Despite two postponed games, two bullpen disasters and a two-game winning streak by the Houston Astros, Wednesday turned out to be a pretty good day. Wade Miley did just what I predicted he would do. So did Mike Minor and Barry Zito. Both of the bullpen meltdowns helped this time instead of the other way around. And so the season continues on its merry way. Like John Buck and Jose Iglesias, the picks will slide down to the mean in time. Wait. Iglesias will not get the chance to slide back to the mean. That is another story that will be told later in the morning.
There are only eight games on the schedule today. The Yankees and Indians chose not to make up their game today and the Cubs and Brewers could not because the Cubs had to move on to a new opponent But, at least two of them are day games. Here are Thursday's picks:
- The Blue Jays over the Tigers: I wrote all winter about Josh Johnson, so it is about time he started rewarding me for all the coverage. Come on now, son. The come from behind victory yesterday could propel the Blue Jays past their early season struggles. But Doug Fister will do his best to keep that from happening. Fister better go deep in the game though as the Tigers' bullpen is not doing well.
- The Giants over the Cubs: This Cubs team is not going to be a roll over team this season. And this is a tough pitching match up to sort out. Ryan Vogelsong did not have a good start to his season and Scott Feldman has not been effective for a very long time. If the bullpens get involved early, the Giants win.
- The Nationals over the White Sox: How fun was it to see Adam Dunn play left field yesterday? Okay, it was not fun. But those kinds of things happen when interleague happens every day and every week. Dan Haren was awful in his debut for the Nats. So that is a big worry here. But then again, despite a great first start, Dylan Axelrod is not confidence inspiring either. If this is a slugfest, then the Nats win. If this is a pitcher's duel, the Nats win.
- The Yankees over the Indians: Zach McAllister might turn out to be the second best Indians starter this season. He has some game. And he gives the Indians their best chance to win in this series. But I still think the Yankees win. Phil Hughes makes his second start of the season and wasn't half bad in his first outing.
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: What a treat for Red Sox fans today as Alfredo Aceves gets a fill-in start for the Red Sox today. Why does that seem like a disaster in the making? Chris Tillman was not good at all for the Orioles in his first start. So this game could be a wild one.
- The Athletics over the Angels: Who know the Angels' pitching would be this bad. The Athletics are not exactly the team you think about for offense (though they have nice pieces). But the Angels cannot get them out. Jason Vargas tries to right the ship today for the Angels. But I do not see A.J. Griffin allowing that to happen.
- The Mariners over the Rangers: Justin Grimm makes his Major League debut today for the Rangers. Those are always scary for this picker. Of course, making that debut against the struggling Mariners in a nice pitcher's park like the one in Seattle is comforting. There is only one thing standing in the way of him winning: Felix Hernandez.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Dodgers over the Padres: Zack Greinke looked like he was worth all that money in his first start of the season and he gets to pitch in the big ballpark in San Diego. Greinke is going to like that. Jason Marquis is still capable of fooling batters in three-quarters of his at bats against. It is that other quarter that you have to worry about.
Games of the Day: 8-2