The Indians (5-8), White Sox (5-8), and Twins (5-9) are quickly falling behind the Tigers (11-3) and Royals (11-3) in the AL Central. These two teams have split the first two games of this series and will head off to play the division leaders after this game. The Indians head to Detroit while the White Sox host the Royals. Both teams would really like to get a series-deciding win here. I expect Corey Kluber and the Indians to get the job done.
My pick: Indians 6, White Sox 2
St. Louis Cardinals (John Lackey) @Washington Nationals (Doug Fister)
The Cardinals have the Chicago Cubs zooming up in their rear view mirror, while the Nationals are trying to keep pace with the red-hot New York Mets. The first game of this series was a tightly-fought 2-1 victory in extra innings for the Nationals so the Cards will be trying to even things up here. Considering they face Max Scherzer on Thursday, it would be a good idea for them to get the victory in this one to avoid being swept.
My pick: Cardinals 5, Nationals 4
Miami Marlins (Jarrod Cosart) @Philadelphia Phillies (Cole Hamels)
I never thought I'd pick the Phillies to win two games in a row but with Cole Hamels on the bump and the Marlins playing like doggy doo, I'm picking the Phillies to win two games in a row.
My pick: Phillies 5, Marlins 3
Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @Pittsburgh Pirates (Vance Worley)
The Cubs have infused their team with two very good rookies--Kris Bryant and Addison Russell--and it looks like their future is now. Pittsburgh needs to figure out what is wrong with Mark Melancon. He's only been scored upon in two of his seven outings but his velocity is down from last year and the two times he was scored on, he looked particularly bad as he gave up three runs both times. In 72 appearances last year, Melancon never gave up three runs and only twice gave up two runs in an outing.
My pick: Cubs 7, Pirates 5
Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez)
The Blue Jays are averaging 5.9 runs per game and are facing Ubaldo Jimenez. This is just too easy.
My pick: Blue Jays 8, Orioles 6
New York Yankees (Adam Warren) @Detroit Tigers (David Price)
Adam Warren will do his best to stifle the Detroit offense but the Yankees are unlikely to have much success against David Price, so I expect the Tigers to continue their winning ways.
My pick: Tigers 7, Yankees 3
Atlanta Braves (Eric Stults) @New York Mets (Dillon Gee)
Can the Mets make it 10 wins in a row? Yes, yes they can.
My pick: Mets 6, Braves 4
Boston Red Sox (Joe Kelly) @Tampa Bay Rays (Nathan Karns)
I don't trust Nathan Karns to be able to hold the Red Sox' offense down. It's just too tall a task for a mediocre pitcher like Karns.
My pick: Red Sox 8, Rays 4
Minnesota Twins (Mike Pelfrey) @Kansas City Royals (Jeremy Guthrie)
The Twins made a game of it yesterday when they only lost by one run thanks to a bullpen implosion. This one is unlikely to be as close.
My pick: Royals 6, Twins 4
Cincinnati Reds (Johnny Cueto) @Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson)
Can the Brewers snap their seven game losing streak against the Reds' best pitcher, Johnny Cueto? No, no they cannot.
My pick: Reds 7, Brewers 2
San Diego Padres (James Shields) @Colorado Rockies (Kyle Kendrick)
Kyle Kendrick surprised many when he pitched seven scoreless innings on Opening Day against the Milwaukee Brewers. In his two starts since then, he's giving up 14 earned runs. The Rockies have lost five straight and it doesn't look like they'll turn that around just yet.
My pick: Padres 9, Rockies 4
Texas Rangers (Yovani Gallardo) @Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley)
The Rangers are in the AL West, a division with just one team with a winning record. The Diamondbacks are in the NL West, a division with just one team with a losing record.
My pick: Diamondbacks 6, Rangers 5
Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray) @Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver)
Sure, it's early in the season but I didn't think I'd ever write that the A's and Angels are hoping for a victory so they can keep pace with the first place Houston Astros.
My pick: Athletics 5, Angels 4
Houston Astros (Roberto Hernandez) @Seattle Mariners (J.A. Happ)
The Mariners have lost two in a row to the 'Stros and have the worst run differential in their division. Surprisingly, their pitching has been their main downfall as they've given up 5.4 runs per game so far.
My pick: Mariners 5, Astros 4
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner)
I'm guessing Madison Bumgarner is getting sick of matching up with Clayton Kershaw. He won't be any happier about it after this game.
My pick: Dodgers 5, Giants 2