Thursday, March 20, 2008

AL Division Championship Series Preview

Syracuse v. Las Vegas
Season Series: 7-3
Regular season Team BA: Syracuse - .286 Las Vegas - .275
Regular season Team ERA: Syracuse - 3.73 Las Vegas - 4.85

This series is going to get interesting when it moves to Las Vegas. Syracuse lost 3 out of 4 games on the road to the Viagras during the season but swept them at home. The goal for the Pirates is to ensure that Dummy Alexander(.307 72HR-184RBI-33SB) gets plenty of chances to hit the ball out of the park. It's been a tough year for the Pirates as the G.M. who started the season resigned after allegations that he wasn't spending time and money on conditioning and trainers at the minor league levels. An investigation by the Munson World Commissioner resulted in recommended resignation and the appointment of an interim G.M. That interim status is no longer temporary. jmuhtoff has paid attention to all aspects of the game and his Pirates have the best record in the Majors. Omar Little(20-4, 2.38 ERA 1.04 WHIP) has been phenomenal on the mound and hopes to give his team a shot at the World Series.

Prediction: In what was an offensive battle, Las Vegas took three straight from New Orleans. That won't be the case this time around. Syracuse has an amazing pitching staff(3.66 ERA at home) and lineup(.304 avg at home) that is hard to beat. Factor in that the Pirates only have had 33 errors this season and there is just no statistical disadvantage for the top-seed. Jimmie Ramirez is going to have to step up if the Viagras are going to have a chance. Syracuse in 3

New York v. Wichita
Season series: Wichita 7-3
Regular season Team BA: New York - .278 Wichita - .268
Regular season Team ERA: New York - 4.26 Wichita - 4.52

Wichita is riding in on momentum after a sweep of Cleveland in the Play-in series. The Shockers now look to take on the other AL North team - the formidable New York Hokies. The Hokies seem to be solid everywhere they go, posting similar winning percentages, averages and ERA at home and on the road. With Ham Davey's 106 stolen bases and Dan Hermansen's 67 home runs coupled with Adam Berkman's 15-5 record, 2.67 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, one would think this New York ball club would have an outright advantage. However, the duo of Lyon and Barkley for the Shockers proved to be dynamite in game one against Cleveland. The pitching staff posted a 3.50 ERA and the lineup batted .292.

Prediction: This series is pretty much up in the air. Neither team has a distinct advantage. Wichita put up massive numbers against Cleveland and they did take 7 games away from New York in the regular season. This game is going to game 5 and even then, to the ninth inning for a decision. Which is where there is a difference between the teams. New York's Max Roosevelt(50 saves, 8 blown 4.35 ERA 1.21 WHIP) can't close but Barkley can. Wichita in 5

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