WORLD SERIES PREVIEW by hurricane284
AL#2 SEATTLE PILOTS VS. NL#1 OTTAWA OUTLAWS
SEATTLE PILOTS (105 – 57)
Seattle is a very balanced and great team, finishing in the AL’s top 3 in runs scored, team ERA, and team fielding percentage. Just a tremendous team from top to bottom, the Pilots were given a run for their money in the ALCS. They needed 7 games to beat the 5th seeded, upstart Rochester Redbirds. Game 7 was a true classic.
OFFENSE (#3 AL – runs scored)
The 3rd ranked offense in runs scored, the Pilots also finished in the top 5 in hits, RBI, BB, HBP, average, and OBP. Their offense was led by leadoff hitter and catcher, Stretch Lloyd, who batted a league-leading .374 while appearing in 124 games. Right fielder, MVP candidate, and 5th hitter Hal Thompson finished with 56 HRs and 145 RBI which was good enough for 3rd in the majors. Seattle had 8 players finish with double-digit homers on the season, and despite having only two players with 100+ runs scored and RBI, finished in the top 3 in runs scored. This is truly an offense where the sum of the parts is more than the whole.
PITCHING (#1 AL – ERA)
The best pitching staff in the league, no other team came close to touching the team 3.11 ERA. This staff had 5 players finish with 10+ victories, including 2 who had 20+ wins. They ran with a mostly 4-man rotation which led to 4 starters with 34+ starts during the season. Cy Young Candidates Alex Vizcaino (22-8, 231.1 IP, 41 GS, 2.65 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) and Nolan Gabriel (20-10, 218.1 IP, 39 GS, 3.50 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) led this staff to some ridiculous stats. The bullpen only blew 10 saves all season. The leader of the bullpen, Jim Phillips, (70 G, 6-4, 49/53 SVO, 0.79 WHIP, 1.60 ERA)is the Fireman of the Year for the AL. This staff is going to make it difficult on any team they face.
FIELDING (#3 AL – FIELDING %)
The third best fielding team, Seattle only committed 76 errors in 5,976 chances. Since their pitching staff was so good, they didn’t need to be spectacular, just solid, and that comes through in their peripheral stats, only turning 360 double plays (15th) and finishing in the middle of the pack in plus plays with 64. Their defense was led by SS/2B Randy Davies, 2B Amp Newman, and SS/CF Ricardo Francisco.
OTTAWA OUTLAWS (99 – 63)
The best team in the NL, Ottawa has the #3 offense and #6 pitching staff in the league. The Outlaws are a balanced team, with one weakness, their defense, which finished 13th in the National League in fielding percentage. Ottawa breezed through the divisional series and finished off the #6 seeded Columbus Aeros in 6 games to make this World Series appearance.
OFFENSE (#3 NL – RUNS SCORED)
Ottawa was top 5 in the league in hits, doubles, triples, runs, RBI, walks, HBP, stolen bases, average, and OBP. MVP candidate Morgan Johnson was the team leader in HR and RBI with 42 and 168 respectively. This was a prolific running team with 8 players stealing 10+ bases, lead by Tito Frederick with 62. They had 6 players with 20+ doubles, and 7 players with 10+ home runs despite finishing next to last in the league in homers. This team could cause some fits with their ability to take the extra base.
PITCHING (#6 NL – ERA)
Led by Cy Young candidate, Harry Romero (16-4, 208.1 IP, 33 GS, 2.85 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), the Outlaws did have a strong staff. They boasted 4 guys with 10+ wins and their entire rotation finished at .500 or better. Despite a record of 1-6, Steve Hudek was 42/43 in saves (98%) while appearing in 70 games and putting up a 3.15 ERA, which was good enough to finish second in the Fireman of the Year standings. Got through the season with zero injuries from their starters, and none of them had an ERA over 4.60. A decent bullpen is the weakness with this staff, after their top 2 players, you really have question marks all over the place.
FIELDING (#13 NL – FIELDING %)
The Outlaws were not the greatest team in the field as they committed 117 errors in 6,021 changes. They made up for it somewhat by finishing 8th in double plays (383) and 4th in plus plays (64). They also threw out 32% of baserunners on steal attempts. Dan Mercedes threw out 30% and Howie Ramirez threw out 37%. SS Robin Scott was solid in the field, recording 18 plus plays despite 25 errors, and CF Ed Kelly made 17 plus plays against 2 errors.
This is going to be a tough series. Ottawa runs really well, but Seattle’s Stretch Lloyd was second in the league in throwing out 34% of would-be base stealers. Ottawa doesn’t hit for a lot of power, and Seattle’s pitching is the best in the league. Ottawa is really going to have to scrape for each and every run. While Seattle doesn’t have tremendous power, they are more likely to put a 3-run home run up on the board to make Ottawa pay for any pitching mistakes. If Ottawa can hang around until their bullpen takes over, they have a shot, if not it could be a very short series for the Outlaws.
PREDICTION: SEATTLE IN 6.