Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SEASON 27 NL WEST PREVIEW

NL WEST
Colorado surely looked destined to go to the World Series last season.  They had a dominating season going and just got caught up in the Helena phenomenon.    This Colorado team is becoming quite the staple in the NL West.  They have won the division 3 of the last 4 seasons and have not finished in the bottom half of the division for 7 seasons.   ABQ managed to sqeek out 73 wins last season.  A improvement over the previous 3 seasons.  I think they need an attitude adjustment in ABQ as they haven't had a winning season in 11 seasons now.  OKC finished third last season with a losing record.  OKC hasn't had a winning season in the last 12 seasons..  Seattle finishes in last place.  The marked the second year in a row that they didn't make the playoffs.  It also marked only the 3rd time in the last 16 seasons, that they didn't make the playoffs.


Colorado Springs Night Watchmen
Owner: Toe64(27th season)
Last Season-102-60(1st place)
Last 5 seasons-470-340(.580)
Payroll-$104.9m
Draft-21st

Probably the weakest defense in the league.  Not much for speed and baserunning.    One of the best hitting teams in the league, with real good power.  Pitching is below average.  Probably the weakest in the division.

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons
Owner: Csudak(8th season)
Last Season-73-89(2nd Place)
Last 5 seasons-346-464(.427)
Payroll-$75.4m
Draft- 11th

ABQ has cut back a bit on payroll over last season.  Perhaps they just missed in Free Agency.  Defense is average.  One of the fastest teams in the league with good baserunning.   Team really lacks hitting.  They have decent power, but the team will see a lot of strikeouts this season.    Pitching staff is below average.

Oklahoma City Prarie Dogs
Owner: brentcnb((15th season)
Last Season-67-95(3rd season)
Last 5 seasons-361-449(.446)
Payroll-$87m
Draft-7th

One of the best defenses in the league.  I don't think I have ever seen a team of such good defensive arms.    Above average speed and baserunning.  Very bad hitting team with below average power.  Pitching staff is the best in a division of weak pitching.  About average for the league.

Seattle Strikers
Owner: Ghutton9(21st season)
Last Season- 64-98(4th place)
Last 5 seasons-426-384(.526)
Payroll-$67.7m
Draft-5th

This team was obviously embarrassed over last season's performance as they dumped an additional $30 million into team salary this season.    Unfortunately, I'm not sure it was enough to show much of an improvement.  Defense is below average.  Speed and baserunning is below average.  Hitting is really bad and below average power.  Defense is below average.

Predictions
I think Colorado is going to have a down year.and ABQ may have improved enough to make it close.  I think ABQ will need a little bit of luck for that to happen.  I would still say Colorado takes by about 5 games.  I'm not sure Colorado has enough to battle for the NL this season.  Oklahoma City and Seattle should battle for the bottom spot.  Probably with wins in the 60's again.

1. Colorado Springs
2. ABQ
3. Oklahoma City
4. Seattle

SEASON 27 NL SOUTH PREVIEW

NL South
Last season Louisville ran away with this division.  This was the first division title since Arfy came on board at Louisville.  It was also their 8th season in a row with a winning record.  Jackson finished second at 82-80.  This was the third straight season that they didn't make the playoffs.  Houston finished 3rd, ending their streak of four straight division titles.  It also snapped their streak of 6 winning seasons.  Texas rounded out the bottom by finishing in last place for the 5th time in the last 7 seasons.

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
Owner: Arfy(12th season)
Last Season-95-67(1st)
Last 5 seasons- 449-361(.554) 
Payroll-$102.7m
Draft-26th

An aging team that is cutting back in payroll for the 2nd straight season.  Above average defense.  Speed and baserunning is about average.  Above average hitting with average power.  One of the best pitching staffs in the entire league.  Especially their starters.  

Jackson Juggernauts
Owner: Boobyj7(15th season)
Last Season- 82-80(2nd)
Last 5 seasons-408-402(504)
Payroll-$52m
Draft-15th

A team in the process of rebuilding.   They have cut payroll for the fourth straight season.  Average defense.  Above average speed and baserunning.  Hitting is average with slightly  below average power..   Pitching staff is average as well.  

Houston Roughnecks
Owner: Bagwellbluff"The professor"(6th season)
Last Season-80-82(3rd)
Last 5 seasons-486-324(.600)
Payroll-$94m
Draft-14th

This team appears to be scaling back over previous seasons.  The weakest defense in the division(below average).  Surprising since defense is usually one of Houston's specialties.  Average speed and baserunning.     Hitting is average with average power..  Pitching staff is average

Texas GalvestonWave
Owner: erichanville(3rd season)
Last season-63-99(4th)
Last 5 seasons-379-431(.468)
Payroll-$112.1m
Draft-6th

One of the strongest defenses in the league.    Average speed and baserunning.    Hitting is average and power is average.  This team has really improved it's pitching staff.  One of the strongest in the NL.

Predictions-
Louisville should run away with the division again.  Their pitching staff should carry them.    As far as hitting goes, I think you could switch around the hitters for Houston, Texas, and Jackson and would probably finish with the exact  record.  With that being said, Texas has a stronger pitching staff than the other two teams. They should be able to take a wildcard spot.   Houston and Jackson is a real tossup.  Either team could finish 3rd.  Both team most likely will finish with wins in the 70's.

1. Louisville
2. Texas
3. Houston
4.  Jackson

Friday, April 11, 2014

SEASON 27 NL EAST PREVIEW

NL EAST
This is one of my favorite divisions to watch, because almost every season it is decided within 5 games.  Greygoose and Jacksonville usually end up coming out on top.  But they have been surprised from time to time.  Jacksonville has won the division 14 of the last 17 seasons, and last season was no different winning the division by 5 games.  Unfortunately, that' s where it ended losing in the NLCS for the 2nd straight season.  Philadelphia had to be happy about last season's 87 wins.  It was their first playoff appearance in 6 seasons.  Wichita took 3rd last season, which broke a 5 season streak of taking dead last.  But unfortunately that franchise hasn't made a playoff appearance in 16 straight seasons.   Cincinnati finished on the bottom of the division for the first time in 13 seasons and jbburners lowest win total in 15 seasons.

Jacksonville Juice
Owner: Greygoose123(27th season)
Last Season-92-70(1st place)
Last 5 seasons- 421-389(.520)
Payroll-$111.3m
Draft Pick-51st

This team appears to be commited to winning now.  They upped their payroll by $10 million this season.  Probably the best defensive team in the league.  They are near the top in speed and baserunning.  They have plenty of hitters with good power.  They should score alot of runs this season.  Pitching staff is slightly below average.  Probably won't win 92 games again.

Philadelphia Moneymakers
Owner: Phillies26(27th season)
Last Season-87-75(2nd place)
Last 5 seasons- 380-430(.469)
Payroll-$93.8m
Draft Pick-27th

Above average defense.    Good speed and basrunning.    One of the best hitting teams in the league, but they lack power.  Probably the deepest pitching staff in the division.

Wichita DwArf'y Mojados
Owner: Jibe(4th season)
Last Season-74-88(3rd Place)
Last 5 seasons-340-470(.420)
Payroll-$11.7m
Draft Pick- 12th

I am told this team is in rebuilding mode.  I guess it should be obvious with their $11.7 million payroll.  (Half of that is from a player he traded to Louisville).  This team is going to be a huge threat in the future.  So the rest of the division has now been warned.  Unfortunately, this season is going to be a different.  Wichita is going to look like a $11.7 million franchise.  Their defense looks average.    Speed and baserunning are average.  Now we are done with that word, average.  This team really lacks hitters.  One of the worse in the league.  And they have no power.  Pitching staff is by far far the weakest league as well.   Can you say #1 draft pick?


Cincinnati Firestorm
Owner:jbburner(27th season)
Last Season-74-88(4th Place)
Last 5 seasons-387-423(.478)
Payroll-$80m
Draft Pick-13th

This team has an awesome shortstop.  But after that it kinda falls on it's face as one of the weaker one's in the league.  Average speed and baserunning.  They have a few good hitters, but really lack any power.  Pitching staff is below average as well.    I would say they will probably win less games than last season.

Predictions
 Between Jacksonville's defense and their good power, it should be enough to hold off Philadelphia.  It should be close again though.  Both teams should have wins in the upper 80's.    Cincinnati has too many weaknesses.  I think they are going to finish in the 60's range for wins.  And Wichita will probably have wins in the 50's.  Anything more than that would shocking. 
1.Jacksonville
2. Philadelphia
3. Cincinnati
4. Wichita

SEASON 27 NL NORTH PREVIEW

NL North
Iowa City won the division again last season, making it the 5th time in 6 seasons that they have done so.  Last season Helena shocked the world when he won the World Series as a wildcard  team.  They did it in dramatic fashion taking Louisville, Iowa City, and Jacksonville to the final game in each series.  Fargo took third place last season.  It just goes to show how competitive this division has become.  Starbuck won the division title the first 13 seasons in this world existence, but has only won twice in the 13 seasons since.   Scranton finished in 4th place last season for the fourth straight season.  Hopefully this a sign that they are stock piling talent in the minors for a push in the next season or two.

Iowa City Hawkeyes
Owner: tk21775(12th Season)
Last Season- 95-67(1st Place)
Last 5 seasons-464-346(.573)
Payroll-$103.9m
Draft pick-23rd

Defense looks about average.  Not much for speed or baserunning.  Their hitting looks to be one of the weaker teams in the league with very little power.  We'll have to see how much it hurts the team over the season.  Their pitching is again, one of the tops in the league.  They might have the two best relievers in the game on their team.  Keep an eye out to see how much their low medical budget hurts them.

Helena Copper Kings
Owner-Pinetaar(2nd Season)
Last Season-86-76(2nd Place)
Last 5 seasons-403-407 (.498)
Payroll-$83.2m
Draft pick-19th

Defense is one of the tops in the league.    Average speed and baserunning.  Above average hitting with good power.  Their pitching might be one of the deepest in the league.  Their 5 best pitchers are all relievers.  I think their bullpen had a bad season last year and had they performed to their potential,  would have won the team more games.  

Fargo Wood Chippers
Owner- Starbuckdc(27th Season)
Last Season-83-79(3rd place)
Last 5 seasons-420-390(.519)
Payroll-$85.2m
Draft pick-17th

Defense looks about average.  Not much for speed and baserunning.  Probably the best hitting team in the division.  Average power.    Pitching staff looks about average. 

Scranton Red Barons
Owner-Reggie988(5th season)
Last Season-70-92(4th place)
Last 5 seasons- 331-479(.409)
Payroll-$38.8m
Draft pick-9th

Scranton appears to be in full rebuilding mode.  They trimmed about $8mil off of their payroll from last season.  Defense looks about average.  Not much for speed and baserunning.    Hitting isn't bad, and they have alot of good power.  Pitching staff looks about average.  I think they'll do better than last season's 70 wins.

Predictions
 Like I said before, I think Helena's bullpen didn't perform very well in the regular season and think they will post a better record than last season.  Iowa is going to get hit with a devastating injury or two, and I think their hitting will be too weak to take the division.   Fargo should hover around the .500 mark again for third place, and Scranton will probably finish just a couple games below that for fourth.
1. Helena
2. Iowa City
3. Fargo
4. Scranton