Friday, February 12, 2010

Season 7 World Series Preview - Houston vs. Dover

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

It's time for another World Series in Cobbfather. The Season 7 edition features the Houston Space Cowboys vs. the Dover Diamond Dogs. This is a rematch of the Season 4 World Series, at that time Houston was known as the Florida Shark Waves. Florida (now Houston) won the series 4 games to 2. Will Dover be able to avenge their World Series loss in Season 4, or will Houston reign supreme? Let's take a closer look at each team's numbers this season with the tale of the tape.

SEASON 7 WORLD SERIES: HOUSTON SPACE COWBOYS (AL) VS. DOVER DIAMOND DOGS (NL)

TALE OF THE TAPE

Houston
Dover
0.303 AVG 0.281
0.371 OBP 0.348
0.454 SLG 0.406
200 HR 142
975 RS 817
628 RA 715
3.51 ERA 3.95
1.28 WHIP 1.33
0.987 Fielding % 0.983
111 Wins 94

The numbers seem to favor Houston, but let's take a closer look at the offenses.

OFFENSE

Houston's offense was once again one of the league's best in Season 7. They were 2nd in Batting Average, 4th in OPS, 6th in Home Runs, 3rd in Runs Scored. Look at any offensive category, and they were probably in the top 10. Newcomer Jamie Summers flat out mashed for them this season, hitting .378 with an OPS of 1.055. Martin McCarty knocked home 144 RBI, and Luis Martin knocked 41 balls out of the park. The rest of the lineup is solid as well, there are few week spots. Summers has been on a tear in the post season, posting ridiculous numbers (.375 AVG 5 HR 14 RBI 1.305 OPS), while Zach Charles has posted nice number as well. It's going to be tough to stop this potent offense.

Dover sported a middle of the pack type offense in Season 7 with Average being one of their best categories, finishing 8th in the league. Francisco Baez was an offensive leader, with an impressive .344 batting average. He also knocked in 105 runs. Jim Lee hit 316 on the year, and was probably the 2nd best offensive player. 25 home runs was the most anyone on Dover hit, so it's clear their game is small ball. Baez has continued to mash in the post season, while Giomar Pizarro and Oscar Titan have stepped in lieu of a weak postseason by Jim Lee. Still, it looks like Dover's offense is fairing well, and firing on all cylinders this postseason.

So, it's small ball from Dover vs. the power game of Houston, with both playing well in the post season. We'll give the advantage here to Houston.

PITCHING

Both teams have excellent staffs with Houston finishing 3rd in ERA, and Dover finishing 10th. Dover got excellent seasons from Ramon Wanatabe, Paul Junge and Mark Randall, in lieu of an off season by Pep Brown. The same trend has continued in the postseason, as Brown seems to be a bit of still, while the other three have done well. In the bullpen for Dover, Sean McInerney has been flawless, and is a big part of why Dover is in the World Series.

The top of the Houston rotation featuring Harry Mieses, Lorenzo Gonzalez, Kordell Menechino and Emmett Rhodes has been phenomenal. Houston can be confident that they have a good chance to win with any of those guys on the mound. As good as they were in the regular season, they've been even more unhittable in the playoffs, which is scary to think about. As great of a closer as Luis Gonzales was in the regular season (3.02 ERA, 42 for 47 saves), the big story in the bullpen was Luis Sanchez (12-3, 2.70 ERA). The Houston franchise always seems to have shaky performance from their bullpen in the playoffs, and this post season it's been a mixed bag, with Sanchez being flawless in 6 appearances, but Gonzales getting roughed up. Wow, a chink in the armor of Houston may have been found!

The Houston rotation is on an unbelievable roll, but you have to give credit to the Dover bullpen, McInerney has closed out games, something Houston can't say about their closer.

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER

- Houston swept Dover in the regular season 3 games to 0
- Dover lost to the Houston franchise in the season 4 World Series
- Houston had better fielding in the regular season (.987 to .983)
- jiml60 is looking for World Series trophy #5, while rawdk27 seeks his 3rd.
- In the 6 seasons of Cobbfather, both the NL and AL have won the World Series 3 times.
- Florida won 15 more games in the regular season than Dover

FINAL SYNOPSIS

Just about every stat you look at in this matchup favors Houston, who seems to be a clear favorite. It's going to be an uphill battle for Dover to take out the powerhouse Houston Space Cowboys. As we all know, however, anything can happen in the playoffs. A few bad bullpen blowups can sway the momentum and cause the downfall of a big favorite. It's a huge red flag that Houston's closer has been hammered in the post season thus far, while Dover's closer has been flawless. So don't count Dover out of this one. Despite the closer troubles, we here at the Gazette still like Houston to take this series, again in six games.

PREDICTION: Houston in 6 games

Good luck to both teams in the World Series!

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