Jackson Black Bears
PREVIEW: Look Out fer them Bears! In the off-season Olemiss let Barrios, Lima, Morales, Yamaguchi and Mesa go to free agency. Then he traded away Crawford and Moses. With several spots open on the ML roster ,Olemiss signed free agents Cabeza and Mateo. And he traded for Lansing, Boucher and "Big" MacFarlane. This is the same good young team as last year with the addition of a veteran SP and a tweak of the catching corp and bullpen. The Black Bears will win this division and will wreak havoc in the playoffs. PREDICTION:100-62
AT THE BREAK: THE Bears have the second best record in the National League at the break. They lead the NL in pitching with a WHIP 1.24 of and a ERA of 3.67. They also are the best in not giving up home runs (90) OBP(.306) OAV(.240) and SLG(.364). If Olemiss's boys start hitting it may be curtains for the rest of us.They are on there way to the playoffs but the City limits are right on there tails with Jacksonville still in the running. Jackson should reach and pass my prediction of 100 wins.
Austin City Limits
PREVIEW: With only a couple holes to fill, Wylie signed free agent Ruffin and picked up Jefferson and Miller in the R-5. Replacing Stults in CF with Ruffin will upgrade the defense considerably. And while Ruffin won't hit as many homers he will hit over .300. (I actually had my eye on Ruffin as a possible addition). Wylie plugged in a couple R-5 players and we will see if they are DITR's or LOC's (Lumps Of Coal). He still has 12 million to play with in his player budget and could bring in a good player or 2. The City Limits are a good team but will need a miracle to beat the Black Bears for the division crown. They have a good shot at getting in the playoffs as a wild card .PREDICTION:90-72
AT THE BREAK: Wylies team is 2nd in offense with a .280 batting average and is 5th in pitching with a .133 WHIP and ERA of .4.03. this team leads the N L in stolen bases with 126 but also has been caught the most 57. If you play this team make sure you have a good catcher because they will manufacture runs (495 runs scored). The Coal in there Christmas Stocking is the bad defense (71 errors , .980 FPct). This has contributed to 43 unearned runs compared to Jacksons 23. Still the City limits are right in it and could win it. They should easily reach my prediction of 90 wins and may win this division if they stay healthy. Injuries have been a problem in Austin. Wylie will be in the playoffs and their good pitching , hitting and speed on the basepath.
PREVIEW: In the off-season Wish let Perez go to free agency and released Black. Wells was signed to a long term contract then traded to the Misfits . To plug the holes, Wish signed free agents Harris, Furcal and Veras. Then he traded for Owens. Wish decided to add some pitching in the off-season and they should be a better club on the mound. The hitting may come around if last years mid-season callups Denny Satou and Clarence Aubrey can put it together. But the position players are young. And it's and it's a crap shoot wheather or not this team will start mashing. Wish also has only 35 million in salaries and has about 37 million in cap space. He may bring in some veterans or transfer money to prospects....it's nice to have options.The Juggernauts could be anywhere from .500 to a wild card contender . My guess is mid-80's but could be 90's with some mid-season pickups. PREDICTION:84-78
AT THE BREAK: Jackson is a solid National League team that hits well (5th) pitches well (7th) and has a very good defensive team (3rd). Wishlist's guys won't beat themselves with only 45 and don't even try and swipe a bag. They are second in the NL with a CS% of .373. Imagine how good they would be if not for grounding into 104 double plays. Still this team is on the way up and it's not out of the realm that they could make the post season. The N L South has become a power division overnight and the Jugger-nots are one of the HAVES.
Tampa Bay Stars
PREVIEW: In the off-season ,Jmas let Guerrero, Marquez and Suarez go to free agency. Then he released Franco, Green, Rosario, Teahen, Ruiz and Lima. Finally he traded away Peterson and Harris and waived Sierra and Ferrer. Now with a bunch of roster spots to fill , Jmas signed free agents Tabaka, Cunnane, Zerbe, Guthrie, Cruz and Preito. Then he promoted Ewing and traded for O'Brien, Wainhouse, Hamilton, Cordova, Desmond, Sanchez, Manzanillo, Pena, Rios, Padilla Monroe and Butler. Whew!!! Someone was burning up the trade chat channels. With so many new faces it would be hard to predict how this team will do. So I will have to go to the Franchise Ranking page and base my prediction on that. In the N L the Stars are # 2 in Eye and Contact and #1 in RH hitting and LH hitting and #5 in power. So this team can hit with the best of them. The pitchers control is #4 ,LH is #8, RH is #2 and 1st pitch is 15th. So the pitching is about average overall. My guess this years stars will hit well enough to overcome average pitching and play for a wildcard berth.PREDICTION:87-75
AT THE BREAK: The Stars are below .500 and are behind my prediction of a 87 win season. One of the main problems with this years team has been a rash of injuries. Derrek O'Brien , Matt Gibbons , Adam Hamilton and Art Desmond. This necesitated the emergency call up of Luis Manto who filled in for the injured pitching staff. Then he himself went down with a injury. Ugghh!! All the injured are back on their feet and if Jmas can keep them healthy he may make my 87 win prediction. But it may be tough to win this division with the quality teams ahead of him. They could however get a wild-card if the Stars Align.