Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Season 33 AL North Preview

AL North

Season 32 Standings
Milwaukee Magnitude 102-60
Kansas City Yardbirds 71-91
Dover Dinklebergs 70-92
New York Damage Controllers 68-94

The Magnitude won their 4th straight division title last season, which was also just the 4th title in franchise history. In each of the past 5 seasons they have increased their win total as well. The Yardbirds finished in a distant second place and have now missed the playoffs for the past 10 seasons. Dover finished third and improved by 9 games from the previous season while missing the playoffs for the 4th time in a row. That comes after winning the division 7 straight seasons. New York finished last and they have now gone 15 seasons without a post season berth. They have gone the longest of any team in this division since their last division title all the way back in season 10.

Milwaukee Magnitude
owner-horvie78(8th season)
Last 5 seasons- 441-369

95+ wins
Winning another division title
Getting hot in the post season

My take
95 wins are within reach for this team. They have the hitting and pitching to get that done. Winning the division should be a possibility with that many wins since all of the other teams were well behind them last season. A big part of the getting hot in the post season has to do with having a few dominant starting pitchers. This team has 3 pitchers that can start and be dominant, but all 3 of them lack really good stamina. That means the bullpen has to be really good. The team has a really solid bullpen so I don't think that will be a problem.

What to look for
Lack of range in the infield being a problem
Players that had outstanding seasons not being able to repeat those outputs

My take
Pellow has the glove and arm to play shortstop, but his range is not very good. The have the same problem with Zip Sullivan at 2B. I like a lot more range at 2B than what he has to offer. That will allow a lot of balls to get through that otherwise wouldn't. This could really hurt them this season.

The player that sticks out as having an over achieving season was Buddy Berry. I just don't see how it's possible for him to repeat his output from last season.

Differences from last season
Josh Kirkland replaces Tomas Osoria in CF
Ignacio Torres and Darren Banks replace Bucky Simpson and Jed Carter on the pitching staff

My take
Kirkland adds more defense over Osoria but he's not going to hit as well. I prefer defense in centerfield so this is an upgrade.

Torres is a solid starter and Banks is good but lacks stamina. The big problem here is that Jed Carter was a great bullpen arm and neither of those pitchers will replace what he gave the team.


Kansas City Yardbirds
owner-holleybard(7th season)
Last 5 seasons- 366-444

My take
This team is close to competing. They have the defense and offense to get it done. On offense they have a nice mix of power and getting on base. The defense is solid all around. The pitching staff is rough though. The bullpen has a couple decent arms, but the rotation is not very good. The only thing bringing them up to a D+ is that the pitching staff is loaded with pitchers that have good control. Less walks will be a plus for this staff.


Dover Dinklebergs
owner-tmfran(16th season)
Last 5 seasons- 350-460

My take
Dover is a bit below average offensively. Joakim Valbuena is a great hitter, but this team doesn't have a whole lot of talent. On defense they have a gold glove caliber shortstop in Cam House. The team is really loaded with the gloves. The pitching staff isn't very strong. The rotation lacks top end starters, but they do have quite a few mid to back end talent. The bullpen isn't very good. The staff control is also something to be concerned with.


New York Damage Controllers
owner-skuff730(14th season)
Last 5 seasons- 377-433

My take
This team is going to struggle this season. They have very little talent in all 3 areas of the game. The good thing for this team is that they have some solid prospects in the minors and could be competing again in the near future. It just doesn't look like that will be this season. I think they might be a favorite to get the first pick in next seasons draft.


I think this will be Milwaukee's division to lose again this season. None of the other teams are comparable in talent. Kansas City might give them a run and make things interesting, but in the end they won't have enough pitching to even make the playoffs. Dover looks like they might be even farther back from the top than KC. I'm not sure they can win 70 games this season. New York is a team rebuilding and are looking like they will be pretty bad this season.

1. Milwaukee
2. Kansas City
3. Dover
4. New York

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