American League Playoff Watch

Discussion in 'The Dugout - OOTP Online League' started by PAgamer07, May 11, 2012.

  1. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    22,921
    So we are a little over a week into August. Time to take a look at the races, and see who will be making a playoff run.


    AL East

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 2nd in AL
    Runs Allowed: 5th in AL
    Stat to Watch: Bullpen ERA 12th in AL

    Note:

    After starting the season ice cold and their GM going into full-blown panic mode, the Red Sox have gotten red hot. Since starting 7-16 in April, they have gone 15-14, 19-8, 18-7, 6-4. They are scoring runs in bunches and have some hitters doing some real damage. Dustin Pedroia has an awesome 42.0 VORP already on the season. Carl Crawford has come back in full force and leads the team with 74 runs scored. And Adrian Gonzalez is finally hitting well.

    On the pitching front, their rotation has carried them, led by Jon Lester who is 10-3 with a 2.46 ERA. The backend of the rotation is a little questionable, but they have some good news with "Dice-K" coming off the DL.

    The bullpen though is the big weakness of this team. No one has performed well, and they traded for Daneil Schlereth at the deadline, only to see him have some sort of undiagnosed as yet injury. The best news they could have at the right time is that CL Andrew Bailey is now elligible to come back off the DL. Will this be enough to help them?

    There is worse news for the Red Sox though... They still have to play the Yankees 9 more times (3-6 vs them) and the Rays 6 more times (3-9 against them). These teams are both within striking distance. If they cannot beat these guys, they have no chance.

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 2nd in AL
    Runs Allowed: 3rd in AL
    Stat to Watch: 13-13 in 1 run games

    Notes:

    The Yankees are in the top 5 in nearly every offensive category. Cano, Granderson, Teixeira and A-Rod all have 30+ VORP for the season. Cano is having a monster season and could be our AL MVP. He is hitting .303 with 23 HR, 89 RBI and 71 runs scored. And he is batting 5th in this lineup. Scary.

    On the pitching front, the rotation is solid enough with Sabathia leading them with a 14-9 record and a 3.24 ERA. The bullpen is very, very good. Mariano Rivera just signed a two year extension and has 25 saves on the year. Finally, the Roy Oswalt signing was huge. He is #2 in the rotation, and is 10-7 with a 3.70 ERA, but he is getting hot at the right time.

    They've been lucky with injuries so far, and have no one of note on the DL. Although they are not as hot as Boston, they have played consistent all season. They have owned Boston this year (6-3) but struggled against Tampa going 4-8. Like was mentioned above though... they struggle in 1 run ballgames. That is something to keep an eye on as the season winds down.

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 8th in AL
    Runs Allowed: 2nd in AL
    Stat to Watch: .255 team BA (12th in AL)

    Notes:

    If it wasn't for their solid pitching and defense, this would be a losing team. Thankfully they are not. Sam Fuld and Carlos Pena have both spent time on the DL this year. Pena was the biggest blow though as he was crushing the ball before the injury slugging .586 with 29 HR. He is ready to come back, and I am wondering if this will spark them to an AL East Title.

    On the pitching front, it doesn't get much better than these guys. Sheilds, Price and Hellickson have all pitched well on the season. They also suffered some huge blows in the bullpen, with injuries to Farnsworth, Jake McGee and Peralta. They should all be coming back soon as well and will help these guys immensely.

    The role players on this team who can contribute in a pinch, as well as play solid defense have helped this team. They did not make a single move at the deadline, and they could have used another bat I think. The bullpen and Pena will make their return at the right time I think. But Longoria needs to get going to help these guys. Right now he is only hitting .265 with 16 HR. Not what you want a week into August from your Superstar.


    AL East Prediction: Yankees


    AL Central


    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 2nd in AL
    Runs Allowed: 9th in AL
    Stat to Watch: Pitching staff is 14th in AL in walks allowed

    Notes:

    I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at this lineup. Although they are only 11th in the AL in HR, they are 1st in BA. Billy Butler is having a monster year hitting .345 with 19 HR. They suffered two big injuries in the lineup losing both SS Yunieski Betancourt and SS Alcides Escobar. Their new SS? Christian Colon. A 1 star nobody with a decent glove who is somehow carrying a .706 OPS.

    The rotation is a bit of a mess as evidenced by their next to last rank in walks. Danny Duffy has been the ace of this staff really, and is 10-6 with a 3.87 ERA. Thankfully though, this bullpen has been excellent and a real surprise around the AL. Jonathan Broxton has return to form and has 20 saves.

    Like I said.. they suffered some key injuries in the lineup, especially to youngster Lorenzo Cain who was really showing promise. I was really surprised they did not add an arm to the rotation at the deadline. Instead? They added another bat in the OF in Alex Rios.

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 10th in AL
    Runs Allowed: 1st in AL
    Stat to Watch: 10th in AL in Batting Average

    Notes:

    It's no secret this team has suffered some HUGE blows. Their outfield has been decimated by the OOTP Gods, highlighted by a career ending injury to Shin-Soo Choo. Try as I might, I do not see how this offense can score enough runs to beat good pitching. After spending some time on the DL, Carlos Santana has come back and played OK. His team leading .806 OPS though is a big concern.

    The pitching on the other hand, has been lights out. They are at the top in nearly every category. Really surprised they are 1st in HR allowed pitching in that ballpark. Ricky Romero has been a bust of course since coming from Toronto, but Ubaldo, Masterson and Piniero have pitched really well. Add in a fantastic bullpen and the AL Leading Defense and this is a solid group.

    They should have made a splash at the deadline to pick up a bat. They had already traded some assets to add some pitching, and I think they wanted to hold onto their picks. They also need some guys to come off the DL. Brantley, Diaz and Chisenhall are all hurt. Adding these guys bats may make the difference down the stretch. They have played KC close (5-7). They have 6 games left. Those 6 games could decide the Central.

    AL Central Prediction: Cleveland


    AL West

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 9th in AL
    Runs Allowed: 6th in AL
    Stat to Watch: 22-38 on the road

    Notes:

    Albert Pujols (.908 OPS) and Kendry Morales (.840 OPS) are carrying this team. No other hitter even has an OPS above .700 outside of these two. This offense is the definition of mediocre and if not for their 3rd best stolen bases, they would be even lower in runs scored. They are having subpar hitting seasons from the rest of the lineup, and really need someone to get hot.

    On the pitching front, CJ Wilson and Dan Haren have been solid this year and have combined for 20 wins. Jared Weaver somehow has 9 wins, while carrying a 5+ ERA. He has been the victim of the long ball this season allowing 22 HR in 24 IP. Their bullpen has been impressive though, led by Jordan Walden who has 28 saves and a 1.52 ERA. It will get even better when Scott Downs returns from the DL.

    This team has a lot of money invested in Albert Pujols in future seasons, but this year? They had tons of salary room. They really needed to add another bat to the lineup before the trade deadline but failed to do so. Thankfully, they have some good pitching and their defense has been solid. Obviously the biggest concern they have is how to win road ballgames. September has 14 road games, with 9 of those being in the division.


    [​IMG]


    Runs Scored: 6th in AL
    Runs Allowed: 7th in AL
    Stat to Watch: Starters ERA- 12th in AL, HR Allowed- 12th in AL

    Notes:

    The offense can mash the ball, there is no question about that. But this season, they are actually struggling to get on base. Both their OBP and BA is 7th in the AL. That's not going to get it done by a team that prides themselves on offense. None of their hitters have a batting average over .300 and Hamilton, Beltre and Cruz are all hitting .265. The best news possible for them though is that Elvis Andrus is ready to come back after missing 7 weeks on the DL. They need him to spark this offense.

    The biggest concern Texas fans should have is this rotation. None of their starters have an era under 4. The biggest disappointment has to be the performance of Neftali Feliz. He is 5-11 with a 4.86 ERA and really struggling this year. It looks like the defense has been a big problem behind him and the rest of the rotation though as they only rank 9th in the AL. The bullpen has been good though for the Rangers, but their closer has probably been giving their manager some high stress outings. CL Mike Adams has a 1.48 WHIP and batters are hitting .274 against him.

    The offense needs to hit more consistently and they need Andrus back at the leadoff spot. Although Kinsler is having an OK season, I like Andrus better in that spot with his speed. The big problem with this team is starting pitching, defense and their closer. They have tons of hitting to deal, and should have really addressed this at the trade deadline. Even if they make the post season, the rotation has struggled all year, so it could be a short exit.

    [​IMG]

    Runs Scored: 12th in AL
    Runs Scored: 10th in AL
    Stat to Watch: BB Allowed- 12th in AL, HR- 13th in AL

    Notes:

    This offense goes as Jesus Montero goes. He was my pick for rookie of the year in the AL, and although he has cooled off from his pre all-star game start, he is still playing very well. Ichiro is having another solid season and leads the team in BA. The big surprise though has been the performance of Chone Figgins who leads the team with 54 runs. Although he is only hitting .254, his .338 OBP leads the team. Unfortunatley, they really do not have any power hitters, and should have added one at the deadline.

    King Felix has once again been the victim of poor run support as evidenced by his 7-7 record with a 2.57 ERA. The rest of the rotation has been mediocre, and it looks like they have struggled in the 5th spot in the rotation all season and are wondering if they have their guy in Charlie Furbush. The bullpen though has been downright attrocious. Outside of Brandon League at Closer, no one has done a whole heckuva lot. The bullpen ERA is 11th in the AL. The high amount of walks allowed are a big concern. If not for their 5th best defense, this team would not be where they are right now.

    Seattle was the feel good story for the first part of the season. As was expected though... they are fading away. This team has too many needs to be able to compete this year. I am hoping they make some moves in the offseason to improve their weaknesses in the lineup, rotation and bullpen.


    AL West Prediction: Los Angeles


    Wild Card:



    The American League East is too good right now, and of both spots available in the American League, I like both Wild Cards to come out of this division. Cleveland will surge ahead of the Royals once they get some guys off the DL (and stay there) and KC will fade away.

    I have no idea what is going on in the AL West. Both Texas and LA are underachieving and neither deserves the division. They have dug themselves too big of a hole and both are hovering around .500. I don't see them getting that hot to make the post season by not winning the division.

    Of note though is ZCar352 Oakland A's. They have won 13 in a row (somehow) and are only 5.5 back in the West! Their is no way this continues though, as they just lost Cespedes to an injury. Also... they are still playing This Guy: http://traditionsportsonline.com/tso-ootp/reports/html/players/player_34238.html at SS. Why they are starting someone with a 3 contact, and a great prospect is beyond me. His poor performance and being rushed the majors is going to ruin him. Please Zac... send him back to single A and bring up Pennington. I beg you.

    Wild Card Predictions: Boston, Tampa
     
    • Like Like x 6
  2. PepperNY

    PepperNY Fear the Spear

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2,625
    great writeup PA. Look for the Rays to make more moves next year as I am still learning the game and didnt want to screw things up my 1st season lol
     
  3. ryalaman

    ryalaman Walk On

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    6,016
    I said this in the skype chat, but I can't agree more with your Central pick. Despite the fact that KC has the biggest lead of any AL team (really, 2 games is it), I'd be absolutely shocked if they won the division. Their record looks to be the product of just straight up luck and Cleveland is probably just a better team. Their acquisition of Joel Pineiro from some stupid AL GM looks like its been an incredibly addition for them... probably because they play such good defense behind him.
     
  4. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    22,921
    Yeah Pineiro GB rate combined with that solid defense really helps them a lot. Detroit should have won this division the next 3 years, but I totally understand him wanting to build the team his way. Sox probably should have tried to hold on too.
     
  5. JFace907

    JFace907 Ron F'n Swanson

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,875
    Romero really hasn't been a bust. He's been a nice 4th starter (3-5 with a 4.43 ERA in 11 starts compared to 2-7 with a 10.02 ERA in 10 starts in TOR). He has been in position to win a lot of his starts and he was the 5th starter until Tomlin went down as well. I just hope he doesn't go out and implode tomorrow after i've said these nice things about him.
     
  6. CeeGee

    CeeGee Block-O-Nation

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    480
    Pagamer07 great writeup man.

    Texas is thinking about calling up their #1 pitching prospect to help make a run at the AL West Division.

    Stay tuned :)
     
  7. briosu99

    briosu99 6* Team Killer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,930
    Great writeup PA. My Yanks (aka Evil Empire) are looking to make a run, and it looks like my old crusty guys are starting to perform at the right time. I'm really looking forward to see how this season plays out. Should be an interesting offseason as I am debating whether to get ahead of things and go young as I have some guys in my farm system I'm really excited to take a look at.
     
  8. JohnnyClutch

    JohnnyClutch They only hear my truth

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    4,477
    If the Sox lose out again after taking a lead into September I'm going to have to go to the bar again to get "so drunk that I don't wake up for the next three days" wasted.
     
  9. Dylema

    Dylema Walk On

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    880
    I can't believe we're even in the play-off picture. I've been looking towards next year this entire time, especially now adding a guy like Tom Morris to my farm system. Next year could be the year a lot of my prospects get the call and hopefully that will provide the additions to the team that we need.
     

Share This Page