Thursday was a pretty good day. I did not expect the Mets to win. Ryan Vogelsong was winning and then suddenly blew up for the Giants. Dan Haren was not great for the Nationals, but he was better than Doug Fister was. But other than those three picks, all went well. After a two-game slide, the Game of the Day feature came back with a correct pick. After a really tough start, May is starting to look better. All is well with the world.
The coolest pick of the day was predicting that Mark Reynolds would hit a bomb against Bartolo Colon. Here is what he did.
A nice full schedule tonight if the weather cooperates. Here are the picks:
- The Nationals over the Cubs: Both Jeff Samardzija and Ross Detwiler have pitched really well this season and yet are a combined 2-7. In fact, despite his 1-4 record, Samardzija has been one of the best pitchers in the National League. But the pick still has to go to the Nationals because Detwiler is a lefty and the Cubs have a whopping .270 on-base percentage against left-handed starters.
- The Tigers over the Indians: The Indians have played much better baseball in the last two weeks. But I cannot see them doing much against Max Scherzer who is mowing batters down right and left. Corey Kluber did not have a good outing his last time out. Remember to say his name three times with the Muppets' Chef voice.
- The Reds over the Brewers: I like Yovani Gallardo as a pitcher. But not at the Great American Ballpark. Many experts do not believe in Tony Cingrani's hot start as a big league pitcher. But he is the pick just the same.
- The Pirates over the Mets: Let's try this again. It did not work out so well last night. I just cannot pick the Mets when Shaun Marcum is pitching. Wandy Rodriguez will again neutralize Lucas Duda and Ike Davis.
- The Bay Rays over the Padres: This is a tough one. Edinson Volquez has actually looked quite good lately. I still like Alex Cobb for the Rays. The Rays' bullpen has frayed early on. Both teams are offensively challenged to a degree. Tough one.
- The Angels over the White Sox: This is easily the hardest pick of the season. Both teams are scuffling. The Angels have not even announced who will pitch tonight. Perhaps even they do not know. Dylan Axelrod is scheduled for the White Sox, but a TBO might be better there. Ouch. That was not nice of me to say. The Angels because of their lineup.
- The Twins over the Orioles: This is the upset pick of the day. I like the way Mike Pelfrey is throwing and the Twins are playing much better defense this season than last. Jason Hammel is 5-1 for the Orioles and I just do not get it. I think I am totally blind to him.
- The Yankees over the Royals: There was a time when I thought Phil Hughes and Wade Davis were the same pitcher. In fact, I even asked if anyone had ever seen them at the same time to prove they were different people. Well, tonight will prove once and for all to me that they are different people because they will face each other. I love the way Phil Hughes is throwing lately.
- The Rangers over the Astros: I have no confidence at all in Dallas Keuchel who is making his first start. He has simply never shown he can get big league hitters out. Alexi Ogando, on the other hand, can get big league hitters out. The Astros only have a few of those.
- The Cardinals over the Rockies: I just wrote about Jon Garland for the next issue of Big Leagues Magazine, so I am hoping Garland pitches well long enough for the article to be interesting. Heh. But this is a serious test for him facing a much better lineup by the Cardinals. Besides, I think Shelby Miller would have won anyway.
- The Diamondbacks over the Phillies: Tyler Cloyd has good minor league numbers over six seasons in the Phillies farm system. But has not yet translated that to the majors. And his season this year at Triple-A seemed shaky. Ian Kennedy is up and down in the first halves of his season and then finishes strong.
- The Dodgers over the Marlins: A really tough pick! Jose Fernandez was brilliant his last time out and should benefit pitching in spacious Dodgers Stadium. But you never know with young pitchers from outing to outing. Matt Magill has a big time arm and misses a lot of bats. But he walks too many people. This one is really hard to judge.
- The Mariners over the Athletics: Hisashi Iwakuma is my go-to guy. He rarely steers me wrong. But Dan Straily has looked impressive at times too. Neither team is hitting well. I have to go with Iwakuma.
- The Giants over the Braves: Matt Cain finally looked like Matt Cain in his last outing. He faces the Braves' great Tim Hudson. So it should be a low-scoring, great game. Just the kind of game the Giants always win.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are going with the ancient Ramon Ortiz. Seriously! Jon Lester should win this one easily. But how many times has that statement bit me in the butt?
Games of the Day: 27-11