Picking baseball games is like playing golf. You can have several bad holes and really mess it up for a while and then suddenly hit three gorgeous shots and get a birdie. It is the birdie that keeps you coming back for more. After several shanks the past three days, I hit a birdie last night and went 10-3. And there were some tough calls in there.
Of the three I got wrong, you could tell yesterday that I really wanted to pick the Cubs and I did not dare to. I should have. The Cardinals seem to have gone down the same rabbit hole as the Yankees and it is hard to understand. Miami completely beat them and Adam Wainwright. The Tampa - Texas game was correct for six and a half innings until Joel Peralta coughed up the lead and then of course, the pick became incorrect once it went into extra innings.
At least I got a birdie today and can't wait for my next shot again. Wednesday's picks:
- The Reds over the Red Sox: I liked what I saw in Anthony Ranaudo when he pitched against the Yankees. The only thing about it was that he was facing the Yankees, who are terrible. So it is hard to gauge how good he is. That said, I'm going with Mike Leake, a more proven entity.
- The Twins over the Astros: I've flip-flopped the picks on this series so far and got them both correct. Let's see if I can go three for three. I like Kyle Gibson over Brett Oberholtzer.
- The White Sox over the Giants: Jose Quintana remains the best pitcher with a losing record in baseball. Either he gets no run support or the bullpen blows up his victories. The Giants are reeling and Jake Peavy has been even more snake bit than Quintana. Which one will have more bad mojo?
- The Indians over the Diamondbacks: The rain out yesterday allowed the Indians to bypass T.J. House. Instead they will go today with Trevor Bauer in the first game who goes against Andrew Chafin, making his MLB debut. Chafin was a #1 round draft pick in 2011 whose minor league numbers look ordinary.
- The Indians over the Diamondbacks: Frankly, I don't know why the D-backs bypassed Josh Collmenter with the rain out. He is infinitely more reliable than either Chafin or Vidal Nuno who is pitching the second game. I will go with Josh Tomlin.
- The Padres over the Rockies: The Padres have been on a nice roll and the Rockies on the opposite. Ian Kennedy should win this one. Tyler Matzek keeps on pitching and never seems to have his record change. It's weird.
- The Orioles over the Yankees: This is the Orioles' year. It just seems written down already somewhere. Chris Tillman gets the start and will look infinitely easy to hit but the Yankees will not hit, at least not when it counts. Big Michael Pineda is back for the Yankees, but how long will he last and what will he have? And can he pitch without pine tar?
- The Pirates over the Tigers: The Tigers are starting Buck Farmer. He raises deer apparently. No, seriously, he is a fifth round draft pick in 2013 who has only logged 32 outings in the minors so far, none above Double-A. His numbers look good. But I'll go with Vance Worley, which looks safer.
- The Dodgers over the Braves: The Dodgers' lead in the NL West has grown to six games and they are starting to run away and hide. Hyun-jin Ryu is as steady as it gets with only one bad outing in his last ten. Ervin Santana has had a pretty good year himself.
- The Marlins over the Cardinals: Trading for Justin Masterson was a mistake for the Cardinals. Perhaps he will figure it out some time this year. Or perhaps not. Either way, the Cardinals do not have time to find out. Nathan Eovaldi is good at home.
- The Cubs over the Brewers: Yeah, I'm going for it. I like Kyle Lohse, but not as much at Wrigley Field. The Brewers are the best team in their division, but are a little weaker against lefties. Tsuyoshi Wada has made five big league starts and four of them have been very good.
- The Rays over the Rangers: The Rangers are playing a little bit better these days. But their pitching is still the problem. Miles Mikolas is not winning. Chris Archer, on the other hand, is very good. Keep Peralta out of the game and the Rays win.
- The Royals over the Athletics: The A's broke the Royals streak last night and could do so again with Scott Kazmir on the mound. The one problem is that Kazmir has been touched up in his last two starts. Has he hit a wall? Jason Vargas is a lefty. That's about all the good I can muster. But that is good enough to win in MLB.
- The Angels over the Phillies: With A.J. Burnett and Jered Weaver pitching tonight, this game feels like a high-scoring affair. If it is, the advantage goes to the Angels. Burnett should have retired.
- The Mariners over the Blue Jays: I simply cannot pick against Hisashi Iwakuma at home. He is killer there (and pretty much everywhere else too). R.A. Dickey could have a nice outing, but you never know.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Nationals over the Mets: It's hard to pick against
ShrekBartolo Colon. After all, the guy has won 200 big league games. But he has clunkers too and you never know what you will get with him. Jordan Zimmermann is a stud.
Yesterday: 10-3, August: 90-74, Games of the Day: 70-54 (+1), Season: 984-821