When there are only five games on the schedule, there is not much to work with and just a couple of wayward picks can sink the day. That was the case yesterday. Young, Kevin Gausman, was not terrible for the Orioles yesterday. But that team's bullpen is just awful lately and gave up eight more runs in three innings of work. Ouch. Speaking of bullpens, Ryan Dempster was not good again yesterday and gave up four runs in three innings of work. But then Clayton Mortensen and Alex Wilson gave up eight more to put that game way out of reach. And of course, waiting for Edwin Jackson to pitch a good game continues to be an exercise in futility. But hey, I did nail Joe Blanton winning his first game of the season.
Friday, weather permitting, should be back to a full schedule. The picks:
- The Nationals over the Phillies: My guy, Jordan Zimmermann is on the mound tonight. The only question is whether the Nationals will put enough runs together off of Kyle Kendrick to get Zimmermann the win.
- The Blue Jays over the Orioles: Yes, a rookie will be making his Major League debut for the Blue Jays. But Sean Nolin has really good numbers in the minors and the Blue Jays are killing the ball right now and should score often against Chris Tillman. This is a really tough pick. But taking the Blue Jays at home.
- The Tigers over the Twins: This game might be closer than you think. Yes, the Twins are starting Samuel Deduno, but he is a big strong guy with a good arm. Anibal Sanchez should give the Tigers a quality start and Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder will do the rest.
- The Braves over the Mets: Kris Medlen might find himself back in the bullpen when Brandon Beachy returns unless he can put some good outings together. Even so, he should be better than Jeremy Hefner, who goes for the Mets.
- The Reds over the Cubs: I love that Scott Feldman is pitching so well for the Cubs. He has been fantastic. But this is the Reds he is facing. Bronson Arroyo goes for the hometown team.
- The Indians over the Red Sox: The Red Sox' cracks are showing the past few weeks after a really good start. John Lackey has not been able to deliver quality starters and the only big question is if this will be a good Justin Masterson start or a bad one because it is either one or the other in equal measures.
- The Yankees over the Bay Rays: St. Pete is usually a horror show for the Yankees and they are 5-16 there since the start of 2011. This might be the only game of this series that gives them a shot as Ramon Hernandez goes for the Rays. David Phelps goes for the Yankees. The Rays' bullpen has been a bit of a disaster thus far.
- The Angels over the Royals: The Royals are not this bad. They really are not. But they are certainly in a horrible stretch. And they are catching an Angels' team that has gotten hot. Jason Vargas never fills me with giddiness. But neither does Luis Mendoza. Mike Trout is on fire.
- The White Sox over the Marlins: The Marlins get an extra batter in the lineup with the DH. Insert jokes here. I do not like picking a pitcher coming off the disabled list like John Danks is right now. But against the Marlins? Yeah. Tom Koehler goes for the Fish.
- The Athletics over the Astros: The A's have been somewhat lackluster and their offense is uneven and inconsistent. And still, they should beat the Astros. Tommy Milone has not been terrific. But he has talent. Erik Bedard had talent, but that was years ago.
- The Pirates over the Brewers: Yeah, this is one where the "lines" might have a different outcome. But I do not care. This is my feature and I go with what I know come hell or high water. If A.J. Burnett is on, the Brewers will be shut down. It is as simple as that. Marco Estrada is a decent pitcher and is at home. But again, if Burnett is on, Estrada will not keep up. But then again, Burnett has to be on. Heh.
- The Diamondbacks over the Padres: It was great to see Brandon McCarthy get his first win his last time out, his first since he was hit in the head so badly last season. But the D-Backs faithful are still itching for their team to ditch McCarthy, so we will see. Eric Stults goes for the Padres and I never get his games correctly.
- The Cardinals over the Dodgers: The Mattingly death watch continues. What he said was dead on, by the way. Lance Lynn over Chris Capuano. This one should not be close unless the Cards get jet lagged.
- The Mariners over the Rangers: This is my upset special of the day. Joe Saunders will have a good BABIP night and give Rangers' hitters soft oh-fers. Justin Grimm will be dinged around for three or four runs and the Mariners will steal one.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Giants over the Rockies: Tyler Chatwood has a 2.66 ERA with a 1.58 WHIP. Those two are not logical and will not continue. Tim Lincecum seems to be at least competitive in most of his starts. The Giants will win this one at home.
Games of the Day: 35-17