Happy Jackie Robinson Day and Patriots Day to all of you in Massachusetts and Maine. Nine games are taking place today, so Jackie Robinson Day might not have as big an effect as it would otherwise.
When is finishing at 7-7 a good day? When the day starts out 1-5. The Braves really wiped me out over the weekend along with the Nationals. I never thought they would completely whip the Nats like that. Picking the Rays to win is problematic because they cannot hit. And yes, Clay Buchholz was great too. Jonathan Broxton had a complete meltdown for the Reds to cost that pick. The Cardinals and Blue Jays lost and the entire day looked like it was going to be a disaster.
So, yes, finishing at 7-7 feels like a win. Monday's picks:
- The Red Sox over the Bay Rays: Boston hosts its annual Patriots (and Marathon) Day game at eleven o'clock in the morning. Ryan Dempster looked much better in his last start and other than Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, the Rays cannot hit. Jeremy Hellickson starts for the Rays and he is their weakest link.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: The Cardinals' bullpen cannot keep giving away games. But the Cards' offense should score more off of James McDonald to give Lance Lynn a big enough cushion.
- The Blue Jays over the White Sox: Mark Buehrle faces his old team for the first time. As always, Buehrle's success will depend on where his batted balls land. Gavin Floyd goes for the White Sox and the Blue Jays should have enough offense to take care of him.
- The Phillies over the Reds: Picking the Phillies is difficult since their offense is just not that good. But Cliff Lee has looked terrific this far and even though he is facing a tough Reds' offense, if he pitches like he has, he will be great. Bronson Arroyo will keep it a game if he keeps the ball in the park.
- The Angels over the Twins: The Angels are starting to hit finally but will need Joe Blanton to have a good game on the mound. The Twins can make that possible on any given night. Since they were snowed out yesterday (and it is supposed to snow today), Kevin Correia gets the start for the Twins.
- The Rockies over the Mets: Anything can happen at Coors Field but it seems that Juan Nicasio has a better chance at succeeding there than Dillon Gee does. The Rockies offense is rocking it too.
- The Athletics over the Astros: The A's got beat up over the weekend by the Tigers and have lost Cespedes for a while. But Tommy Milone should hold the Astros down and the A's should be able to score three or four against Erik Bedard.
- The Dodgers over the Padres: Chad Billingsley better be good in this one or Eric Stults could sneak in with a win. All things considered, you have to take the Dodgers at home in this one.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Nationals over the Marlins: What better way for the Nationals to lick its wounds after a really bad weekend than to face the Marlins, who are hopeless. Wade LeBlanc is capable of keeping the score down, but the Marlins will not hit Jordan Zimmermann.
Games of the Day: 10-4
The Game of the Day is not the most exciting game, but it s the pick that looks the safest to turn out the way it is predicted.