Why yes, it is Friday the 13th. That means the picks will have good luck today, right? The 12th was not too bad. Seven out of eleven was not as blah or bad as the previous days. I did not expect the Yankees to win a game that Phil Hughes started. The beleaguered pitcher was yanked after pitching just 50 pitches (and he pitched well). David Robertson tried to give the game back and was so bad that when the Yankees went ahead in the ninth to win the game, the win was given to Mariano Rivera instead of Robertson. Weird.
I did not expect the Cardinals to lose to the Brewers either. But then again, it should not be surprising because Tyler Thornburg is impressive as he starts his big league career. The Cardinals and Pirates are now tied atop the NL Central with 16 games to go.
The other two games that I blew were the Braves game that they won behind Freddy Garcia. That was a surprise. And I did not expect the Rays to win against Boston.
We are back to a full schedule of games today. There is a lot of rain on the East Coast, so we'll see how that goes. The Friday picks:
- The Indians over the White Sox: They are playing this game in the afternoon, which is kind of weird. But the Indians should win it fairly easily. Hector Santiago is Mr. No-decision and the bullpen will lose it. Danny Salazar should have no problems. The White Sox made three more errors yesterday. Amazing.
- The Pirates over the Cubs: Charlie Morton was bombed in his last outing, but he should rebound to beat the Cubs. The Cubs start Jake Arrieta, who just cannot seem to put it together in the big leagues.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: The only big question here is whether the Nats will score some runs to support Stephen Strasburg. You know the pitcher will pitch well. Kyle Kendrick will try to keep the game tight.
- The Blue Jays over the Orioles: The Orioles are really tumbling and it will not help to put Jason Hammel out there on the mound. Todd Redmond has won both of his last starts. He has not been going deep into games, but the bullpen has held them. That will have to happen again today.
- The Tigers over the Royals: The Tigers have not been faring well and Justin Verlander is no longer a lock to win. But I do not like Bruce Chen on the road and thus give the not to Verlander and the Tigers at home.
- The Mets over the Marlins: Brad Hand has lost nine of his ten big league decisions. He has pitched five scoreless innings in relief so far this season. But that is a far cry from a start. Jonathon Niese has had a good second half and I like him in this one.
- The Yankees over the Red Sox: This is the Yankees' best chance to win a game in this series at Fenway. They always seem to get to John Lackey after a while and Hiroki Kuroda and his split-fingered pitches can keep the Red Sox at bay. The Yankees' bullpen is not doing well, so if it's close late, this pick can blow up.
- The Braves over the Padres: The Braves are giving David Hale, a 2009 third round draft pick out of Princeton, his Major League debut. I am not impressed with his minor league numbers. But my theory here is that the game will be high scoring as the Braves get to Ian Kennedy and the bullpen wins it late.
- The Athletics over the Rangers: How upsetting for Rangers' fans to see how futile they have been lately. Dan Straily has not been lights out against the Rangers (or anyone else), but he does keep the A's in the game most of the time and actually pitches better in Arlington than at the Coliseum. Derek Holland has not shown me much.
- The Angels over the Astros: Remember earlier in the season when the Astros were beating the Angels often? The Angels are better now. Not much, but better. One reason is that Jason Vargas has been pitching well. Dallas Keuchel just sort of exists for me.
- The Reds over the Brewers: The Reds are still hoping for a shot at the division and they are still within hailing distance. Mat Latos has had a great year. Kyle Lohse is the only wildcard to this pick. He can pitch well in Milwaukee.
- The Cardinals over the Mariners: The Cards might have a tough time with Hisashi Iwakuma. They do not hit lefties well and this is a good one. But Adam Wainwright is on the mound and the Mariners have little on offense. The Cards win late.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: Tyler Chatwood has had a good season and did not show any ill effects from his hand injury suffered against the Reds the last time he pitched. But I like the D-backs here at home and for Brandon McCarthy to build on his last good start.
- The Dodgers over the Giants: This is a good one. Clayton Kershaw at home against Madison Bumgarner. That is a lot of pitching talent all at the same time. This game could go either way.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Rays over the Twins: This is the Rays' chance to undo a lot of their past damage the last couple of weeks. They should beat the Twins just about every time. Chris Archer should get the win and Kevin Correia should not provide much of an obstacle.
Games of the Day: 92-67