Franchise Ball News
Midseason Predictions: Season 84
Apr 11th 2020 By Los Angeles Lions

Season 84 is halfway over, so let's take a look at the frontrunners for playoff success, league by league. I will be predicting league championship matchups and results, as well as the world series matchup and result. Sorry in advance to anyone who I predict, because as some of you might remember, my predictions have a history of jinxing teams!

Alpha Ruby: Spokane Warriors defeat Yonkers River Rats. These two teams have ruled the Alpha Ruby in recent seasons, with at least one of them being in the league championship game for the past 5 seasons, and they have played in the league championship the past 2 seasons in a row. There are definitely some solid challengers, like the Atlanta Caneros and the Mount Vernon Boxers, but nobody else is on the elite level of the Warriors or Rats. After all, they are the dynasties of the 60s and the 70s, respectively (and the Rats could be on their way to being the team of the 80s). There are a lot of good teams in this league, and this is far from a lock, but the most likely scenario seems to be another battle between these two heavyweights, and with the Warriors looking stronger than ever (even by their mighty standards), they probably would have the edge.

Alpine Sound: Buffalo Bisons defeat St. Louis Battlehawks. This very weak league has only a few true challengers, and it is extremely hard to not see the Bisons as heavy favorites to win the league title. One of the best pitching staffs and an almost completely new group of elite hitters has catapulted the Bisons to a strong 25-5 start, and to be honest, predicting them to win this league was an easy decision. Predicting their opponent was a bit harder. It is a bold choice, as the Battlehawks currently don't lead their division, and the team that does lead it would indeed be eligible for the playoffs. However, I believe the Battlehawks will make up the ground on the rad-hornets and win the division and go on to make a strong run in the playoffs, before being swatted aside by the deserving champion Bisons.

Alta Canyon: Hartford HTFD_YANKEES defeat Oakland Athletics. The Albuquerque Wombats are having a fantastic season so far, and there are a few other teams capable of pulling an upset, but I believe it's the veteran teams' time to shine this season. Both teams have great hitting, not-so-great pitching, and are being chased in their division by teams better than some of the teams that are leading other divisions in the league. However, I am confident that both of these teams will hold on to win their division and overpower all challengers in the playoffs on their way to a thrilling, high-scoring championship, which the YANKEES will win.

Beta Compass: Honolulu Shimakaze defeat Indianapolis WolfPack. The defending world champion Shimakaze look stronger than ever, particularly on the mound, with FB Cy Young candidate Connor Hoyle being supported by great veterans, such as Alberto Cardenas, and elite youngsters as well, like Rene Choi. Their hitting is also impressive, and I believe they have what it takes to win another league title. The Bellevue Bench Warmers had a very strong first half of the season, with a record of 26-4, but after making many trades to weaken their team and announcing their plans to retire from the game, they are no longer good enough to compete for the league title. Ironically, the recipient of almost all of their good players, the WolfPack, now look like the best of the rest in the Beta Compass, and they no doubt have what it takes (after all, they inherited 90% of the roster of the #3 team in the world) to launch a significant challenge. They will almost certainly improve upon an already solid first half of the season, and they look the best positioned to challenge the defending world champions.

Delta Premier: San Diego Bombers defeat Houston Ryan Express. Ahh, Delta, Delta, Delta. So many good teams to pick from. As much as I wanted to go for the Columbus Average Joes to make a playoff run in their farewell season, they are involved in a very tight division battle with the Knoxville Smokies, and I believe the team with the best chance to challenge Mr. 16-game win streak, Mr. Averaging 10 runs per game, Mr. Makes 47+ wins in the Delta Premier look easy, Mr. #3 in the world (aka, the San Diego Bombers) is the Ryan Express. They are a very well-balanced team, and unlike most teams, they can win both pitchers' duels and slugfests. The Ryan Express will be a dangerous opponent capable of beating anyone...even the Bombers. However, I feel that at least 7 times out of 10, the Bombers would win, so that's why they are the predicted champion.

Epsilon Peak: Los Angeles Lions defeat Houston Nightcrawlers. That's right, I'm doing it. I'm jinxing myself. Let me take a second, though, to roast my own team. Where, in the history of FB, have you seen a team with an ERA of 2.82, WHIP of 0.83, have a BA of .256 and average about 4.5 runs per game?? I've seen dozens of dead teams with better BAs than that!! 25th in a weak, mostly inactive league in both BA and runs is not usually how you win a championship. But teams also don't usually have pitching like the Lions do. They literally have the luxury of bringing in 4 different pitchers that would easily be the best pitcher on most active teams from their bullpen. This truly special pitching staff, in my opinion, is capable of carrying the Lions to a league title. The obvious main challenger is the Nightcrawlers, who are enjoying a very strong season at 24-6 and, contrary to the Lions, have no problems whatsoever with hitting, ranking 1st in the league in both BA and runs (they have exactly 100 more runs than the Lions after the first 30 games of the season). However, their pitching ranks 25th and 28th in ERA and WHIP, respectively. Lions fans will be hoping that offense wins games, but defense wins championships, and in this case, I think it will.

Ocean Star: Baltimore Orioles defeat Orleans Hot Rods. A shout-out goes to the Orange Yetis and Carolina Panthers, who both look like strong contenders for the league title, but only one will be able to make the playoffs. Who will win that division is anyone's guess, so for the sake of these predictions, I've went for two teams that are a much safer bet to win their divisions. The Hot Rods have very impressive balance, ranking top 7 in all 4 major statistical categories. They have a very complete, well-rounded lineup and rotation, and they definitely have what it takes to make a playoff run. However, I feel like the experienced Orioles might have just a little bit more strength than the Hot Rods all-around this season, especially offensively, so for that reason, I went for the O's to lift the OS trophy this season.

Theta Premier: Peoria Destroyers defeat Las Vegas Golden Knights. As good as the Delta is, it is very difficult to argue that the Theta Premier is not the strongest league in the game, certainly at the top, anyways. Any one of the following teams could win not just the league title, but make a run at a world title...Destroyers, LVGK, Waves, PRnacionals, Eagles, jimmies. And of course, the #1 team in FB, on pace for 58 wins, which would set a new FB record (even more impressive considering the league the Destroyers play in) look like the clear favorites. But nothing is clear in such a deep, strong league. Almost every division has at least one team that could genuinely make a case for deserving the league title. It was tough to look past teams like the jimmies, Eagles, and Waves (all of which are certainly capable of upsetting one of the top dogs) but the Destroyers and Golden Knights look like the strongest teams, all around. The Destroyers rank 1st in the league in both BA and runs, and are also a solid 4th in ERA and WHIP. The Knights are 5th in BA and runs and are 3rd in ERA and 8th in WHIP. Both teams are incredibly strong and well-rounded, and I think it's safe to say, if these two meet in the championship, we will be in for a treat.

Wildcard: Cincinnati Reds defeat Boston Monarchs. The Reds' pitching is scary. Simple as that. Stocked with almost too many triple 90s to count, accompanied by a strong offense (also, as a side note, could possibly be the most expensive team in FB history), the only reason the Reds aren't a lock for the playoffs is because they are stuck behind one of the best teams in the world in their division. The Monarchs are also behind a top, top team, and assuming they do end up in the wildcard, they will pose a threat to any of their opponents. In the end, though, I think the Reds' experienced (and expensive!) pitching will win out.

So, I've predicted the winner for every league in the game. Now, the moment of truth: predicting the World Series. First, though, a reminder of the champions:

Alpha Ruby: Spokane Warriors
Alpine Sound: Buffalo Bisons
Alta Canyon: Hartford HTFD_YANKEES
Beta Compass: Honolulu Shimakaze
Delta Premier: San Diego Bombers
Epsilon Peak: Los Angeles Lions
Ocean Star: Baltimore Orioles
Theta Premier: Peoria Destroyers
Wildcard: Cincinnati Reds

World Series Prediction:

SPOKANE WARRIORS defeat San Diego Bombers; 3-6, 11-9, 5-2.

It was a difficult decision. I had to resist the urge to predict a storybook Bombers-Lions matchup (or Bombers-Reds, for that matter). The Peoria Destroyers were hard to leave out, but the teams that have absurd regular season records tend to not do as well in the playoffs, so I felt ok about leaving them out. The Bisons and HTFD_YANKEES are two teams that deserve a title and either haven't had one in a long time, or haven't ever had one. But at the end of the day, I believe the Warriors are the most complete team in Franchise Ball at the moment, and although the Bombers' offense could carry them through the league, and even world playoffs, their pitching would ultimately cost them in the World Series.

Now, I would like to apologize to everyone I predicted to have any kind of success this postseason, since my predictions tend to jinx teams. Nonetheless, I hope you all enjoyed the article. Good luck to everyone for the rest of the season!