July is winding down and I'll be a little sorry to see it go. Up here in the far north of Maine, our summer months are precious and August will pretty much be it for us for sun and warmth. July has also been a decent picking month here. At least it was much better than June. But last night wasn't so good.
I don't think I could have been any more wrong about the Red Sox winning, eh? 14-1 is about as close to being correct as reading an eye chart from half a mile. And then I was concerned about Jesse Chavez and rightly so as the A's lost to the Astros. It took fifteen innings for my pick of the Reds to be incorrect. And I was correct about the Nationals until Rafael Soriano entered the game. He was awful. Just awful and gave up four runs to blow the save. Those were some of the lowlights of the day.
- The Orioles over the Angels: The O's have been very impressive on this extremely difficult stretch they have faced since the All Star Break. They have stilled a lot of doubters with their play. Chris Tillman remains solid if somewhat easy to hit, which is pretty much the same you can say about Jered Weaver. I like the O's at home.
- The Mariners over the Indians: The Mariners are not scoring. And Trevor Bauer has been pitching pretty well over his last four starts. I just have a hard time picking against Hisashi Iwakuma at this point. Did you know that he has not walked a batter in his last five starts and has only walked eight batters all season?
- The White Sox over the Tigers: This is an upset pick. Anibal Sanchez has been roughed up badly in three of his last four starts. He never seems to have a good second half of a season. But the biggest reason for the pick is Jose Quintana. The poor guy has pitched his heart out and has nothing to show for it with no decisions in his last four starts despite great pitching.
- The Reds over the Diamondbacks: Mike Leake has not pitched particularly well. But even Leake at his worst is better than Trevor Cahill these days.
- The Rays over the Brewers: Matt Garza comes home to St. Pete. And the Rays will jump him and his ugly goatee. Alex Cobb will shut the Brewers down.
- The Phillies over the Mets: Cole Hamels has really been impressive and is making contenders drool. Will a trade happen this week? I doubt it. Dillon Gee has fallen on hard times lately. Maybe home cooking will turn it around. But I have to go with Hamels.
- The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: Yes, I am probably out of my mind. But hear me out. Marcus Stroman has been terrific. But he is due for a learning experience. Rubby De La Rosa has been much better at home than on the road. All those runs last night tuckered the Blue Jays out.
- The Nationals over the Marlins: This game is a classic trap. If you have followed along with me this season, you know what I am talking about. Henderson Alvarez has been very good, especially at home and has surprised people. Stephen Strasburg has been mediocre, especially early in games and has become the anti-ace. So the pick would be the Marlins then. But it's a trap. The Nats will win.
- The Rockies over the Cubs: Oh Edwin Jackson, I hate when you pitch. I just never know what he is going to do. Jorge De La Rosa, on the other hand, has been steady and good. So he is the pick.
- The Royals over the Twins: Ron Gardenhire is a beloved manager. But I think it is time to change the philosophy that he sets for the organization. Kyle Gibson is a case in point. He is a strike thrower. But he strikeouts hardly anyone. He'll have his good games, but he'll get creamed in others depending on where the ball bounces. James Shields takes this one.
- The Athletics over the Astros: Scott Feldman is in the top five over pitchers averaging the highest hard hit balls against in the Majors. He is getting lit up. The A's will oblige and Jeff Samardzija will continue to feel like he got out of jail.
- The Dodgers over the Braves: Uh oh, I am picking against Aaron Harang. That can be dangerous although I still don't understand it. Instead I am picking Josh Beckett at home despite two out of his last three starts not going so well.
- The Cardinals over the Padres: Lance Lynn has been on a prolonged good streak and he should like it in San Diego. The Cardinals should play well there since they don't hit homers anyway. Tyson Ross is pretty good for the Padres though.
- The Giants over the Pirates: Francisco Liriano is somewhat back in last year's form. But I am feeling Tim Hudson tonight. I think the old guy will put his particular spin on this game and win it.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Yankees over the Rangers: Maybe now that Joe Girardi is done throwing games away by resting regulars he'll break this three-game losing streak. Brandon McCarthy has been terrific for them. Nick Martinez pitched his best game against the Yankees, but I consider that in the fluke category.
Yesterday: 4-6, July: 190-150, Games of the Day: 61-49 (-1), Season: 873-725