Tuesday was a struggle, but it turned out okay in the end. The trouble with picking teams that have already clinched surfaced with the A’s and Red Sox losing to help illustrate the point. I was worried about Jonathon Niese and I was right to be as he knocked the Reds off. The Orioles were eliminated with ease. I did not see that coming but I should have. But all in all, I finished up at 9-6 and have a decent week going on this last full week of the regular season.
It has not been lost on me how many ex-Yankees delivered this week for their contending teams. Jason Giambi last night. Russell Martin and A.J. Burnett. Justin Maxwell. Many of these guys are going to the playoffs and the Yankees are going home.
- The Reds over the Mets: Matt Latos has lost a bit since August when he was unstoppable. Diasuke Matsuzaka has been a surprise for the Mets. But let’s be real here. The Reds should win this game. If they don’t, they are really sliding into the play-in game.
- The Cardinals over the Nationals: I would really love to pick Jordan Zimmermann. I really want him to win his 20th game…badly. But he has pitched against the Cardinals five times in his career and his ERA is 9.12. How can I pick that? Shelby Miller is the pick then.
- The Pirates over the Cubs: If the Cardinals keep winning, there is now way for the Pirates to catch them. But it’s not like the Pirates are not trying. Francisco Liriano should pitch a good five or six innings and the Pirates should score on Jake Arrieta.
- The Angels over the Athletics: Jered Weaver is the pick in this game. Didn’t Mike Trout finish poorly in the last three weeks of last season too? He sure has gone cold. But maybe he can wake up against Dan Straily.
- The Indians over the White Sox: I wish I could have heard Ken Harrelson‘s call last night of Jason Giambi’s homer. That would have been fun. I love Danny Salazar because he has not given up a homer in nine starts and has a ton of strikeouts. But he does not go deep enough into games and has five no decisions and only one win. But the Indians should take out Dylan Axelrod.
- The Rays over the Yankees: What sad sacks the Yankees have been with only the Orioles losing more. David Price officially boots the Yanks from the race tonight over (hopefully) the last Phil Hughes outing ever at Yankee Stadium.
- The Orioles over the Blue Jays: Now out of the race, the Orioles will win a game. Bud Norris will get a win and Chris Davis or someone will hit a homer off of Esmil Rogers.
- The Braves over the Brewers: I cannot believe that Paul Maholm wins as many games as he does. But somehow, it happens. Kyle Lohse knows how to pitch with what he has, making him pretty even with Maholm. But I will go with the home team here.
- The Phillies over the Marlins: Ugh. Two teams finishing out awful seasons. Cole Hamels was my Cy Young Award choice before the season. Pretty funny, eh? He should still be good enough to win and Brad Hand is much better as a reliever than as a starter.
- The Rangers over the Astros: You have to give the Astros something. Their pitching rotation has gone out there game after game without missing turns. It has to be demoralizing to keep losing though. Tonight’s version, Dallas Keuchel will do that tonight too as Martin Perez gets the win and keeps the Rangers alive.
- The Rockies over the Red Sox: It is hard to believe that Tyler Chatwood shut down the Red Sox. But he did. And Jhoulys Chacin is a better pitcher than him and is having a good season and pitches well at home. Jake Peavy will not like Coors Field.
- The Padres over the Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy will enjoy pitching against his old team and at home in Petco. Randall Delgado hasn’t had a bad season, but I expect Kennedy to be better tonight.
- The Mariners over the Royals: It was a fun season for the Royals, but their troubles in the early part of the season put them too far behind to make it to the end. Still, it was a season that gives hope. Tonight, they run into Hisashi Iwakuma who has been outstanding at times this season. Ervin Santana could match him and make it a bullpen game. If that happens, this pick is toast.
- The Giants over the Dodgers: Barry Zito gets a farewell start tonight and I hope he wins it. That’s just me and this pick is swayed by it. The Dodgers start Ricky Nolasco so that could knock some of the wind out of the pick. But go, Barry Zito, finish it with a flair.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Tigers over the Twins: It is only fitting for Max Scherzer to be on the mound when the Tigers clinch the division tonight. He has been their horse all season. Kevin Correia goes for the Twins who just need to get this season over.
Games of the Day: 101-70