I hate short schedule days. A few games go wrong and you cannot make them up with a larger schedule. In this case, nearly everything went wrong. And all of the wrong picks featured the visiting team winning the game. How often does that happen? Heck, even the Game of the Day pick was wrong for the first time in a very long time.
Oh well. I am not going to dwell on it. It is a beautiful sunny day and it is supposed to be like that all weekend and the golf course opened last night for the season. It is all good. With that kind of attitude, and with a hop, skip and a jump, here are Friday's picks:
- The Reds over the Cubs: The Cubs' starter, Carlos Villanueva has done a good job thus far this season in keeping the Cubs in the game. But the feeling here is that the Reds will get to him for a few runs with perhaps Joey Votto having a good game and then Mike Leake handing a lead over to that lights out bullpen.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Ricky Nolasco has to feel like a man on an island sometimes. I wish he could get traded to someone that has a chance. He should have a chance in this game facing the Phillies and Jonathan Pettibone. But the Marlins struggle to score and Nolasco will come up empty.
- The Indians over the Twins: This is one of those "who knows" games. Justin Masterson is not predictable. He can be fabulous. He can be awful. I made fun of the Twins starting Pedro Hernandez in his first start and he won the game. So...yes...who knows.
- The Yankees over the Athletics: Another day for the Yankees, another injury. Joba Chamberlain is on the DL now. David Robertson is day to day. Thank goodness for horses like CC Sabathia. Sorry for not using punctuation in C.C.'s name, but baseball-reference.com's player linker does not like it otherwise. Anyway, the big guy will get the Yankees seven or eight strong innings. The A's have struggled historically in Yankee Stadium (until last year, I believe). And every time I pick A.J. Griffin to win, he loses.
- The Pirates over the Nationals: Yes, this is an upset pick. The Nats just had a big series against the Braves, right? So, naturally, they will lose a game to the Pirates. The Pirates have started to hit a bit better and will get to Ross Detwiler. They will get a big game from A.J. Burnett and Russell Martin will have something to say about the day.
- The Mariners over the Blue Jays: In the battle of the dome teams, no one has a dome field advantage. Ha! Felix Hernandez is an advantage though. And he has to be the pick. In a scary thought for the Blue Jays, Ricky Romero is back and makes his first start of the season after working on mechanics in the minors. He only pitched seven innings down in A+ ball so it is hard to gauge anything by that. Even if he pitches well, he will not pitch much more than five innings. And the Blue Jays' bullpen is frightening. And yes, I know Safeco is not a dome but a retractable roofed complex.
- The Braves over the Mets: Mike Minor seems interchangeable with Tommy Hanson. Maybe that is my own unintelligent bias. But I cannot seem to trust him. As little as I trust him, that goes in spades for Shaun Marcum, about whom, the only good thing I can say is that he is a good hitter.
- The Red Sox over the Rangers: Until teams start knocking off the Red Sox, I have to pick them nearly every day. They win nearly every day. Felix Doubront is not exactly a rock in the rotation. His success bobs up and down like the float on a sump pump. But he is 3-0 and Derek Holland has struggled thus far.
- The Orioles over the Angels: I flip-flopped on this one three times. And I probably still got it wrong. Miguel Gonzalez has been so average that I never know what to do with him. And Jason Vargas is better than his 0-3 record. In the end, the Orioles' offense just seems too much in this one.
- The Tigers over the Astros: How can you pick this game any other way? Doug Fister is 4-0. Bud Norris is never as good as I think he is. The pick has to be the Tigers.
- The Brewers over the Cardinals: Kyle Lohse haunts his old team by out-pitching young Shelby Miller by a run or two as the Brewers are pretty tough at home. The Cardinals have played well there in the past though, so this pick is not a lock.
- The Bay Rays over the Rockies: Will Matt Moore's stuff translate to Coors Field? That is always the question here. But how can you pick against Moore at this point? It is not like the Rays have this great lineup that can kill Jeff Francis. But they should get by with a couple or three runs.
- The Diamondbacks over the Padres: Wade Miley is one of my favorites and he is pitching well despite his 2-2 record. He should shut down the Padres in Petco while his teammates scratch out some runs against Jason Marquis.
- The Dodgers over the Giants: This game is so hard to predict. And Barry Zito makes it that way. Either he will throw a surprisingly good game baffling the Dodgers for six or seven innings, or he will be terrible and give up bombs all over the place. There is no middle ground. Clayton Kershaw has not been a lock to pick this season thus far. But how can you not pick him?
And the Game of the Day!
- The Royals over the White Sox: The dang weather. The Royals were winning, 1-0, yesterday in the fourth inning when the rains came and washed it all away. Jeremy Guthrie has been great this season. And Dylan Axelrod is not exactly a household name. Royals with the win.
Yesterday: 2-6 oh pipe down over there.
Games of the Day: 23-9