S38 Playoff Previews

With the “second season” underway, it is time for me to take a crack at predicting how it will all play out. In the interest of full disclosure, I am writing this post after the first game of the Play-In Series have occurred but as always I have disregarded the outcomes in my predictions. With that disclaimer out of the way let’s get to the fun stuff:

                                                          AL Play-In Series

6)Toledo @ 3)Buffalo

Category Toledo (83-79)  Buffalo (90-72)
Runs Per Game 4.72  5.27
Earned Run Average 4.07  4.31
Fielding Percentage .982 .984
Head To Head Wins 5

Buffalo has the advantage in two of the three major categories as well as home-field advantage. That can be a pretty tough mountain to climb, especially when one of those categories is Runs Per Game in the offensive-minded world…the Steel Ponies won’t go down without a fight, but I do expect them to go down in the end.

Prediction: Buffalo in 4

5) Vancouver  @ 4) Kansas City

Category Vancouver (89-73) Kansas City (84-78)
Runs Per Game 4.63 4.64
Earned Run Average 3.69 3.85
Fielding Percentage .988 .983
Head To Head Wins 3 7

This is one of the more statistically even series I have seen in quite a long time, if not ever, while doing these predictions. That being said, the Canucks would probably have won significantly more often if they didn’t play in the same division as Anaheim, while I believe KC’s record to be pretty reflective of the roster’s talent and yet they dominated the season series.

Prediction: Vancouver in 5

NL Play-In Series

6)Tampa Bay @ 3) Boston

Category Tampa Bay (97-65) Boston (89-73)
Runs Per Game 5.54 5.43
Earned Run Average 3.72 4.94
Fielding Percentage .986 .984
Head To Head Wins 5 5

When I joined FYC, the NLE was the division that nobody ever wanted to mess with and the Beaver Poachers were a big reason why…they’re still a very good team, but the distinction of “best division in FYC” no doubt goes to the NLS at the moment as evidenced by the fact that a 97-win team finished 3rd and therefore ended up with the playoff’s lowest seed. Boston’s offense still has the ability to poach a game or two but I don’t think they’ll be able to pull off the feat three times.

Prediction: Tampa Bay in 4

5) Little Rock @ 4) Tucson

Category Little Rock (99-63) Tucson (88-74)
Runs Per Game 5.38 5.32
Earned Run Average 3.77 4.87
Fielding Percentage .985 .987
Head To Head Wins  5  5

It’s nice to see the Seals back in the playoffs for the first time in a long time, but they too have run up against an NLS opponent. Therefore, I don’t see their stay lasting very long although with one of the best defenses among playoff teams and a solid offensive output as well anything is possible. I expect this one to go the distance and then have Tucson’s pitching (or relative lack thereof) to be the difference.

Prediction: Little Rock in 5

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