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Thursday, December 15, 2011

NL DPis Preview

#4 Kansas City Crusaders (79-83) vs. #5 New York Ramrods (93-69)
Final Rankings - KC Not Ranked, New York #12
Regular Season - New York won 7 out of 10, but KC had a +1 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Alexi Terrero (15-11) vs. Mitchell Cameron (13-6)
Game 2 - Brian Williams (4-6) vs. Randy Shelley (10-8)
Game 3 - Sandy Ramsey (11-10) vs. Ramon Chen (10-12)

Fun facts - Chen has an ERA over 6 in 15 playoff appearences. Ramsey, Williams, and Chen were all top FA signings in the last 4 seasons.
Prediction - KC has the horses, but they are very tired. However, their pitching is far superior. KC in 5

#3 Helena Hustle (95-67) vs. #6 Louisville Bats (86-76)
Final Rankings - Helena #6, Louisville #8
Regular Season - Split 10 games, run differential even
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Richard Aoki (16-9) vs. Manny Ramsey (10-10)
Game 2 - Cristobal Molina (15-9) vs. Julio Lopez (16-7)
Game 3 - Angel Palmeiro (9-13) vs. Jeff Woods (5-3)
Fun Facts - Helena just won the World Series. Louisville is making its first ever appearance in 22 seasons. Woods and Aoki were two of the top Season 21 free agent signings.
Prediction - Louisville in 5. batgecko is due and Helena could be suffering from a World Series hangover. Additionally, after firing its manager after the Game 1 debacle, the 'Ville is focused and motivated.

AL DPiS Preview

#4 St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. #5 Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64)

Final Rankings - St. Louis #11, Philly #4
Regular Season - Split 5-5, Philly +13 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Stevie Waters (11-10) vs. Anthony Patterson (19-9)
Game 2 - Sammy Duran (12-11) vs. Timothy Crawford (16-7)
Game 3 - Marvin Campbell (7-9) vs. Mule Service (9-6)
Fun facts - In Season 18, St. Louis beat Philly in 4 games in the DPiS. Despite evidence to the contrary, Mule Service is his name, not what he does.
Prediction - Philly will be too much for St. Louis, unless Clinton Clifton gets hot. Philly in 4

#3 Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S (95-67) vs. #6 Salem Aggies (88-74)

Final Rankings - JAX #3, Salem #10
Regular Season - Series split 5-5, JAX +1 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Phil Pride (15-6) vs. Hick Manning (19-11)
Game 2 - Derrek Peters (15-6) vs. Hub Brooks (14-11)
Game 3 - Chad Long (16-10) vs. Pedro Calvo (12-9)
Fun Facts - All six probable starters were 1st round draft picks. 4 of the 6 were drafted in the top 10.
Prediction - I hate to go with the favorites, but Jacksonville is just too good. Manning vs. Pride might happen twice, but I just don't see Manning winning both of those games. JAX in 4.

Final Rankings

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (109-53) Pre-season #1 - NL North Champ and AL #1 Seed
2. Durham Tar Heels (101-61) Pre-season #6 - NL East Champ and AL #2 Seed
3. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (95-67) Pre-season #5 - NL South Champ and AL #3 Seed
4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64) Pre-season #3 - NL Wild Card #1 and AL #5 Seed
5.Chicago Black Sox (96-66) - Pre-season NR - NL East Champ and NL #1 Seed
6 Helena Hustle (95-67) - Pre-season #4 - NL West Champ and NL #3 Seed
7 Memphis Blue's (95-67) - Pre-season NR - NL South Champ and NL #2 Seed
8. Louisville Bats (86-76) - Pre-season NR - NL Wild Card #2 and NL #6 Seed
9. Los Angeles Hollywoods (84-78) - Pre-season #8 - Missed playoffs
10. Salem Aggies (88-74) - Pre-season NR - AL Wild Card #2 and AL #6 Seed

11. St. Louis
12. New York
13. Houston

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updated NL Playoff Picture

5 games to go!

1. Chicago - NL East Champ (4 game lead) and overall #1 seed (2 game lead)
2. Memphis - clinched NL South Champ and overall #2 seed (1 game lead)
3. Helena - clinched NL West Champ and at least overall #3 seed
4. Kansas City - NL North Champ (2 game lead) and overall #4 seed
5. New York - Clinched at least Wild Card #2
6. Louisville - Wild Card #2 (2 game lead)

Everything is up for grabs! Chicago, Memphis, Helena, and New York are all still alive for the #1 overall seed. KC is being chased by two teams in the do or die North. Louisville is hanging on for dear life and their first playoff berth.

So, the two best races are still the #2 Wild Card and the NL North championship.

NL North Analysis

The Standings
1. Kansas City 75-82
2. Cleveland 73-84
3. Detroit 72-85

The Contenders

Kansas City
So the two teams that KC is chasing have both dealt their stars mid-season. Does anyone want to win this division? Enter mwelker and his, until now, perennial doormat Crusaders. mwelker has his detracters (that will happen with 5 consecutive seasons of losing 100 games or more), but he has a plan and has shown improvement in 3 consecutive seasons. He looks primed to take over for davidlove at the top of the North. The Crusaders are led by the offense of David Wanatabe and the pitching of, well, nobody. His pitching has improved a bit, and they will need it now to hold off the challengers.

Cleveland
davidlove has dominated the North, winning 9 out of 16 division championships. A trade of 8x all-star Louis Spence signaled a rebuilding effort, but the offensive efforts of Quinn Portugal and the pitching of Ken Howington have kept them just 2 games out of the division lead.

Detroit
mtorab has 1 divsion title and 1 world series win in his 21 seasons in 1530 Homer. His Tigers were the off-season champs and looked primed for a run at a World Series title. A mid-season trade of Benji Neill likely ended those dreams, but a division title is still within grasp. MVP favorite (and a very tired) Cristobal Mantalban leads the offense while Gustavo Melo is the best of the SP's. They will need better production out of Benji Pulido if they are to make the playoffs.


Remaining Schedule
Kansas City - 2 vs. Detroit, 3 vs. Pittsburgh
Cleveland - 2 vs. Pittsburgh, 3 vs. Detroit
Detroit - 2 vs. Kansas City, 3 vs. Cleveland

Prediction
I'll still take the experience of davidlove and Cleveland, but they will need the help of Detroit.

Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings

1. Louisville (85-72)
1. Los Angeles (83-74)
3. Houston (80-77)

The Contenders

Louisville
batgecko is finally seeing his work pay off after 5 disappointing seasons. Will the WIS gods ever stop punishing him with injuries? Welington Chavez leads a potent offense while Julio Lopez is the most productive on a very good staff. The returns of Antonio Graves and Jeff Woods have improved their chances.

Los Angeles
Is the tytabs era over? He has won 6 of the last 8 division titles, but is having his worst year in 10 seasons. The Hollywoods are led by silky smooth mustachioed Rube Swann and newly re-signed Orval Gonzales. Luis Morales is the key to LA catching Louisville.

Houston
pmuehlenkamp has.......nevermind, look it up for yourself. If you care enough to be reading this you know that he is the most successful owner in 1530 (all due respect, nhollan). The Hangovers are led by the smooth sounds of The Goose and the pitching of future HOF'r Dave Darr. Geraldo Mendez must pick it up if they are to keep from missing the playoffs for the 2nd time in franchise history.

Remaining Schedules
Louisville - 2 vs. Houston, 3 vs. Memphis
Los Angeles - 2 vs. Helena, 3 vs. SF
Houston - 2 VS. Louisville, 3 vs. Montgomery

Prediction
Louisville is in teh driver's seat, but has a brutal remaining schedule. Houston must sweep the remaining games to have a chance, and LA may sneak in if it can sweep SF. My money is still on Louisville.

Updated AL Playoff Picture

With only 5 games left on the schedule, their is still some drama left. Those in BOLD have clinched playoff berth

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (clinched #1 Seed and AL North Champ)
2. Durham Tar Heels (likely #2 Seed and likely AL East Champ)
3. Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S (likely #3 Seed and clinched AL South Champ)
4. St. Louis Cardinals (likely #4 seed and likely AL West Champ)
5. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (at least #5 Seed and at least Wild Card #1)
6. Salem Aggies (#6 Seed and likely Wild Card #2)

Cincinnati has locked up the overall #1 seed. Durham or Philly will be the #2 seed. Jacksonville has clinched the South and has a 5 game lead on St. Louis for the #3 seed. Salem has lost their lead in the South and now trails St. Louis by 2 games, but leads for the Wild Card #2 spot by 3 over Montreal and OKC.


AL West Analysis

The Standings
1. St Louis 87-70
2. Salem 85-72

The Contenders

St. Louis
2000man had won his division in 11 of his 22 1530 Homer seasons. The Cards are led by Archie Herzner on offense and the quasi-albino Blade Fox on the mound. Future HOF'r Clinton Clifton is still in a relative slump, but they have picked up the slack elsewhere.

Salem
The Aggies have finished 3rd of 4th in every one of dubabe's 7 seasons. This year is a new story. Led by Dutch Velarde and Keith Roosevelt on offense and emerging ace Hick Manning, Salem has produced one of the more dramatic turn arounds in 1530 history, but can they make the playoffs?

Remaining schedule
Salem - 2 vs. St. Louis, 3 vs. Vancouver
St. Louis - 2 vs. Salem, 3 vs. Fresno

Prediction
St. Louis has been on fire and there is no reason to believe that they will be slowing down. If Salem can win the next two games vs. St. Louis, then they do have a more favorable remaining schedule. One more win in the series by St. Louis will give them the tie-breaker vs. Salem, which will likely put the division out of reach.

Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings
1. Salem 85-72
2. Oklahoma City 82-75
3. Montreal 82-75

The Contenders

Salem
The Aggies have finished 3rd of 4th in every one of dubabe's 7 seasons. This year is a new story. Led by Dutch Velarde and Keith Roosevelt on offense and emerging ace Hick Manning, Salem has produced one of the more dramatic turn arounds in 1530 history.

Oklahoma City
robyoung is attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since season 16. Newcomer Alex Limon leads the offense, while B.C. Vincente leads the pitching staff with his best season yet. Youngster Jesus Bautista must play better

Montreal
nhollan and his perennial powerhouse are seeking their 17th consecutive playoff appearance. They are led by MVP candidate (winner?) Henry Wise on offense and ace Sammy Iglesias. They must get better production out of Bill Reed if they are going to catch the challengers.

Remaining Schedule
Salem - 2 vs. St. Louis, 3 vs. Vancouver
Oklahoma City - 2 vs. Jacksonville, 3 vs. New Orleans
Montreal - 2 vs. SLC, 3 vs. Cincinnati


Prediction
It's hard to bet against Montreal, but making up 3 games with 6 to play is going to be difficult. They do have an easy schedule if Cincy rests their guys for the playoffs. OKC does not have an easy game remaining. My bet is Salem.