This Steel City crew won the division last season in a war of attrition. There is plenty o' talent left here to win this division again. Matty Little, Vlad Lopez and The Skipper bring offensive production to Gotham light and Park, Street, and Governale are workhorses in the rotation. Jtedford should defend the title but how deep can he go?
Kansas City Sunshine Band
This squad definitely needs to "make a little love" after last season's 57 win debacle. Bjleader is an experienced owner that knows what it takes to rebuild. The future is bright and KC will reap the benefits of high draft pix soon. Young guys like Wengert, Bell and Nixon are already at the ML level and that will help them "get down tonight" to improve the overall record. Look for a big stride but still not ready for a playoff run.
This squad made a run at Pitt last season only to come up short. New ownership has come in and promised to make the necessary changes to run down the potato pastries. Stonewalter has a wealth of experienced ML guys, especially on the pitching staff. Bob Chase, Alberto Beltre and Mule Strange are damn good pitchers. Offense can be a challenge though. Luis Rosario is a threat but doesn't have much help. The addition of C Mark Little will help...but not enough IMO
New York Knights
Our own wonderboy, 19craig58, has stepped into New York to remake this franchise. Last season saw this group lose 97, which was a surprise. Expect improvement and a run at .500. 81-81 may be good enough to be in the hunt in this division but not likely enough to get into the playoffs. Gookie Rolls is a great offensive C and Ren Chang was a nice pickup in FA for the O. SPs are a concern here after youngster Ryan Clayton. Again, this is another improved squad that should compete in the division of parity but not quite enough.
New York 74-88
Kansas City 67-95
Baltimore Blue Jays
Bluejayrules stepped right in and showed no fear taking over this successful franchise. This team is off to a hot start and is making our resident youngster look like a genius. The previous owner definitely left this thing is good shape with tons of ML talent. Malloy and Giles head up a real good corp of SPs. Offensively, Jim Ramsey's raw power will drive in tons of runs while vets like Nance and Burnett support a consistent offense. This is a good team that will make the playoffs and has a shot at making a run.
Washington DC Nationals
Hexhash, an original owner in Josh Gibson, showed back up under the wire to revive this franchise. This version of the Nationals had a nice 91 win season last time out. This division is a tough one and that total was only good enough for 3rd place and a WC birth. It will be hard to improve on that performance but there is talent here to make another run. Vet SP Paulie Ponson will give big innings as will Lew Dessens. Carl George is also real good However, SPs are not dominant. This club has to win a lot of tight games using timely hitting and a good BP. Youngster Mark Hayashi has the makings of a long-time run producer and C Al Guerra is a stud.
Philadelphia Dragon Turtles
WTF is a Dragon Turtle? Too bad the original owner bailed so we will never know. Russilini stepped in right before opening day to take over this squad and is looking to improve on its historical epitome of mediocrity. Ugh. Hanging around .500 is meh. There are some good pieces here to work with. Omar Russell is really good and SP prospect Bert Presley finally got the call to the show. I am not sure there is enough here to make a significant improvement over last season but they wont suck either.
Chicago Illinois Ice Bergs
Our WS runner-up is the squad to beat in this division even though they didn't win it last season. Rynoman01 jumped on this opportunity so there is some pressure to NOT screw it up. Alfredo Forbes is a MVP candidate. There is also plenty of support with guys like Diaz, Dickson, Durham, etc. RA Jennings is still a real good SP at 37 and the BP is solid. I will take these lettuce heads to win this division in a close race.
I have serious pitching staff envy. Kingleonidas has built an unbelievable corps of arms here. I want to pick them as my choice to represent the NL in the WS this time out. Forster, Summers, Sherrill, Baines rival the real Atlanta's staff of the Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, etc. However, I don't love the offense...but I don't hate it either. AJ Callaway is a superstar and his supporting cast is good. Waters and Quentin lead a group of good players to fill out the lineup. I expect the ATL to lead the division wire to wire and have a legit shot to win the WS.
San Antonio Missions
The Alamo gang can challenge Atlanta for the division but I feel like pitching will be the difference. Amoebaman78 has gotten off to a great start thanks to some good FA acquisitions. Chad Glanville is a great addition to the offense and SP prospect Lou Collins will be a superstar in the future. A playoff run could be in the cards but just a little short. I am happy to see an owner come in and take an aggressive approach. It should pay dividends.
Oklahoma City 89ers
Newbie guyo26 has come aboard to take over this historically mediocre performer in OKC. Vets like Dick McCall and Juan Aguilar should help keep this team's head above water but the supporting talent is lacking. Young SP Amos Cunningham has the potential to be a solid ML SP and the other young call ups will help stabilize the staff but unfortunately there are better teams ahead of this group. If guyo26 chooses to make a run he has pieces to trade or he can move those few vets for prospects to win in the future.
After a long run of winning in HOU, it looks like our resident "one dog night" groupie is at a crossroads. I have a ton of respect for this franchise and have no doubt they will continue to succeed. Unfortunately for the bullfrog, ATL is just really good. A weird slow start is perplexing but there are good pieces to work with here. Corey Mason, Kris Walker and Grover Young are all top notch SPs. The BP is solid. Puffer, Dickerson Eiland, etc. are solid ML players. This is a good team that, on paper, should be in the playoffs. However, sometimes the WIS sim engine disagrees. I have faith and believe things will return to normal.
San Antonio 90-72
San Francisco Golden Cables
Newbie Go_Tribe_65 has this team overachieving early. This franchise is historically a .500 hovering crew but new ownership has made some tweaks to improve. Call up Julian Barkely is already helping the offense as is CF Carl Lyons. Miguel Puildo can hit HRs as well so the offense is better. Pitching is iffy but outperforming early. The ballpark in SF will help the staff keep the ERA down. but that goes both ways. Ultimately, I see a slight improvement and a shot at the WC.
Always hard to give an objective opinion on one's own team. Offense--Pros: Power hitters that will hit HRs. Cons: Not a great OBP team Conclusion: Inconsistent offense. Pitching--Lots of middle of the rotation type SPs and an above average BP. Cons: Lost Douglas Kendall in FA. Tried to sign him to an affordable deal but couldn't justify breaking the bank since there are tons of holes elsewhere. Conclusion: Above average pitching but nothing studly Overall Conclusion: Inconsistent again. Perry Smalley was a good FA signing to help offense but I don't think it is enough to win the division. Maybe a WC is possible.
St Louis Silence
theBrigadier has a good up and coming squad here. There is a nice mixture of vets and young guys that bode well for the future. Koyie Walls is a real nice young MI prospect that had a good rookie campaign. Additionally, Alex Arroya looks to be legit at 1B. those young guys coupled with Guerrero, Rose and Quinn makes this a pretty good offense. SPs are the strength here. Ken Martin is good and is Yorman Gandarillas. MOF, top to bottom, the staff is just solid. This team will be in the mix all the way.
Los Angles Bionic Freaks
kdforester continues to consistently field a good team and has figured out how to re-tool effectively without tanking. Event though they are off to a slow start this team has all the pieces to compete in a very evenly distributed division. Newcomer Bill Griffiths looks to be the real deal as a SP and coupled with the vets Vin Rigby and, nice FA signing, DaRond White, this looks to be a formidable pitching staff (good BP here as well). Offense might be a challenge but it is not awful either. Cody Ford is a good OBP guy and Dave Tabaka has awesome power. This division is really up for grabs.
St Louis 83-79
San Fran 81-81