We made it! This is the final series of the regular season, our last little tune-up before the playoffs. And with the last series, comes THE FINAL GOG. Kudos to all of you who have stuck it out to the end. As a reward for finishing, you get to deal with me.
Good luck. You'll need it.
The Easy I: Predict the series outcome. (3 points)
The Medium I: Felix Hernandez, that goodfornothing A's killer, is starting on Friday. Predict his IP, H, K, BB, and ER. (2 points each, 10 points total)
The Medium II: The A's bullpen has been a very good unit over the whole year, but the trio at the top have been rather inconsistent lately, to put it nicely. Predict the total BB+HR that Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, and Grant Balfour combine to allow during the series. (3 points) Does any A's reliever register a WPA Meltdown? If so, name the first to do so. "None" is an acceptable answer. (3 points)
The Medium III: Pitching wunderkind Sonny Gray is slated to start the final game of the year. He currently has 59 punchouts in 59.0 innings. When all is said and done, will he have more K's than IP, less K's than IP or the same amount? (2 points)
The Medium IV: Josh Donaldson has been a legitimate MVP candidate, likely our first real candidate since Tejada. As of the end of the Angels series, he has 7.7 WAR (from Fangraphs). Predict his final 2013 Fangraphs WAR, to the tenth place. (3 points) Miguel Cabrera is also sitting at 7.7, as of this writing. Does Josh Donaldson finish the year with a higher Fangraphs WAR than Miguel Cabrera? (2 points) Baseball-Reference's WAR has Donaldson as the second most valuable player in baseball, with 8.1 WAR, though Kershaw, McCutchen, and Gomez are on his heels. Does Donaldson end the season in second place, according to Baseball-Reference's WAR? (2 points)
The Medium V: Predict the combined series leader in WPA for each group: A's position players, A's pitchers, Mariners position players, Mariners pitchers. (3 points each, 12 points total)
The Hard I: Bartolo Colon throws deceptively hard. His usual sinker dives around the zone clocking in at the high 80s or the low 90s. He also has the capability of rearing back and firing a four-seam fastball that hits the mid 90s. Predict the velocity of Bartolo Colon's fastest pitch during the series, as recorded by PITCHf/x as displayed on Gameday, rounded to the nearest whole number. (4 points)
The Hard II: Daric Barton has seen a resurgence in his career in the last couple of months, to the elation of
many a few. He seems to be more aggressive at the plate this year. But by how much? Predict the number of called strikes Barton takes during the series. (4 points)
The Hard III: Brandon Moss is known around the league as a dead pull lefty, much like David Ortiz or Adam Dunn. As such, he has faced a shift in a significant amount of his PAs. Predict the number of times Brandon Moss faces an infield overshift in the series. (5 points) Notes: I'm defining an infield overshift as any instance where three of the four infielders are on the same side of second base. If the A's telecast does not visually show the defensive alignment during, immediately before, or immediately after the at-bat, it will not count.
The Bonus I: Does Texas qualify for the AL Wild Card playoff game? (2 points)
The Bonus II: Does Oakland end the season as the American League's #1 seed? (2 points)
Entries are due at first pitch, 7:10 PDT, Friday, September 27. Scoring every single point will get you a beer from me, and 60 glorious points.
M2. 2 BB+HR/No Meltdowns
M3. More K than IP
M4. 7.7 fWAR/Yes, more fWAR than Cabrera/No (5th in bWAR)
M5. Chris Young/Sonny Gray/Kendrys Morales/Brandon Maurer
B1. Maybe? We'll find out tonight. EDIT: Nope!