Posted on: April 15, 2008 6:32 pm

mlb power rankings week 3

I'm a little late getting this up this week. I've been extremely busy and just got around to doing it. I only counted the games up until Sunday.

1 Red Sox (7-6) Last Week-1
2 Diamondbacks (9-3) Last Week-7
3 Yankees (6-7) Last Week-2
4 Angels (7-6) Last Week-6
5 Padres (7-6) Last Week-5
6 Mets (5-6) Last Week-4
7 Brewers (8-4) Last Week-9
8 Cubs (7-5) Last Week-8
9 Indians (5-7) Last Week-3
10 Blue Jays (7-5) Last Week-13
11 Phillies (6-7) Last Week-10
12 Cardinals (9-4) Last Week-18
13 White Sox (7-4) Last Week-16
14 Royals (7-5) Last Week-19
15 Mariners (6-7) Last Week-15
16 Braves (5-7) Last Week-14
17 Tigers (2-10) Last Week-11
18 Dodgers (5-7) Last Week-12
19 Twins (6-6) Last Week-21
20 Athletics (8-5) Last Week-26
21 Rockies (5-7) Last Week-20
22 Reds (6-7) Last Week-17
23 Orioles (7-5) Last Week-24
24 Rays (6-6) Last Week-22
25 Rangers (5-7) Last Week-23
26 Marlins(7-5) Last Week-28
27 Pirates (6-6) Last Week-29
28 Astros (5-8) Last Week-25
29 Giants (5-8) Last Week-30
30 Nationals (4-9) Last Week-27
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 6, 2008 11:48 pm

MLB power rankings, week 2

A few big movers this week, but all in all it's too early to make any big judgements.

1 Red Sox 3-4) Last Week-1. A rough week, but considering the road they've been on already, that was probably to be expected.
2 Yankees (3-3) Last Week-2. Struggled early, but so did most other contending teams.
3 Indians (3-3) Last Week-4. Need Sabathia to start pitching better.
4 Mets (2-3) Last Week-5. Losing Pedro isn't going to help their pitching depth.
5 Padres (4-3) Last Week-6. Finally, a team with a winning record! Peavy looks great early.
6 Angels (4-3) Last Week-7. Currently the only AL team predicted to make the playoffs with a winning record.
7 Diamondbacks (4-2) Last Week-10. Pitching could carry them a long way.
8 Cubs (3-3) Last Week-9. Kosuke Fukudome, welcome to Chicago.
9 Brewers (5-1) Last Week-16. It's early, but I may have underestimated them.
10 Phillies (2-4) Last Week-8. Just their usual slow start.
11 Tigers (0-6) Last Week-3. You simply can't get swept by the Royals and White Sox if you expect to contend in the AL.
12  Dodgers (4-2) Last Week-14. If the offense can produce, this could be the darkhorse team in the NL.
13 Blue Jays (4-2) Last Week-15. Great week against the teams they're trying to catch this year. Keep an eye on them.
14 Braves (3-3) Last Week-12. Struggled with the Pirates. For that alone they drop this week.
15 Mariners (2-4) Last Week-11. I'm not convinced that they are real contenders. Need huge years out of Bedard and Hernandez.
16 White Sox (4-2) Last Week-19. Much better team than last year. Looked real good against Detroit.
17 Reds (4-2) Last Week-18. Darkhorse in the NL Central.
18 Cardinals (5-1) Last Week-20. Where did that come from? 5 wins without a Pujols home run.
19 Royals (4-2) Last Week-21. Pitching looked great in sweep of Tigers. Can they keep it up?
20 Rockies (1-5) Last Week-13. Latest in line of NL champions who struggle to play .500 ball the next year?
21 Twins (3-4) Last Week-17. Will continue to be the Twins. Good pitching, good defense, and be a pesky team for anyone to play.
22 Rays (3-2) Last Week-22. Won a series over the Yankees.
23 Rangers (3-3) Last Week-23. Had some decent pitching this week. If the Mariners drop off, they could contend for 2nd.
24 Orioles (4-1) Last Week-27. Surprise of the week. Doubtful they keep it up for long.
25 Astros (2-5) Last Week-24. Is this really the same franchise that was in the World Series in 2005?
26 A's (3-4) Last Week-25. Won the series against Cleveland and played Boston tough.
27 Nationals (3-4) Last Week-26. Started out 3-0. Then they came back to Earth.
28 Marlins (3-3) Last Week-30. 2 wins against Pirates move them up 2 spots.
29 Pirates (3-3) Last Week-29. Won the Atlanta series, then lost the Florida series.
30 Giants (1-5) Last Week-28. They're terrible. Get ready for 100 losses by the bay.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 30, 2008 7:22 pm

MLB preseason power rankings

This is kind of a last minute thing, but I just decided to do it last night. For the first week I'll rank the teams based on my predicted records for this season.

1 Boston
2 New York Yankees
3 Detroit
4 Cleveland
5 New York Mets
6 San Diego
7 Los Angeles Angels
8 Philadelphia
9 Chicago Cubs
10 Arizona
11 Seattle
12 Atlanta
13 Colorado
14 Los Angeles Dodgers
15 Toronto
16 Milwaukee
17 Minnesota
18 Cincinnati
19 Chicago White Sox
20 St. Louis
21 Kansas City
22 Tampa Bay
23 Texas
24 Houston
25 Oakland
26 Washington
27 Baltimore
28 San Francisco
29 Pittsburgh
30 Florida
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 29, 2008 6:02 pm

Predicted NL Standings and Playoffs

New York 93-69
Philadelphia 91-71
Atlanta 87-75
Washington 68-94
Florida 63-99

Chicago 90-72
Milwaukee 81-81
Cincinnati 76-86
St. Louis 74-88
Houston 72-90
Pittsburgh 66-96

San Diego 93-69
Arizona 89-73
Colorado 86-76
Los Angeles 84-78
San Francisco 66-96

AL: Detroit over New York 3-1, Boston over Los Angeles 3-0
NL: New York over Chicago 3-0, San Diego over Philadelphia 3-2
AL: Detroit over Boston 4-3
NL: New York over San Diego 4-1
World Series: Detroit over New York 4-2

Thought about taking Boston again, but I feel like they just have too big of a bullseye on their backs. There are probably a handful of teams who could win it all, but the Tiger fan in me just couldn't pick against the Tigers.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 25, 2008 10:59 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2008 11:49 pm

Predicted AL standings

Without taking when each team is playing each other into account(for example, the Tigers playing the Yankees and Red Sox early when the bullpen will struggle most), I went through each teams schedule and approximated how many wins I thought they'd get against each team they played. The standings that came out of it were this.

Boston 97-65
New York 96-66
Toronto 82-80
Tampa Bay 74-88
Baltimore 67-95

Detroit 95-67
Cleveland 94-68
Minnesota 76-86
Chicago 75-87
Kansas City 74-88

L.A. 91-71
Seattle 87-75
Texas 72-90
Oakland 71-91

Of course any of these records can dramatically changed with injuries. But going into the season, I think this is a pretty good guess for how the standings may look at the end of the season.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 14, 2008 1:24 am
Edited on: March 20, 2008 2:52 pm

Detroit Tigers 2008 preview

Coming off their AL title in 2006, the Tigers were expected to be among the top contenders for the World Series in 2007. Unfortunately for them, the injury bug hit early and often, and the pitching couldn't duplicate their successes of 06. Injuries to Kenny Rogers, Joe Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and later on Jeremy Bonderman led to pitchers like Jason Grilli, Tim Byrdak, Chad Durbin, and the obviously not yet major league ready Andrew Miller to be thrown into key roles.

But for all the disappointments in 07, there were plenty of bright spots. Magglio Ordonez won the franchise's first batting title in over 40 years. Curtis Granderson became the 3rd player in major league history to have 20 homers, doubles, triples, and steals in a season(the group later expanded to 4 with Jimmy Rollins). There was also a no hitter by young phenom Justin Verlander, and 88 wins, marking the team's 2nd winning season since 1993 and the first time they were above .500 in consecutive seasons since they had winning seasons in 1982-88.

This year, the Tigers look to take the positives from 2007 and build off of them. Of course, offseason trades bringing in Edgar Renteria, Jacques Jones, Miguel Cabrera, and Dontrelle Willis help the cause as well. If the pitching holds up, this is one of a handful of teams who should contend in the always strong AL.

2007 record-88-74.

Key additions-Renteria, Jones, Cabrera, Willis
Key subtractions- Sean Casey

Strength- Obviously the lineup, which will likely feature Jacques Jones, Pudge Rodriguez, and the powerful Marcus Thames in the 9 spot on most days.
Weaknesses- Pitching. This is close to the same staff that put up the best ERA in the AL in 2006, but they also struggled heavily in 07. Injuries to Zumaya and Rodney don't help matters coming into this year.

Key Questions- 1 Can the offense co-exist? Everyone knows that this offense has the potential to be as good as any in the recent history of baseball. But will Ivan Rodriguez bat 8th or 9th without letting his ego get in the way? Will Gary Sheffield stay healthy or keep his mouth shut? Will everyone get too complacent thinking that the next guy will pick them up?

2 Can the starting pitchers stay healthy? This rotation is coming off of a year in which Kenny Rogers missed much of the season with a blood clot and Jeremy Bonderman tried to pitch through an elbow injury after starting the season 10-1 with a sub 4 ERA. He ended up 11-9 with a 5.01 ERA before finally being shut down on September 9th. If they can stay healthy, the rotation could take some pressure off of both the bullpen and the lineup.

3 Can the bullpen hold leads? Assuming the rotation is healthy and pitching well and the offense does what expected, they should have many leads of the 6-2, 8-1, and 7-3 types in the late innings. Is there anybody in the bullpen who can get outs and keep these leads preserved? Zumaya is out until June at the earliest, and Rodney has the same shoulder problem he did in spring training last year, which ended up costing him over a month of the season. Their most likely replacements are Zach Miner, Jason Grilli, Denny Bautista, or Francisco Cruceta. None of these names strikes fear in opposing hitters, and getting at least 1, and even better 2 of them to contribute could be the key to the season.

4 How will Dontrelle Willis pitch in the AL? This is perhaps the most interesting question of the year. On one hand, the pressure of being an ace is now off and he can just pitch. He also is pitching in a league who isn't used to his high leg kick. On the other hand, the AL is the much better offensive league and many of the top pitchers in the game have struggled when moving over. Will the D-Train go back to his old, 2003-05 form when he was one of the top pitchers in the league, or is he basically finished at 25? I think the answer is somewhere in between, which on this team could lead to a solid season.

5 What if there are injuries? Let's face it, after looking at the Tigers moves this offseason, they're in a win now mode. That's fine, as long as everyone stays healthy and performs. They traded their top 2 pitching prospects and their top 2 outfield prospects. There are some solid players left in the minors who could come up and fill in for a week or two, but if any major players go down there are very few who can perform in the majors for the long haul. They also have an everyday lineup consisting of a 38 year old DH with a history of shoulder problems, a mid 30s RF who as recently as 2005 missed a large portion of the season, a SS turned 1B with a history of knee problems, and an aging catcher, along with the afformentioned pitching risks. It's very possible that they have multiple injuries and that could dampen hopes this season.

Projected lineup:
1 Curtis Granderson, CF
2 Placido Polanco, 2B
3 Gary Sheffield, DH
4 Magglio Ordonez, RF
5 Miguel Cabrera, 3B
6 Carlos Guillen, 1B
7 Edgar Renteria, SS
8 Ivan Rodriguez, C
9 Jacques Jones/Marcus Thames, LF

Projected Roation:
1 Justin Verlander
2 Kenny Rogers
3 Jeremy Bonderman
4 Dontrelle Willis
5 Nate Robertson

Worst case scenario- Multiple position players, including Cabrera and Granderson, get hurt, the pitching falls apart, and the team, with their lack of depth, finish below .500 in 4th place.

Best case scenario- The offense performs as expected, scoring 1000 runs. Meanwhile, the pitching takes a huge step forward, including the bullpen. No minor leaguer is needed for any long stretch, and those who fill in do a pretty good job. The team wins 100 games and runs away with the Central, setting up a battle with the winner of the East in the ALCS.

Most likely scenario- The pitching is inconsistent, as they have their on and off nights. The offense isn't quite as good as everyone thinks, but still is the among the top 5 in the game. The AL Central proves too tough to win 100 games, the Indians take a small step back, and the Central turns into a 2 team dog fight for the title deep into the season.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 10, 2008 12:36 am
Edited on: March 10, 2008 12:37 am

fantasy draft

Today was my fantasy draft on yahoo. I think I got a pretty good team out of it, but most people do feel good coming out of a live draft. Let me know what you think. I had the 7th pick in the draft.

1 Jimmy Rollins SS
2 Brandon Phillips 2B
3 Curtis Granderson OF
4 Cole Hamels SP
5 Joe Mauer C
6 Joe Nathan RP
7 Carlos Pena 1B
8 Ryan Zimmerman 3B
9 Chad Billingsley SP
10 Shane Victorino OF
11 Jason Isringhausen RP
12 Adrian Gonzalez 1B
13 Joakim Soria RP
14 Clay Buchholz SP
15 Eric Gagne RP
16 Jeremy Hermida OF
17 Yunel Escobar 2B, SS, 3B
18 Ryan Garko 1B
19 Tom Gorzelanny SP
20 Bengie Molina C
21 Jacque Jones OF
22 Bob Howry RP

Only thing I wish I wouldn't have done looking back is take Billingsley as high as I did. I kind of went with my heart and not my head there, and he probably would have been around in the 10th or 11th round. I do think he is going to have a great year though. Unfortuantely, all 3 of the potential Cubs closers were drafted, so if Howry doesn't win the job that's a wasted pick.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 8, 2008 2:36 am

ncaa tournament projections 3/6

Sorry for the delay in posting this. I did my latest bracket on Thursday afternoon and just never got it posted. All games used to decide this are as of Wednesday, March 5th.

South Regional
  1. Memphis
  2. Xavier
  3. Georgetown
  4. Vanderbilt
  5. Purdue
  6. Butler
  7. USC
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Texas A&M
  10. UNLV
  11. Illinois State
  12. Davidson
  13. New Mexico
  14. Belmont
  15. Austin Peay
  16. Lamar vs. Alabama State winner
East Regional
  1. North Carolina
  2. Kansas
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Drake
  6. Washington State
  7. Miami
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Arkansas
  10. West Virginia
  11. Kentucky
  12. UAB
  13. Virginia Commonwealth
  14. Boise State
  15. UMBC
  16. Morgan State
Midwest Regional
  1. Tennessee
  2. UCLA
  3. Louisville
  4. Indiana
  5. Clemson
  6. Gonzaga
  7. BYU
  8. Kansas State
  9. Arizona
  10. Kent State
  11. Florida
  12. Dayton
  13. Oral Roberts
  14. Cal State Northridge
  15. American
  16. Portland State
West Regional
  1. Texas
  2. Duke
  3. Stanford
  4. Connecticut
  5. Michigan State
  6. Marquette
  7. Mississippi State
  8. St. Mary's
  9. South Alabama
  10. Baylor
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Arizona State
  13. Cornell
  14. Siena
  15. UNC Asheville
  16. Robert Morris
Last 4 In-Arizona State, Florida, New Mexico, Dayton
Last 8 Out-Western Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Temple, St. Joseph's
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or