The season is getting ready to start, and everyone is getting hyped about their team. not everyone can do well though, and this preview is here to remind you what that can look like. Every team has a .gif that previews what things will look like if things don’t work out how they hope it will. Have a fun and great season everyone!
They are the flashy new thing, but they may be a bit uncontrolled and not exactly sure how things work. Young teams struggle when going up levels and when your team is almost all young players, you could be doing something as easy as taking a team up a level and end up with everyone laying on the floor wondering what just happened. The SL is so weak though, that even the biggest brake check is going to not leave them in a bad spot. This team can fail around those young players and terrible infield defense, but that is really the weakest parts of their team, right now.
RM has been just hanging around for years in the SL biding their time until it was open to move up the PL. This year looks like the best time to do this, and they need to badly. Some expensive contracts have left them in a curious spot needing the budget increase that the SL playoffs and promotion to the PL can provide. The biggest issue around this team is injuries though and OOTP 18 can be very mean to teams who have an injury history, and pretty much everyone important on RM gets injured. Even fully healthy they are likely not up to Portland standards, but 2nd is attainable. They are hitting things now, but let’s wait until they land.
Grafton is the poster child of okay, but not great in the SL. They have never been bad enough to be sent down, but they really haven’t come that close to promotion either. They got swept out of the playoffs last year and they overperformed pretty hard on base runs. This team has some promising hitters on the infield, but an aging and unspectacular pitching staff, an oft-injured lights out closer and some holes in the hitting mean they have a pretty thick glass ceiling. They are here, because no one else deserved to be, they might just keep tailgating their way to the front though… what could go wrong?
Philadelphia has one of the most dynamic and fun young hitters in the league, but everything else is just a giant ball of okay. They have tried to merge onto the road of the SL, but they maybe tried a bit too fast and now they are just stuck in a spot where the team isn’t good enough to move up, but it’s not bad enough to move down either. Hopefully they successful keep going and don’t get bumped from behind. losing their top starting pitcher and a pretty good DH/SS is going to hurt this season, but likely not enough to seriously drop them.
Normally ACKC would be likely to get moved down at the end of the year, but they are likely just a bit better than those around them. They are hoping to bide their time until they are PL ready again and not have to fight through the SL. They are going to keep that going this year. They have an unspectacular team in almost every way, but they are also not horrendously bad in any particular way. It’s a pretty common theme among teams here.
When a team gets promoted from the 3l, sometimes you can predict them to do pretty decent when they go to eh SL, but NA was pretty far behind as the number 4 seed last year and they lost one of their better hitters in the offseason. OOTP actually thinks they lost the most WAR out of any SL team and for a team that was going to struggle hitting in the SL to begin with this is a major issue. Their top two pitchers are very good, but after that, it gets pretty sketchy pretty fast. They made it up to the SL, but now they aren’t sure what to expect next and they could be in store for a rude awakening.
Wizarding has some of the best players in the SL, but they also have the most holes of the teams we have talked about so far. They lost some important players in the offseason, have no money to replace those players and their GM is not very active. If they have injuries to any of their major players, or decide to burn it to the ground, then they are going to drop to the 3L pretty fast, but if they can get full seasons out of who they have and maybe a surprising performance here and there, then they can likely hang for another year.
You can change your team name and location, but it doesn’t change the fact that your team still really struggled in the PL last year. They have some very good players, but they let most of their depth walk in free agency and so that means they are going to be a very young and unproven team. They still have an expensive 3B who was injured most of last year, but might be pretty good when healthy and an ace starting pitcher. These things among some other solid players might keep them competitive and stop them from getting auto-relegated, but that’s not out of the realm of possibilities either. The first hit was bad falling ot the SL, but they could fall completely through the ice and hit the bottom if they aren’t careful.
Thunder Bay is one of the unluckiest teams in our league and this unlucky tendency has resulted in them needing to trade away the face of their franchise. After their mini-firesale last season and not adding any pieces during the offseason, it’s going to be a rough season for the Norther Lions. They could decide to sell even more and fall into that 10th spot, that also wouldn’t be completely surprising either. Right now though, they don’t seem to be making too many moves, despite everyone knowing they would likely make some trades. You get the only happy .gif Scott, you deserve it!
A team that struggled last year has already been hit hard by pitching injuries. Combine this with a team with some big holes on the offense and (according to David_Nova) some holes on the defensive side means they are going to struggle to stay up this year. They are in the group of the bottom 3 teams though and could be relegated, or could just stay up. Their GM has talked about a firesale though and that happens, they don’t have a long distance to drop to the bottom. They managed to keep afloat in the SL for a while, but eventually the momentum just got to be too much.