July started very strong and ended with two days just under .500. But yesterday's results were totally swallowed up by the amazement and buzz created by the trade deadline. The flurry of activity and the names of the players involved were simply amazing. Keeping track of them all will be of vital importance for me moving forward as I try to pick these games. The clear winners to me were the Athletics and the Red Sox. The latter was a seller but picked up a lot of talent in return. The former was a buyer and got their big pieces.
Let's see how it all plays out. Friday's picks:
- The Nationals over the Phillies: Much was made during the deadline of the Phillies doing diddly with their aging, overpriced team. But hey, they won yesterday. I don't think they will today with Doug Fister on the mound for the Nats. Roberto Hernandez starts for the Phillies.
- The Mariners over the Orioles: The last time Wei-Yin Chen faced the Mariners six days ago, he threw eight shutout innings. This time, the Mariners will have right-handed bats Chris Denorfia and Austin Jackson in the lineup (I think). That makes a difference. But Roenis Elias must pitch well.
- The Indians over the Rangers: Did the trade deadline signal that the Indians have given up? Maybe. But they are still better than the Rangers. Danny Salazar over Jerome Williams.
- The Tigers over the Rockies: Justin Verlander used to be the Tigers' ace. Now he is more famous for his girlfriend. He has been pitching a bit better though. The Rockies are moribund and Franklin Morales might get himself killed here.
- The Angels over the Rays: What will the Rays' demeanor be like today? What did selling Price tell them? Jeremy Hellickson is doing his normal stuff since coming back: A high FIP and WHIP and only one run allowed. How does he DO that? But he hasn't gone five innings yet. Matt Shoemaker for the win.
- The Marlins over the Reds: The Marlins didn't waste any time by putting Jarred Cosart immediately into the fire tonight as the starter. I always liked him and he should enjoy that nice fat ballpark in Miami. Mat Latos doesn't scare me nearly as much as he used to.
- The Red Sox over the Yankees: These teams will look totally different when they take the field today. I have no idea what it will feel like and how it will play out. I don't trust Chris Capuano and you know Dustin Pedroia will play over his head and Ortiz will hit one out. Anthony Ranaudo makes his debut for the Red Sox. He is going to be fun to watch.
- The Mets over the Giants: The Mets are still sort of in this thing which explains why Colon is still there. Jon Niese is a good pitcher and I am predicting he will keep the Giants' lineup in their current funk. Ryan Vogelsong will break just enough.
- The White Sox over the Twins; Logan Darnell did not exactly have a great time the last time he faced the White Sox and this time he is up against Chris Sale. Good luck with that.
- The Blue Jays over the Astros: I'm trying to remember...the Astros already won their one game of the week right? Yup. So I am all set. J.A. Happ over Collin McHugh.
- The Cardinals over the Brewers: The Cardinals have fully committed to Matt Adams and we'll see how that plays out. They did not address the offense which is been their problem. They just got more pitching. Speaking of pitching, Adam Wainwright needs to ace-up tonight against Wily Peralta.
- The Pirates over the Diamondbacks: What a surprise that the Pirates stayed pat. Would you expect anything different. With all of the D-Backs problems, they trade Gerardo Parra, one of their better players? Okay. Edinson Volquez over Vidal Nuno.
- The Braves over the Padres: I don't think the Braves are good enough and did not overly help themselves yesterday. But today is about the pitching match-up, which isn't great. But I guess I will take Mike Minor over Eric Stults.
- The Cubs over the Dodgers: Upset pick! The Dodgers did nothing in the deadline!? Strange for them. And Dan Haren is still in the rotation and he has been brutal. Hmm.. I'll take the Cubs and Kyle Hendricks, who has been pitching great.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Athletics over the Royals: It's Sonny Gray Day in Oakland and that is always one of my favorite picks. The guy is 12-3 after all. Jeremy Guthrie does not move me. But I am interested to see how the A's offense reacts without Cespedes.
Yesterday: 5-6, July Final: 211-170, Games of the Day: 64-49, Season: 894-745