Sunday, September 14, 2008

A.L. East Division Predictions

Season 9: 1st Place (89-73)
Season 10 Prediction: 1st Place

The Skinny:
Yeah, I feel like a homer picking me to win my division, but I honestly think I've got enough talent to win it again this year. I will say this though, the Nutcases are assembling a very good, young squad. I think they may still be a year away though, even after coming so close last season.
As for the Blizzard, there were a couple big free agent signings led by Geraldo Rios. Rios has a great bat and will see most of his time at 3rd base or in right field, however, if Pascual Seneca struggles at 2B, he'll see some time there as well. Other big additions include free agents Tony Risley, Davey Aguilar, Brian Davidson and AAA call-up Sven Palmer.

Season 9: 2nd Place (88-74)
Season 10 Prediction: 2nd Place

The Skinny:
As I mentioned above, the Nutcases have youth on their side. When I looked at the Nutcases offseason moves, I noticed one thing: a lack of them. The obvious reason for that is the team's youth. Atlanta doesn't need to make a lot of moves - they just need their player's to grow and develop into their projected ratings.
The starting rotation, full of talent, will be led by 24-year old Damaso Lopez and the anchor of the bullpen is all-star and best name candidate Peter Pong. In between, the Nutcases have plenty of arms to keep them in contention. Although currently out with a broken toe, we expect to see 21-year old Tony Mendoza in the middle of the lineup to lead the offense.

Season 9: 3rd Place (69-93)
Season 10 Prediction: 3rd Place

The Skinny:
Four straight 3rd place finishes and we think Durham's headed for a fifth consecutive 3rd place finish. The top of the rotation looks pretty good with Johan McInerney and former Blizzard starter Charlie Rogers, but the staff isn't as deep as Atlanta's or Burlington's. The Bulls also signed free agent Wilson Finnessey and Jumbo DaSilva to improve the bullpen. The offense is led by Lawrence Brown who's good for 40 HR's and 100+ RBI's every season and future hall-of-famer, Bart Kirby. We also expect to see Charlie Medina in his rightful place at the top of the lineup as well.

Season 9: 4th Place (59-103)
Season 10 Prediction: 4th Place

The Skinny:
The Blast are in the middle of a major rebuild. They've finished everywhere from 1st to 4th in the division, but have fallen on hard times as of late with back-to-back last place finishes. The Blast will most likely be there again this season, but they're starting to assemble some quality pieces. They had a great Rule 5 Draft (noted previously) and we'll get our first look at rookie pitching sensation Jeff Murphy. Offensively, the Blast added some great contact hitters in Herbert Benjamin, Virgil Benjamin and Mikey Meacham who could be plugged in at the top or bottom of the lineup. Driving in those guys will be superstar Bruce Payne who could be one of the all-time greats in Mantle World.

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