Tag Archives: Milwaukee Brewers

Drei’s 2016 N.L. Forecast

Leading Off…

Here’s what Drei had to say heading into last season…

“Since Don Mattingly took over the managerial reins in 2011, the Dodgers have improved their win total by an average of 4 games. Should that trend continue into this season, the Blue Crew should finish with 98 wins, and yet, he seems to be on the hot seat every season…It’s been 27 years now. There are enough Dodger fans out there young enough asking what was it like to have experienced a World Series victory.”

Don Mattingly guided The Blue to their 3rd consecutive division title with 92 wins, yet the hot seat never cooled, sending to a much cooler summer climate, Miami. It’s been 28 years now, and Dodgers fans of all generations are growing somewhat impatient for that October experience…

N.L. East

Two of baseball’s best pitching staffs just may reside here in the NL East. The Mets return the bulk of their starting rotation that led them to their first World Series appearance since 2000 and with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndegaard and Steve Matz ready to take on a full season, this team could be primed for another WS run. The Nationals, last year’s favorites among many of the experts to win the WS, still posses a pretty potent all-around lineup to compliment their strong rotation, anchored by Stephen Strasburg. Injuries and the lack of team unity played key roles in the Nats late season meltdown, costing Matt Williams his job.   The lineup will once again count on Bryce Harper to put up some big numbers along Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and their newest addition Daniel Murphy. It is hoped that proven skipper Dusty Baker will be able to keep this team completely focused. Dealing with players with adverse personalities is nothing new for Dusty. Let’s not forget he managed both Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent for several seasons. The Braves and Phillies, once the class of this division, could are in serious rebuild mode and could both potentially lose over 100 games…

N.L. Central

The Cubs made some key off-season moves, including the additions of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist to an already dangerous lineup. Much of the attention will be focused on their pitching, considered to be one of the deepest with the top 3 in the rotation of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey. Many are picking the Cubs to not only go deep into October but to also win that big Fall Prize that has eluded them the last 108 years. This could just be their year…

The Pirates, post-season participants for 3 consecutive seasons, will be highly competitive again this season even the the loss of A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ from their rotation. The rotation still has a top 1-2 tandem between Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. The lineup is still anchored by Andrew McCutchen, and his supporting cast with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco is pretty dynamic themselves. It may be a stretch to pick the Bucs to finish atop the Central, but a 4th consecutive post-season appearance is not out of the question. Now if they could just find a way to avoid that dreaded wild card game. The Pirates, riding their most successive run since 1990-92, may have 3 consecutive post-season appearances under their belt but two consecutive one and done’s may unfairly have Clint Hurdle in the hot seat should the Bucs fail to make a deep October run…

The Cardinals, owners of last years best record in baseball, lost starter John Lackey to the rival Cubs and will be without Lance Lynn for the season. If Adam Wainwright can remain healthy throughout the season, along with Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, both who are still young, and the addition of Mike Leake, there’s no reason the Cardinals should not be able to compete in what could be baseball’s best division for the second consecutive season. If Matt Adams and Matt Holliday can rebound from injury plagued seasons, this lineup, along with Matt Carpenter at the top, could quietly be one of the leagues best.

N.L. West

I’m not going to lie. Though I do truly believe the Dodgers will win the West for the 4th consecutive season, I am mostly going with my heart. But hey, most so-called experts rarely ever get their predictions on the mark, right ?

Much has been made of the off-season moves within the division and it is expected to be a 3 team race between the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks. The two big additions to the rivals was the addition of Johnny Cueto to the Giants, and of course the addition of Zack Greinke away from the Blue over to the DBacks, who we’re among the league leaders in offense last season. 

Spring Training has not entirely been so kind to the Dodgers, who already are beset by some health issues in the back end of the rotation. The good news, in spite of our early season worries, not every Dodger got hurt during Spring TrainingThe top 3, led by Kid K with Scott Kazmir and off-season addition Kenta Maeda, will give the Blue a formidable front end of the rotation. My concerns however are how will Maeda, coming off a solid spring,  hold up in his first big league season… Can Kazmir stay healthy and retain his 2015 form ? Can Alex Wood bounce back from his 2nd half swoon and prove to be a legitimate 4th starter ? Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed all of last season, is expected to give the rotation a boost if he should return by mid-May at the earliest.

The outfield, even with the loss of Andre Ethier until at least June, is still pretty deep, however these questions loom…Will Puig finally display a full season of his potential ? Can Joc Pederson cut down on his strikeouts and improve upon his on base percentage ? Can Carl Crawford stay healthy enough until Andre returns ? It’s expected that Crawford and Scott Van Slyke will be platooning in left field. The infield will be a good combo of experience and youth. This lineup has the potential to put up some big numbers and could have 3 30 plus home run boppers in Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. If Puig can give us a 20/20 season, and Joc can hit somewhere in the .270’s our offense should be allright. 

So everyone expects a 3 team race here in the NL West. The Rockies and Padres are not expected to do much and there have been talks that the Friars are looking to unload some of their key acquisitions from last year, including Matt Kemp. If the Padres are out of contention by July, I see Kemp, who in typical fashion had a strong finish last season, heading to one of two possible sleepers, Seattle or Miami ( Yeah, Kemp reunited with Mattingly, playing with Dee Gordon, and Barry Bonds as his hitting coach. Hmmm )

NL Wild Card

Cubs over the Cards. Again, after this one-game elimination game is over, talks and debates will resume over an expanded WC series… 

NLDS

Cubs over the Pirates. The Pirates will finally be playing in an actual playoff series, only to be disappointed once again by everyone’s pre-season favorites. Does an appearance past the WC keep Hurdle off the hot seat ?

Dodgers over the Mets. In another closely contested series, this time, it’s OUR Boys in Blue who prevails 

NLCS

In a battle of two teams who have 97 years combined without a World Series appearance, someone finally ends their drought. Why not us ? Dodgers over the Cubs

As I’ve admitted, my pick of our Blue going all the way is for all intents and purposes, from the heart. The Blue is expected to contend once again this season. They may be banged up right now, but hey, no team goes through a full 162 game season without some dings and scratches, right ? 

World Series… A Battle of Blue

It’s been 27 years. In that time, we’ve endured 2 Bush’s, and we may be on our way toward a 2nd Clinton…. Oh yeah, it would be great if we can give Good Ol’ Vin a Grand Sendoff, right ?

9th Inning…A Tale From The Park…With KID N DREI…

20140831_164815.jpg Because Kid Marley Marlz has all that ” Kid Like ” energy during the off-season, Drei needs to take him to the park…

20140831_164829.jpg ” HEY KID ! When are we gonna come up with that Dodger song ? ” Kid Marley Marlz may call me Dre Beats, but it’s The Kid who spits out The Beats and the Everyday Blessings, while Drei, well, Drei just tells The Tales.  Hey Kid ! When our we gonna do that Dodger song ?… ‘Til The Next Episode…Close us out KID !!!

Everyday Blessings… Kid Marley Marlz

 

 

Regular Season Head to Head vs. Playoff Head to Head

Interesting read in today’s Dodger Insider regarding the significance, or lack of, between regular season and post-season head to head matchups.

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For those of you who may be in a panic over the Blue Crew’s 1-5 mark against the Brew Crew after being swept this weekend, as you can see from past playoff match-ups listed above, the regular season is not always a true indicator of how teams match up in the post-season, ESPECIALLY, in baseball, where 162 games are played and any team, no matter how good, can look bad during a slump against anyone, no matter how bad the opponent is. Lets take a look at recent history going back to 2008.

In 2008 and 2009, the Dodgers had 2-5 regular season records against the Cardinals and Cubs. Dodgers swept both teams in the NLDS 3 games to none. Let’s look at last season. The Braves had our number in the regular season. What did it matter come playoff time ?

“How do the Dodgers and Braves matchup ? During the regular season the Boys from Georgia took 5 of 7 against the Boys in Blue however it should be noted that 3 of those wins came during a 3 game sweep in Atlanta during the Dodgers rough start, injuries had still crippled the team and that included the loss of Hanley Ramirez. “

My words from last season’s preview of the NLDS matchup with the Braves . I’m sure you all remember who came out on top.

“The Dodgers had a slight edge over the Cardinals in the regular season, winning 4 out of 7, with the visiting teams winning their respective series. How much of an advantage either team may have on one another, who knows ? So how do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup heading into the NLCS ? We do know that this time around both teams will be coming into this series at their best unlike during the regular season, when the Cards took 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium back in May as the Dodgers we’re still mired in their early season funk and the Dodgers took 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium in early August when the Dodgers we’re at the height of their post all-star break run while the Red Birds we’re experiencing a swoon of their own having lost 13 of 18 during that stretch…..”

Once again, My words from last season’s preview of the NLCS . Unfortunately, we still remember the end result there. My point, fellow Dodger fans, is that there are a number of factors as to why the regular season means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when teams cross paths come playoff time. Injuries, a team slump, among other numerous factors, could have and all likely play a key role as to why certain teams dominate other teams in the regular season. Let’s also not forget, in a 162 game season, even the best teams lose at least 60 games. Let’s also not forget no matter how good a team is, every team is prone to losing streaks as well. I’ll say it again folks, no matter how good a team is, anyone can go cold at any point in the season even against some bad teams. Also ask yourself, is 6 games out of 162 really a true indicator of how one matches up against each other ? I think not.

Let’s also go back to a decade far far away, the 80s. During the 1983 season, the Dodgers dominated the season series against the Phillies taking 11 games out of 12. Come playoff time, the Phillies entered the NLCS having won 25 of their final 32 while the Dodgers limped into the NL West title. In the 1983 NLCS, it was the Wheeze Kids , a lineup of Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Steve Carlton, and Mike Schmidt, at 34 being the youngest of that bunch, and a hot bat from Gary Matthews that would do the Dodgers in.

Flash forward to 1988. This time it was the Dodgers who we’re in the short end of a regular season matchup, as the Mets, 2 years removed from their 1986 triumph and a possible dynasty in the making, who had taken 10 of 11 from the Dodgers in the regular season. The Mets, led by Doc Gooden’s arm and Darryl Strawberry’s bat, we’re heavy favorites to beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. But the Dodgers defied all odds in a series that would go the full 7 games, and well, you know what happened …

So there you have it. The regular season is a marathon. The playoffs are a whole different beast.

Dre_88trophy It’s been 26 years. Is 2014 the year we party like it’s 1988 ?

Sunday Adventures With Mini Puig 6/8/2014

This weeks theme, The Stanley Cup… Go Kings Go !!!

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Earlier this week, our Mini Puig cruised the streets from Inglewood to DTLA, seeing all kinds of support for the Kings,  playing in their second Stanley Cup Finals in 3 seasons.   Before he ventures the streets,  Mini Puig makes a quick stop at Randys Donuts,  where they too are showing their support for the Kings.

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After a couple of donuts Mini Puig sends to be a happy camper.   Hopefully those donuts don’t show him down during upcoming games…..

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Moving right along Mini Puig makes a stop at the one time home of the Kings,  The Fabulous Forum.   The Kings would call this place home from 1967-1999, appearing in one Stanley Cup final.

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Moving right along,  Mini Puig has now found his way toward Staples Center,  taking his place alongside The Great One.   ” Hey Wayne,  maybe someday they will have a statue in my honor at Dodger Stadium ”

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Oh yeah !  Lord Stanley’s Cup.   Two more wins and that cup comes back to L.A. ! GO KINGS GO !!!   Puig still believes he will help The Blue bring home a trophy of a different sorts.   One that has eluded them since 1988.  It’s going to be a tough climb again this year,  With The Blue currently 9.5 games behind the Giants.   But hey, they overcame their 30-42 stay last season , due in large part to Big Puig’s arrival, along with 42-8 run, which would be asking a lot again.  

A Look At The Standings

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For all the talk of the Dodgers struggles,  lost amongst all this talk is the fact the Dodgers have the 3rd most wins in the NLCS along with the Braves and Cardinals,  two teams the Dodgers faces in last year’s playoffs.   The Pirates,  who have struggled on the road this season,  are starting to warm up.  When all is said and done,  at this point,  With exception of the Giants and Brewers, there is a lot of parity in the senior circuit, including all 5 NL playoff participants,  2 who see themselves south of the .500 mark .  As I said earlier,  expecting another 42-8 run would be asking too much.   Putting together a string of wins,  certainly this team is more than capable.

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Not exactly a lineup that instills far is it ?  See the tweet from the Dodger fan below the lineup….

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The Dodgers with Kershaw on the mound as they try to take 2 of 3 at Coors Field.  Away from Dodger Stadium, where the Blue is 13-19, the Blue have actually held their own,  spring a 19-12 record away from The Ravine.   After today,  the Dodgers travel to Cincinnati for a four game set with the Reds before returning home Friday night against the DBacks .