Best Case, Worst Case: Maple City Magic
Turn on those team twitter notifications - ORWBL is back. We’re counting down the days until the 2019 season kicks off on May 5th by looking at the floor and ceiling of all 16 teams in the league. Today we preview finish up our previews with the two-time reigning champion Maple City Magic. We look forward to hearing all about wrong these previews are, and how your team is being “slept on” this season.
Wiffleball News Preseason Ranking: 1
Last Season: 20-4 (1st in AL, Won WS)
Notable Transactions: Added Eric Johnson (Rolling Prairie). Added Ryan Murphy (Rolling Prairie)
Key Player: George Stainko P
With reigning Cy Young winner Wes Ellis out for the majority of the season, it was announced by Maple City Manager Alex Friedman that the veteran Stainko would be the opening starter. Losing Ellis will hurt, but his loss could be mitigated by a solid season from Stainko. The veteran righty has plenty of wiffleball experience under his belt (he is a 2 time Cy Young winner) but he has never been the number one guy on a team like this. To avoid a World Series hangover, Stainko will need to be on his A-game on the bump for the two-time defending champs.
The best case scenario is pretty obvious for these guys as it is championship or bust for the two-time reigning champions. Despite only having Wes Ellis for a short chunk of the season, George Stainko is able to find his way in the starting role. Drew Luther and Shane Anderson could be poised for a great regular season as these two players are going to have to step up their offense to fill the role that Ellis leaves behind. Maple City is able to get former EA players Eric Johnson and Ryan Murphy into a solid role as well. Maple City's star's living in Texas (Liberatore, Ellis) end up making more games than expected. This team could certainly 3-peat, and the players mentioned above will play significant roles with the Jonkman brothers leading the way. We know how good this team is, and despite getting everyone's best on a weekly basis, Maple City picks up right where they left off.
Maple City comes out of the gate struggling to fill Wes Ellis's shoes and the Magic have a down season. The preseason #1 ranked team ends up suffering a World Series hangover as they struggle to find their game. Wes Ellis is not able to make 1 series which leaves him ineligible for the playoffs. However, it is tough to imagine this team falling off of a cliff as any struggles for this team will certainly be talked about more than any other team's struggles. With AL MVP Caleb Jonkman leading the way, this team's worse case scenario would end up being a great season for some teams.