Did Ryan Dempster throw at Alex Rodriguez on purpose? Of course he did. If he got suspended because of the act (which he won't because the tensions did not escalate), I am sure he would be glad that he had the appeals process in place. I can certainly understand not liking what A-Rod has done to the game. But the big complaint from players is that he is playing under the appeals process. Excuse me, union members, but that was a hard won victory for the union in the agreement process with MLB. If Marvin Miller is not turning in his grave, I would be surprised.
The point is that the Red Sox and my pick would have been okay if Dempster had not made it personal. Elsewhere, bullpens and lack of runs cost Matt Harvey and Yu Darvish wins after pitching brilliantly...again...and cost me picks...again. The only ray of sunshine of a cloudy day of picks was picking the end of the Dodgers' winning streak.
- The Mets over the Twins: Kyle Gibson, like most Twins' pitchers does not strike batters out. That makes him have to be really fine with his pitching. His last four games were not really fine. Dillon Gee, on the other hand, is pitching great but cannot get help from his mates. Tough pick.
- The Rockies over the Phillies: Talk about tough picks. Jeff Manship against Ethan Martin? How do I pick that? I am going with the Rockies because they have a better offense. But it is a total crap shoot on this one.
- The Orioles over the Rays: I do not understand people making fun of Chris Tillman's won-loss record. I understand that such is not the best way to evaluate a pitcher. But Tillman has given up more than three runs just twice in his last ten starts. Anyway, it is tough to pick against David Price, but I like the Orioles at home.
- The Reds over the Diamondbacks: This game is pretty significant in terms of playoff implications. The Reds, of course, would like to win the division, but they hold a small lead over the D-backs in wildcard terms. I like the Reds at home and the way they are playing lately. Bronson Arroyo versus Randall Delgado.
- The Marlins over the Dodgers; Jose Fernandez has had an amazing season. But if you really want to be amazed, check out his home numbers. He is untouchable at home. Hyun-jin Ryu has been great too and will pitch well. But Fernandez will be dominant.
- The Rangers over the Astros: Matt Garza has done exactly what the Rangers wanted him to do when they traded for him. He should be fine today. Lucas Harrell has hung in there and taken his lumps every five days. Poor guy.
- The Nationals over the Cubs: The sad truth is that the Nats currently are not that much better than the Cubs. I still can't get over their season. But Jordan Zimmermann is still my guy and even though I like Jeff Samardzija too, I have to go with Jordan.
- The Cardinals over the Brewers: The Cardinals are confusing and Shelby Miller is confusing. How good are they? I don't really know at this point. Milwaukee has never seemed that great a place for them to go either. But the Brewers are going nowhere and Marco Estrada is blah.
- The Angels over the Indians: We can pretty much count the Indians out now, right? Right. And though I like Danny Salazar, I like Jered Weaver at home even better.
- The Pirates over the Padres: This pick does not make me feel comfortable. Francisco Liriano has been unbelievable and the Padres' offense is not there. But Andrew Cashner has the kind of stuff to shut down the Pirates too. Going with the better team, but I am nervous.
- The Red Sox over the Giants: After watching the Red Sox a lot, there are some holes on this team. Middle relief is one. Starting pitching is another. But they should win tonight even though they flew all day to get to San Francisco. Jon Lester goes against Tim Lincecum.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Athletics over the Mariners: The Mariners have not been an easy team to play lately. They certainly took it to the Rangers over the weekend. The A's are the weirdest good team ever though and they will win. Aaron Harang will be okay. Jarrod Parker will be okay. The A's win.
Games of the Day: 79-55 -1