Finally! A good day. That was a long time coming but eleven of the fifteen picks were correct. The only four that were incorrect were the Blue Jays (a series that did not see one correct pick), the Braves (Burch Smith!?), the Rays (Joel Peralta meltdown) and the Dodgers, which was a toss up when picking it due to the starters. But that is not bad.
What is bad is how the A's dismantled the Rangers (which was a correct pick) and how the Red Sox totally blew away the Yankees (a correct pick). I am not sure either spanked team can rebound from that though the Yankees are in far bigger trouble than the Rangers.
There are twelve games on the schedule today. Monday's picks:
- The Braves over the Nationals: This game depends on which Dan Haren shows up. He was terrific last time after several clunkers in a row. So I do not know which it will be tonight. If Mike Minor shuts down the Nationals, it might not matter.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Sam Dyson is a pitcher the Marlins got off the scrap heap from the Blue Jays (waiver claim). He is not a strikeout guy and his success in the Big Leagues will depend on the quality of the contact he allows (and luck). Cliff Lee should be better and win.
- The Pirates over the Padres: The Padres have been pesky lately and a lot of it is because Chase Headley has gotten hot after a mostly cold season. Andrew Cashner is also capable of shutting teams down. So this is not an easy pick and depends on how well A.J. Burnett pitches. Yikes.
- The Tigers over the Mariners: There is not much of a difference between Joe Saunders and Rick Porcello. But there is a big difference between the Tigers' offense and the Mariners' offense.
- The Rangers over the Rays: Alex Cobb was not that effective in his last outing and seems to be the weak link right now for the Rays' rotation. But the real fun of this game is the return of Matt Garza to Tropicana Field. I think he will be a bit pumped up.
- The Brewers over the Cubs: Ugh. What an ugly match-up here. Wily Peralta has been on a long slide since the All Star Break and Edwin Jackson is occasionally decent and more often not. To give Jackson some benefit of doubt, thanks to the defense behind him, he has given up 13 unearned runs this season. That seems terrible.
- The Royals over the Indians: The Indians just destroyed the White Sox, but everybody has done that. The Royals played the Tigers tough for three days. Both are in the way of each other for where they want to go. In such a game, I will go with James Shields, who has been there many times over Scott Kazmir.
- The White Sox over the Twins: Talk about the stinko bowl. One of these two bad teams have to win. I can't pick the Twins if Liam Hendriks is pitching. Not that Erik Johnson is any better a pick. Yeesh. Hide the children.
- The Cardinals over the Rockies: This game could be like 13-10. Collin McHugh goes for the Rockies and in his four career appearances in the Big Leagues, he has given up a 404 batting average. Lance Lynn did not give up the big inning his last time out. But Coors Field? Boy.
- The Diamondbacks over the Dodgers: The Dodgers are sort of spinning these days. Puig has not been healthy. Trevor Cahill has had a good second half and of his last four starts, only one was not in the good category. He will be better in Arizona's dry air than Hyun-jin Ryu I think. I am not confident with this pick though.
- The Athletics over the Angels: After beating up on the Rangers, I can see the A's having a bit of a letdown today.But I am still going to pick them because they are on such a roll. C.J. Wilson is having a good season. But I am going with Sonny Gray.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Reds over the Astros: The Reds need to win some games to hold off the Nats for the wild card spot. I am not sure about bringing Johnny Cueto back at this point in the proceedings. But if he can be as good as he has been in the past, then perhaps it is good news. Erik Bedard goes for the Astros and I expect him to get hit hard.
Games of the Day: 95-67