2017 Playoff Preview: American League
NEW CARLISLE- The 2017 ORWBL regular season has come and gone and we are now looking ahead to the start of the playoffs. Can the Newts surge forward to yet another championship, or will someone finally end their reign of terror on the league? Today we take a look back at the season that was for the AL and offer our best predictions for how things will play out.
6. Bourissa Hills Pterodactyls (10-20)
Once one of the most successful and feared teams in the league, the Dactyls will finish the season under .500 for the seventh consecutive season. This run of mediocrity is not a good sign such a historic franchise. Despite their poor record, there have been some positives to come out of the 2017 season. Their week 4 series win over the Hudson Lake Heat showed this team may have some life in them after all.
That series win combined with close series against Maple City and Granger are both things manager Zach Rehlander can look to for encouragement leading into their wild card matchup with Cabo. Despite only going 2-4 against Cabo in the regular season, all six of those games occurred on the same day and a reasonable argument could be made that the Dactyls could have just been having a poor day at the plate. This close knit squad is led by the longtime workhorse Evan Layman on the mound. A four year vet, Layman has been the primary pitcher for Bourissa Hills for a few years now and the hope for Dactyl fans is that he will have enough left in the tank come playoff time to help lead them to an upset.
The Dactyls do sport a sneaky offense that can put some runs on the board if you let them. Thanks to all the new teams joining the league in the last few years, the Dactyls find themselves as the third longest tenured core in the league and that experience in ORWBL play is going to need to come in big as they will need a big time upset to take down Cabo in the wild card.
5. Great Lakes Godfathers (11-19)
Mark Haase has to be pleased with the way his team has played this season, as the Godfathers nearly tripled their win total from last season. With a series win over Jet City and a sweep over Olive Township, Great Lakes has quietly become a very competent team in ORWBL. Despite not having a particularly potent offense, Mark Haase (6.50 ERA) and Billy Beckman (9.08 ERA) have pitched well behind a solid defense that seldom makes a mistake in the field.
This is the type of team that is not going to beat themselves, they’re going to make you work for every run. On the offensive side of things, it’s really just been the Mark Haase show once again as the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year has followed up last year with an equally impressive sophomore season, pacing the Godfathers with a 0.482 BA to go along with over 50 home runs.