Monday, May 25, 2009

Season 5 Preview - AL North

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The AL North has always been a very competitive division, both in the standings and in trash talk on the World Chat board. Who will be able to back up the smack talk this year? Let's find out!

AL NORTH

4. Cleveland Kings
Last Season: 79-83

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the locker room is a lot more sanitary without ploppie’s soiled depends

Impact Player – Darrell Wright – this young hurler has somewhat underperformed at the Major League Level – could this be his year?

Gazette says: mrploppie is gone after 4 seasons, and the franchise is under new ownership, and has moved to Cleveland. So what did ploppie leave behind? I mean in terms of players. Well, the team has a young, talented pitching staff, although they have underperformed thus far at the Major League level, as evidenced by a team ERA over 5.00 last season. The pitching staff will certainly have to improve if Cleveland is going to be King this season. The offense was very good last year, with an OPS over .800, and returns many of the same players. The only question is can the pitching prevent the opposition from scoring even more runs?

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 76-86
Vegas Odds to win it all: 65-1

3. Detroit Dirt Dogs
Last Season: 71-91

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The Kid is back!

Impact Player – Timo Green – can the righty starter step up and lead the pitching staff with an outstanding season he has the potential for?

Gazette says: The Kid is back at the reigns of his franchise, and his first act was to move the squad to Detroit. Last season, Detroit’s lineup produced fairly well with a .268 batting average and .737 OPS. We think they underperformed, and should be a bit better this season. On the pitching side of the coin, their team ERA approached 5.00, which will certainly have to improve if they are going to win more games this season. We think it will – the starters should do better, and the bullpen should be excellent, and has the potential to be a major strength for the team. Overall, we look for Detroit to take a step forward in their new home, compared to last season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 79-83
Vegas Odds to win it all: 60-1

2. St. Louis Silver Sluggers
Last Season: 82-80

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: a cabinet full of compromising photos of various Cobbfather league members.

Impact Player – Sarma Flores – the young flamethrower will need to improve on his numbers from his debut (5-10, 4.97 ERA) to take St. Louis a step closer to the promised land.

Gazette says: In the Season 4 campaign, pitching was a major strength for St. Louis, and should once again be solid this season. The bullpen looks to be dangerous, and should be hard to score on. The starters look like they should be able to hold their own as well, although they don’t look quite as strong as the bullpen. St. Louis’s offense sputtered last season, when compared to their division rivals, and will definitely be looking for some players to step up at the plate. We’re not sure the offense is quite there yet to contend for a division title, but their pitching staff will keep them in a lot of games.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 85-77
Vegas Odds to win it all: 40-1

1. New York Pride of the Yankees
Last Season: 99-63

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: many happy managers that they haven’t moved into the new Yankee Stadium.

Impact Player – Ken Evans – if he can put up Cy Young numbers again, New York will be in great shape.

Gazette says: The three time division winners are primed for another run at the division title, and depending on their pitching, another run at the ever elusive 100 win mark, which they have fallen one game short of three times. There is no questioning the firepower of New York’s lineup, which may be the most powerful in the league. Opposing pitching staffs will cringe seeing them on the schedule. New York’s pitching staff may be a tad underrated, and is capable of putting up better numbers than last year; but even if they don’t, their explosive offense can strike at any time and carry them to victory.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 100-62
Vegas odds to win it all: 7-1

UP NEXT: NL North

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