Seven of the last ten games the Cubs have played have been decided by one run, including the last two games they've played against the Pirates. The Cubs have won two of the first three games of this four game series, so the Pirates are looking to tie it up with a victory here. They meet again next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
My pick: Pirates 6, Cubs 4
Miami Marlins (David Phelps) @Philadelphia Phillies (Dustin McGowan)
Like Jeff Francoeur, Jerome Williams, and Ryan Howard, the Phillies have a collection of players in their 30s who were pretty good towards the end of the last decade. That doesn't help them these days, though. Dustin McGowan is such a player. He started 27 games for the Blue Jays in 2007 and 19 games for them in 2008 but has seemingly been injured every year since. In five games in relief, McGowan has pitched seven innings and walked seven batters. This won't be pretty.
My pick: Marlins 8, Phillies 4
New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka) @Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez)
Masahiro Tanaka is coming off his best start of the year and looking to keep it going against the Tigers strong offense. Anibal Sanchez, on the other hand, was bombed his last time out, giving up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings. The Yankees scored 13 in a games started by David Price yesterday, so they could do further damage against Anibal if he's not on his game.
My pick: Yankees 7, Tigers 2
Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @New York Mets (Bartolo Colon)
Met's pitcher Bartolo Colon was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1993, which was just two years after Braves' starter Julio Teheran was born.
My pick: Mets 5, Braves 3
Cincinnati Reds (Homer Bailey) @Milwaukee Brewers (Kyle Lohse)
The Brewers are 2-13, have lost eight straight games, and have allowed 89 runs (5.9 runs/game). If they don't beat the Reds in this game, they'll go into a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals riding a nine-game losing streak. Just out of pity, I have to pick them to win a game.
My pick: Brewers 6, Reds 5
San Diego Padres (Tyson Ross) @Colorado Rockies (Jordan Lyles)
It should be close to 70° for a afternoon game in Colorado today. I'll put the over/under on runs scored at 15 for this contest.
My pick: Padres 9, Rockies 5
Los Angeles Dodgers (Zack Greinke) @San Francisco Giants (Ryan Vogelsong)
Ryan Vogelsong has allowed nine walks in his first 10 1/3 innings this season. At 37 years old, he might have lost it. The problem for the Giants is the lack of alternatives to put in the rotation so they have to roll with Vogelsong for now.
My pick: Dodgers 7, Giants 2
St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer)
Through their first 13 games, the Cardinals have allowed just 31 runs, an average of just 2.4 runs per game. Michael Wacha has been part of that success, with a 1.35 ERA so far this year. For his part, Max Scherzer has a 0.83 ERA in his first three starts. Mathematically speaking, and ignoring the minuscule sample sizes were talking about, the final score of this game should be something like 1.9 to 0.8.
My pick: Nationals 2, Cardinals 1
Oakland Athletics (Jesse Chavez) @Los Angeles Angels (C.J. Wilson)
In their eight victories, the A's have outscored their opponents 62 to 6, which includes five shutouts. In their eight losses, the A's have been outscored 56 to 21. It's amazingly schizophrenic.
My pick: Athletics 8, Angels 2
Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) @Toronto Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison)
The Blue Jays are busting out the brooms and looking for a sweep of the O's in this game before they take on Boston in a three-game set over the weekend. I expect Drew Hutchison to be on his game.
My pick: Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3
Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi)
There's just something really annoying about Clay Buchholz. I really don't like watching him pitch for some reason.
My pick: Rays 6, Red Sox 5
Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale)
The Royals have the best run differential in all of baseball at +32. The White Sox' run differential is -11. The White Sox have Chris Sale on the mound. The White Sox will win.
My pick: White Sox 6, Royals 1