Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @Chicago White Sox (Jeff Samardzija)
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
Actual score: White Sox 6, Indians 0
Jeff Samardzija and three White Sox relievers combined to shut out the Indians on eight hits and Jose Abreu had two hits and three RBI to pace the White Sox to a victory. The Indians' Corey Kluber had one of the worst outings of his career. He gave up six runs on 13 hits in six innings.
(My record: 0-1)
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
Actual score: Cardinals 7, Nationals 5
Neither starting pitcher was very good in this one. John Lackey gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings and Doug Fister gave up five runs in six innings. The game was tied going into the eighth when a walk, a single, and an rbi-double from Kolten Wong gave the Cardinals the lead. They added an insurance run on a Matt Adams homer in the top of the ninth and turned it over to Trevor Rosenthal for the save.
(My record; 1-1)
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
Actual score; Marlins 6, Phillies 1
I knew I shouldn't have picked the Phillies.
(My record: 1-2)
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
Actual score: Pirates 4, Cubs 3
The Pirates' Vance Worley out-pitched the Cubs' Jason Hammel as Pittsburgh took a 4-1 lead into the 8th inning. The Cubs rallied for two runs in the top of the inning to pull to within a run, but Tony Watson came on for the Bucs and shut down the Cubs for the last two innings to earn his first save of the season. The Cubs rookie phenom Kris Bryant had a hit and a walk and scored twice. He's hitting .409/.552/.591.
(My record: 1-3)
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
Actual score: Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2
I thought this would be a much higher scoring game but Aaron Sanchez somehow held the Orioles to just two runs despite walking seven batters in 5 1/3 innings. The Jays' bullpen threw the final 3 2/3 innings and kept the O's off the board to lock down a victory.
(My record: 2-3)
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
Actual score: Yankees 13, Tigers 4
Despite 30° temperatures, the Yankees bats were blazing hot against David Price. They scored six runs off him in the first and two more in the second. It was shocking to see Price get beat around like he did today. The Yankees' Chris Young was 3 for 6 with 2 runs and Mark Teixera had a three-run homer, his fifth of the young season.
(My record: 2-4)
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
Actual score: Mets 3, Braves 2
The Mets fell behind 2-1 in the fifth but came back with a run in the seventh and another in the eighth to get their 10th straight victory. The eighth inning was particularly ugly for the Braves' Jim Johnson, who gave up two hits and three walks in allowing the winning run to score. He has a 5.63 ERA this season and the Braves might want to think about letting someone else pitch the important innings in close games.
(My record: 3-4)
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
Actual score: Rays 7, Red Sox 5
Both starting pitchers gave up five runs in this game so it was up to the bullpens to stop the bleeding. The Rays turned the game over to Brad Boxberger in the 7th, which was unusual because Boxberger has been the team's closer in the first few weeks of the season. Despite being an unusual move, it was a good one because the Red Sox had David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, and Mike Napoli due up. Why bring in a lesser reliever in a close game when the other team has three power hitters coming up? Boxberger ended up striking out the side. The Rays scored two runs in the bottom of the inning and got scoreless innings from Kevin Jepsen and Steven Geltz to close it out.
(My record: 3-5)
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 7, Twins 4
Actual score: Twins 3, Royals 0
Mike Pelfrey, Casey Fien, and Glen Perkins combined to shut out the Royals on six hits and two walks. It was a nice win against a good team for a struggling Twins' squad. On the offensive side, the top four players in the Twins lineup each had a pair of hits and scored all three of the Twins' runs.
(My record: 3-6)
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
Actual score: Reds 2, Brewers 1
The Brewers lost their eighth straight game but, man, did they give it a shot. Starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson limited the Reds to a single run through eight innings. Unfortunately for the Brew Crew, the Reds' Johnny Cueto matched Nelson exactly, so the game went to the top of the ninth tied at one. The Brewers wisely brought in their closer, Francisco Rodriguez, but the move didn't work out as K-Rod gave up a run on a hit and a walk. Aroldis Chapman breezed through the bottom of the ninth and the Reds got the "W".
(My record: 4-6)
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
Actual score: Rockies 5, Padres 4
The Rockies jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first two innings, but Padres' starting pitcher James Shields settled down and held them in check over the next four innings. The Padres then took the lead with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh and led 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth. That's when Corey Dickerson hit his second home run of the game to tie the score. With the score tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Padres turned to Shawn Kelley to send the game to the 10th. He was unable to do so. Nolan Arenado singled to right. After a Carlos Gonzalez strikeout, Michael McKenry singled to center, sending Arenado to third. D.J. LeMahieu was intentionally walked and Daniel Descalso came off the bench with a game-winning single to left.
(My record: 4-7)
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
Actual score: Diamondbacks 8, Rangers 5
The Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley walked five batters in six innings, which is not good, but only gave up two hits and one run. The Diamondbacks looked like they had this game in their back pocket with an 8-1 lead heading into the ninth, but the Rangers put four runs on the board in the top of the inning to pull to within three runs. Thats' where the rally ended, though, and the D-Backs got the victory to put their record at 8-7 for the season.
(My record: 5-7)
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
Actual score: Athletics 9,Angels 2
The A's pounded out 18 hits in this one, with 10 of those hits coming against the Angels' bullpen in the last three innings. Billy Butler was 2 for 5 with a run and 4 RBI and Ike Davis and Josh Reddick each had three knocks. The A's Sonny Gray went seven innings and allowed just one run on two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. He's 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA this season.
(My recored: 6-7)
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
Actual score: Mariners 3, Astros 2
J.A. Happ was on his game tonight. He went seven innings and allowed two runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts. The surprising number there was the zero walks. Happ has a career BB/9 of 3.8. The Mariners led 3-2 going into the eighth but their bullpen was once again shaky. Yoervis Medina came in with one out and none on in the eighth and proceeded to walk three batters around a fly out to load the bases. He then got Chris Carter swinging to end the threat and let Mariner fans breathe a sigh of relief. In the top of the ninth, Fernando Rodney flirted with disaster when he gave up two singles with one out. The Astros had the tying run on third and the potential go-ahead run on first with one down, but Luis Valbuena popped out to short and George Springer grounded out to second to end the game.
(My record: 7-7)
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
Actual score: Giants 3, Dodgers 2
Clayton Kershaw (6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K) and Madison Bumgarner (6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K) kept this game close through six innings, then turned it over to the bullpens. The Giants got zeroes from Sergio Romo in the eighth and Santiago Casilla in the ninth, but the Dodgers weren't so fortunate. Chris Hatcher had come on in the eight to get three outs and the Dodgers left him out there in the ninth. He got the first out but gave up a single to Buster Posey and beaned Justin Maxwell. That got him a ticket out of the game as Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly went to the lefty, J.P. Howell. Howell gave up a single to Brandon Belt to load the bases then allowed Joe Panik to hit a sacrifice fly that gave the Giants the winning run.
(My record: 7-8)
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
Overall: 122-100, .550