Leftridge: Breaking Down the ALCS/NLCS: One Man’s Quest to be Wrong Once Again

 

Look, I’m no Craig Glazer. All of my hair is real, I’ve never had to be treated for the clap, and when it comes to picking winners, I’m shakier than Michael J Fox in a vibrating massage chair from Sharper Image.

My record speaks for itself. In the divisional series, I had Tampa Bay, New York and Philadelphia advancing. Wow.

1 out of 4 ain’t bad, right? No, it is. And that’s fine. I’m not THAT kind of sports writer. I’m more of the kind that tries to pretend that he knows what he’s talking about and hopes that a majority of the readers won’t notice. And that’s fine. Just wanted to throw that out there—that I shouldn’t be trusted.

That being said, here’s who you should pick in the Championship Series and why… And yeah, I get it. We’re already a game in on each side. Hey, that’s what happens when you’re a normal dude with a normal job. You have to make some concessions when it comes to living out your lifelong fantasy of covering sports for a third tier news, entertainment and leisure website.

So, here’s how it works…

ALCS:

Pitching: This nod goes to the Rangers. Look, Verlander was the subject of bad wizardry in game one and he’s going to get at least one more start, possibly a bullpen outing. But beyond Verlander, the Tigers’ rotation is wholly mediocre. Max Scherzer is average at this point in his career. So is Rick Porcello. Brad Penny is… fat. And old. Doug Fister looked sensational after coming over to the Tigers late in the year, but his inexperience showed in the Divisional Series against the Yankees.

Meanwhile, Texas straight-edger CJ Wilson is quite good, despite getting lit up against the Rays in the first round. He rebounded nicely in Saturday’s win and should get another start late in the series. Colby Lewis seems to shine in the postseason. Throw in Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando, and you’ve got yourself a decent little rotation, fella.

Though the bullpens are fairly even, Detroit gets the edge because: A) closer Jose Valverde was pretty danged amazing this season, and B) Al Alburquerque has the greatest, phoniest sounding name ever (oh, and despite his struggles late in the season and in the first round against the Yankees, he’s an nearly unhittable when he’s on… and I’m sure he’ll get his act together).

Still, though, it’s all about the rotation, and I just don’t think Detroit can keep up.
 

Defense: Occasionally, Jhonny Peralta will make you forget his name is spelled so terribly with a really pretty defensive play. Austin Jackson is usually pretty great, but good God, did you seem him drop that routine fly ball in game one? Sweet creeping Jesus, that was unforgivable. I don’t feel like I can trust him now. He’s betrayed me for the last time, girlfriend. Brandon Inge is like, 45 years old and a shell of his former self.

Meanwhile, Texas has Ian Kinsler at 2nd and Adrian Beltre at 3rd. But wait, there’s more! More, like, their defense isn’t very good. Like, 12th in overall fielding percentage. Out of 14. This despite possessing former Royals heavyweights like Andres Blanco and Endy Chavez.

Yeah, while neither is a defensive dream, we’ve gotta hand it to Detroit off sheer ability to not be maddening when it comes to stopping, throwing or catching a ball.

Offense: This really boils down to power—as in, who’s got it and how do they plan on wielding it?. The Rangers were second in the AL in homeruns. Ian Kinsler hit 32. Adrian Beltre re-discovered his… something… and hit 32 as well. Mike Napoli— Mike Napoli? hit 30 and Nelson Cruz—who apparently decided to reel it in a bit, hit 29. What a bunch of bangers. Oh—AND they also managed to put stick to wood WITHOUT crushing it—they led the AL in batting average with .283.

Meanwhile, the Tigs were seventh in HRs, third in BA and tied for third in on base percentage (with the Rangers, it should be noted). Aside from Miguel Cabrera, they’re pretty pedestrian.

Rangers win offense.

And therefore, Rangers win all—in 6 games.

NLCS:

Pitching: Chris Carpenter has had a fine postseason thus far. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve seen a more dominant effort than the decisive game five victory he pitched against the Phillies. Simply epic.

But beyond that? It’s a mixed bag. Jaime Garcia is good, but young. Jake Westbrook–much like the old gray mare–just ain’t what she used to be. Kyle Lohse had a solidly crafted season, but it feels like he’s pitching a bit over his abilities, and that usually meets a brick wall at some point.

The Brewers, meanwhile, have Zack Greinke (really struggling this postseason, which is a shame to see), Yovani Gallardo (actually out-aced Greinke this year and has looked great so far in October) and Shaun Marcum (let’s hear it for Excelsior Springs!). Great rotation—if Greinke can get his act together.

Oh, and they have John Axford closing out games, a frighteningly mustached man who had 46 saves this season and strikes out more than a batter per inning.

The Cardinals have ex-Royal Octavio Dotel. That’s all you need to know about that.

Pitching goes to the Brewers by a nose (or a long, gangly mustache, if you’d prefer).

Defense: This one is tough. On one hand, you’ve got Albert Pujols grass-picking balls like he was the king of croquet and defensive bad-ass Yadier Molina gunning down runners like they insulted his mother or something. On the other, you’ve got Yuniesky being Yuniesky. Funny side note: Yuniesky Betancourt used to live in my building when he played for the Royals. And… that’s it. Guess it’s not that funny. Although I DID see him picking up a sandwich delivery order in the lobby once. Surprisingly short and stubby… Yuniesky, not the sandwich.

Anyway, he hasn’t looked as bad defensively as we’d expect. And neither has Ryan Braun… or Prince Fielder, actually. Imagine that.

Overall, however, the team was 11th in fielding for the regular season. Oops.

But get this– so was St. Louis.

This one’s almost a push, but I think you give it to St. Louis—barely—because of Molina. Because, you know, catching is important or whatever.

Offense: Matt Holliday hasn’t looked fully healthy in a fortnight. Lance Berkman found the fountain of youth. Pujols is… well, he’s still Pujols. He’ll be a deep threat even when he’s a withered old man, whittling wooden gnomes on his front porch. But beyond that, the Cardinals’ offense just isn’t that deep.

The Brewers, meanwhile have it in spades. Corey Hart—who is probably really tired of the ‘Sunglasses at Night jokes—sets the table for what is one of the more explosive batting orders in the National League. MVP candidate Braun is having a torrential postseason, Nyjer Morgan can run like a gazelle and if you touch Prince Fielder’s cake, he will flat out kill you.

Huh?

What I mean to say, is that Prince Fielder treats each pitch like the baseball being thrown is a guy telling him that they’re all out of sausage.

Top to bottom, the Brewers have the better offense by a pretty decent margin.

Therefore, I think the Brewers win the series in 7.

So there you have it, my take on the AL/NLCS. Make sure to check back next week so I can explain why the Tigers will beat the Cardinals in the World Series
 

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17 Responses to Leftridge: Breaking Down the ALCS/NLCS: One Man’s Quest to be Wrong Once Again

  1. xxMillerTimexx says:

    The shot at Glazer made you my new number one writer!
    Plus your stuff is good. I hope that Zack can pull this one out. He is as close to a Royals player as we are going to get into the post season.

  2. Craig Glazer says:

    Brandon, Respect Your Betters Son
    Ha, ha Brandon, now we are going to have another “Rick”…where’d he go? Oh fake name land, yeah. So you want to gain points by using the name of a star, huh. Mine. O.K. but just to fill you in, most of my hair is real, so since you never met me and don’t know….as for the clap I don’t believe I ever had that, did get a jungle rash in the 70’s while on an island somewhere, was about 19, thats long over with. Anyways as you clearly pointed out, you sucked at saying what was going to happen in the playoffs. Got all but one wrong, or was it all? Check my NFL and College football picks FOR FIVE WEEKS.

    Brandon your writing style is great, I gave you a nice compliment a few days back, as I did Rick when he started. I never called you out or put you down. I gave you props. Now you want to belittle me, jokes with my name, and you aren’t in my league? What. Cheap brownie points Brandon, not cool. Hey do what you want. I’m sure haters like it, but do you want to get comments cause you used me to do it. Be a someone on your own Brandon. It would seem you have the chops, don’t get weak and use me as a crutch so fast. It’s like doing stand up comedy it takes time. You go into a gym and start working out, your body doesn’t change in two or three weeks that much? Takes time. So do that on your own. You can joke with me, or make issues out of what I say or even do, but in the pro world you don’t take cheap shots early on for no reason other than a quick ratings fix.

    Johnny Dare is the King of Craig put downs. However much of that is measured, agreed upon, not always, but we have a fifteen year plus relationship, he allows me to guest host his show a couple times a week, it works for both of us, I am the target bad guy, its all cool, but you are a rookie with no background yet. So earn that first. O.K. Don’t be a Rick. He’s gone…into fake name land…..on the comment section. Good luck Brandon.

  3. Bob Loblaw says:

    Jesus Christ Glazer
    Knee jerk much?

  4. Ben says:

    comments
    I hope the success of a writer on this site isn’t determined by the number of comments left after each article. Brandon has been killing it for weeks. From the little I have read from Glazer’s “articles” and comment section most people are just venting their frustrations with that egomaniac.

  5. kcfred says:

    King of Ego
    Can dish it out, but can’t take it, huh?
    Even in the comments section, the story is me..ME.
    Brandon is 100 times the writer you think you are. What an ass clown.
    Nice job Brandon, way to back up your arguments with reasoned analysis instead of throwing monkey shit on the screen.
    I like your work.

  6. Craig Glazer says:

    kcfredrock/cliffy/Rick
    You have always been a hateful little nobody shmo, but again, why do you make such a fool of yourself. I have often used stats to back up my stories. We are now into the GAME, not stats as much. My NFL and College picks say it all kcfool. Furthermore my inside look to the NFL on this site was genius. The Chiefs demise, the under 7 1/2, calling out M. Vick as an overpaid failure again(like in Atlanta, same guy now) and my saying the Cowboys would be under 9…all happening…pretty damn sharp kcshmofool. I don’t know what else you want to prove anything except: get this clear: BEING RIGHT DUMB MORON, AND OVER AND OVER…

    Look its ok to be jealous and suffer from that so you strike out….maybe you should learn from me and make your life a bit better, hey you could have made all those bets somewhere and made yourself a few bucks…so you can go out on a date or buy a cat, get outta moms basement…see what I mean Freddie….old son….as for Brandon, yes he is a good writer, better than me with his ability to write, thats why my book had a co-author…or I would have done it all myself…and to prove all was true…however like Hearne says “its the content baby, the content…on that I am unequaled, save maybe Hearne…Jack is great on movies as well…” thank you for your time, now you can get back to the cartoon network…

  7. smartman says:

    Best Defense is a Good Offense
    Brandon:

    Your last post got ONE COMMENT last time I checked. Not good. That puts you in Kelly Urich territory and you don’t wanna have to start blowing Hearne or getting his daughters backstage to meet Justin Bieber to keep your column….do you?

    Bashing Craig is your key to success. Hell, you got him to admit that MOST, not ALL of his hair is real. That’s a HOME RUN!

    By bashing Craig you’ll definitely get multiple responses from him not to mention people commenting on his comments. Your posts thus far are probably far too cerebral for the average KCC reader.
    Take the low road and sling some dirt. What’s the worst that can happen? Craig tracks you down and pounds the shit out of you which could result in a nice legal settlement, OR, Hearne whacks you at Craig’s behest and you can regain the credibility you lost be writing here in the first place.

    We only roast the ones we love. EVERYBODY needs to understand that. You bring your balls here they’re gonna get busted!

    Carry on!

  8. Craig Glazer says:

    SAMRTMAN, GOOD CALL, YOU ARE RIGHT
    When you are right you are right. Guess I’ll have to do a story on the hair to explain…that will be fun…it looks good cause they use, my hair for replacement….pretty cool, expensive, only discovered cause David Nastor told Dare on air about ten years ago..I had done Dare for six years already and he never knew so he went nuts with it daily, thats how all that happened…no good deed goes unpunished….thanks Nastor…again it was over a girl, and some feelings at the time. Not from me, but them and David…all forgiven…now.

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    For the record, we get thousands of unique visitors here every day. And maybe – maybe – 50 to 100 comments, plus or minus

    Don’t get me wrong, we love comments. But clearly, with some exception, there are certain types of people who regularly play the comments game. Most don’t. And yes, we have some comment section bullies if you will.

    I don’t think playing down to them is what most readers want. Readers like me, who never – or with rare exception – comment on other sites

  10. smartman says:

    Now We Are Making Progress
    Good Show Craig! Now there is one less thing for people to break your balls over!

    As for comments or lack thereof, the comments section at KCC can take the high road or the low road depending on the topic. That’s pretty rare on the internet. If you wanna put your balls on the table here they’ll get smacked. That’s just how it is. It’s not PERSONAL, it’s just boys being boys.

  11. harley says:

    b.s.
    brandon…don’t let the bully push you around. He’s full of hot air. and keep making fun of him…it riles the guy up and as yu can
    see he’s about to go postal.

  12. kcfred says:

    Love this place
    …whatta trainwreck. Craig, you know nothing about me except what I’ve talked about here. Have no worries and no criminal record either. Just like to call bullshit when I see it and with you, it’s a bowl of raisin bran loadful. Have also praised you when you deserve it. but you just say stupid shit like…”does St. Louis have a baseball team, I hope they out draw the TBones…”.. “you have always been a hateful little schmo…”…Actually, no, I haven’t always been a hater but man, you make it sooo easy. I come back here just to see what stupid shit you write and BTW, I haven’t lived at home since I was 17, never had to rely on daddy’s money for anything…can you say that…oh, king of ego?

  13. Brandon Leftridge says:

    Craig- we’re all having fun here. Didn’t expect you to take it so seriously. My apologies.

  14. xxMillerTimexx says:

    The guy was joking
    Glazer you are pathetic, you need to get over yourself. No wonder you have the reputation you do.

  15. Sara says:

    Brandon that was
    Fine writing. You can talk about Mr. Glazers std ‘s but dont talk about the hair. To funny! He has better looks than Al Davis so he says. Al Davis didnt need the looks to say billion! Mr. Glazer comparing himself to Al Davis is so so pathetic! PATHETIC!!

  16. Rick says:

    Contray to comment by one
    I’ve gone no where. Including fake name land. Been inventory and trying to catch up with reading. No time for long comments.

    Brandon I’ve already told you I like your stuff. And though I’m not currently into the baseball scene this had a great opener. That was relevant and made one laugh.

    It amazes me that one wants to continue to tell everyone how popular and well known they are but then gets upset when they are used in a parody, joke, or with sarcasm. Its the nature of the beast if you want to play the game you have to take the shots. It reminds me of celebrities that want to become famous and then complain about not getting to eat without being bothered, the press, and people taking photos of them.

    I know a guy who most of his hair is real also. It just slide down to his back.

    What does I don’t believe I ever had that mean? You either did or didn’t.

    Note that you can look at my past articles and no mention of any comedy club owner. It’s just another one of his delusions. And points to his continued obsession that I no longer comment on his posts.

    Sorry i missed this amusing comment section and was unable to comment in a more timely basis. But its good to know I still get under some folks skin.

    Keep up the work Brandon.

  17. Can't say says:

    Glazer confirms
    Brandon says unlike Glazer all his hair is real——-Glazer says most of his hair is real confirming Brandon’s comment.
    Brandon says unlike Glazer he has never been treated for clap—–Glazer says he doesn’t believe he has ever had it??? Not denying.

    Then Glazer goes off. Why oh why???? Since everything he said was accurate.

    Maybe because Glazer doesn’t like the truth being told about him. My guess is he wouldn’t be complaining about Brandon writing about him if Brandon was telling us how Craig is the King Of Sting, best looking guy over 60, has the greatest comedy club.

    But since Brandon decided to tell us the truth instead of BS. Oh no……Craig can’t have any of that.

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