Monday, May 25, 2009

Season 5 Preview - NL West

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

The NL West has been dominated the first 4 seasons of Cobbfather by the Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens. The other teams in the division have been reloading to try and make a run, let's see who will take the division crown this season!

NL WEST

4. Cheyenne Chiefs
Last Season: 60-102

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The chief is bringing his tribe together

Impact Player – Doyle Jacome – he needs to be a leader and a consistent force in the rotation for Cheyenne.

Gazette says: Cheyenne made great strides last season going from 35 wins in Season 3to 60 wins. There are definitely signs that the team is coming together, as they move a few players up from the minors into the lineup. Still, the lineup could use a little more pop, and the pitching staff could use another solid arm or two, so while we think there will be some progress this season, we also consider it another rebuilding year for Cheyenne. They should be very active in the IFA market with an extremely low payroll, so look for them to continue to add great prospects to their system this season.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 64-98
Vegas Odds to win it all: 140-1

3. Los Angeles Marlowes
Last Season: 52-110

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: Things are looking up in the City of Angels

Impact Player – Bo Dalrymple – the free agent signee will be expected to help improve an offense that staggered last season.

Gazette says: Season 4 was a rough one in L.A., as the offense was almost non-existent, and the pitching staff struggled mightily. L.A. did a good job adding a couple of solid bats to their lineup this offseason, so we definitely expect improvement on that front. The pitching staff should be a bit better this season as well. Rule 5 pick Davey Rivers was a nice add, and should immediately help the rotation. We see improvement in L.A. this season, but still think they are maybe another strong bat and a good arm or two away from contending. But management’s improvement of the team this offseason is to be commended.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 70-92
Vegas Odds to win it all: 100-1

2. Honolulu Haoles
Last Season: 76-86

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: The islands are stormy.

Impact Player – Matt Clarkson – if he can repeat his great effort in Season 4, the Honolulu pitching staff will be in good shape.

Gazette says: After 3 straight wild card berths, the Honolulu franchise missed the playoffs for the first time in Season 4. Honolulu’s pitching fared pretty well last season, and it looks like they should be solid in Season 5. They have some nice bats in their lineup too, with a nice mix of contact hitters and power. So, both the pitching staff and offense look fine, but they really don’t stand out either, which to us means they are a few players away from getting back to the playoffs. They have a low payroll, so this season should be a good opportunity to build their system.

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 80-82
Vegas Odds to win it all: 60-1

1. Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens
Last Season: 106-56

Shenaynay’s crystal ball shows: Sacto is still the Mother Hen of the NL West

Impact player – Blake Howell – the powerful slugger should take the Sacto offense to new heights.

Gazette says: The 4 time NL West champions are looking primed for a run at a 5th straight division title. Many of the faces are the same in Sacramento, and they also added the aforementioned Howell, which makes the lineup even stronger. Sacramento is rock solid pitching wise and on offense, and to us, is clearly still the cream of the crop in the NL West. Look for another great season, with the only question being will Sacto be the Gazette’s pick to win the World Series for the third straight season? Stay tuned!!

Psychic Friends Network prediction: 108-54
Vegas Odds to win it all: 4-1

UP NEXT: AL North

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