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Salt Lake City The Salt
The most redundant team name appears to be quite apt after the experience gained during last years impressive playoff run. Taking over after the previous went GM AWOL, rds_lsu righted the ship and turned in the franchises' first 100 win season. Not to rest on his laurels and coast his previous success acquired 28 year old ace Tom Booker. Booker will be the centerpiece of a well rounded rotation that features Anthony Stanley and Carlos Oliva with no starters over the age of 30. Their bullpen offers quality depth in case of injury with Doug Caruso at the backend as the anchor. Injuries seem to be a concern for rds_lsu as the Salt are inexplicably carrying 14 pitchers on the roster.

The Salt's positional players offer the most concern. While Moises Bravo and Ewell Coles have plenty of pop and phenom Craig James is a potential all-star, they lack depth both bench-wise and organizationally. With no real advanced prospects, an injury or two could spell disaster for the Salt. Having traded uber-prospect Damon Hampton to get Tom Booker might have to rely on in house options or waiver wire scraps to fill any potential gaps.

97-65, NL West Champs

San Fransico Steriod Sluggers
The Steriod Sluggers finished one win behind the Salt and because of it faced a tougher road in the playoffs and ended up watching their division rivals win the NL Pennant. GM Grecianfox's offseason was met with firestorm of criticism from the SF area sportswriters after trading for Midre DeJesus and his albatross contract and allowing FA 3B Alan Sisco to sign for a mere 4.4 million over two years with Honolulu rather than being resigned. Sisco's departure leaves a big hole at the hot corner and in the middle of the lineup. Grecianfox used the money saved by signing perennial Gold Glove CF Shannon Lemon to patrol the vast AT&T outfield and is a considerable offensive upgrade to the position. He adds to a young offensive core of Freddie Gray, Dee Riley, and Luis Santiago. Their defense looks to be top notch with DeJesus moving to LF, Lemon, and SS Phillip Benson.

The staff is anchored by Randy Edwards who continues to nearly unhittable. The rotation behind is solid if unspectacular and their bullpen doesn't really have a weak link. The Sluggers' pitching and defense were the big reason they outperformed their pythag by nearly .040 points, the question will be whether they can score enough runs this season to catch the Salt.

Prediction: 94-68, 2nd place NL West, NL Wildcard

Vancouver Mounties
The NL West's 3rd 90 win team found themselves on the outside looking in as they missed the last wild card spot by 3 wins. With Tony Soriano and Wilson Krause leaving for free agency, GM Jerico picked up Matty Tatis via trade and promoted young prospect Julio Gil fill their spots. They don't expect to be much of an upgrade, but they should fill their respective voids. Last season Thurman Liverman proved his rookie campaign was no fluke and Richard Truman will look to do the same this year. The Mounties offense is fairly young and could improve upon their 846 runs scored last year.

The Mounties pitching staff will be their main concern. With Soriano's departure, they lack any solid RH starting pitching. With Jalal Priest and Jumbo Abercrombie swapping jobs in the bullpen, expect Abercrombie and Sam Allen to be asked to come in and shut down right-handed batters in the middle innings. The Mounties lack of quality backend starters is going to hurt their playoff chase and really seperates them from San Fran and Salt Lake City. Vancouver might need to make a mid season move to improve the rotation or else they may be watching the playoffs on tv from home once again.

Prediction: 85-77, 3rd Place NL West

Tacoma Chicken Dance
Last season GM Moustachee cut payroll and saw his wins drop below 80 for the first time. Through a flurry of moves, some savvy, other questionable, Moustachee is looking to get the Chicken Dance back into contention in the NL West. Allowing Patrick Rigby, Alvin McKay, and CF Shannon Lemon to leave and cutting P Benji Dykhoff cleared the way to trade for CFs Andrew Fox and Sid Nelson and signed upgrades Kyle Adkins, Jesse Garcia, Ronn Gagne, and RF Dean Walsh. Adkins, Gagne, and Garcia all look to be good compliments to Ben Duncan and Rey Van Hekken which is important because Tacoma is relying on their pitching staff to give up as little as possible since their offense has the second worst OPS in the NL last season.

Part of the problem for the offense was Tacoma's spacious Cheney Stadium, the other part was their dreadful production from COF (Mariano Mercedes - OPS .786 and Lonny Martin - OPS .678) and with two of their top OPS producers in Lemon and Francisco Alvarez gone, look for the Chicken Dance to continue to struggle to score runs and win ball games.

Prediction: 71-91, 4th place NL West



Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111