Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mid Season Report - N.L. South

Season 9: 2nd Place (78-84)
Season 10 Prediction: 2nd Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 1st Place (53-33)

Impact Player: Carlos Aguilera - 36 HR, 92 RBI, 78 RS, 1.105 OPS
Impact Pitcher: Gregory Williams - 9-4 W/L, 3.51 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .252 OAV

Baby Hold On
In my preseason predictions, I noted Texas would contend with Florida, but I definitely didn't envision them having an 8-game lead at the midway point of the season. Aguilera and Gary Blake (.382 BA, 70 RBI, 1.050 OPS) have been sizzling. The team ranks 3rd in batting average and 3rd in ERA making it easy to see why the Long Horns are 20 games over .500. If they can hold off the Lockdown, it'll be a pretty big accomplishment.

Season 9: 1st Place (106-56, World Series Champions)
Season 10 Prediction: 1st Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 2nd Place (45-41)

Impact Player: Orlando Marin - .321 BA, 71 RS, 67 RBI, 24 HR, 18 SB
Impact Pitcher: Ned McInerney - 11-6 W/L, 3.21 ERA, 108 K's, 126.1 IP, .221 OAV

The Distance
The Long Horns 8-game lead is nice, but is it safe? Not when the World Series champions are lingering behind you. The Lockdown are right there with the Long Horns in just about every offensive and pitching category, but Texas has really strong numbers across the board. If the Lockdown are going to close the gap on Texas, they will need to cut down on their strikeouts (599 total, 4th highest in the N.L.) and figure out how to get on base at a higher clip (.333 OBP, 10th in the N.L.).

Season 9: 4th Place (70-92)
Season 10 Prediction: 3rd Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 3rd Place (43-43)

Impact Player: Michael Cortes - 21 HR, 67 RBI, 60 RS, .931 OPS
Impact Pitcher: Theo Roa - 9-4 W/L, 3 CG, 4.49 ERA, 1.41 WHIP

In Pieces
Louisville is getting there. The Beaners are playing inspired baseball and they'll surpass last year's win total, but they've got tough competition in front of them. J.R. Barkley has very good numbers, but it's not reflected in the won-loss record; Cortes and Erik Langston have stepped up like I expected, but Brian Tamura continues to disappoint. If Louisville can grab a few more pieces, they could make things interesting next season. And hey, they aren't too far off this season.

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Power Failure (NL)
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Season 9: 3rd Place (76-86)
Season 10 Prediction: 4th Place
Season 10 Place/Record: 4th Place (40-46)

Impact Player: Chili Chen - .353 BA, 25 HR, .641 SLG, 1.066 OPS
Impact Pitcher: Cesar Rivas - 7-3 W/L, 5 SV, 3.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Fight The Power
The pitching staff is really struggling as a whole and those that are pitching well (Mateo Estrada) aren't getting much support. Chili Chen is having a terrific season, but if Oklahoma City wants to make some noise, guys like Kip Sosa, Jason Benes and Chico Pulido are going to have to pick up their game.

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