Monday, October 22, 2018

A Historical Look at the 2018 World Series 10/22/18

Hey baseball fans!

The World Series is upon us! Sadly, my Yankees didn't make it, but that doesn't mean that I can't be happy that we are at the most historic part of the MLB season! Speaking of the word "historic," obviously history doesn't play such a huge part in the outcome of World Series matchups, but it can't hurt to know what this World Series could and will mean to baseball's past. With that, here are some historical facts about the 2018 World Series:

Boston Red Sox:
  1. The Red Sox could move into a tie for third place on the all-time World Series championships list with a ring in 2018. They've currently won the World Series eight times, one back of the A's. A championship would also move them ahead of the Yankees in terms of World Series winning percentage, bumping them up to sixth on the all-time list. 
  2. Joining the Yankees, Cardinals, and Giants, the Red Sox are the fourth team in baseball to win the pennant four times in the new millennium. If they win the 2018 Fall Classic, however, they will be the first team to win all four of those related championships. 
  3. With a victory in this best-of-seven series, the Red Sox will become the first US major professional sports team to win championships 100 years apart from each other. The 1918 Red Sox won the World Series over the Cubs in six games.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
  1. First, what does the pennant itself mean for the Dodgers? Well, the Dodgers are the first National League team to win back-to-back NL pennants since the 1991-1992 Atlanta Braves. In addition, with their 2018 NL pennant, the Dodgers move into a tie for the second-most pennants of all time with 20, tied with their rival Giants. 
  2. If the Dodgers lose the World Series, they will have the most World Series losses of all time with 14. They are currently tied with the Yankees who, ironically, have given LA eight of their Fall Classic defeats. 
  3. The Dodgers haven't won a World Series since 1988, making this World Series drought the second-longest in franchise history. Additionally, this drought is the sixth-longest active drought among teams that have won the World Series. 
Red Sox vs. Dodgers
  1. The Red Sox and Dodgers previously played each other in the World Series in 1916, with the Red Sox winning in five, making the 2018 World Series the first World Series rematch in five years. In the 2013 World Series, the Cardinals squared off against the Red Sox, having previously played each other in the 1946, 1967, and 2004 World Series. 
  2. This is the first AL East vs. NL West World Series since 2007 (Sox swept the Rockies). 

Who's taking home the 2018 crown? Will it be the Sox or the Dodgers? 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."

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."