Monday, March 27, 2017

Durocher Award S36 Winner...

 Everyone, please give a round of applause to the S36 Durocher Award winner, Wvwc9092!!!

S36's ballot brought in 17 owner votes.  It was a runaway vote this year as just about everyone seemed impressed with the big turnaround.  A 23 game improvement for a new owner and they seemed prime to continue that success.  Job well done!! 

Voting Breakdown:
1.  Wvwc9092:  9 votes
2.  Rbedwell:  4 votes
3.  Carseneau:  2
4.  AaronWayne:  2

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

50 Game Dash Thoughts, NL Style:

NL Contenders:  unless, you know, that world ending things

1.  San Juan
2.  Tacoma 
3.  Nashville 

NL Contenders:  Pretty dang good category, but can't get too comfy yet

4.  Colorado Springs
5.  Memphis
6.  Scottsdale
7.  Pittsburgh

NL Contenders:  Good as well, but need a bit more help

8.  New Orleans 
9.  Toledo
10. Syracuse

NL:  See you next year group

11. Atlanta
12. Chicago
13. Los Angeles 
14. Milwaukee

NL:  Real big trouble

15. San Francisco
16. Kansas City

I think the NL has a few more elite teams than the AL and many teams in the middle that if they get hot, look out.  The bottom of the league is also worse compared to the AL.  San Francisco and Kansas City are in real trouble of missing the MWR.  I think SF will meet, but KC  will need to see significant improvement over the last 1/3 of the season.  

50 Game Dash Thoughts:

AL Contenders - unless the world ends before the end of the season

1.  St. Louis
2.  Santa Cruz

AL Contenders - if everything breaks their way 

3.  New York
4.  Boston

AL Contenders - Wild Card hopefuls 

5.  Las Vegas 
6.  Dover

AL Contenders - because someone has to win their division

7.  Toronto
8.  Fargo
9.  Cincinnati 

AL -  We'll get them next year!!

10. Monterrey 
11. Charlotte 
12. Louisville
13. Philadelphia 
14. Salem 
15. Colorado 
16. Austin

Two elite teams with a bunch of teams piled in the middle.  No true stinkers in the league.  Austin has the worst record, but should really have four or five more wins.  I also don't see any issues here with any of these franchises and the MWR.  A big FA signing or a few key trades could really reshape the AL.  


Gearing up for the Home Stretch, AL Style:

AL North:

1.  Toronto Thunderbolts:  52-54, .491 - expected .472
2.  Fargo Prairie Dogs:  51-55, .481 - expected .466
3.  Cincinnati Consuls: 48-58, .453 - expected ..467
4.  Philadelphia Cream Cheese:  45-61, .425 - expected .445

Welcome to the worst division in Wrigleyville!  Right now my home division is shaping up like a race to .500.  Whoever gets there, and can stay there, wins the division going away.  None of us are good so what it all means is that whichever of us, and I think all four teams are still alive, gets in, will win the AL pennant.   

AL East:

1.  New York Daredevils:  57-49, .538 - expected .586
2.  Boston Knights:  55-51, .519 - expected .554
3.  Dover Hammer'd Leprechauns:  53-53, .500 - expected .477
4.  Louisville Redtails:  49-57, .462 - expected .455

Also pretty tight, top to bottom.  Louisville is probably out of it, but they are hanging around enough that they could take it, providing they get hot.  New York is still the favorite, but all three of the top teams are very much in the WC hunt.  I think they get two teams into the playoffs.  

AL South:

1.  St. Louis Spirits:  74-32, .698 - expected .723
2.  Monterrey Jack:  50-56, .472 - expected ..474
3.  Charlotte Sometimes:  47-59, .443 - expected .462
4.  Austin Stunners:  43-63, .406 - expected .447

St. Louis is one of only two powerhouse squads in the AL.  They're really good and will be tough to beat.  They're even playing below expectations.  The other three teams are all fighting it out to see if anyone can get their heads above H2O and into WC contention.  

AL West:

1.  Santa Cruz Wildcats:  71-35, .670 - expected .641
2.  Las Vegas Lazerbeams:  57-49, .538 - expected .517
3.  Salem Salmonbellies:  48-58, .453 - expected .415
4.  Colorado Merles:  45-61, .425 - expected .400

The Wildcats are the other premier team of the AL.  They can pretty well put things on ice and wait for the playoffs.  Las Vegas is a serious WC threat and could make some noise, Salem and Colorado and just hanging around.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gearing up for the home stretch:

Team Division Rankings:

 NL North:

1.  Tacoma Toyotas:  62-40  .608, expected .593
2.  Toledo Tiggers:  52-50 .510, expected .522
3.  Chicago Crazy Baldheads:  46-57 .447, expected .426
4.  Milwaukee Sturgeon:  44-59 .427, expected .453

Thoughts:  It's still Tacomas, but Toledo is kind of sort of hanging around & is in WC  contention.  The others?  Well, they're in a tight race to see who finishes out of the basement.  

NL East:

1.  San Juan Santurce Crabbers:  72-31  .699, expected .746
2.  Pittsburgh Alleghenys:  54-48  .529,  expected .520
3.  Syracuse Moose:  51-51  .500, expected .555
4.  Kansas City Scouts:  26-76  .255, expected .259

Believe it or not, San Juan is actually under performing by quite a bit, but that's not a problem when they lead the division by close to 20 games.  Pittsburgh and Syracuse are both in the WC hunt.  Syracuse has under performed by a lot, so we'll see if they can gain some momentum down the stretch.  KC's in real trouble.

NL  South:

1.  Nashville Bootleggers:  62-41  .602, expected .551
2.  New Orleans Cajun Critters:  56-47  .544, expected .533
3.  Memphis Kings:  55-48  .534, expected  .552
4.  Atlanta Peachfuzz:  49-54  .476, expected  .515

Really an interesting division and all four of these teams have a chance of winning division.  Atlanta has a lot of ground to make up, but they're not out for certain.  This division could very well get three playoff teams in, but I'd expect them to beat up each other and end up with two.  Nashville's pretty safe, so does New Orleans hold off Memphis or do the Kings take it to another level?

NL West:

1.  Colorado Springs Bandits:  57-45  .559, expected .536
2.  Scottsdale Schizoids:  53-49, .520,  expected .529
3.  LA Special Ops:  47-56, .456, expected .430
4.  San Francisco Casey Jones:  37-65, .363, expected  .397

Tight at the top.  Both are division and WC contenders.  LA really never had a chance due to the poor timing of the owner swap, during FA period, so 1BlueJaysWay has really done a great job of keeping them afloat.  SF has underperformed and needs to keep that MWR in mind.  I think they reach 55. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

NL East:  

1.  San Juan - 31-16 - .660, expected - .720
2.  Syracuse - 24-24 - .500, expected - .564
3.  Pittsburgh - 22-25 - .468, expected - .484
4.  Kansas City - 13-35 - .271, expected - .269

I'm going to switch formats here to see how it flows.

Initial thoughts:  no division in baseball has a bigger gap between 1st & 4th, the Crabbers continue to dominate, Syracuse & Pittsburgh are fighting to make up ground, and the move to Kansas City hasn't helped the Scouts at all, as they're really struggling and I'd stay in real danger of missing the MWR. 

What can you say about San Juan?  They're the top hitting & run scoring team in the NL.  To make matters worse for the competition, they also rank right with Memphis as the best pitching team in the NL.  Their defense won't give much away either.  Nick Witte continues to be one of the top players in the league.  Pitching?  How about the season that Wilfredo Flores is having...oh wait, he's not even in the same class as fellow ace Horacio Beltran.  Check out his numbers and tell me you're not impressed.  If the Crabbers a have a weakness, it may be at closer, as the current guy has only converted 60% of his chances so far.

Syracuse are about as mid ranking offensively as you can get.  Team BA is exactly average, OBP just a tick higher, and OPS just a bit more than that.   Despite that, they can score a bit and rank well in the top half of the league in runs scored.  I think their pitching is a bit underrated.  They're allowing 4.4 runs/game & I think that's got the potential to get even better.  Staff WHIP is 1.3 and team ERA is 4.22, both of which could see them land in the top 1/4 of the league.  Defensively the Moose really shine, with 33+ plays to 4 - ones.  They're pitching is led by Karim Trammell, Brad Slocumb, and Damian Griffen.  That's a real nice 1-3, but a 4th, Javier Magias is rock solid as well.  Their pen needs some work, but overall, that pitching staff is enough to fight for a WC.  Jimmie Suarez, playing in just his 3rd full season, is really breaking out.  How about an OPS of 1.082 so far?

Pittsburgh continues in their quest to run down the top two.  A very good pitching staff leads the Alleghenys.  Right now they're hanging around the top 1/4 in WHIP & ERA.  They continue to be a team that can hit for some average, but doesn't offer a lot of pop.  In a way they're kind of like a 1980's throwback team, except they don't steal bases.  A real good defense helps that pitching out, which is great for them considering they really aren't a strikeout staff.  Young ace in the making Dario Bang leads the pitching staff.  He's really coming into his own and may take the ace role from Artie Freeman, who's having a very good year as well.  Pittsburgh's really only had one SP that has floundered this season.  Their pen is pretty good as well.  Malachi McMillan is the only regular with a slugging % > .500.  Several guys are offense are contributing, but aren't really threats to go deep.

Kansas City...they can score some runs, having scored a respectable 241 so far, but that pitching...ouch.  Not even the Colorado franchise has given up more runs than KC's 389.    That's 8.1 runs/game allowed, for those scoring at home.  KC's 3rd in the league in hitting and has a pretty good .768 team OPS.  Defensively they aren't great, but that's not what is getting them.  No, their team WHIP is 1.94 & team ERA is 7.81.  Their staff just hasn't been able to put everything together.  Ismael Guillen is a promising young SP who could be a star some day.  The other SP's are all young guys as well, but are probably just acting as stop gaps at this time.  Oscar Berra can fly & flat out hit and Matt MacDougal is a 22 year old 1B who can crush the ball (98 Power).  He just may be an early ROY favorite.  KC has 11 players aged 25 & younger, including several key contributors.  This franchise though is mired in 4th place and will continue to stay there this season.


Lots of separation in this division and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  San Juan is one of the three early favorites in the NL to win it all.  They're that good.  Syracuse could challenge for the division title in most other divisions.  As it stands, I think they'll get it going and firmly put themselves into the WC hunt.  Pittsburgh is a good club, they just have a lot in front of them which puts them in a tough spot.  KC - while they have some quality young talent, they have a long ways to go, and as mentioned, are in real danger of missing the MWR. 

AL East:  

1.  New York:  26-22 - .542%, expected - .566
  A.  Playing pretty close to expected
  B.  Offensive powerhouse, the Daredeveils average just over 6 runs/game.  Only Colorado in the AL has scored more.  The offense is hitting nearly .300 as a team & is slugging .500!  Nick Lollar, Paul Barret, B.J. Pose, and just about everyone else could via for All-Star attention.  They're a nice mix of youth & vets.  Their pitching could be better.  Michael Suzuki is having a nice year so far & I think Tony Molina is pitching better than his ERA indicates.  A good chunk of the other arms need to pick it up if New York plans on defending their division title.  They're pretty solid defensively.  FP% is in line with most other teams and they will make a good amount of plus plays, + 16 so far.
  C.  Overall, they should continue to hit and the defense will help the pitching out.  If a few more arms pick it up down there then New York should be able to hold off the contenders.

2.  Boston:  24-23 - .511%, expected - .525
  A.    Boston, last year's division runner up is once again putting the most heat on New York.
  B.    Defense is the calling card, as the Knights are spectacular in this aspect.  34+ plays against just 1 negative play so far.  They can really pick it, which helps the pitching staff.  Boston's allowed the fewest runs in the division and that defense is one of the reasons.  Their pitching ranks in the top half in WHIP & ERA, and is lead by potential All-Star's Al Benitez, Clarence Clark, and Doug Coleman.  Boston can hit a bit, ranking right in the middle thus far.  Pablo Almanza, Earle Rushford, & Jose Rodriguez pace the offense with OPS's > .930.
  C.  Right now the Knights are hanging onto New York.  They were close last season and I think they'll keep the chase going.

3.  Dover:  23-24 - .489%, expected - .498
  A.  Right where they should be, as the ownership & city change is helping
  B. The Dover franchise won just 62 games last year, so they're well ahead of that pace.  Dover's a team that does a little bit of everything well.  Not a great offensive team, but they can score some runs.  25 year old Von Byrdak really paces the offense and looks like he'll be a star for a long time.  Dover's also kind of in the middle for pitching.  Gary Jacquez is having a career year so far on the mound and should be an All-Star at this pace.  Dover's a pretty good defensive team.  They make the plays they should make while not kicking it around too much.
  C.  Overall, I think Dover's on the right track.  They are way outpacing last year's record, but I also think they'll have a tough time breaking into the top two in the division.  They're still a year or so away from really knocking on the door.

4.  Louisville Redtails:  21-27 - .438%, expected - .466
  A.  Slightly under performing so far, about on track to replicate last season.
  B.  The Redtails can score some runs, averaging just under 6/game, but their pitching has really faltered this season, giving up 6.4/game, second highest total in the AL.  They've clubbed a 2cd best 97 HR's so far and boast a .506 team slugging %.  Zachrey Barfield is destroying pitching, he's hammered 25 HR's so far.  The 26 year old could be a power mainstay for Louisville for years.  Same goes for DH Samuel Lockwood who's put up an impressive .985 OPS.  He and Barfield could prove to be a terror for pitchers for a long time.  Pitching?  They just don't have much, with only three pitches having a WHIP of under 1.4.  Team ERA is well over 6.  Defensively the Redtails are pretty good.  They've seen nearly twice as many + plays to - plays and have a team FA of .988.
  C.  Their pitching has to get better to see them become any kind of threat.  They can mash with anyone out there, but 7-6 games tend to wear down a staff. 

Overall:  I think you have a clear top two and a clear bottom two.  Dover & Louisville have some really nice young pieces, but are still a bit off in terms of competing.  A major trade or two for either could change those fortunes, especially in a division where no truly elite team exists, but pending that, I don't see them catching New York or Boston.  As for New York and Boston - the Knights are the favorite and I'd expect them to stay there.  Boston is a solid team, top to bottom, but I'm not sure they have enough to catch New York. 

Soon to come, the NL East!