clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

make mine the phillies

New, 10 comments

baseball prospectus has st louis, atlanta, and san diego as locks for the playoffs, with only the wild card in doubt. and not by much: BP gives houston a 65 pct chance of winning that honor, with philadelphia at 24 percent and the marlins just 8 percent. why the pronounced houston lean in such a tight race? just a matter of scheduling; the astros play just 2 games vs winning teams down the stretch (at st louis next week), while the marlins have 9 (including 6 against the braves) and the phillies have 6. but not so fast: houston plays 9 of its final 13 on the road, where they have played .417 ball this season. the baseball prospectus computer has the astros going 7-6 down the stretch, with the phillies and marlins each going 6-6 . . . . . such is what passes for a "pennant race" in the wild-card era.

the cards' last chance to affect the outcome comes next tuesday and wednesday, when the astros make their final reg-season trip to busch stadium. the likely starting pitchers: morris and carpenter for the cards, roy oswalt and brandon backe for the 'stros. there's a persuasive case to be made that cardinal fans should be rooting for houston in the wild-card contest, but i'd just as soon see stl eliminate those guys before october. they have both a better rotation and a better bullpen than the cardinals; we have owned that team all year, but it will mean nothing come the nlcs.

so i am rooting for the phillies, who have been outhomered by their opponents this year 149-174. they rely heavily on the stolen base and the walk, both of which the cardinals lead the n.l. in preventing. and their top left-handed bat, bobby abreu, is 2 for 15 lifetime against ray king with 0 hr and 6 strikeouts . . . . for good measure he's 0 for 3 against randy flores with 2 ks. the phils' bullpen is weak, their rotation weaker. they're a tougher 1st-round opponent than san diego, but not drastically so -- and if facing them is the price of avoiding another confrontation w houston, i'll gladly pay it.