Tuesday, September 16, 2008

N.L. East Division Predictions

Kansas City
Kansas City Monarchs (NL)
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Season 9: 1st Place (86-76)
Season 10 Prediction: 1st Place

The Skinny:
This is the best team in the division, period (so what if they've lost 5 in a row at the time I'm writing this). The pitching staff, led by Carmine Holmes and Jim Aurilia is more than solid and Hector Cordero should have a good rookie campaign whether he starts or comes out of the 'pen also. Offensively, All-Star Erick Hatcher is coming off a monster season in which he hit 42 home runs, drove in a whopping 155 runs and batted .343. Wait, who won the MVP last year? Maybe we need a recount. Hatcher will get plenty of offensive help from the likes of Cookie Holt and Charles Hines.

Season 9: 2nd Place (77-85)
Season 10 Prediction: 2nd Place

The Skinny:
On paper, New York looks better than last season and I think they've done enough to get to, and maybe surpass, .500 this season. They won't catch Kansas City, but the addition of Rule 5 selection Charlie Carter should certainly get them closer. I also like the Metros improved defense. They acquired Chick Milligan from Minnesota and Kent Finnessey from Jacksonville which will improve their defense up the middle. Now, if they can bump up the team batting average and provide a little help to Russ Feller, they may be ready to contend in a season or two.

Season 9: 3rd Place (68-94)
Season 10 Prediction: 3rd Place

The Skinny:
Here's another franchise that needs some stability at the ownership level and hopefully the Swingers have found it with dshimoda at the reigns. Syracuse had a pretty active offseason targeting improvements to their bullpen thru free agency. The Swingers came to terms with relief pitchers Guillermo Martinez, Shayne Corsi and the ageless Howie Bryant. The rotation will be led by J.P. McEnroe, but they'll need to find him some additional help before they can become competitive. Ted Hunter is the offensive star here, but they need the Ted Hunter from season 8 to show up, not the one that coasted thru the season last year.

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

The Skinny:
Chicago will join Syracuse in the rebuilding process, but as I blogged about earlier this season, they got off to a great start via the Rule 5 Draft. The Old Style's best chance this season may be to ride the all-or-nothing swings of Bill Kane and Mitchell Killebrew. Add Erv Ryan to the mix and Chicago could see a lot of balls leaving the yard. The pitching staff needs a lot of work, but guys like Brian Brea and D'Angelo Cruz will eat a lot of innings.

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