MLB Game Picks – Sunday: August 17, 2014

To finish a day of picking at 8-6 (the Rockies and Reds were postponed) when both Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez lose is pretty fortunate. You counts on those two pitchers every time they take the mound. They had only lost five games between them all season. Kershaw was the Game of the Day pick, which didn’t work out, but otherwise, I feel pretty fortunate.

Two other picks that surprised me were the Yankees beating the Rays and Phil Hughes winning his 13th game. The Bronx were still not bombers, but they got good pitching. And what can you say about Phil Hughes? He is simply not walking anyone and that limits the problems he can get into. I am happy for his success.

Sunday’s Picks:

  • The Orioles over the Indians: The Indians are tough at home and I keep going against that here with these picks. But that’s how good the Orioles seem to me. Maybe losing Manny Machado hurts more than I think it does.  I still think Kevin Gausman should be better than Danny Salazar. But I won’t be surprised if Salazar has a big day.
  • The Tigers over the Mariners: Joe Nathan and Jim Johnson in the same bullpen? That sounds frightening if I am a Tigers fan. Add those two to the volatile cocktail of Joba and Coke? Yikes. I still like the Tigers’ chances against Chris Young away from home and of Robbie Ray having a good outing.
  •  The Marlins over the Diamondbacks: The D-backs line in their game with the Marlins yesterday: 1-6-5. Now that is ugly. I like Tom Koehler at home and even though Josh Collmenter will benefit with a big park too, I still like the Marlins here.
  • The Cubs over the Mets: Rafael Montero has only had one good outing out of five and still couldn’t win that one. Jake Arrieta gentille Arrieta has been very good and won’t have to face David Wright, who will sit out the game today.
  • The Red Sox over the Astros: Collin McHugh strikes a lot of guys out, but he is not efficient. An not-efficient pitcher does not stand a chance against Boston. Joe Kelly, on the other hand, is a great pick up for the Red Sox.
  • The Rays over the Yankees: I have lost all faith in Hiroki Kuroda, which is sad. In my opinion, he pitched one season too many. The second half of last year should have been a clue. And I was wrong about how well Jeremy Hellickson would come back. He has pitched well since his return from the DL and has proven me way wrong.
  • The Royals over the Twins: Tommy Milone was squeezed out of Oakland because that team prefers strikeouts from their pitchers. He fits right in with the Twins for the same reason and is a pretty good pitcher. Jeremy Guthrie is another non-strikeout pitcher, so this game will be interesting and could go either way. I went with the Royals because they actually fare better against left-handed pitching.
  • The Blue Jays over the White Sox: Edwin Encarnacion is back and with Buehrle regaining his form a little bit yesterday, perhaps Drew Hutchison can do the same today. That’s a big if though. Scott Carroll goes for the White Sox and has had two straight bad outings.
  • The Cardinals over the Padres: There is a lot of grumbling going on by Cardinal fans about Mike Metheny. It’s getting ugly. Yesterday’s loss was particularly embarrassing for the team and every move the manager made was apocalyptic. But Adam Wainwright is on the mound and you have to go that way even if Odrisamer Despaigne is a pretty tough customer on the mound.
  • The Angels over the Rangers: I picked the Angels to win the AL West before the season started and it took until August to get to the point where the team has a share of the division lead. Ramon Santiago is a bit iffy, but he is less iffy than Nick Tepesch.
  • The Giants over the Phillies: Tim Lincecum has not pitched well in a month now and David Buchanan is pretty good. So why am I picking the Phillies to lose? Because they are the Phillies.
  • The Reds over the Rockies: The Rockies had a chance to win yesterday, but the postponement because of a water main break–which I still don’t get–helps the Reds get more favorable pitching match-ups. Mat Latos now gets to face Jordan Lyles, which is a better scenario for the Reds in this first game of the double-header.
  • The Brewers over the Dodgers: The Brewers impressed me with their win over Kershaw yesterday. Such a win can carry over confidence-wise and help them beat Dan Haren as well. Wiley Peralta just keeps winning.
  • The Athletics over the Braves: The A’s need Jon Lester to come up big in this one after a bad weekend. Mike Minor has not pitched well all season. The A’s should win this one. But this is baseball after all.
  • The Reds over the Rockies: Dylan Axelrod looks better in this match-up against Yohan Flange than he did yesterday against Lyles. Like I said, the postponement helped the Reds.

And the Game of the Day:

  • The Nationals over the Pirates: Doug Fister has been unbelievable. How can you pick against him at this point? The Nats are on fire and the Pirates caught them at a really bad time. Edinson Volquez goes for the Pirates.

Yesterday: 8-6, August: 125-94, Games of the Day: 73-55 (-1), Season: 1019-841

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