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

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