Results tagged ‘ Justin Upton ’

Water Cooler Day Off Talk: My May 23rd All Star Ballot

Earlier I wrote about how you could validate voting for each Giant on the MLB All Star Ballot, now it’s probably an appropriate time to list my actual All Stars. Since voting doesn’t close until the 4th of July, there’s going to be plenty of room for hot streaks, and hot piles of slumps. As with the online ballot itself, I’ll give you my players for each position, and we’ll leave it at that for now.

American League

C — Carlos Santana (8 HR, .405 OBP, .410 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) over Joe Mauer (2 HR, .416 OBP, .386 wOBA, 144 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

1B — Chris Davis (14 HR, .420 OBP, .458 wOBA, 190 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR)

2B — Dustin Pedroia (8 SB, .420 OBP, .375 wOBA, 132 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) just over Robinson Cano (13 HR, .335 OBP, .375 wOBA, 134 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS — Jhonny Peralta (4 HR, .379 OBP, .364 wOBA, 127 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR)

3B — Miguel Cabrera (13 HR, .459 OBP, .480 wOBA, 206 wRC+, 3.0 fWAR) over Evan Longoria (9 HR, .399 OBP, .420 wOBA, 171 wRC+, 2.9 fWAR)

OF — Mike Trout (9 HR, 9 SB, .400 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR)

OF — Jose Bautista (11 HR, .408 wOBA, 158 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

OF — Alex Rios (10 HR, 8 SB, .372 OBP, .397 wOBA, 146 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) just over Alex Gordon (6 HR, .387 OBP, .396 wOBA, 150 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

DH — David Ortiz (7 HR, .397 OBP, .429 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR)

National League

C — Buster Posey (6 HR, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 152 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR)

1B — Joey Votto (7 HR, .484 OBP, .438 wOBA, 182 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR) over Paul Goldschmidt (12 HR, .400 OBP, .420 wOBA, .166 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

2B — Matt Carpenter (3 HR, .387 OBP, .365 wOBA, 137 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Marco Scutaro (1 HR, .382 OBP, .358 wOBA, 133 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS — Jean Segura (7 HR, 14 SB, .390 OBP, .407 wOBA, 2.4 fWAR) just over former Long Beach State Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki (9 HR, .409 OBP, .427 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR). You could go either way here.

3B — David Wright (6 HR, 10 SB, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 151 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Chase Headley (does not play on the Mets)

OF — Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR, 8 SB, .390 OBP, .413 wOBA, 154 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

OF — Justin Upton (14 HR, .387 OBP, .410 wOBA, 165 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR)

OF — Shin-Soo Choo (9 HR, .449 OBP, .426 wOBA, 174 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) over Carlos Gomez (152 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR) and Ryan Braun (9 HR, .412 wOBA). Just don’t put Choo in CF.

Feel free to put your ballot or changes in the comments because I can see how you might like player B over player A. Short season so far, lots of time left before I have to decide who I’m voting in 35 times.

GIFPost: The Swings of Justin Upton’s Twelve Homers

Justin Upton‘s swing is a thing of beauty, and the good people of MLB have noticed and compiled a video of his twelve homers from the month of April. The video is here for your viewing pleasure:

The dates of all those games you may not know, although you’ve probably heard his RBI count is pretty low:

Rk Gtm Date Opp Rslt HR RBI BA OBP SLG
1 1 Apr 1 PHI W,7-5 1 1 .250 .250 1.000
2 2 Apr 3 PHI W,9-2 1 2 .286 .444 1.143
4 4 Apr 5 CHC W,4-1 1 2 .308 .375 1.000
5 5 Apr 6 CHC W,6-5 2 2 .389 .429 1.278
7 7 Apr 8 @ MIA W,2-0 1 1 .423 .448 1.192
12 12 Apr 14 @ WSN W,9-0 1 1 .348 .415 .891
13 13 Apr 16 KCR W,6-3 1 1 .340 .404 .900
15 15 Apr 18 @ PIT W,6-4 1 1 .328 .394 .862
19 19 Apr 23 (1) @ COL W,4-3 1 1 .296 .378 .775
20 20 Apr 23 (2) @ COL W,10-2 1 2 .307 .391 .813
23 23 Apr 27 @ DET L,4-7 1 2 .302 .384 .779
12 19 .299 .400 .722
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/2/2013.

All those homers within the first twenty-three games of the season. Better than a one homer every other game average! For that stretch, that’s amazingness. I present to you the swings of each of his twelve homers, in order:

 

It’s like the fourth and fifth homer go to the same place just based on what you see in the GIFs. Love that bat drop.

 

Thanks for playing, pitchers. This was a fun post to do.

Highlights: What I Liked from the Second Opening Day

While I was workin on the railroad all the live-long day (or like, about a third of it), MLB was celebrating its second of three Opening Day, and things were happening. Baseball things. I didn’t get to watch the team I support most play its game, but they’ll have 161 games left that I might get to watch in parts or in its entirety, so it’s not all that bad. If it seems like I’m biased towards good pitching and home runs, and Buster Posey, well… you’d be right.

We’ll start off with Bryce Harper hitting multiple dingers against the Marlins

Really, this kid is so incredibly good. He is someone that has brought himself into the game so young, baseball enthusiasts will talk about this kid for years to come, no matter what happens with his career.

Justin Upton begins his Atlanta tenure with a bang

Did I mention I have him tabbed to be my NL MVP this year?

Collin Cowgill had an Opening Day salami

Gave the projected bottom-half of the division Mets beat the projected bottom-half of the division Padres

Speaking of not projecting to win, the Chicago Cubs had a huge blast from Anthony Rizzo

I wanted to link more from this game and the other Chicago game, but nothing else was embeddable :(

Give credit where credit is due, Clayton Kershaw kept the Giants bats quiet, and his complete game shutout of the Champs reminded everybody that he never minds squaring off against his NorCal rivals, and if you can keep an open mind if you’re a Giants fan, he is an amazing pitcher to watch

Also, Kershaw said he didn’t want to discuss a contract extension during the season, and it sure didn’t get done, so how will that affect his price tag going forward? To those yelling that it won’t matter, we don’t know it can’t keep them from getting a decent set-up reliever in the future.

Baseball has only had one walk-off this season, and it comes courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers

Too bad I couldn’t embed Dexter Fowler‘s game-tying homer vs. John Axford. I’ll just link you.

MLB’s being a little slow to embed a lot of different videos, so hopefully they’ll speed that up in the future, because who doesn’t like embedding stuff to their website to generate site hits let people watch over and over!

Postseason and Award Predictions: Don’t Worry, They’ll Be Wrong

The regular season begins this Sunday tomorrow at 5:05PM PST when the Texas Rangers play the Houston Astros in that famous AL West rivalry, which means this week is all about previews, bold predictions, and message board put downs. I will say I am not good at predicting things, so let’s get that straight. Like everybody else though, I have an opinion on the matter of how events will play out.  Let us preview the postseason, where the best team doesn’t always win due to the randomness of how the short series will go. It’s a first team to eleven wins once the DS begins, and normally the team that catches fire tends to do the celebrating. Also in my analysis, the team that scores more runs tend to win games. I’ll start with who I have going into the playoffs, then the predictions of the resulting postseason series. After that, I’ll go into regular season awards.

NL Playoff Seeding

1. Washington Nationals

2. Cincinnati Reds

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

4. Atlanta Braves

5. San Francisco Giants

Wild-Card Play-in Game

Atlanta beats San Francisco

NLDS

Atlanta beats Washington

Cincinnati beats Los Angeles

NLCS

Cincinnati beats Atlanta

AL Playoff Seeding

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Toronto Blue Jays

3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

4. Tampa Bay Rays

5. Texas Rangers

Wild-Card Play-in Game

Tampa Bay beats Texas

ALDS

Detroit beats Tampa Bay

Toronto beats LA of A

ALCS

Detroit beats Toronto

World Series (game will be in AL Park when AL wins ASG)

Detroit beats Cincinnati

Don’t worry Tiger fans, I’m sure my predictions won’t be correct!

—————————

Regular Season Awards

I will go into who the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year for both leagues will be. These will also probably be wrong.

AL MVP — Mike Trout

Asking me if I’m mad, bro? Nah, not mad, but let’s say Mike Trout does even 80% of what he did in 2012 in 2013, and his team gets to the playoffs, the voters are going to give him his “redemption,” and feel good that “see, we don’t hate advanced stats,” as we roll our collective eyes together. Sophomore slump? Maybe a little, but the only thing that will stop this fish is if he gets hurt playing the game.

NL MVP — Justin Upton

They say a change of scenery can do wonders for a player, and how about playing with an organization that wants you? I’d say that’s a good start. I think Upton will have a career year, players like Braun and Posey will regress a little, and Upton will find his team in the playoffs. Justin Upton may not have the best year of everybody, but I think he gets the award.

AL Cy Young — Justin Verlander

Kind of like Trout, he’s only going to get stopped by an injury. He should continue to rack up the pitcher wins, satisfying the old school, and his team will make the playoffs all with lots of money, and lots of strikeouts. Probably not many multi-homer against games though. Verlander is just excellent.

NL Cy Young — Clayton Kershaw

Dickey was a great story in 2012, but I still side with the overall metrics a bit on Kershaw, believing he got snubbed by just a little bit, nothing too controversial. Kershaw, like Verlander, will be getting plenty of pitcher wins behind a boosted offense, and he’s still really, really good. Oh, and his team will be going to the playoffs so that equals instant votes.

AL Rookie of the Year — Jackie Bradley Jr. 

Shot up the prospect lists in 2012 into 2013, and is projected to start with the team. For the kid, the defense will be getting peoples attention, while the stick may not be able to do anything super special, it’ll be enough. Lots of names for both RoY awards, JBJ just happens to be my guess right now.

NL Rookie of the Year — Zack Wheeler

Wheeler will not come up until June and he’ll still get the award. Dominating the minors, and yes, I understand the pain he’s going to cause Giants fans, but the kid is good, and will be going after his opposition from the get-go with heat and curveballs and breaking balls and strikeouts.

Let’s hear what your predictions are! Pretty much anything goes before the season gets going.

The Long Nightmare is Finally Over: Justin Upton Traded to Atlanta

Wednesday afternoon reports surfaced that GM Frank Wren of the Braves had sent an offer to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 25-year old OF Justin Upton. Thursday morning, reports have come out that GM Kevin Towers has accepted that offer. Finally, after months of speculation that Justin Upton be traded, he does. There was some speculation that the DBacks would try to trade Jason Kubel to the Baltimore Orioles but now that Justin has been traded, that possibility seems pretty much done.

The Braves get:

OF Justin Upton (Already 108 HR, but a change of scenery could do wonders)

3B Chris Johnson (traded from Houston to AZ last season, 15 HR, defense not his calling card)

The Diamondbacks get:

UT Martin Prado (plays all over the place, in my opinion a little underrated, fans should like him but doesn’t have Upton power)

SP Randall Delgado (92.2 IP in MLB in ’12, will enter age 23 season)

SP Zeke Spruill (Double-A in ’12)

SS Nick Ahmed (High-A in ’12)

CI Brandon Drury (Single-A in ’12)

There was speculation yesterday that Braves top prospect Julio Teheran would be in the deal, but apparently he was swapped out and Prado and Delgado were brought in. Looking at the deal, I can’t say I hate it too much for either side, and I assumed the Braves would “win” this deal on paper. There are some people like me that didn’t feel trading Upton was appropriate, but getting Prado and Delgado back isn’t bad of a return at all. Atlanta now has a platoon partner for Juan Francisco, a pair of Uptons in the outfield to join another young star in Jason Heyward, it’s hard not to love this trade for the Braves. The Diamondbacks get a great player in Prado, another guy that they could ease into the rotation in Delgado who can be around until the latter part of the decade, and they get three guys that were all Baseball America Top 30 prospects (Spruill being the only Top 10 at #9; Ahmed #11, Drury #27, per JJ Cooper), this isn’t the worst thing in the world done by Kevin Towers. Really! I mean, the Trevor Bauer trade was easily much worse than this trade if you’re looking for an axe to grind.

If you clicked on the links to MLBDepthCharts on the team names, you’ll notice at how the rosters might take shape. Funny how the Diamondbacks used to have guys like Chris Young (now with the A’s), Justin Upton (traded today), Trevor Bauer (now with the Indians), and could’ve stayed content with Jarrod Parker (also now with the A’s). Their replacements are Cody Ross, Jason Kubel, Adam Eaton (all this combined is a downgrade because Upton is a pretty good player), and Trevor Cahill, Randall Delgado (could we call this a “push” for the pitching in the short-term?).

Both teams after this trade are left in pretty good shape, sending a message to their fans that they want to compete in 2013, but after the offseason the Diamondbacks have had, I’m not sure if I can say they are in better shape than what they ended 2012 with.

Winter Meetings: Day One

The Winter Meetings are holding up to the excitement as ESPN has started a consecutive days-long chat, MLB Network is upping coverage, and contracts are being signed. The news today:

  • Mike Napoli has signed a 3 year-$39MM deal with the Red Sox. Probably the biggest FA catcher on the block is now off, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark suggests this takes them out of the Adam LaRoche sweepstakes. 
  • Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to undergo left hip surgery and will need 4-6 months to recover.
  • The Meetings have let the Justin Upton rumors start to circle again, making us wonder if a trade for the young Diamondback will actually happen. The team has said to be aggressive on the trade front.
  • The San Diego Padres have signed Jason Marquis to a one year-$3MM deal.
  • Per Dylan Hernandez, Shohei Otani wants to decide this week whether to stay in Japan, or come to the Dodgers
  • The Detroit Tigers offered Anibal Sanchez 4 years-$48MM but apparently that wasn’t seen favorably by Sanchez’s camp, who is rumored to be seeking a 6/$90MM deal.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays have claimed Eli Whiteside, per Ken Rosenthal. Ken notes that Eli is now their fourth catcher because you can never have too many game callers.
  • Angel Pagan and the San Francisco Giants have an agreement for 4 years and $40MM, a trade-off between below-market money and more years made between the clubs.
  • Joakim Soria and the Texas Rangers appear to have a deal in place for two years. I really like Soria and hope he can be of some use to the Rangers, but only enough that he doesn’t help the Rangers beat the Giants in a World Series matchup.
  • Scott Hairston was reportedly offered a two-year deal to the Tigers, first I saw was from Jon Morosi. However, Adam Rubin from ESPN NY says he’s been told the Giant killer will not sign on with Detroit. Jon Morosi has since said he was mistaken in his report about Hairston, but Rubin does say there are five teams pursuing Hairston.
  • In other New York news, the Metropolitans asked the Red Sox for top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. for in exchange for R.A. Dickey, but the team that calls Fenway home is not likely to give away either prospect.
  • There is an offer on the table for Ryan Ludwick from the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Out of South Beach, there are whispers that Yunel Escobar is being shopped to Tampa and Oakland, and Ricky Nolasco has had enough of Miami and wants out.

This will be updated throughout the day, but who knows if I’ll be able to keep up. There’s a lot going on, and it’s very exciting.

Series Preview: #SFGiants (81-62) vs. #DBacks (71-72)

Catcher Miguel Montero and his Diamondbacks, while maybe out of NL West contention, and very real contenders in the Wild Card.

The fourth through sixth games of the month (out of nine) of September between these two clubs brings the Giants to Chase Field for the last time of the regular season, and the black + orange hope they can do better than the last series, where they were outscored 22-17, and lost two out of three from the Snakes. The Diamondbacks will be either 3.5 or 4.5 back of the Wild Card leaders tomorrow depending on how the Cardinals and Dodgers fare tonight, and are currently 10 back of the Giants for the West. For the Giants, the Diamondbacks are that annoying team that never seems to stop bothering you, and will throw three lefties at the Giants this weekend. The DBacks lead the season series 7-5, and with six to go, it actually would not surprise me if the Giants did not win the season series with Arizona.

Friday, September 14th: RHP Matt Cain vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs

One sentence summary: Tyler Skaggs’ starts have gotten shorter as his debut season has progressed — 6.2 IP, 5.2, 5.0, 3.2; Matt Cain has gone at least 7.0 IP in 5 of his last 6 starts.

Saturday, September 15th: LHP Barry Zito vs. LHP Wade Miley

One sentence summary: Miley has allowed 11 baserunners in his past two games, giving both teams a chance to win, while Zito hopes to strike out the Snakes like he did last time (6), but with better results for the team.

Sunday, September 16th: RHP Ryan Vogelsong vs. LHP Patrick Corbin

One sentence summary: Corbin hasn’t allowed less than 3 ER in a game since a little over a month ago; while Vogelsong still struggles to find what made him a 2011 sensation after only going 8.1 IP in his last two starts combined.

The Bats are Hot… But That’s the Phoenix Heat’s Fault

I mean, have you ever been to Phoenix in the summer months? It’s death outside. I realize it’s September, but that’s still a summer month for Arizona, as are seven to nine other months there. For a team that’s been slithering closer to playoff contention, they don’t have any super-stand-out-crazy-hot batters doing the work for them. Sure, Miguel Montero has been hitting (.404 wOBA L7, .362 wOBA overall), Jason Kubel has been mashing a little bit (.395 wOBA L7, 2 HR L7; .358 wOBA overall, 29 HR overall), but it’s also a point that outside of John McDonald (.063 wOBA L7, -80 wRC+ L7; . 275 wOBA overall, 63 wRC+ overall), nobody is particularly cold over the past week. Kubel (29) and Hill (22) are still the only 2 DBacks with 20+ HR, but Goldschmidt (18), Montero (15), Johnson (14), Young (14), Upton (13) are all legitimate power sources. Chris Young hasn’t appeared in a game since September 7th, as he’s healing from a quad strain. The primary base-stealers on the club are Goldschmidt (16), Hill (14), Upton (15), and Parra (13).

By averaging 6 runs/game in the last six game, you’d figure there might be some guys doing work, and there are. One of those guys leading the charge might have a new nickname of “MVP” when the regular season ends: Buster Posey (.588 wOBA L7, 2 HR L7; .402 wOBA overall, 21 HR overall) has been fantastic in the second half for the Giants. Not to be ignored, Gregor Blanco (.450 wOBA L7, 2 SB L7; .312 wOBA overall, 22 SB overall), and Angel Pagan (.443 wOBA L7, 2 SB L7; .337 wOBA, 25 SB overall) have been working to set the table up for Giants rallies. Marco Scutaro has also been a more than decent contributor to the offense (.385 wOBA L7, .316 wOBA overall) of late. It’s not lost on anybody who is ice cold: that of the Panda, Kung Fu (.098 wOBA L7, -50 wRC+; .319 wOBA overall, 101 wRC+ overall), who may be hurting more than we comprehend at the moment, or could just be tired because he’s so…. exhausted after playing a lot of games in a baseball season (I already wrote an article on fat, I don’t need to go back to it here).

Series Prediction

How wild will it get in Arizona this weekend? Can the Giants finally put Arizona away for now so that they can focus on clinching the West? Arizona is the one team in the West that worries me the most, especially as the Dodgers continue to be of the LOLs Angeles variety.

Friday: Giants win (Skaggs tires, Cain rises)

Saturday: Giants win (Zito throws a gem because I’m not watching this game due to being at a separate baseball event)

Sunday: DBacks win (It’s not that Vogelsong will stink it up, it’s that the DBacks will do just enough)

Hopefully the Giants can come home with a single-digit magic number, giving them a chance to do some celebrating at AT&T like they did in 2010, but without the last game dramatics.

Series Preview: #DBacks (66-69) vs. #SFGiants (76-58)

Justin Upton and the Diamondbacks have found winning to be out of reach recently and hope to change that as they slither into AT&T

Since August 14th, the Diamondbacks have had trouble reversing trends right away, as they’ve been winning/losing in consecutive games. The results: lose 2, win 4, lose 2, win 2 (more impressively it was a double-header), lose 6, win 2, lose 2. That’s an 8-12 stretch, so it’s understandable that they’ve lost ground against the Giants, who’ve gone 13-5 over that same set of dates. Interesting that on August 14th, we go back to the days of the Giants being tied for 1st place in the NL West with the Dodgers. Even though the Diamondbacks are 10.5 back, they still have 9 games left against the Giants, and while it’s extremely unlikely the DBacks make up 9 games, they can still play spoiler. The Giants return from a roadtrip that featured some NL Central cupcakes and now the San Francisco Orange & Black begin the final stretch of the season against only NL West opponents.

Monday, September 3rd: LHP Patrick Corbin vs. LHP Barry Zito

One sentence summary: The Giants’ fourth consecutive day game features Corbin, who’s given up 5 HR in his last 3 starts, and Zito, who had his shortest outing of the season against Houston, possibly playing through some upper back pain.

Tuesday, September 4th: RHP Ian Kennedy vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong

One sentence summary: August wasn’t the friendliest of months to either of these two starters as Kennedy saw his second worst ERA month of the season (4.54), while Vogelsong had by far his worst month of the year (6.32), as both look to change things up with the coming of September.

Wednesday, September 5th: RHP Trevor Cahill vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner

One sentence summary: Cahill also had a heightened ERA in August (5.08) but wasn’t necessarily getting dominated like Vogelsong was; meanwhile, after Madison had his worst outing of the year since the first series of the year, he faces the team that gave him that first bad outing in the Diamondbacks.

And Now, the Bats

Hard to imagine that guys like Paul Goldscmidt ever go cold, but he’s not his normal self in the past week (.223 wOBA, .368 wOBA overall — best on the team), and said unhotness also applies to names like Justin Upton (.268 wOBA L7, .327 wOBA overall), Chris Young (.232, .321), and Jason Kubel (.263, .356), despite 3 HR between Upton and Kubel in the past week, including a couple bombs against the Dodgers. Mostly-utility-infielder John McDonald (.450, .297) has been the biggest contributor recently although in only 15 PA, with Miguel Montero being the biggest regular contributor of late (.321, .362). The Diamondbacks have a total of eight guys with double-digit dingerz on their squad, led by Jason Kubel (27), and Aaron Hill (20). Three guys have 13 SB on their squad led by Lincecum-killer Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Upton, and Gerardo Parra.

The Cubs series wasn’t the sweep many fans had hoped it would be, but some guys added on to what they’d be doing in Houston. Guys like Angel Pagan (.457 wOBA L7, .340 wOBA overall), and Hunter Pence (.405, .326). Gregor Blanco (.143, .308) may see his playing time reduced as Bochy rides the X-line straight to Veteranville, and Brandon Crawford (.162, .272) may be in the midst of regressing, but I imagine he starts taking the field back over Arias since Joaquin can’t keep his August pace up forever. On a team starved for the big flies, Buster is one HR away from 20 (as is Hunter), and we’re still waiting for round-trippers from Panda and Belt. Pagan (23) and Blanco (20) both have a high number of SB, and I’m sure it’ll be watched to see if either of these rabbits can rack up 30 for the year.

Series Prediction

Get familiar with these boys, because you’re going to see a lot of them in September, and you just hope you’re playing them at the right streaky time.

Monday: Giants win (Giants ride homer — like an actual home run — to victory)

Tuesday: DBacks win (Ian Kennedy out-pitched Kershaw, will out-pitch Vogelsong)

Wednesday: Giants win (Madison takes his revenge out on Arizona)

Thursday is a day off before the Giants and Dodgers get going for their second to last series of the year, and the last one at AT&T.

Everybody has a 2nd Half Preview #SFGiants

Pablo’s bat in the 2nd half, just like everyone else’s, will be needed to help the Giants reach the 90-win mark they may need to win the West.

Right? If you write about baseball, or you think you can right about baseballs (lulz), chances are you can make predictions or give a take on the second half of the season that has/hasn’t been said before, or provide first-half analysis, but do it in a different way from other people.

I use Excel spreadsheets:

Boom. How you like these apples? You may have seen something like this in a Fansided post I did last month, and now it’s updated. Spent all night updating it, so I hope you appreciate the work. If you don’t, well take in the numbers that are important here: the Giants are 20-20 against teams with a .500 record or better (despite their most recent 9-10 stretch versus winning teams) and have 30/76  (~40%) of their remaining games against those teams including 12 against the Dodgers, who may or may not look the same the next time we see them. I have a hard time seeing top Dodger prospect Zach Lee making it through this season without being traded. As long as the Dodgers don’t win it all, this could be a season we look back on and kind of point and laugh at them much in the same way people do at the Giants for that deal last year involving a different Zack. In both scenarios though, the deal needs/needed to be done to acquire an impact player, and I don’t know how impact of a guy they can get in this market. The most important number may be that they have 13 games against the Rockies, who are hopelessly lost right now. The next most outside of the NL West are the 7 against the Braves, and the 6 against the Jose Altuves.

Despite being one game under .500, the DBacks are 4 back of the Dodgers, and 3.5 behind the Giants, so for now we will consider them being in the hunt and not giving up on Justin Upton, which is another issue in of itself. The Dodgers, though they have swept the Cardinals, have 8 left against them, and still have to finish their season series with the Nationals, Pirates, Reds, Braves, and the Mets (Giants are done with two of those guys, DBacks, are done with the Braves). The Dodgers, despite starting very well against winning competition, have regressed to one game over, but have one win up on the Giants at the moment. The Diamondbacks in terms of their schedule have more games against over .500 teams to finish the season largely in part to the Giants, Dodgers, and Reds, but have struggled overall against such foes going 19-26, which hopefully is a number that only gets worse (for them).

Unimportant observation: Did you notice the summed up records of opponents that are below .500 for the Giants and Dodgers were exactly the same? How ’bout that.

Key part of the schedule: Friday, September 7th through Monday, September 24th. Here’s why:

Giants face: vs. Dodgers (3), @Rockies (3), @DBacks (3), vs. Rockies (4), vs. Padres (3)

Dodgers face: @Giants (3), @DBacks (2), vs. Cardinals (4), @Nationals (3), @Cincinnati (3)

DBacks face: @Padres (3), vs. Dodgers (2), vs. Giants (3), vs. Padres (3), vs. Rockies (4)

Notice a difference in the degree of difficulty the Giants and DBacks face versus what the Dodgers have to go through? Shoot, the DBacks barely have to travel during that stretch, and the Giants go as far as Colorado while the Dodgers get to go to the other side of the States. This could make the end of the season an interesting one for the NL West.

And now, for the part that anyone can do (and will probably be wrong): The prediction.

Thursday, July 12th

Dodgers 47-40 –

Giants 46-40 0.5

Dbacks 42-43 4.0

Thursday, October 4th

Giants 90-72 –

Dodgers 88-74 2.0

DBacks 87-75 3.0

This means the Giants have to win 58% of the games left. Should be doable, especially if the starters (I’m thinking of specifically two of them) can give the team a chance to win. It’s a long season, and I may be a bit optimistic, but we’ll hope for the best (for us and only us).

Today’s Debate: Rooting Order of Playoff Teams (different than @Baycityball)

BWBP

A different team will be crowned in 2011. We'll live with it.

Discussion and disagreement are part of sports life, and after reading a post from @BayCityBall (http://www.baycityball.com/2011/10/02/my-postseason-rooting-order/) I thought this would be a good post for today. The idea is of course, there are eight teams in the postseason and if we had to rank who you would root for, what would that order be? Everyone’s list will be different and who can blame them? There’s some attractive talent (both on the field and in the dugout) for us to be amazed and stupefied at.

1. Tampa Bay Rays – expansion team, lost to the Phillies in 2008, came from a huge deficit to defeat one of the more despised franchises in baseball. They have lovable characters like Evan Longoria, One-A-Day 50+ sponsor Joe Maddon, Madison Bumgarner pitch-a-like Matt Moore (alike in that the Rangers couldn’t touch either of them). Shoot, their version of Eli Whiteside even hit two HRs against CJ Wilson. Awesome

Rays Coach

They weren't supposed to be in the playoffs. Thanks to multivitamins, here they are.

2. Texas Rangers – When the Giants and the Rangers met up last year in 2010, you had a ratings nightmare: no Yankees? no Red Sox? no Phillies? We’ll just have Joe Buck and Tim McCarver do this one. Nobody’s watching, anyway. You also had two franchises starved for a World Series trophy. The Giants got their portion in 2010, but the Rangers were left hanging and from what I heard, the Rangers were very classy in defeat. Their exciting players are mostly hold bats and hit HRs for a living, their staff has the experience of winning so the jitters should be mostly out of the way.

Texas GM

Tempting to tab him as the Game 4 starter, right?

3. Detroit Tigers – The playoff team I probably know the least about. I guess they’re like the Tampa Bay Rays or a Texas Rangers-lite on offense and some other team with their pitching. Justin Verlander? Hot. Jose Valverde? He should make a dance instruction DVD. As for everyone else? Whatever, just beat the Yankees.

The other JV

Two JVs on one team? No wonder they're so good.

4.  St. Louis Cardinals – Just beat the Phillies, Tony La Russa. Use your craftiness when you get back home to even the series at 2 or something. Sprinklers, stadium lights, rain dance, Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, whatever. I laugh a little that Rafael Furcal is on this team.

Cards Coach

We're losing by 1 late in the game. Time for some "Tony Magic!"

5. Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re not far down on the list because I despise their team; really, I’m OK with them. Justin Upton, Chris Young, Aaron Hill, Kirk Gibson. I think he’s done a great job with the team and GM Kevin Towers a wonderful job rebuilding the bullpen. I don’t want them winning the World Series because I don’t know why, but I don’t. I may have this fear that winning the WS would convince idiots to vote Ian Kennedy for Cy Young even though it’s just a regular season award. Edit: Forgot that ballots are submitted before the post-season. Therefore, Kennedy performance in post-season will not change likelihood of getting Cy. Their twitter account is annoying as babies on a plane, by the way.

AZ Mgr

He's been straight up golden for the DBacks. Except in Game 1.

6. Milwaukee Brewers – I am very not fond of a certain player on their team that claims to have an alter-ego that rhymes with “Phony-Flush.” I do not want to see him happy. Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but no one’s perfect. I’m not too fond of Prince Fielder, either, but TofuMan doesn’t both me as much as the current CF. I like Ryan Braun. I like John Axford.

RB8

He's got a crazy long contract for a reason.

In between 6 and 7, please note that there’s a gap larger than the 6 hour drive from Long Beach to San Jose I have to endure at least twice a year.

7. Philadelphia Phillies – I have a strong dislike for the Phillies. They have become the Yankees of the NL. I will laugh at them in 2015 when they are still paying Ryan Howard $25MM to strike out with a sandwich in his mouth.

HA!

There, there, Ryan Howard. You'll have a chance to redeem yourself this year.

8. New York Yankees – Look, they have exciting players. They’re the freaking Yankees. But the only time you want a team like that to win is when: a) it’s your team or b) you’re playing a video game and you’ve constructed a super team that isn’t possible in real life and you don’t have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings.

DV

The Yankees, ladies and gentlemen.

In 2012, the list will be different. Buster ain’t havin’ it.

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