I should have stayed in Florida. My first picking day back in Maine was a disaster. Twice as many picks went wrong than went right. The Cubs blew a 5-0 lead as they inexplicably took Wada out after only five innings. The Yankees blew a 5-1 lead with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound. I picked against Kyle Kendrick and sure enough he gave up seven runs in five-plus innings...and won. Phil Hughes shut me up by blanking the Mariners. R.A. Dickey shut me up by blanking the Angels. It was just a bad, bad day.
Let's see how it goes now that I am home. Wednesday's picks:
- The Tigers over the Dodgers: The Dodgers are the worst good team I have ever seen. Does that make any sense? The Tigers might be the second worst. But somehow they both stay at the top. Pitching sure helps. Both teams have pitching tonight as Max Scherzer faces Zack Greinke. I'm going with Scherzer.
- The Padres over the Rockies: I pick the Padres and pick them again and again and they lose. When I pick them to lose, they win. Hmm. I am picking them to win. Eric Stults wins his second in a row and Jair Jurrjens continues to be a bad idea for the Rockies.
- The Blue Jays over the Angels: This is not an overreaction to last night. It's a reaction to how good Marcus Stroman has been for the Blue Jays. And he has beaten some really good teams while at it. C.J. Wilson has looked so-so lately.
- The Diamondbacks over the Marlins: Both Nathan Eovaldi and Josh Collmenter are completely unpredictable. Thus said, I'll go with the home team.
- The Yankees over the Indians: This is a hedged thought that Brandon McCarthy might be a steal for the Yankees as his peripherals do not match his results. Josh Tomlin has had a weird last five starts. One was a brilliant one-hitter and the rest were all crap.
- The Nationals over the Orioles: Yesterday's game was rained out. So tonight's game features the same pitching match-ups and I still think Doug Fister will pitch better than Bud Norris.
- The Mets over the Braves: Yes. The Mets. Again. Dillon Gee was pitching great before he got hurt. Then he pitched great during his rehab. So I am going with him over Ervin Santana, who I have to admit has been throwing very well lately.
- The White Sox over the Red Sox: I picked against Chris Sale his last time out. BIG mistake. I will not do that again. He will win if the White Sox get at least a couple of runs off of Rubby De La Rosa.
- The Rays over the Royals: Let's face it. The Rays have gone on this hot streak just to avoid trading David Price. Alex Cobb over Yordano Ventura. They will find a way.
- The Rangers over the Astros: The Rangers will finally win a game thanks to Yu Darvish pitching at home, where very good things happen for him. Dallas Keuchel goes for the Astros. What are the odds on two pitchers named, "Dallas," pitching in the big leagues on the same night? I bet that has never happened before.
- The Brewers over the Phillies: I have been wrong with this pick for two nights in a row. But Kyle Lohse pitching at home is a good thing. Roberto Hernandez pitching for the Phillies is never a good thing.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: The Cardinals might be making a statement for the rest of the season in this series. If they sweep it, I would say they are. Lance Lynn has to avoid a lynning and a very good (lately) Brandon Cumpton has to be overcome for it to happen.
- The Mariners over the Twins: This isn't a vote so much for Roenis Elias, who has been great in moments and not so great in others. Rather, it is the sad belief that the league is catching up with Kyle Gibson, who simply does not strike out enough batters to remain effective.
- The Athletics over the Giants: Jason Hammel will pitch well for the A's. Why? Because everything they seem to do turns golden somehow. Matt Cain has been in a sad state for most of the season. How long do the Giants stick with him?
And the Game of the Day:
- The Reds over the Cubs: Dallas Beeler gave up no earned runs in his first start and yet lost the game. Welcome to the Cubs, kid. He is up against Alfredo Simon, one of the best stories of the baseball season.
Yesterday: 5-10, July: 66-48, Games of the Day: 50-44, Season: 749-623