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Tag:Red Sox
Posted on: September 9, 2010 2:40 pm
 

2010 Playoff Predictions

Playoffs? You kiddin me? Playoffs?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exOxUAntx8I

This "Press Hop" youtube video above is awesome if you want a laugh.

Now onto the good stuff, the 2010 MLB playoffs. Right now with the exception of the NL West & the eastern wild card/division races, everything seems to be pretty decided. The biggest question this September seems to be the fights for home field advantage between the Yankees/Rays & Phillies/Braves. I think all four teams could really care less about playing an extra game at home or on the road, they are more concerned about finishing healthy and ready for the playoffs. This takes the edge out of the past month, but at least we can start to forecast the post-season landscape.

As a counter to this upcoming September baseball schedule, I have read the usual articles the past couple of weeks saying how the MLB should expand to an extra wild card team so that there are more meaningful regular season games. While that would be nice, I think the MLB actually has a good thing going right now. The playoffs aren't too watered down like the NBA & every team in the playoffs right now undoubtedly deserves to be there. That's actually saying something when you look at other sports and their wild card teams.

There is only one measure I would change to the MLB playoffs and that's getting rid of the short 5 game series. You play 162 games in a regular season, the least you can get in the playoffs is a true seven game series to prove your worth. In a short series often the hot team, not necessarily the better team will advance. If you went to an extra playoff team this would get even worse. A three game series (which I have heard thrown around a bit into the discussion) is an awful measure of how good a team is. Two bad games and everything you did in the previous 162 don't mean squat. 

So onto the predictions, here is how I see the regular season playing out:

AL East Champs - Rays (Home Field)
AL Central Champs - Twins
AL West Champs - Rangers
AL Wild Card - Yankees

NL East Champs - Phillies
NL Central Champs - Reds (Home Field)
NL West Champs - Padres
NL Wild Card - Braves

The Rays get to coast to the finish while the Yankees play the Red Sox & Blue Jays for their final 10. I see the Rays winning out the division by a narrow margin, but like I said before the Yankees are mainly concerned with staying healthy and resting their vets, not playing an extra game in the Bronx. Out west I say the Padres hold on, they deserve the playoffs for their efforts, and catching the leader with 20 to play is harder than it seems. The final race for the NL East/WC will be won out by the Phillies, who are now healthy and ready to go, but the Reds will coast to the finish with an easy-going Astros & Brewers finale to edge out the best record in NL. Much congrats to the Reds for their vast improvement from '09.

Round 1:

Rays v Rangers (Rays Win 3-1)
Yankees v Twins (Yankees Win 3-2)

Reds v Braves (Braves Win 3-2)
Phillies v Padres (Phillies Win 3-0)

Aside from injuries or severe choking, I think we are going to see a Yankees/Rays ALCS. No disrespect to the Twins who have had a very strong season, but the class of the AL is found in the east. I see the same thing going on in the NL, where the Phillies will take out an exhausted Padres team, while the Braves and their strong pitching staff will surprise the top-seeded Reds.


Next Round To Be Continued....

Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:53 pm
 

Analysis of Red Sox 2010 Lineup

Even though I am a die-hard Yankees fan, I have a lot of respect for the Sox. I love the rivalry and how our games are always dramatic. That being said I really don't understand what Theo was thinking this off-season. In my opinion this Red Sox lineup will be their worst/least productive in over 15 years. Lets look at their projected lineup:


1) LF - Jacoby Ellsbury - Solid leadoff hitter, great steals potential, raised .OBP to acceptable levels last season but still a little low for a leadoff guy, but in the speed department you can't do much better

2) 2B - Dustin Pedroia - Good #2 hitter, great production from 2nd baseman, solid power & OBP

3) C - Victor Martinez - When healthy provides great offensive production, but coming off of injury 2 seasons ago, can he pull another full season at catcher's roll? What about mixing in Varitek, where do you play Martinez without losing Ortiz, Youk, or Beltre? 

4) 1B - Kevin Youkilis - My favorite hitter in this lineup, Youk is an OBP monster and his patience at the plate constantly creates favorable hitting counts. I'd even take him over Tex if I had to choose between the two.

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5) DH - Big Papi - Mark my words: David Ortiz is the next Jason Giambi. His strikeouts are WAY WAY up and his average/OBP is WAY WAY down. Maybe he can park a few big HRs but besides that he is a glorified lefty pinch hitter. He will lose a ton of ABs this season to Martinez.

6) RF - J.D. Drew - Always hated this guy, he has never been an everyday, every game player. Always posts a nice OBP, but K's a lot, his power production has gone down, and he doesn't score a lot of runs. To top it off he is the Red Sox's highest paid player, nice.

7) 3B - Adrian Beltre - What a bum. His OBP is TERRIBLE, his run production is lousy, and his power has gone nothing but down. There is no doubt in my mind that his 2004 miracle season (which he still gets paid off from today) is a product of steroids. How else do you explain a guy that exceeds his career averages by triple in one season?

8) CF - Mike Cameron - Another big strikeout head with a terrible OBP. With this guy it is feast or famine, not what you want from your everyday CF. He does add his glove to the mix which is undeniably good, but you gotta be kidding that this is the guy you are making Ellisbury move over for.

9) SS - Marco Scutaro - Last year Marco had a career year and made great strides in areas he needed to: OBP & run scoring. If he can keep that up he will be a good #9 hitter, but if his career averages have anything to say, he probably will not. His numbers will likely be 2/3 lower than last season.


Overall:

Love the Top 4 in the lineup, but the bottom 5 is Horrific. Low OBP and strikeouts will kill this offense.

Posted on: January 18, 2010 8:50 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2010 2:00 am
 

7 Mystery Players

I'm going to rate 7 mystery players using some sabermetric stats: OPS (OBP + SLG) & K/AB (# of K's vs. # of ABs) from the 2009 season. The higher the OPS the better, the lower the K/AB the better. So here we go:


Player A - .921 OPS (.384 OBP + .537 SLG) & .303 K/AB
Player B - .869 OPS (.371 OBP + .498 SLG) & .253 K/AB
Player C - .811 OPS (.337 OBP + .474 SLG) & .137 K/AB
Player D - .794 OPS (.342 OBP + .452 SLG) & .287 K/AB
Player E - .794 OPS (.332 OBP + .462 SLG) & .248 K/AB
Player F - .724 OPS (.345 OBP + .379 SLG) & .161 K/AB
Player G - .683 OPS (.304 OBP + .379 SLG) & .165 K/AB

So looking at these numbers Player A seems to be the superior player, followed by player B, then player C. Player D & E seem pretty even. Player F is trailing the others above & player G bringing up the rear by a pretty significant amount.

So who are they?

Player D is replacing Player A in Boston's outfield.
Player G is who Theo thinks can replace Player C at 3rd base for Boston.
Player B is the Yankees RF & Player F is the Yankees possible LF or 4th outfielder.
And Player E is David Ortiz .





Posted on: January 18, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 7:57 pm
 

2010 Yankees Lineup

I previously did an article on the Red Sox lineup & now I am going to dive into the Yankees lineup. Overall I am a fan of the Yankee's moves but I am a little worried that the '10 lineup may not match up to the '09 lineup's patience & overall run scoring ability. So here we go:

1) SS - Derek Jeter - The kind of OBP you want in a leadoff hitter (.406) and still has some gas in the tank to get around the bases (30 SBs). Would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts (90 K's), but Jeter is going for all-time hit marks and you don't get them by keeping your bat on your shoulder. Ideally you would want a guy like Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury leading off and Jeter batting second, but the Yanks won't be able to set that up until Crawford is a free agent next year.

2) DH - Nick Johnson - Health is the major concern here, but the hope is that a season spent mostly at DH and at 1B every once and a while to keep Tex fresh should be able to keep him on the field. Expect him to see a lot of rest if needed a la Hideki Matsui last year so that he will be ready for October. Why all the risk? Because Johnson had a .426 OBP in 2009, ideal for getting Jeter in scoring position for the big bats. A short right porch should help get the power number up as well.

3) 1B - Mark Teixeira - Excellent stat line from first season in the Bronx (.383 OBP .565 SLG). Tex seemed to thrive batting in front of A-Rod, getting to see a lot of pitches, which lead to his monster 39 HR 122 RBI output. Only knock is that he seemed to disappear at times completely at both the beginning of the season and in the playoffs. But hopefully he will get more comfortable in his playoff shoes and start cutting down on the strikeouts.

4) 3B - Alex Rodriguez - When A-Rod isn't bogged down by his own ego, he has the potential to be the 2nd best hitter in baseball (behind Albert Pujols of course). +.400 OBP, scary excellent power to both fields (583 carrer HRs), decent speed (avg 15 SBs lately), and a great glove to boot. But like I said that all can turn to mush if A-Rod's head says so.

5) 2B - Robinson Cano - I would like to see Cano step up to the #5 hole and increase his already elite 2B stat line of '09 (+200 hits, .520 SLG, +100 runs). The major improvement that needs to be made in Robby's game is plate discipline. Cano just doesn't walk as evident by his .320 AVG but .352 OBP, but what can you do, the kid loves to swing.

6) C - Jorge Posada - How many more good years behind the plate are left for Mr. Posada? He is getting up there in years and in catcher's years he is getting to be ancient. Soon Jorge will have to retire to DH land where the Yanks can use his
.363 OBP & .522 SLG on a consistent basis, instead of having to rest him every 3-4 games. At that point his numbers should get a nice boost, but until then the wear and tear of everyday catching will continue to drag his stats slowly down. 

7) CF - Curtis Granderson - Weird spot for a speedster CF to be batting, but until I see the Grandy of '08 (. 280 AVG, .365 OBP, +110 runs) and not the '09 Grandy (.249 AVG, .327 OBP, 91 R), he will need to be out of the middle of the lineup where he is a potential rally killer. This move makes total sense from a defensive standpoint, but at the plate this is a little bit of a scary move. If he can get his stats back up to his '07 & '08 levels with the help of a stacked lineup and short right porch, he will be just fine. If not, let the boos rain.
 
8) RF - Nick Swisher - It took me a while to like this guy, but I will try and explain why I do now. Besides being a good clubhouse guy, this guy TAKES PITCHES. It kinda drives you nuts because he takes a lot of called strikes, and often leaves himself in a 2 strike hole. If it drives you nuts, imagine what it does to a pitcher. Swisher walks, and walks a lot. His .249 AVG and .371 OBP are evident of that. Swish gets on base and keeps innings going, and he makes the SP work. Also he has pretty good power (29 HRs) and was pretty clutch all last season. He made a believer out of me, all you have to do is ride out his cold streaks (avg 2 long ones a season).

9) LF - Brett Gardner - Here is the Yankees hole in the lineup, if you consider .270 AVG, .345 OBP, & 26 SBs, to be that big of a hole. The Yankees are looking to save money to be the winner of the Carl Crawford sweepstakes next season, so why not give a young guy like Gardner a full time shot. He has crazy wheels, is a good glove in left, and makes contact (40 K's in 248 ABs). Worse comes to worse if the experiment fails you go to the free agent market this summer. Done and done.


Overall:

The Yankees are taking a calculated risk letting Hideki Matsui & Johnny Damon walk. They will miss both hitter's excellent run production, but in the end Damon's fielding (+ crazy contract demands) and Matsui's bad knees were too much evidence not to re-sign the two. The Yanks may suffer a bit in run scoring, but it isn't like they were ever suffering in that department in the first place. Maybe getting a little bit younger and stronger defensively was the right answer. If not well there is always the trade deadline. 





 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com