2017 NBL Playoff Predictions (Round 1)

Congrats to all the teams that made it and good luck!

2017 NBL Playoff Predictions (Round 1)


Detroit Keys to Victory
– Leadership of Jose Roldan (9.1 WAR in a season is 2nd all-time to only Greg Farrell)
– Batting Power (power spread throughout the lineup, 2nd in HR EC)
– Find success vs Left-Handed SP (17-27 vs LHP starters, 71-39 vs RHP starters)

Carolina Keys to Victory
– Work past injuries (J. Elkington, T. Wilton, R. Martinez)
– Strong Pitching (led almost all pitching categories for EC, ERA, Hits Allowed, Opp AVG)
– Steal games on the road (54-23 at home, 42-35 on the road)

– Carolina comes into this series winning the division for the first time after finishing 2nd three of the four previous years. The Cherokees are a little banged up but this shouldn’t hold them back from being the favorites to win this series. The Bombers live up to their name by having the ability to hit home runs throughout their line up. This is Detroit’s first winning season along with their first playoff birth and they have a healthy team. However, Carolina’s pitching staff and bullpen should lead them past the hard hitting Bombers.

Prediction = Carolina in 6


Pittsburgh Keys to Victory
– Keep the score low (2nd in ERA EC, 1st HR allowed EC, 2nd Opp AVG EC)
– Maximize hitting potential (low in most EC hitting stats after leading the previous years)
– Fill defensive gaps of injured players (OF B. Bryant, SS C. Bacon)

Boston Keys to Victory
– Get on-base (1st in EC + Thurman’s record setting year for .396 AVG, .477 OBP, 237 hits, 194 singles)
– Confident pitching (stats don’t represent BOS pitching skill level, very good rotation)
– Ride strong conclusion to season (won last 7 of 8)

– This will be the third year in a row Pittsburgh meets the defending champs in the first round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh, who sneak in to the playoffs last minute, is looking to advance past the first round for the first time, while Boston looks to be the first team to repeat as champions of the NBL. Boston is a well-rounded team with no glaring weaknesses. Pittsburgh will have to play their best to advance past the defending champs.

Prediction = Boston in 6


Denver Keys to Victory
– Don’t give up the long ball (10th in WC for HRs allowed with 205)
– Solid Hitting (no one in the lineup with less than .281 avg, 6 players above .300)
– Capitalize on opportunities

San Francisco Keys to Victory
– Pitchers, keep doing what their doing (1st in WC in every pitching category(ERA, Runs/Hits Allowed, Opp AVG, etc.) except BBs, which they are 2nd)
– Tire out Denver starters, get to their bullpen (1st in WC for walks)
– Don’t become too confident, continue to play hard

– San Francisco is the only team to have five seasons with 100 wins or better and I think this is their best lineup. They have yet to win a championship, but I believe they are the favorites to win this year. Denver has done a complete 180 with their team after losing 99 games the previous year, but they have their work cut out for them. Even with a few injuries to their pitching staff, I believe San Francisco controls the games and advances.

Prediction = San Francisco in 5


Arizona Keys to Victory
– Power Hitting (1st HR WC, 5 players with +24 HRs, Tied 1st Runs Scored)
– Dominant SP (two 20 game winners, 2nd ERA WC)
– Utilizing the revenge of last year’s loss to perform at an even higher level

Chicago Keys to Victory
– Frustrate Marsh/Bailey and ARI SPs (1st in AVG, OBP, Runs Scored)
– Slugging (4 players with 34+ HRs, brutal lineup)
– Consistency (ability to win road games, one run games)

– A rematch of last year’s first round between Arizona and Chicago, with Chicago winning last year. John Marsh struggled vs the Blues during his only start (7.2 IP, 10 hits, 2 BBs, 7.04 ERA) but he will look for redemption for last years loss. Both teams are well-rounded as this looks for a terrific first round matchup with some nailbitters. I believe this series comes down to the matchup of Marsh and Bailey against the slugging Blues lineup. Tough call, but I will have to go with Chicago’s depth in their lineup as the deciding factor.

Prediction = Chicago in 7


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