When the scores started rolling in yesterday, it appeared yesterday's picks were going to go down in historic flames. One ace after another were getting whacked. First David Price, then R.A. Dickey, then Matt Cain and then Cole Hamels. Other than C.C. Sabathia, every ace picked yesterday got poked. But the picks rallied a bit to finish just south of .500. If the Marlins had not blown their save and their game in the ninth to the Mets, the day would have finished just north of .500. Even so, with the way the day started, finishing where it did was acceptable.
There are eleven games on the schedule today and seven teams play their home openers--which is not anything like can openers. Here are Monday's picks:
- The Red Sox over the Orioles: Don't look now, but the Red Sox look like the best team in the AL East coming out of the gate. They are hitting and pitching and look pretty tough to beat. And while I like Wei-Yin Chen as a pitcher, Clay Buchholz looks awesome so far and will be pretty tough to beat.
- The Cubs over the Brewers: Ryan Braun is hurting and could not even pinch hit in a big situations yesterday. It seems doubtful he will play today. Edwin Jackson goes for the Cubs in their home opener and faces Marco Estrada. I would put my CHiPS on Jackson.
- The Yankees over the Indians: The Yankees ruin the Indians home opener as Joe Girardi and Terry Francona renew their love and respect for each other. Hiroki Kuroda--providing his middle finger does not hurt too much--will get the start for the Yankees and Ubaldo Jimenez goes for the Indians. Jimenez was only throwing 90 MPH in his first start. Not good.
- The Royals over the Twins: Ervin Santana should be able to get away with some of his gopher balls in the bigger confines of Kaufman Stadium. At least that is the theory I am going with today. The Twins start Kevin Correia, or "Chick" as I like to call him. The Royals have started hitting.
- The Cardinals over the Reds: I keep picking against the Cardinals and their fans are making fun of me because those picks, much like last year, are exploding in my face. Today is not a big vote of confidence because I am not real fond or confident in Jaime Garcia. But he is at home where he does better and despite enormous talent, Mat Latos rarely shuts down teams completely.
- The Mets over the Phillies: Matt Harvey has now started eleven Major League games and has averaged 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Woof. The Phillies look old and Roy Halladay is a big concern until he starts pitching like his old self consistently.
- The Braves over the Marlins: Is it no delicious that David Samson is the lead executive for the Marlins? That is like the biblical hero leading the Italian army. I can say that since I am half Italian. Paul Maholm will continue to make his whiz-balls work somehow and Kevin Slowey will continue to be thankful that he has a job in the Majors.
- The Rangers over the Rays: The Rays have not done well traditionally in Texas. Alexi Ogando looked terrific in his first start. And I continue not to be a fan of Jeremy Hellickson whose BABIP and high FIP have to bite him sooner or later.
- The Pirates over the Diamondbacks: This is my upset pick of the day. Wandy Rodriguez had a very good first start and should be a run or two better than Trevor Cahill. Plus, I like the left-handed starter against this D-backs' lineup.
- The Mariners over the Astros: The Mariners really have a weird batting record right now. Some guys are batting out of their minds and just as many are not even hitting their weight. Weird. Joe Saunders continues to baffle me, so it's best to pick with him then against him leaving myself scratching my head. Besides, Phil Humber is pitching for the Astros and he completely baffles me about what happened to him since his perfect game.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Giants over the Rockies: The Rockies have started well and the Giants not so much. But the Rockies are away from their home park, Madison Bumgarner is the Giants' best pitcher and Jorge De La Rosa has to prove to me that he can pitch consistently.
Games of the Day: 5-2