Chicago White Sox (Jeff Samardzija) @Detroit Tigers (David Price)
This looks like a big pitching matchup, but I don't think Jeff Samardzija is anywhere near the ace that David Price is. Samardzija had his best year as a starter last year but there was a lot of luck involved. He's in a much tougher ballpark this year. I don't expect him to come close to last year's numbers. David Price is legit, though.
My pick: Tigers 6, White Sox 3
Actual score: Tigers 2, White Sox 1
David Price and Jeff Samardzija pitched well in this one. They both went eight innings and both allowed just a single run. Price gave up four knocks and walked two; Scherzer didn't walk any but gave up eight safeties. The run given up by Price was a solo tater off the bat of Avisail Garcia in the top of the second. Samardzija's blemish was a dinger given up to Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the fourth. The game was tied through eight-and-a-half innings. The White Sox brought in reliever Zach Duke to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Duke gave up a double to Nick Castellanos that was shrouded in controversy. It appeared that Castellanos was tagged on the toe by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez but White Sox manager Robin Ventura did not immediately ask for a replay review and the call stood. Replays appeared to show that the tag had been made. Alex Avila then bunted Castellanos to third and Jose Iglesias dropped a dying quail into right field to bring in the winning run. Iglesias is hitting out of his brain right now. His .484 batting average will drop by more than 200 points by the end of the season. You can take that to the bank. The victory moves the Tigers to 9-1 on the season. The last two times they were 9-1 were in 1968 and 1984 and they won the World Series both years.
(My record: 1-0)
San Diego Padres (James Shields) @Chicago Cubs (James Hammel)
Forget the other 17 players who will start this game, the only one that matters is Kris Bryant. Kris Byrant is the Chuck Norris of Major League Baseball. There's nothing Kris Byrant cannot do. Not only does he hit home runs at will, he will deliver your baby, discover a cure for cancer, find a word that rhymes with orange, and teach Nicolas Cage how to act, Kris Bryant is just THAT good at life. If he doesn't go 4 for 4 with 4 homers, it will be a disappointing debut for Kris Bryant.
My pick: The Chicago Kris Bryants 6, Padres 4
Actual score: Padres 5, Chicago Kris Bryants 4
Quote of the day from baseball's top prospect, Kris Bryant: "Sure, I could have done a little better." Ya think? Bryant struck out the first three times he batted. His fourth time up came in the bottom of the seventh with the Cubs down 5-4 and right after Anthony Rizzo had been intentionally walked to load the bases. Bryant grounded out to third. So, yeah, I guess it's possible he could have done a little better. He could have made contact 50% of the time instead of just 25% of the time. He could have, perhaps, hit the ball out of the infield at least one time in four chances. It might even be conceivable that he could have, maybe just possibly, picked up a hit? Or a walk? Okay, that's snarky. Bryant made some plays in the field and it's just one game and Padres' pitcher James Shields is a wily veteran who made some good pitches. The big blow in this game was a 3-run shot by Wil Myers in the seventh inning that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead. The pitch before the homer was a fastball at the knees that some people thought was strike three, including Cubs' pitcher Brian Schlitter. The umpire did not think it was strike three and Myers hit his homer. Craig Kimbrel nailed it down in the ninth for the save and a Padres' victory.
(My record: 1-1)
Philadelphia Phillies (Sean O'Sullivan) @Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer)
The Phillies have lost five straight games and have Sean O'Sullivan facing Max Scherzer. By the end of today, the Phillies will have lost six straight games.
My pick: Nationals 7, Phillies 0
Actual score: Nationals 7, Phillies 2
Sean O'Sullivan pitched like you'd expect he would (5 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K), as did Max Scherzer (8 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K) in the most predictable game of the day. Ian Desmond had three hits and Bryce Harper filled up the box score with a nice line: 1 for 2, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 2 walks, one homer.
(My record: 2-1)
Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke)
At a website called city-data.com, a question was asked about Milwaukee and Pittsburgh: "I hear that Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are like twin brothers. How are they similar and different? Who has the best nightlife?" The best response to this question at city-data.com was: "Milwaukee is a nice city, but I don't think it's like Pittsburgh at all. Different topography, architecture, structure, layout, demographics, and culture. Come to think of it, it's hard for me to name anything that is all that similar between the cities. Pittsburgh really is a world of its own . . . a cross between the East Coast and Appalachia." I don't know how I feel about that Appalachia part, sounds a bit insulting to the great city of Pittsburgh.
My pick: Pirates 5, Brewers 4
Actual score: Pirates 6, Brewers 3
Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte had struck out nearly 50% of the time coming into this game, so he was moved down to seventh in the batting order. He responded with two hits including a 2-run home run in the bottom of the eighth that added some insurance runs to Pittsburgh's 3-2 lead. The Brewers got a run back in the top of the ninth but Mark Melancon got the final out for a save and a Pittsburgh' victory.
(My record: 3-1)
Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @Toronto Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison)
A walk through history reveals that these two teams played each other in the 1992 World Series, which featured the first World Series game ever played outside the United States. Toronto won that series, 4 games to 2, which was the first time a team based outside the U.S. won the World Series. All of that was many years ago and has nothing to do with this series, of course. These days, the Blue Jays are contenders and the Braves are in rebuilding mode.
My pick: Blue Jays 6, Braves 3
Actual score: Braves 8, Blue Jays 7
The Blue Jays had five home runs in this game but only seven runs total, as four of the five dingers were solo shots. Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson both had two long balls apiece. Despite the big fly barrage, the Blue Jays lost the game thanks to an ugly eighth inning by reliever Brett Cecil that saw the Braves hit two home runs and turn a 5-5 game into an 8-5 game. Nick Markakis was 4 for 4 with three runs scored.
(My record: 3-2)
Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @Boston Red Sox (Joe Kelly)
This is not going to be good for the Orioles.
My pick: Red Sox 8, Orioles 4
Actual score: Red Sox 3, Orioles 2
There was a bit of a kerfuffle in this game. In the second inning, the Red Sox' Pablo Sandoval took out second baseman Jonathan Schoop with a hard slide on a force play. When he came to the dish in the fourth inning, Orioles' starter Ubaldo Jimenez plunked him with a pitch and was immediately ejected. Ubaldo hadn't allowed a hit to that point and the Orioles were leading 1-0. The O's bumped their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth, but reliever Kevin Gausman gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Hanigan that tied the score. The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth. Orioles' reliever Brian Matusz started the inning by walking Mike Napoli. Daniel Nava then sacrificed Napoli to second. The O's brought in Tommy Hunter, but Hunter couldn't stifle Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts dinked a bloop single into short right field that brought in Napoli with the game-winning run.
(My record: 4-2)
Miami Marlins (David Phelps) @New York Mets (Bartolo Colon)
The Mets have won five straight and are undefeated at home and have the great Bartolo Colon on the hill. What could be better?
My pick: Mets 5, Marlins 3
Actual score: Mets 4, Marlins 1
The big star in this one was 42-year-old Bartolo Colon, the starting pitcher of the Mets. Colon pitched seven innings, allowed one run on six hits, and struck out five without a walk. The bigger news was his performance with the bat. For the second game in a row, Colon had an RBI. This one came on a sacrifice fly that tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. The tie was broken by a Mike Cuddyer single in the bottom of the sixth and the Mets added a second run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Eric Campbell. Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth and picked up his fifth save of the season. The Great Bartolo Colon is now 3-0.
(My record: 5-2)
New York Yankees (Adam Warren) @Tampa Bay Rays (Nathan Karns)
Adam Warren is making his fifth career start and Nathan Karns is making his seventh. Karns hasn't been very good so far in his major league career, while Warren has had success, but mostly as a reliever. Should be interesting to see how this turns out.
My pick: Yankees 7, Rays 5
Actual score: Yankees 5, Rays 4
Alex Rodriguez hit a pair of home runs, one of which traveled an estimated 471 feet to center field. He now has 658, just two away from legend Willie Mays. More importantly, the Yankees got a victory. Considering they were 3-6 before this game, they needed a victory. The Rays got all four of their runs in the fourth inning thanks to homers by Allan Dykstra and Logan Forsythe.
(My record: 6-2)
Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray) @Kansas City Royals (Jeremy Guthrie)
At one time, the Oakland Athletics were the Kansas City Athletics. The Athletics franchise started in Philadelphia in 1901. They moved to Kansas City in 1955 and played there through the 1967 season, with very little success. In thirteen years in Kansas City, the team never finished higher than sixth place, often in a league with eight teams. Before the 1968 season, A's owner Charley Finley moved the team to Oakland. The following year, Kansas City got an expansion team, the Royals. There's your little history lesson for today.
My pick: Athletics 8, Royals 4
Actual score: Royals 6, Athletics 4
This game came down to a bullpen game. The score was tied through seven and the back end of the Royals' pen tossed zeroes while the A's Dan Otero gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth that were the margin of victory for the Royals. Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain each had three hits for Kansas City. Stephen Vogt had three hits for the A's.
(My record: 6-3)
Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @Minnesota Twins (Mike Pelfrey)
In three starts against the Twins last year, Corey Kluber had 29 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. I expect more of the same in this start.
My pick: Indians 6, Twins 1
Actual score: Twins 3, Indians 2 [11 innings]
Corey Kluber held up his end of the bargain. He pitched 8 innings and allowed just four baserunners and two runs while striking out eight. He started off perfect through five innings but became erratic during his last three innings on the hill. The Indians' offense couldn't get much going against Mike Pelfrey and a quintet of Twins' relievers, mustering just two runs. The game ended on a lead-off homer by Trevor Plouffe in the bottom of the eleventh.
(My record: 6-4)
Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) @Houston Astros (Roberto Hernandez)
Through nine games, the Angels and Astros have the same record and similar run differentials (-5 and -8). The difference is that the Angels have the best baseball player in the universe, Mike Trout, and the Astros have the best 5'5" player on the planet, Jose Altuve. The universe is bigger than the planet, so the Angels have the edge here.
My pick: Angels 8, Astros 4
Actual score: Angels 6, Astros 3
On a day that many baseball fans eagerly watched to see what hot prospect Kris Bryant would do in his major league debut, Mike Trout reminded everyone who the best player in the universe is. Trout was 2 for 4 with 2 runs and 5 RBI. His two hits were home runs, including a 3-run jack that broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. Trout became the youngest player in baseball history with 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases.
(My record: 7-4)
Cincinnati Reds (Johnny Cueto) @St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha)
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have won eight straight series against the Reds and are 20-1-1 in series against the Reds since 2006. That's a pretty good thumping right there. The Reds do have their best pitcher on the bump, but Johnny Cueto has a 5.80 ERA in his career in Busch Stadium.
My pick: Cardinals 5, Reds 3
Actual score: Cardinals 6, Reds 1
Johnny Cueto was very good for six innings in this game but ran into trouble in the seventh and couldn't get out of a tough inning. With the score tied at one, Matt Holliday led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to right. Matt Adams struck out looking for out number one. Jhonny Peralta followed with a double and Jon Jay was intentionally walked. Johnny Cueto and the Reds needed a double-play from Yadier Molina to get out of the inning but Yadi ripped a bases-clearing double to left that made it 4-1, Cardinals. Cueto then got Wong on a swinging strikeout and a groundout from Mark Reynolds to end the inning. Cueto ended up with 10 strikeouts in seven innings, which is great, but that seventh inning doomed him.
(My record: 8-4)
Texas Rangers (Yovani Gallardo) @Seattle Mariners (J.A. Happ)
The Mariners will be glad to be back home after three straight losses to the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Hopefully, Fernando Rodney can put his recent late-innings blow-ups behind him and start nailing down some saves when given the opportunity. J.A. Happ isn't a great pitcher, but Safeco Field should help him keep the Mariners close in this one.
My pick: Mariners 4, Rangers 3
Actual score: Rangers 3, Mariners 1
The story of this game was either great pitching by the Rangers or bad hitting by the Mariners, depending on your point of view. Yovani Gallardo and three relievers limited the Mariners to one run, with Neftali Feliz nailing down the save in the ninth. Feliz is 12 for 12 in save opportunities against the Mariners and has thrown 27 scoreless innings against them in his career. For the Mariners, Nelson Cruz had three hits but none of them left the yard. He had banged homers in five consecutive games before tonight's game ended the streak. J.A. Happ was good in the loss (7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K).
(My record: 8-5)
Colorado Rockies (Kyle Kendrick) @Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)
It would have been really cool if Kris Bryant had to make his major league debut against Clayton Kershaw. It would have been the irresistible force versus the immovable object. Instead, we get the Rockies versus Kershaw, in L.A. In his career, Kershaw has a 2.15 ERA at home and a 1.02 WHIP. This year, though, Kershaw has been more human than we've ever seen him and the Rockies are off to a hot start, at 7-2, and have averaged five runs per game. I still like Kershaw in this one, though.
My pick: Dodgers 7, Rockies 2
Actual score: Dodgers 7, Rockies 3
Clayton Kershaw finally looked like Clayton Kershaw today. He struck out 12 Rockies in six innings while allowing three runs but just one earned run. Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick was rocked for six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick combined for five hits and five RBI.
(My record: 9-5)
Arizona Diamondbacks (Josh Collmenter) @San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy)
The Giants haven't won a home game yet and I'm not convinced that Jake Peavy is 100% healthy. The Diamondbacks are plucky and Josh Collmenter's not bad. I like the snakes.
My pick: Diamondbacks 6, Giants 4
Actual score: Diamondbacks 9, Giants 0
Josh Collmenter pitched the second shutout of his major league career and had three hits in this game. He allowed four hits and one walk. A.J. Pollock had four hits, David Peralta had three, and three other hitters had two hits each. Nobody on the Giants did anything of note except for two hits from Joe Panik that were totally meaningless.
(My record: 10-5)
My Prediction Record:
Week 1: 43-47, .478
Day 1: 9-5
Day 2: 6-7
Day 3: 13-2
Day 4: 3-3
Day 5: 10-5
Week 2; 41-22, .651
Overall: 84-69, .549