The West Coast was not kind yesterday. The picks started out 8-1 with the Cubs win over the Giants (blown save) being the only blemish. But only one more pick would turn out correct for the rest of the night as the West Coast games went 1-4 including wins by the Astros over the Angels and the Mariners over the Rangers.
The pitching performances of the night were by Shelby Miller of the Cardinals who one-hit the Brewers over seven innings and Justin Masterson of the Indians, who blanked the White Sox. Thank goodness I picked Miller this time. The Masterson story has been pretty amazing thus far. He is already 3-0 with a microscopic ERA.
And there were three walk-off hits. Donaldson for the A's, Swisher for the Indians and Castro for the Cubs. And the Yankees pulled off a triple play. How fun is that? Gosh, I love baseball.
- The Nationals over the Braves: The day starts off with three one-o'clock games and all three feature big-time pitching match-ups. This one features Stephen Strasburg against Tim Hudson. I'm giving the nod to Strasburg at home but the feeling here is that neither starter will figure in the decision.
- The Cubs over the Giants: My gut is fighting my head on this one. Jeff Samardzija has struck out 22 batters in just 13.2 innings and allowed only four hits per nine innings pitched. Madison Bumgarner is 2-0 and has given up just 4.6 hits per nine. Wow. How do you choose, especially with two so-so offenses?
- The Red Sox over the Bay Rays: I just wrote about Jon Lester in the upcoming Big Leagues Magazine coming out on April 15. So how, then can I pick against him? The Rays' offense is not great and Lester should have a good day. But on the other side, the Rays send out David Price. He only won the Cy Young Award last year. Geez. These first three picks could either be all wrong or anything in between.
- The Yankees over the Orioles: The Yanks have won four straight and are now getting good pitching. The offense seems to have just enough to limp along. Phil Hughes goes today and Jason Hammel pitches for the Orioles. Hammel has turned his style of pitching around completely with his 2-seam fastball.
- The White Sox over the Indians: As much fun as the Indians' walk-off was last night, the team is still not hitting well and the only reliable starter is Masterson. Zach McAllister is the only other starter that has a chance to be decent from start to start. But he faces Chris Sale today. The pick has to be Sale.
- The Tigers over the Athletics: I hate winning streaks and losing streaks, because you never know how long they will go on. The A's have won nine in a row. It has to end some time. It might as well be against Justin Verlander, right? Brett Anderson goes for the A's and he has been tough so far as well. Tough day this is.
- The Mets over the Twins: The Mets are actually having fun so far this season. Of course, the sad commentary here is that the Twins are pretty fun for any team to play right now. You cannot pitch much better than what Matt Harvey has done so far this season. Expect him to dominate the Twins' lineup while the Mets score a couple at least off of Scott Diamond.
- The Cardinals over the Brewers: The Cardinals are catching a very flat and tepid Brewers team right now and that is good news for them. Adam Wainwright pitches at home in front of his adoring fans. Yovani Gallardo is not pushover for the Brewers, however, so the Cards better bring some lumber.
- The Marlins over the Phillies: Jose Fernandez. He is the kid that made the jump from A-ball to the majors. His appearance already in the majors has been another kicked around reason to hate the Marlins front office. But, gosh, the kid was good his last time out. Cole Hamels is 0-2. He is not working toward that Cy Young Award I predicted for him for the 2013 season.
- The Royals over the Blue Jays: What's to make of R.A. Dickey thus far this season? He is getting rocked. Is it the cold weather? Who knows. What is the record of going without a win to start a season after winning a Cy Young Award? Today, even if he pitches well, the Royals should still win behind James Fields.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: As always, I want to go with my man-crush, Ian Kennedy. But I cannot in this one as I think Hyun-Jin Ryu out-pitches him.
- The Rockies over the Padres: You know, Edinson Volquez will win a couple of games this season. But picking him to win will probably never happen here. Ever. The safer pick here is Jhoulys Chacin, who starts for the Rockies and has had a pretty good start to his season.
- The Angels over the Astros: The Angels have to win some time. They cannot really be this bad. Garrett Richards goes for the Angels and he might be the Angels' best starting option right now. The Astros go with Lucas Harrell, who can be decent at times. The thinking here is that the Angels' bats are going to wake up today.
- The Rangers over the Mariners: The M's have already beaten one ace this weekend. What's one more? But it is not going to happen. Alexi Ogando has been outstanding. Then again, never count out Joe Saunders who has made a career of throwing his BABIP balls for ages now. I don't know how Saunders does it.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Reds over the Pirates: I actually picked the Pirates to beat the Reds yesterday and they did. Making the same pick two days in a row is probably not a good idea. Johnny Cueto goes for the Reds and Jeff Locke goes for the Pirates.
Games of the Day: 9-3