Saturday, May 24, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Saturday: May 24, 2014

My new wish is two good days in a row. I had an 8-4 day on Thursday and was feeling sort of mellow and then I went 6-8 last night and it turned into fallow. The difference in the day, really, was the two walk-off wins. When Figueroa hit the double that sunk the Red Sox and when Adam Dunn hit his homer to sink the Yankees, the day went from a 8-6 day (or at least 7-7 since the Red Sox were tied) to the 6-8. The Yankees need one more reliever as they have been forced to use their best guys for multiple innings.
There was a rained out game with the Mets and Rockies, but it won't be made up until Sunday. There are some inexperienced pitchers on the mound today and a couple of aces. So today could be difficult to figure out. The picks:
  • The Indians over the OriolesUbaldo Jimenez is just too unreliable to count on here. Corey Kluber has been a much safer pick. That said, the Orioles can still hit the ball around.
  • The Athletics over the Blue Jays: You know that R.A. Dickey is going to give up four or five runs. The question then is what Jesse Chavez can do to hold back the Blue Jays. Can he limit them to three runs? I think he can.
  • The White Sox over the Yankees: The Yankees have this inherent ability to turn a mediocre and even poor pitcher into a good one. This is what I wrote about them against Noesi on Twitter last night: "Yankees as Ellis Island: "...with silent bats, Give us your tired, your poor, your Hector Noesi yearning to pitch well...The wretched refuse of team defense. Send these, the homeless tempest tossed to us. We will lift your game beside the golden door." Thus, the terrible John Danks will look like Kershaw and Vidal Nuno is not a good starter.
  • The Dodgers over the PhilliesDavid Buchanan is making his MLB debut for the Phillies. He had a good spring with the club but has not looked great in the minors. The safer pick here is the Dodgers behind Dan Haren.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Mets: Whenever I have picked against Josh Collmenter, he made me look stupid (not difficult as it is). And Zack Wheeler just can't seem to put it all together despite great stuff.
  • The Bay Rays over the Red Sox: Again we have that critical mass of odds starting to pile up whenever there is a long losing or winning streak. It has to end some time and picking when it does is difficult. I don't think the Red Sox' will end today. David Price is better than Jake Peavy.
  • The Braves over the RockiesMike Minor has pitched well for three of his four starts. I look for him to do well at home. Juan Nicasio is a worthy opponent though and could make this a bullpen game. Either way, the Braves have the edge.
  • The Brewers over the Marlins: One of those trap picks? Perhaps. Jacob Turner hasn't won a game yet and is really kind of a 4-A pitcher. But anything can happen in Miami. I like Wily Peralta better. I just wish I could call him Wily Mo.
  • The Angels over the RoyalsMatt Shoemaker has made the most of his opportunity. But is he destined to fail? Who knows. All I can go by is what he has done so far. James Shields is good but the Angels' lineup can do some damage.
  • The Reds over the Cardinals: Even when he was healthy and pitching regularly, Jaime Garcia was not a good pick on the road. Tony Cingrani is not a lock though.
  • The Pirates over the Nationals: The Nats never score for Stephen Strasburg. He has to be perfect to win. And if he isn't, Gerrit Cole is nearly as good a "stuff" pitcher as he is. My fantasy aces never win.
  • The Giants over the Twins: The Twins have had a nice surprising year thus far. But the Giants are easily the better team. Ryan Vogelsong is not exactly a lock, but he should be better than Samuel Deduno.
  • The Cubs over the PadresTravis Wood is solid and should pitch well at Petco. Billy Buckner gets the ball for the Padres and he has always been a fringy pitcher in the Majors and in Triple-A. You wonder why he keeps getting chances.
  • The Mariners over the Astros: This is a messy one. Brandon Maurer is okay, I guess. But I don't delight in picking him. Brett Oberholtzer has started seven games and has lost six of them. He pitched well the first four times but the pressure of a losing team has sunken his spirit it seems.
And the Game of the Day:
  • The Tigers over the RangersNick Martinez pitched well for the Rangers in his first start. My problem is that he doesn't blow people away and the Tigers can eat those kinds of guys for lunch. Rick Porcello has been good.
Yesterday: 6-8, May: 167-144, Games of the Day: 25-23, Season: 400-316

Friday, May 23, 2014

Seth Smith is among the league leaders

Where I live is the northeasternmost city in the United States. That makes this location about as far from San Diego as any other place in the country outside of Hawaii or Alaska. San Diego is also three time zones different from here and usually play their games when I am dreaming of playing golf in my sleep. So forgive me for being surprised that Seth Smith is currently eighth in the Majors in fWAR and rates even higher in rWAR. Seth Smith?
Let me run some of the surprising numbers Seth Smith has put up thus far. His OPS is 1.054. His wRC+ is 195 or 95% better than the average replacement player. His ISO is .277 and his wOBA is currently at .451. Holy smokes! Seth Smith!?
And all that offense has come playing for the Padres in a home park that is akin to hitting in Death Valley. You would think that most of his offensive damage has come on the road. But no, he is killing the ball at home. His OPS at Petco is 1.245. And they talk about Tulowitzki getting signs in Colorado?
Smith, who has been platooned most of his career, even has a .921 OPS against left-handed pitching this year. Never a great defensive player, even his defense is improved this season. How is all of this happening?
Smith had some pretty good years for the Rockies. But that was for the Rockies, joke, joke, Coors Field and all that. His supposed true colors came out after playing for the Oakland A's for two seasons where he put together two seasons while compiling only 2.4 WAR. In fact, has his current rWAR higher this year, right now, than those two years combined and the highest of his career. His previous high was 2.4 for the Rockies in 2009.
Is this some sort of fluke? Is this a guy who is going to sink to his mean for the rest of the season. Maybe not.
The Oakland A's got him for a reason. Those A's and Billy Beane love them some place discipline. Plate discipline does not slump. Unfortunately, Smith did not hit for them and had some difficulty staying healthy. He still managed walk rates of 11.3% and 9.5% in Oakland.
This year, he is at a career high at 14.1% with his walk rate. His O-swing percentage (swinging at pitches out of the strike zone) and his overall swing rates are both at career lows thus far. Meanwhile, his swinging strike rate is at a career low (except for his first year cup of coffee) and his 15.4% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career. That is hard to put in the fluke category. That is a guy with a plan who is covering the plate.
He is batting .338 currently and that is a bit of a fluke, I think. His BABIP of .377 is way over his career norm and his line drive rate is only 17.8%. So he has been a bit lucky. But there is also the fact that he has not hit an infield popup all season. So he is making good contact. And his current career-high home run to fly ball percentage probably won't last either.
Smith pulls most of his ground balls so expect him to see a lot more infield shifts. But his line drives and fly balls are sprayed around in the outfield. I just don't see him finishing above .290 for an average. But I could be wrong.
But he is currently third in baseball in on-base percentage and like I said, plate discipline does not slump. So expect his OBP to stay in the upper .300s, which is terrific. And it seems that the Padres have come up with something very good here in Seth Smith.
One of the biggest surprises is that Smith is hitting left-handed pitching. The sample size is extremely small. And his career numbers against lefties is awful with a .594 OPS. So I don't think his success against them this year will last and he will likely get platooned some or struggle when he does face lefties.
But the thing is that Seth Smith has some skills that were not realized totally in Oakland but are manifesting themselves in San Diego. That makes watching him from here very interesting just as watching his team, the Padres, is interesting. I had no idea he was having this good a season. But I do now and I'll be paying attention!

MLB Game Picks - Friday: May 23, 2014

A couple of pitching aces finally won this week as Yu Darvish and Chris Sale did the trick yesterday against the Tigers and Yankees respectively. I guess you could throw Mark Buehrle into that list since his win put him at 8-1 and propelled the Blue Jays to first place all alone at the top of the American League East. We haven't seen that in a while.
The Giants and Rockies were suspended after six innings, so the final tally of yesterday will remain unknown until the game gets finished. But right now, it stands at 8-4. That is certainly an improvement over previous days.
Friday's picks:
  • The Orioles over the Indians: Both teams will have gassed bullpens after playing thirteen innings yesterday in what was an ugly game for the Orioles. And it looks like Manny Machado strained a groin (there is a joke waiting to happen). But Bud Norris is an experienced pitcher and T.J. House is making his first Major League start. House looks like he has good control and is better than his minor league record. But still, he is too fresh for me to pick.
  • The Dodgers over the Phillies: Will this be the real Clayton Kershaw today? The pick thinks so. But we'll see. Roberto Hernandez is going for the Phillies. Normally, that would be a joke, but Hernandez is pitching pretty well.
  • The Nationals over the Pirates: This pick didn't work out too well yesterday. But I am coming back to it. Jordan Zimmermann has been putting it together after a slow start and Charlie Morton has never been a favorite of mine.
  • The Athletics over the Blue Jays: The Blue Jays climb all the way to first place and what do they do? They select Liam Hendriks to start the next game. Seriously!? Maybe this is a trap. Maybe the worst starter in recent memory will show that his minor league numbers this year are no fluke and he'll pitch well. Stranger things have happened. Scott Kazmir goes for the A's.
  • The Tigers over the RangersScott Baker was once a decent starter for the Twins and then went through a long road to get back to the Majors. I root for a guy like that. And you know he will throw strikes. But I have to go with Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers no matter how much they are slumping.
  • The Mets over the Diamondbacks: Whenever I pick against old Shrek, Bartolo Colon, he proves me wrong. But when he is off, he gets bombed. Chase Anderson has won both of his starts, but the last one wasn't pretty.
  • The Red Sox over the Rays: The Red Sox have lost seven in a row. And so it gets to critical mass of picking against the inevitable win. The Rays finally won yesterday, so both teams are at the bottom of the AL East. John Lackey over Chris Archer, but I have no idea really.
  • The Marlins over the Brewers: The Brewers are all beat up on offense an are sinking like a stone in the NL Central. Marco Estrada is decent and should like Miami. But Tom Koehler has been good for my picks all year thus far, especially at home.
  • The Cardinals over the Reds: The Reds without Joey Votto is a sad sight. But Homer Bailey is capable of having a big game. But so is Shelby Miller and the Cardinals are finally on track. I have to go that way.
  • The Rockies over the BravesJordan Lyles has been amazing. Where did that come from? Gavin Floyd has never been amazing. So that's the pick in a nutshell.
  • The Yankees over the White Sox: If the Yankees can't beat their old friend, Hector Noesi, they should be ashamed of themselves. Hiroki Kuroda has to pitch well though. This was supposed to be an easy part of the Yankees' schedule, but it is not turning out that way.
  • The Angels over the RoyalsDanny Duffy is showing signs of putting his stuff all together and that is good news for the Royals. But C.J. Wilson has been very solid and I like his odds a lot better to win.
  • The Cubs over the PadresTim Stauffer hasn't started all year but is starting tonight. No, I can't go there. Edwin Jackson has pitched really well for the Cubs lately. How weird is that?
  • The Giants over the Twins: The Twins will lose a bat, which they can ill afford to do. And even though Kyle Gibson has been very good, I am going with Tim Lincecum at home.
And the Game of the Day:
  • The Mariners over the Astros: It seems a lock to figure Felix Hernandez is going to be great at home against the Astros. And it seems a lock that the M's offense can take care of Brad Peacock. That's what scares me.
Yesterday: 8-4, May: 161-136, Games of the Day: 24-24, Season: 394-208

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mulling over the Stephen Drew signing

I have kept quiet the last few days (even on Twitter) concerning the signing of Stephen Drew by the Boston Red Sox to shore up the left side of the infield. I wanted to get past my initial emotional reactions to deal with the signing in a rational way. What I have found is that my initial emotional reactions were based on rational thinking. This still feels like a panic signing.
The Red Sox were really the only team that could sign Drew before the draft day as doing so did not cost them the draft pick it would have cost every other team. And one of the reasons this feels like a panic signing is that the Red Sox did not get any kind of discount on Drew. The $10 million he is getting is an exact amount of the $14 million qualifying offer minus the time missed so far this season. Nobody else wanted Drew under those terms so it would have seemed like the Red Sox overpaid.
But let's examine the need for a moment. While I will agree that third base has been a disaster thus far for the Red Sox I am disappointed because I really felt like they had a viable option in Garin Cecchini. I have seen the guy play personally (in Portland) and love everything about him. He is and will be a Wade Boggs. He is that good an offensive player. And the knock on Boggs at first was his defense.
But Cecchini has the same kind of drive to become a good third baseman that Wade Boggs had. Boggs worked tirelessly at becoming one and he did. All reports are that Cecchini had the same kind of work ethic to become a good fielder. I believe Cecchini will be a better offensive player than Drew is and has been.
Even if it's not Cecchini, Brock Holt has been doing just fine too. He is hitting well and his fielding stats are conflicting. His errors have come at bad times and has made him look like a problem at third. But he is better than Middlebrooks there and could have settled into the position quite well.
To me, this is a question of Drew versus Cecchini and/or Holt and not Drew versus Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts is going to play. He's just going to move to third base again where he played well last season. The feeling I get from all the Red Sox twitterazzi was that Bogaerts was a huge disappointment this season in both the field and at the plate. I don't see it.
Let's start with the offense. I guess the disappointment comes from Bogaerts now showing the power that people thought he was going to develop as seen in the post season last year. The guy was on fire in the post season. There is no doubt the expectations were high. But other than the low .118 ISO, Bogaerts has shown good progress at the plate.
Xander Bogaerts' walk rate is up which has pushed his OBP way up. His strikeout rate is down. His wOBA sits at a healthy .353 and his 120 wRC+ is just fine for a 21-year-old kid in his first big league season. If anything, he has been under-utilized in the lower part of the Red Sox batting order.
The problems the Red Sox are having on offense should not point to Bogaerts. And it has been unfair to lump him in the same category as Jackie Bradley, Jr., which I have heard over and over. Bradley IS struggling at the plate. Bogaerts is not.
Xander Bogaerts is the Red Sox future at short. Yes, they have another great prospect in the minors at the position, but Bogaerts has been tested. As mentioned, he is 21 and the time to settle him into a position he will handle long term, that growth period will again be delayed by pushing him again over to third.
Drew adds a win over Bogaerts with his glove IF he plays short as well as he did last season. Is a win going to reverse the Red Sox tough start? I don't see one win making that much difference. Drew's offense was worth only 3.4 runs last season. That is hardly as good as his offense has been made out to be. And will he even match last year's numbers after sitting out two months of the season?
The Red Sox's bad start has a lot of causes. The starting pitching is one. Perhaps a bit of a World Series hangover is another. Farrell's over-reliance on emotional attachments like Jonny Gomes is another. Losing Jacoby Ellsbury and not getting anything from his replacements is another.
To me, too much emphasis has been placed at the left side of the infield, which includes Xander Bogaerts. Yes, third base has been a problem. But the Red Sox had internal options and Bogaerts has not been nearly as bad as he has been painted. In fact, it seems that his growth as a player is right where it needs to be for a 21-year-old.
The Stephen Drew signing seems like a panic move to me and is trying to capture some magic that only happens a few times in a team's history. If the Red Sox salvage this season, it will be because the pitching straightens out and the team starts getting some production in the outfield.

MLB Game Picks - Thursday: May 22, 2014

8-7. Don't start that stuff again! At least it was better than the drubbing I took on Tuesday. I am sad about the Game of the Week as that feature had battled its way back to .500 only to fall below it again as the Orioles lost to the Pirates. Chris Tillman got shelled inexplicably.

Have you noticed a lot of aces not getting the job done lately? Verlander lost this week. Scherzer was hit hard. Strasburg did not get a win. Kershaw was shelled. Price lost. Tanaka lost. What's going on here?

I should be happy with the 8-7 day since after seven games, the picks were sitting at 2-5. Right? Thursday's picks:
  • The Marlins over the Phillies: Henderson Alvarez has a 2.33 ERA at home with a 4.0 K/BB ratio. On the road, his ERA is 4.88 with a 1.9 K/BB ratio. I'll stay with him at home over Cole Hamels who continues his hard luck ways.
  • The Rangers over the Tigers: Yu Darvish has become even more nasty this year as he has cut down on his walks. He has only pitched once at Comerica and pitched quite well there. So I like him over Robbie Ray. I am high on Ray, but he just pitched in relief a couple of days ago.
  • The Rockies over the Giants: The only time this year that Tim Hudson has given up more than three runs was at Coors. Go figure. Jorge De La Rosa is 3-0 at home. Add the two together and this seems to be the right pick as long as Giants announcers don't keep getting in Troy Tulowitzki's head.
  • The Blue Jays over the Red Sox: I am really torn about this one. Jon Lester is the Red Sox best pitcher but can be had--especially early. Mark Buehrle has been so good that it makes you worry about him regressing to his career marks.
  • The Athletics over the Rays: The losses are piling up for the Rays. But at least they have Alex Cobb back today for the first time since mid-April. Will that be enough? Or will my man, Sonny Gray, keep his winning ways going? I think it will be the latter.
  • The Orioles over the Indians: Today's scheduled Indians' starter, Josh Tomlin, was forced into action last night in that long game. So who will start? Will it be an emergency call up from the minors? That gives the edge to Wei-Yin Chen, but Chen better pitch deep into this game, something he doesn't do often.
  • The Nationals over the Pirates: Edinson Volquez is not doing much better for the Pirates than he did in Cincinnati or in San Diego. You could kind of predict that. He gave up four homers to the Yankees his last time out. Blake Treinen pitched well his last time out (his first MLB start).
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: Zack Greinke has had a charmed existence since joining the Dodgers. I don't expect that to change today. Jon Niese is not a bad pitcher at all though.
  • The Braves over the Brewers: Yes, Aaron Harang has come back to earth, but the Brewers are struggling and are not hitting. Matt Garza may strike out nine or ten Braves and still lose.
  • The White Sox over the Yankees: It was nice of the White Sox to bring Chris Sale back just to face the Yankees. David Phelps is very vulnerable as a starter in my opinion.
  • The Padres over the Cubs: Jake Arrieta gentille Arrieta gets the start for the Cubs, a fact that doesn't give me much comfort. Eric Stults hasn't exactly lit it up for the Padres either, but I'll give him the edge at home.
  • The Mariners over the Astros: Robinson Cano has been really hot lately and might be settling in nicely now in Seattle. Too bad he doesn't have much help. But the Astros are the worse team here, especially since George Springer got hurt last night, and Joenis Elias should beat Jarred Cosart.
And the Game of the Day:
  • The Cardinals over the Diamondbacks: Good luck, Tony La Russa. I think Jeff Passan is right about that move being all wet. Anyway, back to the game at hand. I'm going with Lance Lynn who did not have a lynning his last time out over Wade Miley.
Yesterday: 8-7, May: 153-132, Games of the Day: 23-24, Season: 386-304

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: May 21, 2014

I went to bed early last night as I was tired. But I was also disgusted with how the night was going. Jason Freakin' Hammel. And I woke up this morning to see that I had every right to be disgusted. The picks were all wrong and hardly anything (but the Game of the Day) went right. It's good to know that after all these decades of watching baseball, that I have such a good handle of what is going on and what it's all about. <>

The overcast weather doesn't help here. We had a terrible winter and this spring has been very disappointing. Here it is, May 21 and the golf course isn't even open yet. It has rained here every day since Friday. The trees and flowers are a good ten days behind a normal year. It's depressing and sucking an egg in the baseball picks doesn't help any.

And I am missing my son. It's his birthday today. I want to be with him. I want to give him a great big old hug. But he is far away and that has me sad this morning. But, he is where he is supposed to be and he is doing well and is happy, so that is all a dad can ask for. I hope he knows how much I love him today.

Wednesday's picks:
  • The Tigers over the Indians: This pick did not work out yesterday with Verlander, so how will it work with Max Scherzer? Because he is that good and never seems to give up more than a run or two. Zach McAllister will give up more than that.
  • The Mariners over the Rangers: This is a risky pick. But Nick Tepesch is the reason. In his short career, he has a decent 3.92 ERA on the road, but it balloons to 5.52 at home. Chris Young is no great shakes either. But there it is.
  • The Cubs over the Yankees: Jeff Samardzija is due for a win. And I just know it will be the Yankees who give it to him. Being opposed by a young and inexperienced Chase Whitley will help him too.
  • The Nationals over the Reds: The Reds are reeling right now despite last night. And even though Alfredo Simon has pitched really well, Tanner Roark will pitch better.
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: Jacob deGrom looked impressive in his debut. Hyun-jin Ryu is back though and will start tonight for the Dodgers. I think the Dodgers are ready to go on a run. Free Legares.
  • The Braves over the Brewers: These two teams are heading in the opposite directions. The Braves are starting to string wins and the Brewers have been on a protracted slide. Ervin Santana over Kyle Lohse.
  • The Rays over the Athletics: The Rays have looked bad and Oakland has been nearly unbeatable. But I like Erik Bedard better here than I like Tommy Milone. It's hard to believe the Rays have been this bad.
  • The Marlins over the Phillies: Yeah, this pick did not work out last night. Have the Marlins lost their home mojo too? Hmm... Nate Eovaldi has blazing stuff, but it doesn't seem to separate him as a pitcher from the rest of the crowd. But I like Kyle Kendrick less.
  • The Blue Jays over the Red Sox: I never know what to expect out of each of these pitchers going tonight. Drew Hutchison is either brilliant or he is not. Clay Buchholz is supposed to be ace-like, but has given up 25 base runners in his last 10.1 innings. Ugh. Toss a coin.
  • The Royals over the White Sox: I give up on the Royals. They just drive me crazy. Jeremy Guthrie at home is a pretty good pick though even though Jose Quintana can be good at times.
  • The Cardinals over the Diamondbacks: Brandon McCarthy finally got a win, but he has to get some run support. I'm not sure he will with Michael Wacha pitching for the Cardinals.
  • The Rockies over the Giants: The Rockies had a big and important walk-off last night and that will propel them today. Jhoulys Chacin has to be better than he has been. Matt Cain still does not look good and Coors won't help.
  • The Twins over the Padres: Okay, I admit it. Phil Hughes has looked very good. There, are you happy? He will continue that today in a big ballpark in San Diego. Tyson Ross has been good too though.
  • The Angels over the Astros: Collin McHugh has not held up as good as he started. Jered Weaver has to be on target for this pick to come in. But even if it is a high scoring game, I think the Angels win.
And the Game of the Day
  • The Orioles over the Pirates: If Chris Davis is ready to go on a tear, then look out world. Besides, Chris Tillman is their best pitcher and Wandy Rodriguez has not been able to get his feet under him all season.
Yesterday: 6-9, May: 145-125, Games of the Day: 23-23, Season: 378-297

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MLB Game Picks - Tuesday: May 20, 2014

I was worried yesterday about there being only five games on the schedule and how I thought all five would be won by the home team. I had reason to worry and went 2-3 on the day. Jason Vargas severely tanked. Stephen Strasburg cannot get any run support from his team and Garrett Richards could not get run support either. It was one of those stupid little light schedule days.

Today we are back to normal--not that the fact makes the task any less daunting. But it's a tough job and somebody has to do it.

The picks:
  • The Pirates over the Orioles: I know that Francisco Liriano hasn't won a game this season. But he is getting sharper and he's due. And it's a good match-up against Miguel Gonzalez, a pitcher who has not fooled too many batters this season.
  • The Reds over the Nationals: Johnny Cueto has been the best pitcher in the National League this season. He has been magnificent. The only chance for the Nats is if Doug Fister can match him. It's possible, but not probable.
  • The Tigers over the Indians: Trever Bauer might have finally figured this professional baseball thing out. He was great at Triple-A and great in his first start, a hard-luck loss. But the Tigers are a tough task and Justin Verlander is a tough draw.
  • The Braves over the Brewers: The Brewers are in a pretty bad tailspin right now. And while Yovani Gallardo has reversed his career path and has been better on the road than at home, I don't think he beats the Braves here. Julio Teheran goes for the Braves.
  • The Athletics over the Rays: I keep picking the Rays like they are still a good team. They have not been. Like Bauer, Drew Pomeranz has figured some things out and is pitching brilliantly. Jake Odorizzi has been better of late.
  • The Marlins over the Phillies: Can the Marlins re-discover their home magic after a disastrous road trip? Anthony DeSclafani gives them a chance. The ever unreliable A.J. Burnett goes for the Phillies.
  • The Red Sox over the Blue Jays: J.A. Happ can beat the Indians and the Phillies. But can he beat the Red Sox? I don't think so. Felix Doubront has been better lately. The Blue Jays can jump you on offense though, so this is no safe pick.
  • The Yankees over the Cubs: You kind of have to pick Masahiro Tanaka to win until he doesn't, if you know what I mean. Jason Hammel has had a good year thus far, but his career record against the Yankees is not pretty.
  • The Rangers over the Mariners: Picking the Rangers to win when Colby Lewis is starting is problematic. On the other hand, so is picking against Hisashi Iwakuma who has won 69% of his decisions since he came to the United States. But the one place he has not pitched well is in Texas. So there is that.
  • The Royals over the White Sox: I don't know what to do with the Royals anymore. They have so much talent and just can't figure out how to win consistently. Maybe it is the manager. Who knows. I'm going with Yordano Ventura over Andre Rienzo, but I have no idea why.
  • The Cardinals over the Diamondbacks: How does Bronson Arroyo do it? He has the meatballiest stuff in baseball but somehow wins his fair share of games. But he shouldn't win tonight facing Adam Wainwright.
  • The Giants over the Rockies: You have to think in degrees of worse here. Madison Bumgarner has not enjoyed pitching at Coors Field. His lifetime ERA there is a little over four. That is high for him. But you have to figure that Franklin Morales is going to allow more than four runs. So that's how this pick rolls.
  • The Angels over the Astros: This pick did not work out yesterday. But the smart pick is to pick against the Astros on most days. George Springer has made their offense deeper though. But I think Tyler Skaggs is up for it over Scott Feldman.
  • The Padres over the Twins: Yeesh. This is another of those degrees of worse games. The two starting pitchers are a combined 3-10. But I guess I go with Ian Kennedy over Kevin Correia.
And the Game of the Day:
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: I have more faith in Josh Beckett retiring Mets batters than I have in Rafael Montero getting out Dodgers batters.
Yesterday: 2-3, May: 139-116, Games of the Day: 22-23, Season: 372-288