Saturday, May 11, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: May 11, 2013

I have never had a perfect game picking day. Going 15-0 would be like bowling a 300 or hitting a hole in one. It would be the ultimate. Yesterday's picks came about as close as I have ever gotten. There were only two incorrect picks. The Dodgers lost to the Marlins after taking a quick 3-0 lead on Jose Fernandez. But Fernandez never allowed another run and the Dodgers could not make the lead stick. Even more egregious was the 6-0 lead the Twins had on the Orioles as late as the fifth inning and a 6-3 lead after six. But the bullpen gave up six runs and blew the game. That is how close I cam to a perfect day. Man.

A day like that changes the whole complexion of the month of May, which started out really slow and instantly propelled the week into a very good one. Let's see if I can keep it going.

Saturday's picks:

  • The Mets over the Pirates: Jonathon Niese is not a bad pick by himself. But then the Pirates are starting Francisco Liriano, fresh from a stint in the minors. However, Liriano has looked great at Triple-A with a very high strikeout rate and a minuscule walk rate. Maybe the Pirates have found something and maybe this pick is going to look bad.
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: It really feels like the Blue Jays have no shot in this one. Mark Buehrle has not had a single highlight game for the team and Clay Buchholz, tanning spray or no tanning spray, has simply been awesome.
  • The Cardinals over the Rockies: The Rockies go from Shelby Miller, who was about as untouchable as it gets last night, to Adam Wainwright who will make it seem like you can hit him, but usually cannot. Jhoulys Chacin better be very, very good for the Rockies to have a chance in this one.
  • The Giants over the Braves: It was sort of a blow for the Braves to have such a bad start from their ace yesterday. Paul Maholm can have a good BABIP day, but he is not an ace. Madison Bumgarner, on the other hand, is an ace despite the fact that he was roughed up a little in his last start. He will be good at home.
  • The Reds over the Brewers: Hiram Burgos is only the seventh Hiram to ever play in the big leagues. It is such an old fashioned name. The last Hiram in baseball? That would be Kyle Davies. Kyle was his middle name. Let's hope Burgos has a better career than that. But Hiram should be out-pitched today by Mat Latos.
  • The Padres over the Bay Rays: Yeah, this is a flyer. If you think Hiram is a funny name, how about Burch Smith? Smith is making his Major League debut after lighting up Double-A ball. His minors numbers show terrific control and big strikeout numbers. That is why I am taking a flyer on this one. Plus, I never feel too great about Jeremy Hellickson.
  • The Tigers over the Indians: Justin Verlander has not seemed as dominant this season. In fact, he has been rather quiet. And Ubaldo Jimenez has been much better of late. But seriously, there is no way you can pick the Indians here, right? It might happen, but you cannot pick it that way.
  • The Angels over the White Sox: Don't look now, but the Angels have won two in a row! Woo! Can they make it three? There is a chance, yeah. Jerome Williams can get hot and shut the White Sox down as they pound the ball into the ground. Or, he could be terrible and then the terrible Angels' bullpen will get involved. Life is a crap shoot. Carlos Quintana goes for the White Sox.
  • The Orioles over the Twins: No, I am not too keen on picking an inexperienced pitcher in Steve Johnson. But on the bright side, Johnson was a perfect 4-0 in 2012. His numbers in the minors this season show better control while maintaining his strikeout rate. I still like him better than Vance Worley who has not pitched well for the Twins.
  • The Royals over the Yankees: Royals fans have started hanging their heads a bit as the Royals have hit a rough patch. But those rough patches will not last as long this year with better pitching in the rotation. James Shields is a big time pitcher and he can do well against this rag-tag Yankees lineup. Andy Pettitte has had cutter troubles his last couple of outings and has been banged around a bit.
  • The Rangers over the Astros: Nelson Cruz is hitting bombs again and Erik Bedard is quite capable of throwing bombs. Yu Darvish should be the difference in this one.
  • The Phillies over the Diamondbacks: Cliff Lee is no longer an elite pitcher. But he is still capable of putting up zeroes and having a good game. Him pitching seems to give the Phillies their best chance to win. Trevor Cahill has been better of late, but he is not as good as Cliff Lee.
  • The Dodgers over the Marlins: Gosh, the Dodgers sure have been disappointing. Their gazillion-dollar budget is falling flatter than a pancake. But it has not been the fault of Hyun-Jin Ryu who has pitched well for them. I like his chances better than Kevin Slowey's.
  • The Mariners over the Athletics: The A's have gone on a bad streak and give the Mariners a chance in this one. A lot will depend on how good Brandon Maurer is today. Maurer has had good games and bad games, so is hard to predict. Jarrod Parker has not had any good days.

And the Game of the Day!
  • The Nationals over the Cubs: The good news is that Edwin Jackson will not have to move every season like he has been and has a home for three seasons. The bad news is the Cubs fans will have to sit through his starts for those three seasons. Jackson is 0-5 and has pitched badly. Is he capable of a good game? Certainly. Will today be that day? Well...Stephen Strasburg is pitching and the Nats never score for him.

Yesterday: 13-2
Week: 52-26
Month: 78-52
Season: 307-216
Games of the Day: 28-11

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