Saturday, September 07, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: September 7, 2013

Something strange happened yesterday. Strange for this week anyway. I had a good picking night and got the Game of the Day pick correctly. Imagine that! After a really bad start Sunday and Monday, the picks are finally in the black. Hey! That qualifies for a come from behind victory. Here is the post pick interview:

FoxSports - William, you really pulled that week out of a deep hole. Did you think you would make it back like you did?

William - I just kept grinding and putting together good picks. I knew that if I did that, I would come out okay.

FoxSports - That was brilliant the way you picked a San Diego team that started Burch Smith.

William - Every night is a different hero. Everyone is doing their part and I am just trying to fit in and contribute.

FoxSports - Thank you, William. Congratulations on your day.

Did I get all the cliches in there? If I did not, just listen to John Farrell's post game interview. He nailed them all.

Saturday's picks:

  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: No David Robertson. No Boone Logan. The Yankees are starting David Huff, AKA, David Hassle Huff and I think the Red Sox will score some runs for John Lackey. Geez, what a time for the Yankees' bullpen to lose it after it being their strength all year.
  • The Orioles over the White Sox: The poor White Sox. Is there any way they can win a game? Eight straight losses now and counting. Too bad they have become the designated patsies among the AL East. Wei-Yin Chen over Hector Santiago.
  • The Reds over the Dodgers: Wow! What a potential match-up! Two of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now with Mat Latos and Zack Greinke. Woo! I am going with Latos because he is home and because one of these guys has to win the game.
  • The Athletics over the Astros: I almost looked like the Astros were going to beat the A's in two straight games. But, alas, the sad team from Houston lost it in the end. I like Brett Oberholtzer a lot and he has been good for the Astros. But the A's are just too good a team and will win at home with Dan Straily.
  • The Cubs over the Brewers: Jake Arrieta gentille Arrieta is not my most reliable choice as a starting pitcher. But he has to be the pick when poor Johnny Hellweg continues his rude introduction to the Major Leagues.
  • The Indians over the Mets: I really sort of think the Mets might win this game as Jonathon Niese has been pitching really well. But the Indians seem to have some sort of charm about them right now and somehow, they will win late. Corey Kluber makes a start after missing a bunch of time.
  • The Tigers over the Royals: I think the combined and average score for the Tigers against both the Indians and Royals is like 17-3. Every game seems like a blowout. Justin Verlander is not the same as he has been. But he can win this one I think. Danny Duffy has had a nice start to his rebirth in MLB, but reality sets in a bit here.
  • The Twins over the Blue Jays: One of my least favorite things in life is picking Kevn Correia to win a ballgame. But if I have to pick between him or J.A. Happ, one of them has to get the win and it might as well be the guy pitching at home.
  • The Marlins over the Nationals: Nathan Eovaldi has been making a monkey out of me and keeps pitching well. When I finally get tired of that and pick him today, he'll probably get beat up. Tanner Roark has made nine MLB appearances and yet somehow that knowledge totally eluded me. I had never heard of him before. How does that happen? He is 4-0 in relief. He will be 0-1 as a starter.
  • The Cardinals over the Pirates: This NL Central is like Rocky movie with all the changes in momentum. The Cards do not hit lefties well and Jeff Locke is one of those. But Locke has hit a wall after pitching well all season. Adam Wainwright has not been ace-like lately. He will have to be tonight.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: It is a battle of Ty's as Tyler Chatwood squares up against Tyson Ross. I have no idea which will win. They are both rather fungible.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: How did that grit and dirt do for the D-backs this year? Not very much after all is said and done. I really like Brandon McCarthy, but I cannot pick him to win. Matt Cain has been his old self in the second half.
  • The Angels over the Rangers: The Rangers are going to pooch this aren't they? The offense just isn't there. Derek Holland always lets me down. Garrett Richards has been pitching pretty well.
  • The Rays over the Mariners: This game is rather interesting. Chris Archer will probably win. But James Paxton is making his MLB debut. He is a former #1 draft pick (2009) for the Mariners who did well in the minors until he hit the PCL. But the PCL is murder on pitching. So he is one of those guys who could actually be better in the Majors.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Braves over the Phillies: Yeah, this pick did not go well yesterday. But I really like Alex Wood and I really like the Braves' chances against Kyle Kendricks. They are a strikeout-prone team hitting against a guy who does not strike out people.

Yesterday: 10-5
Week: 43-39
Month: 43-39
Season: 1185-934
Games of the Day: 89-64

Friday, September 06, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Friday: September 6, 2013

When I went to bed, the picks stood at 3-1 with the one loss the pie-in-the-sky pick being the Yankees. When I awoke, I found that I had gone zero for the West Coast as all three games out there were wrong. I hate when that happens, especially when one of those picks was the Game of the Day. Oakland lost to the Astros!?

Do you know what I cannot wrap my head around? The Giants are in last place. I am pretty sure I have been picking them all season like they were the World Series Champions. Wait. They are. Whatever. Anyway, the picks are again in the red for the week and the month.

I am hoping I can fix that today. Friday's picks:

  • The Brewers over the Cubs: It is difficult to pick who is going to win a game for two teams just playing out the string. Which is going to play more September call ups? Which has packed it in emotionally and which keeps fighting? This pick is based solely on the starting pitchers. Kyle Lohse over Chris Rusin.
  • The Braves over the Phillies: Cliff Lee has not won a game in forever. He has been decent, but he has not won. Mike Minor seems like the better pick. The Braves have such a big lead that you wonder how their motivation will be.
  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: Nova starting seemed to be the Yankees best chance to win. He was terrible. Andy Pettitte is not someone, at this stage of his career, that can slow down the Red Sox. Felix Doubront always seems to pitch the Yankees well. The Yankees had their chance yesterday and could not get it done.
  • The Indians over the Mets: The Indians have a tough challenge against Zack Wheeler, but they should win the game, especially at home. Scott Kazmir should pitch a good game against a team with lefty batters.
  • The Reds over the Dodgers: I can see Mike Leake having a better chance of stopping the Dodgers' offense than Chris Capuano stopping the Reds' offense. A lot will depend on if Puig plays. An Aroldis Chapman versus Puig confrontation would have been exciting.
  • The Marlins over the Nationals: Jose Fernandez at home in Miami? That is a lock. It has been all season. The only chance for the Nats is for Dan Haren to match him and then win late. I do not see Haren matching him.
  • The Royals over the Tigers: They call him "Big Game" James Shields for a reason. He will either rise to that like he has in the past or give up three homers and lose. Those are the two possible outcomes. Anibal Sanchez has this thing about becoming invisible in the second half of a season. He has done it his whole career. Can he break out of it?
  • The Blue Jays over the Twins: This is as pick-em a game as there is. Two bad teams. Two so-so to mediocre pitchers. I will give the nod to R.A. Dickey to fool enough Twins to win. Mike Pelfrey should run into a couple of bats.
  • The Cardinals over the Pirates: You cannot say that the NL Central has been boring. The three main teams have been battling it out for two weeks now. I see this as a Cardinal win IF Joe Kelly pitches a good game. If he does, the Cardinals should be able to score a few off of A.J. Burnett, who has not been good.
  • The Athletics over the Astros: Isn't it just like baseball for the A's to whip the Rangers and then lose the following day to the Astros? Yeah, you cannot predict ball. That said, A.J. Griffin should beat Dallas Keuchel. We are back on track with both A.J.'s pitching on the same day.
  • The Rangers over the Angels: I am sure that Mike Scioscia would love nothing better than to knock the Rangers for a loop. And his pitcher, C.J. Wilson (lots of initials today), has been pitching well. But I am still going to go with Matt Garza.
  • The Padres over the Rockies: Burch Smith has pitched 12.2 innings of MLB ball. In that time a lot has happened. He has given up 21 hits and five homers to go with seven walks. That is all bad. But he has struck out fifteen. That is good. There is no way he should be picked to win today. But this is a setup and I have been setup all season by such no-brain letdowns. Juan Nicasio goes for the Rockies.
  • The Rays over the Mariners: I want so bad to pick Hisashi Iwakuma to win at home. That seems like such a good combination that has served me well. But this is the Rays and this is September and doggonit if they always find a way. Alex Cobb goes for the Rays.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: See? I keep picking the Giants like they were the World Series Champions. Yusmeiro Petit has been dominant in his last couple of starts and Patrick Corbin looks like he has hit a wall. Goldschmidt seemed to wake up yesterday though, so that could be trouble.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Orioles over the White Sox: I can sort of see the Orioles having a tough time with John Danks. But I cannot put that together with a loss for the Orioles, not against the roll-over-and-die White Sox. Scott Feldman goes for the Orioles.

Yesterday: 3-4
Week: 33-34
Month: 33-34
Season: 1175-929
Game of the Day picks:  88-64   -3

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Basking in the glow of Mo

The New York Yankees were leading the lowly Chicago White Sox, 6-1, heading into the top of the eighth inning. CC Sabathia had finally pitched a good game. But Paul Konerko hit a hard single to left to give the White Sox men on first and second with one out andJoe Girardi had seen enough. The manager was probably kicking himself for allowing Sabathia to start the inning since Sabathia began it over 100 pitches. David Robertson was brought in and all was well with the world. Robertson again this season has been one of the best relievers in baseball. But Robertson was not good on this night. Three singles and a walk later, the score was 6-5 and Robertson could not get the last out of the inning. Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera. And then all was right with the world. Once again, Yankee fans were basking in the glow of Mo.

Read the rest here at It's About the Money

Andrew McCutchen is the most valuable

I cannot imagine where the Pirates would be without Andrew McCutchen. That to me makes him the most valuable player in the National League this season. Yes, the Pirates have forged this exceptional season due to pitching and defense. But they have been (until some recent acquisitions) a weak hitting team. Except for Andrew McCutchen.

How weak a hitting team? Consider that the Pirates as a team have an offense that has been valued by at -14.8 batting runs. Andrew McCutchen's offense has been valued by that same site at 35.5 batting runs. That is second in the National League only to Votto of the Reds who is valued at 36.8 runs.

Starling Marte, McCutchen's teammate, has had a very good season with 4.2 fWAR. That is a surprise. But much of that is on defense, and while I am not discounting that, his batting runs are also the second highest on the team at 12.7. That is 22.8 batting runs behind McCutchen. They are the only two on the team in double figures.

I do not think this makes as much difference as some people say it does, but until recently, McCutchen had little protection in the batting order too. McCutchen has only driven in 76 runs, but that is not hard to fathom considering the first and second places in the Pirates batting order have a combined .334 on-base percentage. That is not that bad, but it is not that great either. And if one of those batters did get on, McCutchen was worked around. He has eleven intentional walks.

The major MVP candidates in the NL this season will be McCutchen, Gomez of the Brewers, Carpenter of the Cardinals, Votto of the Reds, Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks and Kershaw of the Dodgers. That is who I see as McCutchen's competition. All have had valid seasons and arguments. But here is how I break it down.

Votto and Goldschmidt are the only two NL players with a higher wOBA than McCutchen, but it is just barely. All three have had positive defensive seasons. But McCutchen is only four or five points below those two in wOBA and he plays a much more important defensive position. So with all playing extremely well, the nod to me goes to McCutchen.

I love the season that Carpenter is having with the Cardinals. His offense from the top of that lineup drives that team. But his defense is only meh compared to McCutchen's and Carpenter has had a much better supporting cast.

I discount Gomez of the Brewers, perhaps unfairly. But much of his value is from his defense, which charts out of this world. If defensive stats were stronger and more reliable, I might buy into that more. And yeah, playing for a team that has no shot at being any good detracts things for me. It might be a bit of old-school thinking there.

Old school too describes my loathing for pitchers being considered for MVP. They have their own award. A pitcher winning the CYA and MVP is like the winner of Survivor also getting the hundred grand as the fan favorite. That isn't right to me. Kershaw is behind McCutchen in fWAR but ahead of him in rWAR. Let's face it, Kershaw, unless he pitches at Coors the rest of the season, is going to win the CYA. Harvey of the Mets had a real chance until he blew out his elbow.

Andrew McCutchen has for five years been the bright light in the murky world that has been the Pirates. Now that his team is having this exceptional season, it is time to celebrate him. He should be one of the faces of the game. And he is the National League's most valuable player.

MLB Game Picks - Thursday: September 5, 2013

Wednesday was another good day that saw the Game of the Day pick go down in flames. Darn that Francisco Liriano for throwing a stinker. Yu Darvish did too. How could aces let me down so often this season? The Yankees got a scare late but Mariano Rivera came to the rescue and got the last four outs. The Red Sox pick was correct in about the biggest way possible. Twenty runs!? Man, Tigers, what was that?

My pick for the Royals was wrong as Ervin Santana was not good and Aaron made me eat Crow. I was wrong for picking the Angels as Jered Weaver gave up two homers to Wil Myers and Jeremy Hellickson threw his usual five innings of crap that somehow worked before the bullpen took over. And my pick for the Blue Jays took ten innings to go wrong.

But it was a decent day. And now on to Thursday:

  • The Royals over the Mariners: Jeremy Guthrie and Joe Saunders are two pitchers that can be very good or very bad. So this game will depend on which is which. The pick is for the Royals at home.
  • The Yankees over the Red Sox: Two very hot pitchers collide in this one. Ivan Nova just won the Pitcher of the Month for his August. And of course, Jake Peavy was an excellent pickup for the Red Sox. I am going with the Yankees at home with a Red Sox team that swung their bats very often yesterday.
  • The Orioles over the White Sox: The White Sox just allowed the Yankees to keep themselves in the race, so turnabout is fair play as the Orioles are next. Miguel Gonzalez should be slightly better than Jose Quintna in this one. What is the over/under on the White Sox making two errors?
  • The Reds over the Cardinals: This series seems like it has gone on forever. Maybe because they placed sixteen innings yesterday. Lance Lynn has had at least one inning with a crooked number in just about every start in his last ten. I cannot trust him. Tony Cingrani is a lefty and the Cardinals have trouble with those. The only caveat here is that Cingrani was hurt in his last start and has not pitched for two weeks.
  • The Bay Rays over the Angels:  David Price came off the DL on fire but has cooled off lately. This pick assumes he will be fine against the Angels and that the Rays will be able to hit Jerome Williams enough to win the game.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: How about the Panda hitting three homers in San Diego no less? Unbelievable, eh? I do not think he will do that again, but I still think the Giants will win if Ryan Vogelsong has a decent outing. Trevor Cahill does not strike much fear in me.
And the Game of the Day:

  • The Athletics over the Astros: Okay, I am back on the Sonny Gray train. He sucked me back in with his last start. Besides, I would never pick Brad Peacock to beat the A's anyway.
Yesterday: 10-5
Week: 30-30
Month: 30-30
Season: 1172-925
Games of the Day: 88-63  -2

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: September 4, 2013

The first two days of September were brutal and awful, but at least I picked the Game of the Day correctly. Yesterday was much better but the Game of the Day was wrong. Der. I thought sure the Orioles would beat the Indians. Where did that Ubaldo Jimenez come from? I called the Yankees - White Sox game dead on with Chris Sale looking good early and then the Yankees winning it late. I also correctly called Homer Bailey over the Cardinals despite a good performance from Michael Wacha.

I will take solace in a much better day and know that to rescue this week, I will need more good days to pull it out of the mire. So here goes. Wednesday's picks:

  • The Mets over the Braves: I am not quite sure why the Braves are starting Kameron Loe unless they have somehow fixed his flaws in a hurry since they obtained him. They have a huge lead in the division, so I guess no biggie. The pick then goes to Dillon Gee who has been stingy with runs lately.
  • The Astros over the Twins: Yeah, this did not work out yesterday, but I do not quite believe in Liam Hendriks even if he did beat the Rangers his last time out. Looking at that game, it was truly a BABIP game with at-em balls. Jordan Lyles is not a more savory pick, however.
  • The Cubs over the Marlins: I went back and forth on this one. Brian Flynn makes his MLB debut for the Marlins and had great numbers in the minors this season. It looks like he can go deep into games too. The flipper for me was that Jeff Samardzija should strike out ten Marlins today.
  • The Rangers over the Athletics: Every single time I have picked Yu Darvish to win, he has not. And he has had some trouble with the A's before. But come on now. The guy is a beast and should win every game he pitches. Perhaps Jarrod Parker will have something to say about it. It is a big game.
  • The Blue Jays over the Diamondbacks: This pick worked out for me yesterday and picking Mark Buehrle has also worked out really well lately. I am not sure about him pitching in the dry air of Arizona, but we'll see. He will go against the sometimes tough, Randall Delgado.
  • The Giants over the Padres: Tim Lincecum was brilliant last time. I remember because I picked against him. He goes against Eric Stults, a pitcher that confuses me to no end.
  • The Indians over the Orioles: I thought Zach Britton was going to be a star. But like so many other Orioles young pitchers, he never panned out. For the O's to start him when they are fighting for their lives seems a bit dicey to me. I would much rather go with Zach McAllister. Hey! Look at that! A Zach attack.
  • The Yankees over the White Sox: CC Sabathia has not come through for the Yankees for quite some time. He needs to show up tonight. For the White Sox' part, they give Erik Johnson his MLB debut. Johnson will not go deep in the game. His minors' numbers indicate that. He does not strike out people and he can be wild at times. He also gives up a lot of hits.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: It is really hard after all these years to pick against Roy Halladay. But his last start showed that he is not all the way back yet. Jordan Zimmermann has sort of put it back together after a rough patch and the Nats are hitting much better lately.
  • The Red Sox over the Tigers: Both teams start their weakest starters in Ryan Dempster and Rick Porcello, so it seems the two cancel each other out. That said, the Red Sox have the better bullpen and are the home team. So they are the pick.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: This series has gone the Reds' way so far. And Bronson Arroyo has been very effective. I don't really know how, but he has. That said, the Cardinal bats should come alive in this one and they have a chance IF Shelby Miller has a good game.
  • The Royals over the Mariners: Taijuan Walker looks fabulous and his MLB debut went really well. He was economical and tough to hit. But, he only went five innings and his team had jumped out with a lead. Ervin Santana can hold down Walker's team for the five or six innings he will pitch and then the Royals win late against the Mariners' bullpen.
  • The Rockies over the Dodgers: I cannot believe the Dodgers picked up Edinson Volquez. They must think they can straighten him out. That is going to take a huge iron because Volquez has been the worst starting pitcher in baseball. And his first Dodgers' start is in Coors? Oy. Jorge De La Rosa is my pick.
  • The Angels over the Bay Rays: I have long not been a Jeremy Hellickson fan despite how he always seemed to win to belie his less than wholesome peripherals. But the wins have stopped coming now so the law of averages has caught up a bit. All that said, it will take a great game by Jered Weaver to beat the Rays.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: I am picking a lot of visiting teams today and I do not like that very much. But this is how they look, so all fear aside, I carry on. Francisco Liriano has been amazing except for a few bum starts. I do not see one of those latter starts here. And I do not see Wily Peralta hanging with him.

Yesterday: 9-6
Week: 20-25
Month: 20-25
Season: 1162-920
Games of the Day: 88-62

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Tuesday: September 3, 2013

September is killing me so far. The first two days of the month have been a disaster. The only saving grace has been two straight Game of the Day picks coming in. But otherwise, it has been really bad. And it was bad even considering I correctly predicted Felix Hernandez would lose, the Yankees would win a game that Phil Hughes started and that Mat Latos would pitch better than Adam Wainwright. How can some picks be that smart and twice as many be so dumb?

Ah well, this is baseball. Today is a new day. Tuesday's picks:

  • The Yankees over the White Sox: A month ago, a Chris Sale - Hiroki Kuroda match-up would have been the bomb. But both pitchers have struggled lately. I give the edge to Kuroda to figure it out in his home ballpark.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: Of course they Nats could not score for Strasburg yesterday. What else is new. But they will score today as Ethan Martin has been anything but airtight with his pitching. Gio Gonzalez should benefit from the support.
  • The Tigers over the Red Sox: A lot in this game will depend on which ace is on his game as Jon Lester goes against Max Scherzer. Both will be tested with good lineups. I am leaning towards Scherzer at this point.
  • The Braves over the Mets: Carlos Torres was really good for the Mets in his last start. He will probably be good today. But the Mets' lineup is decimated and Kris Medlen should have no trouble getting this win.
  • The Reds over the Cardinals: This series and the NL Central sure is a screwy place. You just cannot predict how it will all play out. The Cards' offense either goes crazy or goes silent. Which will today bring? Homer Bailey seems a better pick than Michael Wacha.
  • The Cubs over the Marlins: The two starts in this game, Tom Koehler and Edwin Jackson are a combined 10-23. So you tell me who will win this game. Because I have no clue. I am going with the home team.
  • The Astros over the Twins: Pedro Hernandez has a 3-1 record despite a 1.69 WHIP and an astronomical ERA. Jarred Cosart has been pitching very well for the Astros and has little to show for it. The last two picks have featured four really bad teams, no?
  • The Brewers over the Pirates: I am aware that this pick did not work out yesterday. But Yovani Gallardo has been nearly flawless since coming off the DL. Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole has lost his last two starts and has allowed twenty hits in his last 13.1 innings.
  • The Royals over the Mariners: This is the pick even though Erasmo Ramirez has been pitching well for the Mariners. Bruce Chen is at home where he has won over 60% of his starts for his career. I have to go with Chen with that figure.
  • The Dodgers over the Rockies: Ricky Nolasco has a 5.45 career ERA at Coors Field but has won three of his five starts there. Jhoulys Chacin seems like the better pick. But I am going with Nolasco and the Dodgers.
  • The Blue Jays over the Diamondbacks: This pick just feels right. Todd Redmond looked tough against the Yankees and has pitched well overall. Wade Miley has been up and down all season. Both teams are going nowhere.
  • The Bay Rays over the Angels: Wow, are the Rays ever slumping. They have to break out sooner or later and today could be the day. However, the last time I picked against Jason Vargas, he schooled me. But, Matt Moore is back for the Rays. That puts the pick over the top for me.
  • The Rangers over the Athletics: Bartolo Colon has seemingly hit the wall after being so good most of the season. Martin Perez just seems to go out there each start and win. I do not exactly know how he does it. These games mean a lot for both teams.
  • The Giants over the Padres: I have not had much success this season when picking Madison Bumgarner to win. Why is that? Is he not as good as I think he is? I don't know. But if I consider him and Robbie Erlin of the Padres, you have to go with Bumgarner, right?

And the Game of the Day:

  • The Orioles over the Indians: The Indians are more of a pretender than a contender at this point. And the Orioles do look like that come from behind win on Sunday has propelled them. Chris Tillman over Ubaldo Jimenez.

Yesterday: 5-10
Week: 11-19  ouch
Month:  11-19
Season: 1153-914
Games of the Day: 88-61   +3

Monday, September 02, 2013

MLB Game Pick - Monday: September 2, 2013

September started off on a really bad foot yesterday as only six out of fifteen picks were correct. Miami blanked the Braves. The Yankees' bullpen, long their strength this season, punted against the Orioles. The Diamondbacks got another bad performance from Patrick Corbin and lost. The Indians hit a grand slam in the ninth to break a nothing, nothing game. I should have gone with Brett Oberholtzer. It was just a bad day all around.

After laboring so badly yesterday, perhaps the Labor Day picks will be better. And here they are:

  • The Yankees over the White Sox: I am probably out of my mind for picking a game where Phil Hughes is starting. I am probably not sane to think he can win. But the White Sox are a bad club and the kind of club the Yankees have to beat to keep their slimmest of hopes alive. Jose Quintana goes for the White Sox.
  • The Reds over the Cardinals: This is a good one. The battle of two aces as Mat Latos goes against Adam Wainwright. I like Latos' chances of holding the Cards down better at home. But this game could go either way depending on which pitcher is the hottest.
  • The Red Sox over the Tigers: In what could be a playoff preview, John Lackey takes on the Tigers with an injured Miguel Cabrera. Doug Fister could throw a good game against the Red Sox, but it is not likely. My guess is that the Red Sox jump on him early.
  • The Astros over the Twins: I have to admit to not having any idea what to do with this game. Andrew Albers has shown some good games, but some really bad ones too. The same can be said for Paul Clemens. Neither blows people away and thus, anything can happen. Ugh.
  • The Brewers over the Pirates: Tyler Thornburg has pitched well in each of this three starts. I think he can shut down the Pirates. They also have the kind of punch and Judy hitters than can be patient with Charlie Morton. Hey, it is possible.
  • The Royals over the Mariners: Felix Hernandez is not a pitcher to pick against very often. And yet, his games are not often a lock for his team to win. He could be matched today by Danny Duffy, who has been pitching extremely well. And then after the two starters cancel each other out, the Royals win late in the game.
  • The Cubs over the Marlins: For the last month and a half, all of Travis Wood's starts have come against the aces of his opponent team. Today, he gets a break and squares up against Henderson Alvarez. I think he wins this one.
  • The Giants over the Padres: This is another game I do not know what to do with. On the Giants' side is Barry Zito, who has been sort of awful all season and he faces Ian Kennedy who has been similarly awful. When two starters are that awful, then go with the better team. Giants.
  • The Indians over the Orioles: The seven-run outburst against the Yankees' bullpen in that come from behind victory could propel the Orioles. Or it could just mask what has been a mediocre team since the All Star Break. The Indians need a big day from Justin Masterson and they need to get to Bud Norris early to get to the Orioles' bullpen.
  • The Rangers over the Athletics: Derek Holland has had pretty good success in the Oakland Mausoleum Coliseum. He has a 2.87 ERA in nine appearances there. He will need a good one today for the Rangers to put away the A's. Dan Straily could throw a wrench into the pick with a great outing.
  • The Dodgers over the Rockies: Clayton Kershaw has an ERA of 4.98 for his career in Coors Field and has given up eleven homers there, by far the most of any road ballpark. So the Dodgers need to score six runs to win. Against Chad Bettis, that is very possible.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Blue Jays: There are far too many letters in this team match-up. I cannot pick the Blue Jays in a game where Esmil Rogers is the starter. He has served up homer after homer this season. At the same time, Brandon McCarthy has not been very good either. A toss up.
  • The Nationals over the Phillies: Another confession. This pick has nothing to do with who should or will win but for my overwhelming desire to see Stephen Strasburg pitch well. Cole Hamels is a worthy opponent though.
  • The Bay Rays over the Angels: Chris Archer is a better pitcher to me than Garrett Richards. But this pick can go either way. The Rays have really been struggling while the Angels have had a lost season. Another toss up.

And the Game of the Day:

  • The Braves over the Mets: The Mets continue their Daisuke Matsuzaka experiment as the slowest of all slow pitchers tries to lull the Braves to sleep with the length of time it takes him to deliver a pitch. Paul Maholm will try to get the Braves the win.

Yesterday: 6-9
Week: 6-9
Month: 6-9
Season: 1148-904
Games of the Day: 87-61

Sunday, September 01, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Sunday: September 1, 2013

A week just ended and a month just ended and neither ended with a good day. The day was only a game under .500, but it was a frustrating day as all kinds of funky stuff happened. Well, that is only partially true. The rest of the reality is that I made some seriously stinky picks such as the Nationals and the Rockies. Both were smoked. The A's beat the Rays again which seriously surprised me. And it makes sense a little bit. The Rays' big pennant drive move was to acquire David DeJesus? D'oh!

How about Ivan Nova though? And Zack Wheeler? I should have stuck with Sonny Gray. And how bad is the Indians' bullpen? Six runs allowed in four innings against the Tigers without Miguel Cabrera!? Ugh.

It was a strange day. And I cannot believe August is over. Where did the summer go? Well, September is still summer for a lot of you. But up here in northern Maine, it is a pretty month but also a month when autumn begins. Sigh.

Sunday's picks:

  • The Yankees over the Orioles: The Orioles saved Wei-Yin Chen for the Yankees. That was a little unwise as the Yankees now have right-handed bats like Jeter, Soriano, A-Rod, Reynolds and...yeah, okay...Wells. Andy Pettitte just has to keep the Orioles under four runs.
  • The Royals over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays winning streak ends at two games. But at least they had one. James Shields puts an end to that and J.A. Happ gets beat up a little bit.
  • The Tigers over the Indians: Yes, I know Danny Salazar has a real arm. And I also know that Justin Verlander is not the same pitcher this season as he has been. But the Indians have been schmucked by the Tigers all season. Why should today be different.
  • The Cardinals over the Pirates: What do you know, Lance Lynn gave up a big inning. Such a surprise. But that is what I get for picking the Cards. And I am picking them again. What is wrong with me? But there is some logic involved. Kris Johnson is a journeyman pitcher for a reason. Yeah, he is a wily lefty. But wily is all he has. Joe Kelly, on the other hand, has a power arm that can shut out the Pirates.
  • The Brewers over the Angels: I like Kyle Lohse at home better than I like C.J. Wilson on the road. As strange as it seems, at this point, the Brewers have a better lineup than the Angels.
  • The Mariners over the Astros: I kept trying to justify picking the Astros. At the end of the day, the Mariners are on a roll and Hisashi Iwakuma is too inviting to pick against. I like Brett Oberholtzer, but I have to be realistic here.
  • The Phillies over the Cubs: I can't believe that Cliff Lee did not win again. Most predictors are predicting the Cubs to win this game. I guess they all feel that Jake Arrieta will pitch well. I have seen too many of his games go awry to believe that. Kyle Kendrick at least is predictable.
  • The Rangers over the Twins: The Rangers cannot shake the A's and have to keep winning. The Twins should provide little resistance. Joe Mauer is out with a concussion and Justin Morneau was just traded away. What is left? Travis Blackley should win and Kevin Correia is not someone to realy on.
  • The A's over the Rays: The Rays are starting Jamey Wright!? Are you kidding me? They have nobody better in the minors than him? I cannot believe that. They are fighting for the playoffs and Jamey Wright!? I am dumbfounded. A.J. Griffin goes for the A's and he is good at home.
  • The Rockies over the Reds: I do not like the thought of Mike Leake at Coors Field. But then again, I feel that way about every visiting pitcher there and am wrong at least half the time. Tyler Chatwood has won his last two home starts and handled the Reds pretty well back in June. His last start against the Braves was a short one though.
  • The Dodgers over the Padres: I do not think that the Dodgers and Zack Greinke are going to lose to Tyson Ross and the Padres. That is all.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Giants: I have to admit that Yusmeiro Petit is pitching pretty darned well. But Patrick Corbin is a cut above talent-wise. I do not see the Giants hitting Corbin even though Corbin has not been the lock he was earlier in the season. The only thing bad about this pick is that if the starters equal themselves out, the D-backs' bullpen sucks.
  • The Braves over the Marlins: Yeah, this one should be a no-brain pick. Young Alex Wood has been great. The Braves are rolling and Nathan Eovaldi and the Marlins should provide little resistance.
  • The Mets over the Nationals: The Nats just seem to be rolled over and dead. Yes, Ross Ohlendorf has miraculously won all his starts. But the Mets have Jonathon Niese pitching really well and should be the better team today.

And the Game of the Day:
  • The Red Sox over the White Sox: The Red Sox just keep building their division lead. This is their year. And there is no way that Felix Doubront is going to lose today. Andre Rienzo is pretty good, but the Red Sox will be patient and eventually do him in.

Yesterday: 7-8
Last Week: 52-42
Last month: 239-182
Season: 1142-895
Games of the Day: 86-61  +1