2012 ALCS Preview

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We've hit the final four.  ALCS starts tonight and NLCS tomorrow.  Let's go to the tape:
There have been 107 WS winners, 96 had 90+ pythagorean win regular seasons.  Granted, 5 of those sub 90 win teams have been in this century with the enlarging of the playoff pool, with both Cardinals winners members of that group.  Let's look at the four contenders:



In a short series, anyone can win - the Giants have home field advantage and the Tigers have the best pitcher in baseball - but were you predicting (and I am) the picks are Yankees and Cardinals.  The really unlikely outcome is having a Tigers/Giants series, as a WS where both teams had sub 90 pythags has only happened twice in 107 years (but both were in the WC era). The Tigers, as you'll see below, are a real stars & scrubs team; that's not so terrible in the postseason; during the season having a roster littered with outs catches up to you, but in the playoffs, the handicap of having so many terrible players isn't as severe. When you couple that with the disproportionate benefit in the postseason of having Verlander, by far and away the best pitcher on either team, I completely get a Tigers pick. I'm not going to make that pick; I'll say Yankees in 6.

Here are the lineups with their Wins Above Replacement (B-Ref+Davenport/2).


C Martin 1.7
1B Teixeira 4
2B Cano 7.5 (the best player in the series)
SS Jeter 2.1
3B Rodriguez 1.5
LF Suzuki 1.6
CF Granderson 2.9
RF Swisher 4.7
DH Ibanez 1.4

Chavez 1.2
Jones .1
Nix -.1
Gardner .2
Stewart .6

Pettitte 2.3
Kuroda 5.3
Sabathia 3.3
Hughes 1.7

Phelps 1.4 (might wind up starting game 2)
Soriano 3.4
Robertson 2
Logan 1.1
Chamberlain .1
Rapada .8
Lowe .5
Eppley .7


C Avila 2.5
1B Fielder 4.7
2B Infante .4
SS Peralta .4
3B Cabrera 6.7
LF Berry 1.4
CF Jackson 5.5
RF Dirks 1.7
DH Young -.8 (the worst player in the series)

Garcia -.2
Kelly -.8 (the other worst player in the series)
Laird .1
Santiago -.8 (the other worst player in the series)

Fister 3.3
Sanchez 2.7
Verlander 7.5 (the best pitcher in the series)
Scherzer 4.1

Valverde 1
Benoit 1.2
Coke .5
Alburquerque .6
Dotel 1.4
Porcello 1.5
Smyly 1.4

I'll look at NLCS tomorrow.  

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