Rays (Shields) vs Red Sox (Bard)
The annual Patriot Day game that has a ridiculously early start is taking place today against Tampa Bay. Boston is looking for its first 4 game sweep of the Rays since 2006 as Daniel Bard takes the hill. I have picked Tampa Bay in the 3 other games and they lost them all and I am picking them again here today. I think Tampa Bay finally gets the win and salvages part of the series.
Astros (Weiland) vs Nationals (Strasburg)
The National League East leading Washington Nationals send ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg to the mound today in the opening game of the series against the Astros. Strasburg has been everything the Nationals could hope for and then some as they have sprinted out to a 7-3 record. I predict that today Strasburg dominates and the Nationals win. In fact this is my lock of the day.
Pick: Nationals. This is my lock of the day.
Twins (Pavano) vs Yankees (Garcia)
Even though Carl Pavano has struggled in the Bronx and the Twins are obviously less talented I am taking the Twins today and here is why. Freddie Garcia. The last time he pitched he threw 5 wild pitches and didn't make it out of the fifth inning, and I think the Twins are scrappy enough to eke out a win against the mighty Yankees here.
Mets (Gee) vs Braves (Hanson)
These 2 teams played earlier in the season and I picked the Braves to win all 3 and they got swept. I have been a little better since at picking Braves games but I am still terrible at picking Mets games. I have got to stay true and be objective and my objective mind thinks that Atlanta is going to continue their 5 game winning streak and beat the Mets for the first time in 2012.
Orioles (Arrieta) vs White Sox (Humber)
Philip Humber is set to make his first start of the season for the White Sox, who now face Baltimore after taking 2 out of 3 from rival Detroit over the weekend. The Orioles also won a series, beating Toronto twice to win their first series at the Rogers Centre since 2008. I predict that the White Sox win today and take the opener of the series.
Pick: White Sox
Tigers (Verlander) vs Royals (Duffy)
I think Danny Duffy is a very good pitcher and he will be a force to be reckoned with. That being said I am not picking him against Justin Verlander. I will not pick any Royal against Justin Verlander. Verlander doesn't have a win yet either so he is going to come out and blow the doors off of Kansas City to get his first w of the year.
Padres (Leubke) vs Rockies (Guthrie)
Cory Leubke takes the mound for the Padres, who have to be happy they are done facing the Ddogers for awhile. His last time out, Leubke only allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings and the Padres won 2-1. Since I don't trust Jeremy Guthrie in Coors Field, I look for Leubke to have another good outing and for the Padres to win.
Pirates (Bedard) vs Diamondbacks (Saunders)
This could be a pitchers duel as both Erik Bedard and Joe Saunders look to build on impressive starts. Bedard is 0-2 but that is because the Pirates have only scored 1 run for him. He has only allowed 3 runs in 12 innings but has lost both games because the Pirates offense has been awful to start the year. Now they go up against Joe Saunders and Arizona and they will continue to be bad offensively. I predict the Diamondbacks to win here in another low scoring affair.
Athletics (McCarthy) vs Angels (Weaver)
I think that facing the Athletics is just what the doctor ordered for the Angels as they continue their slow start to 2012. Jerad Weaver loves pitching against the Athletics as he has a 1.63 ERA in 8 career home starts against them. The Athletics are countering with ace Brandon McCarthy who has struggled against the Angels. I look for both of these trends to continue as the Angels score some runs for Weaver and wins the game tonight.
Philles (Halladay) vs Giants (Lincecum)
On paper this game looks like a dream pitchers duel as you have 3 of the past 4 Cy Youngs on the mound going against suspect offenses. Unfortunately for the Giants Tim Lincecum has come out flat in 2012 and hasn't pitched like the 2-time Cy Young winner he is. He is going to need to be basically perfect against Halladay and the Phillies and I don't think he will be today. Phillies win.