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2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion

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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 11, 2019, 8:18 AM Post
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MrTPlush said:
jjfanec said:
Braun should on the under achievers list too. His WAR is .1. His OPS is .784. Gamel has been more valuable with a WAR of .8. Braun has hit some big home runs but he hasnt been good. He has actually been brutal against left handed pitching. OPS of just .658. His career is .986. He used to crush lhp. That needs to return in a lineup with so many lefties. Oddly Gamel also has slightly reverse splits with an OPS against lefties higher than righties but that is weighted by really high BABIP vs lefties.


Hard to call 35 year old Braun an underachiever...I mean his overall stat are comparable to last year and at this point anything can decline and not be like it once was.

Agreed on Chatwood. 5.0 BB/9 is horrid and not very good. Someone can take any previous "wild" Brewer and they will probably be better than that. It is actually the second worst mark for a season in his career (so far). He limits hits a little bit, but it doesn't make up for a not so good K/9, HR/9, or the walks galore. That being said he has gotten results doing it before (2016). Even if he puts up a 4.69 ERA like 2017 that isn't terrible if he is replacing a back end guy short term...but long term or if he replaces one of their better guys...yikes.


I think mostly everyone was hoping for Braun to be better than last year. He under achieved last year too. Now this may be the hitter he is now but I still think is fair to say it is a disappointment. I think anything under an .800 OPS was going to be a disappointment for Braun. A big issue has been strike outs. He is striking out quite a bit more this year. If he can get that under control and start to hit lhp he will be fine. He is just a disappointment now


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 11, 2019, 8:29 AM Post
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Location: New Berlin, WI
Seriously when are the Cubs going to have an injury at starting pitching? For years, they keep getting by with 5 SP and absolutely zero depth at the position. Montgomery can step in and be mediocre at best. Beyond that, they have nothing there. They'd bring up some nobody from AAA who'd for sure be bad, because their farm is worse trash than ours right now...especially for pitching.

As much as it sucks that the Cubs don't really have any hitters struggling, it just is what it is. Their lineup is good. Especially Rizzo this year, he looks insanely good at the plate. Contreras, Baez, and Bote will probably regress a bit as BABIP will catch up to them a bit...but not THAT much, and the rest of their lineup has numbers about where you'd expect given their talent level.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 11, 2019, 8:43 AM Post
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jjfanec said:
MrTPlush said:
jjfanec said:
Braun should on the under achievers list too. His WAR is .1. His OPS is .784. Gamel has been more valuable with a WAR of .8. Braun has hit some big home runs but he hasnt been good. He has actually been brutal against left handed pitching. OPS of just .658. His career is .986. He used to crush lhp. That needs to return in a lineup with so many lefties. Oddly Gamel also has slightly reverse splits with an OPS against lefties higher than righties but that is weighted by really high BABIP vs lefties.


Hard to call 35 year old Braun an underachiever...I mean his overall stat are comparable to last year and at this point anything can decline and not be like it once was.

Agreed on Chatwood. 5.0 BB/9 is horrid and not very good. Someone can take any previous "wild" Brewer and they will probably be better than that. It is actually the second worst mark for a season in his career (so far). He limits hits a little bit, but it doesn't make up for a not so good K/9, HR/9, or the walks galore. That being said he has gotten results doing it before (2016). Even if he puts up a 4.69 ERA like 2017 that isn't terrible if he is replacing a back end guy short term...but long term or if he replaces one of their better guys...yikes.


I think mostly everyone was hoping for Braun to be better than last year. He under achieved last year too. Now this may be the hitter he is now but I still think is fair to say it is a disappointment. I think anything under an .800 OPS was going to be a disappointment for Braun. A big issue has been strike outs. He is striking out quite a bit more this year. If he can get that under control and start to hit lhp he will be fine. He is just a disappointment now


Is he still hitting the ball hard like all the years past he has been a disappointment or does his mediocracy match his ball hitting advanced stats?

Interesting thing to note as he also has almost exactly half the ABS/PAs as last year, here are some numbers post swing change that was suppose to make him be more lucky (more HRs specifically). I doubled the 2019 number to reflect pace. 2018/2019:

Doubles: 25/18
HRs: 20/20
K Rate: 19%/22.6%
ISO: .215/.187
BABIP: .274/.318

I guess he has seen an increase in BABIP...but certainly the results didn't exactly spike as hoped. Thinking he is what he is at this point. Maybe some fluctuation here and there, but an .750-.800 OPS seems like the kind of guy he is.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 13, 2019, 6:31 AM Post
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KeithStone53151 said:
Seriously when are the Cubs going to have an injury at starting pitching? For years, they keep getting by with 5 SP and absolutely zero depth at the position. Montgomery can step in and be mediocre at best. Beyond that, they have nothing there. They'd bring up some nobody from AAA who'd for sure be bad, because their farm is worse trash than ours right now...especially for pitching.

As much as it sucks that the Cubs don't really have any hitters struggling, it just is what it is. Their lineup is good. Especially Rizzo this year, he looks insanely good at the plate. Contreras, Baez, and Bote will probably regress a bit as BABIP will catch up to them a bit...but not THAT much, and the rest of their lineup has numbers about where you'd expect given their talent level.


It's frustrating, but an undervalued quality of starting pitching is durability - particularly with how today's game is shifting more heavily to bullpen usage. The Cubs have a thin but talented roster of veteran starters who have track records of being workhorses. Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, and Hamels have all demonstrated they can take the ball every 5th day consistently and pitch deep into games. Darvish is a wild card, but when he's healthy he's been a workhorse as well.

That being said, the Cubs sure had to pony up financially and with prospect capital to build that rotation - they've also had to spend heavily on those fronts for relievers. However, that's what big market teams get to do, and I'm sure they're totally fine with that considering it's propping up what is a trash heap of pitching talent across the rest of their organization. At some point all of these arms will fall off a cliff or a couple injuries are going to force them to scramble, but the Cubs will always be somewhat positioned to throw more $ at the problem to try and replace good production from the mound.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 13, 2019, 10:50 PM Post
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Watching the Dodgers broadcast of this LAD vs CHC game and the announcers are talking about how they believe the Cubs will win the Central, Brewers surprisingly in 1st right now but by the end of the season yadda yadda yadda...

The road to the World Series will most likely go through LA, and as tough as that would be I would just love another shot at them in the postseason, that W would be as satisfying as it gets.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 13, 2019, 11:48 PM Post
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I am not too surprised that many are picking the Cubs to win the division. I would have put us around the same odds before the Kimbrel deal and after the Kimbrel signing I would give them the slight edge. They have four high end bats in Rizzo, Bryant, Baez and Contreras, and the rest of the lineup behind those 4 are pretty decent. Their bullpen once Kimbrel is full go, should be pretty decent.

With that said, their depth in general stinks. Their average starting pitcher age is about 67, and guys like Bote and Caratini could come crashing back down to earth anytime. They don't have great injury insurance in the minors. They're not going to get a bunch of David Bote miracle performances every year. Like always, I would expect they'll improve at the deadline by taking on salary that other teams don't want and spending money they say they don't have. They don't have much of a farm to deal from, so they'll continue to make the Hamels type deals at the deadline and probably luck out with it like they always do.

Speaking of Hamels, they are walking on some eggshells with that rotation with the depth they have. It's a durable bunch to be sure, but at the age of those guys it could come crashing down via injuries or regression at any time.

They really count on great starting pitching to win, they need their starting 5 healthy and effective. Any disruption to that and they could really struggle. Not that our starters aren't valuable, but we really don't count on them to win. We can deal with injuries to our rotation and it just doesn't move the needle back much like it would for them.

Obviously we would be screwed with any extended absence from Yelich, or to a lesser extent Hader or Grandal, but everyone else we can cover fairly well with depth. All in all I wouldn't be shocked to see either team win the Central and I expect both teams in the playoffs just like last year.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 14, 2019, 1:15 AM Post
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Hardly definitive, but there is a who will win the NL Central poll up at MLBTR right now & results are currently around 42% MKE, 39% CHI, 8% STL, 8% CIN & 3% PIT.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 14, 2019, 6:47 AM Post
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Still fully expect STL to make it interesting


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 14, 2019, 10:09 AM Post
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sveumrules said:
Hardly definitive, but there is a who will win the NL Central poll up at MLBTR right now & results are currently around 42% MKE, 39% CHI, 8% STL, 8% CIN & 3% PIT.


I feel like I'd put odds right now at 40% chicago, 30% Milwaukee, 20% St Louis, and 5% for the other 2. So that poll is a bit surprising. Those odds are based on my personal assumption that Kimbrel is going to be a sub-2 era pitcher. I know many disagree, that's what I'm expecting though. I'll add if the Cubs have even 1 starting pitching injury, we become the favorites. I know they have Montgomery and can technically trade for one...problem is their farm is ugly and they might have to trade from the major league roster. Maybe they could trade their top 5 prospects for Mike Leake or something I guess.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 17, 2019, 2:23 PM Post
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Finally! The Cubs have an injury to starting pitching. Hendricks hit the DL a couple days ago with shoulder inflammation. Will be fun to see how they try to fill that void.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 17, 2019, 2:33 PM Post
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sveumrules said:
Playoff Odds currently somewhere around...

FG: 61%
538: 73%
BRef: 85%


Since I posted these on June 3rd we have lost a home series to the Marlins & a road series to the Giants, two of the worst teams in baseball, bringing our current Playoff Odds to somewhere around...

FG: 60%
538: 67%
BRef: 81%


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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 5:01 AM Post
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With the season almost half over, and all but two teams in the NL within 3.5 games of a playoff spot, would you say you are more or less optimistic/hopeful about the Brewers’ playoff chances than you were at the start of the season?

I have to go with less optimistic mainly because of the glaring problems with the pitching staff, especially the starters. I don’t think anyone can argue with a straight face that the frequency of short starts can’t continue, and it’s hard to see where the needed improvement is going to come from.

The offense has its holes too, with Shaw, Aguilar, and Cain all showing no signs of returning even to the lower end of what was expected from them. Hiura’s return might help some, but the offense has been too dependent on Yelich, Moustakas, and Grandal, and needs others to step up if any of them have injuries or cold streaks.

The plus one run differential hints at a team that is playing at a level closer to a .500 team than one that can win the 90 games that will probably be needed to make the playoffs. The playoff hopes likely hinge on whether the Brewers are able to make a personnel move or two to firm up the roster for the stretch run.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 5:01 AM Post
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All of the teams in the NL Central have a losing road record this season, and the last place Pirates actually have the best road record of the group. It is the only division in baseball that doesn’t have a single team with a winning record away from home.

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Offline  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 8:44 AM Post
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I'm intrigued to see what Houser does on Wednesday in the rotation. According to fangraphs, he's throwing a legit 4 pitch mix out of the bullpen. 66% fastball, 13% slider, 15% curve, 6% change. If he's going to go a 2nd and especially a 3rd time through the order, he'll probably have to mix in a bit more offspeed. I'll be super curious to see how that looks.

I really don't think the rotation is a reason for such alarms. A few guys aren't performing, but we have piles of other options. We are trying Houser, we have Wilkerson in long relief who can jump into the rotation, GG should be back soon, and Burnes/Peralta could re-figure things out in AAA over the next month and become options. If you remember, a month or 2 in AAA for Woodruff last year did wonders for him...he came back up a monster out of the bullpen.

As close as the standings are, I think many teams make a decisive decision around mid-July and many teams will look to sell.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 9:45 AM Post
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BruisedCrew said:
With the season almost half over, and all but two teams in the NL within 3.5 games of a playoff spot, would you say you are more or less optimistic/hopeful about the Brewers’ playoff chances than you were at the start of the season?


I'd say I'm equally optimistic.

At the start if the year the only NL team that looked like a guaranteed postseason team was the Dodgers & through this juncture they are still the only NL team that looks like a certain postseason entrant.

For every other team in the NL trying to compete for the postseason it was essentially a coin flip. For reference here are 538's preseason playoff odds (from OP), their current numbers & the difference.

LAD 79/99 (+20)
WAS 59/31 (-28)
MIL 46/55 (+9)
STL 44/37 (-7)
NYM 42/17 (-25)
PHI 39/29 (-10)
CHI 38/63 (+25)
ATL 37/86 (+49)
COL 34/34 (0)
PIT 21/7 (-14)
ARI 21/20 (-1)
CIN 18/16 (-2)
SDP 14/5 (-9)
SFG 6/0 (-6)
MIA 1/0 (-1)

The East has underwhelmed to this point outside of ATL, so they have shot up. The Central has played out about as expected. The Cubs performance to this point has answered some of their questions coming into the season, while our performance has created more questions, so they've passed us up momentarily, while STL has also underwhelmed. The West is playing out pretty much exactly to expectations with LAD looking like even more of a juggernaut than was previously assumed.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 9:45 AM Post
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Eye Black said:
All of the teams in the NL Central have a losing road record this season, and the last place Pirates actually have the best road record of the group. It is the only division in baseball that doesn’t have a single team with a winning record away from home.

Image


What stands out to me is all 5 teams in the division are within 5 losses of each other in the standings - really paints the picture of the division being muddled with a collection of good/not great teams that all have flaws. Health and teams' abilities to make moves to fill holes on their rosters by end of July will be the difference.

There were threads asking whether the Cards were dead and assuming the Reds and Pirates were afterthoughts - I doubt there will be any afterthoughts in this division until late August at the earliest.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 9:56 AM Post
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I doubt there will be any afterthoughts in this division until late August



Except the trade deadline is 7/31. The Reds and Pirates will unload their players on expiring contracts.

Teams like the D-Backs who have played way under their Pythagorean will have some hard decisions to make if they don’t turn it around in the next four months


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 24, 2019, 2:18 PM Post
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ZIPS offers an updated look at the NL playoff race as we approach the halfway point, giving us a 64.4% chance at making the postseason...

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-zips-al ... al-league/

Excerpted Blurb..."While the Brewers aren’t a depressing franchise, their use of Keston Hiura and Travis Shaw is a real head-scratcher...ZiPS estimates that starting Shaw instead of Hiura over the rest of the season costs the Brewers about a tenth of a playoff appearance. That’s not negligible.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 30, 2019, 9:35 AM Post
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It’s the last day of June and if the playoffs started today the National League playoffs would consist of the exact same five teams as last season. The only difference from last year’s playoff bracket is the Brewers and Cubs would be swapped. The Brewers and Rockies would play in the wild card game, and the Braves, Dodgers, Cubs would be the division winners.

Many teams are currently chasing closely behind for a wild card spot including the Phillies (1.0 GB), Padres (1.5 GB), Dbacks (2.0 GB), Nationals (2.5 GB), Cardinals (3.0 GB), Pirates (4.0 GB).

The only National League teams that truly look like “sellers” at this point in time are the Marlins and Giants with the Mets trending towards that territory. The Reds are a good week or two away from being right in the middle of the wild card mix.


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Online  Re: 2019 Standings and Playoff Races Discussion
Posted: June 30, 2019, 4:12 PM Post
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The Brewers started the month of June with two wins against the Pirates and finished the month of June with two wins against the Pirates. It wasn’t pretty in between, but they finished the month of June going 13-13 overall.

Heading to July 1st the Brewers are tied for 1st place in the NL Central. Regardless of what’s transpired to this point the Brewers remain in a position to have a special summer over the next three months.

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