A couple of lousy relief efforts by the Brewers (What is wrong with you, John Axford?) and Rays turned what would have been a slightly positive day into a slightly negative one. Both of those teams mentioned above gave up huge leads late in the game and it was incredible. For the Chicago, it was a good day with a mild upset as the White Sox beat the Rangers in Arlington and then Scott Feldman beat a former Cubs' pitcher for his second straight good outing. Both of those games were wrong. But Chicago fans are happy, so that is something at least.
I also did not expect Cliff Lee to give up eleven base runners in six innings and for Trevor Bauer to get away with giving up six walks in his five innings of work. And the Indians are suddenly a hot team that has approached the .500 mark. I am still not used to a Phillies team that is sort of pathetic offensively.
So the first day of May caused a bit of a mayday. And Thursday brings a dreaded short day where a couple of mistakes can ruin the entire day. Thursday's picks:
- The Royals over the Bay Rays: This Royals team is fun, is it not? The Royals, to make this pick correct, need Ervin Santana to keep the ball in the park and they need to score a few runs against a struggling Roberto Hernandez. Since the team is at home, I think these will both be accomplished.
- The Cubs over the Padres: I picked against Eric Stults for his first start of the year and he was great and won. I have been picking him ever since and that has not gone well. So my 2013 season is zero for Stults. Today I am not picking him and instead going with Travis Wood. Watch Stults pitch brilliantly today. Sigh.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Alex Sanabia is really kind of a 4-A pitcher and is not quite good enough to be pitching in the majors. Kyle Kendrick has seemed to be the same kind of pitcher for years, yet somehow keeps winning and staying employed. Go figure. It is too bad that Giancarlo Stanton got hurt just as he was heating up.
- The Blue Jays over the Red Sox: Just call it a hunch that J.A. Happ will be better today than Ryan Dempster and that Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista will hit a big fly. The Red Sox sure look invincible at this point though.
- The Braves over the Nationals: Kris Medlen has not been as good as last year. But then again, who could be that good? In this game, he will just need to be good enough as Bryce Harper sustained an injury and I believe Werth was already missing from the lineup. Plus, I think the Braves will score on Dan Haren.
- The Rangers over the White Sox: I love this Justin Grimm kid. For a young pitcher, he does not walk a lot of batters and he is exciting in the rotation. Jake Peavy is one heckava pitcher too but I think the the Rangers will score a few in their home ballpark.
- The Tigers over the Astros: I picked against Rick Porcello last time and that did not go so well. Have you noticed that those kinds of things affect my picks the next time? They should not, but I get gun shy. Oh well, your Flagrant host is human. Plus, the Tigers should rough up the return of Jordan Lyles, who is back in the majors for this one.
- The Brewers over the Cardinals: The Brewers are due to take one of the games in this series. This is their best chance as Jake Westbrook can be had. Wily Peralta is a wildcard I know little about but he seems decent enough most of the time. Both teams are having bullpen issues.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Angels over the Orioles: In theory, the Orioles' big bats should hit Joe Blanton pretty hard. Chris Tillman, though, is uneven and is probably the weakest link in the Orioles' rotation. Mike Trout is heating up and Mark Trumbo is hitting bombs again. So the pick is with the Angels as the big pick of the day.
Games of the Day: 23-8