From Giancarlo Stanton's two homers to bring in the Miami pick to Clay Kershaw pitching nothing but zeroes to the Indians and Royals' double-header going exactly as predicted, Sunday got off the week off to a flying start here in Game Picks land. Twelve correct picks to four incorrect is a heck of a way to start the week. It certainly beats the 3-13 debacle that started last week.
The Yankees only recorded four hits against R.A. Dickey. But two of those hits were homers by the motley crew to account for the three runs it needed to beat Dickey. Hisashi Iwakuma shut down the Angels as predicted to give the Mariners two straight wins. Yes, it was a good day (with apologies if your team lost).
There are twelve games on the Monday schedule. The picks:
- The Yankees over the Astros: The poor Astros just got spanked by the Red Sox up at Fenway and now have to spend three days at Yankee Stadium. The first two might be a bit damp as showers will plague the area. Lucas Harrell at times gives the Astros a fighting chance. But Andy Pettitte should be able to exploit the Astros' batters lack of patience and wrack up some easy outs.
- The Mets over the Marlins: The Mets just got swept by the Phillies and the Marlins got a win yesterday over the Cubs because of Stanton. And in a battle of young phenom pitchers, Matt Harvey should blaze through the Marlins while Jose Fernandez gives up a run or two.
- The Nationals over the Braves: Stephen Strasburg really has not broken out of the gate yet. I keep waiting for him to do so. The Braves just got crushed by the Tigers over the weekend and will be looking to bounce back. Julio Teheran is still confusing. He will either give up three homers to the Nats or have a great game. You never know.
- The Cubs over the Padres: The Padres are playing better baseball, especially now that Chase Headley is back. But Clayton Richard anywhere outside of Petco is a scary proposition. Perhaps if the wind is blowing in at Wrigley? Jeff Samardzija is the real thing for the Cubbies.
- The Royals over the Indians: My wife is feeling sorry for Nick Swisher, who she loves, because he has gone from the Yankees to the Indians. I miss Swish in pinstripes, but gosh, the guy has a model wife and tens of millions. It is hard to get all misty-eyed there. What does make you cry is the career of Ubaldo Jimenez, who cannot seem to put his mechanics back together. Wade Davis with the win.
- The Brewers over the Pirates: I like both pitchers in this game. Yovani Gallardo is tough to beat at home. Wandy Rodriguez is tough to beat anywhere. The Pirates have been the hotter team and Andrew McCutchen has not started hitting yet. I have to go with Gallardo at home despite all other things pointing the other way.
- The Cardinals over the Reds: This has become one of the best rivalries in sports. The match-ups are everything here. And I have to go with Adam Wainwright over Mat Latos. Both are terrific pitchers, but Wainwright is just so freaking smart. Wainwright better go long though as that Cardinal bullpen is messy. The Reds' bullpen is their strength. If it comes down to the bullpens in this one, this pick is a dud.
- The Diamondbacks over the Giants: As much as Giants' fans are sick of hearing it, Ian Kennedy has their number. They just cannot seem to beat the guy. Matt Cain has been surprisingly easy to hit thus far and has not looked like an ace at all this season.
- The Athletics over the Angels: First, the A's are tougher now that Yoenis Cespedes is back. Secondly, Tommy Hanson was given up on by the Braves for a reason. And lastly, Dan Straily looked really good in his first start of the season.
- The Mariners over the Orioles: Woo boy! That is an upset pick! Zach Britton does have a 1.98 ERA in Triple-A this season. But it is a complete mirage as his strikeout to walk ratio is 0.67. Joe Saunders will have to be the good version of his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act. Otherwise, this pick will get ugly. Mike Morse could hit a dinger in tis one.
- The Dodgers over the Rockies: Uh. What do you do when you have two pitchers you have absolutely no faith in at all? Ted Lilly? Tyler Chatwood? Yeesh. You go with the home team and you remember that Troy Tulowitzki got hurt again.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Tigers over the Twins: The Tigers just finished destroying the Braves. And "destroy" is being mild. They are a team on fire and it is doubtful that Mike Pelfrey will be able to stop them. Max Scherzer has an amazing arm and gets better all the time on figuring out how to use it.
Games of the Day: 20-8