Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NL West- Season 29 preview

Somehow Seattle made their way back to the top of this division last season after a 3 year post season drought. They ended up with the #1 seed in the NL, but that didn't help them. They went on to lose to division rival Colorado Springs 3-2 in the Division championship series. Colorado Springs finished in second after 3 straight division titles and went on to lose in the NLCS to Scranton. In third place was Oklahoma City, who ended a 17 season playoff drought. It also marked the first back to back winning seasons for this franchise since seasons 8-10. They eventually lost to Scranton in the Wild Card round. Albuquerque finished in last. They were likely the most disappointing team in the NL after finishing the previous season with 92 wins and a wild card berth. This has become a very competitive division with 4 teams that have post season potential.

Seattle Strikers
owner- ghutton9(22 seasons)
Season 28 record- 100-62(NL West champs)
Last 5 seasons- 379-411

Offensively, this is not a team with much pop. They have solid contact abilities and really good batting eyes. They should get on base a lot. They even mix in some decent speed. The defense is among the best in the league. They could use a bit better glove at shortstop, but they have a great centerfielder and good gloves at most positions with really good range. They could be a top 3 defense. The rotation is good. They have a few good top of the rotation type pitchers and solid back end guys as well. The bullpen is this teams real strength. It's a deep bullpen and the guys at the top of it are among the best in the league. The pitching staff ranks in the upper half of the NL. Seattle should be tough to knock from the top of the division this season and could even make a post season run.

Owners perspective- Since the preview is basically my perspective anyway, I'll tell you how I feel about my team. I'm off to a great start, but I don't feel like this will be the norm for my team. I do feel like they are good, but I think I'm still a piece or two away. I like my off season additions and feel like my team is better than they were last season. This might be my favorite team I've ever put together.

Colorado Springs Night Watchmen
owner- toe64(28 seasons)
Season 28 record- 96-66(Wild Card, NL runner up)
Last 5 seasons- 474-336

This team has a good amount of power. They also have some guys that can hit and get on base. They aren't a team that will steal a lot of bases. I really think they have a good offense. I put them in the top 5 of the NL. The defense is below average though. They lack a real shortstop and a centerfielder with range. I think if anything will be this teams downfall, it'll be the defense. I rank them near the bottom of the league. The rotation looks about average and they lack an ace. They have a good group of mid rotation guys to make up for that though. The bullpen has a few good arms, but they lack depth. That could hurt over the long run. The pitching staff looks about average to me. This team has the offense to really be good, but I don't know if it'll be enough to overcome the defense issues. This is still a good team, but they'll need some things to go their way in order to take the division title.

Owners perspective- I have virtually the same team as last year minus King Ashburn in center which was a big loss. Nonetheless, appears another year of age on my guys is the straw that broke the camels back. Not much to say except it's a marathon and not a sprint. We'll see how that works out for me.

Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs
owner- brentcnb(16 seasons)
Season 28 record- 91-71(Wild Card)
Last 5 seasons- 392-418

This team gets it's power from 2 players and one of those, Jin-Chi Yamamoto is a superstar. They have some good hitting and decent batting eyes. They also have some good speed. This is a really good offense. The defense is solid but they don't look good at shortstop. The rest of the field will feature pretty good gloves though. That is what brings them to slightly above average. The rotation is below average, but they have lots of options and guys with good stamina and control. The bullpen is pretty much the same since some of those potential starters will be relieving. The pitching as a whole is a little less than average. I really like this teams offense and the defense is pretty solid also. I think that should be enough to help this team contend again this season and possibly get them into the post season.

Owners perspective- I tried to improve the team defensively with a couple FA signings. Strength of the team is probably speed and defense. That is probably my biggest concern in that the pitching staff is maybe a bit above average but not much and the overall hitting ability of the team leaves something to be desired. The Prairie Dogs could finish anywhere from 1st to 4th in the division and it would not surprise me.

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons
owner- csudak(9 seasons)
Season 28 record- 73-89
Last 5 seasons- 368-442

Albuquerque is a team that can hit some homeruns. They have quite a bit of power. They also should have a really good OBP as they have plenty of players with good hitting eyes and contact. They also have good speed. This could be the best offense in a division that has plenty of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see them score the most runs in the NL this season. Defensively they are average. I like the shortstop, but they don't have good range in centerfield. That's OK though, they have solid range and defense at most spots in the field. The rotation isn't bad, but they are below average. This team really lacks an impact starter at the top of the rotation. They also have plenty of options for the rotation as they have plenty of pitchers with good stamina. The bullpen is made up with those guys and that's not really a good thing. The bullpen doesn't look very good. I think this is a below average pitching staff that could use a few good arms. This team still looks pretty good overall though. I think they can challenge for the top spot and if not win the division they could still get into the playoffs.

Owners perspective- Thoughts on my team 1) Love my hitting, good solid young talent at most positions, 2) Fielding is questionable, probably going to cost me a few games, 3) I can't get pitching. Even when I think I have solid guys, the results just aren't there. In theory, my best pitcher over the last 2 seasons has been Preston Reese, which makes zero sense and he is on the DL for the first half of the year. My goal is to move hitting for younger pitchers and hope I find a couple of gems. Even with the rough start, I'm hoping to challenge for a wild card spot if I can piece a staff together.

I'm really liking my Seattle team this season and really feel like they can make a good run in the post season. This is a really tough division though. Colorado Springs features a really good offense, but the defense and pitching aren't as good. They should still finish above .500 this season and challenge for at least a wild card spot. Oklahoma City looks really close to Colorado Springs. I'm not sure they can take the top spot, but they should battle for a wild card. Albuquerque looks like the closest team to taking the division title from Seattle. The pitching holds them back a bit, but the offense offsets that and the defense is better than OKC and CSP. I think all 4 teams finish above .500 and it's going to be a close race at the end. At least one team, if not two will take a wild card spot.

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

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