NY has an inspiring offense. It starts with a chillingly fast appetizer of leadoff hitter Estaban Montenez who hit righties just as well as lefties, had a .401 OBP, and stole 53 bases. Then the Elmer Crawford salad, who is a perfect #2 hitter that is well rounded and sets up the big guys. Then you get main course of Tarasco, Cordero, and Jefferies. They have immense power, speed, and OBP. Following them is some very capable side dishes and you can see this is a skillfully constructed and thought-out lineup. If there is any flaw it is that it is extremely RH heavy group of hitters, and it shows when you compare team OPS - .922 vL and .821 vR. NY has a good group of SPs, Clay Lincoln is the most talented of the group. Affeldt leads the world with 23 wins this season, but his 4.95 ERA suggests that he is an innings eater that gets fed from NY’s great offense. With that gaudy offense NY certainly has a chance to win it all, but at some point they will need a SP to step up. What’s interesting about their team also is that while they put up incredible offensive numbers, they were the second best fielding team in the league. Most teams have to sacrifice production to get that kind of fielding.
Washington – Havel would probably get my award for manager of year in the AL (in a tight race between him, Arte, and Exquezeme) What looked like an Atlanta Braves dynasty in the making a few seasons back blew up when a number of their frontline SPs declined due to age or injury.