Yesterday was a tough day and it was only a bit of success at the end of the day that led to a 6-6 record. The mediocre day put a bit of a damper on what has been a good week. First of all, I should have picked Danny Salazar, who was terrific. I picked against Danny Salazar and for Ross Wolf, two young pitchers. I got them both wrong even though Ross pitched a good game. His team could not score against Miguel Gonzalez. My beloved Jordan Zimmerman pitched another great game and deserved to win. But his team could not score against Kyle Kendrick. And Edwin Jackson, of all people, shut out the Cardinals. I felt that coming and did not pick it.
And so it was a tough day. Now we enter the final weekend before the All Star Break and I am looking forward to Monday. I need a couple of days as a break myself. Heck, I just write about these games. Imagine the grind of those who play it every day!
- The Cardinals over the Cubs: I debated on this one a long time. Both teams are starting long relievers. The Cards are going with Joe Kelly and the Cubs with Carlos Villanueva. Both are very useful pitchers who can never quite make a team's starting rotation. I think they cancel each other out and then I go with the better team.
- The Phillies over the White Sox: The White Sox are playing a little better. I should have picked Chris Sale yesterday and did not. But in this one, I see Jonathan Pettibone doing better than John Danks. And the White Sox lose a batter.
- The Indians over the Royals: Early in the season, I picked against Corey Kluber a lot. And then he got hot and it took me a while to come over to picking him. And then he got cold and I was on the wrong side again. He was great his last time out. So I am picking him. Bruce Chen is going for the Royals. Royals' fans have seen this before.
- The Yankees over the Twins: The Twins have traditionally struggled against the Yankees. These are not the same Yankees and it looks like Derek Jeter's return was for a day and won't play today probably. But Hiroki Kuroda is not a pitcher to pick against and Scott Diamond is.
- The Mets over the Pirates: I just wrote about Jeremy Hefner yesterday, so I have to pick him, right? Besides, I am not a big fan of Charlie Morton. Perhaps the Pirates went cold for going back to this blast to the terrible past for a pitcher.
- The Orioles over the Blue Jays: Mark Buehrle has been pitching well, but the Orioles have too good an offense and Chris Tillman is having a good season. It is tough to pick against the Orioles at home.
- The Tigers over the Rangers: Justin Grimm is not pitching well and has not made it past the fifth inning in his last four starts. Doug Fister is a strange case. He either pitches just fine or he is absolutely awful. What will today bring? He lives so much on the margins, that sometimes he just falls too close ot the cliff.
- The Nationals over the Marlins: The Nationals' offense has been so spotty and it wastes great outings from their big three starting pitchers. Stephen Strasburg has been no different. But he is so good that you have to pick him in any given game. Nathan Eovaldi will hope the Nats' bats are cold again.
- The Braves over the Reds: My gut is telling me that the Braves are going to club three homers against Bronson Arroyo today. And with Arroyo's homer-happy past, that is not a stretch. Kris Medlen will have to pitch a good game for this pick to come in though.
- The Diamondbacks over the Brewers: Tom Gorzelanny is one of those pitchers like Kyle Kendrick, who seem to live on the fringes awaiting their chance and do well once they get it. But I have to go with Patrick Corbin here.
- The Red Sox over the Athletics: The Red Sox never seem to lose. Ever. John Lackey has pitched very well this season. Jarrod Parker has had his ups and downs.
- The Angels over the Mariners: Yeah, yeah, Joe Saunders was terrific his last time out. Big deal. The Angels should still beat him up. Jerome Williams was having a great season until his last start. Can he rebound?
- The Dodgers over the Rockies: Suddenly, the Dodgers are relentless. Hairston, Ellis, Puig, Gonzalez and especially Hanley Ramirez, are all hitting the ball really well and the team is getting good pitching. All that could come together here against Juan Nicasio of the Rockies. The Rockies are sinking but have Troy Tulowitzki back. Clayton Kershaw goes for the Dodgers.
- The Giants over the Padres: The Padres are starting Sean O'Sullivan who has not started in the big leagues since 2011. His MLB K/9 is invisible but he was having a good strikeout season for him in the minors. I am not buying it though. But picking Chad Gaudin just goes against everything I stand for. Ugh!
And the Game of the Day!
- The Bay Rays over the Astros: The Astros are featuring the MLB debut of Jarred Cosart. Cosart was a 38th round draft pick the Astros obtained from the Phillies a couple of years ago (Oswalt deal?). He looks like he has a good arm, but his minor league record is filled with too many walks. I cannot pick that. Besides, David Price has come back with a vengeance from the DL.
Games of the Day: 61-39