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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!

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