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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Season 18 NL Preview

Projected NL North Standings
Ottawa 82 80
Burlington 81 81 1
Boise 66 96 16
F. Sioux Falls 62 100 20
Knine is an HBD god. I have no idea how he did last season. When running my projections 30 out of 32 teams came in about where I expected them to. Three or four games here are there are nothing in a 162 game season. Scottsdale came in much, much higher than I expected. Once I thought about it made sense. Youngest team in Long Haul gets another year of development, some of their best players came up last season and therefore weren't there for the whole season, arj seemed to be playing for draft pick position as soon as his team was eliminated (L11). It made sense. Ottawa on the other had is completely unexplainable to me. What they did in the regular season and especially the playoffs is amazing. As you can see their pure talent at this point projects to make it back to the playoffs, but barely break .500. Their 8th ranked offense, 13th ranked pitching and 6th ranked defense shouldn't scare anyone, though their amazing closet Yuu Hasegawa is a HOF'er an Ramon Jian is a fine pitcher too. Their best hitter is Damaso Molina. Burlington should be nipping at their heals. Their 14 game improvement should be noticable. They have the 9th best offense, 7th best pitching, and 7 best fielding. Carlos Melendez is one of the NL's best hitters and Ron Stevenson is one of the 3 pitchers in the NL. Boise may take a small step back with only 67 wins. While they have the 4th best defense and the 11th best pitching staff, what will really hold them back is their 15th best hitting. Not without a star to build around, Darell Buckley is one of the most famous athletes in Idaho. The "Sioux Falls" franchise is in trouble. Their second best hitter, Brian Blake, couldn't even make Portland last season and was sent to SFX to try to encourage budgie_lover to take on a salary I didn't want. While I happen to know they're minors are loaded with young pitching (I tried to trade for some of it!) their ML outlook is pretty grim as they are old, expensive, and terrible. Eddie Hultzen leads the an offense that will score some runs (13th best), but their pitching staff is not only the worst, the worst by a bunch (.4 runs--if the 15th worst team was .4 runs better they'd have the 4th best staff). Their defense is also the worst in the league.

Projected NL East Standings
Philadelphia 101 61
Scranton 98 64 3
St. Louis 84 78 17
77 85 24

The NL East is the strongest division in the NL. Philadelphia is so good that even in the AL they would be expected to win 91 games (don't kid yourself, the AL is much better than the NL and that is with a bump they get from only having to field 8 hitters instead of 9). While their 14th ranked defense wont help, their hitters are the 4th best and their pitching is even better than San Antonio's which is really saying something. Though they lack the depth of Portland's attack, sluggers Jammie Cunningham, future HOF'er Henry Kirk, and Alex Morales are the second biggest "big three" in Long Haul. Their pitching staff may have multiple HOF'ers lead by Virgil Halama, Quinton Hundley, Phillip McNally, and Tom Clayton. Only barley outdone by Philly, Scranton has the second best team both in their divisions and the entire NL. They have the most balenced attack with the 3rd best hitting, 3rd best pitching, and 2nd best defense. Their sluggers begin with HBD legend Eugene Huskey, Derrek Wilkins, Rudy Williams, and Blaine Harris. They lack the depth of Philly's pitching, but T. J. Garcia could pitch for anyone. St. Louis will sadly not have the success their RL team, had, but should still be more than respectable. The 7th best hitting, 5th best pitching and 11th best defense will keep them in the hunt for the wild card. Show Me state fans will be thrilled with the offense J.P. Beltre displays and Lawrence Brower can pitch for me any time. Syracuse will have a tough hill to climb in this division. The don't really do any one thing well with the 10th best offense, 14th best pitching, and 10th best defense. They lack the depth of stars in the rest of their division, although Joseph Suzuki bobble head night should be fun.

Projected NL South Standings

Jackson 93 69
Durham 79 83 14
Jacksonville 74 88 19
F. Charleston 60 102 33

Jackson has a problem, but sometimes problems come at the best possible time. If they want to win in the playoffs they must do better than the 12 best pitching staff. However, they will have all season to try to fix as they should not be challenged in the NL South. They have more than enough hitting with the second best batch of hitter in the NL (fourth overall) and the 3rd best defense will only help out their pitching staff. Their best run creators are Skeeter Carreon, Merv McLaughlin, and Pablo Suarez. On the mound Jermaine Sanders will be the anchor of their staff. Durham should make a major stride over last season's 73 win club. With the 4th best pitching (lead by Tripp Coleman, Magglio Navarro, and Vladimir Ricon) and 5th best defense they have 2 of the 3 facets of the game locked up. If they can improve what looks to be the 11th best hitting they will really have something, though at least they have Vic Cruz to build around. Jacksonville also looks to be much improved from last season though the 12th best offense is a concern. Their pitching (8th best) and fielding (9th best) are somewhat better. Pitchers Luke Jennings and Bret Johnson look like possible all-stars. If there is a team as bad as SFX it is the squad formerly of Charleston where 50 wins would actually be an improvement. How bad is the offense in Charleston? They have the 2nd best pitching in the entire NL lead by best pitcher in Long Haul Juan Martin. Albert Perez would be the best pitcher on many staffs as well. Though having the 13th best defense doesn't help, the real problem is an offense that is not only 32 out of 32, but worse than #31 by a project 72 runs.

Projected NL West Standings
Santa Cruz 94 68
Sacramento 88 74 6
Salem 84 78 10
F. Seattle 67 95 27

What Santa Cruz does well they do really, really well. Travis Aaron and Felix Kim lead the best offense in the NL and play in the field for what should be the best defense in the NL. However, remember when I told you that SFX had the worst pitching staff .4 runs? Its the Santa Cruz staff that is .4 runs better than them. They should be able to hit their way to the playoffs, but they have to be in the market for more pitching. Glowguy left pleanty in the cupboard for quelch (who I not only used to play GD with, but is also a former owner of Portland). Dann Allen is a terrific hitter and will lead the 4th best offense. The 9th ranked pitching staff may need work as will the 12th ranked defense. League original hogger should have some pieces to work with as his Salem squad should break .500 with a very balance 6th best hitting, 6th best pitching, and 8th best defense. It appears as if Jayhawks must have told Fred Little its either you or me, because he's gone and Fred Little and his $10,000,000 contract remains. Whoever takes them over they will likely struggle with the 14th best hitting, 10th best pitching, and the 15th best defense. Brace Huston has a tremendous arm, but is only good for a few innings a season. Pascual Frucal is a true stud on the mound.

My Playoff prediction

1st Round
Scranton d. Ottawa
Jackson d. Sacramento

2nd Round
Philadelphia d. Scranton (barely)
Jackson d. Santa Cruz

Philadelphia d. Jackson

Portland d. Philadelphia to capture their 2nd crown in 3 seasons.

Time to get back to the numbers!

25 Best Hitters in the NL with their RC/27
Jaime Cunningham PHI 7.89
J.P. Beltre STL 7.79
Carlos Melendez BUR 7.63
Henry Kirk PHI 7.35
Travis Aaron SANC 7.23
Eugene Huskey SCR 7.11
Skeeter Carreon JAC 7.10
Merv McLaughlin JAC 6.94
Felix Kim SANC 6.84
Darrell Buckley BOI 6.79
Hector Rupe SANC 6.65
Darrell Caufield BUR 6.58
Vic Cruz DUR 6.56
Derrek Wilkins SCR 6.54
Alex Morales PHI 6.31
Joseph Suzuki SYR 6.28
Pablo Suarez JAC 6.21
Rudy Williams SCR 6.10
Blaine Harris SCR 6.07
Harry Rivera SAL 5.99
Stu McCartney DUR 5.93
Damaso Molina OTT 5.92
Dann Allen ANA 5.91
Lou Acker PHI 5.88
Mark Nakamura SAL 5.87

25 Best Pitchers in the NL with their non-park adjusted predicted ERA's
Juan Martin CHA 2.94
Pascual Furcal SEA 3.04
Ron Stevenson BUR 3.16
Virgil Halama PHI 3.21
Tripp Coleman DUR 3.53
Quinton Hundley PHI 3.59
Bret Johnson JAX 3.6
Yuu Hasegawa OTT 3.63
Jermaine Sanders JAC 3.67
Brace Houston SEA 3.68
Phillip McNally PHI 3.69
Tom Clayton PHI 3.71
Luke Jennings JAX 3.72
Bernie Kolb SAL 3.72
Henry Bush SCR 3.78
Albert Perez CHA 3.79
T.J. Garcia SCR 3.8
Magglio Navarro DUR 3.8
Lawrence Brower STL 3.81
Vladimir Rincon DUR 3.83
Steven Collins SCR 3.84
Ramon Jiang OTT 3.85
Stewart Black BUR 3.87
Lawrence Hissey SYR 3.88
Harvey Laroche BUR 3.88

Season 18 AL Preview

Obviously this is prior to free agency and trades. Once those occur I will try to update my projections.

AL North Projected Standings

Vancouver 88 73
Tacoma 83 79 5
Iowa City 79 83 9
Madison 79 83 9

Vancouver won the division last season and projects to repeat slipping by only one game. Their balanced attack (7th best offense, 5th best pitching staff, best defense) is led by slugger Darryl Thomas and pitchers Matty Dyer and Irv Coles. Tacoma should be able to beat .500 with a little luck. Unfortunately, their expected 83 wins is down from the 88 wins they earned last season. Their pitching is ahead of the rest of the team (9th best offense, 6th best pitching, and 14th best fielding). The team's best hitter is Quentin Conigliaro and Dennis Day is the 4th best pitcher in the AL. Newly claimed Iowa City should fight Madison for the cellar of the AL North. Their 79 wins is 3 less than last season. While Jeff has some work to do, he own the team with the 11th best hitting and 8th best pitching. One are of concern for Iowa is the worst defense in the league. While Gene Dorsey gives him a hitter to build around, the true gem of his system is Vern Roa--the best pitcher in the AL. Madison is the best bet to finish last, but their 79 projected wins is up an impressive 13 wins from last season. Their 10th best hitting and 12th best pitching should be helped by the 3rd best defense in the AL. Pitcher Willie Tabaka will be on the cover of their media guide.

AL East Projected Standings
New York 72 90
Dover 71 91 1
Washington 66 96 6
Baltimore 66 96 6

Look up "winable division" in the dictionary and you are likely to find the AL East. New York killed last season, screaming to 89 wins. The number say, however, that they will return to their previous win totals. That said, 72 wins is a lot when the second best team has 71 wins. New York projects to having the 14th best offense, 10th best pitching staff, and 10th best fielding. Vinny Francis and Omar Lima are among the pitchers in the AL. Dover should give New York all it can handle as it improves 1 game from last season. The may struggle to score runs with the 15th best hitting, 11th best pitching staff and 12th best pitching. Hitting Bernie Rodriguez and pitcher Juan Merced would be a welcome addition to any ball club. Washington projects to have the same record they did last season. They should be able to build around their 8th best fielding as they try to improve the 13th best hitting and pitching. Rolando Ramos would be the best pitcher on many teams (including mine). Madden is one of my favorite owners, but he's got some work to do. Though he has the 2nd best fielding, it won't be enough to overcome the 12th best hitting and 14th best pitching in the AL. 66 wins is down 6 from last season, but Pat Sefcik and Tom Holt give parts to build around or very interesting trade chips.

Projected AL South Standings
San Antonio 104 58
Texas 85 77 19
Louisville 85 77 19
New Orleans 62 100 42

The AL South is good. Not only do they have the best team in Long Haul, but they also have last season's AL Champ. This season the division should not be in any doubt. Though they have not had a lot of post-season success, 104 wins is up 1 from last season. They have the 2nd best hitting, best pitching and a respectable 5th best defense. While their stars are almost too many to mention, Todd Clark, Gary Quinn, Pascual Santos, Henry Velaquez and pitchers Ismael Calderone and Reid Bordick seem likely to make the all-star team. Texas looks to improve with 6th best offense, 7th best pitching and 13th best defense. Pitchers Philip Benard, Joe Byrd, and Darrell Weiland are studs on the mounds. Reigning AL Champ Louisville may be off a little from last season despite the 3rd best pitching the AL and the 8th best hitting, though the 15th best defense may hold them back. Louisville is loaded with stars including Marianno Guerrero, Sal Gwynn, and Eduardo Rincon at the plate and Edgard Montana and Steven Ashby on the mound. New Orleans is in a new location, but has the same great owner who seems to be improving his team in leaps and bounds. While that might not show up this season, as they have the worst hitting, worst pitching and 7th best fielding in the AL, they will be a force in the future.

AL West Projected Standings
Portland 97 65
Scottsdale 95 67 2
Colorado 90 72 7
San Fransico 80 82 17

The AL West should get 1 if not 2 wild cards this season. Recent champ Portland boasts the leagues best offense highlighted by the best two hitters in the AL Dave Bale and Pedro Perez as well as Wladimir Telemaco and Humberto Flores. They project to improve by 3 games. They may need every run they score as they possess only the 9th best pitching staff and 6th best defense. A team likely to make a lot of noise this season is Scottsdale. Likely to be up 13 games from last season they are this man's pick to capture the 1st WC. They have the most balanced attack this side of San Antonio with the 3rd best hitting and 4th best pitching. Their 11th best fielding leaves some room for improvement. Frank Mills is their best player, but Sid Blake and Bubbles Sutton will scare any pitcher as well. Alexander Little is the 3rd best pitcher in the AL. Uncle is going to be upset when he sees he is projected to win the second wild card with 90 wins (down 16 from last season). The league's second best pitching staff is headed by the league's second best pitcher Bruce Wilkerson. The pitching just keeps coming and coming as Orlando Diaz and Carlos Corpas are also among the top 12. Chad Sosa seems to have recovered from stealing Bale's MVP last season and should be their best hitter. San Francisco can hit and field with anyone (4th best in each), but their 15th best pitching staff holds them back. Chico Martin is the 4th best hitter in the AL will be their sole top ten once they move my virtual man crush and 7th best hitter Alez Gomez to Portland. Seriously, Lance Wallace, Jeret Ducati, Derrek Phillips for him right now. . .all right, I'll move on since I can't be rational about a legit CF with 80/80 contact and power.

Playoffs (these are not based on numbers, just me having fun.
1st round
Sco d. NY
Col d. Van

2nd round
Por d. Sco
SA d. Col

Por d. SA

Back to the numbers!

25 best hitters in the AL
team est rc per 27
Dave Bale Por 8.47
Pedro Perez Por 8.21
Frank Mills SCO 8.17
Chico Martin SF 7.64
Sid Blake SCO 7.32
Pascual Santos SA 7.30
Alex Gomez SF 7.16
Edgar Torres SA 7.12
Cam DiFelice Col 7.02
Garry Quinn SA 6.97
Wladimir Telemaco Por 6.84
Sal Gwynn LOU 6.82
Eduardo Rincon LOU 6.79
Todd Clark SA 6.74
Chad Sosa Col 6.74
Mariano Guerrero LOU 6.69
Russell Sanders SF 6.65
Omar Cruz Col 6.49
Al Hicks VAN 6.39
Stephen Jackson MAD 6.37
Bubbles Sutton SCO 6.36
Humberto Flores Por 6.31
Archie Huskey CHI 6.25
Harry Velazquez SA 6.25
Howard Norris SCO 6.22

25 Best Pitchers in the AL
The final column is their projected non-park adjusted ERA

Vern Roa IOW 3.05
Bruce Wilkerson Col 3.08
Alexander Little SCO 3.10
Dennis Day TAC 3.14
Reid Bordick SA 3.17
Billy Palmer CHI 3.23
Joseph Chong SF 3.27
Orlando Diaz Col 3.42
Marty Dyer VAN 3.44
Pat Sefcik BAL 3.51
Carlos Corpas Col 3.55
Irv Coles VAN 3.57
Juan Merced DOV 3.57
Omar Lima TAC 3.58
Phillip Benard TEX 3.59
Vinny Francis TAC 3.61
Rolando Ramos WAS 3.63
Joe Byrd TEX 3.68
Edgardo Montana LOU 3.69
Mark Francona LOU 3.71
Charles Moreno CHI 3.74
Darrell Weiland TEX 3.75
Livan Hernandez SA 3.80
Steven Ashby LOU 3.80
Ismael Calderone SA 3.81

We'll start with this. If there are other things people want I will try to add them. All input desired! I'll put up the NL tomorrow.