Monday, October 26, 2009

Season 6 American League Playoff Preview

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

It's playoff time in Cobbfather, and we've taken this opportunity to rank the AL Contenders in starting pitching, bullpen, and offense, and have made our prediction for AL Champion. Let's get started!

Starting Pitching

1. Atlanta
2. Florida
3. Tampa Bay
4. New York
5. San Francisco
6. Vancouver

Atlanta has a huge edge over everyone else in the playoffs in pitching. The trio of Sosa-Saunders-Pendleton is going to be tough for any team to handle. The next three teams are pretty close, as Florida, Tampa Bay and New York all have excellent rotations. It was a toss up ranking these three. San Francisco and Vancouver lag a little bit behind the pack, but are still good enough to be competitive in the playoffs

Bullpen

1. Florida
2. Atlanta
3. New York
4. Tampa Bay
5. Vancouver
6. San Francisco

The top bullpens are all pretty close here, and we’ll go with Florida at the top here, as closer Luis Gonzales was lights out this year, and the supporting cast was solid as well. Atlanta was solid as well, although their closers’ ERA’s were a bit high, they blew the least saves as a whole out of any AL team in the playoffs. New York had a nice bullpen this year too. We didn’t downgrade them for playoff hopes killer Esteban Terrero, but maybe we should have. Tampa Bay may have the most talent in the pen, but 19 blown saves is a bit of a red flag. Vancouver was a bit shaky in the pen this year, and San Francisco blew 21 saves, more than anyone in the AL playoff picture.

Offense

1. New York
2. Tampa Bay
3. Vancouver
4. Florida
5. Atlanta
6. San Francisco

New York’s lineup, as always, is one of the league’s best, and will be a nightmare for opposing pitching staffs. Tampa Bay isn’t that far behind, they had 4 guys with 39+ HR and 100+ RBI. Vancouver is another team known for their offense, and this year was no exception. Florida is a little more power oriented than in years past, but isn’t quite up to the level as some of their playoff rivals. Atlanta hit a lot of home runs, but not for a very good average. San Francisco looks to be the least impressive out of this group.

Overall Rankings

1. Atlanta
2. Florida
3. New York
4. Tampa Bay
5. Vancouver
6. San Francisco

Projected ALCS: Atlanta vs. Florida
Projected ALCS Winner: Atlanta

Atlanta is so far and away better pitching wise than any other team, we’re jumping on their bandwagon to win the AL playoffs. Pitching is the name of the game in the playoffs, and usually wins out. Losing the first round bye was a bit of a blow, but they should get by San Francisco, and we like them in a tough series vs. New York, and yes, even over Florida. But, anything can happen in a five game series, so they are far from a lock, and really, we’d only be surprised if Vancouver or San Francisco ended up winning, the top 4 are extremely close.

Good luck to all of the playoff teams!

No comments: