Monday, July 28, 2008

5 Weeks To Go

- We have five weeks left in the regular season before the playoffs starts; let's look at three teams fighting for a playoff spot.

Macafeys - 86-77-7 (tied for final playoff spot)
Balls - 84-75-11 (tied for final playoff spot)
Dinos - 77-84-9 (8 games out of final playoff spot)

With just five weeks to go, there isn't much time left to gain ground, but the Dinos do face the Macafeys once more before the season ends. With a strong showing against the Macafeys, the Dinos could pass them up for 7th place, just outside of a playoff spot. The Balls have the easiest schedule, with three matchups against teams out of contention.

The Balls and the Dinos just made a blockbuster trade, each time trying to fill a need as they head down the final stretch. The Balls traded Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano, and Bobby Abreu for Ryan Howard, Chone Figgins, and Joe Nathan. The Balls are losing a lot on the offensive end, but they do gain back a premier slugger and an elite closer. With Joe Nathan, the Balls have upgraded their bullpen immensely, previously having to rely on Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman for saves. Even without Abreu, Pujols, and Cano, the Balls still have a formidable offense.

The Dinos have nearly gutted their bullpen, with Troy Percival as their only closer, but they have recharged their offense. Even when hurt, Pujols is still one of the best closers in the game, but the Dinos may have hurt themselves next year if Pujols has to miss most of the season because of surgery. Cano looks like he's shaken off his first-half slump, and he's now slugging .554 this month. Abreu gives the Dinos another decent bat in the outfield.

Will this trade help the Dinos overtake the Balls? Well they have more offense, and they should hit for better average, especially since they won't have to carry around Howard's .237 batting average. The Balls are a more well-rounded team with the addition of Figgins' speed and Nathan's saves. I think the trade was pretty even, but I'll say that it's not going to be enough to push the Dinos past the Balls.

- Taking a look at the trading block (which is a nice idea, but I wish Yahoo would make the presentation a little more user-friendly), the Dinos are offering up Corner Infielders and Outfielders for Starting Pitching. The Macafeys have Roy Halladay, Rich Harden, and Shaun Marcum on the trading block, and they are looking for HR and RBI. Let's see what could work for them, maybe J.D. Drew for Rich Harden or Carlos Beltran for Roy Halladay? I don't know, I'm just speculating.

- Carlos Guillen has more walks than strikeouts this month, and it's helping; he scored 12 runs last week and has 19 this month.

- Miguel Cabrera is going off this month; 13 RBI last week and 26 in July.

- Waiver Wire Watch: For those in need of a catcher, Ramon Hernandez has started to produce. He has an OPS of .814 so far in June and July.

For those looking for a pitcher, Bronson Arroyo has a WHIP of 1.12 in his last 33 innings.


Nathanael said...

yay - the benblog is updated. who do you think won the Dino - Balls trade? (short-term and long term)

Nathanael said...

yay - the benblog is updated. who do you think won the Dino - Balls trade? (short-term and long term)

Ben Westrup said...

I think the trade was pretty even for this year. Long term, I'd have to say that the Balls got the better deal, even if Pujols doesn't miss time next year. My preference is to go with hitting over pitching for keepers, and so I like Howard and Cano as keepers, especially if Cano can grow as a hitter and put together a solid season next year. Joe Nathan is a great closer, but closer is such a volatile situation that I'd rather go with a hitter, even over one of the best. Chone Figgins is not an elite fantasy hitter; though he has value, it depends on him being able to hit .300 and steal 40 or more bases. I think he'll run next year, but I'm not certain he can hit .300, though I haven't looked at his numbers too closely.
Long term, I like Howard, Abreu and Cano better than Pujols, Figgins, and Nathan as keepers.

Anonymous said...

a fine analysis from the benblog. the wild card in this trade is Cano, I think. i've always felt like he could break out, and if he does, i'll feel pretty dumb. although, pujols isn't as exciting as he could be with the surgery question looming over him. people have to take that into consideration when they look at the trade. this is someone who could miss a lot of time at some point, while at the same time being the best hitter in the game.

Anonymous said...

good points ben, but it was pujols, abreu, and cano for howard, nathan, and chone!

Ben Westrup said...

Wow, I blew that one. Ignore my previous comment.

I like Pujols, Abreu and Cano better for long term.