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2017 Mays Division Preview		2017 Mays Division Results
1. Chesapeake 1. Malibu
2. Washington 2. Central Valley
3. Central Valley 3. Washington
4. Malibu 4. Chesapeake
5. California 5. California
6. St. George 6. St. George

2017 Aaron Division Preview 2017 Aaron Division Results
1. Emerald City 1. Jackson
2. Galapagos 2. Emerald City
3. Jackson 3. New York
4. New York 4. Galapagos
5. Arizona 5. Arizona
6. Vernal 6. Vernal

Well, I got all of the bad teams in the divisions correct, but the order of the top four was skewed. The top four in the Mays division were reversed, where Jackson's great season in the Aaron division forced a good team, in this case Galapagos, out. It had to be a very disappointing season for Steve Reed and Derek, with Steve taking fourth place in each division, barely, and Derek's two second place teams defeated by Doug in the playoffs. It was the “Year of the Wagstaff”, as Doug knocked off both higher seeds and took both his teams to the World Series, where New York reigned victorious. It seemed that during the season, the teams with the better pitching won their divisions, but in the playoffs, home runs determined the outcomes. That will probably be the case in 2018 also, so I will give a little more emphasis to hitting teams in my predictions.

2018 Mays Division Preview		2018 Aaron Division Preview
1. Washington 1. Arizona
2. Chesapeake 2. Vernal
3. St. George 3. Emerald City
4. California 4. New York
5. Malibu 5. Galapagos
6. Central Valley 6. Jackson

This 2018 Strat-o year looks to be an amazing season. Perennial strong teams Central Valley, Malibu, and Jackson will have a down year because of the deterioration of their pitching staffs, and Jackson's tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. It will be a three-team race in the Mays Division, and five teams have a shot in the Aaron Division. Every team has at least four or five power hitters with HRs every 25 or less plate appearances in their starting line-ups vs. RHPs. New York and Emerald City have seven.

I will give a quick analysis and some evaluations on each team, starting with the Mays Division, and followed by the Aaron.


WASHINGTON GENERALS-Offense (6th), Pitching (3rd). STRENGTHS-Excellent IF ( 1B Votto, 2B Gennett, 3B Bryant), Deep SP (Carrasco, deGrom, Nola, Faria, J.Montgomery). CLOSER is strong (C.Green). SPEED (OF Hamilton). POWER SOURCES (Bour, Gennett, Votto, Bryant, Avila, Haniger). WEAKNESSES-OF, below average. Better vs. RHP. DRAFT-Impact players (Faria, Haniger, Montgomery, Hernandez).

CHESAPEAKE CRABS-Offense (11th), Pitching (2nd). STRENGTHS-Best top three starters in the whole league (Kluber, Kershaw, L. Castillo). Best all-around player in the league (OF Trout). Carlos Gonzalez is still an above average player, and they have a deep bullpen (Warren, Iglesias, Kahnle, Devenski). SPEED-most starters can steal a base as needed. DEFENSE-IF is all ones and twos. POWER SOURCES (Trout, Morrison, Rosario, Gonzalez). WEAKNESSES-Infield is weak offensively, lacking AVG and OBA. Need upgrades at RF and 2B. Much better vs. LHP, they won't see many. DRAFT-Impact players (Castillo!, A. Garcia (vs. LHP), Warren, Verdugo (future).

ST. GEORGE SUNRAYS-Offense (12th), Pitching (1st). STRENGTHS-Five strong starters (Scherzer, Severino, Clevinger, C. Martinez, Paxton). TOP BULLPEN (1-5) (Madson, Robertson, Rivero, Edwards, Betances). Two best position players are 3B Arenado and RF Puig. POWER SOURCES (Puig, Reynolds, Dozier, Arenado, N. Williams). WEAKNESSES-Offensive production, pitching will have to dominate. Only one LH in the line-up (N. Williams). This team will destroy any LHP. Even Kershaw might not start against them. DRAFT- Impact players- (N. Williams, Bird (future), Andujar (future), Cisco (future).

CALIFORNIA DRAGONS-Offense (9th), Pitching (9th). STRENGTHS-1B Alonso, 2B Murphy, 3B Rendon, and SS Cozart are above average infielders, offensively and, except for Murphy, defensively. SP-Strasburg, Hendricks, and Morton are all above average starters. Nelson Cruz is one of the better DHs and their overall team defense is strong. POWER SOURCES (K. Davis, Cruz, Alonso, Cozart, Murphy). WEAKNESSES-Road Manager, no matter how good this team is HAL is just not a good manager. The bullpen is weak, so the starters need to go deep into games. This team is fairly balanced for RHPs and LHPs. DRAFT Impact players -Morton, Minor, Hedges, Robles (future), Barreto (future).

MALIBU WAVE-Offense (7th), Pitching (10th). STRENGTHS-3B Jose Ramirez, LF Conforto, and SP Greinke, that's about it. POWER SOURCES (Conforto, Moustakas, Encarnacion, Ramirez, Mancini). WEAKNESSES-SPs, after Greinke, nothing. This team could probably use two more starters after Greinke, McCullers, and J. Gray, but there aren't any. The bullpen is also poor, with a complete turnover from last year. Petit, Strop, and Infante aren't going to do it. Team defense, except for C Barnhart and SS Simmons is poor also. This team is fairly balanced vs. RHP and LHP. DRAFT-Impact players (McCullers, Barnhart, Mancini, and Gray. Maybe Petit for this year only.

CENTRAL VALLEY CONDORS-Offense (4th), Pitching (11th). STRENGTHS-Springer and Cano are top two at their positions, with Olsen and Blackmon close behind. Admittedly, CV is in a rebuilding mode, but can win quite a few games with their offense. POWER SOURCES (Olsen, best numbers vs. RHPs for HRs in baseball, Gallo, Springer, Lind, Cano, Blackmon). WEAKNESSES-SPs are the worst (1-4) in the division, and the bullpen is almost as bad. The left side of the IF, with SS Igelsias and 3B Gallo needs improvement. CV, with Malibu and Jackson, will be vying for those top picks in January 2019. This team is better vs. RHP. DRAFT -Impact players-Matt Olsen was a steal for CV in a 5-pick draft, Austin Barnes was a good pickup at C. With only five picks, CV looked for Carmargo and Fisher to help them in the future.


ARIZONA HEAT-Offense (1st), Pitching (5th). STRENGTHS-The lineup is packed with OF Judge, 1B Goldschmidt, OF Ozuna, 1B/DH Hosmer, SS Gregorius, and OF Yelich, among others. The top three in the bullpen are unhittable (Kimbrel, Jansen, and Morrow). The SP's (Sale, Hill, and Bundy) will keep them in the games until the bullpen shuts everyone down from innings 7-9. POWER SOURCES (Judge, Osuna, Goldschmidt, Gregorious, Zunino, Hosmer). WEAKNESSES-The 4th and 5th SPs need an upgrade, and the bullpen could get tired by game three of a series. Teams that kill lefties could feast against Sale and Hill, but that hasn't been as much of a problem in recent years. This team is even vs. RHP and LHP. DRAFT-Impact players-Morrow, Devers (future), Blackburn, Kepler.

VERNAL EQUINOX-Offense (2nd), Pitching (6th). STRENGTHS-An all above-average lineup without a real superstar. The lineup will be OF Cain, OF Marte, OF Pham, 1B Bellinger, DH Zimmerman, 3B Sano, C Flowers, SS Andrus, and 2B Panik. SP's are slightly better than average (Chase Anderson, G. Gonzalez, Lynn, Archer, and Berrios). The team has good speed and OBA at the top of the lineup. POWER SOURCES (Bellinger, Zimmerman, Sano, Pham). WEAKNESSES-The bullpen needs some help for Giles. Allen and Vizcaino and lefty Mike Montgomery so far, are all they have. Vernal profited from their high draft picks all year, and hope to complete a quick turn around this year. They could use some more lefties in their line-up and are much stronger vs. RHP. DRAFT-Impact players-Bellinger (of course), Suarez, Lynn, Buehler (future).

EMERALD CITY OSPREY-Offense (8th), Pitching (8th). STRENGTHS-A powerful lineup with no “easy outs”. 2B Altuve and C Sanchez are at the top for their positions in the league. SS Lindor and 3B Beltre are also upper echelon players. SPs 1-4 are above average (Verlander, Keuchel, Wood, and Darvish), but will have to pitch deep into games. POWER SOURCES (Sanchez, Thames, D.Santana, Lindor, Abreu, Beltre, Hicks). WEAKNESSES-The bullpen needs some help on the back end before they get to Osuna and Knebel. Both of these guys have a huge ERA/ERC discrepancy, so we'll see how that plays out in Strato this year. The team also has only two batters with +.290 BA in the line-up, baserunners might be tough to get. The team is dominant vs. LH SPs. DRAFT-Impact players-every player drafted will have an immediate impact, Keuchel, Chapman, Nimmo, Hicks, Goody, and Thames especially.

NEW YORK KNIGHTS-Offense (3rd), Pitching (6th). STRENGTHS-New York's powerful lineup could easily carry them to a back-to-back championship, but any of five teams could win this division. OFs JD Martinez and Cespedes, along with 1B Freeman provide the power. OF Kiermeier, and IFs J. Turner and LeMahieu are also elite at their positions. The SPs are average, but Bradley and Cishek are a strong 1-2 in the bullpen. POWER SOURCES (Martinez, Shaw, DeJong, Freeman, Cespedes, McCann, Kiermeier). WEAKNESSES-If New York fails to make the playoffs, it will be because of their SPs, Godley, Bumgarner, Cashner, and McCarthy. The bullpen also needs some more RH members. This team is dominant vs. LHP. DRAFT-Impact players-DeJong, Crawford (future), Brinson (future).

GALAPAGOS TORTOISES-Offense (10th), Pitching (4th). STRENGTHS-This is not necessarily a 5th place team. Like last year any team in this division (except Jackson, I'll explain below) could at least get to the playoffs and then win it all. A team with C Posey, 1B Rizzo, and OF Stanton has a good chance. Pitching is the strength of this team in an offense-oriented division. SPs Fulmer, Peacock, Nelson, Cobb, and Maeda are a good starting five. Rps Miller, Davis, Doolittle, and Swarzak will provide good bullpen support. POWER SOURCES (Stanton, Lamb, A.Jones, Rizzo. C.Taylor). WEAKNESSES-A lack of OBA in the lineup will result in a lot of solo shots. Taylor, Jones and Betts are the 3rd weakest OF in the league. (Only ECO and SGS are worse). GAT is slightly better vs. RHP DRAFT-Impact players-mostly drafted for the future. Top picks are Albies, Mejia, and Brett Phillips. We'll see about the rest of the picks, there might be another gem or two.

JACKSON GUIDES-Offense (5th), Pitching (12th). STRENGTHS-Jackson has four top players for their positions in the game: RF (Harper), DH (Hoskins), SS (Correa), all the best, and the third best 3B (Donaldson). Hardly anything else. POWER SOURCES (Hoskins, Harper, Donaldson, Correa, Belt) WEAKNESSES-Starting pitching, all of it. Ervin Santana is the number one starter, enough said. The bullpen needs help also, though Parker and Leone should do ok, they will be busy, that's for sure. Catching, second base and outfield all need to be addressed. This team is only slightly better vs. LHP. DRAFT-Impact players-Hoskins (can't believe the other 11 teams passed on him), Parker, Leone, Nava, Lamet (future), Calhoun (future)

PROPOSED IDEA for future March sup drafts: make this draft a wrap around draft based on the previous year's final standings. First Round 12th place, then 11th, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....Second Round 1st place, 2nd place, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.....Third Round 12th place, 11th, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.......etc.

REASON? This would help a team that had a good record the year before recoup some of their losses as they pursued the pennant, or had a few serious injuries or a death to key players. Just an idea for next year, and just for the March draft.

If you get a chance, watch the Milwaukee Brewers do a scene from “The Sandlot” on youtube, starring Brett Phillips as Smalls and Steven Vogt as Ham Porter. It is a classic, recently filmed at Spring Training.
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