National League Team by Team First Half Reviews
#1 Granger Panthers (14-4)
The Granger Panthers sit in familiar territory through 18 games as they sit atop the National League standings once again. In each of their first four seasons in the league, the Panthers finished the regular season with the top seed but have managed to make it to the World Series just once back in 2018. While that in itself is impressive, Panthers players would tell you that they have not had as much playoff success as they had hoped for during that stretch. Now 60% of the way through the regular season, the Panthers are once again on pace to finish with the top seed in the National League. Knowing that what they do in the playoffs is what will define this team, the Panthers have appeared to take a much more relaxed approach to the regular season this year. Granger has often been batting 6 guys while they have also made Tyler Serosynski their go to pitcher on the mound as they have strayed away from sending Griffin Smith out there for every inning. Tiki has answered that call as well as you can as he has turned himself into a legitimate National League Cy Young contender. He sports a league leading 3.50 ERA to go along with an 11-2 record as Granger now has two lockdown options to choose from. The Panthers hold a 1 game lead over the surging Meatspins as they will look to hold them off over the final twelve games. Granger swept Mishawaka on Opening Day so they would own the tiebreaker if they end up with identical records at the end of the season.
#2 Mishawaka Meatspins (13-5)
Winners of twelve straight games, the Mishawaka Meatspins have become legitimate threats to win the World Series this year in what is their first season playing in the National League. This roster is loaded with talent from top to bottom and this team has been getting some solid consistency from their lineup which is something they struggled with last season. For the most part they have been able to field some of their best teams for the majority of their series as having their big guys there has not been as big of an issue this year. The four names who have played the most are Ryan Warmoth, Anthony Rieff, Nick Thoman, and Joey Schuster as those four will be critical to their success in August. They have also been cycling through guys like Erick Mentock, Randy Schuster, and Grant Duncan as those guys figure to be in the mix come playoff time as well. All in all this team has a lot of great options to pick and choose from and it appears that the Meatspins guys are all in as they look to make a serious ORWBL run here in 2021.
#3 New Carlisle Newts (8-10)
Four teams currently hold an 8-10 record in the National League as the New Carlisle Newts sit in 3rd place at the moment due to their +29 Run Differential. New Carlisle got off to a hot start on the road but have struggled at home, going 1-5 at Migley Field so far in 2021. New Carlisle was able to win the finale against Maple City as that has proved to be their only win at home so far this year. Luckily for New Carlisle, there is likely little concern as this franchise has turned into a playoff team over the past few years as they have taken a more relaxed approach in the regular season, making sure that all of their guys get solid playing time. Manager Koby Keck will undoubtedly use the rest of the regular season to get everyone playing time and to figure out what they will be doing with their lineup come playoff time. This roster has the talent to win a World Series once more and if they are able to piece things together in August, we could very well see the Newts back in the World Series.
#4 Great Lakes Godfathers (8-10)
The Godfather’s are surging up the National League standings of late as Great Lakes has taken two out of three in back to back series as they are now just two games below the .500 mark. After their recent hot streak, this team is well positioned to finish with a top four seed in the National League. Along with Mark Haase doing his thing, The Godfathers have received great production from Andy Sieradzki, Nick Fritz, and Chaz Boyd as those three have become mainstays in the Great Lakes lineups. The additions of Chaz Boyd and Nick Fritz have proved to be valuable as those two players have brought some much needed fielders and bats to the lineup. It certainly looks like this team is putting things together and becoming a tight knit group as Boyd & Fritz have fit right in. This team won their first ever playoff game last season in the Wild Card game and will look to do even more damage with this new and improved team come August.
#5 South Bend Truffle Butter (8-10)
Griffleball’s ORWBL franchise has already proved to be a great addition to the league as this group of talented and experienced players continue to adjust to the different style of play. This team came out of the gates red hot as they got off to a 6-0 start which certainly turned some heads. After their hot start this team team has been trying to work out of a rough stretch as they have gone 2-10 over their last 12 games. Despite the tough stretch, this team has the pieces to be a threat to win the National League this year as long as they can figure out their likely playoff lineups as they have been cycling through a lot of players. Truffle Butter skipper Ryan Galiher has turned into an MVP candidate as his 39 Home Runs has him tied for 3rd in all of ORWBL in that category. With Galiher leading the charge, expect the rest of the lineup to continue to adjust to the different style as this team should be ready to compete come playoff time.
#6 Union Mills Goon Squad (8-10)
The Union Mills Goon Squad rounds out the four teams grouped together in the NL with an 8-10 record. Union Mills turned some serious heads at the start of the season as they got off to a 7-2 start after winning just five games in each of their first two seasons. Union Mills picked up a quality win in their 2nd series of the season as they took down the Granger Panthers in the series opener. The following week the Goon Squad swept the then unbeaten South Bend Truffle Butter in a series that showed all of ORWBL that this team has taken some serious strides. Since that sweep, they have gone through some struggles as they have gone 1-8 over their last 9 games. The recent stretch doesn’t change the fact that this team has dramatically improved from last season as Union Mills has certainly become a respectable ORWBL franchise. Reigning National League Rookie of the Year winner Josh Trim leads all of ORWBL with 46 Home Runs as he is becoming a household name both at the plate and in the field. Just two games below .500, Union Mills will look to get back on the right track out of the break as they will host the Bourissa Hills Wildcards in Week 7. The Goon Squad have played well at home this year as they have gone 7-5 at their home park. They will look to finish their home schedule off with a series win before they close out the season with a nine game road trip.
#7 Lynn Street Leprechauns (6-12)
The Lynn Street Leps currently sit tied for 7th in the National League with twelve games left to play. Only two games back from four different teams, Lynn Street still has plenty of time to climb up the standings and earn a higher seed. After a really rough start to the season this team has been playing much better wiffleball of late. Back in Week 5, Lynn Street took two out of three games from a tough Wildcards team before they took a game from the County Line Kings in Week 6 which shows that they are definitely playing much better of late. Although they haven’t lived up to their expectations so far this year, Manager Nick Brassell has to like that his team appears to be turning the corner after a 3-9 start. Lynn Street will welcome some familiar faces to Rocko’s Park on Sunday as they will host their friends over from the Hudson Lake Heat for the 2nd consecutive season.
#8 Glen Lee Skeeters (6-12)
Rounding out the National League we have the first year Glen Lee Skeeters who hold a 6-12 record through their first 18 games. The Skeeters got off to a tough 2-10 start and appeared likely to round out the NL. However, Glen Lee has now won back to back series, winning four out of their last six games as they have pulled into a tie with Lynn Street for 7th. Thanks to their recent stretch of play, the Skeeters are just two games back of four different teams as they will have a major opportunity down the stretch to climb up the National League standings with so many teams positioned so closely together. After winning their last two series, Manager Peyton Doran has his guys believing that they can turn some heads come playoff time as the youngest team in all of ORWBL.