I did not expect both the Cardinals and Pirates to lose. I was worried about the Pirates and mentioned that Andrew Cashner had the stuff to shut them down. My worry was full of merit as he did just that. As for the Cardinals, they could not do much with Collin McHugh and after Lance Lynn threw a decent game, the Cards went to the Trevor Rosenthal well once too often.
I was also worried about the A's having a letdown after the Rangers' series and I should have listened to myself as they got killed by the Angels. And speaking of those Rangers, I figured they would rise up after the A's series. I figured wrong. They were awful and the Rays beat them easily behind Alex Cobb. The Rangers are in serious trouble.
But otherwise, I had a decent picking day. I picked James Shields perfectly. And I also figured Cliff Lee would win and he did. And my worry about Johnny Cueto (though I picked him anyway) was worrying about nothing. He was great.
There are sixteen games on the schedule as the Nationals and Braves will play twice to make up for yesterday's shooting postponement. My heart goes out to those shooting victims in what is a real tragedy. Tuesday's picks:
- The Braves over the Nationals: I was going to cheat and just predict a split and then it would not matter which team won which. But that would be low so I will not. Mike Minor beats Dan Haren in the first game.
- The Nationals over the Braves: Okay, so Freddy Garcia pitched a great game his last time out. I can't in any lifetime believe that he will do it again. Tanner Roark is having himself some fun in the Majors and should have himself a good game.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Brian Flynn is the opposite of Roark. He has made two big league starts and they have not gone well. Too many walks and too many hits have sunk him. Roy Halladay is a bit of a concern and he could give up a moonshot to Giancarlo Stanton. But he is the pick here.
- The Pirates over the Padres: I am worried about this game too. Eric Stults has lost his last six decisions even though he has not walked anyone in his last three starts. Sooner or later he is going to win. Will it be today? Jeff Locke will try to keep that from happening and inch the Pirates closer to where they want to be.
- The Yankees over the Blue Jays: I am grasping at straws here for the Yankees. They looked so bad in the Red Sox series and the last time they played the Jays, they were treated rudely. But I think the Yankees will hit R.A. Dickey in the dome and that Andy Pettitte will benefit from having Brendan Ryan at short.
- The Red Sox over the Orioles: Two years ago, the Orioles did a number on the Red Sox down the stretch and eventually knocked the beantowners out of the playoffs. Nobody is beating the Red Sox out of the playoffs this year. Ryan Dempster is a concern. But the Red Sox should beat Scott Feldman.
- The Giants over the Mets: Yusmeiro Petit has been the bomb for the Giants. He has a six to one strikeout to walk ratio and a 1.00 WHIP. That is great pitching. In other words, he has been what Zack Wheeler would look like with better control. It will come.
- The Bay Rays over the Rangers: The Rangers are sliding out of control and I cannot see them beating the Rays on their home turf. Jeremy Hellickson over Alexi Ogando.
- The Brewers over the Cubs: Marco Estrada has quietly put together three good games in a row with 23 strikeouts in his last 20.2 innings pitched. And those were against the Cards, Angels and Reds. Nice. I am picking him over Jeff Samardzija.
- The Reds over the Astros: Mike Leake reminds me of a young Andy Pettitte. His peripherals never blow you away but on a good team, he just wins and wins. He will win today against the Astros that will lose their 100th game of the season. Jordan Lyles will not be able to stop it.
- The Indians over the Royals: Aren't the Royals still slightly in this wildcard race? They why are they choosing to give Yordano Ventura his big league debut? Yeah, the kid has a big arm. But this is a longshot, isn't it? I have to go with Corey Kluber.
- The White Sox over the Twins: My gosh, I am predicting the White Sox to win two in a row. Somebody take my temperature, quick. Jose Quintana and his fiery self wins over Mike Pelfrey, who has been bloody awful.
- The Cardinals over the Rockies: I have to admit that I have no idea who will win this game. Joe Kelly and Juan Nicasio seem like a wash to me. Coors Field means that anything can happen. Both teams are missing key players. I have no idea.
- The Diamondbacks over the Dodgers: The Dodgers are banged up and now have to face Patrick Corbin who is pitching like he caught his second wind after a dead period. Corbin out-duels Zack Greinke in this one.
- The Athletics over the Angels: The A's had their little party hangover yesterday and get back to business today. Sonny Gray should get the job done and the A's should do just fine against Garrett Richards.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Tigers over the Mariners: Brandon Maurer has given up thirteen runs in his last ten and a third innings. Ouch. If that continues, the Tigers will devour him. Anibal Sanchez should be good enough no matter how Maurer does.
Games of the Day: 96-67