The picking day on Thursday finished a game over .500 and it still feels like a major victory. Granted, it was mediocre and barely acceptable, but it was the first day in the black this week. That is a victory. Of course, two games went a combined 32 innings to be wrong. Those extra inning games never help. Ever. And it seems there have been more of them than ever before. As usual, Yu Darvish was very good and could not win. The same was the case for Matt Harvey, but at least I predicted that one.
And here is a little tidbit for you. In one of those extra inning games, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis and Vernon Wells were back to back to back in the lineup. They went zero for 23. That's right. Zero for 23. Just keep running them out there, Girardi. Yup.
Here are Friday's picks:
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: Like I told you yesterday, the Orioles like playing the Red Sox. It is just one of those things. Both teams will be exhausted after their long game yesterday. But the Orioles will hit Ryan Dempster more than the Red Sox will hit Chris Tillman.
- The Pirates over the Dodgers: I keep forgetting that the Pirates are a good team now. For all the years I have been doing this, the Pirates were the easy mark. They still have some problems occasionally on offense, but they are a good team. And Jeff Locke will be
- The Indians over the Nationals: The Nats have run out of pitchers named, "Ross." They win with pitchers named, "Ross." They have not won often with pitchers named Gio Gonzalez. Besides, Justin Masterson is the Indians' best pitcher.
- The Mets over the Cubs: The two pitchers in this contest are a combined 2-15. Yes, those are the kinds of messes I have to deal with. I have a new theory about Edwin Jackson. He was born in Germany and in that country, most citizens get five weeks of vacation a year. Jackson takes his during the baseball season. Shaun Marcum is going to get his first win of the season.
- The Reds over the Brewers: Kyle Lohse has always pitched pretty well against the Reds. He has one of his better K/BB splits against the Reds over the years. But the feeling here is that the Brewers will find some way to screw it up and lose. Bronson Arroyo is hit or miss and when he is hit, he is hit.
- The Cardinals over the Marlins: Jake Westbrook has not pitched in a while and it is almost a bad thing he has come off the disabled list because the young pitchers have pitched better than him. And the Cardinals have Stanton back and young, Jose Fernandez, has been pitching well. Despite all that, I am going with the Cardinals.
- The Braves over the Giants: This is a tough, tough game to predict. Kris Medlen has not had a good start to the season but has not given up an earned run over his last two starts and wants to stay out of the bullpen. But the Giants are pitching Madison Bumgarner, which means with the free swingers on the Braves, he could strike out twelve of them.
- The Rangers over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have been on a bit of a roll. The Rangers have been in a funk. Justin Grimm has not been very good lately. Mark Buehrle is a powder-puff guy who keeps teams off balance...most of the time. When he does not, it ain't pretty. The Rangers at home are still tough to deal with.
- The White Sox over the Astros: Chris Sale was supposed to pitch the other night, but the game was rained out. The extra rest should do him good. Erik Bedard could surprise with a good game tonight. But that would indeed be a surprise.
- The Tigers over the Twins: This game is no gimme for the Tigers and the Twins have played them tough. Scott Diamond should not be able to hold Miguel Cabrera and company down. Rick Porcello has been decent for the Tigers.
- The Rockies over the Phillies: The Rockies are losing players to injuries, which is a shame. But I have a feeling they will still rock Kyle Kendrick's world today at home in Coors Field.
- The Angels over the Yankees: The Angels have at least three hitters that can do something. The Yankees cannot say that. And as long as the Yankees play Vernon Wells, I cannot pick them anymore. Despite Andy Pettitte pitching, I am going with C.J. Wilson.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: I cannot see the Mariners' offense doing anything in this game. The A's are a really good team. Tommy Milone over Joe Saunders.
- The Diamondbacks over the Padres: I can tell I am being set up here. I have picked against the Padres and picked against them and they keep on winning. Today, I think they will win behind Eric Stults. But that is a setup and I recognize it. So I am going to foil it and pick the Diamondbacks and the terrible Trevor Cahill. So there. Nice try. Gosh, I am going insane.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Bay Rays over the Royals: The Rays have been pretty sucky for a couple of weeks now. And the once unhitable Matt Moore has been getting bombed. The thinking here is that Moore rediscovers himself in this game and the struggling Rays' lineup gets a few runs off of Luis Mendoza.
Games of the Day: 43-29