Happy birthday, America! And happy Independence Day, everyone. I wish there was happier news on the game picking front. I had a sub-.500 day on the heels of the Astros, Marlins and Cubs all winning games. I chose poorly between the Angels and the Cardinals as the Cardinals destroyed Jerome Williams. The Rangers lost to the Mariners again. Matt Harvey lost. The Royals beat the Indians despite a good start by Scott Kazmir (bullpen blew it). It was a tough day.
But with the holiday today, there are lots of day games. In fact, here on the East Coast, you can watch games from eleven o'clock straight through to eleven o'clock tonight.
Here are your July 4th picks:
- The Nationals over the Brewers: This game starts at 11:05 ET and features two inexperienced pitchers in Donovan Hand and Taylor Jordan. That is hard to pick especially since the Brewers have won the first two games of the series. A Washington team has to win on July 4th, right?
- The Mets over the Diamondbacks: Whenever I pick against Dillon Gee, I get burned. Ian Kennedy came back from his long suspension in his last start and was rocked. Of course, I had picked him to win. This game could go either way.
- The Reds over the Giants: This is another game that could go either way. Matt Cain is pitching for the Giants and he is a good pitcher. Mike Leake goes for the Reds and sometimes he is good, sometimes he is not. Which will today be? The Giants are really scuffling.
- The Pirates over the Phillies: Gerrit Cole has yet to lose a Major League game. It cannot be that easy, can it? Against the Phillies, it might be. Cole Hamels is 2-11. Gosh, who would have ever expected that. Hamels deserves better. He won't get it today either.
- The Red Sox over the Padres: If you have followed along here, you know that I am zero for Eric Stults for the season. It is comical. If I pick him to win, he loses and vice-versa. I think he should beat Allen Webster, who has not looked ready for the Majors. So...since I think he is going to win, I will pick him to lose. Yes, it has come to this.
- The Orioles over the White Sox: Zach Britton was good against the Yankees. But that has not been hard to do this year with the Yankees. Jose Quintana is just one of those guys who exists in the big leagues. He is neither good nor bad. Just an average Jose.
- The Royals over the Indians: I still believe in James Shields. He has not had the kind of season for the Royals that I thought he would have. But he is still far better than most pitchers they have had the last ten years. Ubaldo Jimenez is not having that bad a season after a horrible April. Going with Shields.
- The Twins over the Yankees: Even though the Yankees have taken the first three games of this series, this one seems set up for the Twins. David Phelps got bopped in his last start and looked like a batting practice pitcher. And Kyle Gibson is one of the Twins' best prospects and showed it in his debut start. He will get the Yankees to hit it into the ground all day.
- The Rays over the Astros: The Astros took it to the Rays yesterday. I cannot imagine that happening two days in a row. Chris Archer, however, is not that great and can be had by the Astros. But the Rays should get to Jordan Lyles too despite missing Longoria.
- The Athletics over the Cubs: Travis Wood has faltered a bit as the season has gone on. But after Garza is traded, he will be the face of this rotation. Still, I think the A's take the game behind Dan Straily.
- The Braves over the Marlins: Henderson Alvarez, formerly of the Blue Jays, is coming off the 60-day disabled list to pitch this game. Why does that not sound appealing? Julio Teheran has been really impressive for the last couple of months. So that is the pick.
- The Rangers over the Mariners: The Mariners have already taken two games from the Rangers at Arlington. What is with that? Martin Perez does not inspire confidence. Hisashi Iwakuma has not been the same in the last month. Who knows. This game could go either way.
- The Rockies over the Dodgers: Chris Capuano was picked in his last outing and he did not last the second inning. That makes me afraid to pick him here, especially at Coors. And Jhoulys Chacin should be better than him anyway.
- The Cardinals over the Angels: I paid for not picking the Cards yesterday and their ace, Adam Wainwright, is on the mound today. Joe Blanton won his last start. But the Cardinals should hit him around pretty good. This should be an easy win for the Cards. But then again, after forty years, I should be a good golfer too.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Tigers over the Blue Jays: Justin Verlander said he found something in his mechanics that was leading to his problems. I am taking the man at his word that he will come out smoking. Esmil Rogers is pitching fairly well with the Blue Jays, but if Verlander is on, in the words of the late, great. James Gandolfini, "Forgetaboutit."
Games of the Day: 55-37