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.

Recent comments

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  • Sorry typing too fast.

  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.