Monday, August 30, 2010

The Play-Off Run down

Last week I talked about the AL races and since then Detroit has failed to make up ground. So its all but over and the top six are left fighting for position. Baltimore is a lock for the top spot an eight game advantage. The two hole is held by the red hot Minnesota Millers due to head to head games won. They are tied with Seattle for the top spot in the north though. Memphis and Honolulu both have all but wrapped up the Divisions as well. That leaves Indianapolis as the current six seed at only 3 games back from the wild card lead. Indianapolis has a better record than both Honolulu and Memphis. So as of right this second the two byes go to the Millers and the Baybirds. The two division winners both would play teams with better record but still home field. Seattle would face off with Memphis and Indianapolis would take a shot at Honolulu. With still 40 games or so to go anything can happen.

The NL is where all the real races are. Philly has the NL East wrapped up and Houston holds the same game lead in the South but other than that it seems like some of the play-off spots will come down to the very last week of the season. Even Los Angeles has a shot only five games out of first place and under .500.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AL Play-Offs taking Form

The race to to post season in the AL is setting into place. There are only 7 teams over .500 and that have a chance at 6 spots. The Baybirds are almost a given for the top spot again this season. They have an eight game lead over the Indianapolis Devils. The Seattle Grunge slipped out of the All-Star Break a little bit but have had a nice 5 game winning streak since getting sweeped by the Millers and dropping the series against Detriot Detroit. Honolulu had a very slow start to the year but went on a long winning streak to boost up their record. They hold nine game advantage over ajpop and the Crushers. Memphis has had a hard time playing consist ball but still hold a 10 game lead over Durham. The team currently holding down the 5 spot has the 3rd best record in the AL. The Devils have a two game lead over the Millers for the top wild card slot. The Millers hold a six game lead over the Miracles for the final play-off spot. They are the hottest team in baseball heading into a series with Baltimore. Finally The Detriot Detroit Miracles. They have been really up and down this season. With 26 games still this season with the other six teams with a winning record the Miracles have a chance to win there way into the post season but it will not be an easy road... wow 26 of the last 56 against the top six not looking good for them but they have the pitching to shut down any offense. Boy I wonder how the top 7 would rank in some sort of power ranking system?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The All Star Break report.

The Detroit Miracles were rolling until they ran into Memphis and Baltimore. They split a 4 game set with Memphis and where swept out of Baltimore. After Al north post break games they play 17 straight games against teams with losing records. Their one to pitching punch should keep them close and in the hunt for the play-offs. All stars Bryce McMillon, Dick Randall, and Harvey Linton have been great this season. They could use another hitter though. They have called up 20 year old top hitting prospect Keith Haad to try to help add offense.

The Seattle Grunge are coming of series wins against play-off contenders. Their Hitting this season has been great and they have pitched enough to win at a high level. With seven hitters in double digit home runs and a 1-9 batting order with an OPS over 800 they will continue to play every one hard. Look for them to try and add a starter though to make a huge splash in the post season.

The Baltimore Baybirds continue there league wide domination again this season. Al Manual has been great and consistent all year. They hit the ball well the throw the ball well. They play good defense. They have a stacked AAA team to fill the injury hole. In an odd twist they only sport 2 All stars. There might be a snub or two there.

Indianapolis Devils are playing sound baseball and would be leading most other division in Kaline. They are Hitting the ball really well and the most notable all star snub in Eddie Hawkins leads the league in OPS. Add in Vasco Martinez and you have a great 1-2 middle of the order. Pitcher Rabbit McClellan has posted a 10-0 record this season with nice second numbers as well. Bill Beech and Desi Uribe have been good this year too.

Memphis Packers Are leading the AL South by 6 games. They are a balanced team solid pitching and hitting. They are playing a little below what I thought they would this season though still a very good team. Pat Newfield is still got it at 38 pitching to a 10-4 record with good triple / stats. Domingo Mota Has bounced back really nice and having a great season. Although with his contract and injury history a team could trade for him at wholesale.

Honolulu Hoplites had a rough start to the year. Also not playing there best right before the break losing 3 of 4 to Seattle and getting swept by Pawtown. They have some really hard outs in there line up and that has been their saving grace so far. Cy Young winner Ruben Tejada has been just terrible this season but Juan Rincon has been play well this season. They are on the hunt for an ace pitcher and willing to pay for one. So if your out of the race and have an extra pitcher laying around pick up the phone and give them a call.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fire Sale Rumors: Minnesota Millers

As the Millers slip back to .500 and six games out of the play-offs the Millers are almost ready for the all out fire sale. The Millers are a team that has a little bit of everything. They have Front Line starting Pitching in Shane Kraemer who finished 2nd in the CY Young last season but has but bad this season. He has a team friendly contract that runs for years. He should have no issues with injury and has no past issues. Cristian Black has had a nice season so far close to his career line. His contract runs though season 19 and he should have not problems holding his ratings till than. With pin point contral and a rocket fast ball a move into a bullpen roll would work out nice for him after this deal runs up. Omar Cunningham has can pitch but his season has not bee the best for him so far. Lyle Moran is only 26 has great rating but has not put together a good season. The South Paw is under team contol for 4 more season. The Bullpen is based off of closer Bartolo Owen. he is All star bound having a inline with his great career line add in Norm Garcia and you have a great 1-2 punch to end play-off games with.

The Millers also have some great hitters. Alex Rios could be a top 5 MVP guy at the end of the season. The Morgan Brother ,Walter and Glenn have been great this season. The bottom line the team can hit better than they have this season. This team is stacked with power and if they are looking to trade they should be busy this season.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

White Flag Report: Salt Lake City Crushers

The Crushers owner is waving the white flag saying that he will not make the play-offs. The current roster has hitters, former silver slugger winner Jim Hall, who is in his last year of his deal. His ratings should hold well if there is a sign and trade option. He is the best hitter available from their roster but not the only one. Chad Winn seems to still hit below his ratings maybe someone thinks there coaches can fix him. Deacon Pierce, 27, can get on base and hit a few long shots. You get 2 more season with him at a reasonable rate. Leon Blasingame could provide a team with a bull pen arm, but his health rating could keep his price down. The same goes for Billy Rakers. I would think that Morgan Coles is part of the re-built but maybe he could be had for the right prospects. He is the only starter worth talking about and if he becomes open to trading him could be the biggest mid-season deal.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trade Rumor: Chris Montague

Chris Montague is going to be on the move. The Swithhitting 1st baseman could add to any team looking to make a run. He has hit below his career numbers so far this season but has still handled righties very well. Against right handed pitching he has put up an OPS of .934 this season. That puts him fourth in the AL among 1st basemen. It is unknown what beznoska is looking to get back in return due to not have any trade needs and preferring not to trade chat. A quick glance in his trade history shows that he does ask and receive fair trades on both ends. I know I made an offer that I feel is fair.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend wrap-up

In the AL there is only one team that I would consider Hot right now and that is the Honolulu Hoplites. I do believe I called that a week ago that they would have a good run. They have won 7 straight and 12 of the last 14. The next best streak in the AL is just a three game streak by Indianapolis Devils but they are just 6 and 4 over the last 10.
In the NL the hottest team is Philadelphia Phillies winning 8 of the last 10.Since their 5 game losing streak back on 7/30 they have won 25 of their last 28. Nice work Hineiii just lose the next to to the Millers.
The Last place Vancouver Whitecaps even found a way to rip off a nice 7 game winning streak.
The Fargo Outlaws keep up their winning ways by going 16 in their last 21to open up their led over New York by 3 games.
A trade between the Blue Demons and The Banditos was vetoed by the owners. The trade would have give the Banditos a bottom of the rotation starter and a prospect that rates as a utility player. The Blue Demons would have been given some cap flexibility that they needed. On the chat board only one owner asked about it and swamphawk gave his reason and that was all. I thought It would have been passed but enough owners thought differently that I.
The draft happened this weekend and I will try to do a break down after more sign so I can see all of the ratings.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The turn around in Montgomery

The Montgomery Black Dynamites have a new owner running the show. New to Kaline but coming in with 33 seasons of experience steelforge has been a great addition to the Kaline owners list. Already making a huge impact in the international market sign two of the top guy, Jose Cortez and Del Figureoa. In addition to those guys they have Pedro Lopez signed last season. Turner Wathan was drafted last season but the previous owner was unable to sign Derrin Howe. Harley Nunnally should crush the ball when his call comes and he is not the only masher they have in the minors right now. Miguel Feliz could make his way to the pros this season. The building blocks are in place to make a winner in Montgomery and this is with out this season draft yet. With 28 million spread out evenly in this season draft and with 2 top ten picks and 6 picks in the top 71 things could be really interesting for them sooner than later. Steelforge was looking for a re-building project but i bet he didn't think it would happen this fast... Still have to develop the guys though.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deadline sellers?

The Boston Red Sox are currently 9 games under .500 and 12 games back. This is not much of a surprise with them already make some moves and in rebuilt mode. Former silver slugger CF Buck Feller and DH Ben Post are both know to be on the trading block already for Boston. Mitch Knight is having a fantastic season at 30. He is under a fair contract for two more season. Fausto Durazo is young and hits Lefties well but is slated to make over 5 million next season. I would think that they would be willing to move that contract from the books as well. At just 28, Miguel Nieves is already pretty well traveled. Is he still young enough to be part of the re-built or are they going to try to flip him for prospects. He had a rough start for the Red Sox but has been outstanding over his last seven starts letting up just 11 earned runs over 42.1 innings. With over 60 million cap already spent for next season I look for the Red Sox to be on of the most aggressive sellers at the deadline due to their assets.

The New York Metros are just under 50 million next season not including arbitration raises. Ryan Romero has been hurt for most of this season possibly hurting his trade value. He is due over 7 million next season. He is a very solid fielder and versatile. Herm Walker is an innings eater that can fill the bottom of the a rotation. His price tag is a little high for that role at 5.6 million next season but he should hold his ratings fairly well. Jacob Roberts has a reasonable long term deal in place and his ratings should also hold up well.

The Durham Spitoons have cap flexibility for next season, they are under 40 million. If they do become sellers they could really impact someones line-up. Timo Sanders is off and running with a MVP type season right now. They a ton of contracts coming off the books next season so they have plenty of rentals to go around. They have Abdul Murry on the trading block and he could bring in a nice haul and clear up a little bit of more cash next season. Look for them to try to add pitchers for bats this year.

The Freeze are in great cap shape for next season with only 19 million already spent. They have tons of players coming off the books and with only 13 wins this season and heading the wrong way in the last ten look for them to be selling sooner than later. They currently don't have anyone on the trading block but one can assume that it will change soon. the youth movement is in effect in upstate New York so look for just about anyone over 29 to be moved.

Staying in upstate New York, Syracuse is a team in need. With almost 55 million already spent next season on players this newer owner would love to shed salary. Looking deeper into in it I would say a team could get a nice whole sale price on some of these guys if they were willing to take back salary. Dick Nixon could bring back an above average prospect. He should hold his rating well as he ages. They should look at trading Alex McQuillan at all cost but I don't know if they could give him away at this point in his career... trust me in season 13 when he was hitting well I tried. My bottom line advice to a newer owner from newer owner is get younger and get your money under control.

Los Angeles L.A EliteDucks and keeid12x are in a strange spot for the Kaline world. L.A. has been a winner every season finishing .500 just once and never under it. Keeid12x is a very experience owner so it will be interesting to see what he want to do with the future of the franchise. With quite possibly the highest paid AAA team in baseball, I know he would love to drop many millions off of next years cap hit of around 55 million. Bret O'Donnell and Ralph Ellenwood are already on the trading block.

Charleston Ashley Coopers have tons of contracts leaving the books next season. They have some solid vets that could helps play-off hopefuls get over the hump. They don't have anyone on the block as of now but they would move guys if asked nice enough.

That all I am going to get into this morning have a great day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Contenders AL

Led by Ernest Hall the team post an impressive OPS of .851. They can post a line up of 1-7 that can rival just about any one in the AL. They can hit the long ball as well with already four players with double digit home runs and one more with nine. Their weak spot in the starting rotation led by Ramiro Cabrera. Cabrere has been a very good at the top rotation but it falls off pretty quick after that. Alex Aybar has been terrible over his last 3 starts letting up 18 earned runs in just 13 innings of work. Not to be out done Trevor Wilkins has been just as bad in his last four starts giving up 24 earned runs over 19.2 innings. Thing should turn around if not look for them to add pitching quick.

Pitching rules here with an outstanding rotation fronted by Cy young hopeful Bryce McMillon. He has been great this season only letting up more than 3 runs once. They added Chick King who has been solid in his last two starts giving up one run over 15 innings. Add in Dick Randall and you have the best top three in the AL. The question is can can they hit enough to make a run with a team OPS of .725. Time will tell.

The Triple Bs are the team to beat this year and every year they don't rebuilt the re-cock. The line up is down right scary to face with Al Manuel and Chris Ray but add in a couple of ROY candidates Paul Melville and Darby Ramirez they will be impossible to keep off the scoreboard.

Indy had a little time in first place this season but I don't see Baltimore giving it back. Indy has two of the best hitters in baseball right now in Eddie Hawkins and last years trade to bring in Vasco Martinez will keep this team from fading back anytime soon. Five players in there deep line up have hit double digit home runs already make for a hard time finding easy outs. The bullpen has been terrible at times so look for them to add some arms there as the season moves along.

Memphis and there Immortals keep on winning and winning in bunches. They are at a tough spot in there schedule right now though so things could change. A balanced team with solid pitching and solid hitting they will be in the play-offs for sure.

With a expected winning percent of .570 the Millers are either not preforming to standards or are just that good against left handed pitching. they lead the league against southpawns but also have more than 150 at bats against than. Righhnded pitching is a different story with 150 less AB then the next lowest they post and awful team OBP .292. So either they are going to start hitting righthanded pitching and compete as the ABs even out or they are going to keep struggling and having a fire sale by the all star break.

This team has a run in them and I don't see why they won't have a nice streak of ten in a row. Once they get consistent and their pitching gets under control they could steam roll a few teams. They are still younger team that should gel together and could very well built a contender for years and years.