Friday, July 11, 2008

Season 9 Preview - AL & NL South

NL South

Louisville Tysons (98-64) 1st place
Question: Does the collection of AARP members in the lineup have enough gas left in the tank for one more run?
Answer: The young and very talented pitching staff will keep the Tysons on a winning track.
Outlook: 95-67 - 1st place. Yes, the lineup is aging and in decline. But the pitching is still rock solid, and the lineup has enough skill left to win the majority of it's games. But Lars thinks this will be the last hurrah for Kline and company, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Huntington Hillbillies (92-70) 2nd place
Question: Will there be enough pitching in Huntington to support the powerful young lineup?
Answer: The acquisition of Wendell Sexson will help the pitching staff immensely.
Outlook: 95-67 - 2nd place. The Hillbillies are a team on the rise, but Louisville and Jackson still have enough players to keep the Hillbillies out of first place for one more year. But the future is bright and chicks who dig the long ball will have a great time at Eble park this season.

Jackson Pollocks (92-70) 3rd place
Question: Will Jackson continue to prove Lars wrong and outperform his expectations yet again?
Answer: Jackson may lack the starpower of other teams, but they are deep in quality top to bottom, which will keep them in playoff contention.
Outlook: 90-72 - 3rd place. Jackson is a very good and deep team, but the Hillbillies are coming into their own and should improve upon last seasons win total, and Louisville is still excellent, which means that even though Jackson is good, they will get the short stick in the division.

Richmond Cohibas (43-119) 4th place
Question: When will all of the talent in the minors start making a difference in the big leagues?
Answer: Jerry Ross is very good. The one true #1 on the team will have a hard time getting wins with his projected support however.
Outlook: 51-111 - 4th place. The Cohibas have some scary talent in the minors, but not much of it is big league ready yet. Look for another year in last place biding time until the prospects are ready.

AL South

Nashville Rebel Riders (84-78) 2nd place
Question: Will Gregory Hanson look like the promising rookie he was 3 seasons ago, or the adventure on the mound he has been since?
Answer: Pedro Franco will be a welcome addition to the Nashville lineup, and changes the the way teams need to pitch to the Rebel Riders.
Outlook: 90-72 - 1st place. The Rebel Riders have increased the power of their lineup enough to give more support to their quality pitching staff, which should result in a 1st place finish in the AL South.

Charlotte Dogs (67-95) 3rd place
Question: Will the free agent signings and trades made by the Dogs equate into victories?
Answer: If the lineup remains healthy it will score a ton of runs with the additions of Vernon Jones and Jim Green.
Outlook: 88-74 - 2nd place. The new additions plus the improved bullpen should equal more victories, but Nashville has slightly more pitching depth which should equal more regular season wins. Still, Charlotte now has a very frightening lineup.

Mexico City Diablos Rojos (94-68) 1st place
Question: Will Mexico City be able to compete with the vastly improved Rebel Riders and Dogs?
Answer: The experience and quality managing of wihargo will keep Mexico City in contention even with a lineup that doesn't quite match up on paper.
Outlook: 85-77 - 3rd place. Mexico City has seen some of it's better players start to get old, and the trading of Phillip Brown last season signalled a new direction. This is a transition year, and while M.C. will be competitive, they don't have the horses to last with Charlotte and Nashville.

Santa Fe Heat Wave (59-103) 4th place
Question: Will the Heat Wave have enough pitching to avoid the fatiguing effects of their homer friendly ballpark?
Answer: Having a full season under his belt, look for ardthomp to put together a team that will be able to withstand and even take advantage of what Santa Fe's ballpark has to offer.
Outlook: 67-95 - 4th place. The rebuilding is going on in Santa Fe, and while the results may not show for a season or two, the progress is evident and there should be an increase in wins as a result.

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