Saturday, August 17, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: August 17, 2013

Yesterday was bad. Which makes this a very up and down week. I have had two bad days now and three really good days. And last night, when Aroldis Chapman blew the save for the Reds, the Game of the Day was sunk right along with his team. I do not get him. He should be untouchable, but it is like he is not in the game half the time.

I did not expect Andy Pettitte to pitch as well as he did nor for the Yankees to hit like they did against Felix Doubront and company. I need to start believing more in the Mets. I need to stop believing as much in the Rangers and Orioles. I need to finish off this week with a good Saturday.

Saturday's picks:

  • The Pirates over the Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill has not pitched since the end of June and is in his first start back from the disabled list. He does not get an easy assignment as he has to go against Jeff Locke who has been solid all season for the Pirates.
  • The Yankees over the Red Sox: Okay, I might as well get all giddy with it. Hiroki Kuroda has been fantastic and is even better in day games (this is a four o'clock start for Fox). The split finger pitch has been David Ortiz's bugaboo for his career. The Yankees should hit John Lackey for a few runs.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: The Cardinals are really confusing right now. They either score ten or more runs and win or nothing and lose. The latter happened yesterday. So what will it be today? Joe Kelly versus Travis Wood.
  • The Orioles over the Rockies: Chad Bettis is making his fourth MLB start and he has not been bad. His ERA is inflated over his peripherals. Bud Norris was forced to pitch in relief the other day and took a loss. How will he do in his start? I keep waiting for the Orioles to explode.
  • The Tigers over the Royals: The Royals swept that double-header yesterday. Amazing. I am glad I at least predicted a split. And I do not feel great about this pick today either. It all depends on Doug Fister and how tight his game is. Wade Davis has been much better of late too.
  • The White Sox over the Twins: A very tough pick here. Andrew Albers has been great in his young career and is 2-0. Chris Sale, of course, is one of the best pitchers in the American League. If they match zeroes, who has the better bullpen? Or will it just be Sale with a score of like, 2-0?
  • The Reds over the Brewers: That certainly was a shocking end to the Reds' winning streak last night. I cannot see it carrying over until today. Mat Latos has been terrific and wins just about every start. Yovani Gallardo is usually tough at home, but this is his first game back from the DL.
  • The Giants over the Marlins: I called the high scoring game yesterday. I just didn't get the right team as the winner. This pick should be safe though. Matt Cain has not been a world beater this season, but he should succeed in Miami's big park. And I know Henderson Alvarez has been pitching well, but come on now.
  • The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: Poor Loup. How many extra inning games has he lost now? The Blue Jays fold so many times late in the day that it is impossible to pick them. J.A. Happ goes for them while I am not happy to have to pick Roberto Hernandez to win a game. Joy.
  • The Braves over the Nationals: If memory serves me correctly, Stephen Strasburg never seems to do well against the Braves. I should look it up, but I have not had enough coffee yet. What I do know for sure is that most of the time, his team does not score for him and won't against Mike Minor and that the Braves have no chance of folding this season.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: The Rangers could do nothing with Iwakuma last night. Today they get Felix Hernandez. So why am I picking them to win? First, Martin Perez has been good lately, and second, just call it a hunch.
  • The Mets over the Padres: I just said that I have to believe more in the Mets, right? Besides, Jenrry Mejia has been pitching well and should like Petco Park and add to that the fact that Edinson Volquez has not had a good start since early July and has the numbers as the worst starter in baseball.
  • The Athletics over the Indians: When was the last time this year that Ubaldo Jimenez had a good game? I cannot remember either. I would much rather pick Dan Straily at home. That AL West thing is one of the best battles left in baseball.
  • The Angels over the Astros: The Astros have kicked Angel booty all season, but I go on blithely picking the Angels. Don't ask me why. Perhaps it is because I like Garrett Richards. Perhaps it is because of disbelief that a team with Mike Trout could lose so many games. I also cannot believe that Charlie Manuel got fired before Scioscia.  Oh yeah, Dallas Keuchel goes for the Astros.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Dodgers over the Phillies: Ryne Sandburg did not win his first game as an MLB manager. I doubt he wins his second either as the one-two punch of Greinke and Clayton Kershaw delivers the second hammer. Kyle Kendrick will try to keep it close.

Yesterday: 6-10
Week: 47-35
Month: 128-87
Season: 1031-800
Games of the Day: 78-54   -1

Friday, August 16, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Friday: August 16, 2013

Yesterday was such a meh day. The Yankees could not sweep the Angels as the bullpen added to Phil Hughes' damage. Kyle Lohse did not beat the Reds, though he did pitch well. Tony Cingrani simply pitched better. But the worst incorrect pick was the Nationals, who had that game won until Mr. Untuck unraveled and pooched the lead.

The day did end up in the positive. Sonny Gray was indeed spectacular as was Zack Wheeler. The Cardinals had an inning against A.J. Burnett that reminded me of that pitcher's Yankee days. I suppose any positive day is a good day.

Back to a full schedule on this Friday as the summer continues to slip away. Friday's picks:

  • The Tigers over the Royals: These two teams play two games today. I think they will split with the Tigers winning the first game and the Royals taking the second. Justin Verlander goes against Danny Duffy in the first game.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: I hate depending on Jake Westbrook for a win. But I must in this one as the Cardinals should roll over the Cubs. Jake Arrieta goes for the Cubbies.
  • The Pirates over the Diamondbacks: This match-up is home specific. I think each respective team wins in their home park. Gerrit Cole goes for the Pirates and Brandon McCarthy for the D-Backs. I do root for McCarthy because of where he has been and his Twitter presence. But I don't think he does today.
  • The Orioles over the Rockies: If there is a pitcher named, Chen, then usually I am picking him this year. Wei-Yin Chen is the one involved here and I do think he will be better in Baltimore than Juan Nicasio. But this could be a slugfest too.
  • The Dodgers over the Phillies: The Phillies have Cliff Lee on the mound and that always means they have a chance to win. But he is countered by Zack Greinke who should be just as good. The Dodgers win late.
  • The Royals over the Tigers: Big Game James Shields needs to be up to his name today to win the second game. He has a good chance since the Tigers are starting Jose Alvarez who has started four games this season and hardly looks reliable.
  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: If this was the Andy Pettitte of old instead of the old Andy Pettitte, the Yankees would be a viable pick here. No doubt that new acquisition, Mark Reynolds, will get a start for the Yankees, probably at first. I am fine with that, but Girardi will stick Vernon Wells into the fifth hole and ruin everything. Felix Doubront with the win. I had a dream that Granderson's legs were bothering him. Weird.
  • The Marlins over the Giants: Gosh am I torn on this one. Nathan Eovaldi has always seemed like a 4-A pitcher to me. But he was great in his last outing and has pitched against the Giants before. Chad Gaudin still does not seem real to me.
  • The Bay Rays over the Blue Jays: Another gripping chapter in the battle of the Ays. I am not a big fan of Jeremy Hellickson. To me he is Phil Hughes with a bigger park and better defense. But he will win today and the Rays will be patient on that R.A. Dickey knuckleball.
  • The Braves over the Nationals: Alex Wood if he could but he can so he will. Heh. The Braves put some more port side blasts in the good ship Nationals. Taylor Jordan has allowed four runs in his last two starts (each) and that sounds about right for tonight.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: I am not so quick to pick Hisashi Iwakuma outside of this home park in Seattle. In fact, I think the Rangers get to him often today. That will allow Derek Holland to pitch his game and get the win.
  • The White Sox over the Twins: I am not overly enthusiastic about either Jose Quintana or Kevin Correia. But one of them has to win the game.
  • The Indians over the Athletics: Justin Masterson had an off game his last time out and I think he will bounce back and handcuff the A's. A.J. Griffin is pretty tough himself, especially in Oakland. But I see an Indians' win in this one.
  • The Angels over the Astros: It is bad enough that Brad Peacock always loses in his starts. But now he loses when he comes in as a last resort in extra-inning games too. Poor guy. Jerome Williams has to have his sinker working though to win.
  • The Padres over the Mets: I am going to take the Padres because they are the home team and because I think Ian Kennedy will do well in Petco Park. Jonathon Niese should be decent too in his second start back from the DL.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Reds over the Brewers: Tom Gorzelanny has made the most of his meager talent to stay in the big leagues a long time. But there is no way I think he can win this game. Mike Leake should get the job done and the Reds should win their sixth in a row.

Yesterday: 6-4
Week: 41-25
Month: 122-77
Season: 1025-790
Games of the Day: 78-53    +1

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Scherzer - Hernandez debate is not old versus new school

Buster Olney echoed what I have seen on Twitter at least a dozen times in the past week alone. That is that the debate for Cy Young Award in the American League between Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez will be an old school versus new school debate. That is such a poppycock statement and it is not how it will be at all. First, here is Olney's tweet:

He goes on to state that Felix has way better numbers:

Seriously? Let's first look at WAR. lists King Felix at 5.9 and Scherzer at 5.1. That is not that far of a spread and there are plenty of games left. has Hernandez at 5.2 and Scherzer at 5.0. That is hardly "like Trout last year."

FIP is also close with Hernandez holding a slight edge at 2.49 to 2.69 for Scherzer. Hopefully, the "new school" will be smart enough to put away their win bias as a statistic to look at these numbers carefully before making a decision.

Scherzer has Hernandez on strikeouts by a wide margin and Hernandez has a slight edge in WPA. Scherzer has a total pitch value that is higher than Hernandez's total pitch value.

In other words, this is not a runaway by either and it is nowhere near the debate of last year's MVP vote. And other candidates such as Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Sale enter the conversation too. There is a month and a half of the season to go. Let's see how it all plays out before making such stupid and dramatic statements.

MLB Game Picks - Thursday: August 15, 2013

It is always a bummer when I have a good day of picking and one of the few picks that go wrong is the Game of the Day pick. After all, that is the pick I feel the most confident about and that is why it is selected as the Game of the Day. The feature should probably be called the pick of the day, which would be more accurate. Yesterday, that pick was the Red Sox who lost to the Blue Jays. Esmil Rogers had given up 26 earned runs in his last 25 innings pitched. That is a lock, right? Wrong.

Overall, I picked eleven out of fifteen correctly to erase a bit of Tuesday's bad picking. The picks I am proud of include Francisco Liriano shutting down the Cardinals and a good game leading to a victory for Jordan Zimmermann saved by this catch by Span. You have to remain loyal to your main guys.

There are ten games on the schedule with four day games today. I like it. The picks:

  • The Yankees over the Angels: Here is my thing: If the Yankees win today and get a good performance from the erstwhile Phil Hughes, then they are poised to make a run. If Hughes is his usual awful self, then they just had three good games against a team even worse than them. C.J. Wilson goes for the Angels.
  • The Cardinals over the Pirates: The Cardinals need this game badly and they are set up pretty well for it with Lance Lynn on the mound and facing A.J. Burnett. Burnett could put a crick in that chain if he can get his curve over for strikes.
  • The Nationals over the Giants: Dan Haren has found himself and has been the Nats All-Star in his last four outings or so. Ryan Vogelsong has been somewhat decent himself in his last couple of outings. Going with the Nats at home.
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: This pick pre-supposes that Jake Peavy is going to pitch well. Of course, there is no guarantee of that, especially with two or three guys in the Blue Jays' lineup that can pulverize the ball. Mark Buehrle has been good too, but he won't be against the Red Sox.
  • The Tigers over the Royals: This can be another one of those series where the Tigers smack down a supposed contender, just like they did the Indians. Anibal Sanchez has been terrific and though Jeremy Guthrie has been good, the Tigers' lineup will get to him.
  • The Bay Rays over the Mariners: Alex Cobb returns to the mound after his horrific blow to the head by a line drive. The M's go with Joe Saunders, who is capable of pitching well with his slop at home. Tough game to pick here.
  • The Twins over the White Sox: How bad are the Twins when Joe Mauer gets five hits in a game and the team still loses? And their bullpen got roasted against the Indians. But they are playing the White Sox, so I am picking them anyway. Mike Pelfrey over Andre Rienzo.
  • The Brewers over the Reds: Let's face it. This is a game the Reds should win. They are way better than the Brewers. But they do have to face Kyle Lohse, a guy who knows how to pitch. And Lohse has pitched against the Reds thirteen times and has a 3.26 ERA against them. That means the Brewers have to score four runs against Tony Cingrani. Doable.
  • The Mets over the Padres: This game assumes too much perhaps. First, it presumes the Mets can score off of Tyson Ross. Secondly, it assumes Zack Wheeler can put his stuff together for a good game. If those assumptions are off, so is the pick.

And the Game (or pick) of the Day:
  • The Athletics over the Astros: I like Sonny Gray. Not only does he have a cool baseball name, but he has a decent arm too. I think he will go six innings and strike out seven. Erik Bedard used to be that kind of pitcher, but not anymore.

Yesterday: 11-4
Week: 35-21
Month: 116-73
Season: 1019-786
Games of the Day: 77-53    -2

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: August 14, 2013

Tuesday was not a good game picking day. There were six extra-inning games last night. Six! Four of them went the opposite way of the pick. So that did not help. Bartolo Colon has not been as automatic. Max Scherzer pitched well, but was hurt by an error and his team's lack of scoring. Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera went a combined one for sixteen with two walks. That does not happen. It was just one of those nights.

Let's see if Wednesday can become a better day of picking. There are six day games:

  • The Twins over the Indians: The Indians turn to Carlos Carrasco. Ugh! There had to be a better choice out there than that! Give the pick then to Kyle Gibson because Gibson is a decent pitcher. The only hope for the Indians here is if Gibson is off and it gets to be a high scoring game.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: John Danks used to be a really good pitcher. Somewhere along the line, his stuff has not been the same and he gets hit hard fairly regularly. The Tigers have no problems with lefties. Rick Porcello needs to have a good game though.
  • The Royals over the Marlins: A big reason the Royals started this surge of theirs was when Ervin Santana started throwing zeroes. And his stuff has been magnificent since. Jacob Turner has been throwing well for the Marlins. But the Royals have to be the pick here.
  • The Reds over the Cubs: Chris Rusin has been fairly stingy for the Cubs when it comes to base runners and runs. But he has been more of a fly ball pitcher than in the past and that is worrisome, especially against the Reds. Bronson Arroyo never ceases to amaze me. Pitch quick, throw strikes and boom.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: There seems to be little difference between these two teams as far as results go. You would think the Rockies would be more talented. I am going with Jorge De La Rosa at home against Andrew Cashner.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Orioles: Chris Tillman has had a good season. He is not as good as his numbers, however. Patrick Corbin is having a great season. His numbers are as good as he is. Going with the D-backs at home.
  • The Yankees over the Angels: The body language of the players on the Angels says it all. They are a down bunch of players. And everything seems to go wrong from umpire calls to bouncing balls. Jered Weaver is a great pitcher and has made the Yankees look bad before. But I am going with Ivan Nova and the Yankees to go on a roll here.
  • The Nationals over the Giants: Tim Lincecum has been pitching much better and Jordan Zimmermann has lost his command in his last bunch of outings. So why, then, am I picking the Nationals? Because Zimmermann is my guy, that's why.
  • The Braves over the Phillies: John Lannon can throw an occasional good game but the nod has to go to Brandon Beachy and the high flying Braves.
  • The Bay Rays over the Mariners: Aaron Harang has a chance at least when he pitches at home in Seattle. But the Rays should win this one behind the blazing, but efficient tosses of David Price. The Rays have been slumping, but this should be their game.
  • The Rangers over the Brewers: The Brewers may have something special in Tyler Thornburg as he has pitched very well for them. But he is a fly ball pitcher and that scares me in Texas where the ball flies far into the night. Besides, Matt Garza was a great pickup for the Rangers and should win.
  • The Pirates over the Cardinals: Oh man, that error in the ninth inning last night was a killer for the Pirates. What an bad, bad moment for them. But I think they show some resilience tonight with Francisco Liriano throwing really well and Shelby Miller is not yet the consistently great pitcher he is going to be.
  • The Athletics over the Astros: The Astros won last night and that threw me for a loop. And Jarred Cosart has been terrific for them. But he only has one decision (a win) in five starts for them. Jarrod Parker should win for the A's.
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: Dillon Gee will give the Mets a good game. He always seems to. And Chris Capuano is hard to bank on. But the Dodgers have been surreal in how many games they win and the nod has to go to them at home.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: Esmil Rogers has been a batting practice pitcher for his last bunch of starts. It has been ugly. Jon Lester has not had a great season. But I have to think he will be better than Rogers.

Yesterday: 6-9
Week: 24-17
Month: 105-69
Season: 1008-782
Games of the Day: 77-52    -1

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Simmons and Machado having historic fielding seasons

Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves and Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles are both in their second seasons and first full seasons. Simmons is 23 and Machado is 21. And both are already the best fielders at their positions in baseball. In fact, the seasons they are having in the field are downright historic.

We all know that fielding statistics are not yet perfect. As such, it is really impossible to definitively state where the fielding seasons Machado and Simmons are having fit into the all time lexicon at their positions. But these statistics are all we have at the moment and if what we have is anywhere close to being accurate, then these two young players are sizzling at what they do.

And their seasons pass the eye test too. Watching them play is a treat day in and day out and they make the difficult seem routine and the impossible happen on a weekly basis. But flashy is one thing. To remain consistently awesome in the field is another and both have done that.

In recent years, the defensive runs saved has become just as big of the winning equation as pitching and hitting. Winning games is about scoring more runs than your opponent. In order to do so, the team has to hit to score runs and it has to pitch to prevent them plus field the ball well to prevent runs on balls in play. As such it is the runs prevented that is the focus on looking at Simmons and Machado.

And that is where the history comes in. Again, knowing the statistic is not perfect, lists the greatest seasons in a statistic they call Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average. I know that is a mouthful. But bear with me. Andrelton Simmons is currently listed at 25 Total Zone Runs according to that statistic. Without playing another game, Simmons' season already ranks tied for twelfth all-time according to

Those ahead of him include four seasons for Mark Belanger, two by Ron Hanson, and one each by Rey Sanchez, Rey Ordonez, Ozzie Smith, Ozzie Guillen and Adam Everett. Everett's 2006 season at 40 runs saved above average is the all-time leader.

Simmons has played 114 of the Braves 119 games. The same site projects Simmons to finish at 30 Total Zone Runs for the season. That seems modest and would mean Simmons' season would rank fifth all time. Fifth! But if you divide Simmons 25 Total Zone Runs by his 114 games and then multiplied that by the perhaps 40 games he has left, he could conceivably reach 33 Total Zone Runs and that would rank his season third all time and tied with Rey Ordonez's season in 1999.

That is pretty amazing. Simmons also has a chance to reach 500 assists this season. Now if only his bat would come alive, it would match the great defensive season Simmons is having. Just for comparison, has him at 20.6 runs above average. No other shortstop in the game has more than 9.2. Amazing.

Then there is Machado. If Machado's season were to end right now, his 24 Total Zone Runs Above Average would place his season as tied for the fifteenth best season ever. Brooks Robinson's 33 is the top number ever. Names in front of Machado read like the Who's Who among the great third basemen of history: Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell, Adrian Beltre, Robin Ventura, Clete Boyer, Aurelio Rodriguez and Scott Rolen. That is some heady company.

B-R projects that Machado will finish at 28 Total Zone Runs which would tie him at eighth all time. Again, that seems conservative. Again, if you do the math of 24 divided by his 118 games played and then multiply that result times the 43 games he has left (he plays every day), then Brooks Robinson at the top two spots is within reach. Remarkable.

Fangraphs also has Machado on top for third basemen this season at a more conservative 21.3. The spread between he and the second and third place peers is not as dramatic as Simmons'. Nolan Arenado is listed at 16.3 and Evan Longoria at 13.8.

Fielding statistics are not as highly regarded for accurately as what we have for batters and pitchers. But based on what we see and what we do have for statistics, Manny Machado and Adrelton Simmons are having historic fielding seasons and a big reason for their respective team success.

MLB Game Picks - Tuesday: August 13, 2013

My apologies that this is late. I have bronchitis or something and slept in with a Nyquil coma. I woke up to find that yesterday was not a bad day with seven out of eleven correct. I came out on the wrong side of the Danny Salazar vs. Andrew Albers rookie shootout. I should have picked Chris Sale and the Marlins were just a dumb pick. And what do you know: Cole Hamels won a game. Oh well.

Since this is late, let's get right to Tuesday's picks:

  • The Yankees over the Angels: Jason Vargas has not pitched since mid-June and the Yankees are a little better set up to hit lefties with Soriano and A-Rod. It all depends on CC Sabathia and if he can pull himself out of this slump he is in.
  • The Giants over the Nationals: If I had to go head to head with Madison Bumgarner and Gio Gonzalez, I would have to pick Bumgarner. This could go either way though as both are capable of shut down outings.
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: Ryan Dempster has been brutal at times this season and he faces a lineup with power, which is scary. But the bottom line for me is that the Red Sox should hit Todd Redmond even harder, especially the second or third time through the order when Redmond has shown weakness.
  • The Braves over the Phillies: Ethan Martin has had two big league starts. One was terrible and the other decent but with a lot of base runners. The Braves should feast on that. Kris Medlen is the question mark here. But Medlen should be better than Martin.
  • The Bay Rays over the Mariners: Erasmo Ramirez is 3-0. That's great! Uh. No. His ERA sits at 7.13 and his WHIP at 1.50. He is the poster boy of those who say wins are meaningless. Chris Archer should come out on top here. But the Rays are in a tailspin of sorts.
  • The Reds over the Cubs: The last time I picked Jeff Samardzija to win, he got bombed. Today I pick against him and he will win, just watch. I have to go with Homer Bailey and the Reds in this one.
  • The Twins over the Indians: These are two teams I just cannot figure out this season. I always seem to get the wrong. Before, the only time the Twins won was when Samuel Deduno pitched. Then I picked him to win and he lost. Sigh. I am picking Sam Deduno again against Zach McAllister.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: I am still convinced that Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana are the same guy. Has anyone ever seen them at the same time? Max Scherzer has to be the pick. Too bad all his wins don't mean anything.
  • The Royals over the Marlins: Jose Fernandez is not quite the same pitcher on the road as he is at home. At home, he is a lock. On the road, not so much. And Bruce Chen...Bruce freakin' Chen never seems to lose with his whiffle ball stuff.
  • The Cardinals over the Pirates: This is the Cardinals' big chance facing the Pirates at their home park. And they start off on the right foot with their ace, Adam Wainwright, on the mound. Charlie Morton has been good for the Pirates. I do not really know how, but he has.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: I have kicked this one to death in my mind. Do I really want to pick the Rockies when Jeff Manship is pitching? I mean, even his name is ridiculous. It is like Grace Slick started yet another band and called it Jefferson Manship. You know? Anyway, I am picking him anyway because who knows what will happen at Coors Field and Eric Stults never gives me any love anyway.
  • The Orioles over the Diamondbacks: The Orioles seem to have the kind of offense that can exploit a younger pitcher of talent like Randall Delgado. And Miguel Gonzalez is probably one of the better pitchers than nobody ever hears about.
  • The Athletics over the Astros: It is only fair that the A's get some Astros love since the Rangers had them all weekend. Bartolo Colon over Jordan Lyles and his Wagoneers.
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: The future debate of Rookie of the Year lies here in this match up of Matt Harvey against Hyun-jin Ryu. As much as I dread picking against Harvey, who is the better of the two in my opinion, Ryu is pretty unbeatable at home and I like that he has cut down on his walks and has only walked one in his last three starts. This should be fun to watch.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Rangers over the Brewers: I know the old saying goes that on any given day...yada yada. But the Rangers should never lose to the Brewers. Ever. Alexi Ogando has not exactly been slinging the ball effectively, however, and Marco Estrada has been better. I am still going with the Rangers.

Yesterday: 7-4
Week: 18-8
Month: 99-60
Season: 1002-773
Games of the Day: 77-51    +2

Monday, August 12, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Monday: August 12, 2013

Sunday was good to me as the picks went eleven for fifteen. The four incorrect picks were the Pirates who took Jeff Locke out early and then the bullpen lost the game, the White Sox as Jose Quintana gave up a five-spot in the fifth with two homers, the Diamondbacks who were out-slugged by the Mets of all teams and the Tigers who came back with homers off of David Robertson and Mariano Rivera but still lost on a homer allowed of their own by Brett Gardner.

But it was a good day and a nice way to start off the week. There are eleven games on the Monday schedule. Here are the picks:

  • The Athletics over the Blue Jays: This is one of those rare series that wraps around the weekend and they play a day game at 12:37. Weird. The A's should hit J.A. Happ and company but Dan Straily has to have a good game and that is harder for him to do on the road.
  • The Rangers over the Astros: Another day game from a wraparound series. Yu Darvish is tough to pick against, especially against a team like the Astros. My only concern about the pick is that Brett Oberholtzer is pitching very well for the Astros.
  • The Yankees over the Angels: If Hiroki Kuroda can avoid homers to Trout and Hamilton, he should win as he has been the Yankees' best starter. Garrett Richards is pretty good for the Angels too though.
  • The Braves over the Phillies: I bet that at one time during this season, the Phillies had circled this series like it would matter. It does not as the Phillies are out of it. Cole Hamels will again be snake bit and Julio Teheran will have no trouble with the Phillies' lineup.
  • The Reds over the Cubs: Does Travis Wood always get the other team's ace? It sure seems like it. The poor guy will not be able to match zeroes with Mat Latos and if he does, the Reds' bullpen is better than the Cubs'.
  • The Indians over the Twins: This is a tough one. Danny Salazar and Andrew Albers have both started their big league careers with some eye-opening performances. One of them has to win. Salazar has the better pure stuff.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: Doug Fister cancels out Chris Sale and the Tigers have the better lineup and everything else. Sale is tough, but so are the Tigers.
  • The Marlins over the Royals: I make fun of Wade Davis all the time. I say that he is the fraternal brother to Phil Hughes. He made a bit of a fool out of me with a big performance last time out, but like Hughes, Davis always returns to (bad) form. Going with Tom Koehler and the Marlins.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: This could be ugly for Edinson Volquez as the ballpark in Colorado will not play like the one in San Diego. Plus, Jhoulys Chacin is having a decent season and knows how to pitch at Coors.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Orioles: Wade Miley is on a roll and that is the sole reason for this pick. I simply think he will be better than Scott Feldman. I am not worried about a lefty against the Orioles because their lineup is balanced. But Miley has been too good lately.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: The Dodgers are the best team in baseball right now the way they are playing. Ricky Nolasco has been a solid addition. Jenrry Mejia might baffle the Dodgers for a while, but they will come out on top.

Yesterday: 11-4
Week:  11-4
Month: 92-56
Season: 995-769
Games of the Day: 76-51

Sunday, August 11, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Sunday: August 11, 2013

Yesterday was another positive, if unexciting day of picking baseball games. When there are fifteen games played, any correct number of picks under ten is not something that makes me happy. But, on the other hand, I should not complain about a positive outcome. And yet, I sit here and wish I had picked for Zack Wheeler and against Michael Wacha. I wish I could predict the inevitable games where the Braves are simply not going to hit the baseball.

I watched the Fox broadcast of the Rays at the Dodgers. One funny thing happened that I wish I knew how to do television screen catches because a post of said would have had a thousand hits. Fox runs the scores in a scroll on the bottom in a way that ESPN perfected years ago. I guess that is because Fox is launching its own sports channel. Anyway, the scroll reported the Tigers destroying the Yankees (as predicted here) and you and I know that Anibal Sanchez was the winning pitcher. On the scroll band, Fox reported that the win was by, "A. Sanibal." Funny. It took them over an hour to correct it.

Sunday's picks:

  • The Indians over the Angels: Justin Masterson rescues the Indians from this losing streak begun by that four game drubbing by the Tigers. The Angels have capitalized on the Indians being in an understandable funk from that series. Masterson has been masterful often this season and if he is today, the Tribe will be the Angels and Jerome Williams.
  • The Tigers over the Yankees: Andy Pettitte is one of the guys I will never forget from the Yankee dynasty since 1995. Therefore, it is sad watching him with very little bite or stuff on his pitches. The Tigers will hit him like everyone else has and Justin Verlander gets an easy win.
  • The Reds over the Padres: This pick went wrong yesterday, but it still has to be made today. The Reds, obviously, are the better team playing in their home ballpark. Mike Leake over Ian Kennedy.
  • The Braves over the Marlins: Henderson Alvarez has not been too bad for the Marlins in his starts so far. But the Braves have to be the pick behind Mike Minor. The one concern is that Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton continue to be a black hole in that lineup.
  • The Royals over the Red Sox: James Shields has been nowhere near as good for the Royals as they hoped he would be when they traded Wil Myers to get him. Royals fans are still stewing over that one. However, I look for Shields to have a good day against the Red Sox and for Eric Hosmer and company to score a few off of John Lackey.
  • The White Sox over the Twins: Justin Morneau is hitting the crap out of the ball these days. Even so, perhaps the lefty tosses of Jose Quintana can slow even him down. Kevin Correia is the main reason for this pick though.
  • The Rangers over the Astros: Rios has already paid dividends for the Rangers in what looks to be a brilliant move. Martin Perez will never thrill me, but he should be enough to beat Dallas Keuchel and the Astros.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: The Cards are starting to concern me. They have to start winning games or they will end up as a wildcard team. Which is how they won their last two titles though. Joe Kelly is a guy I have picked against and lived to regret. Edwin Jackson is pitching better these days.
  • The Orioles over the Giants: The Orioles need a good outing by Bud Norris and another homer or two from Chris Davis. If they get both, they win over Matt Cain.
  • The Mariners over the Brewers: The Brewers were shut out by Iwakuma yesterday for five inning and then scored ten runs in four innings to finish the game. Can they beat the Mariners' other ace in Felix Hernandez? I do not see it. Wily Peralta goes for the Brewers.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Mets: Jonathon Niese goes for the Mets in his first outing back from a long DL stint. Those kinds of starts always make me nervous. Then again, I am not hopeful of Zeke Spruill having a great MLB career. High scoring game?
  • The Pirates over the Rockies: Chad Bettis makes his third big league start. The first two did not go well. So I do not expect much from him today. On the other side, Jeff Locke has been my guy all season. So I am sticking with him.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: The Nats have scored like sixteen runs in their last two games. That, of course, means they will not score any for Stephen Strasburg. Then again, they could score off of Kyle Kendrick and finally make their stud pitcher a winner.
  • The Dodgers over the Bay Rays: Clayton Kershaw should hamstring the Rays' lineup and should score against Jeremy Hellickson. But, "should," is a word that makes me shudder with fear.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Athletics over the Blue Jays: R.A. Dickey has a 3.08 ERA on the road this season with seven homers allowed in twelve games. In his twelve games at home, his ERA is 5.97 with 18 homers allowed. Predictably, the pick then is for A.J. Griffin and the A's to win the game.

Yesterday: 9-6
Last week: 52-40 (after a 1-9 start)
Month: 81-52
Season: 984-765
Games of the Day: 75-51   -1