Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicago Cubs vs Salem Mayhem

Season: Even 5 - 5

Starting Pitching: The Cubs have one of the best rotations in the league. It appears that the legendary Dwight Johnson will be the game one starter for the Cubs. Xavier Hart, Sam Strittmatter, and Lorenzo Bennett should follow Johnson. All these guys are very good. The Mayhems is solid but unspectacular. Ronald Scott was very good over the last month of the season for the Mayhem. Jake Owens had a good season.
Edge: Cubs.

Bullpen: Definitely a weak spot for the Cubs as they converted only 68% of the teams save opportunities. The Mayhem were much better at 77%. It appears that Tony Gong is the Mayhems closer. He was solid. Season 7 fireman of the year winner Jorge Padilla is the Cubs closer. Padilla had a bit of an off year.
Edge: Mayhem.

Hitting: The Cubs have a definite edge in hitting. Brett Kinney, Joey Tracy, and Juan Castro all had 40+ HRs for the Cubs. Salem has two big hitters in Harry Brown and Bernie Diaz.
Edge: Cubs.

Fielding: The Cubs have the highest fielding percentage in the league but the Mayhem were not too far behind. The Cubs also have a slight advantage at catcher.
Edge: Slight edge to the Cubs.

Pick: I'm going with the upset here - Mayhem in 5.

Jacksonville Beach Boys vs Atlanta Pork N Beans

Series: Beach Boys 6 - 4

Starting Pitching: No comparison the Beach Boys have a huge advantage. Omar Elcano is one the leagues best. R.J. Molina, Dick Reed, and Jorge Navarro are all very good (probably better than all of the PnBs starting pitchers) . Bubba Rose and Gary Wyatt are decent for the PnBs, but who starts after them? Cookie Almanza? Omar Polonia? Michael Ming? Polonia, Alamanza, and Ming are a joke.
Edge: The Beach Boys have a huge edge in starting pitching.

Bullpen: The Beach Boys have last seasons fireman of the year Johnnie Moeller. The PnBs closer is the very good but young Dan Stearns. The BBs converted 69% of their save opportunities vs. 80% for the PnBs.
Edge: Pork N Beans. The BBs blew too many save opportunites.

Hitting: The PnBs scored more runs, had more HRs, and stolen bases. The BBs had a higher team BA. The PnBs have MVP candidate Zoltan Mercedes, along with big hitters Junior Bocachica and Max Lima. The BBs have one of the best young hitters in the league - Luis Cruz.
Edge: Pork N Beans.

Fielding: The BBs have a better fielding percentage. The PnBs have gold glover Max Lima behind the plate.
Edge: Beach Boys.

Pick: The Beach Boys in 4. The PnBs starting pitching is pitiful.

Kansas City Royals vs Toronto Blue Jays

Season: Royals 6 - 4

Starting Pitching: The Royals would love to start Tuck Buck every game but unfortunately they cannot. Rico Dali and Victor Guzman both had decent seasons for the Royals. The Blue Jays have one of the leagues best starters this season in Don Benson. Dennys Benes also had a very good season for the Blue Jays.
Edge: Both have solid rotations but the Blue Jays is better.

Bullpen: They both have decent closers. Miguel Owen for the Royals and Pascual Solano for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays converted 78% of their save opportunities and the Royals 77%.
Edge: Slight edge to the Royals. I like Owen a little more than Solano.

Hitting: Both teams have impressive lineups. The Royals have the highest team BA in the league, and led the league in runs scored. The Blue Jays have a lot more speed, and a slight advantage in power. MVP candidate Willis Ulrich had an extremely impressive season for the Blue Jays. Javier Santayana hit 25 HRs and had 51 steals for the Blue Jays. Dallas Payton was impressive for the Royals (surprised he isnt an MVP candidate). Charlie Stone is a rookie of the year candidate.
Edge: Slight edge to the Royals.

Fielding: The Royals have the better fielding percentage and gave up fewer unearned runs. The Blue Jays have the better catcher.
Edge: Royals.

Pick: This one is tough. There both evenly matched but Ive got to go with the Blue Jays in 5.

Austin Deuce Droppers vs. New York Yankees

Season: Even 5 - 5

Starting Pitching: The Deuce Droppers have CY Young favorite Britt Swindell at the top of the rotation. After Swindell the DDs have season 5 CY Young winner Chad Sanders, Hipolito Palacios, and Russell Spence. Sanders and Spence are having below average seasons, and Palacios has been solid but inconsistent. Who will follow Swindell one of the veterans or the young and inexperienced Palacios? Nobody on the Yankees really stands out. Louie Martinez had a solid season in his 1st season as a starter. Patrick Neal (not to be confused with Neal Patrick Harris), Edgar Fernandez, and Benito Lima were all decent but unspectacular
Edge: The Deuce Droppers have the edge here. The Yankees may have to face Swindell twice in the five game series.

Bullpen: They both have very good closers. The Yankees have John Oliver, and the Deuce Droppers Doug Cambridge. The Yankees as a team have converted only 74% of their save opportunites, and the Deuce Droppers are worse at 72%.
Edge: Yankees. The Yankees have the better closer and have converted a higher number of save opportunities, but either teams bullpen is that impressive.

Hitting: The Yankees have more power, but the DDs have a little more speed. Blake Mathews crushed the ball this season for the Deuce Droppers with 59 HRs. Ramon Dong bounced back after disastorous season 8. The Yankees have MVP candidate Roosevelt Stevenson. Ryan Stewart had a big season for the Yankees with 42 HRs.
Edge: Slight edge to the Yankees. The Yankees power is impressive.

Fielding: The Deuce Droppers are one the leagues best defensive teams. They have three gold glove candidates. The Yankees are one of the leagues worst defensive teams. The Yankees have the edge at catcher.
Edge: Deuce Droppers.

Pick: These two teams are very evenly matched. Im going to take the DDs in 5. The Yankees rotation doesn't really impress me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PlayOff Picture With 18 Games To Go

With 18 games to go, the race to the playoffs are heating up. Every win and loss becomes critical for the hopefuls.

North: Toronto and Detroit are still in a heated battle for the division crown.
East: New York has secured the division crown once again.
South: Monterrey has a stranglehold.
West: Las Vegas holds a tenuous 5 game lead over Kansas City
Wild Card: Kansas City, Austin and Detroit.

Current Seeds:
1. Las Vegas MN - 13
2. Monterrey MN - 11
3. New York MN - 15
4. Toronto MN - 16
5. Kansas City MN - 8
6. Austin MN - 16
On the bubble: Detroit

Note: One of these three, Toronto, Austin or Detroit, will watch the playoffs from home unfortunately.

North: Cincinnati has the crown pretty much wrapped up.
Atlanta holds the top spot by 8 games over the attacking Indians.
Louisville holds the top spot by 8 games over the Zima brewed Colt 45's.
Salem has the crown pretty much wrapped up.
Wild Cards:
Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Milwaukee

Current Seeds:
1. Cincinnati MN - 5
Louisville MN - 10
Salem MN - 15
Atlanta MN - 10
Chicago MN - 11
Houston MN - 18
On the Bubble:

Two of these three, Houston, Jacksonville or Milwaukee will be watching the playoffs from home unfortunately.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Power Rankings

1. Cincinnati Reds - Season 9 is the Reds 8th consecutive 100+ win season. The Reds are also on pace for the most wins in franchise history, and their 6ht division title. Over the past 8 seasons they have won numerous division titles, CY Youngs, MVPs, but no World Series titles. Is this finally their year to win a WS title?

2. Las Vegas Slobs - The Slobs are on pace for their 8th consecutive division title. The Slobs are similar to the Reds in a lot of respects, well except they have a World Series title.

3. Louisville Swingers - It appears the Swingers have packed it in for the season. The Swingers are lock to win their 2nd consecutive division title.

4. Kansas City Royals - This was a toss up between the Royals, Cubs, and Corn Dogs. I gave it to the Royals because Knuckles has done a superb job of turning this franchise around. They have a comfortable 10 game lead over the Deuce Droppers in the wild card standings, so this should be the franchises 1st playoff appearance since Knuckles took over in season 5.

5. Chicago Cubs - The defending World Series champs appear to have fallen off a bit from last season. The Cubs have a virtual lock on the top wild card spot in the NL. Even with a slight drop off from last season they should considered one of the favorites to win the NL this season.

6. Monterrey Corn Dogs - Edham has done a superb job with the CDs since taking over the franchise in season 4. This season the CDs have also fallen off a bit from last season, but they are on pace to easily win their 2nd consecutive division title.

7. New York Yankees - This season should mark the Yankees 9th consecutive division title. In those 9 seaosns they have never finished below .500. Like the Reds the Yankees no World Series titles. Could this be their season?

8. Salem Mayhem - Salem may the most impressive team on the list. They dont appear to have the level of talent as some of the other top teams in the NL, but they continue to win. They should win their 5th consecutive division title. Weo is 5 for 5 in division titles since taking over the team in season 5.

9. Atlanta Pork N Beans - The Pork N Beans have pretty much packed it in over the past 10 games. They should win their 6th consecutive division title this season.

10. Houston Astros - The Astros are in a tight battle for the final wild card spot in the NL. If they manage to beat out the Brewers and Beach Boys it will be the franchises first playoff appearance.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Power Rankings

1 (3) Louisville Swingers - Although the Swingers don't have the leagues best record they have been the leagues best team over the past week. They have benefited from a relatively weak schedule this past week. The Swingers starting rotation has been stellar all season. Possibly the best rotation in the league this season, but their bullpen has been unspectacular. The Swingers have a relatively comfortable 12 games lead over the Astros in the NL South.

2 (1) Cincinnati Reds - The loss of Midre Davis could have a significant impact on the Reds season. Before his injury he was one the leagues best starting pitchers. The Reds have a 10 game lead over the Cubs in the NL North.

3 (2) Las Vegas Slobs - The Slobs should be the favorite to win the AL again this season. They have a ton of power in their lineup. They are leading the AL in homeruns. At 35 years old Bryan McDowell should be the favorite to win his 6th consecutive fireman of the year award. The Slobs have a 7 game lead over the Royals in the AL West.

4 (6) Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs have quite possibly the most potent line up in the league. Ariel Serra, Jumbo Rivera, and Wascar Martinez (plus several others) all have good power. Add in speedy Yorvit Veras and you have team that can score some runs. The CDs will be one of the leagues best teams for several seasons to come. They currently have a 9 game lead over the Deuce Droppers in the AL South.

5 (5) Chicago Cubs - The Cubs are 12 back of the Reds but with return of Tony Suarez in 6 days and the Reds loss of Midre don't be surprised if they dont make run at the NL North title.

6 (NR) New York Yankees - The Yankees have done a great job of turning things around after a decent but unspectacular season 8. The Yankees have a virtual lock on the AL East with a 19 game lead over the Dung Beetles.

7 (8) Austin Deuce Droppers - The Deuce Droppers have been really good over the past week. They swept Detroit in an important 4 game series. They are currently 4 back of the Royals and 6 ahead of Detroit in the Wild Card standings.

8 (4) - Kansas City Royals - The Royals continue to impress. They may have fallen off a bit in the rankings, but they continue to be one of the AL's elite teams. They currently have a 4 game lead over the Deuce Droppers in the Wild Card standings.

9 (NR) Atlanta Pork N Beans - Im biased since this is my team and I know several teams have a slightly better record, but the PnBs have earned this spot. Their play over the past week has been stellar. Overall the PnBs rotation is weak, and defense mediocre, but they do have a solid bullpen and a lot of power in their line up. They currently have a 10 game lead over the Indians in the NL East.

10 (7) - Houston Astros - The Astros have a great opportunity to make the playoffs for the 1st time in franchise history, but they need to step it up. The Cubs (or Reds) are a virtual lock for one of the twoWild Card spots, the other will most likely go to the Astros, Brewers or Beach Boys. At this point any one of those 3 teams could win it.

Dropped Out:
Brewers, Beach Boys

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Power Rankings

1 (2) - Cincinatti Reds - Life is good in Cinci. They have a relatively confortable 6 game lead over the Cubs in the strongest division in the league, the NL North. The Reds are leading the league in runs scored, homeruns, and second in team era. Close talking Yamil Pulido should win his fifth CY Young award. The questionable trade for Rocky Spencer appears to be paying off as he has hit 18 HRs since joining the Reds.

2 (1) Las Vegas Slobs - The Slobs fall to number 2. They have a 4 game lead over a very good Royals team. The Slobs have the best rotation in the AL and a ton of big bats in their lineup. Slow talker Mike Leius should be a favorite to win his 3rd consecutive CY Young award.

3 (3) Louisville Swingers - The Swingers continue to remain one of the leagues top teams. They have 4 game lead over the Astros in the NL North. They arguably have the best rotation in the league this season. Paulie Sanders may give Yamil a run for the CY Young this season.

4 (4) Kansas City Royals - The Royals deserve an award for the most impressive turn around. After 6 straight seasons of mediocrity the Royals are one of the leagues best teams this season. Tuck Buck even won a player of the week award. It wouldn't at all surprising to see them representing the AL in the World Series this season.

5 (6) Chicago Cubs - The loss of Tony Suarez doesn't seem to have affected the Cubs. The Cubs have great pitching and defense.

6 (8) Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs have a 5 game lead over the Deuce Droppers in the AL South. The CDs aren't quite as dominant as they were last, but their still one of the ALs best teams.

7 (7) Houston Astros - The Astros are probably questioning the deal that brought Mel Wagner to the team, but he has been improving as of late. Although they may not pass the Swingers this season, I predict they will be the NLs best team within the next 2 seasons.

8 (NR) Austin Deuce Droppers - The Deuce Droppers have been inconsistent all season. Their pitching has been superb all season. If they can find a little more offense they could be one of the ALs best teams.

9 (NR) Milwaukee Brewers - The Brewers have an impression rotation. One of the NLs best. Donald Satou is having a superb season and should be a finalist for the CY Young award. The Brewers may not catch the Reds in the North, but they should right in the thick of the battle for a wild card spot.

10 (9) Jacksonville Beach Boys - Another team with great pitching. Seems to be a trend. The Beach Boys are still in the race for the South, only 7 games back of the Swingers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Draft Board

I spend much of my budget on the draft, 18 college and 14 high school. On the the 24th, WIS said they were going to adjust draft board to where there were more pitchers and less position players. This is not the problem with the draft. The problem I see with the draft is quality players and has been consistent lately. I will use my draft board as an example and the counts at each position and compare their projected defensive abilities to the ML standards for the position.

C - 29 total - Range:21 Glove:14 Arm S:6 Arm A:7 PC:22 Coll:20 HS:9 ML Quality:3
Hitting: 0 of 3 OVR > 70 :2
First 5 rounds: 12, ML defensive quality: 1 ML hitting quality: 7

In simple terms there was not a REAL catcher worth having in the draft. In my estimation there should have been at least 3 ML quality/hitting catchers at a minimum.

1B - 89 total - Range:76 Glove: 39 ArmS:60 ArmA:16 Coll:75 HS:14 ML Quality:17
Hitting: 0 of 17 OVR>70:2
First 5 rounds: 4, ML defensive quality: 0 with 1 unknown ML hitting quality: 2 with 1 unknown

This was more pathetic than the catchers as there should have been 9 at least instead of 0.

2B - 49 total Range:17 Glove: 8 ArmS:33 ArmA:49 Coll:38 HS:11 ML Quality:7
Hitting: 0 of 7 OVR>70:12
First 5 rounds: 17, ML defensive quality: 0 ML hitting quality: 7

Well at least 2B was better and that isn't saying much.

3B - I am not even going to do 3B. Reason: Of all the drafts I have been through, WIS has never generated a true 3B at all, most generally they end up at COF though a select few can hit. Most defensively short SS end up at 3B. This could be caused by my scouting making them SS.

SS - 33 total Range:10 Glove: 5 ArmS:15 ArmA:15 Coll:26 HS:7 ML Quality:5
Hitting: 0 of 5 OVR>70:6
First 5 rounds: 23, ML defensive quality: 7 ML hitting quality: 4

As can be seen, not a good draft for a SS either and some make a good 2B

LF - 92 total Range:82 Glove: 69 ArmS:40 ArmA:76 Coll:78 HS:14 ML Quality:26
Hitting: 1 of 26 OVR>70:6
First 5 rounds: 11, ML defensive quality: 6 ML hitting quality: 1

As can be seen wasn't anything here, most short LF end up at 1B if they hit well.

CF - 8 total Range:4 Glove: 1 ArmS:1 ArmA:1 Coll:5 HS:3 ML Quality:1
Hitting: 0 of 1 OVR>:2
First 5 rounds: 13, ML defensive quality: 4 ML hitting quality: 2

Many defensively short CF end up at 2B as this draft didn't have much to cheer about.

RF - 40 total Range:28 Glove: 8 ArmS:18 ArmA:23 Coll:33 HS:7 ML Quality:3
Hitting: 1 of 3 OVR>70:5
First 5 rounds: 10, ML defensive quality: 3 ML hitting quality: 2

Once again pathetic.

P - ( Bunches) total Control: 98 vsL:54 vsR:48 ML Quality:25 OVR>70:19
First 5 rounds: 76 ML value: 44

Once again not all that great and to get one of decent value, had to be done in first 2 or 3 rounds.

Notes: ML hitting quality equates to a player that has 50's in each hitting category at least.
ML quality only implies the position to which he was scouted.
Physical qualities were not part of this equation.

Analysis: It is hard to have a good draft with nothing to draft from, after the second round there was hardly anything worth drafting to help a team. The biggest problem is the critical positions have been thin at quality in both defense and hitting. In many cases you get hitting and not the defense which means he gets degraded to a position he can play, if there is one, creating a backlog of good unwanted players at unwanted positions. With the injury toll being as it is and the drafts over the last three seasons, ML teams are gonna start looking like minor league teams in the near future. As I have shown, a rebuilding team remains in the rebuild mode much longer than expected because they can only get maybe one to three players to help each season. Taking 3 to 5 seasons for development winning would become a very slow process.