Friday, July 13, 2012

Boomer Report: Tribe & Reds at the break

Change brings opportunity. -Nido Qubein

"The Rock". Ha, that just sounds right. Well, after this week's announcement that Gainer will be stepping aside from writing on the "The Rock" for a little bit (lets hope the NHL doesn't go on strike), whats next? "The Rock", I'd like to give you my honest/bias opinion on my favorite teams along with some general information on the world of sports in my writing. We will see how it all goes, but for today I'd like to introduce the "Boomer Report". In this installment, I will give you my bias opinion on the 1st half of the season from the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, and give you a BOLD prediction for both teams as the MLB rolls into the 2nd half of the season starting tonight.

Cleveland Indians 44-41 (2nd place in the AL Central 3 GB; 1 GB of AL Wild Card) 
24-21 Home 20-20 Away 
RS: 385 RA: 414 DIFF: - 29

First Half Thoughts:

Although, not as impressive as last seasons hot start (30-15, to start the 2011 season), the Indians at one point this season were a season high 8-games above .500 at 26-18 and where in 1st place for the majority of the 1st half of the season. However, finished the 1st half of the season with a record of 18-23. The problem I see is this team struggles to manufacture runs, if the balls not hit over the fence (78 Team HR's), runs are hard to come by with this team. I like the middle infield of All-Star SS Asdrubal Cabrera and 2B Jason Kipins, but when does a team rely on the 2B/SS to score AND drive in runs. With DH Travis Harfer coming back at the end of the 1st half from injury, hopefully he can have a big 2nd half, when his only job every game is to SEE THE BALL, HIT THE BALL. A right-handed bat is needed in LF and/or 1B, and with the trade deadline just around the corner (end of this month), I'm sure the Tribe brass will try and work some sort of trade out. The quality of starting pitching has been sort of a roller coaster thus far, with veteran Derek Lowe and Ubaldo Jimenez leading the way with 8 win's a piece. If the Tribe want to hang around and compete with the White Sox and Tigers for the AL Central crown, they need the rest of the starting rotation such as Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin to pitch more like their 2011 campaign's from here on out the rest of the season. Oh, this point it's a three-team race, and as a Indians fan, you'd like to see them contend all the way to the end of the season and sneak into the AL playoffs some how. GO TRIBE!

BOLD prediction: It's gonna be a stretch but, I like the Indians winning 84-86 games and snagging one of the two AL Wild Card spots.

Cincinnati Reds 47-38 (2nd place in the AL Central 1 GB; Top NL Wild Card team)
23-16 Home 24-22 Away
RS: 358 RA: 316 DIFF: +42

First Half Thoughts:

Unlike the disappointment, that was the 1st half of the 2011 season, the Reds have played decent enough this season thus far, to be 9-games above the .500 mark at the All-Star break and find themselves in a good position for postseason play. However, they got some work to do in the 2nd half of the season, cause they are a few teams ahead of them in the standings (just 3 GB of NL leaders the Washington Nationals) and a WHOLE lot of teams right behind them. With only 5 NL playoff spots, each win in the 2nd half will be needed. I really like what I saw out of the starting rotation down the stretch the last couple weeks or so. Seems like Mat Latos is coming into form, along with Mike Leake. If Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo give you what you expect from them, it will be up to the #5 starter Homer Bailey to really nail it down, if the Reds want to win the NL Central division. I think the bat's are ready to explore as we head into the dog days of summer, and look for Joey Votto and Jay Bruce to lead the way. The question will be, can the Reds get runners on base for the two big bats to drive them in? Scott Rolen at 3B is a nice sign, but can he provide you with the offensive numbers that you need from that spot. With the Pirates finally looking like a decent team this season and the Cardinals hanging around right behind the Reds, its going to be a very entertaining 2nd half in the NL Central race. LETS GO REDS!

BOLD prediction: This team is looking more like the 2010 version than the 2011 one, its going to be a grind it out 12 round bout, but I like the Reds winning 90-92 games and winning the NL Central division.