Baltimore Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen) @Boston Red Sox (Justin Masterson)
This game is the annual Patriot's Day game that starts at 11:05 AM Eastern Time and is played while the Boston Marathon is being run. Of course, it was just two years ago that there was a bombing at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured an estimated 264 others. The city came together in solidarity after the bombing and emotions will be high once again. This baseball game will be one of the least important things going on in Boston today.
My pick: Red Sox 7, Orioles 5
Actual score: Red Sox 7, Orioles 1 [7 innings because of rain]
On a wet, dreary day in Boston, the Orioles and Sox played through a steady rain in a game that was ultimately called after seven innings. The Orioles were sloppy, particularly in the fourth inning, when the Red Sox scored four of their seven runs. The Orioles made three errors in the game and allowed five unearned runs. The loss drops the O's a game back of the Red Sox.
(My record: 1-0)
New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @Detroit Tigers (Alfredo Simon)
The Tigers are scorching hot right now. The only pitcher who could shut them down recently was lefty Chris Sale. CC Sabathia is also left-handed, so could he have the same success that Sale had against this lineup? I don't think so.
My pick: Tigers 8, Yankees 6
Actual score: Tigers 2, Yankees 1
Both starters did quite well in this one. The Yankees' CC Sabathia had faced the minimum number of hitters through the first six innings but after intentionally walking Victor Martinez to put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh, Sabathia gave up a sharp single to left off the bat of J.D. Martinez that scored a run. Yoenis Cespedes followed with another single that scored Victor Martinez. Alfredo Simon got the win and is now 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA. Joakim Sorio picked up his fifth save.
(My record: 2-0)
Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @Pittsburgh Pirates (A.J. Burnett)
A.J. Burnett is money in PNC Park, with a career 2.72 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in the park near the confluence of the Ohio, the Monongahela, and the Allegheny. Remember the names of those rivers in case it ever comes up on Jeopardy!
My pick: Pirates 6, Cubs 3
Actual score: Cubs 5, Pirates 2
The Pirates had their best chance to put up a big inning in the bottom of the first but settled for just a single run and couldn't get much else going the rest of the game. Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett navigated his way through six innings and allowed just one run but gave up ten baserunners and had just one strikeout. He was not on his game but he kept the game close. Unfortunately for Pirates' fans, Arquimedes Caminero gave up three runs in the top of the seventh. The big blow was a 2-run double off the bat of phenom Kris Bryant, who was 3 for 4 with a run and three RBI. Bryant is now hitting .429/.579/.571. The Cubs' Jorge Soler also had a big game, going 4 for 5 with two runs scored.
(My record: 2-1)
Cincinnati Reds (Anthony DeSlafani) @Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta)
The Brewers are 2-10 and desperate for a win, as they have lost five straight games. Wily Peralta has a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 12 innings this year, with just three strikeouts. Can he stop the bleeding? I have a hunch he can.
My pick: Brewers 5, Reds 3
Actual score: Reds 6, Brewers 1
Not only did the Brewers lose their sixth straight game to fall to 2-11 on the year, they also lost catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the DL with a fractured toe. Lucroy was off to a brutal start, hitting just .156/.235/.200 in the early going, but he was one of the team's best hitters last year and his bat will be missed. In this game, Reds' starter Anthony DeSclafani tossed eight scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out five. Zack Cozart and Joey Votto hit homers for the Reds.
(My record: 2-2)
Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer) @Chicago White Sox (John Danks)
I don't know if I'll ever pick John Danks to win a game this year. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's sent to the bullpen and replaced by Carlos Rodon sometime in the next few weeks. It could be Danks or it could be Hector Noesi, but Rodon will be in that starting rotation before June 1st.
My pick: Indians 8, White Sox 6
Actual score: White Sox 4, Indians 3
Let it be known that John Danks was losing this game after his six mediocre innings and it was only a colossal implosion by Indians' closer Cody Allen that provided the White Sox a gift-wrapped victory. The ninth inning was a horror story for the Indians. Closer Cody Allen started the inning with a strikeout of Adam LaRoche. Then this happened: Avisail Garcia doubled. Conor Gillaspie walked. Wild pitch by Allen. Alexei Ramirez doubled in two. Tyler Flowers singled to left, Ramirez to third. Gordon Beckham singled to left, Ramirez scores, Flowers to second. Adam Eaton singled to left to load the bases. Melky Cabrera singles to center and Flowers comes in for the winning run. It was Allen's first blown save of the year and, boy, was it a doozy!
(My record: 2-3)
Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson) @Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez)
The Royals are fired up after their late-inning comeback victory against the hated Oakland A's on Sunday. The Twins have been outscored by 20 runs in their first 12 games. Neither Kyle Gibson nor Edinson Volquez are top starters, but Volquez has been better more recently, so the Royals get the nod.
My pick: Royals 7, Twins 4
Actual score: Royals 7, Twins 1
Edinson Volquez continues to spin his magic. He went seven innings and allowed just one run. He's now 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA. This game was tight until the bottom of the sixth. In that inning, the heart of the Royals order--Hosmer, Moustakas, Morales, and Perez--combined to produce three runs to break the game open. The Royals added three more runs in the eight to just rub the Twins' noses in it a little bit.
(My record: 3-3)
San Diego Padres (Odrisamer Despaigne) @Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa)
The Rockies were swept by the Dodgers but return home to face soft-tossing Odrisamer Despaigne. I expect the Rockies to bust out the lumber in this one and get back to their early-season winning ways.
My pick: Rockies 9, Padres 5
Actual score: Padres 14, Rockies 3
Wow, I totally underestimated Odrisamer Despaigne. The was masterful, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing just two runs. Meanwhile, Jorge De La Rosa was bombed by the Padres for seven runs in two innings. The Padres had 17 hits in this one, including eight between the top three guys in their lineup--Wil Myers, Derek Norris, and Matt Kemp. All three scored three runs each and Kemp had four RBI.
(My record: 3-4)
Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker)
Matt Shoemaker has pitched very well at home in his career (1.98 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.9 K/9). Kendall Graveman has had one good start and one terrible start so far. Also, Kendall Graveman has to pitch against Mike Trout. That's not good news for Kendall Graveman.
My pick: Angels 6, Athletics 2
Actual score: Athletics 6, Angels 3
Neither starting pitcher in this game lasted long. The A's Kendall Graveman went 3 innings and gave up three runs and seven baserunners. Angels' starter Matt Shoemaker was even worse, going three innings and allowing five runs and ten baserunners. After Graveman's poor start, the A's turned to Dan Otero and he settled things down with four scoreless innings. Evan Scribner and Tyler Clippard each pitched a scoreless inning in relief and the A's got the victory. Sam Fuld was good at the top of the lineup for the A's, getting on base twice and scoring twice. Stephen Vogt had a big three-run homer in the third inning for the A's.
(My record: 3-5)
Houston Astros (Asher Wojciechowski) @Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma)
The surprising Houston Astros are in first place in the AL West with a 6-6 record. The Mariners are coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Texas Rangers. Asher Wojciechowski's real first name is Randall, but he goes by his middle name, Asher. That's an interesting decision. Asher has had an interesting life. He was born in Hardeeville, South Carolina. The first thing you might wonder is whether the restaurant chain Hardee's originated in Hardeeville. Well, it did not. The first Hardee's opened in Greenville, North Carolina. Hardeeville, birthplace of Asher Wojciechowski, doesn't even have a Hardee's. When Asher was young, he lived in Pensacola, Florida; Sturgis, Michigan; and the Dominican Republic. When he was nine, the family moved to Romania and Asher wen't along because, well, because he was nine. In Romania, he played soccer and joined the Bucharest Little League, where he played in the Little League World Series of Poland. Three years in Romania was enough for the Wojciechowski's, so they moved back to Sturgis, Michigan, but Asher was such a good baseball player that the family moved to South Carolina for his senior year so that he could attract more attention from professional scouts. South Carolina is generally acknowledged to have more baseball talent than Michigan. After high school, he pitched for The Citadel and was named the Southern Conference's pitcher of the year in 2010. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays after that season. In 2012, the Blue Jays traded him to the Houston Astros. He made his Major League debut on April 9th and gave up four runs in four innings. He then pitched a game in relief on the 13th and cruised through four scoreless innings. Like every other guy in the history of forever with the last name Wojciechowski, he goes by "Wojo."
My pick: Mariners 6, Astros 4
Day 1: 3-6
Overall: 108-84, .563