Hot and Not

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Today we are going to look at the playoff contenders that are hot - and those that are not.  September is the time to go on a hot streak and it certainly is not the time to get cold.  It's make or break time for about 13-15 teams and only 10 of them are heading to the playoffs (with only 6 avoiding that dreaded one game wildcard matchup). Hot: Los Angeles Angels The Angels are riding a 5 game win streak where they have scored 34 runs on 70 hits.  They absolutely blasted the Twins on Sunday on their way to a sweep and made the Indians wish on Monday that their rain out makeup game never happened.  Before their two loses to Houston, they also swept the Oakland Athletics…
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Angels on 5 game Hit/Run Barrage

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After dropping two games to Houston and scoring only 4 runs, The Angels offense boarded a freight train and scored 34 runs on 70 hits over their last 5 games. During those games, the Angels have hit 3 triples, 14 doubles and 7 home runs. Kendrick and Pujols have led the way going 13 for 23 and 10 for 23 respectively. Keep pouring it on Angels!
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Angels Power Rankings – Pitchers – September 8th

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My rankings include the entire 40 man roster - not just the active 25 man. These rankings were compiled with the help of MLB stats, FanGraphs, misc. data, personal opinion, and some fairy dust I found hidden in Shoemaker's beard. An asterisk* means the player was not on the active roster at the time of this posting. Updates to List: Drew Rucinski and Jose Alveraz are no longer on the 40 man roster Joe Thatcher is on a rebab assignment Jairo Diaz was purchased from the minors   Rank Player Last Week Change High Low Comments 1 Jered Weaver 3 +2 1 5 He ended up with a loss last week but it wasn't his fault.  Weave pitched a great game and only gave up 2 runs. 2 Joe Smith…
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Angels Power Rankings – Position Players – September 8th

Angels, Rankings
My rankings include the entire 40 man roster - not just the active 25 man. These rankings were compiled with the help of MLB stats, FanGraphs, misc. data, personal opinion, and some fairy dust I found hidden in Shoemaker's beard. Everyone chipped in last week as the Angels had a different hero just about every game.  Teamwork! Updates to List: Ryan Wheeler was removed from the 40 man roster. Moved everyone up 1 spot from O'Malley on down with the removal of Wheeler Rank Player Last Week Change High Low Comments 1 Mike Trout 1 - 1 6 Another homerun, stolen base and .286.  A decent week for anyone else but a let down for some Trout fans. 2 Albert Pujols 3 +1 2 3 7 for 26 last week…
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Elimination Watch + Magic Numbers

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Only about 20 games left in the season baseball fans and things are going to get exciting! In the American League, 6 teams are still very much in the running with a very close wild card race between the slumping A's, so-so Tigers, and surging Mariners. The National League is even tighter with 7 teams in the mix.  A four-way race is shaping up for the wild card spots with the Giants nearing a lock and the Pirates/Braves/Brewers all separated by a mere half game. As of today, teams that have been eliminated or will be in the next few days are: Red Sox (from 1st to last - the mighty have fallen) Astros (with 19 games to play, the Astros are already better than any of their past 3…
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Is Santiago a good starter?

Angels, pitching
You will hear that Santiago is pitching better during the second half of the season.  While that may be true on some level (his ERA is down, OBA is down, etc), he still struggles as a solid starting pitcher. A good starting pitcher will go out and give you 6-7 solid innings and not give up more than 2 or 3 runs.  Santiago has shown over and over this season that he has a hard time pitching more than 5 solid innings.  I still contend he makes a great middle reliever - but a starter? In some ways the Angels don't really have a choice as to whether or not he pitches.  Santiago has proven to be able to throw 80-100 pitches and the Halos options are limited when it…
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Who to Watch this Weekend

Baseball
The race to October is heating up and several sets of teams play each other this weekend that are all hoping to make it. Of course, all the games of playoff contenders are important this weekend but the match-ups that pit two contenders against each other are where we can see potentially see the biggest moves up and down. Here's who to watch this weekend: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers   Why you should watch: On August 17th, The Brewers held a three game lead on the Cardinals.  That lead has turned around by 6 games in less than three weeks.  They have a 4 game series in Milwaukee starting up tonight. Three games is not very comfortable for the Cardinals when they are playing the Brewers at home. Another…
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Elimination Watch

Baseball
It's a little too early to start talking about magic numbers (the minimum of any team right now is 16 for the Orioles).  What we can start talking about is teams that are being mathematically eliminated.  You know - the teams that probably everyone stopped caring about months ago except for their die hard fans? Who has gone so far: Texas Rangers - First at something!  That is if you want to count first to being eliminated as an accomplishment. Who is Next: Colorado Rockies Elimination Number = 1 Houston Astros Elimination Number = 1 Who will go first? The Astros have been sitting at one for several games and thanks to a two game sweep of the first place Angels, they are hanging on by a thread.  The Angels…
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The Sinking Athletics

A's
What is going on in Oakland?  What happened to the team that just a few weeks ago was the best in baseball and held that spot much of the season? In the past 3 weeks, the AL West has seen a 9 game shift with the Angels going from 4 games back to 5 games up. During that time, the Angels scored 90 runs while the A's scored 76.  Angels pitchers allowed only 57 runs over 20 games while the A's allowed 89 runs.  It's wasn't long before August 10th that many said the A's had the best pitching staff in baseball, but it appears the wheels have fallen off in Oakland. The A's are a dismal 7-14 since August 10th and their slide that took them from the best…
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Predicting October – MLB Playoffs

Baseball
Most teams are down to about their last 25 games.  Only one team has been mathematically eliminated (I'm looking at you Texas), but many more are sure to NOT make the playoffs.  I'm going out on a limb here to call the playoff teams. American League: Division Champs: AL West: Los Angeles Angels AL Central: Kansas City Royals AL East: Baltimore Orioles Wild Card Winners: Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers The Orioles are pretty much a lock in the east with a 9.5 game lead over the Yankees.  The Angels have been playing some great ball lately - much better than the A's are will hold on to first place.  The Tigers play the Twins 7 times in the last few weeks and the Royals play the Red Sox and White…
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