Monday, October 5, 2009

AL West 1/3 Pole analysis


SAN JOSE GIANTS- as proclaimed by nzballa on the chat, the West has the 3 best records in the league as of this writing. San Jose currently sports the leagues best record at 44-24. Their .647 Act Pct is slightly better than expected(.638), but the difference is insignificant. A big reason for their league best record is an excellent 14-8 showing in one-run games. While a mere 2 games over .500 on the road, they are a scorching 27-9 in the friendly confines. The offense has been decidedly average. The Giants .273 BA and .440 SLG ranks 13th. Hits(676) are 14th and HRs(93) 13th. They are next to last in SBs with 13. All that means is that their pitching, always a strength, is excellent. The ERA(3.73) leads the league by a wide margin. They rank 1st in OAV(.273), OBP(.319), SLG(.407, & WHIP(1.32). SP Dave Wilkinson leads the staff with a 9-0 record and a 2.42 ERA. He's already been named Pitcher of the Week twice this season. Bu a 60 stamina has lead to only about 5 1/2 IP per start, which puts his fate in the hands of the relievers a bit too often. Sean Brown is 9-1 and his .226 OAV is 3rd in the league. Shane Rolls must be pitching in awful luck. His 5-8 record belies his excellence. A .220 OAV and 1.09 WHIP are 2nd in the league along with a 3.34 ERA. Raymond Morton(6-4, .236 OAV) rounds out the starting staff as nz has gone with just 4 SPs so far. Let's see if they have the durability to do that all season. Closer Alberto Aparicio has been sub par, going 15-19 in saves with a .306 OAV. The rest of the relief corps has somewhat high OAVs, so San Jose's success thus far must be attributed to their stellar starting pitching. One concern as the season progresses could be the rather low STA of those SPs. It may put too much strain on the RPs. But, so far so good.

VANCOUVER VILLANS- jvburns boys are right on SJs heels with the 2nd best record in the league(43-25). Even with that, they are playing worse(.632) than EXP(.679). They are playing well both at home(24-12) and on the road(19-13). One reason their ACT is worse than the EXP might be their 9-9 record in 1-run games. The Villains score a lot of runs(454, 2nd). Tied for the league lead in BA with NY(.292), 1st in OBP(.368), and 4th in SLG(.488). They have 50 SBs to only 13 CS, an excellent ratio. The pitching has been very good too. The 4.19 ERA is 2nd as is the RA(312). The OBP(.327), OSLG(.429), & WHIP(1.36) are all 3rd in the league and the OAV(.270) is 4th. That's very good balance. The offense is lead by young RF Rob Willis(.366, 21 HR, 68 RBI, .692 SLG) who was named week 2 Player of the Week. His 1.132 OPS is 2nd in the league. He is ably supported by DH Bump Sabel(.341, 15 HR, 55 RBI, 1.004 OPS), CF Alton Buckley(18 HRs), and speedy 3B Al Canseco(20 SBs). SP Harry Seneca has a stellar .213 OAV to go with a 7-3 record. The starting staff spreads the wealth with Shane Coffman(8 wins), Johnny Richardson(7), FA Willie Ordonez(5), and Damion Sweeney(5) all winning consistently. Formerly a stalwart of Vancouver's starting staff, aging Trevor Roa has stepped in to the closer role and is doing a good job with 13 saves in 15 tries. jv burns has put together a very good club with few weaknesses and must be considered a solid choice to go all the way this season.

BOISE BROWNCOATS- Evan43 always fields a good team and this year is no exception. While adequate at home(17-12), they are playing great on the road(25-14). They currently sport a league best 17-6 in 1-run games. their 42-26 record is the leagues 3rd best. But scoring only 22 more runs than they have given up(392RS-370RA) may be a cause for concern. They are playing .618 ball as opposed to a .529 EXP. Boise leads the league in SBs(86) but is last in HRs(76). The OBP(.347) & OPS(.777) are near the bottom of the league rankings, but most other offensive categories are at or slightly above average. Most of the pitching stats rank near the middle of the pack also, but they have given up a league low 77 HRs and the OSLG ranks 4th(.434). CF Clayton Hairston is hitting .362 with 17 SBs. RF Jose Marquez has 22 SBs. 5 time All Star LF Alfonso Tejera has 13 HRs. 4 time MVP C Olmedo Rivas is 32 and may be showing signs of wear. His BA(.299), SLG(.502), and OPS(.898) are all below his lifetime standards. 4 time All Star SP Bobby Stephenson(8-1) has been great so far. His 2.12 ERA, .212 OAV, .268 OBP, 1.04 WHIP, & .315 OSLG all lead the league and may lead to his 2nd Cy Young award. But Joey Montgomery(4-5, 6.21 ERA) is ancient and may be near the end of a fantastic career, and Artie Dimaggio(3-5, 6.42 ERA) has been sub par thus far. An injury to FA Tony Perez has hurt. MR Darren Trujillo(9-2) and Closer Felipe Cairo(21/23 Saves) have been very good. They may need more offensive production to contend all year in this tough division.

SCOTTSDALE SUNNY- mdtiger took over this club after last year's owner quit in the frustration of being in the league's toughest division. It's going to take some time to become a contender here. So far the results are not too encouraging. The .382 ACT PCT is well below the .450 EXP PCT. The .269 BA ranks 14th, SLG(.448) is 12th. But many of the other offensive rankings are not too far below the league average. Almost all pitching rankings are in the bottom third of the league. On the up side, the contracts he inherited don't look awful. Former ROY & 3 time MVP RF Ramiro Guevara's ratings may have slipped a bit, but not his production(.307, 26 HR, 61 RBI, 1.000 OPS). He may be the kind of player mdtiger could land a boatload of prospects for. An All Star last season, DH Jumbo Flores(.351, 12 HR, 1.080 OPS) is only 26. 23 year old 3B Zach Tatum(20 HRs) has plenty of power, but may never hit for much of a BA. SP Jesus Benitez leads the staff with 6 wins and, at 24, looks like a guy you could build a staff around. Another keeper is Gorkys Fernandez(2-8, .271 OAV) who, at 23, could develop into a solid mid-rotation SP. Carson Hoffman has done OK in the closer role(9-11). Mike Kelton, Grover O'Brien, Luther Rupe & Fritz Starr might be of some value to a contender down the stretch and could bring some prospects in a trade. While there are some bright spots, this is a team that needs a significant overhaul to become a contender in this division.

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