MLB Game Picks – Sunday: August 31, 2014

Seventeen games were played yesterday and I correctly picked nine of them. I finally picked Stephen Strasburg and he won! But I picked Mike Fiers for the game of the day and he lost. That’s the way the day went. For every Jerome Williams I picked correctly, I did not pick Vance Worley correctly. I got both ends of the Tigers – White Sox double-header perfectly but only split the Cubs – Cardinals one. I wondered why a relief pitcher started for the Angels in such a big series with the A’s. Then eight of those relief pitchers shut out the A’s. At least it all ended up on the positive side.

Sunday’s picks:

  • The Yankees over the Blue Jays: This is the Yankees best chance against J.A. Happ. Of course, they haven’t been hitting pitchers you would think they would hit. Also, Brandon McCarthy has been very good for the Yankees, his last outing not included.
  • The Phillies over the Mets: Dillon Gee has not been good since his return from the disabled list and his strikeout rate has disappeared completely. A.J. Burnett never has problems getting strikeouts. It’s what happens in between them that matters. He was brilliant against the Nationals.
  • The Reds over the Pirates: Francisco Liriano is so unpredictable this year. He could have a great day against the struggling Reds. I just have a really hard time picking against Johnny Cueto even if his starts have not been quite shut-down lately.
  • The Rays over the Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia was clocked yesterday and has concussion symptoms. That’s all the Red Sox need. Alex Cobb is terrific and Clay Buchholz can be too. This one is hard to predict.
  • The Tigers over the White Sox: Miguel Cabrera‘s ankle is a mess and that hurts the Tigers badly. Rick Porcello has been very good though. I have been watching Jose Quintana succeed all year while piling up loss after loss. His ERA has gone up half a run in his last three starts.
  • The Astros over the Rangers: Nick Martinez beat the Astros the last time he faced them. Dallas Keuchel lost to the Rangers the last time he faced them. So why pick the Astros? Because that was last time.
  • The Cardinals over the Cubs: On most given days, I would pick John Lackey over Travis Wood. This is a given day. That is unless the Cardinals used all their bullets in that thirteen-run outburst yesterday.
  • The Angels over the Athletics: Matt Shoemaker has not given up an earned run in four of his last seven appearances and his last two starts covering fourteen plus innings. The guy has been amazing. Scott Kazmir has had a great season too, but has hit a bit of a wall late in the season.
  • The Giants over the Brewers: The performance by Jake Peavy had to be inspiring yesterday and did you see that play by Brandon Crawford!? My my. Madison Bumgarner will beat Kyle Lohse as the Giants stay hot.
  • The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: I have no idea who will win this game. I was wrong with this same pick yesterday. Chase Anderson has been…well…chased his last three starts, but, perhaps, will pull it together. Jorge De La Rosa actually pitches better at home lately than on the road.
  • The Dodgers over the Padres: The Padres have had three straight walk-off wins and Eric Stults has confused me all season. I am also worried about Hyun-jin Ryu coming off the disabled list. The Dodgers are the better team here.
  • The Mariners over the Nationals: Hisashi Iwakuma was pounded in his last start. But that was probably a fluke. I cannot pick against him at home even if I like Tanner Roark a lot.
  • The Braves over the Marlins: I am tired of picking Nathan Eovaldi to win just to watch him lose. And I am tired about hearing about his “stuff” while he loses. Alex Wood has hung in there nicely for the Braves.
  • The Royals over the Indians: The Royals have gone a bit flat in this series but you have to give credit to the Indians too and Terry Francona. He really seems to be a great manager (as much as I can tell). All that said, I like Danny Duffy over T.J. House here in this game.

And the Game of the Day:

  • The Orioles over the Twins: Wei-Yin Chen has been hard to beat and the Orioles just keep rolling along. Ricky Nolasco does not seem like a candidate to slow them down at all.

Yesterday: 9-8, August: 227-181, Games of the Day: 83-59 (-1), Season: 1120-930

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