Thursday, October 07, 2010

At Least We Can't Hate the ESPN Simulator

The ESPN simulator chose the Braves to win the NLDS vs. the Giants, though it was a pretty tempered recommendation (insider only):

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants

In the simulations here between pitching-centric San Francisco and offensively battered Atlanta, the Braves came out surprisingly strong against the Giants. The reason? The Giants' offense. As great as the pitching's been for the Giants, the team's lineup is the weakest part of any NL playoff team this year. Every other team in the playoffs was above-average both in runs scored and run prevention. Martin Prado may be gone, but Derrek Lee turned out to be a great addition and continued to hit well against the Giants' rotation in the sims (.280/.373/.450). In the end, Atlanta's excellent bullpen and San Francisco's poor offense turned out to be the key imbalance. The Giants have a better back of the rotation than Atlanta, but the nature of a best-of-five series neutralized that advantage.

The sims have Atlanta with a 62.8 percent shot at winning the series, despite losing Game 1 (San Francisco is at 51 percent to Atlanta's 49 percent there).

Every Giants starter has a reasonable chance to hold the opposition to two runs or less, which gives their offense, however ugly, a good chance at winning the game. In fact, that's how the Giants won 92 games this year. All their best hitters this season (Buster Posey, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres), may be playing above their heads, but nobody's told them that. After some much publicized problems in August (0-5, 7.82), Tim Lincecum is pitching like himself again. That's bad news for Bobby Cox's retirement tour.

Hey, Oyster Pubes! You're playing way above your head. Same for Pat and Aubrey and Andres, by the way. I'm just telling you.