For the second straight weekend eight of our 10 teams play each other, making for six series all told. Below I rank them on how much they intrigue me.
6. New York Mets (4-5) at Los Angeles Angels (4-5)
Fri – Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00)
Sat – Jon Niese (0-1, 3.18) vs. Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00)
Sun – Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08) vs. C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61)
The pitching matchups are bleh. Bartolo is always great, but you have to be the kind of person who loves fastballs exclusively. There’s enjoyment in watching him locate that fastball with aplomb, but there are better enjoyments out there.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-4) at Arizona Diamondbacks (4-8)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1, 3.86) vs. Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 7.82)
Zack Greinke, (2-0, 3.27) vs. Wade Miley (2-1, 4.05)
Dan Haren, (1-0, 0.75) vs. Trevor Cahill (0-3, 7.90)
The Dodgers have the better pitcher in all three games and so figure to win the series, putting Arizona even farther behind in the division race. We should all hope not, because a team that is out of the race by the end of April is a major drag. Gerardo Parra should see a lot of action, since Ryu, Greinke and Haren are all right-handed. That’s a point for the Diamondbacks I’d say.
4. Houston Astros (4-6) at Texas Rangers (4-5)
Scott Feldman (2-0, 0.66) vs. Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00)
Jarred Cosart (1-1, 4.09) vs. Tanner Scheppers (0-1, 9.00)
Brett Oberholtzer (0-2, 4.91) vs. Martin Perez (1-0, 4.50)
This series gets the Yu Darvish Bump up from fifth. The first game of the Battle for Texas pits him against the Astros’ nominal ace, which is nominally interesting.
3. Detroit Tigers (5-2) at San Diego Padres (3-6)
Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.35) vs. Andrew Cashner (0-1, 2.25)
Justin Verlander (0-1, 2.57) vs. Ian Kennedy (1-1, 3.27)
Max Scherzer (0-0, 1.20) vs. Tyson Ross (0-2, 4.35)
Three scintillating pitchers, one on each day. The Padres have one of the three, and it is well for them that he pitches today. While a pitchers’ duel is fun for fans everywhere, fans of San Diego don’t want good pitching efforts to fall up short against a superior foe. The way things are going don’t count on the Padres to win any slugfests.
2. Colorado Rockies (5-5) at San Francisco Giants (6-4)
Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 8.31) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 1.74)
Brett Anderson (0-2, 4.50) vs. Matt Cain (0-1, 5.73)
Tyler Chatwood (n/a) vs. Tim Hudson (2-0, 1.15)
The Giants put forth their best three pitchers and the Rockies put forth their two best plus Chatwood, who I described as the worst rotation pitcher in my preseason preview. This is Chatwood’s first start, and Hudson is proving he is as stalwart as ever. Sunday should be a good day for Giants fans. The first two games are up in the air. The Rockies score like crazy and a Matt Cain start isn’t what it used to be.
1. Oakland Athletics (6-3) at Seattle Mariners (5-3)
Tommy Milone (0-0, 0.00) vs. King Felix Hernandez (2-0, 1.88)
Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.75) vs. Erasmo Ramirez (1-1, 5.73)
Scott Kazmir (2-0, 2.03) vs. Chris Young (0-0, 0.00)
A rematch of last weekend’s series, featuring two of the same pitching matchups (Friday and Saturday). All three games should be closely contested and the winner gets first place.