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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

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