My last night in Augusta, Maine, brought more mediocrity as the picks just barely broke .500. And it was truly a bizarre night in baseball. Cole Hamels was awful...again. David Price was terrible and hurt, which explains the terrible. The Orioles lost to the Padres and Jason Marquis shut them down. Whuh? Adam Dunn has done something to his mechanics and is killing the ball all of the sudden. Oh sure, Dunn, make my last magazine article look stupid. As predicted, Zack Greinke only lasted five innings. But the bullpen did its job and that was not predicted. The Astros beat the Tigers and Max Scherzer. I did not see that coming. I did see Hisashi Iwakuma beating the Yankees, but what the heck, Phil Hughes?
So, yes, it was a night where I was probably lucky to break just above even. But I need to get going on these picks because I need to pack up and hit the road.
- The Cardinals over the Mets: Jonathon Niese is due for a good performance. But it will not matter if he does because Adam Wainwright will be better. And by the way, I really enjoy watching Carlos Beltran hit a baseball.
- The Pirates over the Brewers: See, this is the thing. Francisco Liriano has made a career the last four years of giving you hope after a good performance by then going back to being terrible. But he looks different this time. Is he really? Or am I just being suckered for the thirty-fourth time? Oh, and Hiram Burgos goes for the Brewers.
- The Yankees over the Mariners: After King Felix and Iwakuma, Aaron Harang is going to look like manna from heaven. That then should give them a win as long as Andy Pettitte pitches like he did his last outing and not like the two outings before that.
- The Red Sox over the Bay Rays: I do not know I picked the Rays yesterday. I had every intention of picking the Red Sox. Weird. Anyway, I am tempted to go with Alex Cobb. But the Rays have a terrible time against lefty pitching and that is what Felix Doubront is. As long as Doubront does not melt down as he is apt to do, He should win.
- The Reds over the Marlins: Yes, phenom, Jose Fernandez is pitching for the Marlins. But Mat Latos is pitching for the Reds. I cannot see the Reds losing here.
- The Rangers over the Tigers: What a match-up! Justin Verlander against Yu Darvish. How cool is that? Justin Verlander's velocity is still down a few ticks, but he is pitching great despite his 4-3 record. But I am going with Yu Darvish at home. Darvish versus Miguel Cabrera is going to be worth the price of admission by itself.
- The Giants over the Rockies: Matt Cain has pitched eleven times at Coors Field and has held his own there with a 5-3 record and a 4.11 ERA. Not bad considering. Jhoulys Chacin is uneven and up and down and it is hard to predict what you will get from outing to outing. Cain seems the better choice.
- The White Sox over the Angels: If you cannot beat them, join them. The Angels continue to spiral down. Jerome Williams has been their best pitcher. But he is due for a clunker. Adam Dunn is killing the ball and Carlos Quintana can be decent.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Nationals over the Padres: This is supposed to be the guaranteed pick of the day and Stephen Strasburg is 1-5. Bryce Harper out hurts the Nats' lineup a lot. But Strasburg is the pick as Edinson Volquez is pitching better, but is due to return to form.
Games of the Day: 31-13