28381All leagues SPOILERS
- Sep 21, 2014SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
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MLB1: The Cards have wrapped up #2 playoff seeding in the NL and an LDS date with the Nats or Phillies, but we have a weak division to thank for that. Although our pitching has improved on last year thanks to breakthrough seasons by Miller and Jenkins we've still had the problem of 30+% of our innings being pitched by players who simply aren't up to it. The batting is still good on its day, but it will be a surprise if we progress far in the playoffs (we've probably got a better chance than we had last year though). The main aim this year was stabilising our wages and finances, and we've achieved that. The Yankees still look WS favourites to me, though they will have to reverse the dominance of the NL in recent years.
MLB2: At 76-77 the Rox are making a late charge for a .500 season, though we have a tough final week so it's unlikely. We're maybe dropping down the draft a few spots, but our system is already loaded with potential, so that's a small price to pay for the form that comes with good performances and winning weeks. I'm not expecting to be blown away by our EOS changes but we should have plenty enough to stay on track to be serious contenders soon, and maybe back in the playoffs next year. As for this year's playoffs still a few places up for grabs going into week 18, and four very interesting Divisional Series in the offing a week later.
MLB3: Rubbish week for the Twins, playing very badly in all respects and lucky to escape with a 4-5. Last time we played Oakland and Texas back in week 6 we were similarly awful but then bounced back by going on a 52-11 tear. We've still got enough of a cushion over the rest of MLB3 that we can rest players as needed over the final few weeks so we may not respond so well this time, but if we can just start the playoffs without any injuries to key players a Twins repeat will be, at worst, a very realistic possibility. Lance Niekro would be a huge asset for any team but on those wages I fear he will retire either this season or early next before he gets any offers.
MLB4: Solid 7-2 week for Detroit to move to a majors-best 93-24. Swapping a 10* batter for uber-prospect Joey Pankake a few weeks ago has brought wages down to a very manageable level without hopefully hurting our threepeat chances too much. The big news in MLB4 this week was the unmanaged Yankees releasing 12* megastar Derek Jeter, probably one of the top four or five players in all of Gp Baseball. Perpetual holdouts over the past two seasons have made him realistically unsignable for now at 178 LPs, but I suppose there's an outside chance someone could go for him by the week 17 deadline.
MLB5: 9-0 for the Reds, a majors-best 56-16 on the season, and looking very good in every department without actually looking truly exceptional in any one. A tougher schedule next week - HA, NM, AB - will perhaps offer more clues as to whether we're the real deal, though it's annoying that Yonder Alonso got injured as he was in red-hot form. We bid for Rafael Furcal out of principal if nothing else, but suffice to say Miami offered rather more than we did.
MLB6: Just like that the Marlins open up a seven-game lead in the NL East. Lack of depth will cost us on occasion this season - our one loss this week was a 13-4 hammering by St Louis in which our 7* SP gave up six runs and a 6* rookie reliever gave up the other seven - and the days of 130 wins or thereabouts every year are probably over for this team. But hopefully we're still good enough to be the team to beat in MLB6. We haven't got the best record at the moment though - that honour belongs to Gareth Jenkins' Mariners who are 30-6 after winning 18 straight.
MLB7: A poor 4-5 week 2 in Pittsburgh though this is a team that generally takes a while to get going so 12-6 is okay at this early stage. EOS was slightly disappointing so I don't really expect much from this season, but such is MLB7 right now that even a complete write-off of a season would still expect to yield well over 100 wins and a playoff spot. The FA list has certainly perked up though, with a range of superstars and a few interesting prospects now available.
MLB8: Typically erratic batting performances from the Dodgers with a scoring sequence of 6, 14, 3, 8, 2, 8, 11, 2, and 14 over the nine games. Our starting pitching allows us to largely get away with it in regular season (we had six CG wins this week), but against other good pitching teams in the playoffs I seriously doubt that degree of inconsistency will go unpunished. It's a bit ridiculous that we're only one win off the best record in the big leagues with such a disappointing team, though we've got little divisional competition at the moment, with the Giants' release of Tom Sanders strongly implying that they are now unmanaged.
MLB21: Having already wrapped up a tenth consecutive AL West title the Angels' biggest concern in the last couple of weeks of regular season was ensuring that we didn't finish with a negative LP balance. We took the opportunity to rest batters liberally in week 18 but even with 2 x 5*, 1 x 6*, and a 7* catcher in the lineup we still went 7-2 (enough losses - just - to keep us in the black). As usual I've been guilty of under-estimating just how many wins is realistically attainable in this game at the moment, and with a few holdouts and lengthy injuries this season, plus the loss of Kendrick and some FA juggling to contend with, I would never have dreamt that we would win 133 games. 130+ win seasons have gone consistently wrong in the playoffs for other teams of mine, though it's fair to say that we have - on paper anyway - the easiest LDS opponent in Craig's Yankees. The three other divisional series' look quite evenly matched. Congrats to all the teams that made the post-season.
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