Thursday, July 07, 2011

Game Picks - Thursday: July 7, 2011

Today is Mom's birthday and for the occasion, this picker had to get up at 5:30 to take her to an eye operation. Poor thing. This family doesn't do birthdays justice. She gets an eye operation on hers and this son got divorced on his over a decade ago. But the operation was a success and we are back. All of this preamble is to explain why the picks are a little late today.

There will be scant discussion of yesterday's games. They went universally against this picker. The Yankees, Pirates, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Twins, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Phillies and Dodgers all lost when they were predicted to win. Despite the official Yankees' twitter feed's tweet that Phil Hughes was "solid" during his first start back, he was most certainly not solid. He only had two swings and misses in 85 pitches. That's not encouraging. Most Yankee fans were of the mind that Ivan Nova is the much better option in the rotation. The Cardinals, meanwhile, came all the way back from an 8-0 deficit after an abysmal start by Jake Westbrook to tie the game, but then lost in extra innings. The day was mostly like that repeated over and over again.

And so the hole dug on Sunday and nearly filled on Monday and Tuesday was again dug into a trench on Wednesday. Even the month of July is in the red again. At least the Game of the Day feature keeps rolling on and is now 26 games over .500.

Fourteen games are on the schedule for Thursday. Here are the picks:

  • The Braves over the Rockies: The Braves need to finish off the Rockies to set them up for their showdown this weekend against the Phillies. Again, the Rockies are without some of their best players. Tim Hudson faces  Juan Nicasio.
  • The Cubs over the Nationals: The Cubs are due for a win and so is Matt Garza, who pitched a complete game his last time out but lost. Livan Hernandez stands in their way.
  • The Yankees over the Bay Rays: Tough pick here as Colon throws all fastballs and the Bay Rays rake fastballs. But the Yankees should score their share against Jeff Niemann too.
  • The Blue Jays over the Indians: The Indians start prospect Zach McAllister, who has good minor league numbers. But going with Carlos Villanueva, a more known quantity and thus a safer pick.
  • The Red Sox over the Orioles: July has not been kind to the Orioles and Jake Arrieta goes for his tenth win but has been complaining about a sore elbow. Not good. The Red Sox go with Andrew Miller, who has pitched well thus far.
  • The Marlins over the Astros: A Brad Hand is worth two in a bush? Only if the Marlins have some patience with him, which they didn't have his last start. J. A. Happ goes for the Astros.
  • The Rangers over the Athletics: Rich Harden is known to the Rangers and though he pitched well in his first start, the Rangers should rake. Derek Holland goes for the Rangers.
  • The Brewers over the Reds: The gut says to pick the Reds, but their bullpen is shot and Homer Bailey isn't the most solid of starting pitchers. That said, neither is Chris Narveson. The deciding factor was that the Brewers are at home.
  • The Tigers over the Royals: Danny Duffy has been pitching better (somewhat), but the Tigers should score enough to give them a win. Max Scherzer again goes for his tenth win.
  • The White Sox over the Twins: Phil Humber seems a better pick here than Carl Pavano. Each team, though, gives off such mixed signals that any pick is difficult.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Cardinals: This Fan never thought he would be saying this, but Joe Saunders is pitching well. Blimey! He's been pitching better than Kyle McClellan has of late.
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: Yeah. Dillon Gee. But the Dodgers present Clayton Kershaw at home. How can you pick against that?
  • The Padres over the Giants: Two reasons for this pick. First, the Giants start Barry Zito. Secondly, Cory Luebke was really good his last outing.

And the Game of the Day!

  • The Angels over the Mariners: Jared Weaver has been unbelievable in June and early July. Lights out unbelievable. Poor Doug Fister can't get any run support against lesser pitchers, never mind Weaver.

Yesterday: 5-10
Week: 26-34
Month: 43-44
Season: 696-606
Games of the Day: 62-26

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