Despite what you might have gathered from my last post, I am actually quite a fan of all-star games and the festivities that surround them (which is why I was passionate enough to complain about it). This applies to every sport other than football because, well, the Pro Bowl sucks. Anyways, I thought I’d try my hand at this predicting thing that all of the analysts on TV seem to be so fond of. So without any further ado, I present to you predictions for Monday’s Home Run Derby and Tuesday’s All-Star Game, courtesy of The Great Cuedini (wow that’s a lame made up name).
Home Run Derby
First of all, let me make the easiest prediction of all time: the National League will absolutely destroy the American League as far as total home runs go. A player by player breakdown:
Brandon Inge (DET): Great ball player, can play just about any position in the field 1-9, having an absolutely stellar first half, received the most votes ever for an American League player in the Final Vote. There, now that’s out of the way. Every year there’s one guy who just can find his swing and/or handle the pressure. This year, that guy is Inge. Predicted finish: 8th (0 HR’s).
Adrian Gonzalez (SD): Despite the oversaturation of stories about Adrian (he had features written about him in SI and ESPN the Magazine, along with being profiled on SportsCenter/Baseball Tonight in the last couple weeks), I really like him as a baseball player. That said, he will not perform well in this contest. Much like a local catcher, most of his power comes from driving the ball to the opposite field—not the best strategy for a home run hitting contest. Predicted finish: 7th (2 HR’s).
Prince Fielder (MIL): Without fail, there always seems to be one slugger whom everyone thinks is going to perform well in this contest and then falls flat on their face. That leads to the awkward conversation with Stuart Scott on the field where the guy claims to just be happy to be allowed to participate (which is BS). That guy will be Fielder on Monday. Predicted finish: T5th (3 HR’s).
Joe Mauer (MIN): I’m sorry, but there’s no way I can predict that Mauer, with his career high 15 HR’s at the break, will do well in this competition, no matter what his teammates try to tell us. He just doesn’t have a home run swing and the dimensions in St. Louis (375’ to left and right, 400’ to center) do not help him at all. Mark my words, in about 2 weeks you’ll be reading an article in the Star Tribune about how the Derby messed up Baby Jesus’ swing when his average drops 15 points. Predicted finish: T5th (3 HR’s).
Carlos Pena (TB): I was very glad to see that Pena was named as Dustin Pedroia’s replacement for the All-Star Game. For one, I think he was more deserving than Inge for that final spot anyways, and two, it gave the AL an actual home run hitter in the competition. He will rake in the first round, but run out of steam in the second. Predicted finish: 4th (7 HR’s in the first round, 1 in the second).
Albert Pujols (STL): Ah yes, the hometown hero. Al has two major advantages over the rest of the field: he’s hitting in his home ballpark, and he’s the best power hitter in the game. Those two facts will lead him to an impressive first round, followed by an unspectacular and disappointing second round. Predicted finish: 3rd (15 HR’s in the first round, 3 in the second).
Nelson Cruz (TEX): Whoooooo? All I know about this guy is that he has 20 HR’s at the break and plays for Texas—a very hitter friendly park. Since everyone and their mother is predicting Pujols to win this thing, I feel like I need to go out on a limb and either boast my ass off on Tuesday or live with the shame of a terrible call. So here’s my bold prediction: he’ll surprise people by making it to the finals. There won’t be a spectacular round that everyone will remember, but he’ll be consistent enough to fall just short in the final round. Predicted finish: 2nd (9 HR’s in the first round, 6 in the second, 4 in the third).
Ryan Howard (PHI): This is by no means a bold prediction. But Howard has experience and, more importantly, past success in this contest. Plus, lefties always seem to fair better in the Derby than righties. I just get this feeling that he’s going to put on a show from round one through the finals. Predicted finish: 1st (12 HR’s in the first round, 10 in the second, 7 in the third).
Who effing cares? This “game” is worthless and usually boring. But make sure you stay glued to your TV so that you can see (enter home team representative here) get a chance to show he belongs with the best of the best in baseball (which he doesn’t). Hooray. Final score: 7-4 National League.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Posted by Q at Sunday, July 12, 2009