Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Championship Feeling

Four sweeps, hard to fathom that one. You could sim those games a 1000 times over and maybe get four sweeps once and not by the same teams. You might have a better chance hitting the lottery than see that happen again.

Mets vs Cubs: Cubs get to face another foe that was 5-5 against them during the regular season. Mets won 4 of 6 at Wrigley, where the Cubs only lost 24 the entire season, might be the only visiting team to have a winning record there. Brown vs Rodriguez to start the series off? Maybe... Pitching isn't lopsided just odd in a way and favors the Mets, defense is even while hitting is heavily in the Cubs favor.  I don't think this one will be a sweep but I don't favor my Mets in an upset either. Cubs in 6 at the outside.

Sky Sox vs TardTankos: The AL doesn't cease to amaze me as two wild cards vie for the prize.  I gave Texas an even chance to get here but not so much for the Sky Sox. Season series goes to Texas with a 6-4 record, Sox were swept at home by Texas which could weigh heavily on their minds. Pitching is pretty even, defense is even while hitting favors the Sky Sox. Expect a good series with lots of offense, should be anyway. Have to favor the Sky Sox because of their hitting and win it in 6. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Secound Round

Royals vs Sky Sox: Sky Sox had trouble with those pesky Expos. Maybe they were treated to the wrong pleasurable event. Now they face a powerhouse in  Kansas City where they didn't fair well, 3-7 season series. Look for the highly touted #1 seed to win in 4 games.

Angels vs TardTankos: Texas bounced Boston in 4 games, not a surprise from my viewpoint. Angels won the season series 6-4 but that only tells part of the story. Expect high scoring close ball games for the most part or low scoring famine affairs. I am really up in the air on this one folks as it could go either way.

Cubs vs Marlins: Wonder how long it will take before they can become the Miami Marlins? The Marlins really took care of business against Arizona. The seasons series was tied at 5-5 so no advantage actually seen at this point. The Cubs are still worried about Ivan and yeah he can still be effective. I think the Cubs win in 5 games.

Diablos vs Mets: Mets surprise even me as they downed the Reds in two memorable extra inning games to end the series. Surprise for the Diablos, the Mets are back at full strength and will see Bob Olsen on the mound. Met fans are happy about those consequences. The season series was split 5-5. Will we see a Mathews vs Rodriguez match up in game 1? Will the Met catchers deter criminal theft? This could be the best series in the playoffs. Ummm, who will win is up in the air also, I haven't a clue.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Trivia Answer

Yes it would have taken some research to figure out the Cards greatest accomplishment this season. The Cubs lost 55 games this season and with that little tidbit should tell you where this is headed. The Cards was the only NL team to have a winning record against them with a 6-4 mark. The Mets and Reds chime in with 5-5 records. Seattle had a 2-1 record against them for the AL as they lost 4 total in inter-league play. Losing only 5 more games to division mates accounts for 25 of the loses. That leaves 30 losses spread across 10 other teams to account for the rest.


Mets vs Reds: Mets were terrible at the end without Ronny Gant. They have to play round 1 without him also which puts them in a big hole. Home field could help but don't expect them to get to round 2. Cincy won the wild card as predicted at the beginning though with much trepidation as they narrowly squeezed past the Pirates. They are on cloud 9 and that could be bad. Mets own the season series 6-4 but this is a different story. Here it is, Reds sweep, hope not but that is how I see it.

D'Backs vs Marlins:  Arizona made it into the playoffs with a tough fight in the West. A 3-7 season series against the Marlins isn't a good omen either. This series looks like a David and Goliath and it will probably end the same way. Marlins in 4.

Expos vs Sky Sox: The Expos may have been hoping for a different foe for the first round but then again they may be just happy to be in the playoffs. This has Sky Sox sweep written all over it as Montreal didn't farewell in the regular season going 2-8. Sky Sox in 3.

Red Sox vs TardTankos: This series could be a tough one to call. Everyone thought I was joking that Texas would be in the playoffs, yet here are the Tank o' Tards. The season series goes to the Sox 6-4. If there was going to be an upset this is the one. I am going with an upset special, Texas in 5.

Player Awards Show

Is it me or is there something wrong with the picture I'm seeing for the awards show?

Granted Pat Suzuki should be the NL MVP hands down but I am wondering how Polin Ordaz is even in the list. No offense Pratt and M City but how does a player that doesn't qualify at a position even rate a look?

AL MVP is much tougher, Del Alvarez has the numbers but I am more inclined to go with Shayne Marte because he isn't a DH. At least I can see why Tomas Ramirez is on the list though I am not sure it is overly justified.

Ruben Fernandez should be the #1 choice for the AL Cy Young because of his numbers but then again I like Alex Ramirez because of where he plays. Home park advantage shouldn't always be advantageous.

NL Cy Young is real easy, No Ivan and Reagan Mathews with a return to his actual form.

Paul Zhang will probably win the AL Rookie award but Victor Pose may win a Cy Young one day.

In the NL, a Houston player will win Rookie honors and Rick Ramsay is the leading candidate.

NL Gold Glove at 1B has me a bit puzzled also. Tyreace French gets the hardware but I can't figure out how. French has 5 errors and 18 plus plays while Leo Rodney only had 2 errors and 18 plus plays, Rick Ramsay had 2 errors and 17 plus plays and both had a better RF and fielding percentage.  Alvin Coleman winning the award at SS is almost another puzzler as how he got enough innings to qualify starting only 56 games.

Harvey Hatcher an AL GG catcher, someone give me a break, there were several better. I am also a little perturbed about 1B in the AL. Maybe I can see Philip Koch over Rob Key barely but not Peter Knight. Little Rock got mugged on that one I think.

Speaking of oddities I ran across  Peter Brock while doing some research. Amazing, .232 average and an under .300 OBP but yet scores 100 runs, 88 RBI's with 33 dingers and kept his strike out total under 100. What is so strange about that? He had 140 hits and 40 walks, throw in HBP and reaching on an error, he may have been on base 200 times.  That means he scored 50% of the time or better.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Tilted 20

Yup Sports Fans, that is right twenty games to go.


1. Cubs are running away with the #1 seed. Magic number is 4, too late to cue the goat.
2. Just like last year, Mexico City plays the waiting game then strikes with their dastardly tail or horns or trident...whichever....maybe looks... Was it too soon this year? Marlins are swimming with sharks...oh my! Ivan to the rescue? Only a three game lead for the Diablos and neither have breathable schedule but looks better for the Diablos.
3. Mets magic number is 6 and they play like a winner sometimes.
4. Diamondbacks today, Dodgers tomorrow maybe or the Giants next week. All three look good when they feel like it. Will history repeat itself again and the D'Backs disappear? Do the Giants look bigger than they really are? Will the Dodgers dodge? As per the schedule, the Dodgers have the toughest and the Giants have the easiest. The Padres could cause a spoiler alert but most of their games are at home where they eat salad, fruit and scrambled eggs (mostly rotten).

Wild Cards
This was easy a week or so ago. The Marlins demise, the Pittsburgh schedule and the Reds finally playing ball have this up in the air a bit all of a sudden. Trust me with these three teams, the road to the playoffs are not going to be easy for any of them. The Astros are not out of it but their schedule says it will be too difficult and would need a miracle.


1. The Angels are in the #1  spot at the moment though they had a quasi scare recently from the Sky Sox. The battle is still up in the air..pun intended. Angels have the much easier schedule.
2. The Royals are in the #2 spot but may have to learn the Paso Doble and Two-Step to keep the Tardtankos at bay and stay ahead of the Red Sox. Royals actually have a rather easy schedule.
3. The Red Sox scoop up this slot whose magic number is 8. Moving up a spot doesn't look conducive.
4. The Expos have been up by 10 most of the season. Will they need a lion tamer before it is over? 

Wild Card
The Sky Sox will probably get a one of the wild card spots if they can't win the division. Texas probably takes the second wild card.  Tampa Bay could put a kink in things as they have a rather nice home schedule to finish the season where they are adept at winning. Seattle also has the same setup but would need a huge miracle to get into the thick of things.

The Curious Case of Sidd ... er ... James Saitou

The decline of James Saitou has been discussed at length this season.  The leading "theory" is that his weak push/pull tendency coupled with a spacious ballpark is depressing his numbers.

But here at home, I am inclined to think his awful season is just an anomaly.  He has been a pretty steady performer for 4+ seasons (his Milwaukee seasons are shaded in blue).  But his OPS vs LHP is 45% down over each of the prior two seasons.  Likewise, his performance on the road has dropped 38% over the prior season.

Perhaps most importantly, Saitou has created 51 fewer runs this season than last (84 vs 33).

For a team that has lost 33 games by one run (19-33 vs 29-25 last season), those 51 extra runs could come in handy.

I believe Saitou will return to being a .775-.825 OPS player next season.  He probably needs to be a 1B, though, and not a LF.

The Best Bad Players - Part 1

There have been several great blog posts and discussions about defensive ratings, why some players are under performing, what constitutes good hitting ratings, etc...  While there are many explanations, sometimes, it comes down to this: WIS can just be a dick. Sometimes weird stuff just happens in fake fantasy.  Some players, like the immortal Reagan Matthews, will always have the potential to drive one owner crazy, while providing another with fake fantasy masturbatory material.  

This blog post is in honor of those players who don't fit normal WIS conventions, the players who are outperforming their ratings, and will likely cause someone to eventually overpay for them, then lament the fact that they suck (in MLB, we have steroids and HGH to blame for this.  In WIS, I believe they simply add randomness to the game to make it more fun and confusing. Also known as the Mac Huang corollary).  I went through the top 25 in both leagues to see if I could find a few this year.  Apologies to any average players I may have missed. In no particular order:

  • Bill Lloyd, Pittsburgh:  Solid contact and power rating, with an average ML eye, but his splits are terrible: 44 VL and 55 VR.  Despite his vL ratings, he's hitting .273 against lefties with 11 HRs.  For the season, he's hitting n expected .258, but with 235 HRs and 95 RBI (ranked 7th and 4th respectively in the NL). How he's doing this with those splits and average power numbers, in a pitchers park nonetheless, is beyond me.
  • Harry Rodriguez, NY Mets:  What do you get from a SP with 82 CTRL, VL73 and VR55?  How about the NL leader in ERA (2.27), 3rd in WHIP (1.01). Must be facing a lot of lefties you say?  Nope.  He's faced 518 RHB and only 135 Lefties. Righties are hitting a paltry .220 against him, with an OBP of .275. Oh, and he's pitched 166 innings, so sample size isn't the issue.  In his defense, he has an awesome 4 seamer. In my defense? Career averages:  4.07 era, 1.3 WHIP.
  • Che-Hsuan Lo, San Diego (the Che is silent): I know what you're thinking - any pitcher pitching in San Diego should be disqualified, the ultimate pitchers park.  Bear with me. Che-Hsuan is a SP blessed with 75 CTRL, VL53, VR59 and a 4-seam FB with a 64 rating. His other pitchers don't even qualify for AA (50 and 38).  There's no way this guy should have an era under 5 in any season. This year? 20th in NL in whip (1.22), just outside the top 25 in ERA (3.63).  Yes, pitching in the ultimate pitchers park helps (1.19 WHIP, 3.39 ERA), but his road splits are impressive for a guy who should be a slow pitch softball player (1.24 WHIP, 3.95 ERA). Also cracks NL top 25 in OAV and OBP allowed, just outside the top 25 in Ks. The crazy thing? he's done this 2 years in a row now.
  • Mariano Castillo, Little Rock Heads:  Age is slowing him down, 60CT, 68PW, VL88, VR71, Eye59.  Despite this, he's hitting .322 (5th in AL) with an OBP of .386 (9th in AL).  Has belted 21 HRs and 22 doubles. No advantages in a completely neutral home ballpark, but turns into Hawk or Animal on the road .  He's batting .259 with a .331 OBP at home. On the road? .387 AVG, .444 OBP in 227 ABs. 
Random note:  Harry Callaspo has been hit 21 times this year.

Clod Update

I came across something by accident that is rather interesting.  I was looking at Roger Metzger and I don't remember why but was looking at his fielding stats when I noticed he was playing CF. Nothing all that special except his fielding ratings are nearly identical to Felipe Peralta.  I immediately noticed a difference in fielding stats for the season, stuck out like a sore thumb. I probably wouldn't have noticed if it wasn't such a big difference.

So I started looking as to where they played, I thought maybe the stadium was to blame. Then I noticed Metzger's fielding stats rose, peaked then slid. Then I looked at Peralta's escapades at fielding and suddenly I had an idea as I saw the same thing.

Look at Fielding Instructors, lo and behold I started seeing a pattern forming.  Discipline and Strategy seems to play a role in fielding. Not sure how the strategy portion comes into play as there is no mention of that anywhere, though putting on a shift is a common stratagem and moving players for certain hitters. Did notice that whenever discipline changed to under 50 the players fielding got worse and  better when it improved and the same can be said about strategy.

Since the Fielding Instructor has a poor Discipline rating in Chicago, could that be the cause of the Clod problem? Factors seem to point that way. Also the brianj 3B problem in the sister world.

Scratching My Head Once Again

Harry Rodriguez is having one of those seasons that frustrates managers to no end...oh wait that is me. His last outing was a 1-0 win over Pittsburgh this morning. Pretty good for a lefty and an 8-8 season record you would think. Just look at his stats, is his record deserving on an 8-8 record with 12 no decisions? His stats are just as good as Reagan Mathews, who will probably win the NL Cy Young, if not better. Two bad starts during the season where he gave up 12 earned runs that ballooned his ERA to a robust 2.27 otherwise it would be under 2.00. Why does he get no offensive support when he pitches? I have had this happen before elsewhere and have not come up with a good answer.

I imagine everyone was wondering about my post about the catching debacle earlier in the season. I made a change to fix the problem replacing a much better hitter, well not that much better really, for defense at game 104. We just hit the 140 game mark so that makes 36 games in all since the change. We are no longer leading the NL in SBA as we have just been passed by Louisville for that devastating honor and a host of others will bypass us in pretty short order from the looks of things. It isn't that we have been playing non-running teams either but there have only been 19 attempts in those 36 games. Why so few? We have thrown out 12 of those 19.  The CS% has improved from .261 to .309 and that is a huge improvement.  At one point the team was ahead of the D'Backs in DP's by 1 and that has increased to 10 and good enough for next to last in that category. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement but at the same time we were 48 behind the next team on the list, not sure if it was the Giants who are there now. We are only 24 behind on the list now and seemingly able maybe catch up to a large pack.

The big question on every ones mind, has it helped us win ballgames? That is a debatable question as we are only 19-15 since the change but most of those loses have come in the last 13 games.  I have been trying a few different things in those games that have garnered very limited success. You can do that with a 12 game lead and the magic number is down to 10.

I have always wondered why Leo Rodney and his batting average is always so low compared to his contemporaries. That axiom I used the other day about walks being good as a hit comes into play with him. Walks are not calculated into batting average and neither are HBP's. Therefore you need to use OBP instead of his batting average. Believe it or not he ranks 9th in the NL in OBP. The bad part about the situation I don't like is the fact his power numbers may be suffering from the situation. It sure does cause him to be omitted from the All-Star roster and that is a shame.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Race Is On

35 games to go, that means we are half way past All-Star break and a few games away from roster expansion.

NL North

Cubs had an 11 game win streak and they finally gained a game over the Pirates in the standings who had a 10 game win streak of their own. Cubs only have a 9 game lead and it actually looks huge but not insurmountable. Both have rather similar schedules coming up though the Pirates have 7 games with the Mets. Speaking of which, the Pirates and Mets have the same affliction called Arizona. Cubs should wrap up the division and the #1 seed though. Meanwhile the Reds are only 6 games behind the Pirates and only 5 behind the 6th wild card spot. The Reds just need to find sustained traction.

NL East

The Mets have bolted to a 12 game lead over the Braves and the largest lead of any division leader. 12 is going to be tough when the best players are tired. For those that want to know, since the catching change the Mets are 14-7, the caught stealing percent is way up and respectable now. The DP's are improving also. The Mets are in a fight with the Marlins for the #2 seed where only 1 game separate them.

NL South

The Marlins are still on top but are having to hold off the the Diablos once again. Could last year repeat itself once again? Both teams are hating the Mets right now as the Marlins just lost 2 of 3 and the Diablos could be swept by us. Don't look now but the Astros don't want to be left out of the equation, who are in striking distance of both or a possible wild card.

NL West

Dodgers lead the division by 1 game over the Giants and D'Backs.  It looks to be a fight to the very end the way this division is playing out. All three are also in the wild card hunt but winning the division outright should be their priority.

AL North

The Expos have swooned to a 10 game which looks rather comfortable at the moment.

Al East

The Red Sox have been agonizingly slow but starting to put distance on the pack with an 8 game lead.  The O's are still trying their damndest to stay afloat and are only 5 back in the wild card race.

AL South

The Royals have parlayed themselves into an 8 game lead over the Tardtankos while the Rays have fallen off the pace. The Tardtankos have fallen on hard times of late but still hold the 6th wild card spot.

AL West

The Sky Sox have finally caught up and passed the Angels, for how long we don't know. The Mariners have given up trying to keep up and are fighting for the final wild card spot with the Rays, O's and Twins in tow.