News Archive

FCBL PRESEASON POWER POLL

1. Baltimore Orioles - 61 points (2 first-place votes)

West Division prediction - 1st

Best ranking - 1st / Worst ranking - 3rd

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Probably 1 or 2 more years to make a run at it. Last year's team was better than this one. Bullpen and LF are questionable."

* "Top 5 offense and pitching staff puts him in the hunt"

* "The Orioles will win the West and have the best record in the league led by Gerrit Cole, Mookie Betts, and DJ LeMahieu."

* "It's their year."

 

2. Texas Rangers - 57 points (1 first-place vote)

Midwest Division prediction - 1st

Best ranking - 1st / Worst ranking - 4th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Bieber, Trout, and Story make the Rangers a tough out come playoff time."

* "On paper looks to be the most dangerous lineup this year along with a top 5 pitching staff"

* "With one of the best starting pitching staffs in the league, and an offense led by Mike Trout and Trevor Story, the Rangers will take the Midwest again and win the World Series."

* "Arguably the best position player, arguably the best pitcher, and plenty of help."

 

3. Boston Red Sox - 54 points

Central Division prediction - 1st

Best ranking - 2nd / Worst ranking - 5th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "It's no accident the Red Sox are contenders every season. A good balanced roster has them in familiar territory again behind Freddie Freeman."

* "Fairly strong team, but this manager will make some moves to get him into the top 5 by the end of the year"

* "This is a much weaker Red Sox team than we've seen in the past.  However, The top of the rotation is strong with Maeda, Hill, and Lynn and the offense has MVP candidate Freddie Freeman.  They won't win 100 games this year, but I see them eking out the division."

* "One last run before age becomes a factor."

 

4. Los Angeles Dodgers - 50 points (1 first-place vote)

Midwest Division prediction - 2nd (wild card)

Best ranking - 1st / Worst ranking - 8th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Toth and the Dodgers are legit contenders led by my MVP pick in Soto. If there's any weakness it'll be interesting to see what they do at SS."

* "Some down years for a few key superstars pushes them back a few notches in the rankings"

* "The talented Dodgers are not quite as strong as the past few years due to down years from Bellinger and Ohtani.  However there is still enough talent to compete with Texas."

* "Depth will keep them afloat during the regular season, but not as much star power as the top contenders."

 

5. Cincinnati Reds - 46 points

Central Division prediction - 2nd (wild card)

Best ranking - 2nd / Worst ranking - 8th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Fresh off a World Series win, the Reds are down a bit compared to last season. Bauer and Lamet alone keep them in the mix."

* "Probably the best starting rotation in the league this year along with a top 5 offense"

* "The Reds have both an MVP candidate in Jose Abreu as well as a Cy Young candidate in Trevor Bauer.  They also have a very strong bullpen and a solid rotation.  Look for Cincinnati and Boston to go back and forth for the division."

* "Slight dropoff by this franchise's standards - but that still translates to 85-90 wins"

 

6. Chicago Cubs - 40 points

Midwest Division prediction - 3rd (wild card)

Best ranking - 6th / Worst ranking - 8th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Cubbies don't have any superstar names that catch your attention but they'll be better than you think."

* "Strong team overall.  A few key additions could push them up the rankings."

* "The Cubs have a very strong pitching staff led by Brandon Woodruff and Tyler Glasnow.  The lineup would benefit from an additional bat, specifically against Right Handed Pitching."

* "Solid playoff team."

 

7. Kansas City Royals - 37 points

West Division prediction - 2nd

Best ranking - 5th / Worst ranking - 12th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Kansas City will give Baltimore a run for the division behind some really good pitching. Probably more of a Wild Card team."

* "Strong team overall.  A few key additions could push them up the rankings."

* "The Royals will be led by their Starting Rotation.  Yu Darvish will challenge for the Cy Young award and Josh Donaldson will lead the offense."

* "Good team stuck in the wrong division in the wrong league."

 

8. St. Louis Cardinals - 36 points

East Division prediction - 1st

Best ranking - 3rd / Worst ranking - 9th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "St. Louis needs a little more offensive firepower. They'll go as far as deGrom and Scherzer take them."

* "Fairly strong offense will be pulled back a few spots by a below average pitching staff.  The starting rotation is top heavy with a couple really good starters that will keep them in games."

* "Defending division champs look like they have regressed slightly.  Lineup has some holes with down years from Meadows and Escobar.  DeGrom will challenge for Cy Young award and lead them to a repeat in the division."

* "My pick to make the World Series. Lineup is deceptively deep, and the East Division is better than most think."

 

9. Philadelphia Phillies - 33 points

Central Division prediction - 3rd (wild card)

Best ranking - 4th / Worst ranking - 11th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Very good young pitching staff but not sure they'll score enough runs to win games consistently."

* "Cory loaded up on young pitching in the draft and with 4 more first round picks in 2022, the Phillies will improve greatly over the next couple of seasons.  Manager Adams always seems to get the most out of his teams.  If he is in contention at mid season, look for him to use those 2022 picks to acquire additional talent to take the division"

* "Better, but might not be reflected in W-L record - still stuck behind Red Sox and Reds in division."

 

10. Pittsburgh Pirates - 31 points

East Division prediction - 2nd

Best ranking - 5th / Worst ranking - 13th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Turner and Ozuna leading the way on offense. Nola could be a Cy Young candidate. It's their division to lose."

* "Another year and a few more good draft picks and this team will be back fighting for their division"

* "The Pirates will improve slightly from their cellar-dwelling 2020 campaign led by Aaron Nola and new addition Luis Robert.  However, the lineup isn't deep enough to challenge St Louis and Atlanta

* "Solid pitching, per franchise tradition, but not quite enough punch on offense to reach the postseason."

 

11. Washington Nationals - 27 points

West Division prediction - 3rd

Best ranking - 7th / Worst ranking - 13th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "The Nats will be down as long as Harper and Judge aren't crushing. The bullpen is elite though for the FCBL."

* "Strong team overall.  A few key additions could push them up the rankings."

* "The Nats boast one of the best outfields with Judge, Harper, and Robles.  The pitching is solid, not spectacular and should allow them to stay in the division race all year long."

* "Phillies South - they'll be better, but it might not be reflected in W-L record since the division around them is so good."

 

12. Atlanta Braves - 21 points

East Division prediction - 3rd

Best ranking - 10th / Worst ranking - 14th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Everything is just middle of the road. They aren't terrible but nothing on paper really jumps out at you."

* "Some key additions to the pitching staff could move this team up several spots"

* "Lineup looks solid led by Machado and Tim Anderson.  Starting pitching will keep Noland from returning to the top of the division"

* "Not far from a return to glory. The lineup is playoff-caliber already. Pitching staff still getting there."

 

13. Toronto Blue Jays - 17 points

East Division prediction - 4th

Best ranking - 9th / Worst ranking - 15th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "I like a breakout from Brandon Lowe for the Jays. I'm curious to see how the starting pitching holds up during the Covid season."

* "Top 10 offense, but the pitching staff will hamper this team all year and push them towards the back of the pack"

* "Pitching looks solid with Greinke and McKenzie at the top and depth throughout the rotation.  Aside from Belt and Lowe, where are the runs going to come from?"

* "Too bad there's not a prize for being the best of the last-place teams."

 

14T. Cleveland Indians - 14 points

Midwest Division prediction - 4th

Best ranking - 9th / Worst ranking - 15th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Cleveland is still a couple years away but I really like some of the players added during the rebuild. "

* "Strong team overall.  A few key additions could push them up the rankings."

* "Their time is coming, but not this year.  Thome is looking to rebuild in a hurry.  Look for him to unload solid players for additional picks throughout the year"

* "Rebuilding in a division where everyone else has a playoff roster, but enough talent to be a spoiler."

 

14T. Detroit Tigers - 14 points

West Division prediction - 4th

Best ranking - 12th / Worst ranking - 16th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "Detroit has some really good players who just haven't produced recently. As long as their studs like Stanton and Bryant aren't producing they'll struggle. Tatis Jr. is a huge bright spot."

* "This team is on the verge of being very competitive with several young studs.  A few more pieces and this team could move into a playoff spot."

* "The Tigers picked up potential ace Ian Anderson and former ace Jose Berrios to help out the rotation.  The Tigers have some of the biggest names in the game in their lineup, but due to down years from Kris Bryant and Vlad, will not be in a position to challenge for the division in 2021."

* "My pick for surprise team of the year. Tigers will climb out of division cellar and be in legitimate playoff contention in September."

 

16. Tampa Bay Rays - 6 points

Central Division prediction - 4th

Best ranking - 14th / Worst ranking - 16th

Enemy scouts say ...

* "One of the better Tampa teams in recent memory, but that's not saying too much. They lack an identity."

* "This could be a very long season for them.  Pitching should get killed, and not enough offense to help the cause"

* "The Rays should improve from their 2020 total of 57 wins, however I don't see them getting out of 4th place in the Central.  They have some nice young pieces in Biggio and Fleming, but there are too many holes in the lineup to move up in the division"

* "Will lose a lot of games, but that's OK because it will help their draft posit - ... never mind."



3/31/2021 12:00:00 AM
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