Sunday, October 26, 2008

World Series Predictions

This week I will give my awards for World Series games 1-3, make my World Series predictions, and give my difference maker so far.

Last week I took a trip to Disney World with my dad. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it very much. My dad was there for a conference and he took me with him. We stayed at Disney’s Yacht Club hotel, which is very nice. I hung out in the room during the day and we went to Disney World at night. At MGM (now called Hollywood Studios) they have this new ride called Toy Story Mania that we had to wait for 70 minutes for before we could ride, but it was well worth it and is now my favorite ride at Disney World, closely followed by Splash Mountain. At Magic Kingdom they had a new show called the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and they had redone Haunted Mansion. The Laugh Floor was really good, and they did some nice clean-up work in Haunted Mansion and made it better. We stayed at Magic Kingdom till 1:00 AM on Sunday because we stayed at a Disney hotel and got to use the extra hours benefit. On Sunday morning we went to Animal Kingdom and had a blast. We did Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safari, and It’s Tough to be a Bug. They were all really good, but Dinosaur was my favorite. In the Kilimanjaro Safari you go around and see a bunch of real animals and learn facts about them. We were in our driver’s first safari. On Monday we went to MGM and the new ride was Toy Story Mania which I already mentioned. On Tuesday, we went to Epcot and the new rides there were The Seas (Finding Nemo ride), and they redid the Mexico ride and Spaceship Earth. They made Spaceship Earth much better and Mexico rideable, and The Seas was really good. On Wednesday I had to fly out and on Thursday I had to go back to school.

Game 1 MVP: Cole Hamels, PHI: W, 7 IP, 2 ER
Runner-up: Chase Utley, PHI

Game 2 MVP: James Shields, TB: W, 5.2 IP, 0 ER
Runner-up: BJ Upton, TB

Game 3 MVP: Carlos Ruiz, PHI: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 RBI’s, walk-off single
Runner-up: Jamie Moyer, PHI

Difference Maker:
So far I think that Carlos Ruiz has been the major difference maker for this series because he’s won a game for them, and even if you take Game 3 out of stats, he’s still 2-for-5 with 4 walks and 1 RBI. He is hitting .500 and has a .667 OBP. When you can have those stats along with a walk-off, you’ve got to be the difference maker. Also, he has called three great games behind the plate, allowing 4 runs at most in a single game.

I think that the Phillies will win this series 4-3. I think it will come down to if Matt Garza’s inexperience will affect him in Game 7 (he will probably pitch game 7 against Jamie Moyer). I think that the pressure will be too large for Garza to handle and that he will allow 4 or 5 runs, which the way this series is going, will be all the runs that the Phillies will need. If the Phillies are able to hit the ball better, then they should be able to win this series easily, but if they don’t then they might lose this series. I could see either team winning the series, but I think that the Phillies will win just because of the Rays’ inexperience. But the Rays will be back sometime soon if they keep playing at this rate.

Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will win the World Series?
Phillies – 45%
Rays – 45%
Red Sox – 10%

Come back next week for more World Series coverage.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

LCS Awards and World Series Prediction

This week I will give my LCS Awards along with my World Series predictions.

NLCS Awards:

NLCS Game 1 MVP: Chase Utley, PHI: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI’s
Runner-up: Cole Hamels, PHI

NLCS Game 2 MVP: Brett Myers, PHI: 3-for-3, 3 RBI’s, 5 IP, 5 ER, 6 K
Runner-up: Shane Victorino, PHI

NLCS Game 3 MVP: Rafael Furcal, LAD: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Runner-up: Hiroki Kuroda, LAD

NLCS Game 4 MVP: Shane Victorino, PHI: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI’s
Runner-up: Matt Stairs, PHI

NLCS Game 5 MVP: Cole Hamels, PHI: 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 K
Runner-up: Ryan Howard, PHI

NLCS MVP: Cole Hamels, PHI: 2-0, 1.93 ERA, 14 IP, 13 K: Cole won two out of four wins and definitely deserves the NLCS MVP, which he did actually get.
Runner-up: Shane Victorino, PHI

ALCS Awards (so far):

ALCS Game 1 MVP: Dice-K Matsuzaka, BOS: 1 W, 7 IP, 0 ER, 9 K
Runner-up: Kevin Youkilis, BOS

ALCS Game 2 MVP: Evan Longoria, TB: 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI’s
Runner-up: Carl Crawford, TB

ALCS Game 3 MVP: BJ Upton, TB: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI’s
Runner-up: Matt Garza, TB

ALCS Game 4 MVP: Erick Aybar, TB: 4-for-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI’s
Runner-up: Carl Crawford, TB

ALCS Game 5 MVP: JD Drew, BOS: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI’s
Runner-up: Scott Kazmir, TB

ALCS MVP (as of Game 5): BJ Upton, TB: .400 AVG, 3 HR’s, 10 RBI’s: BJ Upton is leading the team in ALCS RBI’s, and is second in both batting average and home runs.
Runner-up: Carl Crawford, TB

Rays/Red Sox Prediction:

I think that the Rays will win Game 6 because they will be facing Josh Beckett, who they scored 8 runs off of in Game 2, and the fact that the Rays will have James Shields on the mound. But I think that if the Rays lose Game 6, then they will lose the series because Jon Lester pitches Game 7.

World Series Prediction:

Phillies over Rays: 4-3

Both teams are hot right now, but the Phillies have more experience and will pull it off. I think Cole Hamels will have to pitch three times (Games 1, 4, and 7) and will have to win all three games for the Phils to win. And I think that this will happen. Even though the Rays have homefield advantage, I’m going with the Phillies.

Come back next week for World Series coverage.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Championship Series Predictions

This week I will make my championship series predictions. The poll is not working so there will be none for this week.

Phillies vs. Dodgers: Phillies lead 2-0
Game 3: Jamie Moyer (PHI) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (LAD) in LAD
Game 4: Joe Blanton (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in LAD
*Game 5: Cole Hamels (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in LAD
*Game 6: Brett Myers (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in PHI
*Game 7: TBD (PHI) vs. TBD (LAD) in PHI

I think the Phillies will win this series 4-2. If the Phillies can just win one game at Dodger Stadium they should be able to wrap it up at home fairly easily. Game 3 is a must-win game for the Dodgers and Hiroki Kuroda isn’t the guy you’d want in that kind of game as he went 9-10 with a 3.73 ERA in the regular season and is going against Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard (who’s still a threat even though he’s cold), and a very hot Shane Victorino. If the Dodgers lose that game they will almost certainly lose the series, seeing that they will face Cole Hamels, if they get past game 4, and then if they beat Hamels then they will face Brett Myers in Philadelphia. That will be two very tough games for the Dodgers. Although Joe Blanton went 9-12 on the season, he can also throw a gem. The Dodgers really put themselves in a bad position and will really have to step it up to win the series. The Phillies are the overall better team, pitching-wise, because there is only one Dodger pitcher I would trust every time out and that’s Derek Lowe, who probably won’t pitch again until game 5. The only way I see the Phillies losing the series is if the passing of Charlie Manuel’s mother and Shane Victorino’s grandmother impact their focus.

Red Sox vs. Rays: Red Sox lead 1-0
Game 2: Josh Beckett (BOS) vs. Scott Kazmir (TB) in TB
Game 3: Jon Lester (BOS) vs. Matt Garza (TB) in BOS
Game 4: Tim Wakefield (BOS) vs. Andy Sonnanstine (TB) in BOS
*Game 5: Dice-K Matsuzaka (BOS) vs. James Shields (TB) in BOS
*Game 6: TBD (BOS) vs. TBD (TB) in TB
*Game 7: TBD (BOS) vs. TBD (TB) in TB

I think the Red Sox will win this series 4-1. I don’t see Jon Lester losing and I don’t see Andy Sonnanstine winning in BOS, and I think both Game 2 and Game 5 are up for grabs. The Rays really needed to win game one at home when you’ve then got to face Josh Beckett and Jon Lester and go to Fenway for three. Jon Lester will throw a gem again, Josh Beckett could throw a gem or could get destroyed, Tim Wakefield could throw a gem, and Dice-K Matsuzaka will probably throw a gem. The Rays could be shut out every single game with the Red Sox pitching and the Rays offense, even more specifically Evan Longoria, needs to step it up. In Game 1 Akinori Iwamura, BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Floyd were the only ones to get hits and only got one hit each, all singles. Evan Longoria went 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts and grounded into a key double play in a scoring situation. The Red Sox are just too good a team, both pitching wise and hitting wise for the Rays to catch up after losing their first home game. The only way I see the Rays winning is if BJ Upton hits more home runs and Evan Longoria gets more RBI’s and if Carlos Pena gets more hits.

Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think should be the AL MVP?
Kevin Youkilis – 40%
Justin Morneau – 40%
Other – 20%
Josh Hamilton – 0%

Come back next week for championship series recaps and World Series predictions.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

End-of-Season Awards

This week I will give out my awards for the MLB 2008 regular season.

Rangers Awards:

Rangers MVP: Josh Hamilton, TEX: .304 AVG, 32 HR, 130 RBI: Josh led all of the AL in RBI’s, had a batting average over .300, and had over 30 home runs. It’s pretty obvious that he should be the Rangers MVP for this season.
Runner-up: Ian Kinsler, TEX

Cy Young: Vicente Padilla, TEX: 14-8 W-L, 4.74 ERA, 127 K: Vicente didn’t really have that great of a year at all. He just was the best Rangers pitcher due to a lack of competition.
Runner-up: Scott Feldman, TEX

Rookie of the Year: David Murphy, TEX: .275 AVG, 15 HR, 74 RBI: David Murphy only held on to the Rangers ROY Award because he has 19 more RBI’s than Chris Davis, even though Chris has two more home runs and a better batting average. David also has more at-bats, more total bases, and more doubles.

AL Awards:

AL MVP: Kevin Youkilis, BOS: .312 AVG, 29 HR, 115 RBI: To me it comes down to Josh Hamilton, Justin Morneau, and Kevin Youkilis. Josh leads the three in both home runs and RBI’s, and is second in batting average, although last in OBP. Youkilis is leading the three in both batting average and OBP, while second in home runs, but last in RBI’s. I think Kevin gets the edge only because his team made the playoffs.
Runner-up: Josh Hamilton, TEX

Cy Young: Cliff Lee, CLE: 22-3 W-L, 2.54 ERA, 170 K: Cliff Lee should obviously be Cy Young, as he leads the AL in both wins and ERA, and has only lost three games on a losing team.
Runner-up: Roy Halladay, TOR

Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria, TB: .272 AVG, 27 HR, 87 RBI: It’s pretty clear that Evan Longoria should be rookie of the year, because he has great numbers, and the Rays probably wouldn’t have won the division without him, and might not have even made the playoffs.
Runner-up: Alexei Ramirez, CWS

Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, TB: Joe took a team that hadn’t had a winning record in franchise history and made them the AL East champs over the Red Sox.
Runner-up: Ron Gardenhire, MIN

NL Awards:

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, MIL: .285 AVG, 37 HR, 106 RBI: The Brewers wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs without CC Sabathia, nor Ryan Braun. Ryan put up huge power numbers for them, and had a very good batting average, not to mention his two key homers down the stretch, one a walk-off shot, and another a game-winning, playoff-clinching homer in the 8th inning in the last game of the year. Albert Pujols would be the Most Outstanding Player, but not the Most Valuable Player.
Runner-up: Albert Pujols, STL

Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF: 18-5 W-L, 2.62 ERA, 265 K: Tim won 18 games this year, while only dropping five on the Giants, has a 2.62 ERA, and has struck out 265 batters in just 227 innings. It’s hard to go against Webb and Santana, but Lincecum has had the better year.
Runner-up: Johan Santana, NYM

Rookie of the Year: Ricky Nolasco, FLA: 15-8 W-L, 3.52 ERA, 186 K: Ricky has been the Marlins only reliable pitcher that pitched throughout the whole year, and is probably one of the main reasons that they stayed in the playoff race so long into the year.
Runner-up: James Loney, LAD

Manager of the Year: Charlie Manuel, PHI: Charlie and the Phillies just had a great year and won the NL East.
Runner-up: Fredi Gonzalez, FLA

Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will win the Dodgers/Cubs series?
Cubs – 55%
Dodgers – 45%

Come back next week for divisional series recaps as well as championship series predictions.