The first week of Major League Baseball for 2013 is in the books. Yeah, I am a traditional Sunday to Saturday type guy. The Game Picks had a good first week. After a 10-10 first few days, the picks went 37-19 over the last four days with a 10-5 day again yesterday. Now if I can just get over my obsession with picking the Astros, I will be okay. The best pick of yesterday was choosing the Twins to beat the Orioles. Besides the Astros, the worst pick of the day was picking the Rangers to beat the Angels. Matt Harrison has definitely not had a good start to his season. He better hope his cousin is right and that All Things Must Pass.
Sunday is the best baseball day of the week and today is this season's first full blitz of games. They all occur during the day except a sparkling match up on Sunday Night Baseball between Jered Weaver and Yu Darvish. Here are Sunday's picks:
- The Blue Jays over the Red Sox: I am really torn on this one. Everything will depend on how good R.A. Dickey is and if he can match Jon Lester. Lester appears to have his mojo back and is poised to have a very good season. If Dickey is on, then the Blue Jays can score a couple and win. If not, this pick is going to unravel quickly.
- The Yankees over the Tigers: Yeah, dumb, but what the hey. This is the only chance the Yankees have to win a game this series with C.C. Sabathia on the mound even though facing Justin Verlander. If the Yankees can squeak a few off of Verlander and the bullpen, Sabathia can have a good day and be the ace the Yanks hope him to be this year.
- The Marlins over the Mets: Gosh, what a horrible three games to pick so far. And this one is the worst. First, you have Aaron Laffey pitching for the Mets. For most of his career, Laffey has been that pitcher that comes in to mop up blowouts. And then there is the Marlins starting Jose Fernandez, the young pitcher who has never pitched professionally over the A level. This has David Clyde written all over it.
- The Nationals over the Reds: Another tough game to pick. Stephen Strasburg pitches against Johnny Cueto. If Strasburg is on, forget it. But he has his occasional mortal games here and there. Will today be one of them? Cueto is--on paper--the Reds' ace. It could be a low scoring game or it could end up in places no one expects. Gosh, so far this picking day could go badly really quickly.
- The Braves over the Cubs: Jeff Samardzija was very good in his first outing, but the Cubs bullpen and Carlos Marmol in particular, has been brutal. Tim Hudson did not have a good start in his opener, but has been a very good pitcher for a very long time.
- The Royals over the Phillies: And yet another tough game to pick. James Shields was brilliant in his first start and lost. Cole Hamels was pummeled in his first start but is normally a great pitcher. The best way to get to Shields is via the homer and the Phillies can do that. The Royals lose the DH. Oh, heck. I don't know.
- The Rays over the Indians: David Price was hardly Cy Young in his first outing. The thought here is that he bounces back. Justin Masterson won his first outing. And if he gets his ground balls hit at people, could be tough. Evan Longoria wins this with a big fly.
- The Brewers over the Diamondbacks: Okay, this is one of those double-reverse, psyche-out specials. Ian Kennedy is one of my favorite players. So I pick him without fail. But then he loses and I feel bad. I always pick Yovani Gallardo at home and there, at home, he is. Ugh.
- The Athletics over the Astros: Yes, I have learned my lesson, and yes, that means the Astros will probably win this game. Brett Anderson over Lucas Harrell.
- The White Sox over the Mariners: I hate picking against Hisashi Iwakuma. But in this case, Chris Sale seems to trump him. I do like the right-handed bats the Mariners can mount against Sale. But he is at times impossible to hit no matter which side you hit from. The Mariners have to hope Iwakuma can match zeroes and make it a bullpen game.
- The Giants over the Cardinals: This picking day from hell continues with another tough one as Matt Cain squares up at home against Adam Wainwright. Both are great pitchers. I have to go with Cain and the Giants at home.
- The Pirates over the Dodgers: Again, not an easy pick. Jeff Locke's left arm could neutralize many of the Dodgers' hitters and he had a great spring. Hyun-Jin Ryu is such a wildcard that I have no idea what to do with him. Ryu gave up a lot of hits in his last outing but only one run and no walks. Who knows.
- The Rockies over the Padres: The Rockies have started the season very well and Jhoulys Chacin had a great first outing. Edinson Volquez can never, ever, ever be counted on and so the pick goes to the Rockies.
- The Rangers over the Angels: Yu Darvish was so dominant the other night that he is hard to pick against. I am a little worried about the blister on his middle finger he developed late though. Jered Weaver is terrific even though I dislike him tremendously. The Rangers simply are not the same offense they once were. Going with Darvish.
And the Game of the Day! (remember, this is the most sure pick, not the most exciting)
- The Orioles over the Twins: The Twins are starting Pedro Hernandez. Who!? Where did he come from? He did not start at all this spring. The Orioles go with Jason Hammel, who has killed me whenever I have ever picked against him. I surrender.
Last week: 47-29
Games of the Day: 5-1