Sorry about not posting for a few days everyone, I’ve been kinda busy but I will get somethin up tomorrow.
Ahh October, the bitter cold weather, raking crisp leaves, baking apple and pumpkin pies, and what else? Baseball. Yes the most exciting time of year for a baseball fan. Throw the records out from the past seven months that made got you where you are today. Because today is a new day, a new season. Lets say its the the ALCS. Your season comes down to a seven game series. One slip can turn the momentum to the other team and your hard work will send you packing home while the other team pops champagne and they move onto the Fall Classic. You will never get the choice to choose your opponent in the ALCS, but if you had to out of these two teams who would you choose? The Tampa Bay Rays or the Texas Rangers?
In a playoff series a major key is starting pitching. Pitching usually sets the tone of the series. The smaller the series is, the bigger starting pitching becomes. Now its only late July basically August. So there is plenty of baseball left to play and numbers to be looked up. The Rangers always had one of the most scariest lineups in the Major League, but the Rays lineup of Longoria, Crawford, Zobrist, and Pena isn’t too shabby either. Plus the Rangers staff is very young and very talented. Trading for Cliff Lee raised their stock to make the World Series vastly over the past month. Lee is a horse. His past eight starts he lasted at least eight innings. Who doesn’t love an innings eater deep into the playoffs? He sure did a favor for the Phillies. If Philly had any help from their other starters then they maybe the back to back champions of baseball. On a complete other note Roy Halladay will not give the Phillies what Lee did for them a year ago. Just zero chance that happens. That is how good Lee was.
Meet the staffs.
Rangers : 11.8 total SP WAR
Cliff Lee – WAR 4.9
Colby Lewis – WAR 2.7
C.J. Wilson – WAR 2.3
Scott Feldman – WAR 1.1
Tommy Hunter – WAR 0.8
Rays : 6.8 total SP WAR
David Price – WAR 2.4
Jeff Niemann – WAR 1.4
Matt Garza – WAR 1.2
Wade Davis – WAR 0.1
James Shields – WAR 1.7
Although Lee’s total WAR as a Ranger is only 0.9 if you subtracted the 4.0 WAR he had with Seattle the Rangers WAR would still be higher than the Rays. Now I know WAR is the only stat, but for now lets go with this. I think just having Lee in a 7 game series could be two easy wins. Its good to have Lee because he can cancel out your opponents ace in a series. Look what he did to CC Sabathia in the World Series. Then I would see C.J. Wilson and company getting at least one other win to take the series. Especially with that lineup down in the Lone Star state which is what I’ll get into next.
Now the Rays are getting great offensive production from Crawford, Longoria, and Zobrist. All have solid wOBA’s Longoria sits at .387, Crawford at .385, and Zobrist at .351. Other contributors to the Rays include Pena, Joyce, and Jaso. Who all been okay players so far. B.J. Upton and Barlett been a little disappointing up to this part. Upton seems to be a little clueless on the base paths too. Without looking up stats or anything I’ve seen him get picked off a few times this year. He makes it known when hes about to steal also, but he has a 81% stealing %. Thats good so no worries B.J. I know that three Rays been excellent, but the others can turn it on and be a hero come playoff time. I mean anything can happen.
But based on the stats I’m a bit more afraid of the Rangers lineup. Five players on the Rangers have a WAR over 2.0. 2.0 WAR means you are a good player. Josh Hamilton is my MVP so far in the season. So they have him Nelson Cruz, Micheal Young, Ian Kinsler, and Vladdy. With Andrus being an okay player too. Remember its still July and these numbers can go up. I’d be more afraid of this lineup for sure though. I mean facing Kinsler, Young, Hamilton, Vladdy, and Cruz in a row is just crazy scary for the opposing team.
Now when its late in the game you need a good bullpen to shut the door. I think the Rangers have the best pen in the MLB. I see Feliz, Oliver, Holland, and Francisco all with K/9’s above 9.0. Striking out guys is the best way to get out of innings for a reliever. At least it don’t move baserunners over. The Rangers also have four guys who are under league average in LOB%. The Rays pen really can’t compete with the Rangers. Also the Rangers have tons of guys in the farm system that can come up and pitch really well.
So case closed. I’m really more afraid of playing the Texas Rangers than the Tampa Bay Rays at this point in the season.
With only 6 weeks to go in the MLB season there are 3 players who could make a case for the MVP award but only two who will get serious thought. They are as follows: Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, & Ryan Zimmerman.
Joey Votto: Joey Votto is starting to develop into one of the games better first basemen. He is putting together a fantastic season putting up a .323 average, .423 OBP and a .592 SLG. He’s walking 14.2% of the time but striking out 22.6% of the time. The walks are nice but it would be nice if he could cut down on the strikeouts somewhat. His ISO is .269 which is the best of his short career. Votto is having a bit of luck as his BABIP is at .358, last year it was at .372 so while it should go down I’m not sure. Votto’s wOBA is a very solid .435, even higher then last year’s .418. Is UZR is 3.5 but first base isn’t like the OF so I imagine he isn’t making any incredible plays. His WAR is a career best 5.5 and if he keeps this up and the Reds win the central he should win the MVP.
.323/.423/.592 81 RBI 28 HR 5.5 WAR
Albert Pujols: Like always Pujols is putting up fantastic numbers. He’s putting up a triple slash line of . 314/.408/.590. He’s walking at a solid rate, 13.9% of the time to be exact. He’s also only striking out 12.2% of the time, just sick. His ISO is a little down from his career norm, .276 and his career norm is at .293 but it’s still solid. His BABIP is at .299 which is the same as last year. For the people that have read my other posts you would know that this is basically neutral. His wOBA is .416 which is solid but again below his .435 average. Albert’s UZR is 1.8 which is almost 0 which would be the average so Pujols hasn’t done anything special on D. His WAR is 5.3 which is very solid but not Pujols like, he will most likely win the MVP do to his name and popularity but the Cards don’t win the central then I will question if he deserves it.
.314/.408/.590 87 RBI 31 HR 5.3 WAR
Ryan Zimmerman: While Zimmerman is having a fantastic year he will not win due to the Nationals record, nonetheless he deserves the recognition. Zimmerman’s triple slash stats are very solid he has a .304 average to go along with a .390 OBP and a .547 SLG. He is walking 12.4% of the time and striking out 19.8% of the time, both are solid numbers. His BABIP is a little high as it sits at .325 but his career BABIP is .316 so I don’t see a huge change in it during the rest of the year. He’s posting a career high in ISO, .243 to be exact which is quite solid. He has a wOBA of .401 making it the first time he’s cracked the .400 mark. Zimmerman is also having a very solid defensive year posting a 12.2 UZR. His WAR is 6.1 which is higher then both Pujols and Votto but because he’s a National he will not win this award.
.304 .390 .547 70 RBI 24 HR 6.1 WAR
Who I think should win:
1. Joey Votto
2. Albert Pujols
3. Ryan Zimmerman
Who I think will win:
1. Albert Pujols
2. Joey Votto
3. Ryan Zimmerman
With only 6 weeks to go in the MLB season there are 5 players who could make a case for the MVP award. They are as follows: Josh Hamilton, Robinson Cano, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera. Some of have a better shot then others but if you want to know which players they are you will have to read to find out.
Carl Crawford: Crawford is already on his way to a career year as his triple slash of .303/.354/.487 suggests. He isn’t walking as much as his 7.2 BB% shows but over his career that number has never been very high. His career high is 7.6% which he posted last year. He’s striking out in 17.3% of his at-bats which isn’t very bad at all. His ISO is at a career high .184 this year which isn’t amazing but Crawford isn’t a very big power hitter at all. His BABIP is pretty high, .336 to be exact but don’t expect that to go down anytime soon. His career BABIP is .330 and you contribute that to is incredible speed. Crawford also has a very solid .373 wOBA. The main reason he should be an MVP candidate is how stellar he is on defense. His UZR so far this year is 22.1, the highest it’s been in his career. Throughout his career Crawford has been very steady on defense. He has a WAR of 5.6 which is already a career high for him. If he continues to perform at this place, he should be in contention for the award until the end.
.305/.364/.452 39 66 RBI 14 HR 39 SB 5.6 WAR
Miguel Cabrera: Cabrera is trying to become the first player since Carl Yastrzemski won the triple crown back in 1967. Cabrera has a triple slash line of .340/.433/.649, all career highs. Cabrera is being much more patient this year as his BB% is 14%. His K% is also fairly low, 17.1% to be exact. His ISO this year is insane, it currently sits at .309. You just don’t see that nowadays. He has a .348 BABIP which is the exact same as last year. Don’t expect it to go down much as he has a .346 ISO over his career. Cabs wOBA this year is also crazy, it sits at .447 which is even higher then last years MVP Joe Mauer. Cabrera’s WAR is 5.4 which is very solid. While Cabrera makes a strong case for MVP he won’t win it unless Detroit can do what Minnesota did last year.
.340/.433/.649 100 RBI 31 HR 5.4 WAR
Josh Hamilton: Hamilton is just having a MONSTER year this year to say the least. He is batting .365 with a .405 OBP as well as a .618 SLG. He doesn’t walk much, only 7.2% of the time but he doesn’t strikeout all that often either, only 19.1% of the time. While his ISO isn’t as high as Cabrera he is still mashing. His ISO is .265. His BABIP is at .391 which is insane, that could go down somewhat but it shouldn’t take a huge dive at all. He also has a very respectable .439 wOBA so far on the year. Hamilton’s D is also respectable so far this year, he’s posting a 5.8 UZR. Nobody will catch Hamilton in terms of WAR this year, he’s already at a 6.6. Hamilton should win this award, if he doesn’t it’s a damn shame. Texas should be bringing home the CY Young and MVP this year.
.315/.372/.540 81 RBI 26 HR 6.6 WAR
Adrian Beltre: Beltre has been having an outstanding season this year after a very poor season last year. He is having one of his better years in a Red Sox uniform posting a .327 average, .367 OBP and a .567 SLG. His ISO is at .240 which is at it’s highest since his monster 2004 year when it was at .294. His BABIP is somewhat high as it sits at .342, his career BABIP is .294 so a decrease in his BABIP wouldn’t be surprising at all. His wOBA is at his highest since his 2004 when it was .424. This year it’s at .399. His WAR sitis at 5.4 which is the second time he’s been above 5. The other time? You guessed it, 2004 when it was 10.1. Despite all his errors his UZR has been a decent 9.2 While I don’t expect Beltre since I don’t think Boston won’t make the playoffs crazier things have happened.
.327/.367/.567 84 RBI 23 HR 5.7 WAR
Robinson Cano: Since his hot first half it seems like Cano has cooled off a bit, specifically in August. Still, Cano is a top candidate to win the MVP. His average sits at .325 while his OBP and SLG are at .387 and .566 respectively. Cano hasn’t been one to strikeout much as his 11.8 K% shows. He also doesn’t walk a ton, only 8.5% this year. His ISO is at the highest it’s ever been at in his career, .241, The next closest would be .199 which he posted last year. His BABIP is at .326, last year it was .324 so don’t expect it change too much. Cano has gone past the .400 in terms of wOBA for the first time in his career. As of today it sits at .402. His UZR is 3.2 but being at 2B I would assume he doesn’t have a ton of tough plays versus someone who plays OF. His WAR is at 5.8 which is at the highest point in his career. Cano should be an MVP candidate while in his prime, this year could be the year but with Hamilton so hot I doubt it.
.325/.387/.566 78 RBI 24 HR 5.8 WAR
Who I think should win:
1. Josh Hamilton
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Robinson Cano
4. Carl Crawford
5. Adrian Beltre
Who I think will win:
1. Josh Hamilton
2. Robinson Cano
3. Carl Crawford
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. Adrian Beltre
Shaping up the AL CY young race
With about 6 weeks to go in the MLB season there are 5 players who will headline the race for the AL CY Young. They are as follows: Cliff Lee, Francisco Liriano, Jered Weaver, David Price & Jon Lester. It’s time to look at each player’s case to see if they will be determined the best pitcher in the American League at the end of the season.
Francisco Liriano: My oh my, after having a DOMINANT season in 2006 Liriano looks to be back. As you all know Liriano had Tommy John surgery that kept him out for all of 2007 and a good portion of 2008. After a shaky year last year Liriano looks to be back. He’s striking out 9.64 batters per 9 innings while only walking 2.83. He’s been keeping the ball in the park at an uncharacteristic rate even for him. He’s only given up 0.12 HR/9. Yes you read that right, only .12 per 9. That’s incredible. His BABIP is a little high seeing as it’s at .350 but his career BABIP is .322. One thing that could contribute to his high BABIP is the fact that his HR/9 is so low. Still, Liriano has been getting somewhat lucky. His ERA is a respectable 3.26 but his FIP is an incredible 2.19. His xFIP is also a respectable 2.93. One thing that surprised me was his 5.6 WAR. That’s second in the AL to Cliff Lee who I will touch on in a bit. Overall I would say Liriano should have a good shot at winning the CY but don’t count on it.
David Price: Price is finally turning into the pitcher everyone thought he would be. He’s striking out 8.37 batters per 9 but walking 3.80 per 9 which is a little high. Unlike last year Price is doing a much better job at keeping the ball in the park as he is only giving up .59 HR/9 unlike last year when he gave up 1.19, albeit it was a SSS. His BABIP is fairly neutral a .290 to be exact. He has a nice ERA of 2.83 but his peripherals indicate that he could see a little spike in his ERA. His FIP is 3.43 and his xFIP is 3.99. His WAR is only 3.2 but if he doesn’t win the CY this year don’t be surprised to see him win one in the future, he has all the talent in the world.
Cliff Lee: Many believe Lee is the favorite to receive this year’s CY Young award. He is striking out a healthy 7.83 per 9 and is walking a ridiculous 0.53 per. That is just unheard of. In fact, Lee has the greatest K/BB ratio in the history of the game. His ERA and FIP almost perfectly match-up. His ERA 2.77 while his FIP is 2.23. His xFIP is slightly above 3 as it’s 3.22. This year Lee’s WAR is 6.5 which should easily pass his 7.2 WAR which he posted in 2008 when he won the CY Young award. If Lee keeps this up he could win the award and be in line for a nice payday this off-season.
Jered Weaver: Weaver is having a fine season himself this year. He’s posting career highs with 9.96 K/9 and 2.30 BB/9. Both are very solid numbers. He is giving up 1.09 HR/9 but he’s been pretty steady with that number over his career. Weaver has a solid ERA of 3.11 this and his FIP isn’t off much at all. It’s 3.19 so hardly any difference. His xFIP is 3.44 but again not much difference at all. His WAR is a solid 4.2 which is already a career high. Weaver, in my opinion is the dark hose to win this year’s CY Young award.
Jon Lester: Jon Lester is putting together another solid season as he is taking the reigns as ace of the Boston Red Sox’s staff. He’s striking out 9.22 per 9 and walking 3.07 per. His walks are a little high but not enough to worry me. He’s keeping the ball in the park as he’s only given up .56/9. His BABIP is a little low, .288 but it’s basically neutral so nothing to really be worried about here. His ERA is a healthy 2.80 but his FIP indicates he could see a little rise. His FIP is 3.02 and his xFIP is 3.25. Jon Lester is on pace to get a better WAR then he had last year. Currently he’s at a 4.6 WAR and last year he posted a 6.2. Lester could win the CY but I don’t see it this year.
Clay Buchholz: 6.01 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, .262 BABIP, .47 HR/9. 2.36 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, 2.5 WAR
Felix Hernandez: 8.19 K/9, 2.48 BB/9, .62 HR/9, .294 BABIP, 2.62 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 3.55 xFIP, 4.8 WAR
CC Sabathia: 7.08 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, .74 HR/9, .289 BABIP, 3.12 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 3.92 xFIP, 3.4 WAR
Who I think should win:
1. Cliff Lee
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jered Weaver
4. Jon Lester
5. David Price
Who I think will win:
1. Cliff Lee
2. Jon Lester
3. Jered Weaver
4. David Price
5. Francisco Liriano
Hey guys, I’m fairly new to this blogging deal but it sounds like fun. I won’t make a ton of posts each week but I will try and post about 2 or 3 times, maybe 4. School starts in a few weeks so it’ll make it even harder but I’ll do my best to bring good sports knowledge. I will mainly talk baseball but occasionally football and sometimes basketball, if I feel like it. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my blog, feel free to post comments and check out my post below! AL CY Young race is next!