After a very good week last week, the new week started with a rather uninspired .500 record on Sunday. The Yankees' offense finally killed their chances and let down impressive efforts of the retiring Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. The Orioles lost their third straight to the Rays so the Orioles and Yankees are all but officially done. The Cardinals lost due to sloppy fielding and once again, I came up wrong on the Pirates - Reds game. The season is down to six days.
There are twelve games on the Monday schedule. The picks:
- The Rays over the Orioles: The Rays might as well stick a fork in the Orioles for the last time. They so dominated this series that it was rather sad to see. Chris Archer has been reliable and should be better than Wei-Yin Chen.
- The Braves over the Brewers: This is the week that is tough picking teams that have already clinched their divisions. How inspiring will their play be? How long with their starting pitchers pitch? How many scrubs will they play? It is awful. I am still picking the Braves at home behind Mike Minor. Marco Estrada goes for the Brewers.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Nate Eovaldi has pitched much worse at home than on the road. That is weird considering how big his home park is. Roy Halladay might give up a bomb to Giancarlo Stanton as Halladay has become homer prone. But the Phillies should win.
- The Rangers over the Astros: The Rangers get a breather with a series against the Astros. They will need some help though as they are now a game and a half out of the wild card race. Derek Holland over Jordan Lyles and the Wagoners.
- The Pirates over the Cubs: Jeff Samardzija has not pitched well at home and has not pitched well in September. That said, he is capable of a shut down game at any time. The Pirates need to get going as they are now two back of the Cardinals. Charlie Morton does not provide comfort to this picker.
- The Tigers over the Twins: Justin Verlander could use this game to figure out a few things. He probably will not pitch deep into the game though. Even as a team that is going to ease into the division win, the Tigers should still slide past Mike Pelfrey easy enough.
- The White Sox over the Blue Jays: Two of the biggest busts of the 2013 season meet in the last week of the season. J.A. Happ only pitches good against the Yankees. Jose Quintana is the no-decision king who has pitched quite well.
- The Cardinals over the Nationals: This pick concerns me. First of all, Tanner Roark has been fabulous and has not lost this season in seven decisions. Adam Wainwright is the leader of this Cardinals' staff, but he is not invulnerable. Yeah, this one could go either way. I have only picked the Cardinals for the Game of the Day four times. I did again yesterday. They have lost all four times.
- The Athletics over the Angels: Mike Trout has been sort of slumping. The rest of his offensive mates are deadsville. Garrett Richards is decent, but not a lock. A.J. Griffin seems a better pick though he might not go deep into the game.
- The Padres over the Diamondbacks: Eric Stults finally got a win after a long, long drought. He has had a decent season. Brandon McCarthy has given up 22 hits in his last 12 innings of work but has allowed only five of them to score. A pretty neat trick.
- The Royals over the Mariners: Yordano Ventura had a decent MLB debut his last time out and should like pitching in that Seattle park. Brandon Maurer has not been good in any park. How soon until everyone starts calling the Royals' pitcher, Ace Ventura?
And the Game of the Day:
- The Reds over the Mets: The Mets are not exactly a pushover of a team for the Reds, but they get to face Aaron Harang in their small ballpark. That might not be pretty. Welcome back, Johnny Cueto.
Games of the Day: 99-70