Sunday was a very good day and the mediocre days of May and June are starting to become a distant memory. I feel like I have my picking mojo back. Out of fifteen games, only three went the wrong way. The Cubs beat the Pirates to ruin A.J. Burnett's return. And of course, that was an extra-inning game. Those are death to me. The Indians beat the Tigers as Doug Fister had nothing. And Joe Saunders had one of those games where everyone hit the ball but right at somebody. The Reds' loss a loss for the Game of the Day pick, which had been on a nice run for the last couple of weeks. But all in all, it was a very good day of picking.
There are thirteen games on the Monday schedule, which is a lot for this day of the week. Here are the picks:
- The Tigers over the Indians: Max Scherzer's winning streak has reached critical mass. Every time picking him now is bucking the odds because every pitcher loses once in a while, even the best. But perhaps it will not be today. Scott Kazmir pitches for the Indians, which gives them a chance.
- The Yankees over the Royals: Yesterday's loss was a kick in the gut, but you cannot blame it all on Mariano Rivera as the Yankees have to score more than one run. They should today against Jeremy Guthrie. The key is whether Phil Hughes can continue to pitch well like his last two outings. Tough call there.
- The Pirates over the Athletics: The starting pitchers, Bartolo Colon and Jeff Locke are a combined 19-4. Wow! If both have a good game, then it goes to the bullpen and both teams are okay there. But if one of these starters were to have a bad day, it would seem better odds for Colon to do so.
- The Orioles over the Rangers: I like the Orioles here because they are at home and should be boosted a bit by their win yesterday. Scott Feldman faces his old team and should do well. The left-handed tosses of Derek Holland should be covered by the Orioles right-handed bats.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: John Lannon was pretty good for the Phillies his last time and he faces his old team. And Dan Haren goes for the Nats and that is a scary proposition. I think this is a high scoring game and the Nats have more horses.
- The Twins over the Bay Rays: This is a bit of an upset pick. But more than that, it is a disbelief pick that the Rays keep sending Roberto Hernandez out there every five days. Sam Deduno has a better chance of pitching well.
- The Cubs over the White Sox: I am going to go ahead and assume that Matt Garza will still be with the Cubs and will still pitch this game. If so, the Cubs win. If not, then this pick is moot. Either way, Hector Santiago pitching for a bad, bad team is not a picnic.
- The Brewers over the Reds: Another upset pick only because I have seen too often over the years where a no-hit pitcher comes back and is pretty awful in his next outing. Plus, Kyle Lohse at home is not as easy a task for the Reds as you might think.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: The D-backs at home are pretty tough and Randall Delgado pitched well his last time out. But the Dodgers are rolling and Zack Greinke should pitch his usual great six innings or so.
- The Rockies over the Padres: The Rockies have lost seven of their last ten and three in a row. But they are playing the Padres who have lost nine of their last ten. One of these teams has to win! Tyler Chatwood should succeed away from Coors and it big Petco. Edinson Volquez is not as bad as last year.
- The Mariners over the Red Sox: This is a really tough call. Felix Hernandez, as I have proven over and over, is not a guaranteed win. He never has been. But he gives the Mariners a fighting chance to win. He is at home. The Red Sox were shut out yesterday. This could be his time. Jon Lester is a tough opponent.
- The Mets over the Giants: Tim Lincecum at home is not as frightening as when he is away. But his starts are still full of concern. He might be outshone by Matt Harvey though as the Mets' big right-hander should come back off one of his worst outings of the year last time out.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Braves over the Marlins: The Marlins are playing well and Mike Minor has not been as dominant lately. I still think the Braves win and score against Kevin Slowey (slower, slowest).
Games of the Day: 58-38