Thursday, July 25, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Thursday: July 25, 2013

I came close to nirvana. Nirvana, of course, is a 15-0 day. I finished the day yesterday at 13-2. So close! The only two blemishes on the night were the Red Sox losing to the Rays. I should have gone with David Price, who was brilliant. The second was the Nationals, who refuse...utterly refuse to score runs for Stephen Strasburg, who was unbelievable. But the Nationals could not hit Francisco Liriano. You have to tip your cap to Liriano too, but still. So close. So bloody close.

Speaking of bloody, I was very saddened to see that Tim Hudson broke his ankle. Hudson has been a long time favorite here and has always been one of the classiest players in baseball. It was just one of those fluke things that was awful and that will be a big blow to the Braves moving forward. Hudson is not only a class act, but one of the best pitchers of his generation. You cannot replace that.

There are fourteen games on the schedule today which is the exact same thing as happened Monday. Six of the games are day games. Yes! Here are today's picks:

  • The Mets over the Braves: This is a very intriguing game. Zack Wheeler can strike out a bunch of Braves as they are that sort of team. But he has to avoid walking people. Alex Wood is starting for the Braves and he is nasty. The lefty strikes people out, does not walk batters and is a ground ball machine. But, he will only be able to go five innings or so. Very intriguing.
  • The Nationals over the Pirates: A.J. Burnett is sort of back to being the Yankees' A.J. Well, not that bad, but just bad enough to lose. Gio Gonzalez will get the run support that Strasburg never gets. Although he did not last time.
  • The Yankees over the Rangers: There are two facts here that are conflicting. The first is that the Yankees really stink against lefty starters. They are just not built right now for facing them. The second salient fact is that Derek Holland has really funky road / home splits not only this year, but his entire career as a Ranger. He does not pitch nearly as well at home. That will give Hiroki Kuroda a chance to win.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: It is hard to pick the White Sox and Jake Peavy, because you never know if Peavy will still be with the team by the time this game is played. Even if he is, Justin Verlander, as badly as he has pitched, is still a better pitcher and pick.
  • The Brewers over the Padres: Yovani Gallardo at home? Yes, please. But will he be traded? Good question. I doubt it. Edinson Volquez goes for the Padres.
  • The Rockies over the Marlins: Juan Nicasio has experience pitching at his home ballpark at Coors. The thought of Nathan Eovaldi pitching there is frightening. I have to go with the Rockies even if Giancarlo Stanton hits a bomb or two.
  • The Blue Jays over the Astros: You cannot get much worse of a loss than what the Blue Jays put together last night and it sort of epitomized their season. Even so, Mark Buehrle should beat Erik Bedard and the Astros:
  • The Red Sox over the Bay Rays: The Rays are playing outstanding baseball. But I think the Red Sox are still the best team overall. John Lackey should be better than Jeremy Hellickson. In fact, I expect the Red Sox to knock Hellickson out early.
  • The Cardinals over the Phillies: Kyle Kendrick will have a good game if he holds the Cardinals to four runs. You know what I mean? This team just scores and scores. Lance Lynn has not racked up the wins like I thought he would after the way he started. But he is still good enough to beat the Phillies.
  • The Orioles over the Royals: Jeremy Guthrie is capable of having a good game. He is just as capable of allowing the Orioles' hitters to hit a bunch of bombs on him. Miguel Gonzalez continues to win. And there is no sense questioning it. Just pick it.
  • The Angels over the Athletics: Dan Straily is tough at home. Why the A's will not commit to him in the rotation is a bit baffling. But this pick goes to the Angels because C.J. Wilson has pitched really well since his Head & Shoulders commercial came out. I doubt the two are related.
  • The Dodgers over the Reds: The best pitching match-up of the day pits Zack Greinke against Mat Latos. Both have trouble going deep in games. The winner will be the most efficient today. You cannot pick against the Dodgers these days.
  • The Mariners over the Twins: The M's had themselves a little roll going until yesterday. The Twins have been playing well too. But Hisashi Iwakuma is not someone to pick against when going at home. Kevin Correia goes for the Twins.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Diamondbacks over the Cubs: The D-backs have watched the Dodgers zoom by them in the standings and better pick up the pace if they want to keep this a race. Wade Miley has not been great, but is good enough to beat the Cubs. Carlos Villanueva goes for the Cubs.

Yesterday: 13-2  Weeee!
Week: 48-26
Month: 176-112
Season: 853-648
Games of the Day: 66-43

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