MLB Pick'Em 04/03


Welcome back to MLB Pick'Em 2017! We've made our opening day selections and we almost got a quality outing. Just how John Lester almost got his quality start yesterday.

As always, we (one person) make daily picks that serve a bevy of varied interests. The picks might include neat stats or they'll come straight from the gut. Regardless of their incarnation, what you can rely on is blind faith in ourselves. 

Braves (Teheran) vs Mets (Syndergaard)

Noah Syndergaard might be my favorite pitcher in all of baseball.  His long flowing locks.  His great nickname (Thor).  Throw in the fact that he is also one of the best pitchers and you have a combination that is tough to beat.  I am higher on the Braves than most people and think they will have a decent year this year.  But it will start with a loss.
Pick: Mets

Marlins (Volquez) vs Nationals (Strasburg)

The fact that Edison Volquez is making an opening day start tells you all you need to know about the Marlins pitching staff.  Combine that with a healthy Strasburg (for now) and that is a good recipe for a Nationals win.
Pick: Nationals

Pirates (Cole) vs Red Sox (Porcello)

Still feels strange to me that Rick Porcello won the A.L Cy Young last year.  I mean I knew he was a decent pitcher, but I didn’t see that coming.  I think he is in for some regression this year.  Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole didn’t have the year that many people were expecting.  A bounce back candidate vs a regression candidate?  Give me the bounce back candidate today.  I’m going with Cole and the Pirates.
Pick: Pirates

Rockies (Gray) vs Brewers (Guerra)

Junior Guerra was a 31 year old rookie last year, and is now a 32 year old making an opening day start.  Jon Gray was the third overall pick by the Rockies in 2013.  Now they face each other on opening day. Baseball is a funny game.  If Gray wasn’t pitching in Coors Field half the time he would be putting up numbers that would terrify most people.  Alas people don’t think about Rockies pitchers because of Coors Field.  Since this game is in Milwaukee I think that people will finally start to know Jon Gray.  Rockies win.
Pick: Rockies

Blue Jays (Estrada) vs Orioles (Gausman)

I personally think that Marcus Stroman is a better pitcher than Marco Estrada and should have gotten the nod for opening day, but Estrada isn’t a bad fall back option.  Kevin Gausman was close to flaming out of Baltimore as recently as last year, before he turned in a fantastic last two months of the season.  Since the staff is very thin in Baltimore he is now the opening day starter.  I don’t like the matchup of Gausman against all of the Blue Jay bats, and I think Toronto takes this one home.
Pick: Blue Jays

Padres (Chacin) vs Dodgers (Kershaw)

Jhoulys Chacin vs Clayton Kershaw?  Easiest pick of the day.
Pick: Dodgers

Tigers (Verlander) vs White Sox (Quintana)

I will be very surprised if Jose Quintana is on the White Sox come August.  He is the next one they should trade as they are in full rebuild mode, and he is a durable quality starter.  In fact I think he wins this dual against Verlander and the White Sox start 1-0.  They won’t be over .500 for long, but hey a small victory here.
Pick: White Sox

Royals (Duffy) vs Twins (Santana)

The Royals are a team that I am still trying to figure out.  They have most of the offensive pieces and very few of the pitching pieces that won them a World Series just two years ago.  Danny Duffy is one of the holdovers from that pitching staff, and I think he will have a big year is the defacto ace for this team.  Throw in the fact that the Twins will be battling the Athletics for the worst team in the American League, and this feels like a Royals victory to me.
Pick: Royals

Phillies (Hellickson) vs Reds (Feldman)

Honestly these are two pitchers that have no business starting opening day.  That is the dire straits that these two teams are in.  The pitching matchup looks like a wash to me, so I am going with the team that has a better lineup.  To me that is the Reds.  So the Reds win this matchup that no one will really watch.
Pick: Reds

Indians (Kluber) vs Rangers (Darvish)

An opening day matchup with two opening day caliber pitchers!  This will be the best pitching duel of the day.  To me the whole Rangers season is dependent on if Darvish can stay healthy.  He is the straw that stirs the drink in Arlington.  That being said, I think that Kluber out matches him and the Indians take home game one.
Pick: Indians

Mariners (Hernandez) vs Astros (Keuchel)

I don’t think that Dallas Keuchel is as good as he was in 2015.  Nor do I think he is as bad as he was in 2016.  In 2017 he will settle somewhere in the middle, and that should be just fine for Astros fans.  Meanwhile, Felix has seen a steady drop in velocity and had his worst year as a pro in 2016.  While I think he will be better in 2017, I think the days of King Felix are just about over.  I think he can still be a good Major League pitcher.  Just not one of the best in the game.  Plus he often struggles in Houston.  For those reasons I’m taking the Astros to win this game.
Pick: Astros

Angels (Nolasco) vs Athletics (Graveman)

Up until last Thursday the Angels had no idea who would be the start for them the first game of the season.  They decided on Ricky Nolasco.  I would have gone Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, or honestly anyone other than Ricky Nolasco but here we are.  I don’t like Oakland winning a lot of games this year, but I do like them winning this one.
Pick: Athletics

Monthly Record: 1-2
Yearly Record: 1-2