Sunday, July 24, 2011

Notes on the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline: NL East edition

As expected, this is forming into a two-team race between the Phillies and the Braves with the latter expected to be named as the league's wild card.  The Mets have installed a talented front office and should be competitive in the next few seasons but no one expected them to hover around .500.  The Marlins are a mess and will be unpredictable while Jeffrey Loria is in charge.  Meanwhile, in the nation's capital, I like to believe that GM Mike Rizzo has a plan since I do trust the direction they are heading.

NL East

Looking at BP's projections, both favorites in this division should easily crack 90 wins with the Phillies coming in at 96-97 and the Braves settling for 92-93.

2011 Payroll 2012 FA's 2012 Arbs.
Phillies $166 M 8 7
Braves $91 M 6 6
Mets $142.8 M 9 5
Marlins $57.7 M 5 11
Nationals $68 M 10 7

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Notes on the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline: NL Central edition

Looking over the NL Central things are looking rather interesting at the top of the standings.  So far, with one week of games played in the second half, we have a mere four and a half games that separate the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds.

Obviously, the Pirates are a huge surprise and have played .500 baseball since the first few weeks of June.  Many expected them to fade away but they have gained ground and briefly had their time in first place as recently as July 19th.


Going over the playoff odds report at Baseball Prospectus, the Brewers are the favorite but it should be very, very close as it could take as few as 87 wins to wrap up this division.

2011 Payroll 2012 FA's 2012 Arbs.
Brewers $83.5 M 6 9
Pirates $42 M 6 12
Cardinals $109 M 8 6
Reds $80.8 M 6 8
Cubs $134 M 7 6
Astros $77 M 2 7

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Notes on the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline: NL West edition

With this season's trade deadline set to expire at the end of July, most news coming out of the sport seems wrought with rumors, speculation and trade advice.  Below is a quick rundown of all the divisions along with each team's probable status, names involved, measured opinions by author, etc.

*note: all stats and team standings were taken prior to July 20, 2011


According to the playoff odds report at Baseball Prospectus, the Giants are expected to easily win the division with 93 expected wins while the DBacks (82.2) and Rockies (80.1) fighting it out for a distant second.  Recently, the Giants have won eight out of ten and sit on top of the division with a, somewhat, comfortable 4 1/2 game lead over the DBacks.  The Rockies are still struggling to play .500 ball and are 10 1/2 behind.

Below is a quick breakdown of each team's 2011 payroll and the number of free agents (club options were included) and arbitration eligibles in 2012:

2011 Payroll 2012 FA's 2012 Arbs.
Giants $118.2 M 7 12
Dbacks $56.5 M 4 5
Rockies $82.3 M 3 4
Dodgers $119.7 M 12 6
Padres $45.8 M 4 14

Monday, July 18, 2011

2011 NFL Team Preview: the Raiders of Oakland

In an effort to expand this blog to cover all major American sports, I will periodically turn my attention to the NFL to break down a handful of teams possibly due for a breakout this upcoming season.  With talks between the league and the players association looking optimistic - my goal is to have this done sometime before the end of August.  This first entry will look at the Oakland Raiders.

If all goes to according to plan, this will be the first of a five-part series. Next season, folks.


Last season the Raiders finished with a record of 8-8 including an impressive 6-0 within their division. Despite playing in the AFC West, this showing wasn’t enough to garner them a playoff spot but there were some positives compared to previous seasons. According to projections published in the previous Football Outsiders Almanac, the Raiders were expected to be no better than a 4 to 5 win team. Standard observation considering the fact that many questions and doubts lingered throughout almost every major position on the team; so, what caused them to perform much better than expected?


In 2009, the Raiders under first-time head coach Tom Cable turned in an offense that ranked almost last in total DVOA at -22.3%. In his second season, Cable decided to do things a bit differently. After struggling with injuries and under-performance from many key young players, the plan became to simplify this offensive unit with the signing of perpetual quarterback project, Jason Campbell, as well as bringing in first-time offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.