Pete’s Preview and Prediction of the ALCS

Right off the bat, you have to mention the injuries. Boston is without 3B Mike Lowell and Tampa is without closer Troy Percival. Boston‘s replacement on the roster goes to RP Mike Timlin, while Tampa has added SP Edwin Jackson.

On paper, Boston has the advantage in 5 of the 9 spots in the line up at 2B with Pedroia, DH with Ortiz, 3B with Youkilis (although it’s a slight edge), LF with Bay and RF with Drew. Tampa ‘s advantage is at C with Navarro, 1B with Pena, SS with Bartlett and CF with Upton. The last two with only a slight edge (SS and CF).

Red Sox Line up AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
CF-L Jacoby Ellsbury .280/.336/.394 17.8
2B-R Dustin Pedroia .326/.376/.493 62.3
DH-L David Ortiz .264/.369/.507 31.6
3B-R Kevin Youkilis .312/.390/.569 55.8 @ 1B
RF-L J.D. Drew .280/.408/.519 33.8
LF-R Jason Bay .286/.373/.522 47.2
1B-L Sean Casey .322/.381/.392 8.2
SS-S Jed Lowrie .258/.339/.400 8.1
C-S Jason Varitek .220/.313/.359 -1.4
       
Red Sox Bench AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
CF-S Coco Crisp .283/.344/.407 14.2
OF-L Mark Kotsay .276/.329/.403 6.7
SS-L Alex Cora .270/.371/.349 5.0
C-R Kevin Cash .225/.309/.338 -1.5
C-R David Ross .225/.369/.352 3.1
       
Rays Line up AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
2B-L Akinori Iwamura .274/.349/.380 16.0
CF-R B.J. Upton .273/.383/.401 32.1
1B-L Carlos Pena .247/.377/.494 32.0
3B-R Evan Longoria .272/.343/.531 34.8
LF-L Carl Crawford .273/.319/.400 7.1
DH-L Cliff Floyd .268/.349/.455 12.6
C-S Dioner Navarro .295/.349/.407 17.8
RF-L Gabe Gross .238/.336/.414 3.9
SS-R Jason Bartlett .286/.329/.361 12.9
       
Rays Bench AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
OF-R Rocco Baldelli .263/.344/.475 4.0 @ DH
INF- S Willy Aybar .253/.327/.410 5.2 @ 3B
UT-S Ben Zobrist .253/.339/.505 14.7 @ SS
CF-S Fernando Perez .249/.323/.351 NA
C-R Michel Hernandez .220/.267/.315 NA

The advantage between the rotation depends upon which Josh Beckett we see in this series. If he’s the dominant force the post-season is use to seeing, then I give the advantage to Boston with the exception of game 4. If, however, Beckett is only at regular season efficiency (most likely), then I have to give the Rays the advantage here. The only chance that I’m wrong in this analysis is if the youthful Rays staff finally starts to show it’s lack of experience and has a meltdown.

The bullpen or middle relief edge goes to Tampa , but the edge at closer is in Boston‘s advantage by far.

Red Sox Rotation IP ERA   Red Sox Bullpen IP ERA
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka 167.2 2.9   RHP Jonathan Papelbon 69.1 2.34
RHP Josh Beckett 174.1 4.03   LHP Hideki Okajima 62 2.61
LHP Jon Lester 210.1 3.21   RHP Justin Masterson 88.1 3.16
RHP Tim Wakefield 181 4.13   LHP Javier Lopez 59.1 2.43
          RHP Manny Delcarmen 74.1 3.27
          RHP Paul Byrd 180 4.6
          RHP Mike Timlin 49.1 5.66
                 
Rays Rotation IP ERA   Rays Bullpen IP ERA
RHP James Shields 215 3.56   RHP Dan Wheeler 66.1 3.12
LHP Scott Kazmir 152.1 3.49   LHP J.P. Howell 89.1 2.22
RHP Matt Garza 184.2 3.7   RHP Grant Balfour 58.1 1.54
RHP Andy Sonnanstine 193.1 4.38   LHP David Price 14 1.93
          RHP Chad Bradford 59.1 2.12
          LHP Trever Miller 43.1 4.15
          RHP Edwin Jackson 183.1 4.42


I see this series going 6 or 7 games of absolutely exciting baseball! It should not disappoint anyone! The Red Sox and their experience will win out! Play ball!!

3 Comments

  1. Albert

    October 10, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Great to see a baseball blog using stats other than the usual BA/OBP/SLG. I agree that the series hinges on Beckett.

  2. beastie978

    October 14, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    So, where does Pedroia’s VORP rank on the all-time season list for 2nd basemen? It seemed like he had one of the best all around seasons ever at the position.

  3. Peter

    October 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Here’s a list of 2B who had a higher VORP than Pedroia’s 63.3 in 2008 Since 1954 thanks to Baseball Prospectus:

    Year Player VORP
    1996 Chuck Knoblauch 98.8
    1976 Joe Morgan 94.2
    2000 Jeff Kent 92.7
    1975 Joe Morgan 91.6
    1996 Roberto Alomar 85.1
    2001 Roberto Alomar 81.6
    1998 Craig Biggio 80.5
    1997 Craig Biggio 79.8
    1974 Joe Morgan 79.8
    1999 Roberto Alomar 77.9
    2002 Jeff Kent 77.7
    1973 Joe Morgan 77.7
    2001 Bret Boone 77.4
    2000 Edgardo Alfonzo 76.9
    1974 Rod Carew 76.5
    1975 Rod Carew 75.4
    1993 Roberto Alomar 75.2
    1972 Joe Morgan 74.1
    1977 Joe Morgan 71.8
    1995 Chuck Knoblauch 71.6
    1991 Julio Franco 70.1
    2007 Chase Utley 68.8
    1984 Ryne Sandberg 68.8
    1990 Ryne Sandberg 68.7
    2002 Alfonso Soriano 68.5
    2004 Mark Loretta 68.1
    1973 Rod Carew 68.0
    2003 Bret Boone 67.0
    2000 Jose Vidro 65.8
    2006 Chase Utley 65.2
    1986 Steve Sax 63.9
    1980 Willie Randolph 63.8
    1979 Bobby Grich 63.5

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply