I loooooove winning!

Friday, March 23, 2012

World Series Preview

AL #1 Salem Aggies (103-59) vs. NL #2 Helena Hustle (95-57)

Power Rankings - Salem #1, Helena #9

Road to the World Series - Salem defeated Philly in 5 games in the DCS, and Montreal in 5 games in the LCS. Helena took down Houston in 4 in the DCS and Chicago in 5 in the LCS

Season Recap -

Salem - The best team in the AL finished at the top of its division for the first time since Season 9. This team is the best one in franchise history - setting a record for wins and appearing in its first World Series. Their 4th rated offense is led by the smooth stylings of all-stars Keith Roosevelt and Zach Page. Their 9th rated pitching staff is led by Cy Young candidate Hideki Yang.

Helena - The Hustle won its third consecutive division title (and 15th overall) while capturing the 2nd seed. Their 10th rated offense is led by MVP candidate Peter O'Connor, while their 7th rated staff is led by teh surprising Tommy Hardy.

Prediction - Salem is a team of destiny. Once derided for their 132 loss season in Season 18, dubabe has improved dramatically in the last few seasons. Helena is in the middle of a great run that included a Season 21 title. It's odd the the #1 team is the underdog, but it's hard not to root for the Aggies. Salem in 7 with Hick Manning the difference maker.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gamefiveapalooza!

AL
Montreal vs. Oklahoma City
Power Rankings - Montreal #5, OKC #2
Series Recap
Game 1
Montreal 4 - OKC 1 - Iglesias throws a gem, and former Tar Heels Wise and Loller with an RBI each.
Game 2
Montreal 7 - OKC 4 - Wise knocks in 4 off of former Tar Heel teammate Vincente.
Game 3
OKC 10 - Montreal 6 - Former Tar Heel Encarnacion blows a save in a 30-hit, 5-error slopfest.
Game 4
OKC 12 - Montreal 7 - Vincente with another stinker, but is rescued by future Tar Heel Wallace.

Game 5
SP Match-up - Bernie Pena (7-10/4.61) vs. Chad Clarke (17-6/4.14)
Playoff Stats - Pena is 1-0 with an ERA of 4.00 in two games. Clarke is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.00 in his only start (a complete game).
Prediction - The away team has won every game. Montreal was won with pitching, OKC with batting. This is a match-up of former Garde player Clarke vs. FA pick-up Pena. Clarke is a workhorse, but Pena will be lucky to see the 6th inning. Two important stats - Montreal has an away ERA of 3.72 and a home ERA of 4.63. Montreal leads the AL in away OPS (.853). This game is in OKC, so Montreal wins.

Philadelphia vs. Salem
Power Rankings - Philly NR, Salem #1
Series Recap
Game 1
Philly 6 - Salem 4 - A 12-inning thriller with 5 1/3 scoreless innings thrown by Philly's bullpen (after the blown save).
Game 2
Salem 4 - Philly 0 - A 4-hit shutout led by an efficient Hub Brooks.
Game 3
Salem 9 - Philly 3 - Singleton saves the day with a 4 inning plus relief effort.
Game 4
Philly 9 - Salem 5 - Lanning and Pena each knock in three.

Game 5
SP Match-up - Anthony Patterson (14-9/3.79) vs. Hub Brooks (15-8/3.70)
Playoff stats - Patterson is 1-1 with an ERAS of 2.92, Brooks is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00
Prediction - Two lefties - so the question should be who hits lefties better? Well, to answer your question, Philly did, but only by 7 points. Additionally, Philly has a little better spead compared to vr. righties, but not by much. I can't find much here, except that Salem is a little tired, so I'm going with Philly.

Chicago vs. Memphis
Power Rankings - Chicago #4, Memphis NR
Series Recap
Game 1
Memphis 8 - Chicago 1 - Azocar zips 'em up XU-style while the Blues burn up the basepaths.
Game 2
Memphis 4 - Chicago 1 - Speier continues his offensive tear, while Olmeda keeps the Black Sox bats quiet.
Game 3
Chicago 5 - Memphis 2 - Watson leads a six-pitcher army to stop the bleeding, Stevenson wakes up from his slump.
Game 4
Chicago 7 - Memphis 4 - The dreaded 2-0 series lead is overcome by the offensive prowess of Silva and Burgess.

Game 5
SP Match-up - Cesar Reyes (16-5/3.61) vs. Victor Olmeda (17-6/3.40)
Playoff Stats - Olmeda is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.29, while Reyes was roughed up in his only appearance.
Prediction - This is an excellent pitching match-up, and my guess is that they will cancel each other out. Chicago had the better regular season offense, but how much of that is due to the decidedly pitcher's park of Memphis? The away team has won every game in the series. Chicago had the #1 offense in the NL vs. RHP's, but Olmeda is a lefty, and they were almost 100 OPS points worse vs. southpaws. For that reason, I'm going with Memphis.