The first in the weekly rankings. This one is different in that it includes 12 teams and is a prediction of the fianal standings and playoff results.
Last Season - 120-42, NL North Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Glenn Franklin, Felix Kondou, Cyrus Holdridge,
Departures - Jiggs Hodges, Troy Whitehill, Ahmad Bell, Mendy Mulder
Analysis - They did lose an MVP candidate in Bell, but they still have more firepower than any team in the league. They are coming down closer to earth, but still are heads above the competition.
Prediction - NL North Champion, #1 Seed, World Series Champion
2. Cincinnati Redlegs
Last Season - 106-56, Wild Card #1, World Series Champion
Arrivals - Benny Tatis
Departures - Philip Colin, Wascar Espinoza
Analysis - I had a difficult time putting a team that has won back-to-back WS titles as #2, but the loss of their #1 SP and Cy Young winner, as well as the fact that they finished 14 games behing Montreal, puts them one spot behind the most dominant team in the league.
Prediction - NL North Runner-up, #5 seed, Wild Card #1, lose in DCS
Last Season - 100-62, NL East Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Tomas Gabriel, Alex Encarnacion, Brent Sabel, Jae-Kuk Hasegawa, Tony Garland, Ahmad Bell
Departures - Pepper Griffin, Max Marin, Junior Montero, Quinn Christopher
Analysis - The NL's best team in season 18 loses one of its top starters in Montero, but adds MVP candidate Bell and aging star Sabel. This is an improved team and it wouldn't be a surprise if they win the NL Pennant.
Prediction - NL East Champion, #1 Seed, World Series Runner-up
Last Season - 100-62, NL South Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Al Segui, Timothy Edwards
Departures - Mark Barkley, Alex Ainsworth
Analysis - This team is largely unchanged and their biggest offseason move was extending HOF SP Darr. Always a contender, Houston will again be there at the end but fall to an improved Buffalo.
Prediction - NL South Champion, #2 Seed, Lose in LCS
5. Los Angeles
Last Season -98-64, NL West Champion, World Series Runner-Up
Arrivals - LaTroy Black, Alex Javier,Magglio Armas
Departures - Sammy Duran, Benny Tatis, Brent Sabel, Wally McNamara
Analysis - Sabel and Duran will be replaced in part by the promotion of Armas. This team will also be there at the end and their WS run was no fluke.
Prediction - NL West Champion, #3 Seed, Lose in DCS
Last Season - 100-62, AL East Champion, Lost in LCS
Arrivals - Max Marin, Wascar Espinoza, Ramiro Colon, Brandon Wheat, Ross Chapman, Albert Burnett, Yusmeiro Durazo
Departures - Victor Concepcion, Cy Douglas, Angel Bonilla, Nicholas Mathews
Analysis - The big news here is the arrival of top prospect Durazo. They did lose Bonilla and Mathews to division rival Durham, but they always make good moves to complete their roster.
Prediction - AL East Champion, #2 Seed, Lose in LCS
Lat Season - 97-65, NL North Champion, Lost in LCS
Arrivals - Sammy Duran, Howard Diaz,
Departures - Derrek Peters
Analysis - Losing Peters is a big deal, but replacing him with Duran lessens the impact. They have won three consecutive division titles, but the margin for error has shrunk with mtorabdaddy joining the division.
Prediction - NL North Champion, #4 Seed, Lose in the DCS
Last Season - 92-72, NL East Runner-up, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Victor Concepcion, Javy Tejada, Ramon Chen, Enrique Balboa, Mark Barkley,
Departures - Don Guerrero, Chad Saturria, Josh Floyd, Eric Ross, Felix Kondou, Jay Burnitz
Analysis - They were very active in the off-season, and Chen was one of the top SP's on the market. I don't expect them to catch Buffalo, however.
Prediction - NL East Runner-up, Wild Card #1, Lose in DPis
9. Santa Cruz Border Patrol
Last Season -86-76, AL West Runner-up
Arrivals - Derrek Peters, Eric Ross
Departures - Brendan Truby, Billy Barry
Analysis - This team should have made the playoffs last year and now has added two top of the rotation guys in Peters and Ross. It will be a very good race with St. Louis, but I predict that SC will prevail by a slim margin
Prediction - NL West Champion, #3 Seed, Lose in DCS
10. Rochester Red Wings (Chicago Panthers)
Last Season - 70-92, 3rd in the NL North
Arrivals -Mark Acosta, Benny Ryan, Troy Whitehill, Mikey Kelly, Ed Jones, Jack Chapman, Josh Floyd, Junior Montero, Omar Flores,
Departures - John Irabu,
Analysis - This is a very talented team that now has an owner to guide them. They were very active in the off-season, surrounding their core of elite players with an entire new pitching staff. If the pitching comes through, this team has a shot.
Prediction - NL North Runner-up, Wild Card #2, Lose in DPiS
Last Season - 90-72, 2nd in the AL East, Wild Card #2, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Brendan Truby
Departures - Joaquin Santos
Analysis - Not much happened in Philly in the off season, and tehre are plenty of challengers for this spot. However, this is a very good team with plenty of talent. If they don't make it, they will be close until the very end.
Prediction - AL East Runner-up, Wild Card #2, #6 Seed, Lose in DPiS
Last Season - 91-71, AL South Winner, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Juan Johnson, Connie Stark, Jay Burnitz,
Departures - Ramon Chen, Bill Reed
Analysis - They lost 2 top of the rotation SP's and will not be as good as last year, but they are the best of a very competitive division where anything can happen.
Prediction - AL South Winner, #4 Seed, Lose in DPiS
AL - Durham, Baltimore, St. Louis, Scottsdale, the entire AL South
NL - Mexico City, Pittsburgh, Honolulu