Monday, September 28, 2009

Playoff Preview Season 13

Well, an exciting finish to the regular season saw Mexico City sweep San Juan amidst calls for better insurance to secure a bye and the #2 seed in the NL. Meanwhile, Las Vegas, Helena, Sioux Falls, and Cheyenne all won must-win 162nd games. This completed 6 game streaks to finish the season for both Cheyenne and Sioux Falls. The upshot was that Las Vegas was eliminated on a tie-breaker yielding these first round matchups.

Odds are to win league pennant, all rankings are within league unless otherwise noted.

American League
#6 Scranton Nittany Lions 10-1
Record: 95-67 (AL 2nd wild card)
Offense: 8th: 962 R, .265 Ave (2nd fewest SB)
Defense: 8th: 868 R, 4.89 ERA (244 HR allowed worst of AL playoff teams)
History: 5th consecutive and 6th overall appearance, best finish: WS loser in Season 11
#3 Monterrey Conquistadors 12-1
Record: 97-65 (winner AL South)
Offense: 7th: 963 R, .295 Ave (.364 OBP trails only KC)
Defense: 6th: 841 R, 4.77 ERA (tandem rotation rocks conventional wisdom)
History: 12th appearance, 9th division title, best finish, WS loser in Season 6

Outlook: Monterrey's tandem rotation meets surprising entrant, with 8th ranked O & D. WCM PICK: Monterrey
#2 Kansas City Blues 5-2
Record: 102-60 (winner AL North)
Offense: 2nd: 1056 R, .305 Ave (207 HR fewest of playoff teams)
Defense: 3rd: 800 R, 4.56 ERA (.422 Slg allowed & 1123 K's best in AL)
History: 2nd consecutive division title (5 overall), 6 total appearances, best finish: lost ALCS season 11
#5 Baltimore Dead Homies 8-1
Record: 99-63 (AL 1st wild card)
Offense: 6th: 986 R, .282 BA (219 SB 2nd in AL)
Defense: 4th: 820 R, 4.59 ERA (20 Blown Saves worst among AL playoff teams)
History: 5th consecutive wild card, 10th overall appearance, best finish: WS loser, seasons 2 and 12
#4 San Francisco Fightin Friars 3-1
Record: 94-68 (winner AL West)
Offense: 5th: 991 R, .293 Ave (hardest AL team to K - 904)
Defense: 1st: 771 R, 4.40 ERA (fewest HR all)
History: 2nd consecutive division title, 2nd appearance, best finish, lost in ALCS Season 12

Outlook: San Fran's excellent pitching and defense meet the speed of Baltimore WCM Pick - Baltimore
#1 Richmond Confederates 3-1
Record: 107-55 (winner AL East)
Offense: 3rd, 1050 R, 2.83 Ave (337 HR lead league)
Defense: 2nd, 774 R, 4.44 ERA (53-64 SV, tops in AL)
History: 5th division title, 8th consecutive appearance (8 overall), best finish: WS Champs season 9

National League
#6 Sioux Falls Dakota (15-1)
Record: 89-73 NL 2nd wild card by virtue of tie-breaker over Las Vegas
Offense: 3rd: 831 R, .263 Ave (129 SB 2nd among NL playoff teams)
Defense: 11th: 751 R, 4.30 ERA (219 HR allowed 3rd worst in NL)
History: 1st wild card after 12 consecutive division titles, best finish: WS Champs in Season 7 and 10
#3 Helena Hound Dogs 9-1
Record: 90-72 Winner NL North
Offense: 11th: 735 R, .265 Ave (193 HRs last among playoff teams, and better only than Pittsburgh)
Defense: 5th: 673 R, 3.73 ERA (172 HR allowed, best in NL)
History: 1st division title, 4th playoff appearance, best finish: never won a division series

Outlook: Exhausted Dakota rotation takes on best pitcher in the game in Aguilera. WCM PICK - Helena
#2 Mexico City Bandejos 2-1
Record: 95-67 Winner NL South
Offense: 1st: 869 R, .275 Ave (255 HRs 18 better than any other in NL)
Defense: 2nd: 654 R, 3.68 ERA (.240 OAV tops in NL)
History: 7th straight division title, 10th straight appearance, 10 overall appearances, best finish: WS Champs seasons 4, 5, 6, and 11
#5 San Juan Crownrificos 5-1
Record: 94-68 1st NL Wild Card
Offense: 12th: 714 R, .257 Ave (25 SB half the next worst team in NL)
Defense: 3rd: 657 R, 3.69 ERA (1184 K's led NL)
History: 11th appearance (6 division titles, 5 wild cards), best finish: WS Champs SEason 1, 2, and 8
#4 Cheyenne Seminoles 5-1
Record: 90-72 Winner NL West
Offense: 10th: 750 R, .259 Ave (202 SB, 2nd in NL and tops in playoffs)
Defense: 1st: 638 R, 3.63 ERA (172 HR, 452 BB, .383 SLG all led NL)
History: 5th consecutive division title, 6th straight appearance (9 overall), best finish: Lost NLCS seasons 1 and 9

outlook: battle of bad hitting/great pitching teams comes down to the little things, injuries undermine experienced Crownrificos WCM PICK - Cheyenne
#1 Burlington Bulldogs 3-1
Record: 98-64 Winner NL East (first non-NL South team with #1 seed in NL)
Offense: 8th: 776 R, .250 Ave (only Pawtucket had worse BA)
Defense: 4th: 666 R, 3.73 ERA (56 SV led NL)
History: 7th straight division title, 7 overall appearances, best finish: WS Champs Season 12

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