The Worldís Most Useless Playoff Predictor: LCS Edition

I went 3 out of 4 in the Division Series and if I actually paid attention to what I wrote, I might be 4 out of 4. Let's review the rules: #1) Find the teams that have been playing well for longer than a weekÖ.a good 2 month stretch or longer is nice. #2) Find teams that have a knack for coming from behind #3) 2 dominant starters on staff equals trouble for other team. #4) Aggressive managing is better than the same old thing works managing. #5) Never go for a team with a bad defense particularly up the middle (CF, 2b, SS & C) #6) And of course there is the ex-Cub factor. Onto the predictions we go.... Astros vs. Cardinals The Astros/Braves series was the one I butchered and if I just paid attention to what I wrote, I would have gotten it right. See the Astros were the hotter team, had more dominant starting pitching, the more aggressive manager and apparently the better defense. With Holly being off the roster, the ex-Cub factor was a wash and the come from behind ability, as I've mentioned, you can't find a damn stat anywhere for that. So for this series, let's break it down rule-by-rule. Rule #1) Edge Cardinals The Cards had a better record over the last 2 months (34-24 to the 'Stros 32-25), but the Houston was playing meaningul games down the stretch while the Cards were on cruise control. It's a very slight edge to the Cards, Rule #2) Edge Cardinals A couple of miracle finishes throughout the season along with one of the better offenses, once again gives a slight edge to the Cards. The 'Stros pulled off their own miracle Sunday, so once again, a very slight edge. Rule #3) Edge Astros I don't care what the Cards team ERA was this year, staring down the Big Three is much more foreboding than freaking Jeff Suppan. Rule #4) Edge Astros As written somewhere else, Tony LaRussa is more interested in being the smartest person in the room than in winning baseball games. Doesn't say much when you lose the managerial battle to Phil Garner. Rule #5) Wash Both teams are excellent defenders, slight edge Cards, but neither team can be considered bad defensively. Rule #6) Edge Astros Jose Vizcaino versus Grudz, Ray King and Julian Tavarez. Beware Cardinal fans, beware!!! 3-2 edge to the Astros. Sorry Redbird nation, wait till next year! I hate to give anything to Clemens or Oswalt but Biggio and Bagwell do deserve at least a trip to the Series, so I'll begrudgingly being rooting for Houston this series. Plus a White Sox/Cardinals World Series might force me to move the family to Antarctica. I expect another nail biter series though, this time the Astros will win it in 7. Angels vs. White Sox First, let's thank Gary Sheffield and Bubba Crosby for making me look like a prophet when I wrote this:
In the end, I know the Angels won't beat themselves, I wouldn't be surprised if the Yanks do.
With the Red Sox and Yanks eliminated, I'm not sure what ESPN is going to do for the next week. I wonder if the Baseball Tonight Crew even knows anything about these two teams. Somehow they'll still throw in how great Derek Jeter is and how damn clutch he is. Not to mention Fox has had to shelf the 100+ pieces they edited about the rivalry, the Curse and whatever other mumbo-jumbo they were going to spew on us. They can air it all next year, when they force MLB to schedule the Yanks and Red Sox to play each other for all 162 regular season games. The Angels look in trouble as they may be down as many as 2 starting pitchers. Washburn is suffering from strep throat and Colon has back and shoulder problems. Paul Byrd will pitch Game 1, but the Game 2 starter is up in the air at the moment, the strongest possibility being a bullpen approach starting with Kevin Gregg and then diving into the Angels most excellent relievers. Throw in the crazy travel schedule and the fact that it just looks like everything seems to be breaking the White Sox way this year (that Graffanino error was just one of those things that happens to teams headed places) and it looks like the deck is stacked against the Angels. And I don't buy it. The Angels do all those "Smartball" things way better than the Pale Hose. Better defense, better baserunning, better pitching (obviously that's up in the air right now), and a far superior manager. I'm horribly biased towards the Angels and against the White Sox, plus the opportunity to see Vlad take his hacks against the Astros pitchers would be fun. I say, Angels trump the ChiSox in 5.

Comments

I don't know what to say.

http://www.garygaetti.com/

Is there room in antarctica for others? Cards/Sox is like the Notre Dame/Michigan game, can both teams lose?

Yeah, plane leaves sometime next week. Maybe we'll get lucky and crash on some deserted island with Evangeline Lilly and Maggie Grace.

AFL in the 5th inning...#19 doing the same ol thang:

Matt Murton 3 at bats, 2 doubles and a walk (2 for 2)

Our little double machines...

Mesa 9
Peoria 2

No little cub pitchers today

Eric Patterson 2 for 6, 1 double, 2 runs, 1 rbi; 2 fielding errors, 1 Giddyup

Matt Murton 3 for 4, 3 doubles, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1K

SOX LOSE!!! SOX LOSE!!!!

Say bye bye to home field advantage....

If those lose tomorrow, it's over.

"If those lose tomorrow, it's over."

Yeah, I agree. Washburn has not pitched in 2 and a half weeks and coming off an infection that reqiuried hospitalization. I imagine he somewhere bewteen 85-90%. Angels might want to use a pen game knowing they have Home field. Save Washburn for Game 3 vs. Garland who is just as rusty. Have Lackey, Santana, Byrd, Lackey start games 4-7.

Nomar to the rescue
Garciaparra saves two women in Boston Harbor
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/basebal...

Yeah, I just saw that bloop. First thought I had was, Nomars groin is fine!

His uncle kicks ass btw.

The Empty Confines (in October)

After Game 2 of the NLCS, Busch Stadium will have been host to 52 playoff games, third-most all-time, one behind Fenway Park and a four-month schedule behind Yankee Stadium. Busch was open from 1968-2005.

The Cubs have been playing in Wrigley Field (call it one thing or another) since 1916. It has hosted 24 postseason games.

So, here's the plan. As long as the NLCS is over after five games, and the Astros win, we only need 29 playoff home games, and our park can surpass that of our rivals.

At the current pace (and I'll be generous and define that as the pace since 1984), and assuming the Cubs do not relocate to another facility, we should catch up to the then-long-ruined-and-that-oldtime-used-to-go-there stadium by 2061.

Then we can get to work on Busch Stadium II (2006-2045).

The new Busch Stadium is actually the third incarnation of the stadium, not the second.

As written somewhere else, Tony LaRussa is more interested in being the smartest person in the room than in winning baseball games. Doesn't say much when you lose the managerial battle to Phil Garner.

That's ridiculous. No basis in fact at all. It's amazing how one writer calls him a genius and suddenly he's arrogant. LaRussa wants to win every game. You can argue he overmanages, but it's always intended to produce a W.

And when did he lose a managerial battle with Garner?

I suppose I should have wrote the word "seems" instead of "is" there. Would that have been better? And I didn't actually write that, just agreed with what someone else said on the topic.

As for the managerial battle, I was just saying that in my preview I think Garner is a better playoff manager than LaRussa, nothing more. And I'm not saying that Garner is good or the Astros will win just because of that.

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 28 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 14 hours 31 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 15 hours 14 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 15 hours 25 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 15 hours 31 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 15 hours 35 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 15 hours 46 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 15 hours 52 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 16 hours 7 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 16 hours 8 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 18 hours 59 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 21 hours 32 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 22 hours 4 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 22 hours 6 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 1 day 3 min ago view