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Sunday, February 22, 2009

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I know some of you have seen this, but foxsports.com has their preseason

Power">http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/powerRankings">Power Rankings

up. They have three NL East teams in the top 8, the Phils - #3, Mets - #5 and Braves - #8, and 4 in the top 12, with the Fish at #12.

Now, we all know what preseason predictions and and rankings are worth, but the above is at least someone's opinion that the NL East is going to be a very tough division.

Heck, if they all beat up on each other, the division winner might only win 87 games.

It will not be easy to repeat.


Sorry, bad link.

Power Rankings

mikes77: I wouldn't call it a shoe-in, but since the wild card was introduced, there have only been 4 NL teams to win 90+ games and not make the playoffs.

So based on the past 13 seasons, a 90 win season for the Phils is very very likely going ot be rewarded with a playoff berth.

Maybe I should say that I don't think the Phillies are a "shoe in" to win 90. Instead of saying they're not guaranteed a playoff spot if they win 90.

The other divisions have multiple bad teams in them. The Padres, Rockies and Pirates will be jokes. The Brewers, Astros and Reds are'nt good. The NL East only has one bad team. It will be much more difficult to win 90 in the NL East than in the central or the west.

phaithful - Mike is right that winning 90 games is no certainty of making the playoffs but I wouldn't bet on it:

Here is a breakdown since '96 and the first full season with the WC in the NL:

96 - 3 teams
97 - 3 teams
98 - 3 teams
99 - 5 teams (1 team did not)
00 - 4 teams
01 - 4 teams
02 - 4 teams (1 team did not)
03 - 3 teams
04 - 5 teams (1 team did not)
05 - 2 teams
06 - 1 team
07 - 2 teams
08 - 3 teams

Of the 42 teams to win 90 or more games in a season in the NL since '96, 39 have made the playoffs. Like I said earlier, if the Phils win 90 or more games this season they are headed back to the postseason (especially because it means they have both a very good shot at taking the NL East again too).

One thing that is clear going from the numbers is that NL really hasn't had any really strong teams the past couple of years if you use a barometer of 95 or more wins during the regular season.

Likely that way again this season too as I don't even know the Cubs will be able to crack 95 wins again. I would strongly bet against any team in the East or West doing it either.

4/5 starters matter but just like last year it will be the bullpens I bet that decide it. Leaves the Fish out of it and the Braves as a very fascinating "what if" including a rebound for Gonzalez, a healthy Soriano (who just might be the best setup man in the East when healthy), and catching lightning in a bottle with some journeyman in middle relief like the Braves always seemed to do during the during dynasty years.

MG, don't count the Fish out of it. Their bullpen isn;t that great, but their rotation could be nitro.

I keep hearing more and more about Florida and their pitching. I think the other thing that can't be overlooked is the emergence of Cameron Maybin. If he realizes his potential they have two dynamic, explosive, exciting offensive forces to base their offense around. Those two alone will make them a dangerous team and then if you add some solid starting pitching they can be something to recken with. I'm not about to say they are playoff bound, but they will be a tough team to contend with.

I don't think the Braves belong that high in the power rankings. They just don't seem to have the arms yet. The Nationals figure to be a pain in the butt again with an above average infield.

We are definitely in a tough division. The east in both leagues are the top two divisions in baseball.

Sorry I hit post too soon. My point about the East divisions is that we also don't get a break in interleague play with Boston and the Yankees on the schedule. Baltimore should be tougher than last year too and hopefully we can avoid Halladay when the Blue Jays come to town. This is going to be a tough 162 games.

Zolecki on phillies.com:

Ryan Madson changed numbers. He wears No. 46 after wearing No. 63.

Why?

"I needed a change," Madson said. "(President Barack) Obama said it's time for change."

I don't get the fuss over Maybin. He looked lost every time I saw him. He's Michael Bourn with better power and worse plate discipline... meh!

PECOTA is VERY high on Maybin...though BP does have the caveat that if he doesn't learn some pitch recognition, he could be a major bust.

Dan: Worse plate discipline? Maybin's minor league career OB is .389. He strikes out a ton, but he walks a lot too, as much as Bourn, in fact. He's also just 21 and has been young for every one of his leagues. He's got speed, a great arm and decent power. I think he'll be at least as good as Mike Cameron (great speed, glove, power but bad AVG) and probably a bit better.

FWIW, Bill James projection for Maybin this season is .276/.362/.445. I think that's a bit high across the board and will venture .256/.340/.430 and then he likely improves from there.

An omen that Matt Stairs days with the phils are numbered ? He's sharing his #12 with Morandini.

Everyone's staff is decent in the NL with the exception of the Nationals. The Mets improved their bullpen, Phils remain solid, Braves improved rotation, and the Marlins got a year older (which is good when you're that young).

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