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14

This is a combination of analysis and wild predictions, the only guide to the HRL playoffs that you will need.

Series: Braves-Red Sox | Twins-Padres | Reds-Royals | Expos-Pirates

Braves vs. Red Sox (Season Series: Braves 3-1)

bravesv2Braves (29-7, .806)
Entering: 3 game winning streak, won 12 of last 13 games

Comparisons:
Box: .277-.350-.420-.770 --- 2008 Ken Griffey Jr.: .243-.351-.414-.765
Chops: .380-.512-.760-1.272 --- 2003 Barry Bonds: .341-.529-.749-1.278
Edgar: .345-.446-.702-1.149 --- 1994 Albert Belle: .357-.438-.714-1.152
Sanchez: .330-.412-.804-1.216 --- 1994 Frank Thomas: .353-.487-.729-1.216

Key Hitters:
It’s safe to say each hitter in the Brave’s lineup is key. Box is the only hitter who has an OPS under 1.145, but comparing his numbers to MLB, they are arguably better than this year’s Michael Young (.754), Ichiro (.750), and Derek Jeter (.742). Those hitters aren’t easy outs by any measure and neither is Box.

Key Pitchers:
Edgar: 7-0, 1.07 ERA, 45 IP, .110 OBA, 11.07 K/6, 2.93 BB/6
Chops: 9-1, 2.10 ERA, 63 IP, .195 OBA, 7.24 K/6, 1.24 BB/6
Box: 7-4, 3.66 ERA, 64 IP, .222 OBA, 7.88 K/6, 2.63 BB/6

red-soxv2Red Sox (24-14, .632)
Entering: 2 game losing streak, lost 3 of last 4 games

Comparisons:
Tugboat: .357-.423-.751-1.173 --- 2001 Sammy Sosa: .328-.437-.737-1.174
The Man: .316-.343-.693-1.037 --- 2007 Carlos Pena: .282-.411-.627-1.038
Dr. Jesus: .244-.272-.378-.650 --- 2008 Jeff Francoeur: .229-.289-.354-.643
Martini: .209-.273-.396-.668 --- 2008 Jose Castillo: .244-.290-.381-.671

Key Hitters:
Martini and Dr. Jesus are going to have to step it up and get on base for Tugboat and The Man if they want any chance. Dr. Jesus and Martini would register second and fourth worst in OBP of hitters who qualify for the batting title in the major leagues, even worse than Carlos “No Disciple, I Swing at Everything” Gomez.

Key Pitchers:
Tugboat: 7-4, 1.94 ERA, 65 IP, .196 OBA, 9.78 K/6, 1.29 BB/6
The Man: 9-2, 3.72 ERA, 71 IP, .246 OBA, 9.55 K/6, 1.86 BB/6

Prediction:
Braves Sweep. Even if the Red Sox started their best pitcher, Tugboat, twice, the Braves have a .397 (25-63) career lifetime batting average against him. 10 of those 25 hits have gone over the fence.

Twins vs. Padres (Season Series: Twins 2-0)

twinsv2Twins (21-13, .618)
Entering: 1 game winning streak, lost 6 of last 8 games

Comparisons:
K-Mart: .332-.420-.601-1.021 --- 2008 Matt Holliday: .345-.432-.596-1.028
Balls: .258-.346-.593-.940 --- 2008 Chase Utley: .288-.371-.569-.939
AC: .257-.322-.455-.777 --- 2008 Brandon Phillips: .269-.318-.458-.776
Nelson: .221-.262-.321-.583 --- 2008 Michael Bourn: .227-.283-.303-.585
Wonderboy: .221-.262-.279-.550 --- 2007 Nick Punto: .210-.291-.271-.562

Key Hitters:
Balls is an all-or-nothing type of hitter as 20 of his 47 hits have been homeruns. K-Mart, statistically compares, despite Holliday having the advantage of playing in Coors Field. Physically, K-Mart compares to Prince Fielder. AC could be the key, JACKPOT, though, with his .777 OPS.

Key Pitchers:
AC: 11-2, 1.46 ERA, 82 IP, .171 OBA, 9.66 K/6, 2.20 K/6

padresPadres (22-16, .579)
Entering: 1 game losing streak, won 10 of last 12 games

Comparisons:
The Kid: .298-.358-.541-.900 --- 2008 Dan Uggla: .264-.354-.542-.896
Shirls: .290-.395-.434-.830 --- 2008 Dustin Pedroia: .323-.366-.464-.830
Nine: .220-.364-.425-.789 --- 2008 Skip Schumaker: .304-.364-.419-.783
Cheezy: .218-.336-.409-.745 --- 2008 Miguel Tejada: .286-.320-.425-.745
Silver: .172-.324-.259-.583 --- 2006 Angel Berroa: .234-.259-.333-.592

Key Hitters:
This is a team of good hitting, middle infielders. They don’t have a hitter who strikes fear into most team’s eyes, but all of them are consistent enough to get the job done. Think scrappy, like the real life version of the Minnesota Twins.

Key Pitchers:
The Kid: 10-6, 2.36 ERA, 89 IP, .205 OBA, 8.43 K/6, 1.82 BB/6
Shirls: 4-4, 3.17 ERA, 53 IP, .186 OBA, 11.55 K/6, 3.06 BB/6
Nine: 8-4, 3.40 ERA, 70 2/3 IP, .216 OBA, 10.02 K/6, 5.18 BB/6

Prediction:
Padres in 3. The Padres’ pitching will keep their playoff hopes alive, despite possibly having to face AC twice. They are good enough to beat him once, but if K-Mart can pitch like he has prior to this season (3.57, 3.59, 3.48, 3.76 ERA’s over the past 4 seasons -- talk about consistent), the Twins have a much better chance.

Reds vs. Royals (Season Series: Reds 3-1)

redsv2Reds (29-6, .829)
Entering: 9 game winning streak

Comparisons:
Spoon: .416-.449-.731-1.180 --- 1922 Rogers Hornsby: .401-.459-.722-1.181
Dr. Seuss: .289-.352-.508-.860 --- 2008 Vladimir Guerrero: .293-.355-.505-.860
Palpatine: .195-.264-.240-.504 --- 2002 Neifi Perez: .236-.260-.303-.564
Adam: .102-.257-.211-.468 --- Not comparable over full season

Key Hitters:
Spoon is really the only hitter that opposing pitchers need to consider pitching around, but when you allow 1.18 runs per game (6 runs in 5 games), you don’t need to score very much. Dr. Seuss’ stats are a little misleading because outside of facing the Mets and Angels, he’s batting .213 with 2 homeruns. If he can bat like he has against those two teams, .613 with 10 homeruns, the Reds will be unstoppable on all cylinders.

Key Pitchers:
Dr. Seuss: 11-1, 0.70 ERA, 69 IP, .099 OBA, 11.74 K/6, 0.87 BB/6
Palpatine: 10-2, 1.22 ERA, 74 IP, .119 OBA, 9.89 K/6, 1.05 BB/6
Spoon: 7-3, 1.34 ERA, 58 IP, .161 OBA, 9.72 K/6, 0.52 BB/6

royalsv2Royals (28-10, .737)
Entering: 4 game winning streak

Comparisons:
Rocket: .345-.409-.631-1.040 --- 1967 Carl Yastrzemski: .326-.418-.622-1.040
Truck: .317-.395-.691-1.086 --- 1937 Joe Dimaggio: .346-.412-.673-1.085
Torpedo: .252-.333-.574-.908 --- 2000 Brad Fullmer: .295-.340-.558-.898
Hal: .240-.393-.623-1.017 --- 2004 Adrian Beltre: .334-.388-.629-1.017
Vegas: .171-.241-.217-.458 --- Not comparable over full season
Panther: .160-.263-.400-.663 --- 2007 Craig Biggio: .251-.285-.381-.666

Key Hitters:
Hal is a prototypical leadoff man, but he slugs like he belongs in the middle of the lineup. However, he is a career 2-26 against the three current Reds pitchers. No one has faired particularly well against Reds pitching, so it might be unfair to point him out, but everything starts at the top. For the Royals to have a chance, Hal needs to get on in front of two potential run producers -- Truck and Rocket. Torpedo is quietly having a good offensive season which he hopes to carry over into the playoffs.

Key Pitchers:
Hal: 8-3, 1.29 ERA, 65 IP, .138 OBA, 12.37 K/6, 1.29 BB/6
Rocket: 8-3, 1.96 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, .183 OBA, 7.93 K/6, 1.49 BB/6
Torpedo: 8-3, 2.11 ERA, 57 IP, .146 OBA, 10.53 K/6, 3.05 BB/6

Prediction:
Royals in 3. This would be a huge upset in many people’s eyes. The Royals are pitching well enough to stay in the ball games against the Reds, but what puts them over the top is the run producers in their lineup. The Royals have come through in the clutch, winning out in their final four games to land a playoff spot, which included a Hal perfect game and a Torpedo 1-hitter.

Expos vs. Pirates (Season Series: Tied 1-1)

exposv2Expos (23-15, .605)
Entering: 2 game winning streak, won 5 of last 7 games

Comparisons:
Marcus: .471-.491-1.065-1.556 --- 2001 Barry Bonds: .328-.515-.863-1.379
J-Ski: .438-.447-.971-1.418 --- 1920 Babe Ruth: .376-.533-.849-1.381
Madman: .352-.358-.771-1.130 --- 1961 Mickey Mantle: .317-.448-.687-1.035
CX: .301-.301-.519-.820 --- 2006 Joe Crede: .283-.323-.506-.828
M-Ski: .262-.306-.516-.822 --- 2008 Mike Jacobs: .249-.294-.528-.822

Key Hitters:
The X are a combined 23-15 when CX doesn’t take a walk. Is there a scarier lineup 1-5? (No, Sanchez you guy’s only have 4 players.) Every bat in the lineup is capable of taking the opposing pitcher yard and they have arguably the two best hitters in the league this year.

Key Pitchers:
Marcus: 4-0, 2.89 ERA, 27 IP, .297 OBA, 7.78 K/6, 2.00 BB/6
CX: 5-4, 3.55 ERA, 49 IP, .225 OBA, 8.08 K/6, 2.08 BB/6
J-Ski: 9-2, 3.73 ERA, 66 IP, .279 OBA, 7.45 K/6, 1.55 BB/6

piratesPirates (14-21, .400)
Entering: 1 game winning streak, lost 3 of last 5 games

Comparisons:
The Deuce: .273-.375-.660-1.035 --- 1973 Willie Stargell: .299-.392-.646-1.038
Ashley: .252-.341-.344-.684 --- 2007 Juan Pierre: .293-.331-.353-.685
Ten: .248-.358-.277-.634 --- 2008 Marco Scutaro: .255-.341-.325-.646
Gym Class: .246-.284-.463-.746 --- 2007 Bill Hall: .254-.315-.425-.740
B+: .236-.388-.373-.761 --- 2008 BJ Upton: .264-.368-.399-.766
Joe-B-One: .118-.278-.176-.454 --- Not comparable over full season

Key Hitters:
Ashley and Ten resemble slap hitters who can get on base. The Deuce is the only real threat in the line up, but Gym Class and B+ are capable of hitting the plastic into the gaps or over the fence. Their success will depend on if they can string some hits - employing their strengths - together.

Key Pitchers:
Ten: 9-6, 3.05 ERA, 82 2/3 IP, .190 OBA, 7.11 K/6, 3.05 BB/6
Joe-B-One: 2-6, 3.10 ERA, 52 2/3 IP, .205 OBA, 9.29 K/6, 2.06 BB/6

Prediction:
Expos sweep. Marcus and J-Ski have higher batting averages than the Pirates do winning percentages. In the end, the slugging X will be too much for the weaker hitting Pirates. Good pitching generally beats good hitting, except when the hitting is this good.

Final Predictions:
Braves OVER Red Sox
Padres OVER Twins
Royals OVER Reds
Expos OVER Pirates
------------------------------
Braves OVER Padres
Royals OVER Expos
------------------------------
Braves OVER Royals

Posted in: HRL

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