The first honest-to-goodness full day of Major League Baseball was not kind to this old game picker. Not a whole lot of things went right. The Yankees lost again. Toronto beat the Rays for the second time in three days. Michael Wacha pitched shutout ball and his team lost. Aaron Harang held the Brewers to two hits. Whuh? The Mariners swept the Angels. Crazy. Jim Johnson lost his second game in two days and now has an ERA of 45.00. So, yeah.
There are eleven games on the schedule for Thursday. I'm looking for a rebound here:
- The Pirates over the Cubs: Wandy Rodriguez looked good in the spring, but once the season really starts, who knows as he missed a lot of time last year. Jason Hammel goes for Cubs and it has been a good week for "crafty" pitchers.
- The Reds over the Cardinals: Four of the five NL Central teams should be done playing by tea time. In this one, I like Homer Bailey over Lance Lynn.
- The Rockies over the Marlins: Both Jacob Turner and Franklin Morales had excellent springs. The question now is which will pitch better in this game. I think the Rockies have a better chance to score here, so that's the pick.
- The Tigers over the Royals: I love Yordano Ventura. I think he is going to be special. But it might not have been the best idea to have his first start of the year against a powerhouse like the Tigers. I would have saved him for a day later. I will go with the Tigers and Anibal Sanchez.
- The Twins over theWhite Sox: I might as well give a sentimental nod to old freiend, Phil Hughes to get his first win of the season for someone other than the Yankees. Jose Quintana is a guy I always get confused with Franklin Morales. Look at their pictures side by side. Quintana was a bit of a mess this spring.
- The Giants over the Diamondbacks: Why on earth would a homer-prone guy like Bronson Arroyo want to make Arizona his home park? Yikes! Going with Tim Lincecum instead.
- The Orioles over the Red Sox: I simply don't trust Felix Doubront. He is the Red Sox Phil Hughes. Not that I believe much more thant Wei-Yin Chen can hold back the Red Sox' offense.
- The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: The battle of the ays goies another day. Chris Archer seems like a better pick than Brandon Morrow.
- The Yankees over the Astros: This is a stubborn pick. Yes, I've been wrong two nights in a row, but by gum, I'm going to go with my gut. Ivan Nova over Brent Oberholtzer.
- The Athletics over the Mariners: Jesse Chavez looks like the next great kid pitcher for the A's. Roenis Elias looks like what Cuban pitchers not named Chapman look like.
And the Game of the Day (the most assured pick):
- The Nationals over the Mets: Jordan Zimmermann was my golden guy last year. He was sort of like that one special guy you had in Strat-o-matic baseball that couldn't lose. So I will pick him until he lets me down. Zack Wheeler will be good soon. Just not yet.
Games of the Day: 1-2