New York Mets (Jacob deGrom) @New York Yankees (Michael Pineda)
The Mets' 11-game winning streak is tied for the best in club history, while the Yankees have won three straight and six of their last seven. The Mets have a 4-1/2 game lead in the NL East and the Yankees are tied with the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the AL East. This is one of the few times in the history of the Subway Series that both team are good, although it is early in the season so we really don't know just how good these teams will be. If you have the MLB Network, you can watch the game with Statcast, a state-of-the-art tracking technology that precisely tracks the location and movement of the ball and every player on the field at any given time. It's an intriguing new technology that will take some time to get used to and to find some practical uses for. As for the actual game on the field, Jacob deGrom is looking to go 3-0. He has a 0.93 ERA in his first three starts. Michael Pineda is also 2-0 but with a 5.00 ERA that is misleading. His FIP is 2.61.
My pick: Yankees 5, Mets 4
Actual score: Yankees 6, Mets 1
It was all Yankees in the first game of the Subway Series. Jacob deGrom was knocked around for six runs in five innings as he gave up three homers in the game, including a pair of two-run homers to Mark Teixeira. Michael Pineda tossed seven innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts and no walks. Tomorrow's matchup features Matt Harvey and CC Sabathia.
(My record: 1-0)
Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello) @Baltimore Orioles (Miguel Gonzalez)
The Red Sox have lost two straight and the Orioles are riding a four-game losing streak. These two pitchers squared off last Sunday and the Orioles blasted Porcello for eight runs and 12 hits. They are unlikely to do as well in this game but I think they can stem the tied of the losing streak and get back in the win column.
My pick: Orioles 6, Red Sox 5
Actual score: Red Sox 7, Orioles 5
The score was tied 4-4 through seven innings of this one and the game was turned over to the bullpens. The usually reliable Orioles bullpen ran into trouble in the top of the 8th. Tommy Hunter got the first two outs of the inning and was removed for Brian Matusz. Matusz walked Pablo Sandoval. The Red Sox pinch-hit the right-handed hitting Allen Craig for the left-handed hitting Daniel Nava and the O's countered with Darren O'Day. Craig reached on an error by Manny Machado and runners were on first and third. Brock Holt then came up and hit a three-run jack to put the Sox ahead 7-4. Holt is off to a crazy-good start this year, hitting .424/.441/.576 so far. Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa gave up a solo homer in the bottom of the 8th but that was all the O's would get and the Red Sox took the victory.
(My record: 1-1)
Atlanta Braves (Alex Wood) @Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Harang)
Surprisingly, the Braves are over .500 with a record of 8-7 but that is mainly the product of an early fast start. In their last 10 games, they are 3-7. The Phillies are a more-expected 5-11 and tied with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Aaron Harang is off to a good start in a small sample size of three starts. He has a 2.94 FIP (3.91 xFIP) and has two of the Phillies' five wins. Alex Wood didn't strike out a batter in his last start against the Blue Jays but should fair better in this one.
My pick: Braves 6, Phillies 3
Actual score: Phillies 1, Braves 0
Well, after not striking out a single batter in his last outing, Alex Wood did better in this one. He struck out one batter. That's really not good but he also didn't allow a run in 5 2/3 innings so it was a successful outing. Of course, Aaron Harang was even better, tossing eight scoreless innings and allowing two hits and one walk with six strikeouts. With the score tied 0-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Freddy Galvis led off the inning with a single off Jim Johnson, then went to second on Cesar Hernandez' sacrifice bunt and on to third on a passed ball. Ben Revere then chopped a ball to first baseman Freddie Freeman as Galvis broke for home. Freeman bobbled the ball and Galvis scored. It was the fourth error of the game for the Braves, who have now lost four straight games and eight of their last 11.
(My record: 1-2)
Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) @Detroit Tigers (Shane Greene)
The Tigers are coming off three straight losses to the Yankees and have dropped out of first place. The Indians are still trying to get their season untracked but have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and are six games behind the Royals in the AL Central. Danny Salazar struggled in spring training and was sent to the minors but came back last Saturday and struck out 10 in six innings in a victory over the Twins. The Tigers have scored 29 more runs than the Twins, so he likely won't have it so easy this time out. Shane Greene is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA but it comes with an unsustainable .188 BABIP and a low 4.3 K/9.
My pick: Indians 5, Tigers 4
Actual score: Indians 13, Tigers 1
Danny Salazar continues to show why he shouldn't have been sent down after spring training by striking out 11 and giving up just one run through seven innings in this game. Meanwhile, Tigers' starter Shane Greene was blasted for eight runs in four innings. Carlos Santana had a big game for the Indians, going 1 for 3 with 3 runs scored, 2 RBI, and 2 walks, but Brandon Moss really put on a show with 2 homers and 7 RBI.
(My record: 2-2)
Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @Cincinnati Reds (Mike Leake)
The Cubs are still waiting for a good outing from their big offseason acquisition, Jon Lester. Lester has given up at least three earned runs in each of his first three starts and is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA for the season. The good news is that he has a ridiculously high .434 BABIP that can't possibly get worse. His strikeout rate is similar to his numbers in 2012 and 2013 and his walk rate is nearly equal to last year's rate, which was the best of his career. He should turn things around quickly, perhaps with this start. If the Reds' Billy Hamilton gets on base, watch for him to run wild on Lester.
My pick: Cubs 6, Reds 3
Actual score: Cubs 7, Reds 3 [11 innings]
Jon Lester fared better in this outing than he had in previous starts, striking out 10 in six innings and allowing three runs. He did allow Billy Hamilton to steal three bases, though. Mike Leake also pitched well as he went seven innings and gave up three runs. The score was tied after 10 innings, then the Cubs rallied for four runs in the top of the 11th and won easily.
(My record: 3-2)
Washington Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann) @Miami Marlins (Mat Latos)
Mat Latos is 0-3 with a 10.24 ERA and 2.38 WHIP. He's been one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball and the underlying metrics are mixed. He has a .485 BABIP, which is ridiculous and will come down. He also has a very low 50.9% LOB% which should get better and his 20% K% is 2.4% better than last season but his 12% BB% is the worst walk rate of his career. Add it all together and he shouldn't be nearly as bad as he's been but his 4.50 xFIP is nothing to be thrilled about if your a Marlins' fan.
My pick: Nationals 7, Marlins 3
Actual score: Marlins 3, Nationals 2
Thanks to an eighth inning rbi-single by Martin Prado, the Marlins have now won three straight and the Nationals have lost three in a row. Mat Latos had his first good outing of the year and Steve Cishek got his first save of the year.
(My record: 3-3)
Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) @Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly)
The Toronto Blue Jays have won three straight and have scored the most runs in baseball, averaging 5.9 runs/game. The Rays' Drew Smyly is making his first start of the year because he's coming off an injury. It's a rough landing spot for Smyly and I'm not expecting greatness from him just yet.
My pick: Blue Jays 8, Rays 4
Actual score: Rays 12, Blue Jays 3
Three light-hitting Tampa Bay Rays hit homers--James Loney, Rene Rivera, and Tim Beckham--and Drew Smyly was solid in his first start of the year (4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K). The Rays busted out for 12 runs and 13 hits off of R.A. Dickey and Jeff Francis. The Rays are now tied with the Blue Jays and just a game back of the Red Sox and Yankees.
(My record: 3-4)
Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy) @Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana)
The Royals and White Sox squared off in round one of this four game series with a wild bout of fisticuffs that, as usual, involved Royals' starter Yordano Ventura. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in this matchup of left-handed starters. The Royals have hit lefties hard so far this year, with a 132 wRC+, good for third in all of baseball. The White Sox have really struggled against lefties, with a 45 wRC+, second-to-worst in baseball.
My pick: Royals 7, White Sox 2
Actual score: Royals 2, White Sox 2 [suspended game]
St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza)
The Cardinals are 10-4 and have a +23 run differential. The Brewers are 3-13 and have a -45 run differential. All logic dictates a Cardinals' victory, but I'm going against logic and taking the Brew Crew.
My pick: Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
Actual score: Cardinals 3, Brewers 0
I should have gone with logic. Damn my gut instincts!
(My record: 3-5)
San Francisco Giants (Chris Heston) @Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler)
Giants' rookie starter Chris Heston is off to a great start to the season, with a 0.87 ERA so far. A good way to blow up a sub-1.00 ERA is a start at Coors Field. Heston's counterpart on the Rockies is Eddie Butler, also a rookie off to a good start, with a 2.25 ERA. Neither pitcher is as good as his numbers would suggest so this game could feature some correction in that department.
My pick: Rockies 6, Giants 5
Actual score: Rockies 6, Giants 4
Chris Heston got a rude awakening in his first start at Coors Field. The Rockies knocked him around for six runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Eddie Butler wasn't great (6 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 K) but he got enough run support for the victory. Adam Ottavino picked up his fifth save.
(My record: 4-5)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @Arizona Diamondbacks (Josh Collmenter)
Early in the season, the Pirates and Diamondbacks have similar records and runs scored and allowed. Last year, there was a back-and-forth between these teams when the Pirates' Ernesto Frieri hit Paul Goldschmidt with a pitch that fractured his hand and ended his season. The next night, the Diamondbacks' Randall Delgado hit Andrew McCutchen. That was a long time ago and shouldn't affect this series, but if Goldy or Cutch are hit in this series, things could get testy once again.
My pick: Pirates 7, Diamondbacks 2
Actual score: Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 1
This just in! Gerrit Cole is really good.
(My record: 5-5)
Texas Rangers (Wandy Rodriguez) @Los Angeles Angels (Garrett Richards)
Wandy Rodriguez hasn't had a fully-healthy season since 2012 and is making his debut with the Rangers in this game. Garrett Richards has made one start this year after an injury delayed his 2015 debut. Richards is a good pitcher, while Wandy is end-of-rotation fodder.
My pick: Angels 9, Rangers 3
Actual score: Angels 3, Rockies 2
Wandy Rod pitched much better than anyone could have expected (5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K) and left this game with the Rangers ahead 2-1 but reliever Keone Kela gave up a two-run dinger to David Freese in the bottom of the 7th that turned a 2-1 Rangers' lead into a 3-2 Rangers' deficit. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his sixth save of the year. Garrett Richards held the Rangers to just two runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings.
(My record: 6-5)
Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel) @Oakland Athletics (Scott Kazmir)
The Astros and A's are first and second in the AL West and both have good left-handed pitchers squaring off in this game. The Astros have been right around league average against lefties so far this year, while the Athletics have been well below league average against southpaws. Despite this discrepancy, I like the A's in this one.
My pick: Athletics 6, Astros 1
Actual score: Astros 5, Athletics 4 [11 innings]
Scott Kazmir tossed seven scoreless innings for the A's but that wasn't the best pitching performance of the game because the Astros' Dallas Keuchel tossed nine scoreless innings. The game went to the 10th with the score tied 0-0. Dan Otero came in for the A's and got the first two outs but then gave up a double to George Springer and intentionally walked Jed Lowrie to get to Marwin Gonzalez, a career .249/.291/.359 hitter. Of course, Gonzalez then doubles in both runners to put the Astros up 2-0. Astros' closer Luke Gregerson came into the game in the bottom of the 10th looking for the save. He got Billy Butler to ground out then gave up a single to Sam Fuld and struck out Brett Lawrie. Stephen Vogt then pinch hit for Josh Phegley and reached on an infield single, which brought Josh Reddick to the dish with two down. Reddick ripped a double to center field that scored both runners and ended with Reddick getting thrown out at home with the score tied. It went to the 11th. Eric O'Flaherty came in for the A's and walked Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus, then got Hank Conger on a sacrifice bunt. Robbie Grossman singled to left to score both runners and advanced to second on an error by Mark Canha. Jose Altuve was intentionally walked, then Fernando Abad was brought in to face George Springer. Springer greeted Abad with an rbi-single to left center that gave the Astros a 5-2 lead. It wasn't over yet, though. Sidearmer Pat Neshek came in for the 'Stros and gave up a single and a homer to make it 5-4. Ike Davis followed with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. With no outs and a runner on second, the A's just needed to move him up and try to get him in to tie the game, but Ben Zobrist popped out and Billy Butler flied to right. The Astros brought in the lefty Tony Sipp to face the lefty Sam Fuld and the count ran to 3-and-2 before Fuld walked. That brought in Chad Qualls, the Astros third reliever of the inning, to face Brett Lawrie. Qualls quickly got two strikes on Lawrie, then threw a ball, then got Lawrie to fly out to center and the Astros got the victory.
(My record: 6-6)
Minnesota Twins (Phil Hughes) @Seattle Mariners (Felix Hernandez)
It's King Felix Day in Seattle! Get our your K-cards and head down to the King's Court at Safeco Field and join the celebration!
My pick: Mariners 6, Twins 2
Actual score: Mariners 2, Twins 0
Solo home runs from Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison were all the offense King Felix needed on King Felix Day at Safeco Field. The King treated his court to a complete game shutout that included nine strikeouts. All hail the King!
(My record: 7-6)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Zack Greinke) @San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner)
This is an early-season battle of the two teams tied for first in the AL West. The Dodgers were expected to be one of the best teams in baseball, while the Padres were more of an unknown commodity after all of the offseason moves they made. So far, so good for the Padres. They have a +22 run differential, good for third in the National League. They also lead the NL in runs scored, with an average of 5 runs per game.
My pick: Padres 4, Dodgers 3
Actual score: Dodgers 3, Padres 0
Zack Greinke and three reliever combined to shut out the Padres on six hits in this game. Yasmani Grandal was the hitting hero for the Dodgers, going 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Carl Crawford also had a good game, banging out 2 knocks, one of which was a dinger.
(My record: 7-7)
My Prediction Record
Week 1: 43-47, .478
Week 2: 62-31, .667
Day 1: 3-6
Day 2: 7-8
Day 3: 7-8
Day 4: 7-5
Day 5: 7-7
Overall: 136-112, .548