Monday, October 6, 2014

WAR Leaders (OVERALL)

I decided to try to adapt Wahoosonfirst's Simple WAR calculator to use to rank players at the end of the season. I know the season's not over yet, but I was curious as to how this worked out and what it said about the league.

A little about my methodology versus Wahoosonfirst's.

They rank baserunners on a 1-5 scale and defenders on a 1-7 scale. That would be easy enough to accomplish with what we have available, etc, but I'm not good enough on excel to write a formula to spit out a ranking based on a comparison between the player in question and the average defensive player. Baserunning is the same thing. If someone wants to help out and figure out a way to automatically rank players from 1-7 using the average defensive ratings for each position, that would be awesome and I'll gladly add that information to my data. Same with baserunning.

The second thing is that their formula using plate appearances instead of ABs, but, unless I'm missing something, the only way to get Plate Appearances is to use either the League Leaders page or the Player Statistics page to grab it. I don't have the time or patience to pull that information for 400+ players manually, and the Player Statistics page doesn't list position, so again, ideas for building a better spreadsheet would be greatly appreciated. I have 402 players ranked, so if you want to know where a player currently ranks, let me know. Please let me know if you have any ideas at all. I am all ears on this.

With all that out of the way, here's the top 5.
Pos-Player (Team&Salary) -WAR-Value- Overperforming/Underperforming

  1. 2B Dante Nakajima (CSP/$9,750,000) - 7.4 - $10,528,042 - OVER $728,042
  2. SS Rigo Rosado (SYR/$9,400,000) - 6.9 - $9,866,670 - OVER $466,670
  3. RF Alex Blanco (OTT/$9,500,000) - 6.4 - $9,104,239 - UNDER $395,761
  4. SS Ollie Byrd (ROC/$2,500,000) - 5.9 - $8,353,967 - OVER $5,853,967
  5. 3B Ugueth Valentin (ROC/$343,000) - 5.5 - $7,741,961 - OVER $7,398,961

Message from the Commish

Rule Change Amendment

Hello everyone, I have been considering a slight change to the MWR for quite awhile. A lot of you are already aware of this because of the conversation we've had in NCAA..

Action Required - Please trade chat or sitemail me if you'd like to voice your support or opposition to the rule change. If you'd like to make your thoughts public, please feel free to post a reply to this post and it will appear on the blog.

I feel that the world rules need to evolve as the league and HBD evolves. To be clear, I have ZERO interest in weakening the competitive requirements. I want to provide the opportunity for a good owner to have the choice to stay in the world if they don't hit the MWR and accept strong penalties which will still dissuade any tanking.

The other change I have decided to make after discussing with other commissioners is I am going to take the competition committee out of the process initially when someone hit 200 losses over 2 seasons. Now you'll automatically get probation, however the competition committee will retain the right to review all situations on a case by case basis and if there is documented issues with tanking (ie - throwing out fatigued pitchers for the last 2 weeks of the season to generate losses) then they can still be voted out. The process will be the competition committee voting on the situation and if its severe enough to bring to the world, then the world will vote.

Old Rule - 1. 200 losses or more over a two year period and the owner will be asked to state their case as to why they should be allowed to stay. If allowed to stay the owner must reach 70 wins or be replaced.

New Rule

1. 200 losses or more over a two season period and the owner will go on probation and have to hit 70 wins. If the owner does not hit 70 wins, then the owner has a choice of leaving the world or accepting the following penalties:
- Forfeiture of next season's first round pick by selecting a player chosen by the commissioner
- One season IFA ban on signing anyone for more than $1 million. IFA's under $1 million can be signed as minor league filler.
- If either of these rules are violated, the result is immediate expulsion from the world
- The competition committee reserves the right to vote on each MWR situation and if its severe enough, then the world will vote on the offending owner.

The last benefit to this rule change is it will allow me to set up a very clean spreadsheet on tracking MWR offenders for all of my worlds. Although I go out of my way to be unbiased when the competition committee votes, I felt that I wanted to make the process more objective than subjective and these rules reflect those changes while also allowing the world to retain good owners who want to stay in the world.

Thanks for being a part of this world and community,

Chris

Monday, August 18, 2014

S18 Previews

Anaheim Knights
The Anaheim team gets an A; but, only because it is their initial. In every other aspect, the team works hard to earn an F. Dumb moves, aberrant behavior, and decisions that could only be explained if team management were in a constant state of drunken stupor have all been juxtaposed into a hodgepodge of inexplicably dismal talent. The Anaheim team will press their luck to win 50 games this season. The good news is that most of the key players return from last season. The bad news is that most of the key players return from last season. A locust plague has consumed the minors so there is no hope of a Savior Through Promotion. It takes upper management talent to mangle a team so badly and The Anaheim team is currently being directed by Larry, Curly, and Moe. Too bad, too. The teams in their division a collection of low hanging fruit, ripe for easy pickings (just kidding about that).

Arizona Firebirds
Arizona is bringing back most of last year's 106 win team, and hoping to contend again. Added to the bullpen by trading for Bill Bradford and Darby Beirne and resigning Pedro Fuentes. We let Dario Rath go in FA but signed veteran Carlos Jiminez to pick up some of those at bats.

Charleston River Dogs
This was one of the slowest offseasons of the River Dogs existence. We pretty much kept intact the team who won the world series last year. The River Dogs significantly underachieved throughout the season so we are hopeful and confident we'll be able to win the NL East in a more convincing fashion this season.

The only notable change to the ML roster is we brought in Pete Malone to replace Milton Kramer as a backup 1B and pinch hitter off the bench. Cliff Zeile and Enrique Rojo are rookies who will be brought up to the majors this season.

Other than that, nothing too exciting to report!

Cheyenne Gunslingers
This may be the year for the Gunslingers. When Angel Kirk (25-2 with a 1.71 at AA) gets called up, he will join a rotation that may be the best in Billy Beane. Les Gunderson and Shep Blank are already 150+ game winners, and Victor Polonia and Pedro Amaro are up-and-comers. Closer Russell Tomlinson has save 122 games in his first three major league seasons. 2b Roger Jensen stole 50 bases as a rookie and will be joined by Spud Twitchell, taken in the Rule 5. Junior Guerrero has been called up to play 1B and free agent catcher Ralph Sauerbeck was signed for his pitch calling skills to handle the elite pitching staff. Cheyenne has only made one decent run at the world series crown, but this could be the year for another try.

El Paso Diablos
The Diablos were very busy this offseason. After a surprising playoff run, the front office decided to make some changes in hopes of going deep into the playoffs again. The team was upgraded primarily via trade with a few signings to fill holes. The biggest move of the offseason was the Farnsworth deal. It was tough to pull the trigger on trading a young power bat, but the Diablos feel they more than made up for that loss by improving several other positions. Key additions: C Gookie Hennessey, C Mateo Aguilera, 1B/LF Dario Rath, 1B/LF Houston Reese, SS Shawn Roth, 3B Al Chantress, CF BC Balboa, SP Vin Julio, RP Jarrod Dellucci Key losses: LF Gavin Farnsworth, SP Gerald Garcia

Jackson Mallards
Hoping for some productive alchemy from our seasoned vets & younger talent...

Jacksonville Gators
The Gators are in re-build mode and have invested heavily in building out their farm system. Despite that fact, they are being mindful of trying to build a competitive major league team due to their 101 losses in season 17. With the 200 loss rule in mind, the Gators signed a couple of sneaky free agents in the offseason. Lawrence Houston and Boesch Reed were signed to shore up the line up. In addition Matt Scott will be looking to follow up his stellar rookie campaign that saw him slash .317/.380/.449. The pitching staff is a “ho-hum” group of over 30 year old hurlers trying to squeeze a few more years out of their careers. The team will look to put a jolt of youth into the staff by promoting RP Nathan Miles and former 1st round draft pick Dale Bryant at some point in the season. The Gators expect to be competitive, but far from being a playoff team.

Louisville Steamboats
Narrowly avoiding getting new management last season, the Steamboats hope to take a major step forward this season. The Steamboats have tons of power in their lineup. We are looking forward to a major step forward from 1B Logan Coulter (.248/.337/.490; 35 HRs, 77 RBIs). RF Eric Beckett (.302/.359/.578; 33 HR, 88 RBI) had an outstanding rookie season. LF Hector Nunez has some large shoes to fill as he looks to replace Houston Reese (45 HRs). The addition of 3B Alan Lombard, CF Mitchell Franco, and SS Randy Dawkins to go with All-Star Silver Slugger C Alex James and 2B Bey Perez should make this team offensively formidable. Former starting CF Vin Davis provides some defense and speed off the bench while OF Roscoe Kelly and Wilson Durbin look to strengthen the bench offensively.

The rotation is where management feels the most improvement was made. P.T. Mesa, Shawn Bergesen, Gerald Garcia, Pinky Wood, and David Romero replace the overpaid underachieving bunch from last season. Newcomers Chris Lukasiewicz and Alexei Cervantes look to anchor the bullpen this season. Hopefully we’re looking to compete for the division crown this season.

Montgomery Hornets
The Montgomery Hornets are hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since Season 13, and made only minor changes to the team that finished 83-79 last season, fading down the stretch and giving up the division they led for the majority of the year.
The biggest move Montgomery made was trading 21 year old season 15 INT-FA Julian Tejada, whom they paid an $18 million signing bonus to for 25 year old Alex Zhang, another INT-FA who was bonused $21.5 million by Ottawa back in season 11. While the team felt like Tejada would be an OBP monster, he was still a year or two away and Zhang is in his prime now, with a power bat Tejada didn’t possess.
The Hornets also resigned the quietly effective Buddy Shelley to a very economical deal. Shelley won 11 games with a 1.22 WHIP and 3.19 ERA in 32 starts last season. 12 game winner Billy Griffin was signed as a FA to take Brooks Bush’s spot in the rotation. 20 year old phenom, Jimmy Velarde, who was the 3rd overall pick in season 16, is slotted in as the team’s #3 starter. While Montgomery is concerned with Velarde’s undeveloped pitches, his control, and effectiveness against both right handed & left handed batters was too tempting to pass up. Velarde started 3 games in September last season for the big league club and had an impressive 1.11 WHIP and 1.76 ERA.
The rest of the team remains largely intact from last season. The Hornets believe that both catcher Emmanuel Sanchez, and first baseman Ted Snow could compete for an MVP. 28 year old, Flyin Hawaiian Denny Spencer is coming off his best season with 101 runs scored, 104 RBIs and a .910 OPS.
Hornet management reluctantly brought back both Ceasar Olivio and Alex Marquez in arbitration hearings, but both players understand this very well could be their final year with the team if they don’t perform. Marquez thinks his recent move to second base will increase his value to the club, but it remains to be seen if he can hold up defensively at that spot.
The Hornets look like they may be ready to finish 90-72, and compete for the division title or a wildcard spot this season.

New Britain Rock Cats
Season 18 will likely prove a final hurrah for the old guard. On the pitching side both front line starters, Diego Santiago and Santo Solano return from 60 day season ending elbow injuries. Their ratings have fallen but with full healthy seasons, a lot of luck and a repeat Cy Young season for Buck Stark the pitching could hold up. The Rock Cats bullpen remains top ranked in the league.

Last season the Rock Cats were second in the league in OPS. Gus Governale has moved to Atlanta and his DH spot will be filled by Midre Merced who surprised batting .301 with a .576 OPS last year. Merced had become a defensive liability at catcher and the move creates an opening from AAA for either the veteran minor league defensive stalwart, Vinny Ishikawa who battles the young solid hitting Seth O’Brien, acquired in season 16 from Montgomery.

Three Rule V position players are currently on the roster. They occupy backup positions and all will not stick as young Pete O’Keefe seems ready to move up during the season. O’’Keefe could platoon with Albert Guilen who looks to have the second base job at least to start the season. Rob Eaton returns to his natural position at third while Johnny Manzanillo will be given a try in right field. The team appears to be better defensively and still solid on the hitting side.

The Rock Cats have been amazingly consistent with six consecutive post season appearances and winning between 92 and 99 games each campaign. But there has been no World Series appearance and for this to happen a lot of stars will have to come in to line.

New Orleans Zydeco
The New Orleans Zydeco have won three straight division titles. But in the last two seasons, they've hovered around .500 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Zydeco front office attempted to sign some big name free agents in the off season, but the bidding was too high on their prime targets. Instead, they added quality depth, signing relief pitchers Jesus Rondon and Shane Riske, catcher Roosevelt Campbell, and utility position player Phillip Latham. None of these signings will make a huge impact. Collectively, though, they may help the Zydeco overcome the fatigue problems they've faced in recent seasons.

The Zydeco will continue to build their lineup around MVP runner-up first baseman Steve Boyer, gold glove and power-hitting second baseman Bernie Shermann, and veteran third baseman Kory Sterns. The rotation will be identical to last season's, and will include a good mix of young and veteran hurlers. The Zydeco's greatest strength will continue to be its defense, with gold glove winners at shortstop (Louis Hynes), second base (Shermann), catcher (Cole Robinson), corner outfield (Arthur Davenport), and with solid fielders at many other positions.

The question this season is whether the added depth will help the Zydeco fend off fatigue and take a step forward. If not, they may be headed for a rebuild.

New York Highlanders
The NY Highlanders expect to be very competitive this season despite a quiet offseason. The everyday players will remain basically the same with the exception that budding star, Neifi Azocar will move over to 3B from short, allowing Moises Cortez and Matt Green to battle it out for the starting SS position. The one key FA addition was starting pitcher Tomas Lopez who should fill a major role in a now stacked starting rotation. The Highlanders are counting on the continued positive development of key players in many roles which include Karl Barfield in the rotation, Berroa and Mark Cho to help close out games, Jeanmar Chavez in RF, Tomo Liang in Center, Houston Anderson at 1B and Javier Martinez at 2B. Waiting in the wings at AAA are can’t miss prospects Brandon Asche and Charles Weiss. IF the young players continue to develop, NY should contend this year.

Philadelphia Freedom
The youth movement in Philadelphia continues this season. Youngsters Don Antonelli, Del Kondou, Domingo Prado and Otto Beckham joined key holdovers Sherm Larson, Kory Mathews and Dante Crummack in Season 17. Look for R.J Mendez, Chris Chapman, Julio Belliard and possibly Wandy Armas to make their ML debuts this season. The everyday lineup will remain strong and relievers Skip Hatteberg and Trevor Cox have been brought in to boost the bullpen. Management is expecting a 10-15 game improvement this season with the outside possibility of the squad sneaking into the playoffs.

Richmond Rebels
At the beginning of the preseason I mentioned I wanted to make a lot of deals ('cane style) and I certainly followed through on that promise. Of the 14 trades so far, I've been involved in nearly half (6).

In those deals, I added an on-base threat (Tejada) who will partner in the corner OF spots with Myers who will be called up at the 20 game mark. I also added a 40/40 threat with the Farnsworth mega-deal, though I gave up a ton of young value in that trade. Hopefully Farnsworth can cut it at 3B (or be passable). He's below avg across the board so it might not work out but we are going to try it at the start of the season.

On the pitching side, I picked up a much needed mid-rotation SP and worked out a 2 for 2 RP challenge trade. My starting staff consists of many 65-ish stamina guys and hopefully that won't tax the bullpen too much.

Only 5 of the 25 guys on the roster are homegrown (4 drafted, one international). So I should probably work on trading those 5.

Last season was the first time in 13 seasons that this team failed to win at least 80 games, and we are hoping all the changes will trigger a rebound.

Rochester Redbirds
Rochester is tired of losing. We went out and spent big dollars on Billy Wilkerson to put in the front of the rotation along with youngster Bart Wolcott and rookie former #7 draft pick William Choi. Bill Hatteberg will continue to close out games in front of a rebuilt bullpen. Ugueth Valentin will be counted on to produce a lot of runs. Ollie Byrd needs to have a great season as well for the season to succeed.

Texas Justice
Modest goals this year in Texas. At least that what GM rozellium is trying to sell to a dissatisfied fanbase and ownership. The rebuilding process in Texas took a big hit last year when the Justice failed to land a big-time International Free Agent. The Justice have continued to shed payroll and long-term commitments and only have one player (Rick Burkhart) signed beyond this season.

What might keep fans interested in what will undoubtedly be a tough season? The Justice will have two rookies in the starting line-up, both of whom the organization hopes will be part of the solution once the team is turned around. Chan Ishikawa is a strong-armed 3B whose interesting back-story as a war refugee from Afghanistan should keep people checking in. Peter McGowan will start for the Justice in CF after having played his minor league career at short. The Justice hope he’ll be a fixture in the lead-off slot for years to come. And all eyes will continue to be on Alex Polanco who toiled in AAA for 5 seasons before breaking out with 41 home runs last season--the only bright spot last year in the dismal Justice line-up.

One interesting piece of gossip is that the owner has set a very clear goal for the Justice. They had better win at least 65 games or rozellium will be gone. There have been some reports of a countdown clock in the GM office.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Previews S16

New York Highlanders
The Highlanders look to rebound this year on the backs of some solid veterans that will be with the team for a full year, some expected improvement from some of their young stars and with the addition of a couple of key pitchers to the starting rotation. Carlos Jimenez at 3b and Ceasr Olivo (moving to CF) will be with the team for a full year and (along with vet Bryan Glynn in LF) should provide both solid offense and defense for the squad. Big years are expected of all 3. Blossoming young stars such as Houston Anderson (1B), Javier Martinez (2B) and Jeanmar Chavez (RF) provide a combination of speed and power that should make for a very potent Highlander lineup. The SS duties will be shared by Alex Posada and slick fielding rookie Matt Green. The starting rotation will be centered upon emerging stars Karl Barfield and Carson Gardner who will benefit by the FA additions of Brett Parish, Malcom Wright and Nigel Cho. The ever-steady gene Marshall will be around as usual as an excellent spot starter or long relief man. The bullpen may be a work in progress, but the Highlanders should have enough talent to make some noise in their division this year over and above the booing we heard from the stands last year.

Charleston River Dogs
The River Dogs primary goal will be win the NL East for the 3rd season in a row and hopefully earn a first round bye. We are one of the top hitting teams in world, but were only average in team pitching and fielding. We think our pitching under performed slightly. Fielding probably won't get much better as we sacrifice some fielding to get the best bats on the field.

Former first round pick Ken Small will be promoted this season to be our backup C and spot starter since Canseco doesn't have great durability. Milton Lankford will also be promoted to help anchor one of the top bullpens in the world. Former 1st round pick, Henderson Rodgers, was acquired for former International Bonus Baby Kevin Nakijima. Our SP is pretty loaded right now so even though he has ML experience, he might spend another season at AAA.

Anaheim Knights
Too bad underperforming is not a medal event. If it were, the LAA would have won gold last season. Two pitchers and three position players with a history of Major League quality performances had seasons so dismal that they had to wash their own uniforms. Was that an aberration? Were they exposed for what they really are? The bad news is that no major changes were made. On paper, the LAA should compete for a playoff spot. Though not top notch, it is no stretch that the LAA are second notch.

Philadelphia Freedom
The makeover of the Philadelphia Freedom continues this season. Most of the bad contracts have expired and the youth movement moves forward. The free agent period was spent on upgrading the pitching and left the lineup pretty well in tact. Rule 5 selections Gio Gonzales and Domingo Rosado join holdovers Esteban Perez, Dante Cummack, Lonnie Tice and the Mercado Brothers (Pasqual & Maicer) in an upgraded defense. Prospects Don Antonelli, Del Kondou & Malachi Bowker are all scheduled to make their ML debut and boost the lineup. The pitching staff continues to change as FA’s Allen Seaver & Wille Lamb join holdovers Kory Mathews & Sherm Larson and Rule 5 selection Davey Rosa in an upgraded rotation. FA additions Jesus Rondon, Victor Lunar & Justin Ross join Henderson Davenport and Ted Farrell in an attempt to bolster the bullpen. Look for Domingo Prado and Julian Estrada to join the pitching staff at some point during the season. The Freedom expect improvement this season with an outside chance of playoff contention.

Richmond Rebels
Hoping for a bounce back season from several guys this year. Admittedly we over-performed in season 14, but I did not expect to regress by 20 wins after adding a HOF SP1 in Estalella. He was a principal culprit for our down season, as his 4.24 ERA was 1.5 runs higher than his career average and was his worst season by a mile.

Some positive regression from him will help greatly, as will some expected improvement from my sp2, Luis Cortes. His rookie season could only be described as a disaster - 7-13, 5.42 ERA. HIs ratings would lead me to believe he's a much better pitcher than that.

The big move in the offseason was to move Cervelli, my long time CF masher, for a prospect. Risky move, since I've long counted on his 40+ homers and GG defense in center, but its about time for age to catch up with him so I opted to move him.

I'm probably holding on too long to avoid a rebuild, and if things start the same as they did last year I will probably give in and look to move some of the vets.

Jackson Mallards
Let's just say it's a rebuilding year & leave it at that... :-/

Louisville Steamboats
The Steamboats franchise is a franchise in transition. Moving towards a building from within philosophy, the Steamboats placed themselves in the unfortunate position of having to go 64-98 to avoid 200 losses in 2 seasons to stay off of probation. This team was pathetic last season. Couldn’t pitch, couldn’t knock in any runs, and definitely was not good in the field. We added 3 pitchers to take over the top spots in the rotation as well as fielding 7 new starting position players. In fact, only 9 players return from last season’s team. The pitching staff should be much improved, but the offensive side of things is going to be a tough situation.

Chicago Black Sox
We're looking to break the streak of 3rd place finishes in the tough AL North. With the additions of FA Andres Santos & the arrival of Rolando Cordero & Paterson Buck, we hope to do not just that, but win the darn thing this year. We should have the right mix of veterans and young stars to make some noise this year as long as the starting pitching holds up.

Arizona Firebirds
Arizona is coming off a disappointing 79 win season, but has an interesting mix of young power hitters and veteran arms. I made a number of deals to bolster the team, including one to acquire a good leadoff hitter in Dario Rath and other deals and signings to acquire additional pitching. Arizona hopes to contend for a playoff spot if my veteran pitchers don't fade on me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

World Series Preview

#1 Seattle Redhooks (99 – 63) vs #2 New Orleans Zydeco (96 – 66)

How they got here.

Seattle – After Seattle’s first round be they went and swept a very good New Britain team. In the American League Championship series Seattle beat a good Florida team in 6 games. Now as they take on New Orleans one has to wonder if there continued poor post season hitting will come back to haunt them.

New Orleans – After a first round bye New Orleans came out and they swept Atlanta in the 2nd round. New Orleans appeared to be overmatched in the National League Championship series as they dropped the first three games. Then New Orleans pulled off the unthinkable breaking the hearts of fans throughout Ottawa as they decisively won Game 7 to move onto the World Series.

Tale of the Tape

#1 Seattle Redhooks (99 – 63)

Regular Season>

Offensively Seattle hit .266 for the season as a team which put them above the combined League average of .256. The team ERA for the season was 3.44 which was the best of both Leagues and well below the combined League ERA average of 4.14

Post Season

Offensively Seattle has been terrible in the Post Season hitting a paltry .223, 3rd worst in the entire post season. On the other end of the spectrum is the pitching as Seattle brings in the best Post Season ERA at 1.78.

#2 New Orleans Zydeco (96 – 66)

Regular Season Offensively New Orleans hit .258 for the season which put them slightly above the combined League Average of .256. The team ERA for the season was 3.67 which was below the combined League ERA average of 4.14.

Post Season

Offensively New Orleans is hitting .251 which isn’t too far removed from their regular season average. The team ERA for the Post Season is a respectable 3.60.

Edge: New Orleans. Yes, I realize that I’m going against my belief that pitching is what wins the in play offs. Seattle is living proof of that concept but their meager batting average throughout the playoffs is my biggest concern. Can their bats wake up and finally compliment their awesome post season pitching staff and if not can their pitching staff continue to pitch them to victory? I’ve got to believe that if their bats can’t wake up then New Orleans will take the series.

New Orleans on the other hand just came back from an 0-3 deficit to get here which didn’t do any favors for the fatigue that the team has been dealing with. If New Orleans can continue to hit and their pitching staff can pitch like they did the last 4 games they have a solid shot of taking the series. New Orleans has to avoid poor start to the series because should they go down 0-2 or even 0-3 and Seattle finds a way to start hitting and magic in New Orleans may come to abrupt end.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

National League Championship Series

#1 Ottawa Outlaws (99 – 63) vs #2 New Orleans Zydeco (96 – 66)

How they got here.

Ottawa – After a first round bye that collective sigh of relief you heard around the baseball world was Ottawa’s fans after being taken to 5 games by Los Angeles. Ottawa went up 2 games to nothing and all appeared to be well in hand and then Los Angeles stormed back winning the next 2 games forcing the 5th and decisive game 5 which Ottawa won 3-2 to move on to the League Championship.

New Orleans – After a first round bye they swept Atlanta in the 2nd round giving their players much needed extra rest. I thought fatigue might be an issue in that series but New Orleans won each game by at least 2 runs.

Tale of the Tape

#1 Ottawa Outlaws (99 - 63)

Offensively Ottawa hit a National League leading .273 for the season as a team. The team ERA for the season was tied for the National League lead at 3.46

#2 New Orleans Zydeco (96 – 66)

Offensively New Orleans hit .258 for the season which put them above the National League Average of .253. The team ERA for the season was 3.67 which was below the National League ERA average of 4.01.

Edge: Ottawa. This team was the best hitting team in the league and tied with LA for the league in team ERA. How can you pick against that? I can’t in good faith but I wouldn’t be surprised if New Orleans finds a way to win the series. I think this could be a series for the ages with a lot of close games and in the end one fan base will be heartbroken while the other moves on to the World Series.

American League Championship Series Preview

#1 Seattle Redhooks (99 – 63) vs #3 Florida Tropics (94 – 68)

How they got here.

Seattle – Seattle had a first round bye. In the second round they had a surprising sweep of a very good New Britain team and made it look easy in the process as none of the games were decided by less than 2 runs.

Florida – Florida breezed through the first round with a sweep of Colorado. In the second round they took care of Syracuse in 4 games rattling off 3 straight wins after dropping the first game.

Tale of the Tape

#1 Seattle Redhooks (99 – 63)

Offensively Seattle hit .266 for the season as a team which put them above the American League average of .260. The team ERA for the season was 3.44 which was the best in the American League and well below the League ERA average of 4.28

#3 Florida Tropics (94 – 68)

Offensively Florida hit .260 for the season which put them right at the American League Average. The team ERA for the season was 3.66 which was below the American League ERA average of 4.28.

Edge: Seattle – Both teams are well rounded and evenly matched. The beauty of a 7 game series is that anything can happen and that is sure to be the case in this series. During the regular season Seattle only finished 4-6 in head to head match ups against Florida. Florida has been extremely hot during the play offs but I’m still a firm believer that pitching, with timely hitting, wins in the playoffs and I think at the end of the day Seattle’s pitching puts them over the top. Would I be surprised if Florida came away the winner of the series? Not at all because if the playoffs have shown anything, it's that regular reason records are not indicative of playoff success.