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  • Fluke team or not?

    Curious what everyone thinks here. The following are six teams that are overachieving relative to where they were commonly picked. Who's a one-month fluke and who's going to be in it until the end?

    Tampa Bay
    Baltimore
    Chicago Sox
    Oakland
    Florida
    St. Louis
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  • #2
    Tampa Bay
    Tampa Bay was a trendy pick in the preseason to outperform. They already had a decent offense, they've got a lot of speed, and they upgraded their defense up the middle by quite a bit. And they haven't even gotten Kazmir back yet. It'll depend on health but I think this is a team that will stick around. I think in the end the Red Sox probably take the division, and the Rays will have trouble replacing guys if anyone gets hurt, while the Sox can weather injuries better, but Tampa's got a shot at being the real deal.

    Baltimore
    Has fluke written all over it. They're on their way up and they should finish north of .500. But I don't think they have enough really solid performers to stay where they are. I don't see anything in Baltimore that I can look at and say "that's a core strength of this ballclub." Luke Scott is not going to carry this team to the promised land.

    Chicago Sox
    They weren't as bad as their record last year. Their bullpen is much improved and their offense is decent, if a little too dependent on the long ball (which will make them streaky). It'll be down to their rotation whether they can keep this up.

    Oakland
    Never, ever underestimate Billy Beane. He's thrown together a decent rotation and he's got some pop, and he's worked his usual miracle with the bullpen. He's a few pieces short but considering that the Angels and Mariners are both struggling with injuries and underperformance at the moment, it could happen.

    Florida
    Three words: No Friggin' Way. They're a young team and those can surprise you (see the Rays) but the competition in the NL East is just too strong. Despite their best efforts to give the division away I can't believe that none of Philly, Atlanta and New York will over-top them down the stretch. And once again we run into the issue of not really having a true strength of the club -- bullpen is probably the closest.

    St. Louis
    Their big problem over the years is finding a consistent guy to hit behind Pujols. Looks like Ankiel is the man. I think this is for real.

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    • #3
      Just the Cardinals, Rays and White Sox IMO<<<<

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      • #4
        Tampa Bay - totally for real; non-believers need to start listening
        Baltimore - fluke
        Chicago Sox - minor fluke
        Oakland - minor fluke
        Florida - fluke
        St. Louis - fluke (see starting pitching)
        Beyond The Boxscore (still with some lime)

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        • #5
          I think we will see more from the Rays, the A's and the ChiSox this season.
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          • #6
            I think the A's, the White Sox, and the Marlins will be in it to the end.

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            • #7
              The Rays were doing this despite their best pitcher being on the DL...they can only improve when he's back to his normal form.
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              • #8
                The Marlins will come undone for sure. Their Rotation isn't good enough. The bullpen could need some improving. Their hitters are OK. Jacobs has been playing well, as Hanley and Gonzalez are proven stars. If they are there at postseason, I will be extremely surprised. The Mets(could be WS champs) and the Phillies will be too strong for them.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by efin98 View Post
                  The Rays were doing this despite their best pitcher being on the DL...they can only improve when he's back to his normal form.
                  Bit of a fallacy, that. Their rotation is already pretty good right now, replacing one of them with another good starter won't improve them all that much. And Kazmir might take awhile to get back to top form which would mean they'd be weaker for that little while.

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                  • #10
                    I'm a White Sox fan, so biased... but I believe they're for real (especially with Cleveland and Detroit looking so bad, and even more so against the White Sox!) Its all about the pitching with them, but they surprised in 2005 with pitching.

                    Baltimore, Florida- no way.

                    Cards- any team in the NL Central could win that division its so weak.

                    Rays? I didn't realize they were honestly this good. Has Wild Card written all over it.

                    Oakland, I suppose could surprise.
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                    • #11
                      For Real:
                      White Sox
                      A's

                      Minor Fluke:
                      Rays
                      O's (Yankees and Red Sox will always dominate AL East, end of story)
                      Cardinals

                      Major Fluke:
                      Marlins
                      My Top 4 funniest BBF posts ever:

                      1) "plZ dOn;t' pOsT LikE tHIs n e mOr!"

                      2) "The teams play 1962 games in 180 days."

                      3) "Stadiums don't move silly, people do."

                      4) "Once again you quibble, because it is I who speaks."

                      5) Almost anything RuthMayBond says...

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                      • #12
                        Here are the run differentials and "expected" won-loss records for the teams in question.

                        Code:
                        ....               Runs      Runs       Run      Expected 
                        Team              Scored    Allowed     Diff.     Record      
                        Oakland            150       110        +40       20-10
                        St. Louis          135       104        +31       18-11
                        Chicago Sox        131       105        +26       16-10
                        Tampa Bay          134       111        +24       17-11
                        Baltimore          118       126         -8       13-15
                        Florida            124       142        -18       12-16
                        The A's are at an impressive +40 runs already. Can they keep that up though? Now having a nice positive run differential does not guarantee a great record at the end of the season. In '07 the Brewers had something like a +40 run difference in May. But a long slump in early summer dropped that differential to basically zero by the end of June.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                        • #13
                          Tampa Bay - For very real
                          Baltimore - I'd love to say they're for real, but they aren't
                          Chicago Sox - Semi-fluke
                          Oakland - Maybe a fluke
                          Florida - Fluke
                          St. Louis - Probably fluke

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                          • #14
                            Tampa Bay may indeed be for real, but they're still sharing a division with Boston, the Yankees who when healthy can put up runs enough to make up for a shaky staff (right now they are, at least, save Wang) and the Jays, who did finish second a couple years ago and have some strong arms and can produce some runs. It's a long season, and not to take anything away from them, but we've seen plenty of apparent good teams fizzle out down the road. If the breaks don't come in August . . .
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                            • #15
                              Tampa Bay - Could be great with maybe another big bat and/or starting pitcher

                              Baltimore - fluke

                              Chicago Sox - I think they will be decent if Floyd and Contreras have good years

                              Oakland - Looks like a fluke, but Billy Beane is a genius, so you never know.

                              Florida - Fluke, but they might be a little better than previous years.

                              St. Louis - Fluke, offense could be better than expected, but the good pitching will not continue.

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