Saturday, October 30, 2010

Updated World Series Prediction

This week I will give my prediction on the rest of the World Series, but it will be a fairly short post due to the busyness of my weekend. This weekend I am going to two World Series games and a Cowboys game, and I can’t wait.

World Series Prediction:

Game 3 – Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants (SF 2-1)
Reason: Colby has an ERA under 2.00 this postseason and has been great, and I think that Sanchez will have lost all his confidence after his last performance and get lit up.

Game 4 – San Francisco Giants over Texas Rangers (SF 3-1)
Reason: I just don’t have any confidence in Tommy Hunter, and despite Bumgarner’s .306 BAA these playoffs, Tommy has a .333 BAA and has a 6.14 ERA. That doesn’t give you a whole lot of confidence.

Game 5 – Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants (SF 3-2)
Reason: Come on, Cliff Lee and two straight bad starts together is impossible, right? Anyway, Lincecum has allowed at least 3 runs in 3 straight starts.

Game 6 – Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants (TIE 3-3)
Reason: CJ has been dealing all postseason with the exception of one game, and I don’t see any way that Matt Cain goes an entire game without allowing an earned run again. That streak has got to end at some point.

Game 7 – Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants (TEX 4-3)
Reason: I went back and forth on this one, because the crowd will be so crazy, but I just don’t know if Sanchez will get his act back together or if he will continue to struggle. But for us, I’m worried about Colby in this one, because he has not pitched on the road once this postseason. All of that makes for a very up-in-the-air game in a possible Game 7 situation.


Come back next week for a World Series recap on the soon-to-be 2010 Champion Rangers, and a trip report of an Aggie victory over the Sooners.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

World Series Prediction and Analysis

This week I will make my World Series predictions and my position-by-position analysis, which finally includes the Rangers. I can’t wait for it to start. This is awesome.

Position-by-Position Analysis (the Number 2 and 3 starters might be switched, as it hasn’t been announced, but I’m listing it as I think it should be):

Number 1 Starters:
Cliff Lee (TEX) <-- Tim Lincecum (SF)
Analysis: Cliff Lee is probably the best postseason pitcher of this decade. The guy is amazing. In his career, he is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in the playoffs, and this year, he is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. Not to mention his regular season success. Wow. Meanwhile, Tim Lincecum for the Giants is pretty good himself, winning each of the last two Cy Young Awards in the National League. And, overall in this year’s playoffs, he’s been great, with a 1.93 ERA, but in two NLCS starts, he allowed 6 runs (5 earned) in just 14 innings, which isn’t bad, but isn’t great either. I don’t see any way that you can go against Cliff Lee here.

Number 2 Starters:
CJ Wilson (TEX) --> Matt Cain (SF)
Analysis: This one is extremely close, and in the series, I see them each winning one game. But I think that a slight edge goes to Matt Cain, just because he hasn’t allowed an earned run yet in these playoffs in 13.2 innings of work. But CJ has been great these playoffs too, despite having a bad start in his last outing. Other than that start, CJ has been simply masterful, allowing only 3 runs in 13.1 innings, and, in my opinion, one of those runs is on Jorge Cantu for not taking the ball to the bag, and then another one of those runs was given up by the bullpen.

Number 3 Starters:
Colby Lewis (TEX) <-- Jonathon Sanchez (SF)
Analysis: Sure, it’s nice to have a guy going out there in Game 3 with a 1.45 playoff ERA in 18.2 innings. And, sure, it’s nice to have a guy with a 2-0 record in the postseason, and it’s also nice to have a guy that just dominated the Yankees in the biggest start of his career. And all of that is what Colby Lewis has done so far, but that’s still not the major reason that I’m giving him the edge. It’s because I think that Jonathon Sanchez will just get lit up, after completely losing his composure and his confidence in a 2-inning, 2-run performance in Game 6 of the NLCS.

Number 4 Starters:
Tommy Hunter (TEX) --> Madison Bumgarner (SF) or
Derek Holland (TEX) <-- Madison Bumgarner (SF)
Analysis: Madison Bumgarner is not a bad pitcher, with a 3.55 ERA in 12.2 innings so far this postseason, but he should not shut you down, as he has a .306 batting average against in the playoffs and is still yet to face the best hitting team that the Giants will play. So if we can just have a solid performance by our starter in that game, I think that the Rangers will win. The thing is, I don’t see Tommy Hunter doing that (playoff stats: 0-1, 2 GS, 6.14 ERA, 7.1 IP), as he has just been horrendous. But I do see Derek Holland (playoff stats: 1-0, 2.61 ERA, 10.1 IP) having a solid, if not better, performance in a possible start, especially against the Giants’ offense.

Bengie Molina (TEX) <-- Buster Posey (SF)
Analysis: Even though Buster Posey was much better in the regular season, the playoff stats and experience are making me go away from Posey. Buster hit only .217 in the NLCS, and has only 3 RBIs this entire postseason, which isn’t what you expect from one of your biggest offensive producers. Meanwhile, Bengie, apart from being great with the pitching staff, is hitting .333 in these playoffs and has hit one big home run in each series so far.

First Base:
Mitch Moreland (TEX) <-- Aubrey Huff (SF)
Analysis: Once again, even though Huff was much better in the regular season, his playoff stats compared with Moreland are making me go against him. Huff has hit only .256 this postseason, including a .250 NLCS, had a .280 OBP last series, and is yet to get an extra-base hit these playoffs, which leads him to an awful .256 SLG. Meanwhile, Mitch Moreland, after hitting .200 in the ALDS, hit a tremendous .389 in the ALCS, and compared with Huff, has the same power numbers, a much better average, a better on-base percentage, a better slugging percentage by far, and has plenty less strikeouts.

Second Base:
Ian Kinsler (TEX) <-- Freddy Sanchez (SF)
Analysis: Ian has been great in these playoffs with a .342 batting average, 3 home runs, and 9 RBIs. Possibly even more impressive, though, would be his .409 on-base-percentage, which is outstanding. On the other side, Freddy Sanchez has been okay, with a .268 batting average, but has been awful at every other stat, with no home runs, one RBI, and a .302 OBP. I think that Ian definitely has the edge between those two.

Third Base:
Michael Young (TEX) <-- Mike Fontenot/Pablo Sandoval (SF)
Analysis: The main reason for this is not Michael’s .333 batting average in the ALCS, even though that is very good, but the Giants’ incompetence at the position. Mike Fontenot is hitting .214 in the playoffs so far, with no RBIs, and Pablo Sandoval is also hitting .214 in the playoffs with 2 RBIs. That’s just awful.

Elvis Andrus (TEX) <-- Juan Uribe/Edgar Renteria (SF)
Analysis: Elvis didn’t need to have hit safely in every playoff game so far for the Rangers to have the edge in this match-up, and he didn’t need his .333 playoff average either. Once again, the Giants are just incompetent at the position. Yes, Juan Uribe hit a home run to send the Giants to the World Series, and a walk-off sacrifice fly, but he is hitting .143 in the playoffs, and has an OBP under .200, and that’s just embarrassing. And Edgar Renteria isn’t much better, with a .167 playoff batting average, and has no extra-base hits. That’s incompetence at its highest.

Left Field:
David Murphy/Vladimir Guerrero (TEX) <-- Pat Burrell (SF)
Analysis: Yes, I know that when Vlad plays the outfield, he will be in right and Cruz will be in left, but for the sake of position consistency, I put Vlad in left field since he will split time with Murphy when playing in SF. Once again, the Giants player in left field just hasn’t hit in these playoffs, as Burrell is hitting .207, and has struck out 11 times. I know Vlad has struggled, hitting .267 with 11 strikeouts, and I know David Murphy has struggled, hitting .200, but neither of them have struggled that badly.

Center Field:
Josh Hamilton (TEX) <-- Aaron Rowand/Andres Torres (SF)
Analysis: Come on, when your center fielder is the ALCS MVP, and should be the AL MVP, you’re going to win hands-down. Josh hit .350 last series with 4 home runs and 7 RBIs, and had an OBP of .536 after you calculate the 13 walks he had in the series (5 of those were intentional walks). I mean, those numbers are just ridiculous. So when the Giants’ center fielders are hitting just about the best on their team at .286 (Aaron Rowand) and .250 (Andres Torres), it’s not really gonna matter. Good luck beating out Josh at that position, Giants.

Right Field:
Nelson Cruz (TEX) <-- Cody Ross (SF)
Analysis: As far as this post goes, the Giants got very unlucky to have their only good hitter at the moment playing right field, because that’s where Nelson Cruz plays. Cody Ross hit .350 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs in the NLCS against the Phillies. But even that has been outdone by Nellie, who has hit .375 this postseason with 5 home runs and 8 RBIs. That doesn’t even take into account just how good Cruz’s defense is. Cody, you play the wrong position for this post.

Neftali Feliz (TEX) --> Brian Wilson (SF)
Analysis: Yes, you’re seeing right, this is an arrow pointing to the right after nine straight pointing to the left. But it is a pretty obvious choice, with Brian Wilson having 5 saves this postseason with no earned runs, and Neftali Feliz still not having a save. He did get hit hard in a game against the Rays in the ALDS, but other than that game, he hasn’t allowed a baserunner, so maybe he’ll end up being better than Wilson, but I’m definitely not predicting it.

World Series Prediction:

Game 1: Texas Rangers win (TEX 1-0)
Reason: Cliff Lee. What else do I need to say?

Game 2: San Francisco Giants win (TIE 1-1)
Reason: I don’t see them leaving their home park down 0-2.

Game 3: Texas Rangers win (TEX 2-1)
Reason: As I said earlier, I think Sanchez will get lit up due to a loss in confidence.

Game 4 w/ Holland: Texas Rangers win (TEX 3-1)
Reason: Holland has had a very good postseason, especially in the ALCS, and with Bumgarner’s .306 BAA, I see the Rangers scoring a few runs off him.

Game 4 w/ Hunter: San Francisco Giants win (TIE 2-2)
Reason: I don’t trust Hunter at all. He has averaged 3.2 innings per start in these playoffs. Ewwww.

Game 5: Texas Rangers win (Either TEX 4-1 or TEX 3-2)
Reason: Once again, Cliff Lee.

Game 6: Texas Rangers win (Either not necessary or TEX 4-2)
Reason: I don’t see CJ losing both of his starts in this series to Matt Cain.

If Derek Holland starts Game 4: Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants 4-1
If Tommy Hunter starts Game 4: Texas Rangers over San Francisco Giants 4-2

Come back next week for more World Series analysis.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


This is great. It’s the first time that the Rangers have been in the playoffs since 1999, and they are going to the World Series. I was at the game Friday, and it was so exciting that it’s hard to describe it. That place was rocking. That must have been the most exciting game I’ve been to in my life, and I’ve seen a lot of games. The only other series-clinching win that I’ve seen would be when the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks a couple of years ago. That was awesome, but that doesn’t come anywhere close to the experience. I just still can’t believe that the Rangers are in the World Series, and I can’t wait ‘til the Series starts. I’ll be there for games 3, 4, and (if needed) 5.

Come back at the end of the NLCS for my World Series prediction. Go Rangers!

Friday, October 15, 2010

ALCS Prediction

This week I will give my predictions for the American League Championship Series between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees and for the NLCS.


Game 1: New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Texas Rangers (CJ Wilson)

Winner – Texas Rangers
Analysis: CC Sabathia is perceived to be a good playoff pitcher, but, really, I don’t think that he is. In his career, he has had 11 postseason starts, and has an ERA of 4.41. He allowed 3 runs in 6 innings in his only start so far this postseason. In his playoff career, he has been lit up four different times and has dominated only three different times. When you’re getting lit up more than you’re dominating, and you’re an ace, I’d consider that bad pitching. Meanwhile, in CJ Wilson’s only playoff start, he went 6.1 innings, allowing no runs, and just four base-runners. One other note that should affect the whole series - the Yankees threw out a horrible 15% of base-stealers this season, while the Rangers have already stolen 6 bases this postseason. That’s a good sign.

Game 2: New York Yankees (Phil Hughes) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis)

Winner – New York Yankees
Analysis: Despite having an 8.53 ERA last postseason, Phil Hughes has still had many good playoff outings, with a 1.59 postseason ERA in 2007, and seven shutout innings in his first career playoff start earlier this year. I could definitely see Phil Hughes struggling in this game, but I don’t think that it will happen that way. On the other side, Colby Lewis didn’t allow any runs in his first ever playoff appearance and allowed just two hits, but still didn’t do his job, because due to his five walks, he couldn’t even record an out in the sixth inning before getting pulled. I think the Rangers have a good chance in this one, but I see the Yankees recording the win.

Game 3: Texas Rangers (Cliff Lee) @ New York Yankees (Andy Pettite)

Winner – Texas Rangers
Analysis: The Rangers have Cliff Lee going in this game. That should be enough analysis for this prediction, but I’ll give some stats anyway. Cliff Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA, with 54 strikeouts and 6 walks in 56.1 career playoff innings. That’s pretty good. Yes, I realize that Andy Pettite has 19 career playoff wins, but that is more due to quantity than quality. Andy has a 3.87 postseason ERA in his career. Not bad, but when you have started in 41 playoff games, you’d be doing pretty bad if you didn’t have 19 wins, so I don’t put too much stock into that.

Game 4: Texas Rangers (Tommy Hunter) @ New York Yankees (AJ Burnett)

Winner – Texas Rangers
Analysis: Tommy struggled in his first playoff outing, going only 4 innings, and allowing 3 runs, 2 of them earned, and I don’t see him being all that great in this game either (maybe 6 or 7 innings with 3 or 4 runs allowed). But with AJ Burnett going for the Yankees, that should be enough to pick up the victory. Burnett went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA for the Yanks this year, and looked even worse than that. Not to mention that his postseason ERA last year was just about the same at 5.27. That’s awful, and I don’t see those numbers changing in this one.

Game 5: Texas Rangers (CJ Wilson) @ New York Yankees (CC Sabathia)

Winner – Texas Rangers
Analysis: Once again, CC’s career playoff stats are not very good, with a 4.41 career playoff ERA, and he finished off the season with a 4.11 ERA in the year’s final 30 games. That’s worrisome for Yankees fans, and great for Rangers fans. And that’s not to mention CJ Wilson’s road ERA this season. On the road this year, CJ had a 2.91 ERA. That’s incredible, and not only has he proven that he’s a good road pitcher during the regular season, but he’s done that in the postseason, too, as his first start in the playoffs was on the road in Tampa, so I don’t see why that would change now.

Prediction: Texas Rangers 4, New York Yankees 1


Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies 4, San Francisco Giants 3

Come back next week for World Series predictions, which will hopefully include the Rangers.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playoff Experience and Game 5 Prediction

This weekend, I got to go to both of the Rangers home playoff games, the first ones in my life in the first playoff series of my life that I will be able to remember (with me being 3 the last time they made the playoffs). This week I will describe that experience and give my Game 5 prediction. It will be a short blog because I’m just mentally and emotionally drained from the two losses, and my brain still feels fried from the sun beating down on it all game today.

On Saturday night, the ballpark was amazing. I’d been to Cowboys and Stars playoff games, but I think that baseball definitely has the best playoff atmosphere. There was just a special feeling in that place, and it was awesome. Saturday also was a game that through 7 innings was amazing, and really got the fans into it. Even though I feel like Colby didn’t do his job, going only five innings, it was still kind of neat when the whole ballpark chanted his name, or ‘O’Day’, or’ MVP’ throughout the game. I had never experienced anything like that where so many fans were so into the game. After the Ian Kinsler home run to give them a 2-1 lead with only 6 outs left to clinch the series, that place reached his height, and the excitement couldn’t have gotten any higher. Of course, after that, the game didn’t go so well, but it was still a lot of fun to be at and to experience.

On Sunday afternoon, the ballpark was still excited, but it was nowhere near Saturday night’s levels, and except for a few pitches, it just felt like a bad Opening Day game. I think that was probably due to the heat, the horrible game, and the previous night’s game. It was a very frustrating game, especially when you kept looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the runners left on base total get higher and higher almost every inning and not see the Rangers’ runs get higher at all. I left that game very disappointed and frustrated.

Game 5 Prediction:
Texas Rangers 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2

I don’t see David Price having two straight bad starts at home, but I also do see Cliff Lee having two straight great starts on the road. Also, so far in this series, the Rays have scored one run on eight hits in the two games started by lefties and have a lot of left-handed starters on offense. I can’t wait for the game and am looking forward to hopefully the first playoff series win in franchise history.

Come back next week for more postseason analysis, which will hopefully include the Rangers.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Position-by-Position Analysis and Playoff Predictions

First, I messed up last week when giving my game-by-game Rangers/Rays series predictions. I thought that Tommy Hunter would be named the game 3 starter but it’s going to by Colby Lewis, with Hunter starting game 4. I’m now predicting the Rangers to win in 4 games instead of 3.

This week I will give my position-by-position analysis for the Rangers and Rays starting line-ups, along with who I think has the edge, and I will also give my playoff predictions for this October.

C: John Jaso, TB (.263 AVG, 5 HR, 44 RBI) vs. Bengie Molina, TEX (.248 AVG, 5 HR, 35 RBI)
Advantage: Bengie Molina
Analysis: Jaso’s stats are better for the year, but in the last 30 days, Jaso is hitting just .206, and on top of that, Jaso is only a rookie. Meanwhile, Molina has hit .319 in the last 30 days, so, while I don’t think he’s all that good, I think that he is better, and he also has much more experience.

1B: Carlos Pena, TB (.196 AVG, 28 HR, 84 RBI) vs. Mitch Moreland, TEX (.255 AVG, 9 HR, 25 RBI)
Advantage: Mitch Moreland
Analysis: Pena has better power, and also has more experience, but I just cannot force myself to go with a guy batting under the Mendoza line, especially when that same guy is hitting .135 in the last 30 days, and, no, .135 is not a typo. It’s his recent batting average.

2B: Sean Rodriguez, TB (.251 AVG, 9 HR, 40 RBI) vs. Ian Kinsler, TEX (.286 AVG, 9 HR, 45 RBI)
Advantage: Ian Kinsler
Analysis: Ian has a better batting average, the same amount of home runs, more RBI’s, more experience, and most importantly, he isn’t hitting .159 in the last 30 days like Sean Rodriguez is.

3B: Evan Longoria, TB (.294 AVG, 22 HR, 104 RBI) vs. Michael Young, TEX (.285 AVG, 21 HR, 91 RBI)
Advantage: Evan Longoria
Analysis: This one is very close, as Michael is just barely behind him in all three major categories, but Longoria is the Rays’ best player and hitter, so I went with him. However, I have to wonder if Longoria will be healthy for the playoffs, as he is nicked up and hasn’t played in a few days.

SS: Jason Bartlett, TB (.254 AVG, 4 HR, 47 RBI) vs. Elvis Andrus, TEX (.265 AVG, 0 HR, 35 RBI)
Advantage: Elvis Andrus
Analysis: Bartlett is hitting only .254, and while Elvis’ average isn’t too much better, at .265, he has superior speed and hits .347 with a .440 OBP with runners in scoring position. That is clutch.

LF: Carl Crawford, TB (.307 AVG, 19 HR, 90 RBI) vs. David Murphy, TEX (.291 AVG, 12 HR, 65 RBI)
Advantage: Carl Crawford
Analysis: It’s impossible to go against Crawford here, with a .300-plus batting average, and solid power numbers and with Murphy a little banged up. Murphy has had a good season, but he doesn’t have the bat, speed, or glove of Crawford, so he is definitely the second best left fielder in this series.

CF: BJ Upton, TB (.237 AVG, 18 HR, 62 RBI) vs. Josh Hamilton, TEX (.359 AVG, 32 HR, 100 RBI)
Advantage: Josh Hamilton
Analysis: Come on, Josh is the most likely player to win the AL MVP, and has a batting average .122 points above BJ Upton’s batting average. Couldn’t be much easier to pick.

RF: Ben Zobrist, TB (.238 AVG, 10 HR, 75 RBI) vs. Nelson Cruz, TEX (.318 AVG, 22 HR, 78 RBI)
Advantage: Nelson Cruz
Analysis: This one is almost as easy as the center field position was to pick. Nellie has had a great season, and if he wasn’t injured for much of the season, he probably would have had video-game stats. On the Rays’ side, Ben Zobrist is hitting just .238 for the season, and is hitting .192 in his last 30 games.

DH: Willie Aybar, TB (.230 AVG, 6 HR, 43 RBI) vs. Vladimir Guerrero, TEX (.300 AVG, 29 HR, 115 RBI)
Advantage: Vladimir Guerrero
Analysis: Wow, this one is also a completely lopsided one. Vlad is an All-Star, with a .300 batting average, with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs, compared to Aybar who is hitting .230, with a .192 recent batting average.

Advantage Totals: Texas Rangers 7, Tampa Bay Rays 2

Playoff Predictions:

Texas Rangers 3, Tampa Bay Rays 1 – Rangers have a better offense, better starting pitching, and a better bullpen. What more can you ask for?

Minnesota Twins 3, New York Yankees 1 – The Yankees just don’t have a very good rotation besides CC Sabathia, and the Twins are just an all-around solid team.

Philadelphia Phillies 3, Cincinnati Reds 0 – Not the Phillies again. I’m tired of them doing well, but with three, yes three, aces on their team, I don’t see them losing any games that they pitch in.

San Francisco Giants 3, Atlanta Braves 1 – The Giants have a playoff rotation of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathon Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner. Try beating that.

Texas Rangers 4, Minnesota Twins 2 – Here’s the pitching match-ups, and who I think is the best in each of those games:
Game 1 – Cliff Lee over Francisco Liriano
Game 2 – Carl Pavano over CJ Wilson
Game 3 – Brian Duensing over Colby Lewis
Game 4 – Tommy Hunter over Scott Baker
Game 5 – Cliff Lee over Francisco Liriano
Game 6 – CJ Wilson over Carl Pavano

Philadelphia Phillies 4, San Francisco Giants 1 – Once again, I just think that the Phillies’ pitching is too much, even for the Giants’ pitching staff.

World Series:
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Texas Rangers 2 – The Rangers might have the best pitching in the AL playoffs, but they’d only have the 3rd best in the NL playoffs, and the Phillies’ pitching is just too incredibly good, so I don’t see the Rangers winning this series.

Come back next week for more playoff coverage.