MLB: Top Baseball Power Trends; 9/19-9/21

MLB: Top Baseball Power Trends; 9/19-9/21

With the Major League Baseball playoffs just under two weeks from starting, the contenders will continue to sort out the pennant races this weekend.


2008-09-19

With the Major League Baseball playoffs just under two weeks from starting, the contenders will continue to sort out the pennant races this weekend. Most teams have less than 10 games left to state their cases for a postseason berth. The tightest races right now are in the American League East & Central Divisions, as well as the National League East & Wildcard standings. Most of the teams battling for those spots will be taking on non-contending opponents looking to play the role of spoiler over the next three days. Here is a quick look at the action along with our weekly feature highlighting some of the top StatFox Power Trends for each series.

In the American League East Division, the Rays hold a 1-1/2 game lead over Boston. The Red Sox face a tough series north of the border in Toronto. The Jays have been a thorn in Boston's division title hopes this season, taking eight of 15 head-to-head games between the teams. They are also 4-2 at home against the defending champions. While that series is going on, Tampa Bay will be continuing a 4-game set at home versus Minnesota. The Twins rallied for a come from behind win on Thursday to climb back within 1-1/2 games of Chicago in the Central Division. Neither team is playing all that well of late, but still the Rays' magic number to reach the postseason for the first time is at three. Incidentally, the White Sox travel to Kansas City for their weekend series and will be meeting one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Royals have won their last seven games.

In the National League East Division, the Phillies and Mets are separated by just a half game. Philadelphia currently leads the division, but the consolation for the eventual loser could be a wildcard berth, as the Mets lead Milwaukee by 1-1/2 games in that race heading into Friday's action. Philadelphia has the most difficult weekend matchup, at least on paper, having to travel to Florida to take on the Marlins, who haven't quite given up their playoff hopes yet. Including their recent 3-game sweep of Houston, Florida has won eight straight games. New York is also on the road this weekend, at Atlanta.

The Brewers have managed to turn a 5-1/2 game wildcard lead on Labor Day into a 1-1/2 game deficit by going just 2-9 in their last 11 games. This is the second straight year that Milwaukee has collapsed in September, and the loss on Thursday at Chicago was absolutely devastating, with the Cubs rallying from a 6-2 deficit in the 9th inning to win. The Brew Crew will try to salvage the season this weekend at red-hot Cincinnati, who has won seven of its last ten games. The Reds lead the season series 8-7, but Milwaukee is 4-2 in the Queen City.

For those of you into history, don't forget that New York will be hosting its last series ever at Yankee Stadium this weekend, taking on the Orioles. Having been eliminated from postseason consideration, the Bronx Bombers will usher out the "House that Ruth Built" with a special Sunday night contest brought live on ESPN.

Now, here's a look at a top trend from each series this weekend:

ST LOUIS at CHICAGO CUBS
CHICAGO CUBS are 26-46 (-26.6 Units) against the money line when playing against a marginal winning team (Win Pct. 51% to 54%) over the last 3 seasons.
The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 4.2, OPPONENT 5.4 - (Rating = 1*)

HOUSTON at PITTSBURGH
HOUSTON is 23-8 (+16.2 Units) against the money line when playing against a bad team (Win Pct. 38% to 46%) this season.
The average score was HOUSTON 5.8, OPPONENT 4.1 - (Rating = 2*)

PHILADELPHIA at FLORIDA
FLORIDA is 20-12 (+15.6 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams allowing 4.3 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was FLORIDA 4.4, OPPONENT 4.6 - (Rating = 2*)

MILWAUKEE at CINCINNATI
CINCINNATI is 60-39 OVER (+18.9 Units) vs. teams whose hitters strike out 7 or more times/game over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was CINCINNATI 5.0, OPPONENT 5.5 - (Rating = 1*)

SAN DIEGO at WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON is 19-48 (-26.9 Units) against the money line vs. an NL team with an on base percentage .325 or worse this season.
The average score was WASHINGTON 3.5, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 3*)

NY METS at ATLANTA
ATLANTA is 0-9 (-9.9 Units) against the money line in home games vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was ATLANTA 3.0, OPPONENT 7.3 - (Rating = 2*)

ARIZONA at COLORADO
COLORADO is 18-37 (-19.5 Units) against the money line vs. a good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 or better this season.
The average score was COLORADO 4.1, OPPONENT 5.5 - (Rating = 2*)

SAN FRANCISCO at LA DODGERS
SAN FRANCISCO is 35-56 (-13.9 Units) against the money line vs. a good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.350 or better this season.
The average score was SAN FRANCISCO 4.1, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 0*)

BALTIMORE at NY YANKEES
BALTIMORE is 17-38 (-16.9 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was BALTIMORE 5.2, OPPONENT 6.6 - (Rating = 1*)

BOSTON at TORONTO
BOSTON is 11-19 (-14.3 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.2 or less runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was BOSTON 4.1, OPPONENT 5.2 - (Rating = 2*)

DETROIT at CLEVELAND
DETROIT is 14-26 (-17.6 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was DETROIT 5.2, OPPONENT 6.0 - (Rating = 2*)

MINNESOTA at TAMPA BAY
MINNESOTA is 10-29 (-18.3 Units) against the money line in road games vs. AL teams allowing 4.7 or less runs/game in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
The average score was MINNESOTA 4.4, OPPONENT 5.7 - (Rating = 2*)

LA ANGELS at TEXAS
TEXAS is 49-31 OVER (+17.6 Units) vs. AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs/game on the season this season.
The average score was TEXAS 6.0, OPPONENT 5.9 - (Rating = 2*)

CHI WHITE SOX at KANSAS CITY
CHI WHITE SOX are 32-15 (+16.2 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with an on base percentage .320 or worse this season.
The average score was CHI WHITE SOX 5.7, OPPONENT 4.3 - (Rating = 2*)

SEATTLE at OAKLAND
OAKLAND is 11-25 (-13.2 Units) against the money line vs. an AL team with a batting average of .265 or worse in the second half of the season this season.
The average score was OAKLAND 3.4, OPPONENT 4.2 - (Rating = 1*)

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