Boston Red Sox (Joe Kelly) @New York Yankees (Adam Warren)
The Red Sox have played the Yankees 2,119 times. The only team they've played more often is the Baltimore Orioles (2,157). In their 2,119 games against the Yankees, the Red Sox have a record of 955-1150 (apparently, they've had 14 ties). Considering the Red Sox play the Yankees 19 times per year, it would take more than 10 years of the Red Sox sweeping the Yankees to even their record.
My pick: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4
Actual score: Red Sox 8, Yankees 4
My theory in picking the Yankees was that they were at home and could get a little more rest after last night (and this morning's) 19-inning affair between these two teams. I probably should have just gone with the better team, which is the Red Sox. The big hero for the Red Sox was Brock Holt, who was 4 for 5 with a run and 3 RBI. Holt was the only position player who didn't get into the 19-inning game. He just sat there on the bench the entire time, looking forlorn and forgotten.
(My record: 0-1)
St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @Cincinnati Reds (Johnny Cueto)
The Cincinnati Reds were picked by some experts (me included) to finish in last place in the NL Central, yet here they are at 4-0 and on top of the division by 2 1/2 games. It's early, though. The big bright spot for the Reds is the hitting of Joey Votto, who missed much of last season with injuries. Votto has been en fuego so far, with a batting line of .412/.444/.941 in the early going.
My pick: Reds 6, Cardinals 3
Actual score: Cardinals 4, Reds 1
Both starting pitchers pitched quite well in this one. Michael Wacha allowed 1 run and Johnny Cueto allowed 2 (1 earned, for those scoring at home). The Reds mounted a rally in the bottom of the 8th but Cardinals' closer Trevor Rosenthal came in and picked up a five-out save, which is a rare thing in this age of closer specialization. Most closers don't come into a game until the 9th and most don't go more than one inning. They are such prima donnas, these guys.
(My record: 0-2)
Minnesota Twins (Mike Pelfrey) @Chicago White Sox (Jeff Samardzija)
I think it's about time that the White Sox get that ever elusive first victory. If Jeff Samardzija can't do it today, Chris Sale will get 'er done tomorrow.
My pick: White Sox 5, Twins 3
Actual score: White Sox 5, Twins 4
I was nearly spot-on with this prediction. Yay me!
(My record: 1-2)
Detroit Tigers (David Price) @Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber)
This is the pitching matchup of the day. Corey Kluber was the AL Cy Young winner last year and David Price has been a top pitcher in the AL for a number of years. It should be a low-scoring game.
My pick: Tigers 4, Indians 2
Actual score: Tigers 9, Indians 6
Don't blame the starting pitchers for that final score. David Price gave up 3 runs in 5 2/3 innings, but none of them were earned. Corey Kluber gave up 2 runs in 6 1/3 innings, while striking out 10. They both were solid. The bullpens weren't so solid, particularly Cleveland's Cody Allen, who gave up six baserunners and four runs while getting just two outs. Detroit's Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera each had 4 hits.
(My record; 2-2)
Seattle Mariners (J.A. Happ) @Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray)
Sonny Gray has started five games against the Mariners in his career and is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. J.A. Happ is, well, he's J.A. Happ. Advantage: Athletics.
My pick: Athletics 7, Mariners 3
Actual score: Mariners 5, Athletics 4 in 11 innings
The Mariners had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th inning, but the A's rallied for 2 runs to take the lead. The M's came back with a three-run jack by Nelson Cruz in the top of the 8th, only to give two back in the bottom of the inning. The A's had a great chance to win the game in the bottom of the 10th. With one out and Ben Zobrist on first, Ike Davis hit a double off the left-center field wall. Outfielder Austin Jackson grabbed the ball with his bare hand and threw to shortstop Brad Miller, who relayed it to catcher Mike Zunino to nail Zobrist at the dish with what would have been the winning run. It was a foolish decision by A's third base coach Mike Gallego to send Zobrist on that hit, especially with only one out in the inning. You keep Zobrist on third base and try to get him in with the next batter, stupid Mike Gallego. In the top of the 11th, Brad Miller added to his hero-of-the-day status by singling in Logan Morrison with the go-ahead run. Fernando Rodney came on in the bottom of the inning and got the save.
(My record: 2-3)
Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer) @Miami Marlins (Jarred Cosart)
Yesterday's loss dropped the Rays two games behind the Marlins in the Citrus Series. They play each other six times this year, so this epic battle between two storied franchises is just getting started.
My pick: Marlins 5, Rays 4
Actual score; Rays 2, Marlins 0
Tampa Bay starting pitcher Chris Archer was on point today, tossing 7 scoreless innings and allowing just a single hit and a single base on balls. He struck out five Marlins. Kevin Jepsen and Brad Boxberger each pitched a scoreless inning and the Rays pulled to within one game of the Marlins all time in the Citrus Series. Tomorrow's game will be epic.
(My record: 2-4)
Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez)
Ubaldo Jimenez had his best three years from 2008 to 2010. From 2008 to 2010, Aaron Sanchez was still in high school. In his senior year, he was 7-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings. He also hit .403 with 5 home runs. So, those were probably pretty good years for Aaron Sanchez also.
My pick: Blue Jays 9, Orioles 4
Actual score: Orioles 7, Blue Jays 1
The normally hittable Ubaldo Jimenez was bringing the noise and the funk in this game. He didn't allow a run and struck out 8. He doesn't do this very often these days, especially against good-hitting teams like the Toronto Blue Jays. The O's offense also did well, knocking three dingers, including a grand salami time by Jonathan Schoop.
(My record: 2-5)
Washington Nationals (Doug Fister) @Philadelphia Phillies (Cole Hamels)
The Nationals are expected to be one of the best teams in baseball this year but are currently dealing with multiple injuries to their position players and have a number of fill-ins in their starting lineup. The Phillies are expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball but have their best pitcher on the bump in this game. Everything points to a Phillies' victory.
My pick: Phillies 5, Nationals 3
Actual score: Phillies 3, Mets 2 in 10 innings
The big news in this name is that Ryan Howard had two hits. He's now hitting .188. A few more two hit games and he'll be hitting his weight.
(My record: 3-5)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Vance Worley) @Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson)
Pittsburgh's staring pitcher, Vance Worley, is known as Vanimal on Twitter. Jimmy Nelson's Twitter handle is @Jimmy_J_Nelson. Advantage: Pirates.
My pick: Pirates 6, Brewers 4
Actual score: Brewers 6, Pirates 0
Jimmy Nelson, the white Will Smith, and Jonathon Broxton combined on a two-hit shutout of the Pirates, striking out 11 in the process. The Pirates didn't have Andrew McCutchen in the lineup because he's nursing a sore knee. For the Pirates, going into a game without Cutch in the lineup is like having a "Pirates of the Carribbean" movie without Johnny Depp. Why bother?
(My record: 3-6)
New York Mets (Dillon Gee) @Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran)
The Braves have only allowed six runs in their first four games and have their best starting pitcher on the mound in this game. I like their chances.
My pick: Braves 5, Mets 2
Actual score: Braves 5, Mets 3
With this victory, the Braves are the last remaining undefeated National League team. It's way too early in the season for this to be even remotely meaningful, but it probably still feels good to Braves' fans who saw a few of the team's top players traded away in the off-season.
(My record: 4-6)
Houston Astros (Roberto Hernandez) @Texas Rangers (Yovani Gallardo)
The annual series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers used to be called the Silver Boot Series. This was when the Astros were in the National League and their regular season series consisted of interleague play. The winner of the series would win a 30-inch tall, size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver and complete with a custom, handmade spur. Once the Astros joined the American League West, the series was renamed the Lone Star Series. In the first year that the Astros played in the NL West, 2013, the Rangers beat them 17 out of 19 games. Last year, the Astros won 11 of 19. Neither team is expected to be all that great this year, so they could be fairly evenly matched this season.
My pick: Rangers 8, Astros 4
Actual score: Rangers 6, Astros 2
Rangers' starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo had a nice game in front of his friends and family. Before coming to the Rangers in an offseason trade, Gallardo had pitched his entire career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He grew up just a few miles from the Rangers ballpark, so pitching well in front of people he knew was a nice moment for him.
(My record: 5-6)
Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @Colorado Rockies (Kyle Kendrick)
Jason Hammel pitched for the Colorado Rockies from 2009 to 2011. In his career, he's started 45 games at Coors Field and has a record of 13-14 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Kyle Kendrick never pitched for the Rockies until this year but did start six games as a visiting pitcher and is 1-1 with a 5.26 ERA at Coors Field. This should be a high scoring game.
My pick: Rockies 9, Cubs 7
Actual score: Cubs 9, Rockies 5
What a difference a few days makes. Kyle Kendrick pitched 7 scoreless innings in his first start of the year on Monday, then got blasted for 8 runs in 5 innings today. The first start was in Milwaukeea and this one was in Colorado, but it wasn't just the ballparks that played a factor. Kendrick walked 5 guys in this game and that's never a good idea in a hitter's park like Coors Field, especially when you also give up three home runs.
(My record: 5-7)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley)
Yeah, it's never a good idea to pick against Clayton Kershaw.
My pick: Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 1
Actual score: Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 0
For only the third time in 211 career starts Clayton Kershaw gave up 10 hits in a game. He also walked three batters. The 13 baserunners he allowed equals a career high. The only other time he allowed 13 baserunners in a game was on July 22, 2008, in Colorado during his rookie year.
(My record: 5-8)
San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @San Diego Chargers (James Shields)
I also don't think it's a good idea to pick against Madison Bumgarner, although James Shields is pretty good too.
My pick: Giants 4, Padres 3
Actual score: Padres 10, Giants 2
The Padres busted out the whoopin' sticks today. Matt Kemp had 4 hits. Yangervis Solarte and Will Middlebrooks both had 3 hits. Wil Myers, Justin Upton, and Derek Norris had 2 hits apiece. All together, the Padres banged out 20 hits, 10 against Giants' starter Madison Bumgarner.
(My record: 5-9)
Kansas City Royals (Jeremy Guthrie) @Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver)
When Jered Weaver was 24 years old in 2007, his average fastball velocity was 90 mph and he could max out close to 97. He's lost more than a few ticks off that fastball over the last eight years, with his average fastball velocity dropping all the way down to 86.8 mph last year and a maximum velocity of 91.3. He still won 18 games with a 3.59 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, despite his declining fastball. You have to wonder, though, how many more ticks off his fastball Jered Weaver can afford to lose.
My pick: Angels 6, Royals 4
Actual score: Royals 6, Angels 4
Jered Weaver is not off to a good start to the 2015 season. He's given up 10 earned runs in his first 10 1/3 innings and he's pitched against the Mariners and Royals, two teams not known for their hitting prowess. The Royals' victory moves them to 5-0 for the season. They're one of three remaining unbeaten teams.
(My record 5-10)
Day 1: 7-7
Day 2: 1-6
Day 3: 9-6
Day 4: 5-4
Day 5: 6-9
Day 6: 5-10
Total: 33-42, .440