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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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 30 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 28 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 40 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 20 hours 49 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 20 hours 55 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 21 hours 13 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 21 hours 49 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 7 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 22 hours 9 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 22 hours 27 min ago view