El Paso Manatee Dogs
Kansas City Monarchs
A classic first round match up where the lower seeded team will be the favorites. Kansas City had 9 more wins on the season than El Paso, and also easily handled them taking the season series 7-3. The Monarchs are looking to once again make a deep playoff run which they have become very accustomed to. El Paso on the other hand is making only their second appearance in franchise history. However, they were a pleasant surprise this season earning 15 more wins than last years team.
The Monarchs will be the heavy favorites going in, and should be able to handle the Manatee Dogs without too much issue. The return of Turner Pittinger for El Paso comes at the right time and they will need their ace to perform if they have any chance. I’m going Kansas City in 4.
Louisville Hill Jacks
About as even a match up as you are going to find. Identical season records, along with splitting the season series 5-5, nothing separates these two teams. Louisville was on top for the majority of the season but the Phillies came on strong at the end. It is going to be the dominate offense of the Hill Jacks against the strong pitching of Philadelphia. Whichever side proves stronger will be the one that edges out the series win.
It’s going to be a coin flip no matter what happens. There really is no predicting this one. Heads Phillies, Tails Hill Jacks. I flipped heads, so I will take the Phillies in 5.
San Juan Clementes
New Orleans aligators
Another lop sided 4 vs 5 match up. New Orleans racked up 18 more wins than their first round opponents. The defending champs have what it takes to make another title run, but they cant look past anybody. San Juan kept the season series close only losing it 4-6. Maybe that will give them a spark of hope. The aligators were a top 3 NL team all season though, so they are going to be very hard to knock off.
New Orleans is an elite team, and should be able to take out San Juan. The Clementes benefited from being in a weak division, so it is nice to give their fans another playoff appearance, however short it may be. Look for the aligators to take it in 4.
For the first time in 17 seasons, the Baggies failed to win the division. While that may be disappointing, they will not dwell on it. A thrilling series is in store as these two NL power houses go at it. Hartford dominated the season series 7-3, but that does not give them any reasons to relax. Either one of these teams could be the World Champs, so seeing them clash in the wild card round will certainly be a treat for all baseball fans.
Another match up capable of going either way. Their expected season win percentage is separated by .001, so that shows how close it will be. Hartford taking the season series in dominant fashion certainly makes me want to lean towards them, however, the Baggies have revenge to get for losing their division crown. Look for this to come right down to game 5, where Minnesota edges the Crusaders.