Joined on 07-13-2006
Playoff Preview Continued
First order of business. A hearty round of applause to Brain Brennan and Patrick Railey.
1998 Trad-1 is a 24 team league. You get down to the final four and that's a helluva accomplishment. Patrick, keep plugging , one of those powerhouse teams of yours is going to go all the way someday.
The World Series now pits Riverside vs Gravel Ridge. I have gone into great depths about all of the playoff teams. No need to be redundant here. I have an idea as to whom I think will win, but you know what ...I'm going to keep it to myself.
After all of the drafts, after all of the games, these two teams have made it to the Championship. It's a long tough road. I wish both teams much luck.
May the better team prevail.
Hope everybody has a happy and joyous Holiday season.
As Vegas is refusing now to take my action on the rest of the 1998 Trad-1 playoff games ,I still thought I'd make some predictions for anyone who cares to listen. Believe me , I'm not that smart...just ask my ex-wives. Thanks for all of the notes of thanks , my pleasure to write for you all.
Before I do I want to take a moment to give a shout out to Orlando, Rohan and Ripple Rock and their respective managers. It takes a lot just to get to the playoffs and these guys did a great job in that respect. Losing sucks after all that hard work There is always next year.I wanted to give a special nod To Mike Peling , who gave Riverside all they could handle and then wrote a nice note of congratulations.Classy gesture.
Now on to the picks.
Every team who has advanced to the second round is a quality team. Any one of these teams has the capability to go all the way. No pretenders here. One of the first things that really grabbed me was as to home field advantage, which can be big in the playoffs.Every one of these teams significantly under performed at home vs the road.
Gravel Ridge -4 games over .500 at home
22 over on the road
Asheville-8 games over .500 at home
38 games over at home
Riverside-14 games over at home
32 over on the road
New York-2 games over at home
30 on the road
I mean wow
I know many of us rest regulars at home , but still those numbers were surprising. To say there is a huge home field for any team is probably not true.
On to the forecast
Gravel Ridge VS Asheville
I read with interest Patrick's seasonal standings with Asheville. One day I'll look at team histories , but Ashevilles's consistency has been amazing. A truly successful franchise. In the last TEN SEASONS they missed the playoffs ONCE. I mean, that's really a feat. The Predators had the best record in the A.L and ran away with the division. They were one run shy of leading all teams in scoring and 5th in ERA. They can beat you on both sides of the ball, it's just a terrific club. They also played in a slightly stronger division than the Monkees.
Gravel Ridge on paper could be the best team in the playoffs , but the game is not played on paper. Their pitching is their strong point. A propensity to give up the base on balls , but extremely stingy yielding homers. (118 allowed...best in the league.)
Their offense is very good as well, but they did score 86 less runs than Asheville..a considerable figure.
The raw stats had me curious, the numbers would indicate Gravel Ridge should have scored more runs , so I used the runs created stolen base formula and sure enough they were projected to score 760 runs vs the 711 they actually scored , so clutch hitting was probably an issue through the year.
As much as I like to pull for the division rivals you almost have to pull for Patrick to finally take the crown home after so many attempts.
Both teams are rested and pitching staffs are not depleted as both teams won handily.
Its a thin margin , but I'm picking Gravel Ridge in 7. When there is a dominant ace pitcher like Arietta is , that is fresh in a short series it's difficult to overcome. Asheville likes the long ball and the Monkees staff doesn't give up too many of those.
The Monkees also hit left handed pitching very well and Hamels, Liriano and Lester all are southpaws.and lastly , the Monkees love to run and Asheville is vulnerable to the stolen base.
Asheville had the better record head to head and Sherzer and Gray are a terrific one two punch so it would be no surprise at all to see Asheville ,"Shock The Monkees".
Best of luck to both teams
Riverside vs New York
Two longtime veteran managers are pitted in this classic match up.
Riverside had all they could handle in their series with Rome. Their ace, Cole will be available early, but Wacha, their number two, will have to wait until the series returns to N.Y . I wrote about Riverside earlier, the best offense in the league by 27 runs in a non DH league. While Bryce Harper struggled a bit vs Rome, he is the Triple Crown winner in the league and a huge threat.
Riverside is an on base machine leading the league in OBP and drawing more walks than any other club. Not an exceptionally fast team(59 stolen bases vs 33 caught stealing , they score their runs the Earl Weaver way. If there is one *** in their armor is they are a bit weaker vs left handed pitching. Third in the league in ERA ,there is still a nice gap between NY and Riverside in Pitching -especially in terms of starting pitching. 4 complete games means Riverside relies heavily on the pen and to great effect . Of all the playoff teams , Riverside had the best home record , which will allow them to use their bullpen slightly more efficiently.
The Mulligans lead with their pitching. Mulligan pitchers struck out 300 more batters than the next closest team. Over 11 STRIKEOUTS PER GAME . They are that dominant. They were the only team with an ERA under 3.00. If you want to dent their armor it's through the home run, but believe me , a lot of those are solo shots. Plus , their ace Kershaw is rested and raring to go.
The offense has a terrific core and it is a huge plus for them only going 5 games as usage is not a factor. They love the longball, hitting over 200 home runs on the season , but they were below the middle of the pack in terms of batting average and on base percentage.
A really tough series to pick. The obvious pick is Riverside, just based off their record, but the Mulligans are fresh. Their best two starters are southpaws and that is a bit of kryptonite for Riverside , plus their two best starters are fresh. The Mulligans also played in a slightly tougher division. That really makes the space between the two teams negligible.
But I've got to decide and I'm going with Riverside in 7. When I add up all the tangible and the intangibles , I end up thinking that home field might just give Riverside a bit more ability in terms of match ups. Riverside was 4-1 vs NY at home and NY was 4-1 vs Riverside at home. It could go either way and I wish both team much luck
That's a wrap. The opinions here are just that...opinions....let the games begin!!!!!