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October 10, 2010

Playoff Prospectus

Sunday LDS Game Projections

by Eric Seidman

Well, that didn’t take long, as the Yankees have already moved on from the American League Division Series to the American League Championship Series while the Twins are once again sent home. I don’t necessarily buy into the whole psychological factor that the media seems to think is a tremendous storyline. The Twins are a great team, but the Yankees are greater. I highly doubt a great team like the Twins subconsciously sabotages itself throughout a game and that’s why the other team comes away victorious. It’s tough to beat a team so deep that Lance Berkman isn’t even a regular, regardless of whether or not players on the opposing team have some deep-rooted notion that they are the lesser team entering the matchup. The Yankees will rest up, avoiding the need to use CC Sabathia on short rest, and awaiting the outcome of our first series today.

The Rays and Rangers, who don’t get the benefit of longer gaps between games, square off at 1 p.m. Eastern, and are forced to utilize starting pitching depth in a battle of No. 4 starters.  Wade Davis looks to keep the Rays hopes alive as only four other teams down 2-0 in a division series have ever come back to advance, while Tommy Hunter will try to let the Yankees know, without further delay, who they’ll be facing next week. At 4:30 p.m., the Giants will send Jonathan Sanchez to the mound in Atlanta to try and get back the home field advantage the Braves so rudely neutralized Friday night. The Giants will face Tim Hudson, an even better ground ball machine than Derek Lowe, who held the Giants to just one controversial run this past Thursday. And the nightcap pits 2008 playoff hero Cole Hamels against Johnny Cueto as the Phillies will attempt to complete the sweep of the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

 

Rays (Wade Davis) at Rangers (Tommy Hunter)

Projected Runs Scored: Rangers 5.25, Rays 4.56

Projected Odds of Winning: Rangers 56.81 percent, Rays 43.19 percent

 

Rays vs. Tommy Hunter

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

John Jaso

.297

.342

.480

B.J. Upton

.281

.337

.468

Carl Crawford

.315

.358

.516

Evan Longoria

.294

.343

.523

Ben Zobrist

.280

.333

.478

Carlos Pena

.257

.335

.497

Dan Johnson

.269

.338

.463

Jason Bartlett

.305

.341

.469

Sean Rodriguez

.269

.307

.452

  

Rangers vs. Wade Davis

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Elvis Andrus

.293

.357

.455

Michael Young

.322

.372

.513

Josh Hamilton

.313

.368

.541

Vladimir Guerrero

.328

.370

.544

Nelson Cruz

.288

.348

.509

Ian Kinsler

.310

.376

.523

Mitch Moreland

.293

.333

.477

David Murphy

.299

.360

.504

Bengie Molina

.309

.339

.498

 

It is much more efficient from a production standpoint for us to pump these bad boys out prior to the actual lineups being posted. However, if there are lineup changes not reflected in any of these tables, please let us know in the comments section and we’ll work to correct them. The Rangers will likely go with David Murphy and Mitch Moreland in place of Jeff Francoeur and Jorge Cantu, given that the latter pair seem to be part of the vs. LHP lineup. Both project fairly well against Wade Davis. In fact, the entire Rangers team looks like it is expected to mash again in this game, with similar numbers to when they faced James Shields. Davis isn’t as talented as David Price or Matt Garza, so this isn’t necessarily a stretch.

 

Giants (Jonathan Sanchez) at Braves (Tim Hudson)

Projected Runs Scored: Braves 4.17, Giants 3.76

Projected Odds of Winning: Braves 54.66 percent, Giants 45.34 percent

 

Giants vs. Tim Hudson

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Andres Torres

.268

.322

.412

Freddy Sanchez

.309

.335

.426

Aubrey Huff

.289

.340

.444

Buster Posey

.287

.327

.425

Pat Burrell

.259

.342

.415

Juan Uribe

.268

.302

.416

Cody Ross

.272

.317

.423

Pablo Sandoval

.303

.338

.446

 

Braves vs. Jonathan Sanchez

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Omar Infante

.292

.358

.429

Jason Heyward

.256

.370

.405

Brian McCann

.291

.376

.476

Derrek Lee

.276

.379

.455

Brooks Conrad

.233

.306

.373

Alex Gonzalez

.262

.320

.428

Nate McLouth

.256

.350

.421

Rick Ankiel

.242

.324

.400

 

The Braves have to be feeling pretty good about their chances here, as they take a 1-1 series back to their home turf and get to turn the ball over to their ace. Neither team looks particularly solid from an offensive standpoint and Sanchez is no slouch, so runs will be at a premium in this game. The Giants will have to hope Hudson makes a mistake with that sinker while the Braves will need to take a page out of The Book of Heyward and work the count in their favor.

 

Phillies (Cole Hamels) at Reds (Johnny Cueto)

Projected Runs Scored: Phillies 4.61, Reds 4.33

Projected Odds of Winning: Phillies 52.94 percent, Reds 47.06 percent

 

Phillies vs. Johnny Cueto

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Shane Victorino

.297

.342

.508

Placido Polanco

.313

.343

.489

Chase Utley

.297

.359

.540

Ryan Howard

.264

.333

.523

Jayson Werth

.268

.345

.489

Jimmy Rollins

.293

.339

.522

Raul Ibanez

.278

.334

.500

Carlos Ruiz

.283

.342

.478

 

Reds vs. Cole Hamels

 

NAME

BA

OBP

SLG

Brandon Phillips

.287

.321

.523

Orlando Cabrera

.294

.326

.474

Joey Votto

.295

.349

.550

Scott Rolen

.286

.332

.508

Jonny Gomes

.238

.288

.459

Jay Bruce

.255

.303

.484

Drew Stubbs

.243

.291

.439

Ramon Hernandez

.283

.325

.491

 

Even on the road, the Phillies lineup projects to perform better against Cueto, though the Reds certainly appear to be capable of handling Hamels. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce might struggle a bit more than these lines indicate given how well Hamels handles lefty counterparts, but the Reds also offer an array of power from the right side. The Phillies bullpen performed very well on Friday night, but the Reds are able to mix and match relievers to hitters much moreso, which would narrow the gap between the teams should Hamels be forced to throw too many pitches early in the game.

Eric Seidman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Eric's other articles. You can contact Eric by clicking here

Related Content:  Wade Davis,  Jonathan Sanchez

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