Huntington Hillbillies (74-88) 2nd place
Question: Can the Hillbillies rebound from a disaster of a season where they only won 74 games with a 123 million dollar payroll?
Answer: Pedro Chavez has got the skills to pay the bills, and should lead a high scoring offense.
Player to watch: Kent Upshaw was a revelation in his first full season in the bigs, finishing with a 16-6 record on a losing team.
Outlook: 89-73 - 1st place. The Hillbillies proved Lars an idiot last season with their horrific underperformance, where instead of winning their division going away they lost it on the last day of the season with a losing record. Lars thinks that things will be different this season, as this team simply has too much talent not to win. Their hitting is top notch, and their pitching should be enough to get them by. The only concern is if the defense falls apart and errors lead to too many runs for the bats to overcome.
Richmond Cohibas (75-87) 1st place
Question: Can the Cohibas win the division with a winning record this time around?
Answer: The Liriano/Ordonez/Barkley OF is the NL's answer to Cleveland's three headed outfield beast.
Player to watch: For Richmond to have a chance they need a big season from SP Jerry Ross.
Outlook: 86-76 - 2nd place. The Cohibas will finish the year with a winning record, but Lars thinks that Huntington will be back in the saddle just a little to tough for Richmond to overcome. But if the Cohibas get some pitching, look out because with the players on the way in the minors, this has the potential to be the most talented lineup in the league.
Jackson Pollocks (68-94) 3rd place
Question: Will David Garrido take the place of Wiki Vasquez as the most overpaid injury prone player?
Answer: Trent Billingsley was pretty good last year, and should benefit from a better supporting cast in the lineup.
Player to watch: Rookie Norm Gibson brings a powerful bat that could propel him to a ROY award and 40+ HR's.
Outlook: 85 - 75 - 3rd place. The Pollocks were very active in the offseason, acquiring many veteran players and pitchers to support their young home grown talent. If they mesh this should be a very competetive team, and could contend for the division title. Ultimately though Lars thinks that while they will return to a winning record, Jackson just doesn't have the pop in the lineup that Huntington or Richmond do at this time, although Lars does think their pitching is a bit better than their divisional rivals. In any case it will be close.
Montgomery Burns (55-107) 4th place
Question: Will Montgomery be able to capitalize on their #4 overall draft pick and pick up a stud?
Answer: Larry Sabel is the new man in town, and clearly the best player on the team.
Player to watch: Sabel is going to be counted on in a big way to anchor the offense, and hopefully he can handle the pressure.
Outlook: 65-97 - 4th place. The Burns, while playing in what was the weakest division in the league last season, still don't have the pitching or enough depth in the lineup to compete with their rivals. Lars likes what they are doing in the minor leagues, but until they get some ace quality arms and a player who can hit more than 25 HR's in the lineup, he thinks that they will hold down the cellar once again.