Season 18 Wrap Up
Well... Since I only did season predictions for the AL, I'll compare how I did and then offer commentary on how the NL teams finished.
* I was pretty spot on with this division. The most I missed by was Chicago and Detroit by 3 wins. Montreal took the division which was to be expected, but what was more impressive was that he did it while improving his minor league system as much as he did. It was a quasi-rebuild. Chicago, Detroit, and Burlington pretty much performed status quo.
* I did a pretty good job here but underestimated Hartford's rebound by 10 wins. Augusta also outperformed my projection by 9 wins to take second place. I thought with all the offseason moves Pittsburgh made that they would have a chance to compete, but fell short. Trenton hung around there and has some minor league studs just around the corner.
* Well, when you go out on a limb, sometimes the limb breaks, and that's what happened here. Jacksonville's massive payroll made the U.S. Government jealous, but it paid off with a division crown, his 6th in 9 years. Charleston and Atlanta made VERY strong pushes but could never get closer than 3 games. Predictions for the AL South were spot on: Atlanta -1, Charleston -1, Jacksonville -8, and Durham dead on.
* This is the division I missed the worst on. My best prediction came with Oakland with -5. Salem, Tacoma and Portland were complete misses. Apologies to Salem who claimed home field in the AL and Portland who far exceeded my prediction. And then there's Tacoma... well buddy, I sure tried. I thought your offseason moves would have put you over the top.
As I mentioned, no predictions here, so instead, I offer some thoughts...
*Pawtucket and Cleveland battled it out for the division crown, and it came down to the final day. On paper, Cleveland was in the driver seat... won head to head (8-2) and had a better division record; however, none of that matters when you lose and the other guy wins. So, Pawtucket took the division and drew a tough matchup with Mexico City.
*The NL East was the winner this year for Mr. Irrelevant. Huntington won the division for the first time since Season 1 with a record of 77-85. The rest of the division, shame on you, although not really fault. New York and Baltimore had replacement owners (and both coming back, which is great).
*As powerful as the AL South (top 3 teams had 305 wins), the NL South was even stronger (top 3 teams had 306 wins). Tampa Bay continues to dominate that division winning 110 games. You wonder if they'll be some turnover in the offseason, but for now, they take home field advantage. Kansas City takes a tough 2nd place but as a consolation prize gets Huntington in Round 1. Finally, Mexico City (like Atlanta in the AL) takes the 6th seed for the playoffs.
*Las Vegas took down the NL West for the second straight year, but I think the bigger story is that we will be having a playoffs without Colorado Springs. They did a good job of getting rebuilding the farm system while still having a strong ML team. SF and ANA put up a good fight, but it's tough to compete in the wild NL West.