Cardinals


MLB League Division Series Predictions

MLB playoffs are a pretty good reason to make some time and finally write something on here again. Let me know your predictions in the comments and I’ll keep a running tally throughout the playoffs.

New York Yankees (95-67) vs. Baltimore Orioles (93-69)

This Baltimore Orioles just don’t quit. I was upset back in April when the Jays lost 5 out of 6 to this team thinking how can they lose to a basement dweller but boy was I wrong.

The Orioles lost the first four games against the Yankees this season (all in April) including two games in extra innings… after those two losses, Orioles did not lose an extra inning game THE ENTIRE SEASON. Yankees CC Sabathia went 0-2, 6.38 ERA and .312 avg against in 3 starts vs. Orioles this year.

I will take those two stats compounded with the first two games being in Baltimore helping knock out any nerves they may have and go with Orioles in 4.

 

Oakland Athletics (94-68) vs. Detroit Tigers (88-74)

The Athletics overcame a five game deficit with nine days to go and overtaking the Rangers on the last game of the season. Any team riding a hot streak like that can easily run the table in a short series but when you are going up against Verlander and Fister, you can find yourself one game away from elimination before you even know it. Also, Athletics will probably save themselves a lot of trouble by not pitching to the Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera.

Being a big fan of Moneyball, nothing would make me happier than the Athletics finally getting around to winning the World Series but I just don’t see that happening here. Tigers in 5.

 

Cincinnati Reds (97-65) vs. San Francisco Giants (94-68)

I am still not sure how Cincinnati won 97 games this year but behind Johnny Cueto (19-9, 2.78 ERA, 170 strikeouts), they have a very good chance of beating Matt Cain and the Giants on the road. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce lead a pretty decent offense that could give the Giants some trouble.

The Giants’ will need all the help they can get from their rotation after Cain especially Lincecum who finished the season with only 10 wins and a 5+ ERA but I don’t know if Buster Posey and company can do enough to move on. Reds in 4.

 

Washington Nationals (98-64) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)

Anything short of a World Series win by this Nationals squad which feed fuel to the fire to the decision of shutting down Stephen Strasburg (15-6, 3.16) for the season. That said, the team went 13-11 after shutting him down and still won the division rather comfortably.

The Cardinals, who every one though would struggle to make the post-season after losing Pujols, beat the Braves in controversial fashion but I think that is as far as they will go as the Nationals are still too strong for St. Louis even without a starting pitcher. Nationals in 4.

 

 


MLB Playoff Predictions 1

After a crazy finish to the regular season, I’m not sure I want to do this but I will. If you want to submit your Playoffs predictions, feel free. Keep in mind that I wrote this before either game started and I did not change it after the Yankee rain postponement tonight.

Rays over Rangers in 4
Tigers over Yankees in 5

I think Rays ride their hot streak to easily take care of the Rangers in 4. The other series should be a lot more interesting.

The Yanks definitely have the better ERA but the Tigers’ staff was better in terms of quality starts – that can certainly go a long way in the playoffs. I give Verlander the edge over CC and if the Yankees bullpen has a hiccup or two, they will be one and done.

Phillies over Cardinals in 4
Diamondbacks over Brewers in 5

At the beginning of the season, I thought 97.5 was a high O/U number forPhiladelphiaand they surpassed it. Although it kills me to root for the Phillies, I can’t go against Roy Halladay and they should have no problem surpassing the Cards who should not have even made the playoffs if it wasn’t for the massive Atlanta collapse.

On paper, the Brewers are a better team than the Diamondbacks by a mile but that is why you play the game. Personally I have an interest in seeingArizonado well with the Jays trading Aaron Hill and Johnny Mac to them this season.

Tigers over Rays in 6
Diamondbacks over Phillies in 7

Tigers over D-backs in 6

But I will revise the later rounds as we move along. What are your picks?


MLB Predictions For The 2010 Season

1. Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays will lose 100+ games this season. In addition to playing AL East teams 19 times who have all seemingly improved from last year, the Blue Jays have a month long stretch from June 18th to July 11th where they have one “easy” series. The teams they play are Giants (3), Cardinals (3), Phillies (3), @Indians (4), @Yankees (3), Twins (3) and Red Sox (3). A rough 22 game stretch going into the All-Star Break. I don’t think too many teams get to play that tough of a stretch very often. They certainly have a powerful offense to compete with anyone in the game but the lack of experience in pitching will probably cost them way too many games.

Even though I make that prediction, I am going to be rooting every day like there is not tomorrow for the Blue Jays to prove me wrong.

2. On the other hand, Yankees will not win 100 games this year. I have seen several reports that have them at 103/104 wins but I don’t see that happening in the ever improving and difficult AL East. They improved in CF by getting Granderson but lost clutch hitters like Damon and Matsui and Gardner/Swisher isn’t a very intimidating corner OF. I am interested in seeing how Vazquez does because I have a feeling he could end up wining the most games in that rotation this year.

3. Even without Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins will comfortably win the AL Central. Tigers improved a little not nearly as much as they needed to and that playoff type rotation for White Sox will only help them so much. Behind the leadership (and new contract extension) of Joe Mauer and some decent pitching, I think they still win the division by at least 10 games even without Joe Nathan.

4. Both winners of the West divisions will have less than 90 wins. It has happened a few times in the past decade for the NL West but not in the AL since 1998 when Texas won the division with with 88 wins. Both Dodgers and Angels should win their respective divisions again but the Angels will have a much tougher fight and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mariners are competing for a playoff spot in late August or early September.

5. The first baseball game of the season I will attend is going to be May 19, 2010 when Tampa Bay Rays come to the Bronx to play the Yankees. Haven’t bought any tickets to the game yet, but it is the first date when everyone is done with finals and it just might work out.


The Long Weekend (of Sports)

I went up to Canada for the long weekend on Thursday morning and came back late last night on a drive that lasted much longer than I had anticipated. Sure there was going to be some traffic considering the number of people coming back from their 4th of July holidays but an 8 hour drive ended up taking nearly 12 – there was a stretch early on by the border where it took well over an hour and a half to cross a one mile distance to get into the United States.

Anyway Canada was good as usual. I went to a wedding, played some basketball, cricket and Halo as well as hearing about the wacky Yankee/Red Sox series and catching the first two plus sets of the Nadal/Federer Wimbledon final. Unfortunately I had to leave to comeback and miss arguably the greatest tennis match ever played. Go catch an online clip of it if you can, I’ll put up an update later tonight.

Baseball news before the NHL stuff. Brewers really surprised me in acquiring C.C. Sabathia for four prospects and giving themselves two top of the line starting pitchers (Ben Sheets). Sheets is 10-2 with 2.77 ERA – by far the best start of this career to go with CC who is only 6-8 with a 3.83 ERA. Keep in mind though that the Indians scored two runs or fewer in 11 of his 18 starts this season. Brewers stand at 3.5 games behind the division leading Cubs but are tied for the lead in the Wildcard with their division foes St. Louis Cardinals. This race can get real interesting with those three teams having the top three records in the National League but only two spots are available to them and the race could get even more crowded if the Mets finally decide to heat up a little and the Phillies continue their decline.

As for the NHL news today that there will be second New Year’s Winter Classic Day game – this time at Wrigley Field between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. It was a fantastic game last year especially with the large crowd outdoors and I was kinda hoping they would do it at Yankee Stadium this year so maybe I had a chance to go see it but that didn’t pan out. Anyways, I’ll make sure to catch this game on tv just as I did the one last year.

Last New Year’s Day, more people tuned in to see the NHL play outdoors than any other regular-season game in more than a decade.

The Penguins-Sabres game in snowy Buffalo — the first regular-season outdoor NHL game in the United States — drew a 2.6 overnight rating and a 5 share on NBC. Each ratings point represents about 735,000 households; the rating is the percentage watching a telecast among homes with televisions, and the share is the percentage tuned into a broadcast among those households with televisions on at the time. Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets in the United States.

The 2.6/5 were the best numbers since a six-game regional telecast on Fox drew a 3.0 overnight rating and a 7 share on Feb. 3, 1996.

The Winter Classic ratings also surpassed Wayne Gretzky’s final game, which was broadcast on Fox on April 18, 1999, and drew a 2.5/6. Article

P.S. The MLB All-Star game from Yankee Stadium is coming up. I’m sure this media coverage on that in the tri-state is going to be crazy. Hopefully its a memorable one.