Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Harang) @New York Mets (Jacob deGrom)
The Phillies have surprisingly started the year 3-3 through their first six games but there's a good chance this is the last time this season they will be at .500 because they stink.
My pick: Mets 7, Phillies 2
Actual score: Mets 2, Phillies 0
Jacob deGrom did his best Matt Harvey impression on Matt Harvey Eve. Tomorrow is Matt Harvey Day and Matt Harvey will try to match the zeroes put on the board by Jacob deGrom. Against the Phillies, that's not too tall a task.
(My record: 1-0)
Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole)
The Tigers are off to their best start since 1985 and Miguel Cabrera has 11 hits in his last three games and is hitting .520 so far this season. Not bad, Miguel Cabrera, not bad at all.
My pick: Tigers 5, Pirates 4
Actual score: Pirates 5, Tigers 4
The Pittsburgh Pirates, behind a strong game from starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, handed the Tigers their first loss of the 2015 season. Cole pitched 6 innings, allowed 1 run, and struck out 8. The Pirates got home runs from Josh Harrison, Pedro Alvarez, and Corey Hart. The only reason this game ended up so close is because Pirates' closer Mark Melancon got knocked around for three runs in the 9th before holding on to the 5-4 lead.
(My record: 1-1)
Washington Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann) @Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello)
This will be the Red Sox' first home game this season and I expect they'll do well after getting spanked by the Yankees on Sunday and also because the Nationals are having trouble scoring runs without Denard Span, Jayson Werth, and Anthony Rendon in the lineup.
My pick: Red Sox 5, Nationals 3
Actual score: Red Sox 9, Nationals 4
Mookie! Mookie! Mookie! Mookie Betts led the Red Sox hitting attack with a 2 hit, 4 RBI day. He also stole 2 bases and scored 2 runs. This kid is good. The Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann had an awful day (2.3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER) but his defense didn't do him any favors. At one point, an easy fly ball fell between fell between Bryce Harper and Michael Taylor as they stood there looking at each other like idiots. That must have been frustrating for Jordan Zimmermann.
(My record: 2-1)
Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy) @Minnesota Twins (Trevor May)
The Royals have outscored their opponents by 25 runs in their first six games. The Twins have been outscored by their opponents by 20 runs in their first 6 games. Using advanced mathematical techniques, the Royals should beat the Twins by one gazillion runs.
My pick: Royals 1 gazillion, Twins 0
Actual score: Royals 12, Twins 3
Well, the Twins didn't quite lose by a gazillion, but they did lose. The Royals are now 7-0 and get to play the Twins again on Wednesday so there's a good chance they will be 8-0 in 48 hours.
(My record: 3-1)
Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza) @St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright)
I think Adam Wainwright's arm will fall off at some point this season but not yet, not in April. I'm thinking August.
My pick: Cardinals 7, Brewers 3
Actual score: Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
This is one of those games the Cardinals will look back on and think about all their missed opportunities. They left 12 men on base and lost by a single run. Adam Wainwright gave up five runs but only three were earned as second baseman Kolten Wong made two errors.
(My record: 3-2)
Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler) @San Francisco Giants (Chris Heston)
This game is the Giants' 2015 home opener, so they will likely have some sort of pregame celebration of their 2014 world championship. I wonder if they'll Skype with Pablo Sandoval in Boston so he can be part of the celebration.
My pick: Giants 5, Rockies 4
Actual score: Rockies 2, Giants 0
Giants' starting pitcher Chris Heston had his second good start in a row. He's filling in for the injured Matt Cain and he's looked good so far. Of course, the Giants' offense couldn't get any runs in against Eddie Butler and four Colorado relievers despite getting five hits and six walks. They had guys on base but couldn't bring them home.
(My record: 3-3)
New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @Baltimore Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen)
The Orioles cleaned up against the AL East last year, going 47-29 (.618) within the division. The Blue Jays were next-best, with a record of 39-37 (.513) against the rest of the division and every other team was below .500. It's early, but division games are important and the Yankees have started the year winning just two of their first six games, so they are looking to get something going in Baltimore this week.
My pick: Yankees 5, Orioles 2
Actual score: Yankees 6, Orioles 5
The Orioles led this game 4-2 through six innings. That's when the Orioles brought in Tommy Hunter and this happened: Chris Young singled to left. John Ryan Murphy walked. Didi Gregorius lined out to center. Garrett Jones flew out to left. Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an infield single. With two outs and the bases juiced, the Yankees pinch-hit Stephen Drew for Brett Gardner, who had been hit on the wrist by a pitch earlier in the game. Stephen Drew is not hitting well this year and hasn't hit well since 2013, but he got into one and sent a grand slam over the center field wall to put the Yankee ahead. Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller took it from there and the Yankees got the victory.
(My record: 4-3)
Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey)
In a strange twist, the Rays and Blue Jays played each other 16 times during spring training and will face each other seven times during the first month of the season. They should know each other's tendencies by now. Does that favor either team? If the Rays still had Joe Maddon as their manager, I would think it would give them an edge, but rookie manager Kevin Cash hasn't shown Maddon's ability to be creative with his managing moves, so I can't say either team has an edge just yet.
My pick: Blue Jays 6, Rays 3
Actual score: Rays 2, Blue Jays 1
Tampa Bay pitcher Jake Odorizzi did a good job of shutting down a powerful Toronto Blue Jays offense. Odorizzi allowed two hits and three walks while giving up just a single run. Rays' interim closer Brad Boxberger picked up his third save of the season.
(My record: 4-4)
Miami Marlins (Mat Latos) @Atlanta Braves (Shelby Miller)
I expect the Marlins to be better than the Braves this year but the Braves have looked good so far and are sitting at 5-1 through six games. The Marlins are 1-5. Shelby Miller is a good pitcher. Mat Latos WAS a good pitcher but doesn't look so good these days. I think the Braves will keep their hot start going.
My pick: Braves 7, Marlins 5
Actual score: Braves 3, Marlins 2
The Marlins Giancarlo Stanton is off to a slow start. He was 0 for 4 today and his batting average dropped to .130. Also off to a slow start is Marlins' pitcher Mat Latos, although Latos did get his ERA down to 17.36 for the season with his 4 innings and 2 earned runs allowed today. Meanwhile, the Braves are hot, hot, hot like the Buster Poindexter song from 1987.
(My record: 5-4)
Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @Texas Rangers (Ross Detwiler)
If I were Ross Detwiler pitching in Texas, I'd want at least four outfielders. I don't see this working out well for Mr. Detwiler.
My pick: Angels 8, Rangers 3
Actual score: Angels 6, Rangers 3
Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker was knocked around for three runs in the first inning but settled down and shut out the Rangers the rest of the way. He left after 6 1/3 innings and the Angels bullpen did the rest. The best baseball player in the universe--Mike Trout--had two hits, scored two runs, and stole his first base of the season.
(My record: 6-4)
Cincinnati Reds (Mike Leake) @Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester)
This could get ugly. The Reds have outfielder Billy Hamilton, who has already stolen 7 bases in 6 games this season, and the Cubs' Jon Lester never throws over to first to hold the runner on. If Hamilton can get on base, which is a big if still, he could run wild.
My pick: Cubs 6, Reds 4
Actual score: Cubs 7, Reds 6 [10 innings]
We didn't get to see the speedy Billy Hamilton run wild agains the "never throws to first" Jon Lester because Hamilton is dinged up and didn't play today. Lester wasn't very good anyway, allowing six runs in six innings (but only one steal). The hitting hero for the Cubs was right fielder Jorge Soler, who was 3 for 5 with 3 runs, 4 RBI, and 2 dingers.
(My record: 7-4)
Oakland Athletics (Scott Kazmir) @Houston Astros (Scott Feldman)
The A's had a wild series with the Mariners that featured comebacks and blown saves and big hits. They should have an easier time of it against the Astros.
My pick: Athletics 6, Astros 3
Actual score: Athletics 8, Astros 1
Brett Lawrie, Marcus Semien, and Billy Butler hit a homer apiece off of Houston starter Scott Feldman as the A's scored three in the first, one in the second, and four in the fifth to win easily. Houston did have a bright spot. Jose Altuve had three hits, including his first home run of the season.
(My record: 8-4)
Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @Los Angeles Dodgers (Brandon McCarthy)
The Mariners have played the Dodgers 25 times in their history and won 13 of them. I think the Dodgers will even things up here.
My pick: Dodgers 5, Mariners 3
Actual score: Dodgers 6, Mariners 5 [10 innings]
After winning their previous two games, both in extra innings, the Mariners lost this one in extra innings. They ran out of pitching and had to stick with rookie Tyler Olson rather than bring in a rested reliever because they didn't have a rested reliever to bring in. Tyler gave up the game winning hit to Alex Guerrero and the Dodgers had the victory that I predicted.
(My record: 9-4)
Arizona Diamondbacks (Rubby De La Rosa) @San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner)
Rubby De La Rosa gave up 6 runs in 5 1/3 innings in his first start of the season . . . and got a win. This is just another example of how ridiculous that statistic is. Just because baseball has assigned wins to pitchers in the same way for over 100 years doesn't make it right.
My pick: Padres 7, Diamondbacks 3
Actual score: Diamondbacks 8, Padres 4
The Diamondbacks exploded for four runs in the top of the second but the Padres inched their way back to make it a 4-3 game through six innings. The Diamondbacks added a run in the 7th, then 3 more in the 8th to put it away. Ender Inciare was 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 4 RBI. He was a home run away from the cycle.
(My record: 9-5)