Rays at Indians Preview

This will be the second Wild Card game ever for the AL, as the Orioles defeated the Rangers. This year it’s the Indians and Rays. The Indians are putting Danny Salazar on to face Alex Cobb. The Rays have the line-up advantage tonight I think and they have a good shot to win on the road, especially if Joe Maddon comes up clutch again.

Predicted Score: Rays 5 Indians 4

Watch out for Evan Longoria again and Nick Swisher tonight. Also Carlos Santana knows how to hit a big home run as does Jason Giambi. Salazar will have to pitch a good game full of strikeouts, he could be a big game pitcher, he has the stuff to be one. Cobb really isn’t a one game elimination pitcher, but he will have to do. He will get his groundballs and the Rays will help him out. I think the Rays need to score early and their x-factor is Delmon Young again, he could come up big. The Indians need to protect their home field like they did all year (except to the Tigers). It should be a close and good game to watch. The bullpens need to be handled well tonight too and it’s a dual of two great managers.

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Postseason Predictions

NL Wild Card: Pirates over Reds
AL Wild Card: Rays Over Indians

ALDS:
Tigers over Athletics in 5
Rays over Red Sox in 4
NLDS:
Pirates over Cardinals in 5
Dodgers over Braves in 5
ALCS:
Tigers over Rays in 6
NLCS:
Pirates over Dodgers in 7
World Series:
Tigers over Pirates in 5

Power Rankings

  1. Tigers
  2. Dodgers
  3. Braves
  4. Athletics
  5. Pirates
  6. Cardinals
  7. Red Sox
  8. Rays
  9. Indians
  10. Reds
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Rays vs Rangers Playoff Preview

Just a quick post on a few things I wanted to say about this game.

The last playoff game was in 2009 when the Twins defeated the Tigers in the Metrodome completing their huge comeback to win the AL Central. Tonight the Rays and Rangers will battle it out to play the Indians on Wednesday. The Indians will be tough to beat at this point but it’s possible, especially with Joe Maddon’s genius or the Rangers offense.

Predicted score for Tonight: Rays 6 Rangers 5

The Rangers lost last years one game Wild Card at home, the Rays have the pitching advantage tonight, as they put the ball into David Price’s hand while Martin Pérez may struggle in his first playoff appearance. Last time Price pitched a game in the postseason against the Rangers he gave up 3 runs in 6.2 innings. He’s an even better pitcher now. Price needs to prove his lowered walk rate in this game and show that he is the ace of the Rays

An x-factor in this game is definitely Delmon Young, he lights up in the postseason and is known for hitting huge home runs.

I like both teams line-ups tonight. Matt Joyce could have the biggest impact off of the bench

Remember this is a one game playoff, so basically anything can happen.

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Product Review: OOTP 14

The Trade Deadline was a week, and I’m sure we all had clever moves up our sleeves for out favorite teams to help them now or in the future, or maybe even both.  While I have a five start product to review for you guys, OOTP 14! Out of the Park Baseball is a computer game and an app where you can take control of your favorite team on Opening Day 2013, or any other year! You can also create a fictional league.  You control all of the moves and it is the most in depth baseball simulation out there, and you get to control the moves that either make or break your team.  Even the app is deep and very fun.  I’m always playing this game trying to figure out good line-ups to make, trades to offer, and ways to win, as if I’m the GM of a team.  It’s a great game and I would recommend it, it goes above and beyond an A+ rating. It’s 39.99 for the computer game and 5 dollars in the Apple app store and it’ll be a great $40 dollars spent! If you got the game in the past you’ll understand how fun it is and know that they’ve only made improvements, so go get the game now! You won’t regret it.

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Quick Note on Tigers trades

The Tigers have now given up Brayan Villarreal, Avisial Garcia, and Danry Vasquez for Jose Veras and Jose Iglesias. I think they over payed, but they still got good players in return. The Tigers have a lot of outfield and relief pitcher prospects that are good but they gave up some of the best players in their minor league system. It will all be okay if the Tigers win it all, any payment is. Avisail Garcia could be an all-star though and I hate to see him go. Iglesias fits a need for the Tigers though. I still wouldn’t mind seeing the Tigers pick up another reliever or corner outfielder with speed and/or power. If they do though it should be cheap. I’m thinking Nate Schierholtz or maybe Dejesus or someone like that. The Red Sox got the best part of the 3 team trade, while the Tigers are slightly above the White Sox I think because the only really good player the White Sox got is Garcia and I’d consider Iglesias good too and he should help the Tigers in the playoffs. The Tigers join the Marlins and White Sox as teams with more than one Cuban player now too, a little cool fact I thought.

Tomorrow I will be at the Tigers game but will be keeping update with rumors, trades, and everything else and giving my opinions and ideas on it, so follow me on twitter @Niktigs, I love to talk baseball and will follow you back!

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Tigers Bullpen

The Tigers recently acquired Jose Veras to fit their need for a good reliever. Some think they may need to make another move but I think one is enough, as bullpen pieces seem to change the most ut of any other position in baseball. Plus Danry Vasquez was already a steep price to pay. Veras is good and should do good but Vasquez was a big price to pay.
The Relief Aces

  • RHP Joaquin Benoit
  • RHP Jose Veras
  • LHP Drew Smyly

Benoit has proven that he can be a closer and he’s just a great reliever any way you look at it.  Smyly has been used in many roles this season and hasn’t failed yet, he won’t start a game this year and will continue to provide valuable relief innings, though starting is still his future.  Veras was the closer for the worst team in the MLB but he was their best reliever and one the Tigers best relievers now.  Veras has a chance of struggling some but I expect a  good stay in Detroit and for him  to be a good reliever.

Rising

  • RHP Bruce Rondon
  • RHP Al Alburquerque

Rondon was wild and not ready for the MLB when he first came up, but he has learned and still is.  He is still a good late inning reliever to rely on for the rest of the season and I’d name him the fourth best in the bullpen right now but Alburquerque could do that if he just regains some control.  I’m okay with him being a bit wild because his pitches move but he needs to stop putting balls over the plate and use his slider to pitch to weak contact.  He can be as good as he was in that short stretch for the Tigers last year.  He can better than his ERA suggests, but he needs to pitch like it.

The Vet

  • LHP Phil Coke

He’s been horrible, but I’ve seen some improvement lately and he has a good postseason track record and he’s a lefty, so he’s worth the spot if the Tigers slowly work him back into his role.  He has hope, but it could go either way.  I think the Tigers have to take a chance though.

The AAA/MLB guy

  • RHP Evan Reed

Him and Putkonen bounce back and fourth when needed and he has done decent and will rack up some more innings and there’s reason to think he will implode but I like Putkonen better.

Injured

  • LHP Darin Downs
  • RHP Luis Marte
  • RHP Octavio Dotel

Dotel may return in September and could have a very positive effect like Alburquerque did last year.  Downs was just on rehab at West Michigan that I attended and I was impressed.  He seemed like the good Downs that I saw last year in the late season.  I think he can provide better innings now than earlier this year.

Others

  • RHP Luke Putkonen
  • PHP Jose Ortega
  • RHP Brayan Villarreal

All three of these guys will be on the club in September and will give it more depth and all have had bright spots in their career, Ortega and Putkonen have looked impressive this year and Villarreal should he could be a good reliever last year.

This bullpen has three aces and a top prospect, they just need a guy to step up and some guys to just do decent jobs and they will be in good shape.  Bullpens can change fast and I like the direction that this one is heading in.  It still could blow games and probably will still blow a few and won’t be the best in the AL, but it will be tolerable.  No more trades will be needed though, Veras can help a lot.

A note on JV: He’s having a tougher year in his career but I think he will slowly start to do better this year and make a full rebound in the future.  The contract getting to his head talk is stupid.  He will still go out and compete and his velocity is still there.  He’s still JV and he will still do amazing JV things.

 

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MLB Power Rankings- Pre-Trade Deadline

  1. Cardinals
  2. Rays
  3. Athletics
  4. Pirates
  5. Red Sox
  6. Tigers
  7. Braves
  8. Reds
  9. Orioles
  10. Rangers
  11. Dodgers
  12. Indians
  13. Diamondbacks
  14. Yankees
  15. Nationals
  16. Royals
  17. Rockies
  18. Mariners
  19. Blue Jays
  20. Phillies
  21. Giants
  22. Padres
  23. Angels
  24. Mets
  25. Cubs
  26. Twins
  27. Brewers
  28. White Sox
  29. Marlins
  30. Astros
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The Playoffs In July

The Giants may be defending champs but their chances of creating a dynasty are under 1% now and they should become sellers the next two days. On the other hand the Rays, A’s, and Tigers all look like they could string a few more winning seasons together after this one and it would be surprising if they missed out on at least a Wild Card at this point.

Here are the teams I would classify with a nice shot at making the 2013 MB postseason

  • Tigers
  • Rays
  • Red Sox
  • Athletics
  • Cardinals
  • Pirates
  • Braves

So’s there’s seen really rounded teams that I would be surprised if they didn’t make at least a Wild Card game.  I think this postseason will be very fun to watch.

Here’s the teams with a good or decent shot, but could still miss the playoffs

  • Orioles
  • Yankees
  • Indians
  • Rangers
  • Nationals
  • Reds
  • Dodgers
  • Diamondbacks

The most surprising team on this list is the Nationals no doubt, with their talent they should be a Wild Card at least, and their chances keep decreasing because the NL Central looks like they have a really strong division and will yield both Wild Card teams.  The Yankees could always make a push because they’re the Yankees and find ways to win under their management but this year injuries and old players seem to take away that possibility.  The Orioles are a tough team and one good trade away from being a team that I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the ALCS.  The Dodgers and Diamondbacks I expect to see go down to the final days of the season, if not final day, but the Dodgers star-studded roster makes them favorites for me.  The Reds are the strongest team on this list but they are also in the toughest division and in third, so anything can happen with that fifth wild card if they start to skid some.  The Rangers are strong too but I can’t see a spot in the playoffs for them unless they can pass the Athletics, but they have a shot at the Wild Card too but they need to get hot and stay hot, it’s all possible.  I’d take the Reds, Dodgers, and Orioles to round out my playoff teams.  And the Rangers and Nationals the sixth best in their leagues.

Would Need to Be A Cinderella Team

  • Rockies
  • Giants
  • Royals

The top two have a small and at that very small chance to win the West as they are in the weakest division in baseball.  The Royals have gotten hot, which is the start to the perfect recipe

Sellers

  • Blue Jays
  • White Sox
  • Twins
  • Mariners
  • Angels
  • Astros
  • Mets
  • Marlins
  • Phillies
  • Cubs
  • Brewers
  • Padres

These teams don’t really have a shot, but they may call up some fun prospects to watch near the end of their seasons.  I say the Marlins lose 98 and avoid a disaster, they could do even better and the Astros take the number pick in 2014 in the MLB Draft with around 104-105 losses.

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