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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Eloy Jimenez and Jeimer Candelario named to Futures Game...

    See past Cubs' participants here. Let me know if you see a mistake or any other info that may prove useful and I can add it.

    http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Cubs_that_Played_in_Futures_Game

    Rob G. 32 min 18 sec ago view
  • Now pitching for the Cincinnati Reds:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwbUCI9bEvA

    QuietMan 48 min 29 sec ago view
  • Sorry if I made it sound like a Schwarber for Sale straight up deal was reasonable, obviously Cubs would need to give up more than that. You don't trade Sale unless you're rebuilding and if you're rebuilding you want more than one piece. Easily 3-4 pieces with Schwarber being the main one...but that type of an ace arm or All-star talent with a few years of control is the type of return the Cubs should look for if they move Schwarber. I don't think they'll move him until he's healthy though. TheJedi are pretty good at maximizing trade value.

    Rob G. 52 min 7 sec ago view
  • I think you're very much overvaluing Schwarber if you think he can fetch Sale by himself. An unproven rookie with demonstrable offensive flaws he hasn't had the chance to show he can overcome and with no defensive upside will never fetch an ace of the quality of Sale in today's market where pitchers are fetching insane prices, especially with Sale's team friendly contract. You'd for sure need to throw in a pitching prospect in return at least.

    johann 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 2 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 5 hours 14 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 5 hours 39 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 9 hours 35 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 9 hours 58 min ago view