Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke)
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
Actual score: Pirates 5, Cubs 4
The Cubs had a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the 6th, but the Pirates rallied for three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to take the lead. Arquimedes Caminero pitched a clean eighth and Mark Melancon closed it out in the ninth for the Pittsburgh victory.
(My record: 1-0)
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
Actual score: Marlines 9, Phillies 1
As expected, Dustin McGowan did not pitch well. He gave up four runs in 3 1/3 innings. He also walked four more batters, giving him 11 walks in 10 1/3 innings this season. Adeiny Hechavarria had a big day for the Marlins, going 4 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI. Martin Prado also did well, picking up three knocks and four ribbies. David Phelps pitched seven scoreless innings for his first win of the year.
(My record: 2-0)
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
Actual score: Yankees 2, Tigers 1
Anibal Sanchez was on his game today. He went 6 1/3 innings and gave up just a single run on one hit and four walks, with eight strikeouts. Masahiro Tanaka was just as good, giving up one run in 6 1/3 innings on three hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. The game went to the eighth inning tied at one, but Tigers' reliever Tom Gorzelanny gave up a leadoff double to Jacoby Ellsbury and Ellsbury eventually scored on a Brian McCann rbi-groundout. Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller pitched the final 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner and the Yankees left Detroit happy.
(My record: 3-0)
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
Actual score: Mets 6, Braves 3
The much older (and heavier) Bartolo Colon had a better day than the younger (and more svelte) Julio Teheran in this one. The Mets came out strong with three runs in the bottom of the first, but the Braves came back with one in the second and two in the fourth to tie it. The Mets got on board again in the fifth and knocked Teheran out of the game, but the Braves' bullpen wasn't much better as they gave up two in the seventh on RBIs by Mike Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy. After throwing 91 pitches through six innings, Colon turned the game over to the Mets' bullpen and Buddy Carlyle, Alex Torres, and Jeurys Familia got through the final three innings without a scratch to give the Mets their eleventh consecutive victory. They are now 4 1/2 games ahead of the 2nd place Braves.
(My record: 4-0)
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
Actual score: Brewers 4, Reds 2
The Brewers ended their eight game losing streak with seven strong innings from Kyle Lohse and a helping hand from Reds' manager Bryan Price. For some reason, Price insists on letting Kevin Gregg pitch in close games. Gregg came into this game in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and runners on first-and-second and got Aramis Ramirez to pop out. Price should have quit while he was ahead but chose to tempt fate by sending Gregg back out there for the bottom of the seventh. He walked the leadoff man, who was then sacrificed down to second base. The next batter struck out and it looked like Kevin Gregg might get through the inning, but Jean Segura singled to center to drive in the go-ahead run for the Brewers. Jonathon Broxton and Francisco Rodriguez pitched the eighth and ninth innings to finish off the victory.
(My record: 5-0)
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
Actual score: Rockies 2, Padres 1
Wow, I was way off on my prediction for the over/under on this game. This was a rare pitcher's duel in Coors Field. The Rockies' Jordan Lyles allowed just a single run in his 6 2/3 innings and three relievers kept the Padres off the board for the other 2 1/3 innings. On offense, Corey Dickerson was 2 for 3 with 2 runs and an RBI. His 5th inning home run provided the margin of victory for the Rockies.
(My record: 5-1)
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
Actual score: Giants 2, Dodgers 1 [10 innings]
It would appear that I was much too harsh on Mr. Ryan Vogelsong. He was quite good in this game (6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K) and will remain in the rotation for the time being. The Dodgers had solo homers from Alex Guerrero and Arian Gonzalez and took a 2-1 lead into the late innings. Dodgers' starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger got the game into the sixth but needed help from Chris Hatcher to get out of the inning. Yumi Garcia then breezed through the seventh for the Dodgers. Still leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, the Dodgers brought in J.P. Howell. Howell got Nori Aoki to ground out but gave up a single to Joe Panik. He then got Angel Pagan to ground into a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning. With two down and a runner on first, Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly went with Joel Peralta, who has been closing games for the team. Peralta did not have it tonight, though. He walked Buster Posey and Brandon Belt and was lucky to escape the inning on a line out to second by Justin Maxwell. Peralta threw 13 pitches in the inning but just three for strikes. Mattingly then went with Pedro Baez in the bottom of the ninth. Baez immediately gave up a single and a triple and the score was tied with the potential winning run just 90 feet away from paydirt. Baez sucked it up and got Gregor Blanco to strike out, Nori Aoki to pop out, and Joe Panik to fly out. After failing to score in the top of the 10th, the Dodgers turned to Juan Nicasio for the bottom of the inning. Nicasio gave up a leadoff single to Angel Pagan. After a Buster Posey fly out, Pagan stole second and Brandon Belt was intentionally walked. Justin Maxwell then singled to left to drive in the winning run for the Giants.
(My record: 5-2)
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
Actual score: Cardinals 4, Nationals 1
Michael Wacha out-pitched Max Scherzer by a run in this game. Wacha gave up just one run in 7 innings while Scherzer gave up two. The hitting heroes for the Cardinals were Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward. Both went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
(My record: 5-3)
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
Actual score: Angels 2, Athletics 0
The Angels could only muster a single hit in this game but did have three walks and were able to turn it into two runs because the lone hit was a two-run homer by Kole Calhoun in the 3rd inning. The A's had eight hits and two walks but couldn't push any runs across the plate. Huston Street pitched the 9th for his fifth save of the year.
(My record: 5-4)
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 good enough for the Blue Jays offense to help the team get that sweep.
My pick: Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3
Actual Blue Jays 7, Orioles 6
Orioles' starter Chris Tillman got knocked around for seven runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Blue Jays jumped out to a 7-0 lead. The Orioles scratched out a run in the 6th and another in the 7th, then mounted a furious comeback with four runs in the 9th, only to fall short when all was said and done. Manny Machado was the big stick for the O's, going 2 for 4 with 2 runs and 4 RBI. Both of his hits were dingers.
(My record: 6-4)
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 so, out of spite, I will pick the Rays.
My pick: Rays 6, Red Sox 5
Actual score: Rays 2, Red Sox 1
The annoying Clay Buchholz struck out 10 in six innings and allowed just one run. His counterpart, Jake Odorizzi, also allowed just one run but was not as dominant in the strikeout department. The game was tied at one going into the bottom of the 9th. The Red Sox went with Anthony Valvaro to try to move the game to extra innings, but Varvaro gave up a three hits in the inning, including the game winner by Rene Rivera that drove in Gordon Beckham.
(My record: 7-4)
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
Actual score: Royals 3, White Sox 2 [13 innings]
Both starting pitchers in this game pitched seven innings and gave up two runs. They also both hit a batter and were both ejected after fisticuffs erupted after the 7th inning. The 7th inning ended on a ground out by Adam Eaton to Royals' pitcher Yordano Ventura. The two exchanged words after the play and players from both dugouts and bullpens ran on the field. There were players shoved and punches thrown in a fight that lasted a few minutes. Ventura was ejected for the second straight start. Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez were also ejected for the Royals and Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija were ejected on the White Sox side. This is becoming a common occurrence during Royals' games. In a recent three-game series with the Oakland A's, the teams repeatedly cleared their benches because of back-and-forth hits batsmen. After the ejections in this game, the teams returned to playing baseball but neither team could score for the next five innings. The Royals finally got on the board in the top of the 13th on an rbi-double from Eric Hosmer that scored Jarrod Dyson from first. Wade Davis finished the game off in the bottom of the inning to pick up his fourth save of the year.
(My record: 7-5)
My Prediction Record
Week 1: 43-47, .478
Week 2: 62-31, .667
Day 1: 3-6
Day 2: 7-8
Day 3: 7-8
Day 4: 7-5
Overall: 129-105, .551