Ten Things to Watch During the Last Third of Season 30

by 1:06 PM 0 comments
As the season rounds the corner towards the home stretch, here are ten things Plumpy fans should be watching:

10.) Who will emerge as the favorites from the crowded NL Wild Card pack?

6 teams are in serious contention for the two NL Wild Card spots.  One of those 5 teams , one will win the crowded NL South, which currently finds the upstart Richmond Renegades (64-48) with a one game lead over Montgomery Burns (63-49), and a six game lead over the dangerous Charlotte Nature Boys (58-54).  While Tacoma is running away with the NL North (again), his division mates in the Chicago Boomers (62-50) and Toldeo Thunder (58-54) are both fighting for a play-off berth.  Finally, Louisville (59-53) is right in the mix of its second consecutive play-off appearance as well.

If the season were to end today, Richmond would win the NL South, while Burns would win the 1st Wild Card spot, and the Boomers would win the second.  Louisville is three games out of the last Wild Card berth, while Toldeo and Charlotte are four games back.

9.)  Will the Magma actually win 120 games?

Right now, the reigning champs are on pace for 114 wins.  However, with a fully healthy SP rotation, anything is possible.

8.)  Will the AL East champ finish at or above .500?

It’s possible, but it will likely come down to the wire.  New York has played below its expected winning percentage all season, but currently finds itself 2 games below .500, and four games ahead of Indianapolis. 

7.)  Will the NL West champ finish at or above .500?

Woof, what happened to the once proud NL West?  Right now there is an ugly tie between Boise and Vancouver, both of whom sit at a whopping 12 games below .500.  Look for the rest of the NL to push for divisional realignment next season.

6.)  Who will emerge as the favorites from the VERY crowded AL Wild Card pack?

Right now, the AL Wild Card standings look like this (note, tie breakers have not been made as of yet):

1.) New Orleans Voodoo (68-44)
2.) Columbus Dodger Blue (60-52)
3t.) San Juan Elephant Seals (59-53)
3t.) Oakland Hammers (59-53)
3t.) Salem Witch Hunters (59-53)
6.)  Nashville Merchants (56-56)

The Voodoo have a healthy 8 game lead for the first WC spot, and while anything is possible, for now that lead appears to be safe.  That leaves four very good teams within one game of each other for the final AL play-off berth.  The two time defending AL Champion E-Seals have underperformed their expected win percentage all season, but so has Columbus.  Conversely, Salem has dramatically exceeded its expected winning percentage, while Oakland has been basically in line with it.  Nashville is in the mix as well, but we may be a year or two away from the Merchants making the leap into the post-season.  Columbus has been nipping at the heels of the Ottawa Eh’s all season, but the Eh’s have built up a strong 6 game cushion, and with that starting rotation, it’s hard to imagine them relinquishing their lead.


5.)  Who will win the Little Rock ‘n Roll ROY award?  Bill Jepsen  vs. Pedro Cabrera  (http://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5755668 vs. http://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5557428.)


It’s not every season you get two consensus top 5 prospects making their ML debut.  It’s even rarer when those two prospects make their debut for the same team.  In Season 30, Little Rock ‘n Roll saw both mega studs emerge from it’s potent farm system, and is currently skyrocketing towards the #1 seed in the AL thanks largely to these two stallions.  But the question everyone’s asking is, during Little Rock’s post-season team awards party, which player will walk away with the coveted ‘n Roll ROY award in Season 30?  Let’s look a bit deeper:

Here is Jepsen’s .avg/.obp/.slg line, followed by Cabrera’s:

.273/.340/.559
.299/.366/.544

Damn... that’s close.  We need more information.  Here are some random, related facts to help you make your own decision:

-Jepsen is a Catcher, who can throw runners out, but isn’t a great pitch caller (IF we’re going to be picky.)
-Cabrera is a 2B, with a nice glove but lowish range (IF we’re going to be picky.)
-Cabrera has stolen 30 bases in 33 attempts this season.
-Jepsen has thrown out 30% of all potential base stealers.
-Cabrera has created 91.84 runs
-Jepsen has created 76.46 runs

Hmmm... 15 runs is a pretty big difference.  Is there anything else we should consider?

-Bill Jepsen has 35 homers while Pedro Cabrera has 23

Wait a minute, wait a minute, these players are both incredibly valuable, with strong cases to be made for each as the Little Rock Rookie of the Year, but if these guys are really so good, how come when I look at the ‘n Roll stat page I see players not named Jepsen or Cabrera leading the team in Runs Created, HRs, OBP, SLG, and 2Bs?  Do you expect me to believe that Roundfrog has created some kind of super lineup, full of guys making the league minimum?  Good one, you almost had me there.

4.)  How many first round picks will reject their initial offers?

As of game #112, four first round picks remain unsigned.  Will any of these players disregard their mother’s wishes and take the big pay day, or will next season by Type D party time?

3.)  Will Trade-mageddon pay off for the Voodoo?

Earlier this season, new owner ptwoner made a bold and controversial move to send many of its franchise cornerstones away for younger, cheaper talent.  The Voodoo child was adamant that these moves were done not to give up on this season, but to keep the franchise a contender now and into the future.  We won’t know the long term success of this bold plan for at least a few seasons, but in the meantime, New Orleans has maintained a .607 winning percentage and is on pace to win 98 games... almost exactly as many as ptwoner projected at the time of the trades. 

2.)  Will Roger Conroy re-sign?  http://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=4077106

The four time MVP is having another incredible season, but thus far has not agreed to re-sign with ‘n Roll.  Conroy has maintained that his focus is on winning a championship for Little Rock, and that he doesn’t want contract negotiations to distract from that goal, but the Arkansas sports columnists seem more concerned about the future than the present.  One fan, desperate for Conroy to re-sign, was overheard at a recent autograph session asking Roger, “Would it be enough for your leaving heart, if I broke down and cried?  If I cried?” Conroy responded with, “I know, it’s only Little Rock ‘n Roll, but I like it.”

1.)  Will Edge Yount break his own league batting record and make a push for .400?  http://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=4950554

I’ll be honest, I started this column last week, and it’s been one of the rougher week’s in Edge’s career, as his average was then sitting pretty at .370, and is now down to .347 (embarrassing.)  While .400 may be out of the question for season 30, Yount actually has a chance to wind up with has career average around .350.  .350!  His current career rate is .347, which is already 11 points higher than the next closest player... EVER.  With Witch Hunter nation firmly strapped to his back, what can’t Edge Yount do?

Zachary Eustis

Developer

Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111

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