Sunday, May 24, 2009

Season 5 Preview - NL East

Leon Jackson - Cobbfather Post Gazette
Shenaynay - Special Correspondent from the Psychic Friends Network

The NL East produced last season's World Series representative, the Dover Diamond Dogs, who upstaged division winner New York. Who will come out on top this season between the two? Or will a new contender emerge? Let's find out!

NL EAST

4. Buffalo Bisons
Last Season: 75-87

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the buffalo are roaming!

Impact player – Wilfredo Ordaz – one of Buffalo’s best hitters, he’ll need to produce this season to keep Buffalo competitive.

Gazette says: Buffalo last season had a decent offense and pitching staff, but lacked any standout performances. Looking at what they are bringing to the table in Season 5, we see similar results for this season. They won’t be terrible, but the offense needs a little more fire power before they can compete for a division title. Pitching wise, while they don’t have a lights out ace, they have a solid rotation, and a good bullpen that will help them stay competitive in a lot of games.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 73-89
Vegas Odds to win it all: 100-1

3. Hartford Snakes2
Last Season: 75-87

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: the snake slithering up the tree

Impact Player – Marvin Mays – the #2 overall pick from season 1 was a mid-season callup last season and struggled at the plate. He’ll need to step it up this season if they hope to contend.

Gazette says: In season 4, Hartford featured a strong, power hitting lineup, which should be the case in Season 5 as well. In fact, it should be better, if Mays can rebound from a mediocre season, which we expect him to. Hartford had a high 4.95 team ERA, but their park is an extreme hitters’ park, so that certainly is a factor, but it’s not the only reason. We’re not sure the pitching staff is strong enough to compete for the division title this season. But the Hartford lineup will certainly be an intimidating one.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 78-84
Vegas Odds to win it all: 80-1

2. Dover Diamond Dogs
Last Season: 88-74

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: a whole lot of cash

Impact Player – Bill Osborne – the big money free agent will be expected to produce and improve the pitching staff.

Gazette says: Last season’s NL pennant winners are determined to get back and perhaps this time win the crown, as noted by their offseason moves, primarily the signing of Bill Osborne for a cool 80 mil. Osborne should help what was only a mediocre pitching staff during the regular season, finishing with a 4.40 ERA, but the pitching definitely stepped it up in the playoffs. Offensively, Dover has a power packed lineup that can definitely put runs on the board. Look for Dover to put up a good fight for the division title; they won’t be going away easily this season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 93-69
Vegas Odds to win it all: 10-1

1. New York Primetimers
Last Season: 97-65

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: New York, New York big city of dreams

Impact Player – D.T. Hamilton – the well traveled OBP machine will be expected to get on base a ton so that the sluggers can knock him in.

Gazette says: Last season’s NL East champs were strong in the regular season, but were shown up by division rival Dover in the playoffs, who made a run to the World Series. New York looks to reclaim the title of the team everyone is talking about in the NL East. New York’s offense is solid and skilled at hitting the long ball, along with a few guys that know how to get on base for their mashers. New York excelled with a 3.95 team ERA last season, and will need their pitching to remain consistent to ward off a very tough Dover squad.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 95-67
Vegas Odds to win it all: 9-1

UP NEXT: AL West

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