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Pariah

The 2019 Baseball Thread

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And away we go!

 

Phillies fans booing Bryce Harper for not hitting a home run every at bat

Max Scherzer pitches a 12-strikeout game but is considered a poor outing because of 2 runs in 2 3/4 innings (for him it wasn't great)

So many home runs given up :(

Mariners win!  Those will be rare this year, so gotta celebrate when they happen.

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Looking at Sports Weekly's expected records:

 

Most overrated: Mets 83-79, well 4th place is accurate, but a winning record?  No.  Edwin Diaz will only pitch if there is a lead after 8 innings, the rest of the team has to provide that lead.

 

Most underrated: Reds 75-87, again 4th place would be accurate.  And I am usually cautious about team's that make massive changes.  But, they did do some likeable choices, improve the pitching staff, Iglesias as SS good for defense.   Don't care for Puig, though.  the Mets and Reds records should have been reversed, record-wise.  At the very least the Reds shouldn't have been last, they should pass the crashing Pirates.

 

 

Then, again, what can you do with predictions they picked the top 5 teams in the NL East/Central to all have 89-73 records.  Given baseball's love of the 1-game playoff (Game 163) rather than tie-breakers to sort out the mess, that will blue-screen the postseason.

 

 

 

 

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My useless predictions;

 

AL East

Yankees- power and bullpen

Red Sox-hangover

Rays

Blue Jays

The bad News Orioles

 

AL Central

Cleveland

Minnesota-makes it close

White Sox

KC-I think they will be a little better than expected (would love to see the offense pass expectations since it has gone a little throwback to the 70/80s with speed, though their pitching sucks regardless

Detroit- A fossil of Cabrera and a mess

 

AL West

Houston

Oakland-they will crash some, and Beane will not be able to stop himself from having every halfway decent player being traded this winter, whether or not they do well.

Angels

Seattle-both teams I think will be closer to Oakland than expected

Texas

 

Houston gets homefield sweeping though their division,  Yankees 2nd ranked,  Cleveland sneaks past Twins under playing their ability.  Boston the easy choice for first WC, Twins sneak past the Rays, because they get screwed for being a tougher division.

 

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Pariah said:

So, we made it through opening day. Let the season begin in earnest!

 

ff_2989473alt5_full.jpg&w=900

 

Wow, another Rockies fan? What are the odds?

 

I'm out of state right now but am planning to move to the armpit of the state sometime during the next two years.

 

(And if you didn't get "Pueblo" out of the description of "the armpit of the state", you aren't a true Coloradan.)

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Part 2

 

NL East

Phily-Harper probably will thrive with Hoskins and Realmuto as threats behind him (he never could deal with always being pitched around Washington)

Washington-Harper moving to Philly improves both teams actually

Atlanta-hard to gauge for me, they'll win, or sink to low-rund 3rd, so a competitive 3rd is the average

NY Mets-An old 2B of questionable defense skill and a closer will not make you a miracle team.  Unless Alonso is the reincarnated Jimmie Foxx, they are overrated

Miami-thanking dieties, that Baltimore is fielding a mediocre high school team

 

NL Central

 

Milwaukee-not as good as last year. I want to penalize them for their affrontery to defense with moving a career 3B to 2B

St. Louis-Goldschmidt move want move things as much as everybody loves to believe.  Not that he want be great

Cubs- the drama World Series Daze, begin Season 3

Cincy- should be competitive, unlike Mets

Pitt-90 losses, it is over

 

NL West

 

Dodgers-again

Colorado

San Diego-don't overrate them because of Machado, 3rd place because...

Arizona-sinking

San Francisco-HAHAHAHAHAHA (I hate the Giants)

 

So, Dodgers 1 rank for postseason because the other divisions have people trying.  Philly 2nd, Milwauke 3rd.  Washington 1st WC, Colorado sneaks in at 2 over Atlanta/St Louis because same reason Dodgers are #1

 

 

 

 

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Playoffs, prefer not to do it, but I'll be bold

 

AL

 

WC-Twins beat Boston (just so I can fantasize the Lamentation of Red Sox Nation)

 

Next rd: Houston and Yankees move on.

 

LCS: Yankees find some way to get past Houston (via bullpen, though only applies if rotation gets and stays healthy)

 

NL

 

WC: Washington actually wins something October, now they are sans Harper

 

Divisional: Dodgers and Washington move on (still riding a Harper-less high)

 

LCS: Dodgers again

 

Hey, we haven't had Yankees-Dodgers since Reggie Jackson.  Will anyone really care for this (other than gushing sports media)

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6 minutes ago, Badger said:

NL West

 

Dodgers-again

Colorado

San Diego-don't overrate them because of Machado, 3rd place because...

Arizona-sinking

San Francisco-HAHAHAHAHAHA (I hate the Giants)

 

So, Dodgers 1 rank for postseason because the other divisions have people trying.  Philly 2nd, Milwauke 3rd.  Washington 1st WC, Colorado sneaks in at 2 over Atlanta/St Louis because same reason Dodgers are #1

 

 

It's tough to argue against the Dodgers being the best again after seeing a freaking 8 home runs in the season opener.

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1 hour ago, archer said:

(And if you didn't get "Pueblo" out of the description of "the armpit of the state", you aren't a true Coloradan.)

 

Actually, I was thinking Alamosa. But you're not wrong.

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San Diego will be dead last.  They don't have the talent and Machado is bullpen cancer.

 

I can't see anyone beating the Dodgers this year, and Arizona traded off most of their remaining talent.

 

The central is going to be interesting though, Cubs have some tough competition this year.

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Sadly, my Angels seem in trouble. Hopefully Upton and Ohtani won't be long, as our pitching is at best average. Our hitting was supposed to be a strength, but we got shutout by Mike Fiers, so not impressed yet.

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4 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

San Diego will be dead last.  They don't have the talent and Machado is bullpen cancer.

 

I can't see anyone beating the Dodgers this year, and Arizona traded off most of their remaining talent.

 

The central is going to be interesting though, Cubs have some tough competition this year.

 

Yeah, I did hesitate putting SD over Az, I don't know enough about Az as I should, but if Greinke gets bombed like he did Opening Day, they have absolutely no chance.

 

And yeah, cancer wise, Harper has nothing on Machado.  Hell, Machado could make a run of Bondsian proportions with that.  I though SD was out of their mind getting him, but their young talent is hard to ignore.  Hopefully, someone in the organization is smart enough to neuter their exposure to Machado's bad influence as much as possible.

 

But, then I was surprised Machado was willing to go back to 3B  (where he has more value as a great defensive 3B, than as an average at best SS) so maybe he can surprise again.

 

And yeah with the Mets, it's a question of What Met will contract leprosy this year?

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9 minutes ago, slikmar said:

Sadly, my Angels seem in trouble. Hopefully Upton and Ohtani won't be long, as our pitching is at best average. Our hitting was supposed to be a strength, but we got shutout by Mike Fiers, so not impressed yet.

 

Yeah, the Angels question is always pitching.  Ohtani will eventually have to choose between hitting and pitching.  ANd with Tommy John, I think hitting and becoming an OF has the leg up at the moment.  With Olson getting hurt in Japan, Oakland is likely to crash, so basically the West is a matter who wins the right to play distant 2nd to Houston.

 

(I know everyone is crazy about the 2-way player thing but before Ohtani, with the exception of one year with Brooks Kieschnick, I think the last player who did even remotely regularly was pitching great Bucky Walters who when he converted from 3B to pitching would play 10-15 games at 3B a year still.  But, this was the Phillies in 1930s, who were losing around 100 games every year (not to mention rosters were reduced in Depression era).  Even Babe Ruth only did the 2-way thing for really only one year.

 

Note: A goodfield, no-hit centerfielder named Hal Jeffcoat with a strong arm got converted into a pitcher in the 1950s, but during the conversion I don't think he continued outfield (at least more than a couple of times along with occasional pinch hitting) duties.  Otherwise we could've have included Rick Ankiel, Travis Wood and a handful of others.

 

 

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See, I think Ohtani is more likely to continue pitching over hitting, provided he maintains velocity. I would love to see him convert to a closer/late inning guy, one who could do multiple innings. Then he could DH most the game and just come out on mound. Of course, late in game, DH doesn't matter as much as you would pinch hit for your pitcher anyway. Though apparently he mentally prepares for each separately, hence not hitting in the 2 days around his pitching day.

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16 minutes ago, slikmar said:

See, I think Ohtani is more likely to continue pitching over hitting, provided he maintains velocity. I would love to see him convert to a closer/late inning guy, one who could do multiple innings. Then he could DH most the game and just come out on mound. Of course, late in game, DH doesn't matter as much as you would pinch hit for your pitcher anyway. Though apparently he mentally prepares for each separately, hence not hitting in the 2 days around his pitching day.

 

Being a closer would be the only way I can really see it working long term as both.  (if team is exceptionally strict on when he is used as a pitcher, and doesn't fool around at all on warming him up and not using him)  (perhaps breaking out the Yankee's old Joba Rules, and maybe make them a bit more strict)

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A genuine, high quality closer for the Mets is a really, really huge deal. That's been their Achilles heel for years, a lack of relief.  The problem is, they have to wade through middle relief to get to Diaz, and they can (and will) easily lose the game long before he even starts warming up.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

A genuine, high quality closer for the Mets is a really, really huge deal. That's been their Achilles heel for years, a lack of relief.  The problem is, they have to wade through middle relief to get to Diaz, and they can (and will) easily lose the game long before he even starts warming up.

Sometimes, as the A's announcers were talking about last night, saving the game isn't really in the 9th inning, but is in the 7th or 8th, when the lead is precarious and the opponents best hitters are due up. Not to denigrate anyone, but would you rather your best reliever face the 1-5 hitters in the 7th/8th or the 6-9 in the 9th? Miller from Cleveland started one of the new trends of the fireman (as Brian Kenney calls it) rather then the Closer.

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regardless you really need 2 or more lockdown guys in the bullpen (the Yankees have 6).

 

Probably be better to go back to the fireman days.  Get the closer in for multiple innings if necessary, and worry about tomorrow when you get there.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The problem is, you bring in your best guy in the 7th and 8th, then the guy in the 9th blows up and gives up the game.

 

Ideally your starting pitcher gives you 7 or 8 innings, but these days its pretty rare.

Sadly, with the exception of maybe 10-15 pitchers, the days of starters going past 6 is over and any of your 3-5+ starters are lucky to go past 5. Really, with modern analytics, most teams don't want their pitchers to face someone a 3rd time in a game, especially as the players they will face those 3rd times first are probably the 3 best hitters on the team. Used to be about pitch count, now it is about times through order. I think a big part of this is the predilection of guys who throw 96+ but really don't have a good 3rd or 4th pitch and aren't really learning to pitch (just throw what catcher puts down) to setup batters anymore. I think eventually what you will see is the 4-5 spots in a rotation not being so much a bullpen day but a duel starter day. One guy goes through order 1-1.5 times other guys does other 1-1.5 guys, getting you to/through 5th/6th (I was going to make this about outs, but it really won't be). Your rotation then would have a 1 who can hopefully get you 7 innings, 2 and 3 who can do 6 and then, in effect, 2 long guys matched for the other 2 days. I think that pairing will almost always be a lefty/righty combo, thereby messing with your opponents batting order and bench depth.

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