Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Red Sox' bullpen is a weapon

When I was doing my preseason predictions, one of the things I stated was that it seemed impossible that the Boston Red Sox bullpen could be as good as it was last season when it was one of the reasons the team went all the way to the World Series title. While we are still in small sample size territory, it looks like I was dead wrong. It appears the bullpen for the Red Sox is every bit as good as it was last season.

The bullpen starts and ends with closer, Koji Uehara. What Uehara is doing is historical. We have never seen anything like this before. Uehara last blew a save on July 6, 2013. He has not blown another one since. But the save thing is not the statistic to focus on. Everything else is mind blowing.

Since July 5 of last year, he has walked one batter. One! Since the start of the second half of 2013, Uehara has pitched 34 times covering 37 innings and has given up twelve hits. Twelve! That works out to a .098 batting average. He has given up one run. One! That works out to an ERA of 0.24. He has struck out 48 batters in those 37 innings for a strikeout to walk ratio of 48 to 1. Good golly!

I am not sure the baseball world has really gotten a hold of how incredible this run has been for Koji Uehara. Like I said, we have never seen anything like this before. I will give you Kimbrel of the Braves. But which closer would you take right now? I would take Uehara.

I have always said that a great bullpen needs three really good relievers at the back end. The Red Sox have had that and more. Junichi Tazawa is not in the same league with Uehara, but if you throw out his bad September last year, a month in which his BABIP against was .360 and he has been very good as well.

So far this year, Tazawa has not given up a run and has an 8.7 strikeout to walk ratio. He has only walked one batter.

The American League got a bit of a break when the Red Sox activated Craig Breslow and sent Brandon Workman to the minors. Workman was doing an incredible job for the Red Sox bullpen. He had an 0.78 WHIP and a 7.00 strikeout to walk ratio. It's not like Breslow is not any good. The lefty did finish with a 1.80 ERA last year despite not striking out batters as often as the rest of the bullpen. He is just good at what he does and gets batters out. And the Red Sox have added another just like him in Chris Capuano.

Capuano had rebuilt his career as a starter the last couple of seasons after years of injury troubles. But the Red Sox have had him in the bullpen and he has really responded well out there. He has not walked a batter and has an impressive WHIP of 0.60. Capuano, Breslow, Uehara and Tazawa have not allowed an inherited runner to score this season. The bullpen has also not allowed a homer.

Edward Mujica had an early struggle, but picked up a save last night against the Yankees giving Uehara a rest. Andrew Miller can be erratic, but is hard to hit most of the time. The weakest link seems to be Burke Badenhop. Badenhop will not blow hitters away and relies on a high ground ball percentage, which means he is a bit open to the foibles of BABIP. Workman is clearly a better option than Badenhop, but the Red Sox understandably do not want to give up on Workman as a starter and thus the demotion to get reps.

The real key to understanding what makes Uehara, Tazawa and even Workman so good is their ability to get batters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone. Workman had an O-swing rate of 45.2%, which is pretty incredible. Uehara is at 39.4% and Tazawa at 42.9%. Capuano and Mujica are both over 30%. Uehara also gets a first pitch strike 68% of the time, which means that batters are pretty much at his mercy the rest of the plate appearance.

I did not think the Red Sox bullpen could be as good as last year. So far, I couldn't be more wrong. If the bullpen stays this good all season, the Red Sox are going to be mighty tough to beat.

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: April 12, 2014

The last three days of picking have been a struggle and Friday was no different. It was up and down all night and the picks just finished a game over .500. I should have picked Ryu as he was terrific. The same could be said for Andrew Cashner. The NL Central has me all out of whack and I did not get any of those games right as the Cards and Pirates both lost. I also did not expect Dustin McGowan to be as good as he was.

I just saw my first robin of the spring as I was looking out the window, so perhaps that was a sign of hope. Here are Saturday's picks:
  • The Yankees over the Red Sox: Hiroki Kuroda is pretty money in day games. Of course, it will all depend on if the Yankees can score any runs off of John Lackey, who has been good so far this season.
  • The Rays over the Reds: I like Alex Cobb in this game. I think he can keep the Reds off balance with his change-up. Alfredo Simon won his first start of the season, but that does not seem like a good way to go here.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: Felipe Paulino has been terrible with a 2.28 WHIP. Justin Masterson has not been good so far. But which one has a better chance of being better? Yes, Justin Masterson.
  • The Royals over the Twins: The Twins got the better of the Royals last night. I do not see that happening two days in a row. James Shields over Ricky Nolasco.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: In Adam Wainwright do I trust. In Carlos Villanueva, I don't. When is Allen Craig going to start hitting?
  • The Rockies over the Giants: Matt Cain just is not Matt Cain anymore. What has he lost? I must go and study this. Brett Anderson has not won a game for the Rockies yet. This could be the one.
  • The Phillies over the Marlins: Jonathan Pettibone makes his first Major League start. He is from Placentia, California, so is this the birth of a big league career? Ugh. Sorry for that. Anyway, Nathan Eovaldi goes for the Marlins and he makes this pick tough, because he has gotten much better.
  • The Blue Jays over the Orioles: Drew Hutchison probably learned a bit after his loss to the Yankees. He will bounce back. The Orioles' defense is compromised without Hardy and Machado. Bud Norris will never be as good as people thought he would be.
  • The Brewers of the Pirates: If I have learned anything over the years of doing this, it's that Yovani Gallardo rarely loses at home. So he is the pick over Edinson Volquez, who is doing better this year.
  • The Braves over the Nationals: Two young arms in this one with Alex Wood facing Taylor Jordan. Both have pitched well. I simply like a lefty like Wood against the Nationals' lineup.
  • The Rangers over the Astros: Yesterday, Matt Domiguez had two hits. The rest of the Astros went 0-35. Only two starters in the Astros' lineup is batting over .200. It's sad. So even if Tanner Scheppers is not that good a MLB starter, he has a chance here. Jarred Cosart goes for the Astros.
  • The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: I think Zack Greinke is going to be better than Wade Miley in this game. But Greinke doesn't last long in the game, so the bullpen has to come up big.
  • The Padres over the Tigers: I have a feeling Ian Kennedy is going to come up big in this game and that Justin Verlander will continue being sort of ordinary.
  • The Angels over the Mets: With Jered Weaver's low fastball velocity, so much is predicated on how he does with his command. When he is off, the balls go flying out of the yard. Which will it be tonight? I have little faith right now in Jonathon Niese.
And the Game of the Day!
  • The Athletics over the Mariners: You know by now that I always pick Sonny Gray, right? If not, then file that tidbit away. Erasmo Ramirez is hit or miss. He is either great or terrible.
Yesterday: 8-7, Games of the Day: 5-4, Season: 88-67

Friday, April 11, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Friday: April 11, 2014

Thursday was not kind. I finally stopped picking the Yankees and they won. Cliff Lee did not get the job done. The Diamondbacks are on the rise. The Mets, Astros and White Sox all won, which floors me. Oh well. It was a bad day.

On to the next one. Friday's picks:
  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: When is the last time CC Sabathia pitched well against the Red Sox? It's okay, I'll wait...right...I can't remember either. Jon Lester for the win.
  • The Phillies over the Marlins: Jose Fernandez is not the lock on the road that he is at home. A.J. Burnett is due for a good game. I just see the Phillies winning this one and any other pick would not sit well.
  • The Orioles over the Blue Jays: Dustin McGowan has a tough lineup to navigate and he is the Blue Jays' fifth starter. Chris Tillman is the Orioles' number one starter, so this pick makes sense.
  • The Rays over the Reds: Despite the Rays losing a bat in the lineup in an NL park, I like David Price over Johnny Cueto here.
  • The Nationals over the Braves: Tanner Roark has only given up one big league homer in close to 60 innings pitched. That is pretty impressive. Julio Teheran is always capable of a big outing though.
  • The Rangers over the Astros: This one was made with a bit of reservation. Scott Feldman has been very good so far this season and the Rangers are without Adrian Beltre. Yu Darvish, though, can pitch like he did last time and that changes things.
  • The White Sox over the Indians: The White Sox are not the dead team they were last year. Chris Sale is already 2-0 and pitching well. Carlos Carrasco strikes out people, but gives up runs too.
  • The Royals over the Twins: This pick all depends on how well Bruce Chen pitches on the road, which usually isn't very good. But the Twins struggle on offense. Kyle Gibson is just decent enough to win once in a while.
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: The NL Central is very interesting. Francisco Liriano needs to bounce back in this one and the Pirates need to get to Wily Peralta early.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: Only Jeff Samardzija makes this one interesting. Otherwise it is an easy Joe Kelly pick.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Dodgers: The Dbacks are coming back fierce here lately. Brandon McCarthy has apparently picked up some life on his fastball according to one story I read yesterday. So let's go that way with him over Hyun-jin Ryu.
  • The Angels over the Mets: Hey, look. The Mets can play Lucas Duda and Ike Davis in this one with the DH. Even so, I'm going with Tyler Skaggs over Dillon Gee.
  • The Tigers over the Padres: Lots of weird series this weekend. What are the Tigers doing all the way over in San Diego? Strange. Rick Porcello was my guy for a surprise season, so I am sticking with him. Andrew Cashner is tough though.
  • The Mariners over the Athletics: I have to go with Felix Hernandez at home. Tommy Milone makes a start for the A's. They will be hoping he can help that rotation.
And the Game of the Day
  • The Giants over the Rockies: The Rockies traditionally don't hit as well on the road and Madison Bumgarner looks tough so far early this season. Jorge De La Rosa has way too many names.
Yesterday: 3-6, Games of the Day: 4-4, Season: 80-60

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Salvador Perez - The best in the AL is getting better

Salvador Perez was the second best catcher in the American League last year. The only guy ahead of him is now a first baseman for the Minnesota Twins. That leaves Perez as the best now in the league and he is getting better. And he is a big reason for optimism for the playoff chances of the Kansas City Royals. 

Right now, Perez is the fWAR leader in baseball. That will change. He is not going to hit .458 like he is right now and his BABIP of .524 is completely not sustainable. But the hitting has always been there. In 1021 Major League plate appearances, Perez is batting .302 for his career. So you figure that is a base line along with his .320 career BABIP. 

But there is a difference this year. And yes, it is early and 2014 is nothing if not a small sample size. But the trend is there. Salvador Perez is much more patient at the plate. 

Perez has already walked eight times. One of them was intentional. But still, that is eight walks in 32 plate appearances this season. Last year, he walked only 21 times in 526 plate appearances. He only has to walk once a week for the rest of the season to beat his 2013 total. 

I wondered if his sudden 25% walk rate was a fluke since he only walked 4% of the time last year and 3.9% the year before that. And looking at his plate discipline more closely, the answer seems to be that it is not a fluke. He is definitely being more selective. 

Here are Salvador Perez's percentages for swinging at pitches outside the strike zone over the course of his career. The first line is's calculation and the second is PitchF/X:
  • 2011 - 42.8%, 2012 - 37.6%, 2013 - 37.5%, 2014 - 25%
  • 2011 - 37.8%, 2012 - 37.9%, 2013 - 37.5%, 2014 - 29.4%
There is a definite difference between this year and the past. His overall swing percentage also shows more selectivity. PitchF/X has his career, starting in 2011, like this for total swing percentage: 52.8%, 49.1%, 49.2%, 41.1%. I have always been of the mind that swing percentage is not something that is prone to flukes. If my thought is correct, then Salvador Perez has definitely refined his offensive game in this manner. 

And Perez seems to be getting even better as a defensive catcher too. His ability to throw out potential steal attempts has always been above league average. His arm, release and accuracy rate off the charts. But the early data indicates that he is also doing much better blocking pitches in the dirt this year and is getting better at framing pitches. 

Of the latter, he was below average and is now average in that category. I am also one to give the catcher at least partial credit for how well a pitching staff does. The Royals are currently fourth in the American League in the fewest runs allowed. They just need to score better than they have thus far. 

So, no, Salvador Perez is not going to hit .400. His current torrid pace is not sustainable. But inside of that torrid pace is a fundamental shift in his approach to his offense. He he hits his usual .300 or so and adds thirty points to his on-base percentage, he will blow the doors off of any American League catcher while consistently improving his defense and leading a pitching staff that is succeeding. 

Salvador Perez is the best catcher in the American League and he is getting even better.

MLB Game Picks - Thursday: April 10, 2014

Wednesday was a "kiss your sister" day as the picks went 8-8. Blech. There were quite a few dumb picks. I'll excuse them as Nyquil moments. Why not, because if I was in my right mind, I would not have made those. Yeah, okay, William. Whatever. 

 There are nine games on the schedule today and here are the picks:
  • The Athletics over the Twins: Mike Pelfrey and Dan Straily have an equal chance of pitching decently. But the Twins' offense is just awful and that determines the pick in the A's favor.
  • The Pirates over the Cubs: Gerrit Cole pitched really well in his first outing and the Cubs provide little obstacles offensively. I really like Travis Wood, but the poor guy pitches for the Cubs, so what are you going to do?
  • The Nationals over the Marlins: What is up with Stephen Strasburg? He was my big guy on my first ever fantasy baseball experience, but he has done very little. Where is the dominating guy we once knew? Tom Koehler is pretty good too, but going with the Nationals at home.
  • The Red Sox over the Yankees: One of my early obstacles thus far has been picking the Yankees every day and watching them lose. So I am going to stop that. Clay Buchholz over Michael Pineda.
  • The Phillies over the Brewers: Whenever Cliff Lee is on the mound, you have to favor the Phillies. The Brewers are hitting pretty well though and Marco Estrada had a good first outing.
  • The Blue Jays over the Astros: The Blue Jays have gotten fat on the Astros all week, so why should tonight be any different? R.A. Dickey goes against Dallas Keuchel.
  • The Braves over the Mets: David Hale of the Braves has made three starts in his Major League career and has given up one run. Until that streak ends, it's hard to pick against him. Jenrry Mejia has a big arm for the Mets though.
  • The Indians over the White Sox: I feel like the White Sox are better offensively and are more dynamic, but their pitching has gotten worse. Danny Salazar over John Danks, a guy I never count on to do well.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: Yeah, the Dbacks are starting to recover from their bumpy start. But Randall Delgado does not fill me with good feelings. Then again, neither does Ryan Vogelsong these days.
Yesterday: 8-8, Games of the Day: 4-4, Season: 77-54

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: April 9, 2014

I have had the worst case of bronchitis I have ever had in my life the last week and a half. So I have felt disassociated from the games and what is going on. My sole focus has been on getting rest and getting better. Even so, except for a really bad day the other day, the picks have gone pretty well. I just hope I can shake this thing soon because the season looks like it has started in a very interesting way.
There are sixteen games on the schedule today including a double-header between the Indians and the Padres. Here are Wednesday's picks:
  • The Indians over the Padres: I'll take Zach McAllister in the first game over Eric Stults.
  • The Padres over the Indians: And then I will take the Padres in the second game. Trevor Bauer is pitching for the Indians and when is the last time that has ever gone well? Robbie Erlin goes for the Padres.
  • The Twins over the AthleticsJesse Chavez pitched well for the A's in his first start of the season, but he is pretty much a journeyman pitcher. So I don't put much stock in that. Phil Hughes will have to pitch much better than he did in his first outing. The question is whether he is capable of doing that anymore.
  • The Cardinals over the RedsShelby Miller doesn't have a good track record to go by here, but this might be a high scoring game where the bullpens win or lose it anyway. If that happens, it's the Cards. Mike Leake goes for the Reds.
  • The Rays over the Royals: This one should go the same as last night with a low score and the Rays ending up on top. Jake Odorizzi goes against Jeremy Guthrie.
  • The Rockies over the White Sox: The White Sox blew up Coors yesterday, but Juan Nicasio is pretty good at pitching there for the Rockies. And Erik Johnson has not gotten his feet under him yet in the Majors. Coors won't help.
  • The Rangers over the Red Sox: I think Jake Peavy is going to struggle in Texas. I also think that Robbie Ross or Robert Ross or whatever he is calling himself these days, will hold the Red Sox down a bit.
  • The Yankees over the Orioles: I saw enough of Masahiro Tanaka in his first outing to believe he is the real deal. He will hold the Orioles down to three runs or less. The Yankees simply have to score more against Miguel Gonzalez.
  • The Nationals over the Marlins: Well, the Marlins had a fun first week, but reality is settling in. Today should be another low scoring game. Jordan Zimmermann will pitch well as might Brad Hand.
  • The Phillies over the Brewers: I made fun of Roberto Hernandez in his first start and he won. So yeah, me. I will go with him this time over Matt Garza. I don't expect Braun to hit three more homers.
  • The Blue Jays over the Astros: Whatever happened to Brandon Morrow? And will he ever make it back to the promise he once showed? Maybe not, but he has a chance to win tonight against the Astros and Lucas Harrell.
  • The Mets over the Braves: Here's what I think. I think Ervin Santana is going to make his debut for the Braves and it won't go well and Zack Wheeler is going to steal the show and have a great night. That's what I think.
  • The Cubs over the Pirates: Not a real good choice here. But I guess that Jason Hammel has a chance to pitch well and that Wandy Rodgriguez will find a way to hurt himself.
  • The Angels over the Mariners: Mariners fans have to be pretty excited as their team has started nicely out of the gate. I don't see them winning this game though. I see Garrett Richards being better than Roenis Elias.
  • The Tigers over the DodgersJosh Beckett might start for the Dodgers. Or he might not. Who knows. That being the case, let's take Anibal Sanchez for the win.
And the Game of the Day
Yesterday: 9-5, Games of the Day: 4-3, Season: 69-46

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Tuesday: April 8, 2014

Only seven games ended up being played yesterday. The schedule was already short and then two postponements added to the lightness of the day. That was sort of good news for the Game Picks as they went 6-1 for the day. The only errant pick was the Royals beating the Rays, which was doubly bad news for the Rays as Matt Moore's elbow popped during the game. That's terrible news for them and for Rays fans.
Barring weather, we should be back to a full schedule today minus one. The picks:
  • The Yankees over the OriolesWei-Yin Chen has had some good games against the Yankees, but their full compliment of switch hitters keeps them in there today. Ivan Nova will have to navigate a tough Orioles' lineup, but if he is on, he has the talent to do that.
  • The Phillies over the Brewers: The Brewers just swept the Red Sox at Fenway. So they are rolling right? That always seems to be the case and then they get to the next series and poof. Kyle Kendrick over Kyle Lohse in the battle of the wily Kyles.
  • The Giants over the Diamondbacks: It's nice to see Tim Hudson back on the West Coast where it all began. He had a good first start. I think he will win today over Trevor Cahill.
  • The Rangers over the Red Sox: You just never know with Felix Doubront. I actually like Martin Perez in this match-up better. But it is a tough pick as the Rangers are not playing well.
  • The Indians over the Padres: The opening schedule has the Padres playing all over the place. They are the vagabond team thus far. The Indians are hard to figure out and don't always win when you expect them to. Corey Kluber is my pick here over Tyson Ross who needs to suck up his command.
  • The Blue Jays over the AstrosMark Buehrle just rolls along and does his thing. A guy like Brett Oberholtzer could learn a lot from watching Buehrle.
  • The Pirates over the Cubs: Isn't this the second match-up of the year already between Edwin Jackson and Charlie Morton? That's not fair. Who knows which of these two will sink to his usual low?
  • The Rays over the Royals: This is a big treat tonight because of the debut for the season of Yordano Ventura. I'd like to say, "Book him, Yordano," but I want to see how he does first. Chris Archer is a much more known quantity...and quality.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: The Reds are not going to be very good this season, are they? They just don't seem to have a gel to them. I'm going with Lance Lynn over Homer Bailey.
  • The Rockies over the White Sox: Don't look now, but the Rockies are on fire. They hardly seem like the last place team I predicted they would be. They are getting some pitching! Tonight, it will be Franklin Morales versus Carlos Quintana. They are pretty much the same pitcher.
  • The Mariners over the Angels: The Angels will be a good test for James Paxton, who has the advantage of pitching at home in Seattle. Hector Santiago will probably be solid, so this game could go either way.
  • The Tigers over the Dodgers: This should be a fascinating series. Tonight I have to go with Max Scherzer over Dan Haren.
  • The Braves over the Mets: Okay, I am not going to pick on Aaron Harang anymore. Every time I do, he pitches out of know...and makes me look stupid. So there you go, big boy, there's the pick. Now what are you going to do? Shrek Bartolo Colon goes for the Mets.
And the Game of the Day!
  • The Nationals over the Marlins: You have to like Gio Gonzalez in this start much better than Henderson Alvarez. I think the Marlins will struggle on the road this season.
Yesterday: 6-1, Games of the Day: 3-3, Season: 60-41

Monday, April 07, 2014

Some really bad starts to the season

After the first week of the season, we are all smart enough to know not to make a big deal out of extremes in performance both up or down. Batters and pitchers will start the season hot or cold and generally will end up somewhere around where they usually do. Perhaps you can see a trend after only a week. But doing so should be with the utmost caution. 

Here are some players who have really started the season in a bad, bad way. 

Zack Cozart. Cozart has walked to the plate twenty times thus far. He has one successful sacrifice bunt. That is the entire sum of his offense. He has hit four ground balls, seven fly balls, three line drives and all have led to outs. He struck out the other five times. He has not walked. He is the only regular player who has no average, no on-base percentage and no slugging. 

Raul Ibanez. Old Raul does have a homer and has driven in four runs. Compared to Cozart, he looks giddy with his .211 batting average. But his BABIP is .375. It's a good thing, because in his twenty plate appearances, he has struck out ten times. In twenty plate appearances, Ibanez has put seven balls in play. Fortunately for him, four of them landed safely somewhere.
Mike Moustakas. The Royals were hoping that this was the year that Moustakas started to come on as a player. It could still happen, but is off to a really bad start. In seventeen plate appearances, he has walked twice...and that's it. He has only struck out twice, so he is the opposite of Ibanez. Moustakas has put thirteen balls in play and none of them found a happy home and all turned into outs. He has not yet hit a line drive. Oh, and he's made two errors already. 

Allen Craig. Somewhere, George Harrison is singing, "Roll over Beethoven." Craig has come to the dish 24 times. He has struck out three times and walked once. So he has put the ball in play twenty times. Seventeen of those have been ground balls. Naturally, only two of them have gone through for hits. 

Ryan Flaherty. Flaherty notched his first hit last night in nineteen plate appearances. His strike zone awareness is a problem. He has swung at only 43.3% of pitches IN the strike zone and 40.9% of pitches OUT of the strike zone. 

Ian Desmond. Desmond's numbers do not look too bad. How he got there is a little strange. He leads the Majors in swinging at pitches out of the strike zone at 52.8% and is second overall in total swing percentage. He is not getting cheated up there. He also leads the Majors in swinging strike percentage. Settle down, young fellow. And how can we forget.

B.J. Upton. The poor guy seems just as lost as last year. His contact percentage on swings is the lowest in baseball at only 56%. He just can't seem to get the bat on the ball.

MLB Game Picks - Monday: April 7, 2014

Sunday was a dreadful day for the picks. All the positive gained over the past few days were wiped out in a morass of woefully incorrect picks. I was too wrapped up in teams that had been hot. All of them, except the Brewers lost. I never thought the Brewers would sweep Boston. Oh well. We all have bad days now and then, just ask Justin Masterson.
There are eight games on the schedule for Monday. Here are the picks:
  • The Yankees over the Orioles: Like most games, this one will depend on which starting pitcher performs better than the other. Hiroki Kuroda must keep the score low and Ubaldo Jimenez needs to be very good for the Orioles. There is nothing earth-shattering for secrets here. One of them has to be good. I feel better about Kuroda.
  • The Angels over the AstrosJarred Cosart was very good against the Yankees in his first outing. C.J. Wilson was not very good in his first outing. So why pick it this way? Because Cosart won't stay that good and Wilson won't stay that bad.
  • The Athletics over the TwinsScott Kazmir was a great pickup for the A's and the kind of move they make all the time, those smart people. Kevin Correia is the kind of move the Twins make. Gutsy pitcher with more guile than talent.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: The Cardinals will want to bounce back from a tough series against the Pirates. Tony Cingrani will be an obstacle, but having Michael Wacha on the mound gives them an advantage.
  • The Indians over the Padres: The Indians had a tough weekend that cannot be sitting well. The Padres salvaged the last game of their series against the Marlins. The poor Friars are a long way from home. Corey Kluber will bounce back in this one and Robbie Erlin loses his first start of the season.
  • The Red Sox over the RangersTanner Scheppers did not have a good time his first start and now faces the Red Sox lineup. Uh oh. John Lackey should fare better against the Rangers.
  • The Rays over the Royals: It is hard to pick against Jason Vargas. Don't laugh. He's had a great spring and his first start was brilliant. But if Matt Moore is on, it won't be good enough.
  • The Rockies over the White Sox: This game could be really high scoring. Jordan Lyles pitched well for the Rockies in his first start, but that was in Miami, not Coors. Felipe Paulino was decent for the White Sox after being not in the Majors for 2013. I don't know. This is like picking who will win a roller derby game.
I have decided to only pick Game of the Day picks for days with full schedules. Anybody have a problem with that?
Yesterday: 5-10, Games of the Day: 3-3, Season: 54-40