MLB Game Picks – Saturday: August 23, 2014

I knew I was in trouble yesterday after the first couple of games and as the night progressed, it was just one of those horror shows that happen from time to time. I’m sure the Tigers understand what I’m talking about. Ahem.

And the Nationals’ winning streak is over. Ten games. I should have learned my lesson from the rest of the season. Ten games is the longest a win streak or losing streak will go. To think the streak would go longer was pushing the envelope (cliche alert!) and I pushed it and got sticky envelop glue all over me.

Oh well, we’ll call yesterday a market correction and hope for a better day today. Saturday’s picks:

  • The Yankees over the White Sox: Once upon a time, picking Hiroki Kuroda at home during a day game was a lock. But Kuroda is never a lock these days. The question then becomes whether the Yankees can score more than four runs against Scott Carroll. Stranger things have happened.
  • The Tigers over the Twins: Even though the Twins totally blew out the Tigers yesterday, both teams emptied their bullpens, which is not good because they play two games today. And both starting pitchers in this one don’t look good to go deep in the game. Yohan Pino has been awful and Buck Farmer at least has a chance to pitch well.
  • The Mariners over the Red Sox: I was stunned that Koji Uehara gave up five runs yesterday. But watching the replays, there was only one hard-hit ball. The rest were lucky bloops. But that is the way the Red Sox season is going. I never picked Chris Young on the road until he started making me look stupid for not doing so. Brandon Workman goes for the Red Sox.
  • The Orioles over the Cubs: The Cubs pulled off a major surprise yesterday by beating the O’s. Some of it is not surprising at the O’s depend quite a bit on the DH for offense and Machado out is hurting them. Still, Bud Norris has been really good and should counteract the good, young Kyle Hendricks.
  • The Nationals over the Giants: The winning streak is over, so I can relax and pick the team I think will win. Clue: It’s not the one starting Tim Lincecum. Jordan Zimmermann is still my guy. Seems like the Nats have been home for a month.
  • The Indians over the Astros: The Astros are playing well and I really like Collin McHugh. He has pitched four games in a row giving up only a run and he has a wonderful strikeout pace going. My sticking point on picking them is that Danny Salazar is a totally different pitcher at home and tough to beat there.
  • The Cardinals over the Phillies: I have given up trying to figure out what the Cardinals will do. What a roller coaster ride they have been this season. I have slightly more confidence in Shelby Miller than in David Buchanan.
  • The Braves over the Reds: Here we go again with win/loss streak implications. The Braves are on a winning one and the Reds on a long losing one. Ervin Santana has been very good but I have a sneaking feeling that Mike Leake will have a good day. Ugh.
  • The Brewers over the Pirates: Does the casual fan know that Wily Peralta has won fifteen games? I know about it and still find it amazing. Why not sixteen today? Heck, he is at home. Edinson Volquez will try to prevent it.
  • The Rangers over the Royals: I find it amazing that Jeremy Guthrie has made $31 million in his career. He is the journey in journeyman. And he hasn’t pitched well in Arlington during his career. Nick Tepesch, on the other hand, has strung together four good outings in a row.
  • The Tigers over the Twins: Trevor May has allowed 26 base runners in his nine innings of work covering three games this season. He has a four to thirteen strikeout to walk ratio. Of course, today, he will pitch brilliantly. Justin Verlander is just as much of a concern with his health.
  • The Marlins over the Rockies: Picking a winner at Coors is like buying scratch tickets. Tom Koehler and Jordan Lyles are pitching. I have no idea which one will succeed more.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Padres: Vidal Nuno hasn’t pitched badly for the D-backs. He just hasn’t won games. His being a lefty takes guys like Seth Smith out of the lineup. I have no idea how Andrew Cashner will pitch coming back from the DL.
  • The Athletics over the Angels: Until the Angels can beat the A’s in Oakland, I will have my doubts about their ability to win the division. Jon Lester seems like a better pick than C.J. Wilson.
  • The Dodgers over the Mets: Jacob deGrom is off the disabled list and I like him a lot. But I don’t know how he will do. Zack Greinke has scuffled and has health concerns himself. But all things being equal, Greinke is more dependable.

And the Game of the Day

Yesterday: 5-10, August: 169-127, Games of the Day: 79-55 (+6), Season: 1063-876

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