with the terrific, Jordan Zimmermann. The Reds' Homer Bailey is capable of shutting a team down though, so the pick is not a lock by any means.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: Of course, Josh Johnson can finally regain his form and make this pick look silly. Or, Ivan Nova (pronounced, "Nover," in Maine) will implode against a decent lineup and make this pick look silly. But I always like the Bombers at home.
- The Braves over the Tigers: Anibal Sanchez has pitched against the Braves seventeen times in his career. He is 4-11 with a 5.63 ERA against them. That does not fill me with confidence. Paul Maholm has been bamboozling me all season thus far. I might as well not fight it anymore.
- The Cubs over the Marlins: If the Marlins were smart, they would bunt all game. Scott Feldman has three errors in just eight chances. So, if the Marlins bunted 24 times, they should get on base nine times, right? Hey, it would work. Both Feldman and Wade LeBlanc are 0-3 and are not having fun this season. But take away Feldman's errors and he has been the better pitcher.
- The Mets over the Phillies: I picked against Dillon Gee last time and he was terrific. Put him at home against a weak offense like the Phillies and he should be good right. We will see. Kyle Kendrick goes for the Phillies.
- The Royals over the Indians: Scott Kazmir is in the, "show me if you want me to pick you," stage. It would be cool if he makes a career comeback. But time will tell if the story will have a happy ending. Ervin Santana has been pitching fairly well for the Royals and he is the pick despite the jitters his 2012 season give me.
- The White Sox over the Bay Rays: The White Sox are like a black hole team for me. I have no idea if they are a decent team or a bad one. All I know is that when Jake Peavy is pitching, I have to pick him. Roberto Hernandez had a good outing for the Rays last time out and has more strikeouts than innings pitched thus far. So it should be a close game.
- The Rangers over the Twins: This Jason Grimm / Tepesch combination is doing great fro the Rangers. The latter won his game last night and now it is Grimm's turn. I am still not sure about the Rangers' bullpen though. Scott Diamond goes for the Twins.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: :::blink::: Yeah, Jonathan Sanchez is still in the rotation for the Pirates. Well, I'll be. As such, the nod goes to Lance Lynn and the home-team Cardinals.
- The Rockies over the Diamondbacks: The Rockies need to get another good performance from Juan Nicasio for this pick to work. But it should anyway because despite the home park advantage, I am not sure what the Diamondbacks will get from Brandon McCarthy.
- The Orioles over the Athletics: The Orioles have a .755 OPS against left-handed starters as a team and a .783 OPS against left-handers in general thus far this season. That does not bode well for Tommy Milone and the A's. But then again, Wei-Yin Chen has not started the season all that well. But the A's are banged up a bit too.
- The Angels over the Mariners: Are the Angels really this bad? I cannot quite fathom it. C.J. Wilson at least give the team a chance to win and perhaps the Angels' lineup can erupt a bit on Aaron Harang, who gets the starts for the Ms.
- The Dodgers over the Brewers: I am not really buying into Hiram Burgos' first start with five innings and only a single run allowed. He only struck out one batter and that is a hard way to win in the majors. But is Josh Beckett done? I mean...can he ever be effective again? The Dodgers win this in a high scoring game.
- The Giants over the Padres: Andrew Cashner has terrific stuff. But can he maintain it over six or seven innings? He will have to prove it for the picks to go his way. Tim Lincecum can get away with some mistakes at Petco Park.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Red Sox over the Astros: It is series like this that will kill the Astros in the American League. Ryan Dempster did not have a good start his last time out, but should bounce back and have a decent outing this time around. Erik Bedard will try not to get hurt for the Astros.
Games of the Day: 17-8