Presenting the first McNicholl ….
This analysis uses a complex proprietary mechanism which factors in current statistical positions, recent trends in performance and in-depth analysis of likelihood of remaining performance. Unlike some of you idiot-savants that retain player by player handicapping of each teams rosters in your heads and then apply ridiculously subjective opinions, this scientific approach applies a mathematical approach and then an objective approach to analysis.
So, here are my predictions for the range of possibilities for each of the contenders for a money spot.
Zombies - pretty much a lock for one of the first two spots but there is statistical potential for collapse if combined with strong runs by one or more than the others. They have the largest statistical point swing potential of the contenders. On the downside - just about every pitching category is a significant threat. A return to earlier season form by Jiminez would really help as would a good dose of Wolfs bane and Lowe & Bush need to continue to be lights out to snare the lucite burro down the stretch.
Amazins – need to hang on in those hitting categories to preserve 2nd place. I’d be very concerned about that if I were them. To get first they will not only need that but also need to improve from good to very good in ERA and Ratio and we all know how those categories can bend you over and make you their bitch. I think 2nd place is their peak with a fall to third if one of the others get hot down the stretch.
Far Siders – “Delgado, Delgado, I made you out of clay….”. Even if Carlos the wonder dog comes down to earth, the offense should contribute as well as one could expect. Pitching however is currently off the rails and threatens to drop the boys from Bloomfield (or thereabouts) from the money. I do not think Moehler is the answer but what do I know. Kendrick better stay on the latest track he’s on (I wouldn’t bet on that mudder either). If a team below gets hot I think the Sliders are very susceptible to being tripped up down the stretch.
Kaboomers - The oregano of 2nd and 1st are out of reach for Louie Louie (ooh that was so bad I’m gonna leave it in just to get an uncomfortable laugh). However, the stats show that maintenance of his current scores would mean a virtual lock check for 4th. . If combined with a stumble by the Far Siders, 3rd is in reach. I see exactly that happening. His good starters (e.g. Zambrano, Johan) on contending NL teams puts him in a good position to gain a few points in Wins to offset the points lost in the offensive categories and remain right where he is in points. Gee, Lou staying pat? How unusual.. Thus by doing nothing Lou stands to take 3rd place down the (big yawn and) stretch.
Blue Quails – largest upside potential of the teams on the board, but that’s only because of the hole that’s been dug. Needs to improve a minimum of 7 points (all in pitching) and a team above him to collapse. Has some pitching horses in the corral to give that a run but this team isn’t a bet for the faint of heart. The entire pitching staff will need to get hot – like now – and continue that way down the stretch
Love Machine– Virtually out of the money. Maximum potential barely reaches the bottoming out of all other teams above them. Now, that said, they do have the lowest downside of anyone. But they need a full 9 point net uptick to have a prayer . If its going to come it has to come in pitching (e.g.Wins with solid era). After Sheets and Kuroda, I just don’t buy Davis keeping it up, Perez is in the wrong city, and Sanchez and Campillo hurt the cause. The unrequited machine are gonna be watching from the sidelines down the stretch.
I’m very tempted to predict the collapse of the Far Siders to be so bad that I even sneak into the money but: a) gotta go with what the stats tell me; b) predicting that would seal my fate(kiss of death); and c) Marv just contacted me looking to trade which would influence the situation and potentially could cause a time paradox with this article and the universe would explode.
Intangibles: no one has the leeway for a any kind of significant injury at this point and the transaction opportunities remaining (most notably the roster expansion) are going to significantly influence this years final standings. It will be very interesting to watch what happens with that.
I probably should have waited until next week to write this but my attention span is roughly that of a gnat so without further ado, I’m going to put my bet in on my new computational system and predict: