The Lions’ Roar 

The opening round of the playoffs will be starting soon.  In a 1st round match up, the Plaza Lions will square off against the Santa Barbara Outlaws.  During the regular season Santa Barbara won 4 of the 7 games.  The Outlaws won 2 of 3 games in Santa Barbara and the teams split in Plaza.   Three of the games were 1 run games in the competitive series.  Both teams have solid offensive squads.  The Outlaws averaged 8 runs a game during the season and they erupted for double digits in 4 of the games against the Lions.  Plaza averaged a bit under 7 runs per game in the season series.  The key to this series may come down to the pitching staffs.  Both staffs got roughed up in the season series.   

Here is a positional breakdown of the 2 teams and who gets the edge: 

Catcher – Mike Lieberthal /Tony Eusebio vs. Javy Lopez 
                Lopez hits for more power but the Plaza platoon has a higher batting average 
                and has been better defensively. Edge goes to Plaza 

1B -         Mark Grace vs. Garret Anderson
                Similar numbers.  Garret bats for more power but Grace has edge on defense.
                No edge 

2B-           Louis Castillo vs. Delino DeShields
                 Very similar players.  Both batted very well, scored many runs, and stole
                 bases.  Slight edge to Plaza 

3B-           Bill Spiers/Matt Williams vs. Robin Ventura/Aaron Boone
                 Outlaws 3B platoon has put up better #’s with more power for the year. 
                 Edge goes to Santa Barbara. 

SS-           Rich Aurilia vs. Blum/Benjaman
                 Outlaws SS platoon has preformed well this year. 
                 Edge to Santa Barbara 

LF-             Louis Gonzalez vs. Hollandsworth/Burks
                  Edge goes to Plaza with Gonzalez’s great year 

CF-             Steve Finley vs. Carl Everett
                  Close battle here but edge goes to Santa Barbara. 

RF-             John Vanderwal/Wil Cordero vs. Raul Mondesi
                  The platoon of Plaza gets the edge here. 

DH-           Jeff Kent vs. Mo Vaughn
                  Plaza’s DH gets edge with better average and RBI numbers 

Starting rotation -  Very similar staffs.  Both have solid starters who haven’t put up the greatest #’s. 
                            No edge 

Relief Pitching -  The Outlaws pen has had a better year. 
                          Edge to Santa Barbara.

On paper it appears it should be a very good series.