Happy Opening Day! The first game last night from Wrigley Field was fairly entertaining. I couldn't help thinking about what Kris Bryant might have brought to the Cubs' offense that just wasn't long enough to push all those runners home. But that's what the Cubs' decision does. But wait, I let the first happy sentence get muddled up in the second sadder one. Again, Happy Opening Day--which should be a National Holiday!
Here are Monday's picks:
- The Blue Jays over the Yankees: The Blue Jays had long had a bugaboo about playing in Yankee Stadium and their losing streak there carried for a couple of years. Drew Hutchison pitched and lost in some of those. But once the streak was broken, it was broken in a big way. I'm not sure where Masahiro Tanaka is with his stuff right now. The Jays can hit!
- The Tigers over the Twins: David Price is going to have a big year. I'm not sure it will be enough for the Tigers. But it should be enough for tonight as long as the bullpen doesn't blow the game. Phil Hughes was terrific last year, but we'll see what this year brings.
- The Brewers over the Rockies: What does it tell you about these two teams' pitching when the Opening Day pitching match-up is Kyle Lohse against Kyle Kendrick. Yeesh. That's the best you got!? I am going with Lohse at home.
- The Phillies over the Red Sox: The Red Sox sure wanted Cole Hamels. The Phillies sure wanted way too much for him. Now Hamels will beat the Red Sox for sore measure. No DH for the Red Sox. I don't know where Clay Buchholz is any more.
- The Orioles over the Rays: At least this game won't be snowed out. I am concerned about the Orioles' offense. But they will be better than the Rays. Chris Archer is good. Chris Tillman should have an easier time of it though.
- The Marlins over the Braves: Henderson Alvarez was very good for the Fish last season. His FIP did not match his ERA, and he doesn't blow people away. But the guy can pitch. The Braves will have a vagabond-like offense this year though. So, no matter. The only way the Braves win is if Julio Teheran is lights out.
- The Royals over the White Sox: Now that Yordano Ventura is the Royals' Opening Day starter, can we call him, "Ace Ventura?" I think he and the Royals persevere here because I have serious concerns about Jeff Samardzija. He's looked very hitable for quite some time now.
- The Mariners over the Angels: Felix Hernandez is entering his eleventh season and is 29-years-old. Think about that for a second. I seriously think about him breaking down sooner or later. Think Sabathia. But he should be okay tonight against the tough Angels because he is better than Jered Weaver who throws like 84 MPH now.
- The Pirates over the Reds: Everyone keeps talking about the Reds as a .500 or better team. I don't see it. Yeah, Johnny Cueto, who pitches tonight, is very good. The Pirates seem like a much better team. I'm going with Francisco Liriano to shut down the Reds.
- The Dodgers over the Padres: There is a lot of talk about James Shields changing the culture on teams he plays for. But he is facing Clayton Kershaw. Advantage, Dodgers.
- The Indians over the Astros: Corey Kluber just got paid. Now, the big thing is whether he can repeat what he did last year. He was elite last year. Was it a one year thing? We'll find out. He should have no trouble with the Astros. Dallas Keuchel goes for that team.
- The Rangers over the Athletics: This a total hunch pick. I think Yovani Gallardo was a great pickup for the Rangers over the off season. He should have a good night in the Coliseum. Sonny Gray has always been my good luck charm though.
- The Giants over the Diamondbacks: Josh Collmenter had a good year for the D-Backs last year and I might pick him at home except that he is facing Madison Bumgarner. I am a little worried about Bumgarner after last year's post season heroics though.
And the Pick of the Day
- The Nationals over the Mets: Why is Bartolo Colon the Opening Day starter for the Mets? I don't get it. Max Scherzer should have no problem getting his first win with his new team an league.
Yesterday: 1-0, Season 1-0