MLB: Special Edition Pennant Chase Top Power Trends

MLB: Special Edition Pennant Chase Top Power Trends

The final weekend of regular season baseball is upon us, and barring any rainouts or one-game playoff contests on Monday


2008-09-26

The final weekend of regular season baseball is upon us, and barring any rainouts or one-game playoff contests on Monday, 22 of the league’s 30 teams will wrap the 2008 campaign on Sunday. However, the other eight will move on to bigger and better things, with the postseason slated to open on Wednesday, October 1st. Before we can set the playoff matchups however, there are a few races left to be decided this weekend, including the N.L. East, the N.L. Wildcard, and the A.L. Central. Here’s a look at the series’ involving those contending teams plus a special edition Top Baseball Weekend Power Trends focusing on the action that will decide which teams move on.

With rain threatening the status of the key series’ in Philadelphia and New York, mother nature could play a huge role in which of the three National League teams battling for the two remaining playoff spots make it. The Phillies host the lowly Nationals this weekend and go into the set with a 1-game lead over New York for the N.L. East Division lead. Their lead on Milwaukee is also 1-game, so Philadelphia at least has something to fall back on should they not wind up as divisional champs. The Mets are also at home, welcoming Florida to town. The Brewers meanwhile, host N.L. Central champ Chicago, who has already clinched the best record in the National League.

The Phillies come into the weekend series having lost their last two games. However, the Nats are just 1-6 in their last seven, so there’s no need for panic in Philly. In this head-to-head series this season, the Phillies hold a 9-6 edge but the games in Philadelphia have been split 3-3. Ironically, Charlie Manuel’s team clinched its 2007 divisional title on the last weekend against Washington as well. Besides the motivation of spoiling things for a divisional rival, the Nationals hope to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1976. They come into this series with 99-losses, so only a sweep will avoid that dubious feat.

The Mets also square off against the same team they did to close out the ’07 season, the Marlins. Florida has the same intentions as a year ago too, ruining the season for New York. The Marlins themselves fell out of contention for the wildcard this week by losign four straight games. However, over the course of their last eight outings, Florida has outhit its opponents 99-64, so they are playing well and capable of coming up big. In this head-to-head series this year, the Mets have taken nine of 16 games.

Milwaukee hosts its biggest rival in its biggest series in 26 years. The Brewers have struggled against the Cubs of late losing six of the last seven head-to-head meetings, including a 4-game sweep at Miller Park at the end of July. The Cubs, who helped the Brewers’ cause this week by beating New York in two of four games now look to turn the tables and damage their divisional mate’s playoff hopes.

In the American League Central Division, the White Sox will hope to pick up the pieces from the 3-game sweep in Minnesota when they host Cleveland this weekend. The Sox go into the 3-game set trailing the Twins by ˝ game. However, barring any letdown, Minnesota has an easier matchup on paper, hosting Kansas City. The Indians, who have lost three straight since winning a season high seven games in a row, are looking to finish their season strong. At 79-80, a two-out-of-three series will give Cleveland a .500 finish. However, Chicago has swept Cleveland in two separate series’ at U.S. Cellular Field this year. The Royals, who aren’t accustomed to playing in pennant race influencing games, could prove a dangerous foes themselves, as they are red-hot of late, having won 11 of their last 13 games. Keep an eye on the fact that 18 of the last 23 contests between K.C. and Minnesota at the Metrodome have gone UNDER the total.

Now, here’s a look at each of the key series’ from a StatFox Power Trend perspective.

WASHINGTON at PHILADELPHIA
Top Rated ML Trends
* WASHINGTON is 2-18 (-14.4 Units) against the money line in road games vs. an NL team with a batting average of .255 or worse in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was WASHINGTON 2.8, OPPONENT 4.8 - (Rating = 2*)
* WASHINGTON is 3-18 (-14.8 Units) against the money line with a tired bullpen - throwing 13+ innings over the last 3 games this season.
The average score was WASHINGTON 4.1, OPPONENT 6.5 - (Rating = 3*)
Top Rated Total Trends
* PHILADELPHIA is 24-8 UNDER (+14.9 Units) after batting .225 or worse over a 5 game span this season.
The average score was PHILADELPHIA 4.1, OPPONENT 3.8 - (Rating = 3*)
* MANUEL is 82-65 OVER (+13.5 Units) vs. an NL team with a team batting average of .255 or worse as the manager of PHILADELPHIA.
The average score was PHILADELPHIA 5.3, OPPONENT 4.5 - (Rating = 1*)

FLORIDA at NY METS
Top Rated ML Trends
* FLORIDA is 14-8 (+15.0 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was FLORIDA 4.7, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 2*)
* NY METS are 18-24 (-16.6 Units) against the money line in home games vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was NY METS 4.5, OPPONENT 5.2 - (Rating = 1*)
Top Rated Total Trends
* NY METS are 23-11 OVER (+11.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was NY METS 5.5, OPPONENT 4.4 - (Rating = 2*)
* FLORIDA is 39-22 OVER (+16.7 Units) as a road underdog of +100 or higher this season.
The average score was FLORIDA 5.1, OPPONENT 5.1 - (Rating = 2*)

CHICAGO CUBS at MILWAUKEE
Top Rated ML Trends
* MILWAUKEE is 1-13 (-13.8 Units) against the money line vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was MILWAUKEE 3.3, OPPONENT 6.4 - (Rating = 4*)
* MILWAUKEE is 22-5 (+14.3 Units) against the money line in home games with a hot bullpen whose ERA is under 2.00 the last 5 games over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was MILWAUKEE 5.7, OPPONENT 3.1 - (Rating = 1*)
Top Rated Total Trends
* MILWAUKEE is 14-3 OVER (+10.9 Units) vs. NL teams scoring 4.8 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was MILWAUKEE 4.4, OPPONENT 5.4 - (Rating = 3*)
* CHICAGO CUBS are 23-14 OVER (+8.7 Units) in road games in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 5.8, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 1*)

CLEVELAND at CHI WHITE SOX
Top Rated ML Trends
* CHI WHITE SOX is 6-0 (+6.3 Units) against CLEVELAND at home this season
The average score in these games was CHI WHITE SOX 5, CLEVELAND 3
* CLEVELAND is 4-19 (-13.0 Units) against the money line in road games when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 54% to 62%) this season.
The average score was CLEVELAND 4.0, OPPONENT 6.0 - (Rating = 2*)
Top Rated Total Trends
* CHI WHITE SOX are 21-6 OVER (+15.0 Units) as a favorite of -150 or more this season.
The average score was CHI WHITE SOX 7.5, OPPONENT 4.8 - (Rating = 3*)
* WEDGE is 29-13 OVER (+15.3 Units) in road games after scoring 4 runs or less 4 straight games as the manager of CLEVELAND.
The average score was CLEVELAND 4.9, OPPONENT 5.7 - (Rating = 2*)

KANSAS CITY at MINNESOTA
Top Rated ML Trends
* MINNESOTA is 37-17 (+19.2 Units) against the money line vs. an average bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 to 4.50 this season.
The average score was MINNESOTA 5.6, OPPONENT 3.8 - (Rating = 3*)
* KANSAS CITY is 14-5 (+11.2 Units) against the money line vs. poor power teams - averaging 0.9 or less HR's/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was KANSAS CITY 4.4, OPPONENT 3.4 - (Rating = 2*)
Top Rated Total Trends
* KANSAS CITY is 33-16 UNDER (+15.1 Units) vs. an average bullpen whose ERA is 3.75 to 4.50 this season.
The average score was KANSAS CITY 3.8, OPPONENT 4.7 - (Rating = 2*)
* 18 of 23 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+12.2 Units)
The average score in these games was MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 3

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