Wednesday

7-8-09: 2009 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 3

Hello again everybody...

I'm a little grumpy today. I've wavered over the years between detesting the Yankees and grudgingly respecting their storied history. Today I hate them.

Not only did they drop a 10-2 job on the Twins last night, but they did so by playing small ball. The Bronx Bombers scored 10 runs and nary a one of them coming by way of the home run. Granted, Alex Rodriguez was robbed of a Grand Slam by Carlos Gomez, but as far as the box score is concerned that was merely a sacrifice fly.

Instead of the big flies, the Yankees bled out the Twins via a thousand small cuts. Take a walk here. Move them over on a base hit there. And bring them in with a sac fly. If the team with the highest payroll in baseball is going to start playing fundamentally sound, what chance do my boys have?!

Needless to say, it's not a game I'm going to remember fondly. But the beauty of baseball is that the Twins get to go back out and get after them again tonight. Hopefully Glen Perkins (make that Anthony Swarzak... apparently Perk has a fever) will have better luck than Scott Baker did. A.J. Burnett has pitched well for the Yanks lately. But at least he's right-handed, and that gives the Twins a better shot.

Speaking of shots, I have a shot at besting my Combined Kelley Formula Result from last year! So since it's been three weeks since I've checked in on my picks, it's time to do it today. That's right, it's Peek at the Picks time! Let's get to it!

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), British Prime Minister


I quote Sir Winston more often than anyone else. But can you blame me? The guy was a font of wit and witticism. That being said, I guess he'd label me a fanatic because I'm not changing my picks, and I'm sure as hell not changing the subject!

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With that, I give you the 2009 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 3!

AL East:

Current Standings: Boston (whom I hate), NY Yankees -1, Tampa Bay -5.5, Toronto -8, Baltimore -13.5

Dan's Picks: Boston, Tampa Bay, NY Yankees, Baltimore, Toronto

Kelley Formula Results: 16 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: Toronto has finally started the swoon that I predicted. To the point where their G.M. J.P Riccardi actually announced that perennial Cy Young candidate, Roy Halladay, is available for the right price. Tampa keeps threatening to get in the race. But the Yankees are flat out better than I thought they'd be. I don't say that just because they've owned the Twins this year. Oh hell, yeah, that's exactly why I'm saying that. Curse you, New York. Curse you! And if I ever label Baltimore as "up and coming" as long as Peter Angelos owns the team again, you're free to slap me.

AL Central:

Current Standings: Detroit, Chicago White Sox -2, Minnesota -2.5, Kansas City -9, Cleveland -12.5

Dan's Picks: Minnesota, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit

Kelley Formula Results: 9 of a possible 20 points

Analysis:
Detroit and Cleveland are killing me here. I'm still not sold on the Tigers as a division winner. Their pitching is okay, but sooner or later, something's going to haywire. It's got to! The White Sox have been hot of late, but since they're the poster children for baseball group therapy, I'm not as concerned about them. I've been waiting for the Twins to make their "run" for weeks now. They teased me a couple of times, but sooner or later they're going to run of 7 or 8 in a row and take hold of this thing. I firmly believe that. I shouldn't feel vindicated about Cleveland. I had no clue they'd be this bad. But I did disagree with those that said they'd win the division. And somehow I've managed to convince myself that I'm right, even though I picked them to finish second. It makes no sense, but there you go.

AL West:

Current Standings: LAAAGOCRCUSPE, Texas (tied), Seattle -3.5, Oakland -11

Dan's Picks: LAAAGOCRCUSPE, Texas, Seattle, Oakland

Kelley Formula Results: 15 of a possible 16 points.

Analysis: If the Angels had beaten the Rangers last night, I'd be sitting on 16 out of 16 here. Oh well. I'm impressed that Texas is hanging on this long. I suppose that the hottest of the Texas heat hasn't set in yet. And for some reason they're still trying to pretend that Vicente Padilla is a worthwhile major league pitcher. So I still fully expect the Angels to win the division. And probably rather comfortably. Oh, and to all those pundits that claimed Oakland would be competitive? I told you so!

NL East:

Current Standings: Philadelphia, Florida -2, Atlanta -4, NY Mets -4.5, Washington -19

Dan's Picks: Philadelphia, NY Mets, Atlanta, Florida, Washington

Kelley Formula Results: 16 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: Remember when I had this division nailed? Not so much anymore. The Mets have slumped and the Florida Freaking Marlins have just enough pitching to scare some people. The division title is the Phillies to take, but they've been fairly inconsistent as well. The only thing that you can count on in the NL East is the Nationals to suck. Anyone have a thought on how their going to screw up the Strasbourg signing? You know it'll happen. Boras is his agent. We've seen this movie before.

NL Central:

Current Standings: St. Louis, Milwaukee -2, Chicago Cubs -3, Cincinnati -3.5, Houston -4.5, Pittsburgh -7.5

Dan's Picks: Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh

Kelley Formula Results: 14 of a possible 24 points

Analysis: Suddenly my "Houston in 2nd" pick doesn't look quite as ludicrous as it did mere weeks ago. St. Louis is better than I thought, and I still can't figure out how. Yes, Albert Pujols might be the best baseball player on the planet, but the rest of that line-up doesn't seem like a division champ to me. Milwaukee is sitting on the edge of a knife. Ryan Braun pops off about the team needing a trade the other day and gets called to the Principal's office. We know Doug Melvin is capable of a big move. This is the guy that landed Sabathia last year. Do they have enough to make another move? My contacts in Milwaukee seem to think so. We'll see I guess.

NL West:

Current Standings: LA Dodgers, San Francisco -7, Colorado -9, San Diego -18, Arizona -18.5

Dan's Picks: LA, Arizona, San Francisco, Colorado, San Diego

Kelley Formula Results: 14 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: If one of my favorite teams wasn't sucking the bag so badly, I'd be in good shape here. LA's got this division in hand. And everybody else is only one slot off. But Arizona is horrible. And even though they only trail the Padres by a half-game, I have no reason to be confident that they'll climb out of the cellar. Especially now that they've gone into fire-sale mode and traded Tony Pena to the White Sox. If you're going to give up the ghost, Arizona management, can you at least try to not make teams in the AL Central better? Please? Thank you. Oh, and Manny still sucks.

Total:

Combined Kelley Formula Results: 84 of a possible 120 points (70%)

Vol. 2's CKFR: 82 of a possible 120 points (68.3%)

Last Year's CKFR: 86 of a possible 120 points (71.7%)

Analysis: Well, I'm not where I wanted to be yet, but things are moving in the right direction. If Minnesota can go on that run I keep asking for, that'd make a huge difference.

I've got 4 of the 6 division winners right so far. That's not too shabby.

If I could pick up a few points in those central divisions, I might have a shot at 80%! Okay, that might be a little high to aim. But I'm essentially an optimistic person.

And I almost typed that with a straight face!

That's all for today. I'll be back on Friday with your weekly dose of DFTU.

Until then, thanks for reading!

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