Thursday, October 16, 2008

Season 9 Preview - AL and NL East

NL East

Wichita Wankers (105-57) 3rd place
Question: Can the Wankers build on last years successful season and make it even further in the playoffs?
Answer: Davey Silva put together one of the all time great seasons in Cobb history last season earning All Star, ROY, Silver Slugger, and Cy Young honors.
Player to watch: Silva - after the season he put together last year, everyone will be watching him to see if he can match it.
Outlook: 98-64 - 1st place. The Wankers came together and used Lars' prediction as bulletin board material, bettering his guess by 14 games en route to the division championship. They should once again challenge for the title, but the rest of the division is keeping pace. Lars thinks Wichita will repeat, but it will be close.

Syracuse Beagles (92-70) 3rd place
Question: Can the Beagles new additions put the team over the top?
Answer: The Beagles lineup gets getting younger and more talented, this season with the arrival of Paul Jung and Jamie Beimel.
Player to watch: Ron Reilly - all eyes will be on the stud pitching prospect when he makes it to the big leagues, in all likelihood before the all star break.
Outlook: 97-65 - 2nd place. With the ejection of underperforming stars like Jose Cervantes in favor of proven talents like Beimel, the Beagles went a long way towards first place in the division. With a talent level on par with any team in the league, Syracuse could easily take the division in what should be Cobb Worlds toughest race this year.

St. Louis HoundDogs (98-64) 2nd place
Question: How long until the HoundDogs payroll catches up with them?
Answer: Rico Romero showed the team that he's still the boss with a nice season in the field and at the plate.
Player to watch: Does B.C. Steenstra have one more all star season left in the tank?
Outlook: 96-63 - 3rd place. Lars thinks St. Louis will find themselves in Syracuse's position this year, winning 90+ games but finishing in 3rd behind two great teams in a very deep division. But they still might make the playoffs regardless.

Atlanta Pitbulls (79-83) 4th place
Question: Will new additions Corey Green and Wesley Hull be enough to replace Louie Tarraga?
Answer: The Atlanta OF is as talented as any in the league with O.T. Jarvis, Hawk Gutierrez, and Brook Colin patrolling the field and protecting the plate.
Player to watch: Big things are expected from Corey Green, who replaces MVP and fan favorite Louie Tarraga.
Outlook: 81-81 4th place. Durham has the lineup to compete with the rest of the NL East, but not the pitching, meaning yet another 4th place finish for the Pitbulls even though they should improve over last season. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

AL East

Scranton Dragons (94-68) 2nd place
Question: Can the Dragons get past the Titans for the NL East title?
Answer: The Scranton rotation may not have an Ong or a Hernandez, but they are solid top to bottom.
Player to watch: Bernie Almonte has shown tantalizing bits of talent, and he has potential to be more than the setup man he is currently.
Outlook: 98-64 - 1st place. The Dragons have a better lineup and pitching staff than the New York Titans on paper, but it will take a real effort to beat them out for the NL East title. Lars thinks that this year they succeed.

New York Titans (99-63) 1st place
Question: Can the Titans continue to keep owning the NL East?
Answer: The Titans play as a team better than almost any other squad in the league, and have always outperformed expectations.
Player to watch: Andres Quixote - The Titans will be depending on Anthrax to be a rock in their rotation, so the pressure is on the young guy.
Outlook: 95-67 - 2nd place. Lars doesn't know how he does it, but he would like to read furniss13's book on management strategies. In the meantime Lars is fumbling in the dark and guesses that the Titans are good for 95 wins, which means they will once again prove him wrong and win 112 and win the division yet again.

Cleveland Steamers (35-127) 4th place
Question: Will the Extreme Franchise Makeover result in a winning season or just Ty Penningtons face all over the stadium advertisements?
Answer: No one can accuse the Steamers of tanking this season with the huge free agency binge they went on in the offseason.
Player to watch: David Rosado - Everyone wants to see the Steamers "Young Stud Core" in action, but Rosado was the most coveted FA this season, and the former Cy Young winner brings instant credibility to the rotation.
Outlook: 88-74 - 3rd place. The Steamers return to Cleveland where the franchises glory days were had, and hope to bring back the winning spirit to the team. Their free agent signings and promotions should go a long way towards making that happen. But New York and Scranton are still kings in this division, and Cleveland won't knock them off their perch just yet.

Pittsburgh SSP (88-74) 3rd place
Question: Can Pittsburgh keep pace with the rest of the powerful teams in the AL Beast?
Answer: Roosevelt Ingram and R. J. Cubillan keep getting it done for the SSP.
Player to watch: Gregg Young - the SSP 1st baseman could have a breakout season this year, his hitting skills have all star potential.
Outlook: 86-76 - 4th place. Lars thinks it will be a tough pill to swallow for the SSP to finish 4th with a winning record, but the AL Beast is once again the toughest division in the league, and there are no weak links this time around. Still, if things break their way there is no reason why the SSP can't compete for a wildcard this season.

No comments: