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Posted on: November 4, 2009 3:40 pm
 

New Blog

Check out http://www.clayandclay.wordpress.co
m
 , where I post at now.
Category: World Sports
Posted on: October 8, 2009 9:39 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2009 10:19 pm
 

MLB NLDS Playoffs

NLDS Matchup #1

Philadelphia Phillies over Colorado Rockies (4 games)

The Phillies are the reigning World Series champs but that means nothing as defending National League World Champions haven't repeated since the Reds did it in 1976. The Phillies are matched up against the red-hot Rockies who knocked the Phillies out of the NLDS in 2007. Both ballparks are hitter-friendly so pitching will play a big role in deciding the matchup. The Phillies have a great group of starters but their bullpen is falling apart as Chan Ho Park and J.C. Romero are out for the season, and everyone knows about Brad Lidge's struggles this season. The Rockies starters are very talented as well but Jorge de la Rosa (who would probably start in Game 3) isn't 100% so Jason Marquis might take his spot in the rotation. The Rockies bullpen has the upper hand on the Phillies with Rafael Betancourt being virtually unhittable since donning a Rockies uniform, and Huston Street being a reliable closer. The batting lineups favor the Phillies slightly seeing that they led the NL in: runs scored, home runs, and slugging percentage; however, the Rockies offense is also potent as they are second in those same categories and led the NL in OPS. To sum it up, this will be an interesting series that could see an upset, but the Phillies are playoff-tested and shouldn't fall to the Rockies in the manner that they did in 2007.

My Pick: Phillies in 4


NLDS Matchup #2

Los Angeles Dodgers over Saint Louis Cardinals (5 games)

The Dodgers started the season with a 40-20 record and were called the best team in the league. Things have changed. The Cardinals obviously have better starting pitching with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, although Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw aren't exactly pushovers. The Cardinals top 3 starters have a combined 51-20 record. The Dodgers Kershaw has nine starts that he didn't allow a run; however, he only got three wins in those starts. The Dodgers bullpen is their biggest strength. Belisario, Broxton, Kuo, and Sherrill have a combined ERA of 1.63 in 99.1 innings. The Dodgers lineup is explosive and has the highest OBP in the NL. The Cardinals batting lineup has struggled with lefties all season (lowest OPS against left-handed pitching) which will benefit Wolf, Kershaw, Kuo, and Sherrill. This is going to be a great series but in the end the Cardinals won't be able to overcome the last point...

My Pick: Dodgers in 5

Posted on: October 8, 2009 6:34 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2009 6:37 pm
 

MLB Playoffs

In the next few posts I'm going to walkthrough the MLB Playoff bracket and eventually name (my pick for) the World Series champ. (Remember the Divisional Series is best of 5, Championship Series and World Series are both best of 7)

ALDS Matchup #1

New York Yankees over Minnesota Twins (3 games)

The Yankees have the advantage of playing the first two games at home against a tired Twins team. The Yankees starting pitchers are superior by far to the Twins, as is the Yankees batting lineup seeing that the Yankees have eight batters with an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging average) greater than .850 while Minnesota has just three such hitters (not including Justin Morneau). Throw in the fact that the Twins have lost to the Yankees the last 8 times they have faced each other in the Bronx and the matter is just about settled. 

My pick: Yankees in 3.


ALDS Matchup #2

Boston Red Sox over Los Angeles Angels (5 games)

This one could just as easy go the other way, it's just that close. The offenses are both pretty much even in terms of runs scored (LA: 883, BOS: 872) and on-base percentage (BOS: .352, LA: .350); however, LA's lineup is incredibly balanced as 9 of the 10 hitters with the most plate appearances have a batting average above .287, with the highest being .312. With all this said, Boston has my pick because of their bullpen. The Angels bullpen (specifically the closer, Brian Fuentes) has been hit hard lately and every save situation that Fuentes pitches in is a adventure. Boston's closer, Jon Papelbon, is among the top three in the league. The rest of the bullpen isn't shabby either with Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner. If the starters struggle and the game is turned over to the bullpen, Boston has the advantage.

My pick: Red Sox in 5.

Posted on: October 7, 2009 6:03 pm
 

Michael Crabtree

As you've probably heard by now, Michael Crabtree agreed to a 6-year deal with the 49ers that guarantees him $17M. Crabtree was a two year standout at Texas Tech, where he caught 231 passes for 41 touchdowns while amassing 3,127 receiving yards. He could be the game-breaking receiving threat that the 49ers have been needing for the past few years. Crabtree seems to have been welcomed as he went through the locker room and shook hands with his teammates. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can learn the offense and get in sync with quarterback Shaun Hill as Crabtree missed the team's entire training camp. Hopefully, Crabtree will live up to expectations and have a successful career in San Francisco, because if he doesn't, there are plenty of 49er fans that have already had enough of him.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com