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Baseball Prospectus Previews The LDS

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Robbie Griffin's detailed preview of the Texas-TB series is the best I've seen, but Ben Lingbergh of Baseball Prospectus gave it a shot as well, for those with a BP subscription. He continues the theme that baserunning will play a key role in the series and looks at the Rangers end of it.

What the Rangers lose in steal attempts, they make up in advancing at other opportunities. The Rangers have managed to post their lofty EqBRR total despite the continued presence of one of MLB's worst baserunners in their lineup: Guerrero, who's limped and hobbled his way to a -4.9 EqBRR. Andrus atoned for his inefficient thieving by being a baserunning ninja in all other respects, excelling at advancing on hits, in particular. Pitchers and fielders on both teams will need to stay alert for the duration of the series, since its course could well turn on a pivotal extra base.

Lindbergh picks the Rays in four:

Predicting the outcome of a five-game series might be folly, thanks to the prominent role played by chance over such a small sample of performance, but the Rays have an awful lot going for them, including superior regular-season performance, health, bench and bullpen depth, and managerial ingenuity, not to mention home-field advantage.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.