Rays


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?


Baseball’s Unlikely Regular Season Finish

A great piece by Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight on how unlikely the events of the last day of the Major League Baseball season actually were. Below is just a sample:

The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:

  • The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
  • The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance of coming back after trailing 7-0 with two innings to play.
  • The Red Sox had only about a 2 percent chance of losing their game against Baltimore, when the Orioles were down to their last strike.
  • The Rays had about a 2 percent chance of winning in the bottom of the 9th, with Johnson also down to his last strike.

Multiply those four probabilities together, and you get a combined probability of about one chance in 278 million of all these events coming together in quite this way.


Reason Number One.

I will be citing several reasons for why the Phillies will lose this series up until the start of game 1 because no pitch has been thrown. After that, it’ll be up to the players to back up history.

The Phillies have 4 World Series losses on their belt. What teams did they lose to?

1915 – Boston Red Sox (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (1)
1950 – New York Yankees (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (0)
1983 – Baltimore Orioles (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (1)
1993 – Toronto Blue Jays (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (2)
2008 – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies

If you can tell the common theme amongst all four of those teams that Philly lost to is that they are 4 out of the 5 teams that make up the AL East. Sorry Philadelphia but you’re set to lose against the AL East… again.


Tampa Bay Rays: This Team Is For Real

Can we all just stop expecting the Tampa Bay Rays to just disappear by the end of the season? A team that everyone was saying had to make a move at the deadline to acquire a bat to sure up their weak offense made no such move because they wanted to keep their prospects – and what do they do after the deadline? Go off and sweep the Detroit Tigers while outscoring them 20-10 in the three games.

Last time I wrote about them, New Beast In The AL East, they were in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season so far (7) which was promptly followed by their longest losing streak of the season – also at 7. If there was a good a time as any for a team to fold up and go home it was then. They had squandered a 4 game lead on the division and now were half a game behind the Red Sox. Since then, they have gone 11-5 and once again taken the lead of the division and have given themselves a 3-game cushion.

This team is here to stay and as if their pitching wasn’t solid enough, expect them to call up David Price who was a #1 overall draft pick not too long ago who is tearing up the minor leagues. He is 10-0 in the minors this year with a 1.97 ERA and has a 85/19 K/BB ratio with only 67 hits allowed in 86.2 innings pitched. That’s 8.87 strikeouts every 9 innings by the way and a WHIP of 0.99. (more…)


New Beast In The AL East

I’m not sure whether to include them in book yet or not, but the story of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 Major League Baseball seems like a story written in Hollywood. Here is a team who is at 50-32 at about the halfway point of the season – Tampa lost their 32nd game on June 5th last year and won their 50th game on August 25th. At that point they were already 28.5 games behind the division leader in the AL East.

This year is a whole different story. The AL East division leader is a team who had finished anywhere but the basement of the division only once in the franchise history (4th in 2004) and stand with the best record in all of baseball. I know my brother and I would talk about it every spring training that this year might be the year that Tampa really surprises some people but every year they would get bogged down by injuries or lack of depth in their pitching staff. They usually had a decent offense to hold their own in a competitive AL East against the offensive powerhouses of the Yankees, Red Sox and when they felt like it the Blue Jays. Again, this year is a whole different story.

Where did this team come from? A record of 31-13 (.705) at home and .500 on the road, having their worst losing streak of the season (4 games) in the first two weeks of the season from April 6-9 either shows this team has yet to hit a mid season slump or is capable of bouncing back after losses to avoid long losing streaks. They have had two separate streaks of winning at least 6 games (4/22-4/27 and  5/8-5/13) already, they are 15-10 in one run games and 14-10 in games decided by five or more runs.  They are combined 9-11 against the Red Sox (4-6) and the Yankees (5-5) after 20 games. Four out of their first five series following the All-Star break are against teams that are below .500 (Blue Jays, Royals, Mariners, and Indians) with the only series being against Detroit Tigers who finally cracked .500 for the first time all season.

Tampa Bay Rays have gone 42-21 since starting of the season at 8-11, 33-17 in their past 50 games and along the way have managed to piss off the Yankees and Red Sox with a few punches and hard slides as well. What else can you really ask for from a team who who went 67-95 last year – Rays are only 17 wins away from last year’s total and it’s only the half way point of the season.

Just take a look at some of these stats:

  • Days in First Place: 21 (had only been in first about 12-15 days in their entire 10 year franchise history prior to this year)
  • Most Games over .500: 18 games (50-32 as of right now)
  • Most Games under .500: 3 games (on 4/20 when they dropped to 8-11, have gone 42-21 since)
  • Biggest Division Lead: 1.5 games (over Red Sox as of right now)
  • Furthest Behind Leader: 5.0 games (last time on 4/22)

A good majority of these stats are from http://www.baseball-reference.com. If you are a baseball fan, this is a must visit site. It really has a ton of stats and is constantly being updated.

Anyways, here is to hoping that the Rays have just as successful of a 2nd half as they did in the first and what a World Series match-up it would be if itwas the Rays against the lovable losers in Chicago Cubs. Two franchises marred with losing stretches, on the brink of greatness.