Thursday, September 30, 2004

Playoff Pitching Parings

While it's impossible to predict who the Cardinals will be playing in the first round, it is still interesting to look at the teams that the Cards may be facing next week and see what the pitching match-ups look like.

First, we know the Cards won't be facing the Astros or the Cubs next week. On a side note, the Astros could be in an interesting situation. Oswalt is slated to start on Saturday, and Clemens has volunteered to go on Sunday on 3 days rest if needed (I'm sure it took Phil Garner about a second to accept that offer.) If Clemens is in fact needed on Sunday, that's going to force Houston to start someone other than Clemens or Oswalt in game 1 of the playoffs, or worse yet for them - a 1 or 2 game regular season playoff with the Cubs and/or Giants. Of course, considering where they were 6 weeks ago, I doubt they'll complain.

So, the first round is still going to be either the Giants or Dodgers.

Dodgers

Right now, I think I would put money on Los Angeles meeting the Cards in the first round, simply because the Astros have the easiest schedule remaining in the Wild Card race. The Dodgers could still pass the Braves for the #2 seed, but will have to gain 2.5 games over their next 4. What does the Dodger rotation look like?

Yesterday - Odalis Perez (3.25 ERA)
Today - Jose Lima (4.19 ERA)
Friday - Jeff Weaver (4.01 ERA)
Saturday - Edwin Jackson (6.75 ERA)
Sunday - Kaz Ishii (4.69 ERA)

Since they have a magic number of 2 to clinch the West, it looks as if Perez is their Game 1 starter. After Perez, however, their rotation matches up very similarly to the Cardinals. 3 guys that aren't dominating anyone, but aren't horrible either. Kaz Ishii has had some of his starts taken by Wilson Alvarez (4.17 ERA) due to inconsistency, so you could see him getting a start as well. In general, though, if the Cards could get a win off of Perez the series should be theirs. (Of course, Dodgers fans are probably saying the same thing about the Cards and Marquis.)

Giants

The Giants post-season rotation is harder to estimate. Currently, their rotation looks like this.

Yesterday - Noah Lowry (3.82 ERA)
Today - Jerome Williams (4.41 ERA)
Friday - Kirk Rueter (4.81 ERA)
Saturday - Brett Tomko (4.19 ERA)
Sunday - Jason Schmidt (3.29 ERA)

Of course, Schmidt is the "wild card", if you will. If the Giants have clinched by Sunday, he won't be starting. If they haven't clinched, he'll be going with the season on the line. And if they finish the season in a tie? They'll get to depend on Noah Lowry and/or Jerome Williams to win regular season playoff game(s). That's not pretty.

As close as the Wild Card race is, I suspect that Schmidt will have to pitch on Sunday. If he pitches on Sunday, he would be hard pressed to pitch more than 1 game in the NLDS, which hampers the Giants by quite a bit. One way he could pitch more than 1 game would be to pitch on 3 days rest twice, which may not be a good idea in the first place. Another way would be if the Giants finish the season in a 3 way tie, then manage to win the Wild Card anyway. I am not sure what the NLDS schedule would look like if that were to happen, but my guess is that Schmidt might be able to start Game 2 on 4 days rest, then game 5 on 3 days rest. But that's asking a lot of this team, in my opinion.

Park Factors

If we adjust the top 4 starters for each team for park factors, we can get a little better idea of how they compare to one another. Once again, I'm using my elementary method, which simply assumes that half of each player's starts came on the road, and that overall those were neutral parks. Using a combination of adjusted ERA's and some educated guesses from the information above, here are the potential match-ups next week.

Game 1

Odalis Perez (3.41) or Noah Lowry (3.72) vs Matt Morris (4.71)

Game 2

Jeff Weaver (4.20) or Brett Tomko (4.08) vs Woody Williams (4.33)

Game 3

Jose Lima (4.39) or Jason Schmidt (3.20) vs Jason Marquis (3.79)

Game 4

Wilson Alvarez (4.38) or Jerome Williams (4.29) vs Jeff Suppan (4.31)

Game 5

Odalis Perez (3.41) or Noah Lowry (3.72) vs Matt Morris (4.71)

Conclusion

So, what do we know after doing all of that? Basically, the Cardinals need Matt Morris to have his A game, not his C game (which is of no surprise to anyone, I'm sure.) Even if he doesn't, though, the match-ups the Cardinals (might) have against the Dodgers in the other 3 games are still pretty favorable. And if the Giants only get one start out of Schmidt? The Cardinals chances against the Giants look very good.


7 Comments:

At 1:39 AM, Blogger cc Infopage said...

.

Yahoo News - Oct. 13, 2005


Yahoo Japan steps up mobile content distribution (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Yahoo Japan Corp. said on Thursday it had launched a mobile content distribution service, in which cellphone users can buy games, ring tones, news and other entertainment and information from 59 content providers.


Microsoft, Yahoo to link instant messages (USATODAY.com via Yahoo! News)
Microsoft and Yahoo will make their instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could give the companies more power to compete against market leader America Online. The companies expect the service to start by June 2006.


Yahoo to Bar Minor-Adult Sex Chat Rooms (Washington Post)
NEW YORK -- Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will bar chat rooms that promote sex between minors and adults and restrict all chat rooms to users 18 and older.

Today's News From & About Yahoo


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