Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NL division series Cin vs Ari

This series has offense written all over it!

Cinci comes at you from every spot in the lineup. They feature a plethora of guys who hit and one of them is my favorite player not named Bocachica, Tomo Martin. He does it all from the catcher spot. Phenominal offensive player who should be the NL mvp. If he has an off game don't worry Lee, Everett, Santos, and Cameron will make sure you are on your toes. Great, great offensive team.

As good as Cinci is Arizona is no slouch. They come at you with 3 hitters boasting a .961 OPS or higher. They also have 7 guys with 22 homers or more. You have to worry about Redondo, McConnell, and Ward. They are game changers. Don't know if 1-8 there is a more solid offensive team in the NL.

I think this series is going to come down to pitching and Cinci has some great arms. The best pitcher to ever grace Uecker world is Apollo Madson. After getting his 300th win and turning 38 he still went out and through 200 solid, solid innings. Sad thing for other teams is that he may not be the best current arm on the squad. That distinction could fall to John Shibata. He worked in 220 innings of sub 2.60 era ball this year. If the starters make it to the 7th the game is over. Cinci has a great back end bullpen with 5 steller arms ready to come in and shut you down.

Arizona is at a disadvantage here. After failing to acquire pitching help at the deadline they will depend on Yean Carlos Avilan and Pedro Oropesa. If they can get quality innings and avoid the bullpen having to eat innings it gives them a punchers chance.

Make no mistake Arizona is a good team, however, Cinci is a wreaking machine. I don't know if there is a team that can beat them this year in either league. Cinci in 4.

NL divisional series Tol vs Tampa

Offensively the power numbers are close but that is about it.

Toledo gets on base very well( they don't have a player with more than 230 at bats who doesn't cary at least a .330 OBP) and when they do there is a great chance they will get the runs across. They feature 5 guys with 20 or more home runs and are paced by Jon Stanley and Irving Guzman. At first glance the offense doesn't look spectacular but when you dig in a little the truth comes out. They are good.

Tampa is powered by stud Yunesky Mercedes. He does everything for this offense besides steal bases. With an OPS close to 1.000 he is a threat every time he has the lumber in his hands. Brutus Turner excelled in what appears to be a part time role but Tampa might need him to provide firepower in more of a full time capacity if they want a chance. 

The Buds have 5 very good starters who are capable of giving them innings of great pitching. 1-5 they are very solid. Toledo relies on these guys as the bullpen is not deep. They do have 3 very good options and if it gets to Klassen he will close the door. He converted on 54 of 57 save chances this season. 

Tropics pitching is buoyed by 2 time fireman of the year Donaldo Flores and starter Wladimer Soler. Soler while not  huge strikeout pitcher has great stuff. Flores, while a little off this year, still knows how to close the door. 

Honestly Toledo should win this series in 4 or 5 even if the pitching doesn't hold up well. However you can never count Tampa out. They are always in the mix year after year. 

Divisional series preview Bos vs Mon

In the second match up we will break down Boston vs Montreal.

Offensively we have another very close contest. Boston doesn't have one superstar on the hitting side but is paced by great hitters in Mac Aoki, Crash Villarreal, Omar Polonia, and Miguel Ortiz. All contributed immensely to Boston's offensive success this season.  Boston did a really good job of spreading it around as 13 players garnered more than 200 AB's this season.

Montreal is paced by Angel Zumaya and Louis Polonia. Both capable of changing games with thier bats. Budding superstar Max Osborne contributed greatly this year. With a .869 OPS and only 12 homers it means that he gets on base and drives balls to the gap. Very solid offensive squad all around.

Pitching edge definitely tilts to Boston. They put up extremely good numbers for playing half their games in Fenway. Not one of his starters is going to blow you away but they are solid. Bullpen doesn't blow you away but as unspectacular as the numbers are they produce.

Montreal features 5 starters that can be considered innings eaters. Which is what they needed with their offensive prowess. Bullpen features stud Ismael Castro who can close the door on any situation. He is surrounded by some other good arms. If they can get 6 effective innings from the starters this bullpen can shut you down.

If Boston can get good innings from the starters they should win this series, Lots of talent and very even keel team. If pitching is fair Montreal wins in 4.

On to the divisional series... 1st breakdown Chi vs Tre

First off congrats to the teams who have been eliminated already. Not easy to make the playoffs! Good job and good luck next year!

Match up #1  Chicago vs Trenton...

Offensively the teams are fairly close with team OPS's separated by a mere .06 rating.  The main difference between the two is that Chicago has more speed which is shown in their SB and extra base hit totals.

Chicago is paced by lead off stud Kendry Tarasco who is always a threat when on the base paths and super sluggers Joe O'conner and Juan Gallardo. X factor for Chicago could be Tim Freeman. The young slugger had a great year and seems to be a steal for where he was drafted in season 29.

Trenton trots out superstar Ruben Bocachica, who set the season RBI record and slugged 66 home runs. He's followed up by budding star Erik Bard and a couple other sluggers who can put the ball over the wall with regularity.

Pitching is also very close but tilts towards the side of Chicago again. Between the teams there are no real super stars. Trenton's Teoscar Chantres is as close to it as you will see in the series. The only advantage that may slide one way or the other is Trenton's bullpen. The bullpen could very well be the deciding factor if Chicago gets to Trenton's starters.

In the end Chicago should be expected to win in 5. Tough team with lots of talent that won't be neutralized by Trenton's small park.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

NL playoff preview

The little sister league actually has some big brother type teams. Cincinatti is a stone cold killer and will come in well rested, as they could have been on auto pilot since the mid season classic. Solid, solid, squad. We also have the classic graybeard demolition squad coming out of Toledo. With over 26000 wins and 21 world series titles he knows how to put together a team. In Arizona, Kartchy has his division locked up and is stuck in the 3rd seed. Just kinda biding his time waiting to unleash the fury.

Tampa Bay pretty much has the first wild card locked up. After taking NLCS participate Toledo to the brink last year can they beat either of the ass whooping machines in Cincy or Toledo this year?

Here is where it starts to get ugly. There are 6 teams vying for 2 playoff spots.  The goofy part is that there are 3 that can win the NL south and 3 that can take the second wild card. The 2nd place finisher in the South has zero shot at the wild card. Honestly we should take the spot from the south and just make a 3rd wild card. They are probably gonna say we all 3 are good and just beat up on each other. This ain't football. Be a shame to have a team with a losing record keep a better squad out but that's how the ball bounces.

I think when it comes down to it we'll feel the Sting and Charleston will come out victorious over the little Texan's that couldn't and the fast food king Memphis.

The 3 way race for the last wild card spot is honestly anybody's. They are all peeing down their legs currently with losing streaks a glow. Helena is just happy to be in contention for something other than the doormat. Have you ever been to Philly? Surprised that team is still kicking and hasn't been eliminated from the throngs of dysentery. And the Pickers might have to forfeit if that can't push back the start of their scavenging show on A&E network. All joking aside if Helena can salvage the last game of this current series they are in the driving seat. The final games against Seattle and Vancouver are about as easy as it gets.

Good luck in the playoffs fellas!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

American League Playoff Races

With 10 games left there are 3 spots up for grabs.  In the AL West Huntington leads Austin by 2.  In the wild card race Trenton is entrenched in the #1 spot with a 6 game lead over Montreal (Who absolutely destroys me every time we match up), and Montreal has a 1 game lead over Burlington and 5 games over Austin.

Huntington is going to have to fight  for that division.  After just running into the Boston buzz saw and loosing 3 of 4 they get to decide their own fate with with a 4 game series against the suddenly reeling Burlington and a 3 gamer versus the steady Austin squad. They finish up with the rebuilding Jackson squad that would probably take pride in knowing that they finished Huntington's season if it comes down to it.

Austin coming off a lucky 4 game split with Trenton is in the drivers seat for the West. They play a Buffalo team that is more than willing to lose after meeting the MWR, the 3 gamer with Huntington, and a cake match up with Montgomery. They have to be the odds on favorite for the division.

In the wild card race it would take a serious meltdown for Trenton not to take 1 of the 2 spots. With a 7 game lead over the 2nd spot it would take an almost perfect run to unseat them. A pedestrian 5-5 gets them a spot. The schedule isn't favorable but with Trenton's dominance over Boston this year the spot should be sealed after the 4 gamer with them.

Montreal has the easiest path to the second wild card as their schedule is not an overly hard one with 6 of the final 10 coming against teams with a losing record. Although there are rumors in the Trenton locker room about some rest coming up allowing the teams closet to the Boules some less than stellar competition. Trenton doesn't seem to want anything to do with the Boules in the playoffs.

I think it is too little too late for Burlington. Going to take a huge last 10 for them. 7 of the last 10 are against teams ahead of them in the playoff pecking order. Can't count them out when they have two at least two starts from Lara and Torrealba in the final 10.

Congrats to the Cubbies, Boston, and the Brew Crew for locking up spots already. Mixed on the Brew Crew because the division laid down this year but the Boston and Chicago squads are real.

Welcome to Uecker!

Hopefully we can keep the blog updated and find cool things to analyze and discuss.  I think I will start with a breakdown of the playoff races by each divison. Remmber all views are my own and if you disagree take it out on Frymaster. He introduced me to HBD!