Only four picks came in incorrectly yesterday, which was a good day. Of the four, Andre Rienzo pitching a good game to beat the Royals was probably the biggest surprise. Both Ross Ohlendorf and Jake Arrieta were terrible and the Nationals won a shootout. Hisashi Iwakuma survived two homers to beat the A's with a well-pitched game. And darned if Ian Kennedy did not mess with my head with his best outing of the year to beat the Pirates and Gerrit Cole. That loss combined with a perfectly predicted Cardinals win tightened up the NL Central to one game. The Reds won too so that race really is complicated.
I am happy with the results for a day at least. I was sad to see what happened to Jason Heyward. That was awful.
There are nine games on the schedule on this off day / getaway day. Five of them are played during the day. Cool. The picks:
- The Reds over the Diamondbacks: It has been a long, long time since Mat Latos lost a ballgame. So he has to be the pick even though Trevor Cahill was mighty good his last time out. If the Reds win, the Diamondbacks might be headed to irrelevancy.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: Yes, let us predict a sweep. The Blue Jays are playing so poorly and the Yankees with such new life, that I cannot see any other outcome. Andy Pettitte does have to pitch well. J.A. Happ does have to pitch poorly. But the Yankees are on fire.
- The Tigers over the Twins: Andrew Albers finally got touched up a bit in his last start after two great debut starts. His left-handedness should not concern the Tigers much except for Prince Fielder. Justin Verlander erases the rest of the doubt about the outcome. And just for good measure, Joe Mauer is out.
- The Nationals over the Cubs: When Stephen Strasburg first burst on to the scene, the one thing that stood him apart was his control. That control is gone. And you have to hope he does not have that weird yip disorder that destroyed other pitching careers. So yeah, I am scared for him. But I am picking him over the Cubs in hopes that he will be okay. Travis Wood is always victimized by ace outings.
- The Phillies over the Rockies: Chad Bettis is not having much success in his young Major League experience. A WHIP of 1.77 shows his ineffectiveness. I do not have much more faith in Kyle Kendrick, but he is a better alternative here.
- The Royals over the White Sox: I have been saying all along that the White Sox are playing better. And Jose Quintana is the only pitcher they have with a positive record. But I think Big Game James Shields has a good day and puts the Royals back in the win column.
- The Cardinals over the Braves: The Braves will miss Jason Heyward. Justin Upton has back issues. Paul Maholm is facing the Cardinals for the nineteenth time in his career. They know him. Joe Kelly is my only reservation as he starts for the Cards.
- The Giants over the Pirates: Jeff Locke's last outing was abysmal. Has he hit a wall? Maybe. Matt Cain is pitching much more like Matt Cain lately and the Giants are at home.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Dodgers over the Marlins: The only way the Marlins win this game against Clayton Kershaw is if Henderson Alvarez pitches a terrific game and the Marlins can squeak out a couple of runs. Otherwise, I cannot see the Dodgers losing this one.
Games of the Day: 81-56