Just a gut feeling, perhaps indigestion, but I believe the San Francisco Giants will have the best record in the month of September.
And that could be bad news for the NL West, for the Giants are the only team that is basically playing out the season. They are footloose, fancy free and prepared to give their numerous fine young pitching arms plenty of mound time. Not to mention 30 days of watching Barry Bonds extend his all-time homer record.
I really like the Giants pitching next year with Barry Zito, Noah Lowry, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and 95 mph closer Randy Messenger. True, the Giants are old. However, most of the age is on offense. 3B Pedro Feliz is a quality RBI man, who out of the 7 or 8 hole would be fantastic and can play numerous positions. 2B Ray Durham is having a down year, but is still a very capable player.
A few offseason acquisitions — perhaps a Richie Sexson at first — would really help. I wouldn’t rule out the Giants as a first place team in the West in 2008 and making the climb from the cellar. I also think Bonds will play the rest of his career in Frisco and not jump teams to leagues. He’s now a born and bred Giant and the city loves him.
Back to the picks. Last week started strong with a 3-0 Tuesday, but ended just at 4-4. We’ll try and do better.
Blue Jays at Red Sox:Curt Schilling is just 3-6 against Toronto and clearly not the pitcher that dominated hitters with his fastball and grit. He’s pitching more like Tim Wakefield (without the knuckler) and less like Josh Beckett. Toronto counters with young Shaun Marcum, whose 12-5 record has been a very nice addition to Roy Halladay. It’s a big series for both teams and the Jays deserve a look here. TORONTO.
White Sox at Tigers: Chicago has basically thrown in the towel. Certainly that 46-7 debacle over four games with Boston proved that point. Kenny Rogers returns to the mound for Detroit, just in time for the stretch run. Rogers, always a tough pitcher in his home park, is 16-8 lifetime against Chicago. Jon Garland does have a fine 12-6 mark against Detroit, but this is a matter of who needs to win more. DETROIT.
A’s at Angels: A battle of the Joes — Blanton vs Saunders. Oakland is so banged up, yet comes up with these players like Jack Cust who continue to bang out homers and clutch hits. Saunders has been a big surprise for the Halos, owning 7-2 overall mark and is 2-0 against the A’s. On the other hand Blanton is 2-6 vs. the Angels. LA is about to put away the AL West and both Vlad Guerrero and Garret Anderson are swinging hot bats. ANGELS.
Red Sox at Orioles: Rookie Clay Buchholz makes his third start for the Bosox. His second was a no-hitter. That will be pretty hard to match and he’ll have to fight a letdown. It’s mighty tough to put back to back great starts together. The Birds have been pesky of late and at Camden Yards could be a problem for Boston. Garrett Olson has been horrible (10.38 ERA) in his last three starts. Somehow I think the O’s are going to win in dramatic fashion. ORIOLES.