Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mantle World Season 12 World Series Prediction

Jacksonville Seminoles vs. Forida Lockdown

Initially, I was prepared to put my prediction behind the Jacksonville Seminoles. I've always appreciated their pitching and stand by the belief that pitching wins championships. However, with the ease that the Florida Lockdown have carved up their opponents, I'm going to have to take the Lockdown to win their 4th championship. Florida is just locked in right now, they have a good balance of offense and pitching and I think it may be a little too much for the Seminoles. If Jacksonville is going to win the series, again, it's going to have to be on the shoulders of their pitching staff. However, they can't have any offensive lapses in games like they had against Norfolk.

Prediction: Florida wins series, 4-2.

Monday, May 18, 2009

League Championship Series Playoff Predictions

American League

Jacksonville Seminoles vs. Norfolk Tobacco Farmers

I'm very impressed with what the Norfolk Tobacco Farmers have done so far in the playoffs. I thought they'd get through the first round, but I didn't think they would take out Portland in round 2. After dropping a close game 1 in the series, they went on to win the next 3 games by a total of 5 runs. I'd have to go with Pablo Rodriguez as the MVP of the last round as he was the winner of game 2 and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the save in game 4.

As for Norfolk's opponent, the Jacksonville Seminoles did exactly what I thought they'd do to this point. They won both of their series by a total of 3 games to 1, just like I predicted. As I noted early on, Jacksonville's pitching is the difference maker. In their 8 playoff games, the Seminoles have given up 20 runs for a 2.5 runs per game average. They won't lose too many games giving up just 2 to 3 runs a game. Now, Jacksonville's offense hasn't been piling it on, but they are averaging 4.75 runs per game thus far in the playoffs. Luther Taylor really took it to the Apollos in the DCS as he was 7-15 with 4 runs scored and 5 runs batted in.

As much as I'd like to see my division rival Norfolk get to the World Series, I have a lot of respect for mbooker and his club and I think it simply might be his time to get a ring.

Prediction: Jacksonville wins series, 4-2.

National League

Florida Lockdown vs. Kansas City Monarchs

Here's an interesting fact: If the Florida Lockdown don't win the World Series this season, this will be the club's longest drought without winning it in their history. Hard to believe, but true. With 3 rings in 11 seasons, the Lockdown make sure they don't lease out their stadium for other events come playoff time. While they hadn't reached the LCS since season 9 until now, they hope history repeats itself because that was the last time they won the whole thing.

Meanwhile, neilcor and his Kansas City Monarchs are hoping and praying that I pick Florida to advance. I've tried my best to get rid of the Monarchs by picking against them in each of the first 2 rounds, but they just keep pinning my predictions up on the bulletin board and Patsy Owens has taken it personally. Owens lit up the Mighty Men going 10-20 with 6 runs scored and 12 runs batted in (in only 4 games)!

Unfortunately for the Monarchs, their defying run stops here. When welsh5 and the Lockdown smell blood, it's as good as done. I'm predicting an all-Florida final, just as it was in season 9. Will Jacksonville get revenge or will the Lockdown continue to own the Sunshine State? We will soon find out...unless my predictions are WRONG!

Prediction: Florida wins series, 4-3.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Division Championship Series Playoff Predictions

American League

Jacksonville Seminoles vs. Scranton Apollos

Scranton has risen from the dead this year to finish with the best record in the American League (102-60) after 6 straight 4th place finishes followed by a 3rd place finish last season (although 91 wins in season 11 proves they were on the right track). In this Championship Series, however, offensive leaders Pat Masao and Dan King will have their work cut out for them though with the Seminoles pitching staff (previously discussed). While Luther Taylor and Alex Maradona didn't have the offensive numbers they had last season, I still expect piching to trump hitting and believe Jacksonville will advance.

Prediction: Jacksonville wins series, 3-1.

Norfolk Tobacco Farmers vs. Portland Poltergeists

Norfolk has done a great job advancing through the first round of the playoffs after their first ever division title. Nash Phillips went 7 strong innings to shut the door on the Mile High Marines in Game 5 of the opening series. In Portland, the Poltergeists are foaming at the mouth waiting for their first series to get underway. The Poltergeists offense may simply be too much for the Tobacco Farmers to handle. 5-time Most Valuable Player, Kevin Mullins and Felix Ellis are just two names out of an offense that scored the 2nd most runs in the American League this season.

Prediction: Portland wins series, 3-2.

National League

Anaheim angeldynasty vs. Florida Lockdown

Whenever I see that the Florida Lockdown are in the playoffs, I feel like the World Series trophy sort of gravitates toward them. They have the most dominant pitcher in the league this year in Ned McInerney and they had 4 guys drive in over 100 runs with 2 others that missed by just 2 and 3 RBI. The Anaheim angeldynasty rolled through the first round of the playoffs, but I struggle to believe they can take the Lockdown. Harry Holzemer is going to have to have a better showing than he did in round 1 and Emmanuel Montanez is going to need to stay hot in the lineup if they want to have any chance to advance.

Prediction: Florida wins series, 3-0.

Kansas City Monarchs vs. Minnesota Mighty Men

The Mighty Men continue their dominance of the NL North with their 4th straight division title. The Mighties had 7 pitchers win at least 10 games, including Cristian Torres who was just 12-10, but had little run support as his ERA was a solid 3.11. The offense was led by 24 year-old MVP candidate Bill Hewson who drove in 164 runs while clubbing 63 home runs. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Monarchs advanced through the first round on the strength of their pitching which was magnificent in holding the Louisville Beaners to just 6 runs in their 3 1st round wins. We know how good 19-game winner Jim Aurilia is, but if the rest of the pitching staff holds up like they did in the first round, Kansas City will be a tough out.

Prediction: Minnesota wins series, 3-2.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We're Baaaack! Playoff Predictions Round-By-Round

A.L. Division Play-in Series:

Jacksonville Seminoles vs. Chicago Black Sox

The key to this series is very simple. Can Rob Becker and Chicago's offense score enough runs against Jacksonville's big 3 starting pitchers? In a short playoff series, there are no breaks when you're facing Ahmed Sanford, Vance Collier and Gene Hayes. If Chicago can stay in games late, the Seminoles bullpen has been shaky, blowing 20 saves this season.

Prediction: Jacksonville wins series, 3-1.

Norfolk Tobacco Farmers vs. Colorado Springs Mile High Marines

This is a really intriguing matchup. Colorado Springs scored 100 more runs than Norfolk during the regular season, led by MVP candidate Alfredo Valentin who crushed 72 home runs and was three shy of 200 RBI. However, the Tobacco Farmers offense was far from anemic and I give the edge to their pitching staff as all five Norfolk starters won at least 13 games and Peter Pong saved 37 of 40.

Prediction: Norfolk wins series, 3-2.

N.L. Division Play-in Series:

Anaheim Angeldynasty vs. Oklahoma City Power Failure

Two teams. Identical records. Neither team closed out the season well. Both teams are fairly even in offense and pitching. The one statistic that sticks with me though is the Power Failure's league-leading 30 wins in 1-run games. I'm guessing that Harry Holzemer and Sammy Piedra will be the Game 1 starters and I'm predicting the team that wins this game will win the series, 3-2.

Prediction: Oklahoma City wins series, 3-2.

Kansas City Monarchs vs. Louisville Beaners

The only thing that may prevent the Beaners from getting to the Division Championship Series are the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. The Beaners middle relievers make Paula Abdul look stable. The starters need to eat up innings and hand the ball directly to Joseph Yoshii. By the way, is it just me or did everyone else think J.R. Barkley retired like 6 seasons ago? Kansas City needs either Jim Aurilia or Hector Cordero to win two games to advance to the next round.

Prediction: Louisville wins series, 3-2.