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
MausoleumColiseum. 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.
Games of the Day: 87-61