Saturday, October 8, 2011

Playoff Preview: Brewers and Cardinals

I really have thought that the Brewers were the best team in the National League outside of the newly eliminated Phillies, and they have a complete team (outside of holes in their fielding), so I will go with them before statistics.

For the Cardinals, the starting rotation should look like: Carpenter (.11 WAR per Start, .07 PE), Lohse (.083 WAR per start, 1.66 PE), Garcia (.028 WAR per start, .34 PE), and Westbrook (3.91 PE, Negative WAR).  Their bullpen maps out with these guys: Rhodes (2.95 PE, -.6 WAR), Rzepczynski (1 WAR, -2.07 PE), Dotel (-4.04 PE, .9 WAR), Jackson (1.38 PE, 3.8 WAR), Salas (-3.93 PE, 1 WAR), Mclellen (3.23 PE, negative WAR), Motte (-3.15 PE, 1.6 WAR), and Boggs (.3 WAR, .43 PE). They will probably run out this lineup (in no order): Jay (.01 WAR per game, 2.92 PAPP, .63 PPG), Berkman (.036 WAR per game, 1.5 PPG, 2.21 PAPP) , Holliday (.033 WAR per game, 1.48 PPG, 2.4 PAPP), Pujols (.037 WAR per game, 2.33 PAPP, 1.7 PPG), Freese (1.1 PPG, .019 WAR per game, 2.71 PAPP), Furcal (.028 WAR per game, 2.855 PAPP, 1.12 PPG), Schumaker (.005 WAR per game, 3.05 PAPP, .63 PPG), and Molina (2.71 PAPP, .99 PPG, .028 WAR per game).

I expect the Brewers to use Gallardo (.08 WAR a start, -1.85 PE), Grienke (-3.21 PE, .056 WAR per start), Marcum (-.11 PE, .1 WAR a start), and Wolf (1.78 PE, .1 WAR a star) as the starting pitchers. Their bullpen will probably include Saito (.2 WAR, -2.23 PE), Rodriquez (-3.48 PE, 1.4 WAR), Axford (-5.22 PE, 1.8 WAR), Loe (-.62 PE, 1.2 WAR), Hawkins (1.17 PE, .7 WAR) De La Cruz (.1 WAR, -.23 PE), Narveson (1.5 WAR, 1.36 PE), and Dillard (-1.01 PE, .3 WAR). Their lineup will look something like this: (in no order) Morgan (.018 WAR per game, 2.9 PAPP, .97 PPG), Braun (2.07 PAPP, .05 WAR per game, 1.9 PPG), Hart (2.52 PAPP, .03 WAR per game, 1.33 PPG), Lucroy (.003 WAR per game, 3.066 PAPP, .84 PPG), Fielder (1.52 PPG, .03 WAR per game, 2.24 PAPP), Weeks (.025 War per game, 2.6 PAPP, 1.3 PPG), Betancourt (.007 WAR per game, .91 PPG, 3.43 PAPP), and Hairston (.6 PPG, 2.94 PAPP, and .024 WAR per game).

The statistics show that the Brewers have the much better starting pitching. The bullpen is split, with the Brewers being more efficient, but the Cardinals a better WAR. The lineups are very even, all the statistics are close, the PAPP and WAR going to the Cardinals, while PPG going to the Brewers (but all by very small margins). So it is easy to call the lineups and bullpens a draw, and focus on the difference in starting pitching that favors the Brewers. So both the statistics pick and my pre-pick is the Brewers.

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