Wednesday

6-30-10: 2010 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 2

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to the final day of June, 2010. What's so special about that? It means it's been a month since I've last checked in on my baseball picks!

How could I have forgotten that on Monday when I was babbling about what to do for Wednesday?!

Okay, it's probably not that difficult, and perhaps three of you actually care. But I enjoy writing the column and putting together some thoughts about where the six divisions stand currently and where they're headed.

My blog, my call, right? There you go!

Let's get to the picks...

Right after the quote.

”Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”
- Karl Marx (1818 - 1883), German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, communist and revolutionary


There's a rumor that Marx regularly left baseball games early too. I've been unable to confirm this, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.

More importantly, back late March and early April, I gave you plenty of good reasons for my baseball picks... but that doesn't mean that the current standings have to take a reasonable form.

«Read More...»


And of course that leads to my...

2010 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 2

Before each baseball season, I pick the final standings for each of the six divisions. Periodically throughout the year, I compare the current MLB standings to my picks. I've even sought the help of one of my mathematically-inclined friends to create the Kelley Formula to measure how well I'm doing.

So let's break down the divisions and see how I'm doing, shall we?!

AL East:

Current Standings: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox (whom I hate) -1, Tampa Bay Rays -3, Toronto Blue Jays -8, Baltimore Orioles -24

Dan's Picks: New York, Boston (whom I hate), Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Toronto

Kelley Formula Results: 18 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: Oh how sweet it is when a division rights itself. A month ago, the Rays were atop the AL East, and the Red Sox (whom I hate) were 6.5-games back. Boston (whom I hate) has gotten hot and are breathing down the neck of the Yankees. Tampa Bay is by no means out of it, but their pitching has stumbled and they've got some clubhouse issues to deal with after Evan Longoria called out B.J. Upton in the dugout for dogging it in the field over the weekend. Clearly they're not going in the right direction. Toronto is settling into their usual fourth-place finish. As for the Orioles? Wow. I didn't figure they'd be good, but I didn't think they'd be this bad. And the solution they're considering is Buck Showalter?! Oof.


AL Central:

Current Standings: Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers -0.5, Chicago White Sox -1.5, Kansas City Royals -9.5, Cleveland Indians -12.5

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

Kelley Formula Results: 18 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: Admittedly, I got a bit lucky here. The Twins and the Tigers have traded the division lead over the last couple of days. In fact, by the time you read this, the Tigers could have re-gained the division lead based on the outcome of this afternoon's game. The point is the more comfortable lead the Twins enjoyed over the last month has been reduced significantly. Interleague play was unkind to Minnesota, an unusual occurrence. Meanwhile, the White Sox made hay against the NL and shrunk their deficit by six games. So it's now a 3-team race in the Central. Sure, I'd have loved it if the Twins ran away and hid with the division lead, but I certainly didn't expect it. If you're a fan of a team in the AL Central, strap in. There's no reason to think this won't end up as close as it's been for the last two years. Well, unless you're a Royals or Cleveland fan. In that case, start figuring out what your trade chips are, because once again, you're nearing the All-Star break and finding yourself looking forward to football season!


AL West:

Current Standings: Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels -3.5, Oakland Athletics -9, Seattle Mariners -14

Dan's Picks: Los Angeles, Seattle, Texas, Oakland

Kelley Formula Results: 10 of a possible 16 points

Analysis: I improved by a couple of points in this division thanks to the Angels coming back from the dead. I figured that'd happen sooner or later given their talent and the quality of their manager, but I'll admit to still being floored that Texas has a solid lead in this division. Sure they had plenty of offense, but the turnaround in their pitching over the last two years has been astounding. Remember in Spring Training when Ranger skipper Ron Washington was on the hot-seat? Yeah, not so much anymore methinks. The trick for the Rangers will be maintaining this pace during the sweltering summer months of July and August. The best thing the Mariners can do this season? Trade Cliff Lee to the Twins for a reasonable price.


NL East:

Current Standings: Atlanta Braves, New York Mets -1.5, Philadelphia Phillies -2.5, Florida Marlins -7.5, Washington Nationals -11

Dan's Picks: Philadelphia, Florida, Atlanta, New York, Washington

Kelley Formula Results: 12 of a possible 20 points

Analysis: This would be the other side of the AL East coin. What I mean is that a month ago, I had this division pretty well pegged. Now? Not so much. Philadelphia is still in the race, but a recent rash of injuries is going to test their depth. The Mets are clearly better than I thought they'd be, though they'll have to address some pitching issues to compete down the stretch. The Braves? I didn't figure they'd be able to score enough runs to compete, but they've clearly proven me wrong. Who saw Troy Glaus' year coming? Anyone? Anyone?! The Marlins are a mess. They fired their manager, made all kinds of noise about hiring Bobby Valentine, then named their interim skipper as manager “for the rest of the season”. None of which gives me any confidence in my pick for them to be the NL Wild Card. It's not impossible, but they'd have to have a really hot second half to pull it off. The Nationals made the most of Stephen Strasburg's first couple of starts, but have failed to give him run support in the last few. Thanks for giving us a thrill Washington, enjoy last place for the rest of the season.


NL Central:

Current Standings: St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds -0.5, Milwaukee Brewers -8, Chicago Cubs -9, Houston Astros -13.5, Pittsburgh Pirates -17

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

Kelley Formula Results: 20 of a possible 24 points

Analysis: Just like the AL Central, I lucked out by having St. Louis re-gain the division lead last night. That's what happen when you take snapshots of the standings and score them like this. It benefited me this time. I've no doubt it'll reach up and bite me in the posterior before the season is over! That St. Louis is contending for the division surprises no one. That Cincinnati is the team giving them all they can handle is rather astounding. The Reds' pitching has been better than advertised, and Scott Rolen and Joey Votto have both rebounded from pedestrian years to lead the way offensively for Cincy. And lest we forget, the Reds get Edinson Volquez back in their rotation after the All-Star break, and they still haven't tapped phenom-in-waiting Aroldis Chapman for his major league debut yet. It sucks for my picks, but I couldn't be happier that Cincinnati's for real. Milwaukee has been on a mini-roll of late. Their pitching still can be dicey (and that may be a kind assessment), but if their rotation settles down a bit, they certainly have the offense to get back into this race. The Cubs have talent, but far too many volatile personalities to put it all together. And the Astros and the Pirates are being the Astros and the Pirates.


NL West:

Current Standings: San Diego Padres, L.A. Dodgers -3, Colorado Rockies -4, San Francisco Giants -4.5, Arizona Diamondbacks -15

Dan's Picks: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Arizona, San Diego

Kelley Formula Results: 12 of a possible 20 points

Analysis:Tied with the NL East for my worst score. Damn you National League! (Except for you, NL Central. You're doing just fine!) The NL West is one of the more competitive divisions in baseball, with only the Diamondbacks essentially eliminated from competition. The Padres are the clear surprise of the division. Their pitching has been nothing short of outstanding, and they've found more offense than I expected. But they haven't been able to separate themselves fully from the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants, so I expect this deck to get shuffled more than a few times over the rest of the season. The Rockies are still my pick to win the division, though they've got their work cut out for them. Ubaldo Jimenez is the presumptive pick for the NL Cy Young, though he's looked more human of late. The Rocks need to get healthy and have another starter step up to help Ubaldo in order to climb back atop the division.


Total:

Combined Kelley Formula Results: 90 of a possible 120 points (75%)

2009 Kelley Formula Results: 87 of a possible 120 points (72.5%)

Analysis: A seven-point improvement from last month. I'll take it. Though as I've said a few times throughout the column, with a couple breaks going the other way, I'd be right back in the low 80's.

As it stands, I've got three of the six division winners correct, and the AL Wildcard as well. Not too shabby as we near the halfway mark of the season. In the three divisions where my pick doesn't reside in first place, the worst-case scenario is Colorado, who's only four games out. Six for six is probably a pipe-dream, but the dream is not dead!


That's going to wrap things up for today. I'm back on Friday with the usual Update column.

Until then, thanks for reading!

2 comments:

  1. "The best thing the Mariners can do this season? Trade Cliff Lee to the Twins for a reasonable price."

    Wake up, Dan, wake up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't say they had to fleece themselves. Just be reasonable!

    ReplyDelete