Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

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Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by ThePreyingManta » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:33 pm

C
Jose Romero / Honorio Queixada vs Alberto Padilla

The Metro Stars have had a bit of a predicament this season, with two excellent catchers on the roster since trading for Jose Romero. Queixada is the far superior defensive player, but Romero is generally regarded as the better hitter. Both players have 2.3 WAR and very similar OPS+ (Romero: 108 vs Queixada: 104). Queixada can be expected to start most games against RHP, and Romero will start most against LHP. On the other side, Alberto Padilla has been atrocious for both Beirut and Bucharest. He has somehow posted positive WAR while hitting .185/.308/.377.

Big advantage: Mumbai


1B
Juan Parra vs Chris Klein / Bryon Hearle

Parra has slightly underwhelmed this season, but he has improved greatly since joining the Metro Stars. He has hit 21 home runs in 83 games with Mumbai while earning an OPS+ of 120. Chris Klein has played 1B for the Impalers for most of the season and has been great while doing it. Recently Byron Hearle has started some games at first, and he has been even better than Klein. It will be interesting to see who the Impalers go with for the playoffs, but either way, they should have a slight edge.

Slight advantage: Bucharest


2B
Antony Henderson vs Ivan Castillo

Antony Henderson has played a solid second base all season, but he hasn’t been good, per se. With below average hitting and a below average glove, Henderson doesn’t provide much more than a warm body at the keystone. Bucharest’s Ivan Castillo hasn’t been much better at the plate, with slightly better on-base skills but slightly worse power, but he has been better in the field. Consider this matchup a win for the Impalers, but you shouldn’t expect either of these guys to play a big role in the series.

Advantage: Bucharest


3B
Toshio Taguchi vs Jeffrey Cunningham

Toshio Taguchi started the season on the Metro Stars bench and ended it as a certain top 2 MVP candidate (along with Jerusalem’s David Hall). Taguchi has carried the Mumbai offense for portions of the season, hitting 44 home runs and driving in 134 runs. Cunningham has had a split season, beginning the year with Jerusalem (where he was terrible) and ending it with Bucharest (where he has been great). Cunningham matches up well against Taguchi, as he has actually had a higher OPS+ since joining the Impalers. However, Taguchi’s overall body of work makes this an easy decision.

Advantage: Mumbai


SS
Rafael Diaz vs Edgardo Pagan

Another placeholder for the Metro Stars, Diaz would likely not be starting if Mumbai had anyone else who could play shortstop. Unfortunately, they do not, and Diaz has started 150 games while providing very little at the plate or in the field. He has, however, provided great value on the basepaths, stealing 33 bases while only being caught 4 times. Edgardo Pagan is an entirely different type of player, hitting 26 home runs with 2.9 WAR. Pagan is a well below average fielder, but he more than makes up for it by providing real offensive value out of the SS position.

Advantage: Bucharest


LF
Alfredo Gonzalez / Daniel McDaniel vs Paul Warren

Alfredo Gonzalez has had an interesting season, getting demoted in April before being called back up due to an injury. Gonzalez absolutely dominated in May and June before cooling off later in the season. Gonzalez will be starting all games against righties, where he has hit .295 with a 128 OPS+. McDaniel, who originally replaced Gonzalez in the lineup before getting injured, will start against left-handed starters, against whom he has hit .317 with a 170 OPS+. For Bucharest, Paul Warren has provided good value in left without really standing out. Warren has hit .299, but his lack of power has kept his OPS+ at 113.

Advantage: Mumbai


CF
Dave Molina vs Roberto Lopez

What we’ve seen from Molina this season is what we’ve come to expect from him, a lot of home runs (Molina is the UMEBA leader in career HR) and stolen bases with a very low OBP (2nd lowest in the league). Molina has had stretches of dominance but has been ice cold lately. He is also a below average CF at this point of his career, greatly detracting from his value. Lopez is similar to Molina in some ways, hitting for good power and stealing bases while struggling to hit for average, but he can also take a walk every now and again. The biggest difference though is Lopez’s glove in center. Lopez has +10.8 ZR this season, the most among UMEBA CF. While Molina can take over a game with his power, Lopez is certainly the better all-around player.

Advantage: Bucharest


RF
Robert Gowron vs Mike McCain / Harold Smith

Mumbai saw Gowron as a must-have when he hit the free agent market earlier this season, and he has been exactly what they were hoping he would be. Gowron has played exactly half of the season, and it would be easy to say that he has been the best player in the league during the second half of the season. In 81 games, Gowron has hit 33 home runs with a 150 OPS+ and 3.1 WAR. In 99 games for Bucharest, Mike McCain has also been fantastic. McCain has hit .319 with 2.4 WAR while stealing 11 bases and hitting 11 home runs. Despite how good he has been, McCain has huge splits against lefties, which means that Harold Smith will be starting against left-handed pitchers. Smith has not played much this season, and he has simply been decent when he has gotten the chance to play.

Advantage: Mumbai


DH
Jose Olivarez vs Chris Klein / Jimmy Strambi

Olivarez had an absurd start to the season where he hit over .400 into June that propelled him to the UMEBA batting title. The 25-year-old Cuban also led the league in hits (224), OBP (.384), 3B (10), and SB (59). Oz has been excellent at the top of the Mumbai lineup, and he has given Taguchi and Gowron plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. Klein has already been discussed for his role as a 1B, but I’ll reiterate that he has been an excellent contact hitter while also hitting for some power. Jimmy Strambi is expected to DH against lefties, a role in which he has struggled this season. Regardless of who starts at DH for the Impalers, it will be hard to compare to the contact and speed of Olivarez.

Advantage: Mumbai


SP
Kevin Hicken / Reese Rayner / Mike Manning / Leonardo Gomez vs Jose Olvera / Tim Collier / Tadamachi Yoshida / Miguel Acosta

The Metro Stars struggled to find consistent starters earlier in the season, but they have finally settled on a core group of reliable but unspectacular starters. Hicken has really excelled in 12 starts with Mumbai, posting a 2.78 ERA, but his peripherals show that this level of success will likely not be sustained. Rayner has looked like the ace of the staff at times, but his overall stats are not all that great. He does however strike out a lot of batters, leading the league in Ks this season. Mike Manning provides reliable innings, but not many of them, as the former reliever rarely lasts 6 innings or more. Leonardo Gomez was expected to carry the rotation earlier in the season, but his lack of strikeouts has severely hampered what was a promising season. His league-leading BB/9 has allowed him to maintain a solid ERA of 4.42. 40-year-old Jose Olvera is undoubtedly the ace of the Bucharest staff. Olvera led the league in wins (19), innings pitched (208), HR/9 (0.8) and WAR (4.3) this season. However, the fact that he is a lefty may hinder his effectiveness against Mumbai’s lefty-crushing lineup. Tim Collier has also been a big piece of Bucharest’s league-leading pitching staff. Collier relies on impeccable control to keep runners off base when he serves up homers, which he absolutely does. After dominating at AAA Luanda, the Impalers called up top prospect Tadamichi Yoshida, and he just kept on rolling. Yoshida has quickly established himself as one of the best pitchers in the UMEBA, and he could actually be the best starter on Bucharest’s staff. The 24-year-old put up a 3.51 ERA with a 4.18 FIP in 13 starts. Rounding out the projected Bucharest rotation is Miguel Acosta. Acosta is nothing flashy, but he does provide innings and keep enough runners off base to provide some value. The Impalers will be hoping that they can finish this series before they have to use him.

Advantage: Bucharest


RP
Aurelio Fernandez / Motoichi Fujita / Leon Gonzalez vs Rob Snyder / Roberto Muniz / Jorge Ortiz

Overall, Mumbai’s bullpen has been very good this season. The pen has a sparkling 3.60 ERA for the entire season. However, no one pitcher has been consistently dominant, and the 9th inning has been hard to nail down at times. Bras Gesteiras started out as the closer (he was deposed and then sent into exile in Istanbul) before Rafael Cruz took over (he started out fantastic before completely losing it), eventually leading to Aurelio Fernandez being named closer. On the surface, Fernandez looks great. A league-leading 22 saves, a 2.47 ERA, and a 0.97 WHIP are nothing to sneeze at, but 1.6 HR/9 and a 4.51 FIP leave a bit to be deserved. Other highlights of the bullpen have been Motoichi Fujita, with his 3.53 ERA and 2.67 FIP, and Leon Gonzalez, with a 1.65 ERA and 2.51 FIP. One of Bucharest’s biggest strengths this season has been its bullpen. However, the bullpen was dealt a huge blow when dominant closer Mateus Rabisca (11 saves, 1.06 ERA) was lost for the season thanks to a torn rotator cuff. In his place, Rob Snyder was named the new closer. Snyder has been good, with 19 saves and a 4.18 ERA, but he’s no Rabisca. Roberto Muniz and Jorge Ortiz have also gotten their fair share of save opportunities, and they have not disappointed when handed the ball. Ortiz especially has been great. He has a 2.07 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and a 3.65 FIP. Although Bucharest’s bullpen has the better stats on the year, with the loss of Rabisca and the dominant trio of Fernandez, Fujita, and Gonzalez for Mumbai, I’ll call this one a draw.

Advantage: Draw




Series Prediction: Bucharest in 7

This should be a great matchup, as these two teams have been neck and neck all season. However, Bucharest has handily beaten Mumbai in the season series (18-13), and they have the big advantage of an extra game at home. Both teams have posted huge home-road splits, and that one extra game at home could swing the series in the Impalers’ favor. Bucharest’s advantage in the starting pitching category also profiles well for a playoff series. Mumbai’s solid but unspectacular rotation worked well in the regular season but could present problems in the postseason. For Mumbai to pull of a win, they will need a big series from Robert Gowron and Toshio Taguchi, as well as a few good pitching performances. For Bucharest, it should be as simple as keeping Gowron and Taguchi quiet while getting consistent hitting from all around the lineup. A nice outing or two from Olvera and Yoshida will also go a long way towards a series win and an eventual meeting with the winner of Cairo and Manama.
Last edited by ThePreyingManta on Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by RonCo » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:14 pm

Nice rundown. As BBA guy, that was helpful to put things in context. I have to root for Dave Molina. :)
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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by usnspecialist » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:10 am

RonCo wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:14 pm
Nice rundown. As BBA guy, that was helpful to put things in context. I have to root for Dave Molina. :)
I believe you got Molina from me no?

Also glad to see jeff Cunningham found a home.
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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by RonCo » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:13 am

I did. In return for Patrick Arundale. At least Molina did a bit for us before Brett stole him in the expansion draft for Boise.
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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by allenciox » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:45 pm

Thanks so much for the write-up... the one thing I will note is that, if I could figure out how to set it, my playoff rotation is going to be Rasquilha, Yoshida, Olvera, and Corrigan. Rasquilha is my best Starting pitcher but he was out all season until the last few weeks of the season with a long-term injury. Now he is back, healthy, and spearheading my staff.

Again, that is assuming I could actually set my rotation and lineup with the playoff roster rather than the 34-man roster.

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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by ThePreyingManta » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:53 pm

One of the problems with doing any kind of preview is that you have to make some assumptions for the other team(s). I was worried I would be off on your rotation but I gave it my best shot
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Re: Mumbai vs Bucharest Position-by-Position Preview (2039 Playoffs)

Post by allenciox » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:58 pm

fantastic write-up, though! thanks a lot.

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