Sunday, November 9, 2008

Season 6 - 1/4 Pole Review


These races are all going pretty well as expected.

Chicago is in a new park, and they currently have the top "ranked" team based upon overall OVR. It's not a fluke. They haqve won this division for 3 straight seasons. This team is poised to make a real run at the league title this season. Their pitching is good (currently #1 in AL) and they have a dangerous line-up. After 44 games, they are actually performing a bit off the pace their run differential would indicate. So watch out for this team to keep rolling.

Cleveland is performing about as expected given run differential, and they are on a 2-season run as an AL WC entry. This is a solid team, and it looks like they will be in the hunt for a 3rd straight playoff appearance, but most likely as a WC.

Charlotte is the defending division title holder, and it looks like they are poised to repeat. But - Watch out for both Buffalo and Boston. Buffalo might be the most improved team in the AL so far, and it will interesting to see if they can hang around all season. Boston might be down a bit. This franshice won the title 4 straight times in seasons 1-4 and feel to 2nd last season. Are they in a prolonged downward turn, or can they rebound?

Charleston has made three straight WC appearances, and I'd bet they'll be in the playoffs again. Their OVR says they are the 3rd best team in the AL. We'll see, but this is a solid team, and it looks like their best seasons are coming. However, they are over-performing abit based upon run differential. So - which is it? Is the record a better indicator of quality or the runs/runs allowed ratio? We'll see, but I'd bet the runs/runs allowed will more likely move closer to the record. Florida won 100+ games in seasons 1-4. This franchise won the division in seasons 2-5. This is still a good team, but they might be really pushed to catch Charleston this season.

Cheyenne is the two-time defending WS Champ. Until some team takes this crown away, they are the best team in Mattingly, and I don't see anything to indicate their run of success will end this season. This team won 338 regular season games the past two seasons. They are on a run of 3 straight 105+ win seasons, they have made 5 straight playoff appearances. No team in the division will push them this season, either.


Toronto - under new ownership - is the 2-time defending division champ. That's not likely to change this season. This is a team on the rise, and they are #3 in the NL in OVR at the ML level. They might be over performing a bit right now based upon run differential, but this is a good team that will probably be in the playoffs.

Witchita is another good team (3 straight division titles) that's good again. It's another team whose record might be a bit better than their actualy quality, but it's a team that will most likely make the playoffs again.

New Orleans is a terrific team - tied with SF with the top OVR in the NL. Expect this team to reach the playoffs with the #1 or #2 seed. There just aren't many holes here at all.

Okay - now the interesting NL division.
San Francisco has won 100+ games 4 straight seasons. About the only thing this team hasn't done is win a WS, but don't bet against this team this season. As good as it's been - this might be the best team SF has fielded yet. The pitching is absolutely dominant, and the line-up is very good. There are no holes at all here.

Los Angeles is likewise coming off of 4 straight 100+ win seasons, but they are currently in 3rd place. That won't last. This team has made 3 WS apps in the past 4 seasons, and it's won 2 WS titles. That's not a fluke. This is a loaded team with deep pitching and a terrific line-up. Like SF - there aren't many holes.

Scottsdale is coming off a WC appearance in season 5. This team sits in 2nd place in the best division in Mattingly. Is the team good enough to push SF and LA this season? Most likely - no. But it's a team that could win 97-98 games and will be a tough opponent all season. SCO lost it's young closer for the season, and unless something develops there, this team will remain a WC playoff contender and no more. But it's got a great line-up, so watch out.


apir51 said...

Thanks, Chris, for your kind comments about my Titwillows being odds-on to repeat as NL North division champs. We are very lucky to be in the division we are in. We have been playing very mediocre ball lately, but no one in the division has made a run at us and we currently hold a 6 game lead even though we are only a few games over .500. Seems we are able to beat up on the weaker teams but the better teams have been handling us pretty easily. We don't seem to hit very well in the clutch. The pitching has been very sporadic with the exception of Beltran & Stynes. We signed SS Erik Miller to a long term contract before the season and he has been as good as advertised. Galahad Fordham is a beast of a hitter at catcher, but I have to be careful not to overwork him. I expect we probably will win the division barring unforseen circumstances, but as in the past few seasons, probably won't last long in the playoffs. I don't see a lot of top notch talent in the minors, so it may take some work to improve our status. I'm sure it will be fun, though.

Toronto Titwillows

COsborn said...

Quick review of 1/4 Pole:

NORTH - spot on. Chicago is up and looks good. Cleveland a WC contender.
EAST - spot on. Charlotte winning with both Buffalo and Boston in WC contention.
SOUTH - Charleston and Florida in a fight. Second place here probably takes a WC spot.
WEST - spot on. Cheyenne in a walk. BUT - Arizona a surprise WC contender and a strong one at that!

NORTH - spot on. Toronto doing well.
EAST - Trenton surprising quality so far. Witchita in a WC race with LA and Scottsdale.
SOUTH - Spot on. New Orleans is a beast.
WEST - Spot on. San Francisco holding to a lead. Scottsdale pushing and in line for a WC slot. LA ready for a run.