Last night, after the Yankees, the Nationals, the Pirates and the Rangers lost, the picks stood at 1-4. But, thankfully, they rallied and went 7-1 the rest of the way. There were even two extra inning games that went my way. Wow. Things are definitely looking up in July for this old game picker. I still cannot believe I picked Dan Haren though.
The season keeps on barreling on toward the All Star break. Tuesday's picks:
- The Yankees over the Royals: Yes, the Yankees cannot hit. And yes, James Shields likes the challenge of pitching against the Yankees. But CC Sabathia is the difference maker in this game and pushes the pick to the Yankees.
- The Pirates over the Athletics: I had a dream about A.J. Burnett last night. How weird is that? In my dream, the Pirates traded him back to the Yankees. Anyway, that has nothing to do with the pick because Gerrit Cole is pitching and nevermind his last outing. He will shut down the A's. Dan Straily gets the hard luck loss.
- The Orioles over the Rangers: The Rangers are the worst good team this side of the Braves. You cannot count on them at all. Zach Britton versus Martin Perez is a match not made in heaven. Anything can happen.
- The Blue Jays over the Indians: When considering this game, the thought was which pitcher between Josh Johnson and Ubaldo Jimenez could have a really good night. The conclusion to the thought was Josh Johnson.
- The Phillies over the Nationals: Taylor Jordan has not pitched badly, but he has nothing to show for it. The Nats are pretty terrible on offense when facing a left-hander. Cole Hamels is a left-hander. The Nats are very disappointing this season.
- The Braves over the Marlins: If you look at Julio Teheran's season, you can see that he has won every other start. He did not win his last one, so this turn should be the win part of that cycle. Now if I can only remember this next time he pitches so I do not pick him. Henderson Alvarez goes for the Fish.
- The Bay Rays over the Twins: Anything could happen in this game. Two inexperienced pitchers in Chris Archer and Kyle Gibson. This is one of those toss ups where you pick the home team.
- The Cubs over the Angels: The Cubs can showcase Alfonso Soriano as a DH in case anyone is watching. Travis Wood rhymes with Trav is good and Joe Blanton has still won way less games than he has lost.
- The Reds over the Brewers: My bud, @diamondhoggers, is a big Reds fan and he is really thinking this team is in trouble. I still think they are a threat to come on in the second half. Tony Cingrani seems to have a lot of detractors even after pitching well. But I like him. I like him much better than Wily Peralta.
- The Cardinals over the Astros: The Cardinals are over this obsession with Bud Norris, are they not? If not, then they should be. Adam Wainwright is way better and this game should be fairly easy for the redbirds.
- The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy has held his own against the Dodgers over the years. He has a winning record against them but he is not invulnerable at Dodgers Stadium. Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco has a new lease on life in his first game in his new uniform. Let's see how he reacts to it.
- The Mariners over the Red Sox: Hisashi Iwakuma was the talk of baseball in the first two months of the season. Since then? Not so much. But he is left-handed and pitching at home. That said, he has a chance to shut down the Red Sox. Allen Webster is still inexperienced and even the Mariners have a chance to score against him.
- The Padres over the Rockies: I finally killed my Eric Stults curse in his last start. What I did was a reverse / opposite pick. I thought he was going to win, so I picked him to lose. It worked. Today, I think he will lose, so I will pick him to win. Hey, a picker has to do what a picker has to do. Jhoulys Chacin goes for the Rockies.
- The Mets over the Giants: This pick is really a pick for Dillon Gee more than it is a pick against Barry Zito. I think Zito will be okay in this one. But Gee just seems to win these sorts of games. He is such a fundamentally sound player.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Tigers over the White Sox: As scary as it is to state, this game is a mismatch if I ever saw one. Justin Verlander should dominate and the Tigers should do enough damage to Jose Quintana to make a few runs stand up.
Games of the Day: 59-38