MLB Game Picks – Sunday: August 24, 2014

To quote the Beatles, yesterday was a long and winding road that ended up semi-positive at 9-7. I was 5-2 at one point, so the rest of the day did not go so well. And my six-day correct streak on the Game of the Day feature ended with a Rays loss, disputed though it may have been.

Some trends to note: The Pirates are fighting back with with Andrew McCutchen back in the lineup. He makes everyone around him better. The Oakland A’s continue to defeat the Angels in their home ballpark stunting the Angels attempts to take over the division. The Red Sox are mired in their worst slump of the season. The Baltimore Orioles are stumbling a bit with Manny Machado out for the season. And Seattle is going to be tough to beat the rest of the season.

Let’s keep these trends in mind as we deal with Sunday’s picks:

  • The White Sox over the Yankees: It seems that the Yankees have fared better against aces in the last month than against mediocre pitchers. But if Chris Sale is on, nobody hits him. If you compare him to Chris Capuano, I don’t know how you can pick the Yankees.
  • The Indians over the Astros: The Astros have been hanging tough in most of their games. And I worry a bit about Trevor Bauer pitching. Bauer does have a chance at least of pitching better than Brett Oberholtzer.
  • The Blue Jays over the Rays: Drew Hutchison is so hard to predict. His one good game in the last four outings was spectacular against the Orioles. But he was hit hard since. He has the stuff to shut down the Rays. Chris Archer ran into a wall his last start. Tired arm, maybe.
  • The Braves over the Reds: I should have gone with Mike Leake yesterday. Oh well. I don’t have the same qualms about not picking Alfredo Simon who has not been good at all in the last month. Aaron Harang has to pitch well in that small ballpark though.
  • The Mariners over the Red Sox: Hisashi Iwakuma has been every bit the ace that Felix Hernandez has been. Allen Webster has been holding his own, but the Red Sox are in a downward spiral these days.
  • The Nationals over the Giants: Has Stephen Strasburg at last found some consistency? Perhaps. He is great at home even when inconsistent. So he is the pick over Ryan Vogelsong.
  • The Cardinals over the Phillies: I’m not thrilled at picking Justin Masterson. I think that trade was questionable for the Cards. If you have looked at Jerome Williams in his three stops this year, his first start was always good and then he pooched to the point of getting released. He’s already had his good start for the Phillies.
  • The Tigers over the Twins: The Tigers really need Max Scherzer to be himself today and go deep into the game. The Twins have been beating them up regularly. Kyle Gibson likes to play with my mind.
  • The Brewers over the Pirates: Yes, this pick has not gone well the last two days. But gosh, it is Mike Fiers Day in Milwaukee. That has to be the pick over Vance Worley and the Pirates.
  • The Cubs over the Orioles: Why not go for the sweep here? The Cubs! Tsuyoshi Wada has not given up more than two runs in his last five starts. If he does so today, the Cubs have a chance with Miguel Gonzalez.
  • The Marlins over the Rockies: While I’m not a big proponent of Brad Hand, I cannot trust Christian Bergman either. Coors Field crap shoot once again.
  • The Mets over the Dodgers: Putting aside the differences in the Mets and Dodgers’ offenses for a second, compare Bartolo Colon and Kevin Correia. Uh, yeah. I’ll go with Colon. Colon versus Puig should be entertaining television.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Padres: Yes, Ian Kennedy would like to do well in Arizona, the site of his best year. But I’m going with Chase Anderson instead.
  • The Athletics over the Angels: The A’s did weaken their offense in their quest for pitching, but they still hold a bamboozling effect on the Angels at the Coliseum. Scott Kazmir over Jeff Weaver.

And the Game of the Day:

  • The Royals over the Rangers: Picking the Rangers yesterday was pretty dumb. I don’t want to be dumb today. I’ll take Jason Vargas over Scott Baker. Baker has been fine out of the bullpen but hasn’t started since mid-July. That means five innings and way too much exposure of the Rangers’ bad bullpen.

Yesterday: 9-7, August: 178-134, Games of the Day: 79-56 (-1), Season: 1072-883

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