1 - Richmond Confederates (105-57)
Richmond makes their 9th straight playoff appearance after winning their 6th division title
Strengths - Their 3.70 ERA led the AL by almost a third of a run. Doc Belle (22-4)and Marty Brantley (18-7) lead the staff.
Power hitting team was 3rd in the AL in HRs.
Weaknesses - .276 team batting average was just 12th in the AL, getting them to just 8th in runs scored. Cody Hall was the only hitter with 100 RBI.
4 - Chicago Bartmans (88-74)
New owner continues the tradition, winning the franchise's 3rd straight and 6th overall division title (7th playoff appearance).
Strengths - 7th ranked pitching staff in AL (4.7 ERA) finished 2nd in league in K's. 5th in runs scored, only Texas hit more HRs. Wesley Fullmer has been solid replacing Carl Brooks as closer.
Weaknesses - 158 Errors led to 2nd worst fielding % in AL. SS Edgar Pascual (65 errors) appears to belive he's entering the World Cup instead of the baseball playoffs.
5 - Texas Riders (94-68) - 5th consecutive .500+ finish yields just the 3rd playoff appearance in franchise history. Tiny ballparks makes home games explosive.
Strengths - .305 batting average and 1069 runs scored were both 2nd in the league. Antonio Chapman is probably the best hitter in the league. Gookie Worrell anchors the staff. B.C. Juarez has been dominant closing all season.
Weaknesses - The overall pitching numbers are just average, but in this park, that's pretty good.
2 - San Francisco Fightin Friars (104-58)
Duece has the team on the right track, winning the division for the 3rd straight year.
Strengths - No team has walked fewer (434) and their ERA is good for 3rd in the AL. Dude Wheeler has been great. They're also the best fielding team in the AL.
Weaknesses - 9th in AL in HRs.
3 - Monterrey Conquistadors (97-65)
The 'Quistas make their 13th appearance in 14 seasons after winning their 10th division title.
Strengths - 3rd in runs scored and team BA (.300), William Miyakazi stole 73 of 76 bases. Whitey Sweeney (17-2) is the ultimate vulture.
Weaknesses - 13 of 14 pitchers to appear in the big leagues this season started at least 1 game. Which ones are supposed to step up now?
6 - Baltimore Dead Homies (89-73)
7th wild-card appearance in 8 seasons for squad that hasn't won the division since Season 5.
Strengths - 244 team SB's led league. Pete Richard stole 56, 3 others exceeded 30. Rico Lecuona is the ace. 1147 K's led AL.
Weaknesses - Uncertain bullpen situation only converted about 2/3 of save opps (42 of 62).
1 - Burlington Bulldogs (112-50)
8th straight division title for the top seeded Bulldogs.
Strengths - Only Orlando Guillen knocked in 100 runs, but 8 hit 16 or more HRs. Edgardo Merced would have been Cy Young in any other year leading staff to 2nd best ERA in the league.
Weaknesses - Uh, they won 112 games. Ok, the closer, Clarence Schoendienst, is only 22 years old and has never appeared in the post-season at any level.
4 - Cheyenne Seminoles (80-82)
Rare sub-.500 team wins the putrid NL West for the 6th consecutive year.
Strengths - Pitching staff was 5th in the NL (3.33 ERA) and sports depth if a lack of true superstars.
Weaknesses - Benny Andrews was the only hitter with more than 20 HRs, but his .229 average hurts. Team BA is just .243, worst in the league.
5 - Sioux Falls Dakota (105-57)
Dakota are the only franchise never to miss the playoffs, but fail to win the division for the 2nd straight season. They come in hot.
Strengths - 4th in team ERA (.3.28), 76 team saves tell you they play a lot of close games. 8 hitters smacked double-digits HRs. Ace Paul Rhodes has 16 career playoff wins.
Weaknesses - .261 team BA is just 10th best in the NL, but .336 OBP is ranks 3rd.
2 - Helena Hound Dogs (107-55)
Making only their 4th ever appearance, they've won the division twice in a row and get the 2 seed on a tie-breaker with Mexico City.
Strengths - Rafael Aguilera is silly (27-2, 1.15 ERA). Matt Martin (17-4) gives them a dangerous 1-2 punch.
Weaknesses - They don't run much, with just 93 SB on the season. Only Richard Hiro drove in 100 runs.
3 - Mexico City Bandejos (107-55)
The all-time winningest team make their 11th straight playoff appearance and 8th straight division title. They do lack their customary bye.
Strengths - 821 runs scored led the NL; Jalal Rivera anchors the offense. 2.84 ERA also led the league. Marino Rodriguez anchors the staff.
Weaknesses - Well, their closer is only 23 years old. Also, they are usually fishing this time of year while awaiting their first playoff series.
6 - Memphis Drillers (89-73)
Once pathetic franchise makes their first ever playoff appearance.
Strengths - #6 pitching staff in NL features 21-game winner Rudy Robinson. Finished 3rd in Runs scored with 799.
Weaknesses - 108 errors are the most of any NL playoff team. Wily Mo Norman's 30 at 3B lead the team.
Season 48 Preseason Predictions
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