Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BwM's Dynasty Criteria 10/16/18

Hey baseball fans!

The Astros and Dodgers are both one step closer to making it back to the World Series for the second consecutive year! We could possibly see a dynasty forming with one or both of these teams, or will we? In this post, I will try to define what a dynasty is because let's be honest: it's one of the most overused vocabulary words when talking about sports. Here's what I believe it takes:

In Terms of Championships:
Obviously, winning the World Series is the most important part of being called an MLB dynasty, but how many championships does a team need?
  • 3 championships in 3 years (1972-1974 Oakland A's)
  • At least 3 championships in 4 years (1952-56 New York Yankees)
  • At least 3 championships in 5 years (2010-2014 San Francisco Giants)
In Terms of Players:
A dynasty needs to have the same core. For example, those many championship years of the Yankees from the late 1940s to the early 1960s can be broken up into a couple of increments because the core changed. In the aforementioned 3-in-4 dynasty from 1952-1956, the Yankees were led by a young Mickey Mantle, not Joe DiMaggio, who was part of the club for an earlier dynasty from 1947-1951, when the team won 4 Fall Classics in 5 years. 

In Terms of Appearances:
Just because a team didn't win in all of their appearances doesn't mean they aren't worthy of the "dynasty" label.
  • 3 appearances in 3 years with at least one championship (1976-1978 New York Yankees)
  • At least 3 appearances in 4 years with at least one championship (1921-1924 New York Giants)
  • At least 4 appearances in 5 years with at least one championship (1991-1996 Atlanta Braves, pictured below)

In Terms of Contention: 
I think dynasties last roughly 5 years because after half a decade, it's not the same team. That's why contention isn't a factor for me in calling a team a dynasty. However, there are other words to use, depending on a team's level of success.
  • A consistently good team that makes the playoffs almost every year that just can't win the big one: try-nasty
  • A very good team that always chokes in the late stages of the playoffs: cry-nasty
  • A team that's very bad for a very long time: die-nasty
  • A team in a postseason drought: dry-nasty
  • A team with a bird name that's good for a long time: fly-nasty
  • A team that finishes in a middle spot every year, as expected: sigh-nasty
  • A team that somehow sneaks its way into the playoffs in what seems like every year: sly-nasty
What do you think of my dynasty criteria? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."

Thursday, October 4, 2018

2018 MLB Standings Recap and Postseason Predictions 10/4/18

Hey baseball fans!

The AL and NL Division Series are officially set, but before we get to my playoff predictions for the remainder of October, let's talk about how the 2018 MLB regular season ended regarding the standings. Before the season, I made predictions regarding how each team would do record-wise during 2018. As you can probably guess, I got most of the AL right in terms of playoff seedings, while my NL predictions were less than stellar. Nonetheless, if you would like to see the predictions, click here. If you are too lazy to click there, here's a quick recap of what I got correct and incorrect.

AL Playoffs:

1st seed: Indians
2st seed: Astros
3rd seed: Yankees
Wild Card Game: Mariners at Red Sox
Other Notable Contenders: Angels, Twins

1st seed: Red Sox
2nd seed: Astros
3rd seed: Indians
Wild Card Game: A's at Yankees
Other Notable Contenders: Rays, Mariners

Correct teams in playoffs: 4
Correct divisional winners: 2
Correct Wild Cards: 0

NL Playoffs:

1st seed: Nationals
2st seed: Dodgers
3rd seed: Brewers
Wild Card Game: Diamondbacks at Cubs
Other Notable Contenders: Cardinals, Rockies

1st seed: Brewers
2nd seed: Dodgers
3rd seed: Braves
Wild Card Game: Rockies at Cubs
Other Notable Contenders: Cardinals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Nationals

Correct teams in playoffs: 3
Correct divisional winners: 2
Correct Wild Cards: 1

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's discuss what everyone's been waiting for: MLB postseason predictions!

ALDS Matchup 1: Yankees (4) vs. Red Sox (1)
Winner: Red Sox in 5
Why? These teams have squared off in the playoffs before, their rivalry goes without saying, and had even matchups throughout the 2018 season. But to be fair, most of these games will be in Fenway and the Sox are the best home team in baseball. It's going to be a close series, nonetheless.

ALDS Matchup 2: Indians (3) vs. Astros (2)
Winner: Astros in 3
Why? This should be no contest for a strong, rejuvenated Astros squad. The only reason the Indians are in the playoffs is because their division this past season was an absolute joke. That doesn't mean that the Indians aren't a great team, but the 'Stros are looking to repeat and are out for blood.

NLDS Matchup 1: Rockies (5) vs. Brewers (1)
Winner: Brewers in 5
Why? The Brewers can go toe-to-toe with the powerful Rockies, with or without the Coors effect. That might not be mutual and the Brew Crew has home field advantage for the series.

NLDS Matchup 2: Braves (3) vs. Dodgers (2)
Winner: Dodgers in 4
Why? The Dodgers are looking to avenge their World Series loss from 2017, while the Braves are honestly just lucky to be in this position. They may pull a 2017 Yankees, but not against yet another team that's out for blood.

ALCS: Astros (2) vs. Red Sox (1)
Winner: Red Sox in 7
Why? Injuries have a long-lasting effect in baseball, even if those injuries are in a team's rearview mirror. The Sox are relatively healthy, while the Astros are just seeing some of their key contributors come off the Disabled List. This series is going to be another close one for Boston, but it's their's for the taking.

NLCS: Dodgers (2) vs. Brewers (1)
Winner: Dodgers in 6
Why? It's plain and simple: the Dodgers have been here before. In a National League that was a total dogfight and that could've possibly seen a six-way tie for seeding, it's the intangible advantages that set teams apart at this stage of the season. The Brewers are great, but besides Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun a million years ago, this team is very new to postseason baseball.

World Series: Dodgers (NL2) vs. Red Sox (AL1)
Winner: Dodgers in 7
Why? Fueled by the ghosts of last year's aforementioned World Series defeat and a tired Red Sox lineup, it's the Dodgers that will raise the World Series trophy in late October this year. The Red Sox will have had a long and tiring road to the Fall Classic; no one can expect them to stay totally ready (and healthy) come the World Series if all of these scenarios play out as I've predicted. But even so, the Dodgers are an amazing, all-around team. Thankfully, Yu Darvish will not be pitching for them this postseason.

Do you agree with my playoff predictions? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."