Tigers


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 Over/Under Results

As the Major League Baseball regular season wrapped up last night, here’s a quick look of the Over/Under predictions from earlier in the year and the results for them now. I’ll try to find a list of O/U numbers for the entire league and will link it with an update when I do find it.

There were plenty of close calls including the Mets (80.5) finished the year at 79 wins, the Nationals (70.5) finished with 69, Yankees (95.5) fell just short at 95 and the Tigers (80.5) were the only one of these four which was on the over side at 81 wins.

Here is a set of 3 competitive O/U results:

Ayaz Wins Losses 2
Mets O 80.5 79 83 0
San Francisco O 81.5 92 70 1
Angels O 83.5 80 82 0
Philadelphia U 92.5 97 65 0
Washington O 70.5 69 93 0
Yankees U 95.5 95 67 1
Faraz Wins Losses 2
Detroit U 80.5 81 81 0
Minnesota O 83.5 94 68 1
Tampa Bay U 89.5 96 66 0
Cubs O 82.5 75 87 0
Philadelphia O 92.5 97 65 1
Toronto U 70.5 85 77 0
Mike Wins Losses 4
San Francisco O 81.5 92 70 1
Seattle O 83.5 61 101 0
Washington O 70.5 69 93 0
Boston U 94.5 89 73 1
Angels U 83.5 80 82 1
Cleveland U 74.5 69 93 1
Faraz Wins Losses 3
Detroit U 80.5 81 81 0
Minnesota O 83.5 94 68 1
Philadelphia O 92.5 97 65 1
Anaheim O 83.5 80 82 0
Baltimore O 74.5 66 96 0
Pittsburgh U 69.5 57 105 1
Faraz Wins Losses 3
Mets O 80.5 79 83 0
Minnesota O 83.5 94 68 1
San Francisco O 81.5 92 70 1
Angels O 83.5 80 82 0
Cleveland U 74.5 69 93 1
Washington O 70.5 69 93 0
Cindy Wins Losses 4
Boston U 94.5 89 73 1
Baltimore U 74.5 66 96 1
Pittsburgh O 69.5 57 105 0
Philadelphia O 92.5 97 65 1
White Sox U 82.5 88 74 0
Seattle U 83.5 61 101 1

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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.


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.