Atlanta Braves (Shelby Miller) @Toronto Blue Jays (Daniel Norris)
The Blue Jays have scored more runs than any other team in baseball and Jose Bautista is hitting just .150/.320/.400. Imagine how man runs this team will score when Bautista gets going.
My pick: Blue Jays 7, Braves 4
Actual score: Braves 5, Blue Jays 2
Daniel Norris had a rough outing, giving up three runs in the first and two in the third before leaving. The rest of the Blue Jays' bullpen tossed zeroes but the damage was done. The big bat for the Braves was Jonny Gomes, who had four RBI.
(My record: 0-1)
Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana) @Detroit Tigers (Shane Greene)
The White Sox handed the Tigers their first home loss of the season in yesterday's game. I don't think the Tigers will be very happy about that today.
My pick: Tigers 6, White Sox 4
Actual score: Tigers 9, White Sox 1
Yoenis Cespedes destroyed Jose Quintana in this game. Cespedes hit a grand slam in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third on his way to a six-RBI game. Quintana was tagged for nine earned runs in four innings. The Tigers have the best record (10-2) and run differential (+33) in baseball.
(My record: 1-1)
Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @New York Mets (Matt Harvey)
The Mets have won seven straight and are undefeated at home and have the great Matt Harvey on the hill. What could be better?
My pick: Mets 7, Marlins 0
Actual score: Mets 7, Marlins 6
The Mets won their eighth straight game despite a mediocre start from Matt Harvey (6 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 7 K). Ruben Tejada had a rare good day with the bat, as he drove in three runs as part of a 7-run fourth inning for the Mets that knocked Marlins' starter Tom Koehler out of the game. The Mets are now 10-3 and four games up on the Washington Nationals. Not all the news out of Queens was good news, though, as the Mets had two players go down with injuries. Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins was hit by a line drive and suffered a broken forearm. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud was hit by a pitch that broke his hand.
(My record: 2-1)
New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Andriese)
The Rays have given up the most runs of any team in the American League. Considering that 60% of their starting rotation is on the Disabled List, this is not exactly a surprise. If they can hang close until the reinforcements show up, the Rays can make a wild card run. Unfortunately, Matt Andriese is not a reinforcement. He's more of a sieve.
My pick: Yankees 8, Rays 4
Actual score: Yankees 5, Rays 3
Going back in time, this was the first time since 2005 that the Yankees swept a series of three or more games from the Rays in Tampa. Alex Rodriguez doubled, walked twice, and scored twice, but did not hit a home run so he remains two behind Willie Mays on the all-time list.
(My record: 3-1)
Baltimore Orioles (Miguel Gonzalez) @Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello)
The Red Sox and Orioles are 1st and 2nd in the AL East so this is like two heavyweight boxers dancing around at the beginning of a fight sizing each other up. I like Rick Porcello to out-pitch Miguel Gonzalez in this one.
My pick: Red Sox 7, Orioles 2
Actual score: Orioles 8, Red Sox 3
With this victory over the Red Sox, the Orioles are tied with the Sox atop the AL East at 7-5. The Yankees are 6-6. The Blue Jays and Rays are 6-7. It's parity at it's finest. Adam Jones brought the lumber in this game. He was 4 for 5 with a run and 5 RBI, including his fifth home run of the season. Boston's Rick Porcello had a rough day, giving up 15 baserunners and eight earned runs in five innings.
(My record: 3-2)
Philadelphia Phillies (David Buchanan) @Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg)
The Phillies pulled off an upset victory on Saturday thanks to a well-pitched game from Aaron Harang. Can David Buchanan follow in his footsteps? Not likely. The Nationals are expecting Denard Span back from the DL. They still aren't at full speed because Anthony Rendon is still out, but at least they have the previously-injured two-thirds of their starting outfield back (Span and Jayson Werth). Even without Rendon, they should beat the Phillies.
My pick: Nationals 7, Phillies 2
Actual score: Nationals 4, Phillies 1
Stephen Strasburg was Strasburgian in limiting the Phillies to one run in 7 1/3 innings. Ian Desmond was 2 for 4 with 2 runs and an RBI. It was a not unexpected victory for the Nationals.
(My record: 4-2)
Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza) @Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole)
A bus ride from Pittsburgh to Milwaukee takes 13 hours and 13 minutes. That seems kind of unlucky. For Milwaukee!
My pick: Pirates 6, Brewers 4
Actual score: Pirates 5, Brewers 2
A 3-2 game was bumped up to 5-2 on a two-run single by Chris Stewart in Stewart's first start of the year as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the slumping Brewers. The loss drops the Brewers to 2-10 and they have the worst run differential in baseball, at -35. They've also lost five straight games.
(My record: 5-2)
Oakland Athletics (Scott Kazmir) @Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy)
This series has been rough on the Royals. They lost shortstop Alcides Escobar to an injury on Friday and had their closer go to the DL on Saturday. Also on Saturday, their top starting pitcher was ejected. As far as the games go, the series is tied 1-1, so the Royals can take the series with a victory today.
My pick: Athletics 7, Royals 4
Actual score: Royals 4, Athletics 2
This one got testy. On Friday, Oakland's Brett Lawrie slid hard into Royals' shortstop Alcides Escobar, knocking Escobar from the game with an injury. The teams exchanged hit batters and bad blood on Saturday and it carried over into today's game. Early in the game Oakland's Scott Kazmir hit Lorenzo Cain on the foot and warnings were issued to both benches. With the A's leading 2-1 in the top of the eight, Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera threw a ball inside to Brett Lawrie on the first pitch. His next pitch sailed behind Lawrie's head and Herrera was immediately ejected. In baseball, throwing behind the batter is a no-no. It could result in serious injury because a batter's natural reaction to an inside pitch is to move backward. I wouldn't be surprised to see Herrera get a fine for that pitch, at minimum, and I think it deserves a suspension. In the bottom of the inning, the A's put Ike Davis at first and moved Mark Canha to left field. This would come back to haunt them when Lorenzo Cain hit one deep to left that Canha couldn't handle. A better fielder would have made the catch. That double tied the score. A double later in the inning by Kendrys Morales brought in two more runs and gave the Royals a lead they would not relinquish. These teams face each other again in Oakland in late June.
(My record: 5-3)
Cleveland Indians (T.J. House) @Minnesota Twins (Trevor May)
The Indians and Twins are in the basement of the AL Central but the Indians run differential is -6 while the Twins is -25. That tells me the Indians are a much better team even if their record doesn't show it yet.
My pick: Indians 6, Twins 5
Actual score: Twins 7, Indians 2
In the world of fantasy baseball, Indians' starter T.J. House was a hot sleeper pitcher that many were looking to land in their drafts. After this sub-par outing, House has a 14.14 ERA. The Twins' Trevor May pitched much better than House in a well-deserved victory.
(My record; 5-4)
Los Angeles Angels (Garrett Richards) @Houston Astros (Scott Feldman)
Garrett Richards had a breakout season in 2014. Unfortunately, it ended early with a knee injury in August. This will be his first start of the 2015 season and I expect him to be good enough to win but unlikely to go more than six innings.
My pick: Angels 8, Astros 3
Actual score: Astros 4, Angels 3
Coming off the DL, Garrett Richards was not sharp. He pitched five innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks. He kept the Angels in the game, but Houston's Scott Feldman stifled the Halos' offense. Through the season's first two weeks, Houston is in first place in the AL West and is the only team with a .500 record (6-6).
(My record: 5-5)
San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner) @Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester)
Phenom Kris Bryant is hitting .286/.500/.286 through his first two games. That's a great on-base percentage, but he needs to show some power if he's going to stick at third base.
My pick: Padres 7, Cubs 5
Actual score: Padres 5, Cubs 2
Phenom Kris Bryant had his first extra base hit of his young career and is now hitting .300/.500/.400, for those scoring at home. Unfortunately, the Cubs lost the game in part because big money free agent pitcher Jon Lester had another mediocre outing. Lester has a 6.89 ERA so far this year. The Padres got six strong innings from Andrew Cashner and three scoreless innings from their bullpen to nail down the victory. The Padres are in second place in the NL West.
(My record: 6-5)
Arizona Diamondbacks (Jeremy Hellickson) @San Francisco Giants (Tim Hudson)
The Giants snapped their eight-game losing streak yesterday on a day that was filled with good feelings after they received their 2014 World Series rings. Today, Jeremy Hellickson will shut down their anemic attack and the Giants won't be feeling so happy.
My pick: Diamondbacks 6, Giants 3
Actual score: Diamondbacks 5, Giants 1
The Giants are struggling. Jeremy Hellickson is not a particularly good pitcher but he held the Giants to one run in 6 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, Tim Hudson was knocked around for five runs in five innings. The D-Backs' Paul Goldschmidt was 1 for 3 with two runs and two RBI. The loss drops the Giants to 4-10 for the season.
(My record: 7-5)
Texas Rangers (Ross Detwiler) @Seattle Mariners (James Paxton)
Two lefties square off in a park that's built to help left-handed pitchers. Of the two, James Paxton has talent while Ross Detwiler is just a guy who fills out a rotation. The Mariners should win this one and start to re-assert themselves in the mix for a wild card spot.
My pick: Mariners 6, Rangers 4
Actual score: Mariners 11, Rangers 10
Neither starting pitcher could make it through three innings in this one as the Rangers scored seven in the third and the Mariners scored five through the first three innings. The Rangers had a 10-5 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but the M's scored a run in the seventh, three in the eight, and two more to win it in the bottom of the ninth. The big bat for the M's was Nelson Cruz, who was 3 for 6 with 2 runs and 5 RBI. His RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth won the game. Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager each had three hits as the Mariners busted out 17 knocks in this ballgame. Texas' closer Neftali Feliz blew his first save since last August and allowed runs to the Mariners for the first time in his career.
(My record: 8-5)
Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler) @Los Angeles Dodgers (Brandon McCarthy)
Brandon McCarthy has had a very strange start to this season. He's started two games and pitched 12 innings with 19 strikeouts and just one walk. Those strikeout and walk numbers are superb. Unfortunately, he's also given up 6(!) home runs. Six! He's been homer-prone throughout his career but this is ridiculous.
My pick: Dodgers 6, Rockies 3
Actual score: Dodgers 7, Rockies 0
Dodgers' pitcher Brandon McCarthy solved his home run issues for one day at least by not giving up any. He only gave up three hits in six innings, while striking out six and walking two. On the offensive side for the Dodgers, Scott Van Slyke was 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI. Van Slyke, Howie Kendrick, and Joc Pederson all had home runs in this game. The Dodgers have now won seven straight games and are in first place in the NL West with a 9-3 record.
(My record: 9-5)
Cincinnati Reds (Mike Leake) @St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright)
The Cardinals are hot, hot, hot. They've won four straight games and are sitting atop the NL Central with a 7-3 record. Adam Wainwright still has about 100 innings left on that elbow, by my estimation, so the Cards should get a fifth straight victory here.
My pick: Cardinals 5, Reds 3
Actual score: Cardinals 2, Reds 1
This was a classic pitcher's duel that took just a little over two hours to play. Both Mike Leake and Adam Wainwright were on their games. The Reds had more opportunities to score but left nine men on base to the Cardinals one. The score was tied going into the bottom of the eight. Jon Jay led off with a double to center. Yadier Molina grounded out and moved Jay over to third. Kolten Wong hit a sacrifice fly to left. And that was the winning run. The Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central, at 7-3.
(My record: 10-5)
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
Day 6: 11-4
Day 7: 10-5
Week 2; 62-31, .667
Overall: 105-78, .574