Saturday, September 15, 2012

College Football Saturday

Today brings a few big games and a few others that could be good games.  Let's take a look at a few and I'll throw in a prediction.  But remember, if you are sitting there thinking, "Is Curt biased?"  The answer is, hell yes I am.  Enjoy.

Wake Forest at Florida State
Both teams are 2-0.  Wake beat FSU last year so FSU is looking for a little revenge.  The Seminoles are a few experts pick to win it all, so obviously they can't afford a letdown.  It'll be interesting to see how this one goes since FSU hasn't played anyone.  And seriously, I mean NOBODY.  But I still think they take this at home.  Wonder if Jenn Sterger will be there?  FSU in a romp.

Arkansas State at Nebraska
Only mentioning this game because of the family ties.  Nebraska in a romp.  Why do they even play these games?

Louisiana Monroe at Auburn
LMU coming off the upset win at Arkansas has to be feeling good.  And Auburn is 0-2.  Don't care, but interesting nonetheless.  Auburn in a close one.

Alabama at Arkansas
Crimson Tide beatdown, and we are about three weeks away from John L. Smith getting the axe.

Navy at Penn State
Good Lord, could they start out 0-3.  I think they do.  That stadium is going to be half full by the end of the year.

Florida at Tennessee
Big game for the south.  Florida is a good disciplined team, they won't give this one away, but Tennessee has a few playmakers for once.  Arian Foster will be proud, the Vols take this one.

Ohio at Marshall
Honestly one of the only roadblocks for OU to get to their undefeated season.  This will be back and forth until the second half, but Marshall won't be able to stop the Bobcats.  Bobcats 41, Marshall 30.

Bowling Green at Toledo
Ummm, who cares?

USC at Stanford
USC is way better than Stanford, but the Cardinal are at home.  So I still like USC but it'll be closer than it should be.  USC by 7.

Notre Dame at Michigan State
Both teams are overrated and probably won't be in the Top 15 by the end of the year.  Notre Dame has played two weak teams and Michigan State can't do much on offense.  I think this is one of those 13-10 games.  I'm guessing the home team comes out on top.

California at Ohio State
Well, I usually pick an upset here, but I don't want to be predictable.  OSU has come out slow in both games so far so I think they will take some shots early to try to end this quickly. Maynard for Cal can make plays, along with my man Iso Sofele.  They will be able to hold their own at the line, unlike the weaker teams OSU has played this year.  But in the end, Cal just isn't that good and OSU is clearly better than them.  But cmon, I can't choose OSU, I'm taking Cal in a thriller, 34-33.

So that's 10 predictions, and 1 who cares.  I'll take 8-2.  Probably going to be 5-5.  Oh well, let's watch some football.


Theme song you'll be playing later...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reds Playoff Options

With three weeks to go before the playoffs, let's take a look at who the Reds could play and who they want to play. 

Nationals are leading the Reds for the one seed right now by 2.5 games.  Barring some kind of collapse by either team, the Reds won't be playing them in the first round.

The Giants are sitting comfortably in the three hole right now, a whopping 5.5 games behind the Reds for the two seed.  They also have a seven game lead on the Dodgers right now for the AL West crown. 

So basically, the division champs are pretty much set in stone.  The seedings could change, but the teams won't.

Here is where it gets tricky.  The Wild Card is a mess.  The Atlanta Braves right now have a 5.5 game lead on the Cardinals for the first Wild Card spot.  They have a 6.5 game lead on the Dodgers in the Wild Card race overall.  So the chances of them missing out on the Wild Card is very very slim.  So let's give them the four seed.

Behind them is St. Louis.  As we all know, they are reeling badly.  They can't beat anyone.  I saw a tweet today stating that the Cardinals are only one game worse than they were last year at this point and we know how that ended.  They have four this week at the Dodgers but then they play the Astros, Cubs, and Astros in their next nine.  So even though they are trending downwards, they are clearly not out of it.

Sitting one game back of the last spot is the Dodgers.  They are struggling big time now also but they have the team in front of them for four games this weekend.  It's right in front of them.

2.5 games out of the last spot is the Pirates.  I'm not even going to waste my time on them, they suck, they are failing miserably, and we all are enjoying it very much.

Phillies are 3 back with their next seven against the Astros and Mets, uh oh.  They are scary and on a mission.

The Brewers are also only 3 games back with 18 to go.  How in the heck did that happen?  They don't have a great pitcher, they don't have a good bullpen, they have holes in their lineup, I just don't get it.  They finish with six at home against the Astros and Padres, so who knows, they might be able to steal this.

And the Diamonbacks are only four games out right now.  13 of their final 16 games are against losing teams, so you can't even count them out yet. 

So if you are Reds, who do you want to play?  Or better yet, who do you NOT want to play?  You don't want to play the Phillies.  They own the Reds and their pitching can shut anyone out.  You don't want to play the Cardinals, they have our number in big games and I couldn't stand to lose to them again.  You don't want to play the Braves.  With Medlen and Kimbrel pitching the way they are, they can beat anyone.  So if I'm the Reds, I want that 2 seed.  I don't want to get the 1 seed and have to play any of these Wild Card teams.  I would be happy going to San Francisco for the first two and then coming back to Cincy for the final three.  I'm not for throwing games, but if it comes to it, let's do it.

You all agree?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Postseason Roster Prediction

With the season ending three weeks from today and the Reds enoying an 11.5 game lead in the Central, I think it's ok to look towards the postseason.  Reds will have plenty of days to rest guys, set the rotation, and give some guys some looks in different situations.  Because of this cushion, I think it would be a good time to take a look at what I think the postseason roster might look like come playoff time. 

As we all know, the playoff roster consists of 25 players.  You can change your roster for each series.  In the first series the Reds will only need to carry 4 starting pitchers due to the off day between games 2 and 3.  Those four will be....

Johnny Cueto
Mat Latos
Bronson Arroyo
Homer Bailey

The only real question here is, what order do you pitch them in.  I'm not going to get into that since we don't know who they will playing yet.  Another question that you could try to argue is, what about Leake instead of Bailey?  I don't think that is even a thought in the Reds eyes.  Homer was lightyears ahead of Leake from May to June, then he struggled, but he has only given up four runs in his last three outings.  He has the potential to throw a gem or at least give you a good quality start in the playoffs.  Right now, none of us are trusting Leake to do that.  We just aren't.

Next is the bullpen.  The question here is, do you carry 12 pitchers or 11.  I think you should only carry 11, but Dusty and Walt will probably carry 12.  That gives you eight bullpen spots.  The locks are....

Aroldis Chapman
Jonathon Broxton
Sean Marshall
Jose Arredondo
JJ Hoover
Sam LeCure

So that leaves two more spots.  I think Logan Ondrusek will get one of those spots.  Right now, I don't trust him, but if you have to go to him to get one guy out, he can get the job done.  So he's my seventh guy.  So the last spot comes down to Simon, Leake, and the sleeper, Tony Cingrani.  Simon hasn't really pitched in any late inning situations this year, but he could throw a few innings if the game went to extras.  Same with Leake.  I don't by the argument that he could also be there to pinch hit, it just won't happen, too hypothetical.  And Cingrani has a chance because we all know the Reds would love to carry a third lefty.  The obvious argument against him is his experience, because of that I think he gets left off.  My pick for the last spot is Simon.

Logan Ondrusek
Alfredo Simon

Ok, so we have 13 position players to choose from.  The locks (barring injuries of course).....

Joey Votto
Brandon Phillips
Zack Cozart
Scott Rolen
Ryan Ludwick
Drew Stubbs
Jay Bruce
Chris Heisey
Todd Frazier
Wilson Valdez
Ryan Hanigan
Dioner Navarro

So that leaves one spot, and it comes down to just two guys.  Do you carry a third catcher in Mesoraco or do you carry the veteran experienced Miguel Cairo.  This, to me, is the toughest question to answer.  If you carry Mesoraco, you can use Navarro to pinch hit and still have Mez to fill in at catcher if something happened to Hanigan.  If you carry Cairo, he can pinch run, or fill in for any of the infield spots in case someone got hurt.  Plus, if he had to pinch hit late or lay down a bunt, I would feel much more comfortable with him out there then Mesoraco.  If it were up to me, I would put Cairo on the roster.  Mesoraco just doesn't have a whole lot of confidence right now and with the off days, Hanigan will be able to catch every game if need be.  Either way, that will be an interesting decision.

Miguel Cairo

Ok, so there are your 25 the way I see it. What do you think?  Let me know.

Magic Number down to 8.  I was hoping I could see the clinch game next weekend, now I'm thinking it won't make it to the weekend.  Oh well, great problem to have.


EDIT ON 9/13/12

As my man Doug pointed out, I have a glaring ommission here.  Pretty embarrassed by it actually, but I forgot Xavier Paul.  He is a lock on this roster.  Dude can pinch hit very well and has earned his spot on this team.  So that means Cairo doesn't make the team, or if they take one less pitcher like I mentioned above, then Paul and Cairo would both be on the roster.  My mistake, don't make fun of me, ha.