For the second time in the past three seasons, Louisville took this division title. The 95 wins by Louisville tied a franchise best, all of which have been done by the current owner, Arfy. Even with the first round bye, they still failed to win a playoff series. Finishing in second place was Texas. Even with 90 wins, the team failed to make the post season. Houston is a team that is rebuilding, but still managed to win 81 games last season. Even while rebuilding, this franchise still competes. The franchise in Jackson has been rebuilding for the past 5 seasons now and finished in last place with just 61 wins. That happens to be the worst record for them under the current ownership.
Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
owner- Arfy(13 seasons)
Season 28 record- 95-67 (NL South Champs)
Last 5 seasons- 437-373
The offense in Louisville looks about average this season. They have decent power, a few good hitters and solid batting eyes in the lineup. They also have some decent speed on the team, but most of the stolen base threats aren't very good at getting on base. The offense is middle of the pack, but an addition or two could really give them a boost. The defense is about average. They really lack a shortstop with a good glove, but what they have will do. They really have solid gloves for most positions on the diamond and I love the range this team has. This team features a really good rotation. They have 4 really good starters, a true ace and even a solid number 5 with a backup option as well. The bullpen isn't as good as the rotation, but it's not bad. This might be the best staff I've previewed so far. Louisville should end up in the post season again, and I'd be surprised if they don't at least match last seasons record. I could see them making a post season run, if not for Arfy running the team. I'm joking of course, but man does he have some bad luck in the post season.
Owners perspective- Louisville is looking at the same old song and dance. We are an aging team, especially on our pitching staff. We have 6 pitchers 35 or older. I also believe that we have the best pitching staff from top to bottom in all of the league. Our hitting shouldn't be too bad either. Decent for the regular season. Offense lacks any superstars. Probably not enough pop in the lineup for the playoffs. Will certainly need to add a piece or two if I want to get any further than usual.
owner- erichanville(4 seasons)
Season 28 record- 90-72
Last 5 seasons- 398-412
I'm liking the look of the offense in Texas. They have some good power, some good hitters and guys that can get on base. They even have a couple players that can get on base and swipe a bag. I think this is an above average offense if not top 5 in the NL. Texas has an above average defense, but they could use a shortstop with a bit better glove to really give them a top defense. They have the players at key positions to field a pretty solid D. The rotation looks good, but they will likely have some control issues. The bullpen doesn't have those control issues. They are an above average group with solid depth. I think Texas can really push Louisville for the top spot in the division this season and should at least make a good run at a wild card spot. This is a 90+ win group of players.
Owners perspective- The part I like about my club is the new addition of Molina, who should give us a little more power in the lineup. My main worries will be the defense and the bottom of the rotation. If they can hold up then I might make the playoffs this season, I hope.
owner- bagwellbuff(7 seasons)
Season 28 record- 81-81
Last 5 seasons- 435-375
This team has a below average offense. They lack good power and don't have many hitters that can get on base at a good clip. While they do have some speed, I'm not sure those players can get on base enough to make a difference. The defense is solid all around the diamond, but I'd like to see a centerfielder with more range and a shortstop with a bit better glove. I'll put them at average due to that. The rotation features a couple nice pitchers and youngster Albert Olivo could continue to develop. The bullpen looks about average and features youngster Khiry Clark who will continue to grow as well. This pitching staff is the strength of the team. That will not be enough to move Houston up near the top of the division, but I believe that they will continue to be a competitive team this season.
owner- bobbyj7(16 seasons)
Season 28 record- 61-101
Last 5 seasons- 373-437
This isn't a team with good power. They do have some good contact hitters though and a couple of guys that can get on base. I also think this team has the ability to steal a lot of bases. The offense is just below average this season. The defense really isn't very good. The shortstop has good range, but he'll make too many errors. That will be the problem at most positions. The rotation ranks in the bottom half of the league. The lack any top of the rotation type starters and are mostly a patchwork group. The bullpen is right in line with that. Overall, this is a bad pitching staff. Jackson will continue another year of rebuilding, but the offense should keep them in games. I think they'll finish real close to the same record again this season.
Owners perspective- Another rebuilding year in Jackson.
With a couple of the teams in rebuild mode, this is a two team race for the division crown. Louisville is the reigning champ and they have the makings of a pretty good team again. I think they are one of the top few teams in the NL. Texas is pretty good as well, but I don't think they have enough to take the division. I could see them getting a wild card spot though and possibly even winning a round in the post season. Houston is rebuilding but they are still competitive and should win 70+ games this season. Jackson is the team that is the farthest off from being competitive and I think they'll finish at the bottom.