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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ALCS Preview


Louisville: Shane Cashner

Portland: Amos Garcia

Amos has a bit more pop in his bat (24 extra base hits vs. 16), but Shane gets on base a lot more (.307 OBP vs. .266) so you have to give a slight advantage to Shane. Behind the plate Amos is better than decent (84,76,82), but Shane is better (82,88,90). Portland’s backup is more useful than Louisville’s, but you have to say there is a clear advantage for Louisville

First Base

Louisville: Mariano Guerrero

Portland: Dave Bale

Mariano is a stud (.333 21 96 with a 95/77 W/K ratio and a .944 OPS), but Dave Bale is one the 5 best players in all Long Haul. This season he went .299 45 125 39 SB and a 70/44 ratio and an OPS of .975. Mariano isn’t a bad defender (2+/1- with 1 error in 134 starts), but Dave can’t compare to Dave’s (6+/0- with no errors in 104 starts) so the clear advantage goes to Portland

Second Base

Louisville: Shawn Swift

Portland: Wladimir Telemaco

Wladimir has the better bat (.319 and 25 HR’s 19 SB’s and a .934 OPS vs. .292 18, 12, and .897), though Shawn has a better glove. IMO the gap in the bat is bigger and more important so I give advantage to Portland


Louisville: Jolbert Perez

Portland: Trace Kendall

A repeat of the catchers. Trace has a lot more pop (27 extra base hits vs. 2), but Jolbert gets on base more (.366 vs. .288) all giving Trace a tiny OPS advantage. Their fielding stats are nearly identical except for Jolert’s 13 + plays which gives the advantage to Louisville

Third Base

Louisville: Von Hammonds

Portland: Morgan Mitchel

Von has a small advantage at the plate .313 14 HR’s .820 OPS vs. .289 18 HR’s .809 OPS and on the field 10 + vs. 4, though Morgan has a better fielding percentage. Overall the small advantage goes to Louisville

Left Field

Louisville: Walt Coniglaro

Portland: Pedro Perez

Walt is a wonderful players, but like Dave Bale, Pedro is one the best 5 players in the league. Walt went .289 32 HR 106 RBI 45 SB and a .862 OPS. Pedro was .305 42 116 0 with a 1.016 OPS (also a 99/41 w/k ratio). In the field Pedro put up 11 + plays in only 95 games, compared to Walt’s 2/3 ratio in 138 games so the advantage goes to Portland

Center Field

Louisville: Tony Gutierrez

Portland: Lance Wallace

Interestingly, both teams fielded rookies at the position. Lance has a little bitter better bat .284 22 HR’s 29 SB on 35 attempts and a .835 OPS vs. .269 29 HR’s 17 SB on 26 attempts and a .813 OPS. Its probably a wash in the field as Lance had 17 + plays in 113 starts compared to 13 + plays in 134 starts, but Tony fielding percentage was .997 compared to Lance’s .969. Overall the advantage goes to Portland.

Right Field

Louisville: Angel Miranda

Portland: Alex Gomez

Behind the plate Alex is basically Angel with more speed (more extra base hits per PP, 19 SB’s compared to 0. Overall the OPS difference is .841 vs. .803. Angel should be better in the field but the stats were pretty similar (12 + plays in 160 start vs. 6 + plays in 77 starts). Overall the small advantage goes to Portland


Louisville: Eduardo Rincon

Portland: Humberto Flores

Its remarkable how similar the offense are constructed. Once again Humberto is just a slightly better version of Eduardo. (.323 29 HR .986 OPS vs. .327 24 HR .919 OPS) so the advantage goes to Portland.

“10th starter”

Louisville: Sal Gwynn

Portland: Esteban James

Esteban has been the better hitter this season (.303 21 HR 15 SB .906 OPS vs. .232 37 HR 0 SB .730 OPS). Sal was a more useful defensive player playing a capable SS and really nice 2B, while Estaban played some 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF playing the corner outfield spots well and was only a disaster in CF. The greater impact at the plate gives a small advantage to Portland.

Starting pitching:

Louisville’s best 3:

Luis Cedeno

Edgardo Montana

Darrin Lennon

496.6 IP 1.18 WHIP 3.04 ERA

Portland’s best 3:

Henry Burns

Chris Stanford

Bobby Buchanan

716.6 IP 1.17 WHIP 3.00 ERA

The WHIP and ERA are about equal, but there is a huge advantage that makes one feel slightly better about Portland’s staff than Louisville, but it is really, really close.


Louisville: Dennis Cho

Portland: Alex Rivera

Again, its really close. Cho has a better save ratio (14/15 compared to 20/25), but Rivera has slightly better numbers otherwise. We’ll call it a tie.


These teams are remarkablely similar Portland has more truly great players, but Louisville won the AL last season. We’ll say Portland in 7.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AL Playoff Preview

AL Playoff Power Ranking

1. Portland Thunder: I’d love to lie and call myself the underdog, but there just isn’t any good way of doing. Whoever knocks me off will have taken down the favorite. A few points to consider. First, both Pedro Perez and Dave Bale had more HR’s than strikeouts. In RL only 6 guys have hit 40 HR’s and accomplished that. They both did. Four of their starters had more walks than strikeouts. Dave Bale was a SB short of 40/40. On the mound Bobby Buchanan broke the wins and innings pitched record, yet Henry Burns might have had the better season. Speaking of which, Buchanan is argument 1 for steroid testing in HBD. Look at his numbers before this season and then look at this season and tell me he wasn’t on something. Their ballpark masks how good their hitters are and makes their pitchers look somewhat better than they really are so lets look at some road only numbers. Chew on this: Their road OPS was 30 points higher than #2 in ML San Antonio. San Antonio was only 20 points higher than #7th in the AL Tacoma.

2. Louisville 65ers : The AL champ last season has to be #2 in power rakings. Though other teams had 99 wins, only Louisville came close challenging Portland’s OPS differentials. On offense Walt Conigliaro hulk smashed on offense with 140 runs, 106 RBI’s and 45 SB’s. On the mound Edgardo Montana put up on the top three seasons in the AL this season with 20 wins. 1.15 WHIP, and a 2.52 ERA.

3. San Antonio Sentinel: Want to know who keeps me up at night? Look no further. San Antonio’s run differential was only slightly worse than Portland’s. Their pitching was secretly the best in the AL. They have the strongest defense in the AL. At times they struggle to score runs, but that tends to matter less in the playoffs as they’re no bad teams to be found. On offense Pascual Santos crushed it with 42 HR’s and a .992 OPS. On the mound they just keep coming. Bordick and his 0.75 ERA. Former Thunder overall #3 Maduro had a 2.99 ERA Antonio Drew’s ROY 2.82 ERA, and former win’s champ Chris Walcutt continues to put up HOF numbers. WOW!

4. Vancouver Elite Monarchs II: I’m going to let you in a little secret. I have Colorado’s and San Antonio’s number just a little. I’m not sure of the exact percentage, but I win more than I should. Want to know who has mine? Vancouver! I’m not sure the last time I won the season series, but it wasn’t in the last three seasons. All the metrics make them the 4th best team, but if Scottsdale wants to keep beating them that is fine by me. On offense AJ Castillo leads them with 30 HR’s and 122 RBI’s. On Don Walls and his 1.18 WHIP and Marty Dyer and his 29 saves lead them from the mound.

5. Scottsdale Shwetty Balls: Love their team, love their owner arj03c, but Scottsdale has a dirty little secret. If you can get past Calderone and Little they can’t pitch. Well that is not fair, Francis has all of the ability in the world, but hasn’t produced. On offense they are epic. 6, yes 6 of their hitters have an OPS greater than .900. Mills is the only reasonable answer to who should finish 3rd in the MVP race. Former overall #1 Bubble Sutton has lived up to ever expectation, and my personal favorite is Calvin Yoshii. While I don’t think they will win this WS, they are in a great cap position and are sure to win a WS.

6. Baltimore Beatdown: Isn’t Madden a great guy? When he joined the league in season 9 we all benefited. He has an overall HBD winning record, which is more than I can say. When he posts on the WC, I know I listen. What a guy!