Thursday, July 10, 2008

Season 9 Preview - AL & NL East

NL East

St. Louis HoundDogs (99-63) 1st place
Question: Can the bullpen continue to dominate without Banana McBride?
Answer: The lineup will be the best ever seen in St. Louis with the call up of speedy switch hitting Chipper Harper, who can absolutely rake and fill the void in the #3 spot in the order.
Outlook: 99-63 - 1st place. The NL east projects to be a very tough division, and this could easily go to Syracuse or Wichita, but Lars thinks the champs have what it takes to repeat in the division, esp. with the addition of B.C. Steenstra to the staff.

Syracuse Beagles (96-66) 2nd place
Question: Can the Beagles lineup increase their production enough to get past the HoundDogs?
Answer: The Beagles pitching staff will be better than last season with a full year of Phil Hinch.
Outlook: 97-65 - 2nd place. The Beagles have what it takes to win the division if their hitting can produce a little more. If Santiago Matos and Jose Cervantes can raise their averages, then St. Louis needs to look out because it won't be just Kenny Blair posting an OPS above .900.

Wichita Wankers (83-79) 3rd place
Question: Can the 7 talented rookies making their debut for the Wankers live up to expectations and carry Wichita to it's first playoff berth?
Answer: If the rookies don't perfom, Wichita can always count on Vasco Chantres, who has been rock solid in every season with the Wankers.
Outlook: 91-73 - 3rd place. The Wankers could easily win the division if their lineup performs like it should on paper, but with so many rookies making their big league debuts, Lars is taking the prudent path and picking the players who have been there before. But still, if it comes together in Wichita things could get scary for the rest of the NL East.

Durham Pitbulls (66-96) 4th place
Question: The same question it is every season in Durham, will Wiki Vazquez play more than 100 games, or will he be playing X-Box at his reserved room in the Duke University Hospital?
Answer: Louie Tarraga has been the best player on the team since he was called up, and there is no reason to change that at this point.
Outlook: 67-95 4th place. Durham is developing it's young players well, but most of them are still in the minors, and the rest of the division is just brutal this year. So look for the Pitbulls to actually play better, but not see much results due to a tough divisional schedule.

AL East

Scranton Dragons (101-61) 1st place
Question: Can the Dragons turn regular season success into postseason bliss?
Answer: Ken Puffer is the man in Scranton, and is due for an MVP.
Outlook: 100-62 - 1st place. The Dragons have the deepest lineup in the AL East, and it should equate to another division championship. With no real weakness, they could potentially compete for the top seed in the American League.

New York Titans (95-67) 2nd place
Question: Can the Titans get any respect from the Cobb Times Herald and Lars the Greek? And when will their World Series Championship article be written?
Answer: Mojo. The Titans have lots of it, consistently proving Lars the Greek wrong and making the playoffs, and winning World Series championships.
Outlook: 95-67 - 2nd place. Until the Titans actually fall out of the playoffs Lars will pick them to win. But Lars still thinks that Scranton is deeper, which will equate to more wins in the regular season.

Pittsburgh SSP (89-73) 3rd place
Question: Will Pittsburgh get enough pitching to complement their powerful lineup?
Answer: The SSP powered in more runs than almost every other team in the league last season, and look to do so again.
Outlook: 91-71 - 3rd place. Pittsburgh will once again challenge for a Wildcard spot, but until they get some elite starting pitching, they will be one step behind Scranton and New York.

Kansas City KILL (44-118) 4th place
Question: Will the KILL win enough games to make people think they aren't already dead?
Answer: The minors overflow with talent that in all likelihood KILL once it makes the bigs, but that's a season or two away yet.
Outlook: 50-112 - 4th place. Kansas City will remain in last place until they bring up their minor leaguers. If they can put together a competetive lineup they might win some more games, otherwise the only thing they will be competing for is the #1 draft pick and the right to spend a 4 million dollar signing bonus.

No comments: