After picking to the tune of 22-10 over the past two months, I was hoping that I was over my long picking slump. That hope was misguided. Yesterday's picks limped into a 6-6 record and back to mediocrity. It was a screwy night. Felix Hernandez had an 8-2 lead over the Angels. That was safe right? Wrong. Jonathon Niese had to leave the game early after experiencing pain in his shoulder. The Braves went scoreless in five and two-thirds innings against Mets' relievers. The Marlins scored only two runs against the Giants. But that was enough as Tom Koehler won his first game. The Brewers blew a save (go figure) and lost to the Astros in extras. It was Pedro Alvarez five, the Reds three. So yeah, it was a tough night.
- The Cubs over the Astros: Matt Garza continues to audition for his pending trade and Dallas Keuchel gives up a few too many.
- The Nationals over the Rockies: Stephen Strasburg needs to calm down some of the naysayers with a big game. Tyler Chatwood has a good record and ERA, but I cannot imagine he will go the whole season without giving up a homer.
- The Twins over the Indians: My boss is from Minnesota and loves the Twins, so I have to keep picking them. No, seriously, they are playing good baseball. Sam Deduno has helped. Scott Kazmir can still miss bats, but cannot hang around long enough.
- The Yankees over the Bay Rays: The Yankees actually have a chance in this one. David Phelps is better than Phil Hughes. And Ramon Hernandez gives the putrid Yankees' lineup a chance as long as Vernon Wells finally sits. I hope Zoilo Almonte starts in the outfield.
- The Orioles over the Blue Jays: This one could blow up quickly and all depends on which pitcher, Jason Hammel or R.A. Dickey, gives up the least amount of home runs.The Blue Jays winning streak is on the line.
- The Tigers over the Red Sox: This one seems even as both Jon Lester and Doug Fister's last names even rhyme. There is no rhyme or reason to this pick. Either team could win. Both have no closers. It should be fun.
- The Braves over the Brewers: Julio Teheran is really throwing the ball well these days. It is nice to see him settle down and start reaching his promise. The Braves' lineup is so spotty and inconsistent though. Wily Peralta will have either a great day or a bad day depending on which Braves show up.
- The Royals over the White Sox: Is Robin Ventura still glad he took this job? I do not think so. Jeremy Guthrie should have a good day and win this one. Hector Santiago is one of those nondescript pitchers who wins every once in a while just to keep his job.
- The Rangers over the Cardinals: Wow. This is a cool series. The Rangers lose a bat in the lineup. The only games the Cardinals have lost in the past couple of weeks have been started by Tyler Lyons, so that is the pick. Derek Holland will have to have a good day though. Remember that World Series?
- The Reds over the Diamondbacks: The Reds are the better team and Johnny Cueto is a better pitcher than Wade Miley. But as we all know, since when does logic matter in baseball?
- The Angels over the Pirates: This is a tough call and a tough series to predict. Gerrit Cole has been great for the Pirates. But the Angels have gotten hot as Albert Pujols has started to hit. I am going with the Angels at home.
- The Dodgers over the Padres: The only place that Clayton Richard pitches well is at home. And that is where he is. But how can any picker ever pick against Clayton Kershaw? Kershaw does not always win. But he has the ability to win every game he pitches.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma was a lock earlier in the season, but has not won in a while. The A's are the better team and cannot seem to lose when Bartolo Colon pitches. So that is the pick. I hate picking against Iwakuma though...
- The Giants over the Marlins: I am torn on this one. Tim Lincecum is far from a lock pitching any game. I could see a homer by Giancarlo Stanton in this one. And Ricky Nolasco could have a good game. But, gee, it is hard to pick the Marlins to win, though they have been more regularly. Ugh.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Phillies over the Mets: The pitching line in this one is a combined 3-16. Yikes! So, how do you pick a game like that? Well, one of them is Cole Hamels and the other is Jeremy Hefner. Which one makes sense to you?
Games of the Day: 46-33