After a terrific picking day on Friday, much was expected on Saturday. But the day went downhill fast and never recovered. Paul Maholm!? Are you serious? The Padres must be really, really bad. I knew Wade Miley was hot and chose not to pick him. I should have. Shane Greene of the Yankees really surprised me. The Red Sox loss surprised me. Miami's bullpen should not surprise me. Tom Koehler deserved better. But this picker didn't. Lots of stupid picks too.
Sadly, this will be the last game picks post until Friday as this All Star Break thing now extends four days. I'll miss it. Sunday's picks:
- The Indians over the White Sox: I'm confused about which is the better team here. I think psychologically, I still view the White Sox through last year's prism. The Indians have fallen back to the point where the two teams are probably even. Still, the Indians are a good home team. Trevor Bauer over John Danks.
- The Mets over the Marlins: The Mets do have problems against lefties, but Brad Hand isn't one of the really good ones. Plus, the team has been on a roll. I'll go with Jacob deGrom over Hand to win.
- The Reds over the Pirates: Johnny Cueto hasn't been the lock that he was earlier in the season. But I do think he will prevail today. Francisco Liriano returns for the Pirates. We'll find out if that is a good thing for them or bad.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: I like Tanner Roark. He is not consistent. But you can see the potential there. Kyle Kendrick is a decent starter for the back end of a rotation--nothing more, nothing less.
- The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: The battle of the Ays continues with each team winning a game this series so far. David Price was supposed to go yesterday but was sick. He's not going to be sick today? We'll see. If he is not, he has been terrific lately. R.A. Dickey has been steady.
- The Red Sox over the Astros: With the team's first loss after the Pierzynski Era ended, the Red Sox should win today behind Clay Buchholz, who seems poised for a good second half. Brad Peacock should not pose problems for the Red Sox.
- The Tigers over the Royals: Yes, Bruce Chen is getting a rare start and yes, he has always been full of strange magic at home his entire career in Kansas City. But Justin Verlander will win this game and then have four days to play with his model. It must be a tough life for him.
- The Cardinals over the Brewers: The Brewers are reeling. They are now missing their shortstop after a very sad tragedy. This All Star Break could not come at a better time for them. The Cardinals will prevail as Carlos Martinez is making the most of his chance and will beat Wily Peralta.
- The Cubs over the Braves: Travis Wood just hasn't been as good this year as I expected. He's much better than he has shown. Maybe today he throws a gem. Maybe this pick is because Julio Teheran was so bad his last time out. I shouldn't go by that, but there it is.
- The Angels over the Rangers: Once upon a time, Scott Baker was a very good pitcher. Once upon a time, the Texas Rangers were a very good team. Once upon a time can be a harsh reality. Tyler Skaggs will win this game.
- The Giants over the Diamondbacks: The Giants could not be shutout again, could they? Not against Vidal Nuno, who was somehow brilliant his last time out. So the possibility exists. Madison Bumgarner confuses me a little bit. He's great, but he never seems to be a lock to win.
- The Rockies over the Twins: Brett Anderson is back for the first time since April. Is that a good thing? I have no idea. He threw well in rehab. Phil Hughes in Coors seems frightening to me. But I think I overplay that Coors thing a lot.
- The Dodgers over the Padres: The Padres need some offense to support Tyson Ross, a pitcher who has been consistently good. They won't get it today against Hyun-jin Ryu.
- The Orioles over the Yankees: Do we really need an eight o'clock game for ESPN tonight? Why should these two teams' players get to start their vacation a half a day after the rest of their peers. It's not right. Kevin Gausman should be in the O's rotation for the rest of the year and left alone. But they never seem to trust the guy. He will beat Chase Whitley, whose magic bubble burst three starts ago.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Athletics over the Mariners: The M's have had their way with the A's for the last two days, but I believe Chris Young's luck will run out today and the A's will pound the ball. Either way, Sonny Gray is going to win.
Yesterday: 6-9, July: 95-76, Games of the Day: 54-44, Season: 778-651