Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rangers Playoff Prediction

This week I will give my predictions on how the ALDS will go for the Rangers in all of their 3 possible match-ups, the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays. My Rangers rotation is just my prediction of what it will be. CJ Wilson is locked into the #1 spot, but after that, numbers 2-4 are up in the air. I decided to go with Harrison at #2, Colby at #3, and Holland at #4. I chose that order because Harrison has the best ERA of the three and has been pitching well of late. Even though he has struggled this year, I still put Colby at #3 just because he was so good in the playoffs last year.

Rangers Playoff Match-Ups:

Rangers vs. Yankees

Game 1: CJ Wilson, TEX vs. CC Sabathia, NYY in New York

RANGERS WIN – CC Sabathia is a very good pitcher, but usually struggles against the Rangers, allowing 13 runs in 19.1 innings against the Rangers this season. In the ALCS last year against the Rangers, CC allowed 7 runs on 17 hits in 10 innings. Meanwhile, in CJ’s only start against the Yankees this year, he allowed only 2 runs and struck out 10 in 8 innings of work.

Game 2: Matt Harrison, TEX vs. Ivan Nova, NYY in New York

YANKEES WIN – I don’t think the Yankees will leave New York down 2 games to nothing. Harrison has had a good year, but so has Ivan Nova. Harrison has a slightly better ERA, but I think the Yankees’ home-field advantage, and their determination after losing Game 1, will just be too much and will help them win in a close one.

Game 3: Colby Lewis, TEX vs. AJ Burnett, NYY in Arlington

RANGERS WIN – While Colby hasn’t pitched very well this year, with a 4.45 ERA, AJ Burnett has been worse, with a 5.28 ERA. The Rangers have all the edges in this game, a better starting pitcher, a better bullpen, home-field advantage, and at worst an even line-up. Also, Colby pitched great last year in the playoffs, going 3-0, with a 1.71 ERA, including 2 wins and a 1.98 ERA against the Yankees.

Game 4: Derek Holland, TEX vs. Freddy Garcia, NYY in Arlington

RANGERS WIN – Freddy Garcia has had a very good year overall for the Yankees, but it the month of September, he has a 7.36 ERA and has a 5.40 ERA in 4 career divisional series starts. Meanwhile, Derek has an ERA of 3.92, including a 1.63 September ERA and didn’t allow a run in 5.2 innings against the Yankees last year in the playoffs. I don’t think this series goes back to New York.


Rangers vs. Red Sox

Game 1: CJ Wilson, TEX vs. Josh Beckett, BOS in Arlington

RANGERS WIN: Both CJ and Josh have had great years this year, both of them have ERA’s under 3.00, but the difference between the two is that Beckett has a 4.24 September ERA while CJ has a September ERA of 1.27 and has been unhittable. Also, CJ has allowed only 2 earned runs in 12.1 innings against Boston this year, and Boston is falling apart, with a 5-18 record in September.

Game 2: Matt Harrison, TEX vs. Jon Lester, BOS in Arlington

RANGERS WIN: Once again, this is a matchup of two pitchers that have similar numbers on the year, with Lester at a 3.49 ERA and Harrison at a 3.46 ERA. However, once again, they have pitched very differently of late, with Lester at a September ERA of 5.96 and Harrison’s September ERA at 2.92. Lester has just been bombed of late, and all reports say that he just doesn’t have the stuff he did at the beginning of the year.

Game 3: Colby Lewis, TEX vs. John Lackey, BOS in Boston

RANGERS WIN: Colby really hasn’t pitched well this year, with a 4.45 ERA in 194 innings, but he is on a team that is both hitting and playing well right now. The same thing can’t be said for John Lackey, who really needs help, as his season ERA is 6.49, including a 10.70 September ERA. The Red Sox are in bad shape for any game that Lackey starts in.


Rangers vs. Rays

Game 1: CJ Wilson, TEX vs. James Shields, TB in Arlington

RANGERS WIN: This one might just be 0-0 going into extra innings. Both pitchers have ERAs under 3.00, and have pitched fantastic in September. Also, they have both pitched well against the teams they are facing, as CJ has allowed 5 runs in 21.2 innings against the Rays this year, while Shields has allowed just 1 run in 17 innings against the Rangers this year. In the end, I think this match-up is just so even that I will give it to the home team.

Game 2: Matt Harrison, TEX vs. David Price, TB in Arlington

RAYS WIN: Matt Harrison has had a good year so far, and has pitched well of late, and his numbers might actually be close to David Price’s on the year, but he just isn’t a match for Price. David has pitched well against the Rangers this year, going 15 innings and allowing 5 runs, and has lots of playoff experience.

Game 3: Colby Lewis, TEX vs. Jeremy Hellickson, TB in St. Petersburg

RAYS WIN: Despite pitching lights-out in the playoffs last year, Lewis has struggled so far this year, and the 2011 Lewis is what I think we will see in this year’s playoffs, not the 2010 playoff Colby. Meanwhile, Hellickson has had an amazing year, with a 2.90 ERA, including a 2.28 September ERA and a 2.48 August ERA, so he has been almost unhittable for a couple of months now.

Game 4: Derek Holland, TEX vs. Wade Davis, TB in St. Petersburg

RANGERS WIN: Derek has been lights-out so far in September and he tends to pitch well in big games. He has lowered his ERA down under 4.00 on the year, and I think he would pitch a gem against the weak Rays line-up. Meanwhile, Davis has a 4.45 ERA, and allowed 7 runs on 12 hits in just 2.2 innings in his only start against the Rangers this year.

Game 5: CJ Wilson, TEX vs. James Shields, TB in Arlington

RAYS WIN: I gave the first showdown between these two to CJ, so I’ll give the second one to Shields since they are so evenly matched.


Come back next week for my playoff predictions and my end-of-season awards.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

August Awards

This week I will post my August Awards.

Rangers Awards:

MVP: Michael Young, TEX (.336 AVG, 11 HR, 90 RBI) – Michael leads the team in batting average (2nd in the AL) and RBIs. He has had a fantastic season, and is on pace to get to both 200 hits and 100 RBIs this year.
Runner-up: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.300 AVG, 19 HR, 76 RBI)

Cy Young: CJ Wilson, TEX (14-6, 3.28 ERA, 173 K) – CJ leads the Rangers in wins (14), ERA (3.28), and strikeouts (173), and has pitched well enough this year to be named to the All-Star team. This decision was a no-brainer.
Runner-up: Alexi Ogando, TEX (12-7, 3.68 ERA, 115 K)

Rookie of the Year: Craig Gentry, TEX (.235 AVG, 0 HR, 7 RBI) – Craig won this by process of elimination. He plays great defensively, and has played in the majors. That got him this award.
Runner-up: Leonys Martin, TEX (.500 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

AL Awards:

MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS (.342 AVG, 23 HR, 103 RBI) – Adrian leads the league in batting average and is 2nd in RBI. He is having a great season, and is making my pre-season prediction of him for MVP look very good.
Runner-up: Curtis Granderson, NYY (.271 AVG, 38 HR, 107 RBI)

Cy Young: Justin Verlander, DET (21-5, 2.34 ERA, 224 K) – You know a pitcher is having an unbelievable season when there is talk about him being MVP. Verlander leads the AL in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, and is on track for the pitching triple crown.
Runner-up: Jered Weaver, LAA (16-7, 2.49 ERA, 176 K)

Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, TB (11-10, 3.01 ERA, 106 K) – Jeremy is having a great rookie year, with an ERA just barely above 3.00, and without any really good offensive rookies this year, I think he definitely deserves this year’s ROY.
Runner-up: Mark Trumbo, LAA (.256 AVG, 25 HR, 77 RBI)

NL Awards:

MVP: Matt Kemp, LAD (.320 AVG, 31 HR, 102 RBI) – Despite playing on a very bad team, I still think that Kemp deserves to be the MVP. His numbers this year are incredible, as he is 4th in the NL in average, tied for 4th in home runs, and 3rd in RBI.
Runner-up: Ryan Braun, MIL (.331 AVG, 25 HR, 91 RBI)

Cy Young: Ian Kennedy, ARI (18-4, 2.96 ERA, 167 K) – Kennedy leads the National League in wins with 18, and on top of that, he has an ERA under 3.00 and is right on the verge of 200 innings for the season. Ian has had a great year.
Runner-up: Clayton Kershaw, LAD (17-5, 2.45 ERA, 212 K)

Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, ATL (42 SV, 1.60 ERA, 112 K) – Craig has already broken the rookie saves record set last year by Neftali Feliz (40), has a good chance at 50 saves on the season, has an ERA well below 2.00, and has a ridiculous 112 strike-outs in 67.2 innings.
Runner-up: Freddie Freeman, ATL (.291 AVG, 18 HR, 64 RBI)

Come back next week for part 3 of my ballpark rankings.