After doing this every day now for four months, the incorrect picks are starting to pile up on my psyche. And September has been particularly difficult. Teams that are fighting for the playoffs and division titles lose to teams like the Cubs and Brewers. Ace pitchers don’t come through. Games are turned on one stupid pitch (like a low pitch to Jarrod Saltalamacchia–the only place you cannot pitch him) or one stupid play. Bullpens implode (hello Braves and Yankees). And when two teams out of the playoff picture play, who knows what will happen. It all gets frustrating.
The season has two more weeks to go and I will slog through it. I just hope I have a good string of days to brighten my outlook. Let’s start with today:
- The Reds over the Brewers: Johnny Hellweg has only struck out four batters in his sixteen-plus innings of work. His strikeout to walk ratio is 1:3. Oops. I will go with Homer Bailey and those Reds better start staving off the Nationals for that last wildcard spot.
- The Rangers over the Athletics: Like the Red Sox and Yankees above, Oakland is clearly the better of these two teams. And it has been shown over and over. The only reason to pick Texas here is for Yu Darvish. And he is never a lock to win either. Bartolo Colon goes for the A’s.
- The Orioles over the Blue Jays: Picking the Blue Jays yesterday was bloody stupid. I should get my fingers pinched for that one. How cool is it that Chris Davis has hit 50 homers? Chris Tillman should win this one over Esmil Rogers, who is quite capable of giving up a few bombs to the O’s.
- The Mets over the Marlins: The Mets and Marlins play two today. Oh goody. The Mets will win both games I think. The first features Henderson Alvarez and his nearly 22 second pace against Daisuke Matsuzaka and his 26 second pace. Bring your sleeping bag.
- The Mets over the Marlins: In the second game, Carlos Torres should bounce back from his last bad start and beat Justin Turner, who has thrown several stinkers in a row now.
- The Pirates over the Cubs: This is what should happen. There is no guarantee that it will. Scott Baker was either lucky or very good his first start back from oblivion. If he can repeat that, the Pirates are in trouble. Gerrit Cole will need to be very good.
- The Nationals over the Phillies: The Nationals are trying to make a late push and have come a long way. Will they be able to catch the Reds? That is a deep long shot. The Phillies would love to foil it and they have Cole Hamels on the mound. The trouble with that for the Phillies is that Gio Gonzalez is going for the Nats and he is peaking down the stretch.
- The Tigers over the Royals: It was a nice thought, Royals, but I don’t think it is going to happen. You have to beat the Tigers and you did not yesterday. Of course, you never know with Doug Fister who goes from brilliant to putrid from start to start. Ervin Santana is not nearly as good as he was in the first half.
- The Angels over the Astros: I would love to pick Brett Oberholtzer just because I like typing his name. I like his name nearly as much as Ross Ohlendorf (who won his surprise start yesterday). But Jered Weaver is going for the Angels and, nah. I cannot do it.
- The Indians over the White Sox: I am glad I am not the only one. Even the guy on the MLB Network said that the White Sox are playing without passion or even trying. So good luck, Andre Rienzo. Ubaldo Jimenez goes for the Indians.
- The Braves over the Padres: Kris Medlen has been pitching well for two months now and finally has his record over .500. Robbie Erlin has pitched two good games in a row. But I do not expect that streak to go to three.
- The Bay Rays over the Twins: This game is dangerous because it looks like such a lock for the Rays. Matt Moore should never lose a game like this. And Andrew Albers will cough up a few.
- The Cardinals over the Mariners: James Paxton had a very good debut with great control and he is a lefty, which the Cardinals hate. But the Cardinals find a way to win and the M’s find ways to lose. Michael Wacha is going to have a dominant game.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: This pick did not work out last night, but should today. Wade Miley hasn’t been a rock, but he has been decent in the second half. Roy Oswalt again comes back from the dead. Nothing good can come from that.
- The Dodgers over the Giants: The Giants got the better of the Dodgers last night. But I think tonight will be different. The Dodgers will get to Tim Lincecum and Ricky Nolasco has been the bomb for the Dodgers.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Red Sox over the Yankees: The Red Sox are so much better than the Yankees that it is palpable. Yeah, the Yankees can steal a game here or there, but gosh, the difference is striking. No way CC Sabathia pitches a good game. He never does at Fenway. Jon Lester has a better that double chance at winning.
Games of the Day: 93-67 +2