Jackson (86-76)Vs Minnesota(87-75) A down season in Minnesota brings them into a first round match-up with Jackson. Jackson is in the post season for the first time since season two. The two teams have pretty even records.
- Hitting: The Millers have out hit The Rollin Rebels this season. Jackson has Jerry Leonard sitting in the middle of the line up though and this kid can swing the stick. He has hit 42 home runs and 118 RBI to go along with his .963 OPS. Minnesota brings in more sticks with Stephen Smalley, Victor Pulido, and Jose Barrios sitting in the middle of their line-up. Advantage Minnesota
- Pitching: Jackson has the slightest edge in team ERA4.06 to 4.10. Minnesota is better in just about every other stat though. Minnesota also has a nice top three to go in the post season with Bryce McMillon, Lyle Moran, and Miguel Nieves. They also have Norm Garcia and a bullpen stopper. Jackson doesn't have a the high end start to match up with the three The Millers bring but they have Roy Humphries and Gregory Smith to shut done the game if Jackson has a lead. Advantage Minnesota
- Fielding: Jackson has three Golden Gloved outfielders this season in Anthony Hernandez, Cole Stern, and Lucas Wilson. With those three roaming the outfield extra base hit are a lost to singles or outs. Minnesota is far from a poor defense though and can hold there own. Advantage Jackson
Minnesota wins the series in 4 games.
Scottsdale is back in the post season for the fourth straight season while Cincinnati is back for the first time since season 15 and only 5th time in franchise history. Cincinnati has the better record but Scottsdale has the team built for their home stadium.
- Hitting: Scottsdale is always up near the top in hitting and this season is not any different. They have six players with OPS over .800 make for a long line up to work around. Cincinnati only has two players with an OPS over .800. One of them is Tricky Midre Santana. He has had a nice hitting season but his mom has always told him he was fast so he will try and try again to steal that extra base only to get gunned down time and time again. Tricky aside however Cincy takes the extra base every time they can second in the AL in stolen bases this season though with a fair low success rate. Advantage Scottsdale
- Pitching: Despite playing in a hitting leaning park Cincy has the second best ERA in the AL while Scottsdale is below the average line. For Scottsdale one might think that their home field would hurt their pitching and their away numbers would be better but that is far from the case here. They are amongst the worst away from home while Cincy is very near the top. Games one and two starters are fairly matched. Advantage Cincinnati
- Fielding: Cincy has the fewest errors of any team in the AL this season while Scottydale is middle of the pack. Neither team has a huge difference in +(-) plays though. In the raw numbers Cincinnati fairs much better. Advantage Cinncinnati
Scottsdale in 5. Home field will pay off Cincy is only 41-40 on the road.
The NL Has two great first round match-ups starting here. Philly has taken a bit of a different approach this season going away from great pitching and moving to a big bat line-up. Salem made a huge mid-season deal to bring in Big Dick Randal to "head" their pitching staff.
- Hitting: Both teams hit very well and can punish pitchers with long line-ups. Philly has 6 everyday players hitting over .800 OPS to Salem has three. Both teams have MVP type (and former MVPs) players in the middle of their line ups. Jordan Weiss had 62 homeruns and 165 RBI to make a very strong case for MVP. Felix Torrealba has also added to his Hall Of Fame Career with yet another season batting over 1.000 OPS. Advantage Philly
- Pitching: Big Dick is the best pitcher in this series and he will pitch two games if it goes the distance. Beating him twice could be challenging to say the least. Fallowing him in the rotation in Sammy Javier giving Salem a very nice one two punch. Philly has starters that give the line-up a very good chance to win just about every time they take the mound. Jerry Canseco is enjoying is best season ever and will take the hill in game one. The over all pitching numbers gives Philly that advantage in that aspect while Salem has the bigger names. Advantage is a Push
- Fielding: Both Long time owners have put seem to care a great deal for quality defense and it show in their numbers. In raw over all numbers it leans slightly towards Philly. To me it comes down to Shortstop and Philly has a couple of good fielding guys and Salem does not. Advantage Philly
Philly takes the series in 5 games.
This brings us to a match-up with Division foes both coming from the NL north. These two teams both could find themselves in the world series with the talent that that bring to the table. New York has the home field advantage but they are below .500 there while Fargo is nine games over on the road.
- Hitting: Both teams can take you deep with their line-ups with each having 8 players in double digit home runs. Fargo's team OPS is about 12 points higher then their Northern foe. Both teams are farily even and I call it a Push
- Pitching: Overall Numbers show New York to have one of the best staff in the NL. They are headed by Angel Cueto who is in the CY voting. Fargo Counters with Clay Henry who is coming of a below average season for himself. They also have Free Agent addition Hank Xavier to fall back on. For over all pitching though I have to give the edge to New York
- Fielding: Neither team is all that strong with the glove. Both teams lack good, everyday, defensive shortstop. Willie Rivera will catch the ball well enough but his arm will let him down from time to time. P.J. Kershaw is below average in most SS ratings. Over all I call it another Push
I believe Fargo in five.