Friday, August 23, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Friday: August 23, 2013

This week has looked a whole lot brighter since going 17-7 over the last two days with the picks. Short schedules like yesterday can be bothersome, but it was navigated with a 6-3 day. It helps when you have guys like Clayton Kershaw pitching. He is just about a lock for the CYA, it seems.

Of the three games that were incorrect, a very off-putting performance by Justin Verlander was puzzling as the Twins hit him hard and then the bullpen did not help. The Royals got swept by the White Sox. Whuh!? And after thinking Matt Cain was back to being Matt Cain, Cain was not Abel to get anyone out on the Pirates.

The Yankees are only three and a half back now on the wildcard. Can it be? If only they could play the Blue Jays every day the rest of the way. They are now 11-1 against that club.

Friday's picks:

  • The Diamondbacks over the Phillies: This pick is extremely tricky. Wade Miley is pitching much better these days. The Phillies do not have any significant split against left-handed starters. So that should not be a factor. Cole Hamels is pitching as well as Miley or better. The Phillies are playing better. Ugh. Still picking the D-backs.
  • The Indians over the Twins: I was sort of amazed to see that the Indians are still in the wildcard hunt. Shows you what I know. Sam Deduno has been letting me down big time lately. Nick Swisher is showing signs on getting on one of his rolls. Ubaldo Jimenez has to pitch well though.
  • The Orioles over the Athletics: Dan Straily is not quite the same on the road as he is at home. Bud Norris has not been spectacular, but he has been solid and that is all the O's need from him. The Orioles are home and they have fun there.
  • The Marlins over the Rockies: This pick might be down right stupid. But the Rockies are really playing poorly. Jhoulys Chacin is very inconsistent and hard to count on. Tom Koehler deserves something good to happen. Giancarlo Stanton makes that home run sculpture dance? Am I the only person who likes that thing?
  • The Tigers over the Mets: The Mets have signed and are starting Daisuke Matsuzaka (dormez-vous, dormez-vous). That, is...interesting. Doug Fister needs to pitch well to make this pick. The Tigers seem to struggle against bad teams. We will see what happens.
  • The Reds over the Brewers: Two things about this game are troubling. First, Yovani Gallardo has come off the disabled list with a bang. Secondly, despite how talented Homer Bailey is, he still has a losing record.
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: If the Yankees can win in their own personal house of horrors, Tropicana Field, then they really are back in this race. If they cannot, then it is fools gold. Chris Archer made them look silly earlier in the year. Hiroki Kuroda has had a great season and needs to keep that up today.
  • The White Sox over the Rangers: Yeah, I know. In a normal universe, this should not happen. But the White Sox are hot lately. And Chris Sale can beat anyone on any given day if he gets some run support. He should get it with a few runs off of Martin Perez.
  • The Blue Jays over the Astros: It is so difficult to pick the Blue Jays. They have found so many creative ways to lose this season. Todd Redmond, however, has pitched well and already struck out ten Astros in six innings the last time he faced them. Jordan Lyles and his country crocodiles goes for the Astros.
  • The Royals over the Nationals: Bruce Chen has a .649 lifetime winning percentage at Cough-man Stadium. So this pick has a 65% chance of being correct. The other 35% depends on how well Gio Gonzalez pitches and he has not been quite right.
  • The Cardinals over the Braves: This was supposed to be a big series. But the Cards have caught the Braves with their pants down. Justin Upton is hurting. Jason Heyward is out. Brandon Beachy is heading back to the doctor. Not good. Adam Wainwright over Kris Medlen.
  • The Dodgers over the Red Sox: This is a cool game against two really good teams. John Lackey starts against the Dodgers. I wonder what he will think about Yasiel Puig? I picture a lot of ugly faces. Ricky Nolasco really mades a difference in this one I think.
  • The Padres over the Cubs: Two of the most dysfunctional starting pitchers in baseball start against each other. Edwin Jackson goes against Edinson Volquez. Wow. Is this the island of misfit toys or what?
  • The Giants over the Pirates: I was wrong with this pick yesterday and I do not seem to have much luck predicting when Madison Bumgarner will pitch well. But in a normal world, the Giants' pitcher is much better than Charlie Morton. Very few baseball games are normal though.

And the Game of the Day:

Yesterday: 6-3
Week: 39-28
Month: 175-122
Season: 1078-835
Games of the Day: 82-56   +2

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