Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1975 Red Sox Simulation: Sox Bash Tigers

The Red Sox came alive once again in Tiger Stadium as they defeated the Tigers 11-4. Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Juan Beniquez would all homer. Beniquez got his first start at third base this season as the Sox sat down the badly slumping Rico Petrocelli.

The Sox took two of three from the Tigers with their only loss coming in 12 innings. The Sox scored ten runs in the series opener and 23 for the series. 21 of those runs came in both wins.

The Sox head home next to face George Hendrick and the Indians.

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Jameis Winston Suspension and How it Hurts Clemson

Damn you Jameis Winston! I am mad at him but not for the reasons you think. I am not mad at him because he is an idiot that will now cost FSU a win over Clemson, the team I hate. I am mad at him because he stole my thunder.

My plan for today was to write a post where I would pick Clemson to shock FSU. It wasn't going to be a joke post. Granted, I have made fun of Clemson a few times in my life. This was going to be a deadly serious post about how I felt Clemson was ripe to beat FSU. All that has changed now.

FSU so far this season has looked like a defending champion and I don't mean that in a good way. They have looked fat, happy and soft. They were ripe to be beaten. Clemson was coming in with their season on the line and more importantly nobody believing they could win. It was the perfect formula for an upset. See the South Carolina/Georgia game from a week ago.

Clemson now finds themselves in a can't win position. Before the Jameis Winston suspension they had no pressure on them. They could go in and throw the kitchen sink at a flat FSU team.

The suspension of Jameis Winston was a brilliant move by FSU. Yes, I suppose he could learn a lesson from it but in terms of football it is going to focus the FSU team. It will rally them. All the reasons why I thought they would lose to Clemson no longer exist.

This is the worst news for Clemson. If they do win, there is an excuse. If they lose, it looks even worse. Clemson haters should be smiling. I want to smile but they stole my thunder. I wanted to shock the world with my correct prediction. No shock now and no upset now. Clemson will fall to 1-2 and will head into late September still looking for their first win over a Division I team. Ok, that did make me smile.

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1975 Red Sox Simulation: Offense Disappears, Sox Fall in 12

A day after the Red Sox stopped their three game losing streak in a game that looked like their  offense might be coming to life, the Sox fell to the Tigers 3-2 in 12 innings.

Bill Lee pitched well but the offense was not there. Rick Burleson and the Sox were down to their final strike in the top of the ninth while trailing 2-1 when Burleson singled to tie the game. The Sox could not turn the late game heroics into a win though.

Dick Drago would eventually relieve Bill Lee and he would give up the game winning, walk off single to Ben Oglivie as the Red Sox dropped back to .500 at 7-7.

The Red Sox wrap up their three game series with the Tigers tomorrow as Rick Wise will face Lerrin LeGrow. 

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1975 Red Sox Simulation: Lynn and Luis Lead Sox to Victory

The struggling Red Sox got back on track with a decisive win over Detroit 10-2. Luis Tiant went the distance and improved his record to 4-0

Fred Lynn went 5-6 with four doubles and scored three runs from the lead-off position spot. Lynn has been hitting third and lead-off all season as the Red Sox try to figure out their offensive issues. For at least one night, they figured it out. Bill Lee will face Vern Ruhle tomorrow night as the Red Sox try to get a winning streak going.

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The Death of the Pennant Race

Bud Selig gets bashed for many things but the one thing he gets the most praise for is the one thing I miss, the pennant race.

Under Selig, baseball added wildcard teams and then two years ago added an additional wild card team with a one game playoff. 

The last great pennant race was in 1993 between the Braves and the Giants in the NL West, but even that wasn't a real pennant race. The NL West pennant? Are you kidding me? The pennant is your league pennant and that has been gone since 1968. I guess even the death of the pennant race isn't Bud's fault.

What would happen if we just got rid of the divisions and each league would determine their champion based on their regular season record? It was perfect before expansion in 1961. You had 8 teams a league, 154 games total with each team playing each other 22 times. There was no interleague play and no playoffs, unless there was a tie. The champion of the league was truly the best team of the league. I am not a big soccer fan but I admire how they run The Premiere League. They truly crown the best team of their season.

We have about 12 games left in the season, what would it look like if we eliminated divisions and the two best teams from each league would then square off in the World Series?

American LeagueWLGB
National League

The American League would be pretty much over with the Orioles needing to get hot over the last two weeks.

The National League would be pennant fever heaven. Nationals going at it with the Dodgers down the stretch. Stephen Strasburg vs Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig vs Bryce Harper. It would be incredible and if either team slipped up in the last two weeks you have the Cardinals and Giants ready to take over the lead.

Would this be better for baseball? Maybe, but the argument against this is that most of the cities would have lost hope a long time ago. This was the argument from 1901 through 1968 as well.

The battles for playoff spots feels watered down to me. Where is the drama when you know you have several weeks left of postseason baseball?

2004 is the argument against my point of view. The 2004 regular season would have been pretty boring. The Cardinals would have won the NL by nine games and the Yankees would have won the AL by three games over the Red Sox. Maybe teams would have played different knowing there was no wildcard, who knows, but one thing is clear, the 2004 season was made because of the postseason. I am not just saying this from a Red Sox point of view. The 2004 postseason was amazing from start to finish.

Last year, the pennant races would have looked like this:

American LeagueWLGB
Red Sox9765-
National League

Both leagues would have had great races down to the wire. It would have been amazing. That being said, the postseason heroics of David Ortiz against the Tigers would not have happened. The Tigers/Red Sox ALCS was a great series that would not have existed in my world of no playoffs.

It is an interesting argument as to what is really better. The drama of the postseason or the drama of a regular season pennant race.

Unfortunately, we will never find out. MLB is not going back to the old way. Too much revenue will be lost from downsizing the postseason, but I can always dream and when I dream about changes I would make in baseball I take to my Out of the Park Baseball simulator and create my own little baseball universe. This is exactly what I did for the 2014 season. 

I took over the Braves but before doing that, I was the Commissioner. In my baseball world I got rid of interleague play, sent the Houston Astros back to the National League, eliminated divisions, scaled the schedule back to 154 games with a balanced format, and will award the league that wins the All Star Game with home field advantage in the World Series (I like that idea Bud).

What will happen? Will we have great pennant races and even better Fall Classics? Let's find out. Here is how it looks after Opening Day. 153 games to go, 30 teams for two spots. Away we go.

NFL Betting Trends: Week 2

I talked about how this had the makings of a season where the underdog would rule. After two weeks it appears that could be the case. In my Super Contest picks, I followed up my awful 1-4 week with a 4-1 week. I am back to .500 and looking to put together a little run.

Here are the betting trends for Week 2. Beware of the dog.

NFL Betting TrendsRecord
Week 2 Underdog Record ATS9 - 7
Underdog Overall Record ATS20 - 12
Last Week11- 5
Week 2 Underdogs Straight Up7 - 9
Underdogs Straight Up Overall14 - 18
Last Week7 - 9

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

It is time to reveal the Week 2 Power Rankings. I received a ton of questions on how I go about calculating these rankings. Remember, these rankings are based on yardage differential and your opponent's current power rating at the time you play them. It is not perfect but it gives you another way to compare teams and gives you a good idea which teams may be overrated and which teams may be underrated in comparison with their win-loss record.

 We have two classic examples this week of why I like this power ranking system. Those two examples are the Colts and the Saints. The Colts are 2-0, yet have a power ranking of -8 which ranks 30th in the NFL. Despite their wins, they are being out-gained by their opponents. They were really hurt this past week when the Chiefs who had a low power ranking, out-gained them despite losing the game.

The Saints are 0-2 but have a power ranking of 3 which ranks them 9th in the league. Despite their losses, the Saints have out-gained their opponents.

The numbers are an indicator as to what should happen if the teams were to  meet each other. My power rankings tell me that if the Saints and the Colts were to play on a neutral field, the Saints would win by 11 points. Ridiculous you say? Maybe, the rankings are not perfect. The rankings tend to get more accurate as the season goes along. We are working on small sample sizes right now. However, if you used my numbers last week to bet on every game using the point spread you would have went 10-6, assuming you gave each home team a 3 point power rating boost.

Here are the rankings

TeamPower NumberRankWinsRank

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Vijay Singh Captures Fed Ex Cup

The first season of the All Time Greats PGA Tour Simulation is in the books as Vijay Singh wins the Tour Championship propelling him to win the season long Fed Ex Cup.

Arnold Palmer, fell just short of the Fed Ex Cup but was named 2014 All Time Greats PGA Tour Simulation Player of the Year.

Tiger Woods, despite having a disappointing season hold onto the #1 World Ranking.

All that is left is the Ryder Cup before we turn the page and look ahead to the 2015 season.

SeasonThe MastersThe US OpenThe British OpenThe PGA ChampionshipPlayer of the YearFed Ex Cup ChampionNumber 1 World Ranking
2014 All Time GreatsRory McIlroy -21Lawson Little -12Arnold Palmer -12Gary Player -15Arnold PalmerVijay SinghTiger Woods

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2005 Gamecock Football Simulation: Week 1

Steve Spurrier made his debut as Gamecocks coach and picked up a decisive win over Central Florida 35-14. The Gamecocks were favored by 15 points.

Blake Mitchell had a big day and Sidney Rice was his favorite target. Mike Davis had a huge day on the ground.

Syvelle Newton played most of the game at receiver but had a few series as QB and he was real impressive running and throwing the football.

The Gamecocks travel to Georgia next week in a huge SEC game that will have ramifications on the race to Atlanta and the SEC title game.

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1992 NFL Season Simulation: Week 1

The 1992 season got off to an exciting start. The big matchup of the weekend was the defending champion Washington Redskins traveling to Dallas to take on the upstart Cowboys.

The Skins trailed 30-17 with eight minutes left in the game but then Earnest Byner scored on a 25 yard touchdown run to cut the lead to six before Mark Rypien hit Art Monk with a 19 yard go ahead touchdown pass with just 1:21 left in the game.

The Cowboys were far from dead as Troy Aikman led the Cowboys into field goal position only to have Lin Elliot miss a 45 yard attempt. Elliot was 3-5 on the day. The Skins won 31-30

In other big matchups it was the Niners beating the Giants and the Bills, behind Thurman Thomas, held off the Rams at Rich Stadium 21-20

The Bills head to San Fran for Week 2 and will take on the Niners in the big matchup for week 2.

The Cowboys head to NY to face the 0-1 Giants. One of them will be 0-2 heading into Week 3.

AFC EastWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
Indianapolis1001.00031101-00-01-00-0Won 1
Buffalo1001.00021201-00-00-00-0Won 1
NY Jets010.0007100-00-10-00-0Lost 1
New England000.000000-00-00-00-0-
AFC CentralWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
Pittsburgh1001.00026240-01-01-01-0Won 1
Cincinnati1001.0002830-01-01-00-0Won 1
Houston010.00024260-10-00-10-1Lost 1
Cleveland010.00010310-00-10-10-0Lost 1
AFC WestWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
Denver1001.0003071-00-01-01-0Won 1
Kansas City1001.00022160-01-01-01-0Won 1
San Diego010.00016220-10-00-10-1Lost 1
LA Raiders010.0007300-00-10-10-1Lost 1
Seattle010.0003280-10-00-10-0Lost 1
NFC EastWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
Washington1001.00031300-01-01-01-0Won 1
Philadelphia1001.0003001-00-01-00-0Won 1
Phoenix1001.0001070-01-01-00-0Won 1
Dallas010.00030310-10-00-10-1Lost 1
NY Giants010.00014280-10-00-10-0Lost 1
NFC CentralWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
Minnesota1001.00038190-01-01-01-0Won 1
Chicago1001.00038281-00-01-01-0Won 1
Tampa Bay010.0007100-10-00-10-0Lost 1
Detroit010.00028380-00-10-10-1Lost 1
Green Bay010.00019380-10-00-10-1Lost 1
NFC WestWLTPCTPFPAHomeRoadConfDivStreak
San Francisco1001.00028140-01-01-00-0Won 1
Atlanta1001.0001071-00-00-00-0Won 1
LA Rams010.00020210-00-10-00-0Lost 1
New Orleans010.0000300-00-10-10-0Lost 1

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