Franchise Ball News
Playoff Predictions: Season 84 Apr 21st 2020

The regular season has come to an end, and now, it’s time for the playoffs. The most exciting part of the season is finally here, so let’s take a look at each league and make some predictions! I will be predicting every playoff game, and I will also provide a confidence rating (out of 10). A confidence of 0/10 means the game is completely a toss-up; a 50-50 chance. A confidence of 10/10 means I have close to 100% confidence that this team will advance.

One more note: Sometimes teams are tied for a certain playoff seed. I believe playoff seeds are determined randomly, and not by run differential. For the sake of the article, I will decide seeding by run differential, but if the seeding I predict is incorrect, that will be why. For teams tied for a certain seed, I will mark the team with a *, to signify that their playoff seed is not guaranteed.

Let’s get started!

Alpha Ruby:

1: Spokane Warriors (50-10) def. 8: Minneapolis Twins (33-27). Confidence: 10/10
2: Yonkers River Rats (44-16) def. 7: Ann Arbor Wolverines (36-24). Confidence: 8/10
3: * Mount Vernon Boxers (42-18) def. 6: Wichita Studs (39-21). Confidence: 5/10
5: * Atlanta Caneros (42-18) def. 4: *St. Louis Perfectos (42-18). Confidence: 2/10

Second round:

1: Spokane Warriors def. 5: Atlanta Caneros. Confidence: 6/10
2: Yonkers River Rats def. 3: Mount Vernon Boxers. Confidence: 2/10

Championship:

2. Yonkers River Rats def. 1. Spokane Warriors. Confidence: 0/10

As you can see, I feel very confident about the Warriors’ chances to advance to the championship, and the Rats could face a very stern test if they have to play the Boxers in the second round. However, the Rats got the better of the Warriors last season and have won the Alpha Ruby league title 2 of the last 3 seasons. The other one, of course, the Warriors won. This game is truly a toss-up, as both teams are just that good. The Warriors have had an amazing season, but interestingly, teams with great regular season records don’t tend to do that well in the playoffs. I think the Rats have a very slight edge in this matchup, but as I said, it is essentially a toss-up.


Alpine Sound:

1: Buffalo Bisons (48-12) def. 8: Des Moines rad-hornets (29-25). Confidence: 10/10
2: Valencia Dragon Shrimp (44-16) def. 7: Boston gashouse gang (28-23). Confidence: 9/10
3: Hartford Yard Goats (40-20) def. 6: Indianapolis Tigers (24-18). Confidence: 8/10
5: Cambridge Longballs (33-24) def. 4: Baltimore Alxerr (39-21). Confidence: 3/10

Second round:

1: Buffalo Bisons def. 5: Cambridge Longballs. Confidence: 9/10
3: Hartford Yard Goats def. 2: Valencia Dragon Shrimp. Confidence: 0/10

Championship:

1: Buffalo Bisons def. 3: Hartford Yard Goats. Confidence: 4/10

The Bisons have an incredibly high combined confidence score of 23/30, which could very well be the highest in all of Franchise Ball this season. That guarantees nothing, though, because as we have seen, anything can happen in the playoffs. The Longballs were predicted to pull a slight upset against the Alxerr simply because they are active. The Yard Goats-Dragon Shrimp game should be a great battle between two great young teams, and, to me, looks like a toss-up. I decided to stick with my choice in the midseason predictions and go for the Yard Goats to pull the upset. The Bisons, though, should have little problems in the final, as their team is on a different planet from everyone else in their league. The league final has a pretty high confidence score of 4/10.


Alta Canyon:

1: Hartford HTFD_Yankees (51-9) def. 8: St. Johns Codfish (36-24). Confidence: 10/10
2: Oakland Athletics (46-14) def. 7: St. Louis Birds On A Bat (38-22). Confidence: 7/10
6: Charleston Battery (39-21) def. 3: Saskatoon Charlees Angels (43-17). Confidence: 0/10
4: Albuquerque Wombats (42-18) def. 5: Charleston Crush (41-19). Confidence: 2/10

Second round:

1: Hartford HTFD_Yankees def. 4: Albuquerque Wombats. Confidence: 4/10
2: Oakland Athletics def. 6: Charleston Battery. Confidence: 6/10

Championship:

1: Hartford HTFD_Yankees def. 2: Oakland Athletics. Confidence: 2/10

This league has quite a few potential upsets hiding. The Wombats could give the Yankees a scare, and the Battery have what it takes to beat the Angels. The Athletics could beat the Yankees (in fact, I almost predicted them to). But, in the end, I decided to stick with the Yankees, as their offense speaks for itself. 587 runs in the regular season (averaging nearly 10 runs per game!) seems to be about as close to an unstoppable force as you can get. The YANKEES just look too strong.

Beta Compass:

8: Carolina PRey (38-22) def. 1: Bellevue Bench Warmers (48-12).  Confidence: 0/10
2. * Boston Monarchs (45-15) def. 7: * Albuquerque Woven Web (42-18). Confidence: 5/10
6: * Washington Nationals (42-18) def. 3: * Victoria BC Battalion (45-15). Confidence: 1/10
4: Indianapolis WolfPack (44-16) def. 5: Honolulu Shimakaze (42-18). Confidence: 2/10

Second round:

2: Boston Monarchs def. 6: Washington Nationals. Confidence: 4/10
4: Indianapolis WolfPack def. 8: Carolina PRey. Confidence: 6/10

Championship:

2: Boston Monarchs def. 4: Indianapolis WolfPack. Confidence: 2/10

And here come the upsets! Call me crazy, but I think, if there is any league where an 8-over-1 upset is bound to happen, it is this league. The Bench Warmers have given away a lot of their best players already and their pitcher scheduled to start has an ERA of over 7.5. The PRey are a hungry team, and I think they can pull this one off. Another upset I think has a great chance of happening is the Nationals taking down the Battalion. The Nats’ pitching is very impressive, and I think they have what it takes to win this game. The Wolfpack-Shimakaze matchup is very interesting and was a tough decision, but I went for the Wolfpack because their hitting is very impressive. An interesting note...the Wolfpack scored 19, 0, and 21 runs in their final 3 games. Their fate in the playoffs will no doubt be determined by whether their bats show up or not. In the second round, the upsets calm down a bit, as the Monarchs beat the Nationals and the WolfPack end the PRey’s Cinderella run before it gets much momentum going. The championship is an interesting matchup between two top-tier offenses, but I think the Monarchs have the edge because of their much-improved pitching.

Delta Premier:

1: San Diego Bombers (49-11) def. 8: Kitchener Batzut (37-23). Confidence: 10/10
2: Knoxville Smokies (46-14) def. 7: Erie Spartans (40-20). Confidence: 5/10
3: Buffalo Sabres (45-15) def. 6: * Oakland Raiders (42-18). Confidence: 3/10
5: * Washington DBucs (42-18) def. 4. Houston Ryan Express (44-16). Confidence: 0/10

Second round:

1: San Diego Bombers def. 5: Washington DBucs. Confidence: 5/10
3: Buffalo Sabres def. 2: Knoxville Smokies. Confidence: 1/10

Championship:

1: San Diego Bombers def. 3: Buffalo Sabres. Confidence: 3/10

The Bombers look very impressive and seem to be the top dog. Other than the Bombers and the Batzut, though, all the other 6 teams look to be on almost equal ground. Anyone can beat anyone. I could’ve gone for a lot more upsets here, but I feel like the best teams this season are indeed the highest seeded teams. The Smokies and Sabres are not usually top dogs but I feel like they are for a good reason: balance. The Smokies are top-8 in all 4 major statistical categories, and the Sabres are top-9. That is why I think they both have what it takes to avoid a first-round upset. The Ryan Express look strong, but they are 7 days inactive, and if they don’t log in, the Bucs could, and will, catch them off guard and pull a first-round upset. However, I have a pretty high confidence that the Bombers will beat anyone and everyone who they cross paths with. They come into the playoffs off a very impressive 5-0 win over their biggest local rivals, the LA Lions, and that win will no doubt ensure the team’s confidence is sky-high going into the playoffs. I think they will take care of business against the Bucs. As for the Sabres-Smokies game, it looks like a toss-up between two very solid, well-balanced teams. I went for the Sabres because their pitching looks a little bit better. In the championship, though, the Bombers’ offense will tear apart the Sabres’ previously dominant pitching, as the Bombers win their second straight league title.

Epsilon Peak:

1: Houston Nightcrawlers (45-15) def. 8: Busan Spitfire (33-27). Confidence: 10/10
2: Los Angeles Lions (44-16) def. 7: New Orleans Mardi Gras (37-23). Confidence: 8/10
6: Tulsa Tornados (38-22) def. 3: Amarillo JACKBOYS (41-19). Confidence: 0/10
4: San Diego Giants (40-19) def. 5: Dallas Golden Beagles (39-21). Confidence: 7/10

Second round:

1: Houston Nightcrawlers def. 4: San Diego Giants. Confidence: 6/10
2: Los Angeles Lions def. 6: Tulsa Tornados. Confidence: 6/10

Championship:

1: Houston Nightcrawlers def. 2: Los Angeles Lions. Confidence: 0/10

There are quite a few high-confidence games in the first round that don’t have much of a chance for an upset. The Nightcrawlers-Spitfire game seems like a lock, and even the Lions-Mardi Gras game gives no reason to predict an upset. The Giants-Beagles game is very high confidence for a 4-5 game, mostly because the Giants are very active and the Beagles, well, are not. However, the Tornados have a chance to surprise the JACKBOYS. They are more active and have a lot more experience in the playoffs, which will serve them well. In the second round, the Nightcrawlers’ elite offense, in all likelihood, will tear through the Giants’ 38th and 27th ranked pitching, and the Lions’ top-ranked pitching should silence the Tornados’ offense. This brings us to a classic matchup, hitting vs. pitching. Offense vs. defense. Earlier in the season, the Lions got the better of the Nightcrawlers in a great game, but this time, the Nightcrawlers will reign supreme. I believe the Lions’ lack of offense will cost them, as the Nightcrawlers score only a couple of runs, but it will be enough to take down the Lions and clinch the Nightcrawlers’ first league title since season 54.

Ocean Star:

1: Baltimore Orioles (47-13) def. 8: Sacremento Solons (34-26). Confidence: 10/10
2: * Carolina Panthers (43-17) def. 7: * Colorado Springs Pikemen (35-25). Confidence: 7/10
3: * New Orleans Hot Rods (43-17) def. 6: * Mobile War Eagle (35-25). Confidence: 7/10
4: Calgary Fire Birds (40-21) def. 5: * St. Louis Major Mistake (35-25). Confidence: 6/10

Second round:

1: Baltimore Orioles def. 4: Calgary Fire Birds. Confidence: 6/10
3: New Orleans Hot Rods def. 2: Carolina Panthers. Confidence: 2/10

Championship:

1: Baltimore Orioles def. 3: New Orleans Hot Rods. Confidence: 3/10

The O’s are the most complete team in this league, without a doubt. They have had a lot of success in the past 20 seasons, with 5 league titles and 2 world titles. They seem to know how to play well in the playoffs and avoid being upset, which so many other top teams have struggled with. I believe they will coast through the first two games with very little anxiety. Meanwhile, the fact that seeds #5-8 each have 35 wins or less makes it very difficult to predict a first-round upset with any confidence whatsoever. Hot Rods-Panthers will be an interesting game between two teams that pride themselves on different things. The Hot Rods have much more experience, and they have the top-ranked offense in the league, but the Panthers are young, hungry, and have the best pitching in the league. This isn’t truly an “upset”, since the two teams have the exact same record, but I’m going with the Hot Rods because I think their playoff experience will give them the edge in this battle. However, the Orioles are on a different level, and I think their elite team will triumph in the Ocean Star league championship.

Theta Premier:

1: Peoria Destroyers (53-7) def. 8: Bellingham Reruns (37-23). Confidence: 9/10
2: Oceanside Waves (50-10) def. 7: Springfield Eagles (42-18). Confidence: 8/10
6: Mayaguez PRnacionals (44-16) def. 3: Virginia Beach jimmies (47-13). Confidence: 0/10
4: Las Vegas Golden Knights (46-14) def. 5: Vancouver Terrace Titans (44-15). Confidence: 4/10

Second round:

1: Peoria Destroyers def. 4: Las Vegas Golden Knights. Confidence: 3/10
2: Oceanside Waves def. 6: Mayaguez PRnacionals. Confidence: 4/10

Championship:

2: Oceanside Waves def. 1: Peoria Destroyers. Confidence: 0/10

I know I have a lot to explain here. The reason the best team in the world doesn’t have 10/10 confidence going into their first-round game is because the Reruns are LEGENDARY at pulling upsets in the league playoffs. Last season, they knocked off both the Waves and the Golden Knights (and the Waves were 48-12 and the Knights were 42-18 that season). In season 82, they beat the 43-17 PRnacionals. In season 81, they beat both the Golden Knights and the Destroyers. The list goes on and on. If they were facing any other team, the Destroyers would have 10/10 confidence. But facing the Reruns in the first round seems to be kryptonite for just about every team in the Theta Premier, no matter how good their record is. Speaking of good records, let’s just appreciate this league for a moment...two 50-win teams, 4 46-win teams...each of the top 4 teams has a really good chance to win a world title, should they survive the chaotic league playoffs. But the bottom half of the league is stacked too, and when the #7 seed has a 42-18 record, upsets are bound to happen. However, I have a lot of confidence in the best pitching team in the world, the Oceanside Waves. Their offense is clicking, their pitching is clicking, and they can shut down any team in the world. That’s why I have confidence they can avoid an upset. As for the jimmies, they don’t have as much playoff experience, and despite their very impressive record, I think the situation is just right for the PRnacionals to pull off an upset. The Golden Knights had a weak finish to the regular season, losing their grip on the #3 seed, but I think they can pull it together and take down the Titans. However, they will hit a wall in the second round against the best team in the world. They could pull this upset off, hence the low confidence, but in all likelihood, the Destroyers will destroy, once again. The Waves-PRnacionals battle will be interesting, but I think the Waves’ strong pitching will win the day and surely their offense will absolutely light up the PRnacionals’ 42nd- and 44th-ranked pitching. This brings us to perhaps my most surprising prediction...Waves over Destroyers. It will be a classic if these two meet, no matter what. The Destroyers did beat the Waves in the regular season, but I believe the Waves’ pitching will do what almost no other team has succeeded at doing...shut down the Destroyers’ offense. The Waves’ offense is very good too, and they are an easy team to overlook, but I feel like they are due a league championship. They come into the playoffs winning 12 of their last 13, while the Destroyers are 7-3 in their last 10. As I said at the beginning of the article, an insane regular-season record is far from a guarantee for playoff success (you could almost say it’s a curse...only 5 out of 83 World Series titles have been won by teams with 50 wins or more). Of course, one of those teams that won it with a 50-win season was the Destroyers. Maybe it is foolish to predict the Destroyers to not win their league, but if there is any league that can stop the Destroyers’ march to the world title, it is the Theta Premier. Will the Waves be the one to do it, or perhaps the Golden Knights? Or even the Reruns? Time will tell. But no matter how many games you have won, Reruns-Golden Knights-Waves is a scary path to the world playoffs for any team.

Vega Fortress: No playoffs because no teams in the league have played 40 games.

Wildcard:

1: Hollywood Homies (45-15) def. 8: Saskatoon Saskatoon Saskatc (41-19). Confidence: 6/10
2: Little Rock Cougars (44-16) def. 7: Portland Pineapples (41-19). Confidence: 5/10
3: Cincinnati Reds (44-16) def. 6: Stamford Demo Yankees (41-19). Confidence: 6/10
4: Columbus Average Joes (43-17) def. 5: Seattle Marvols (41-18). Confidence: 3/10

Second round:

4: Columbus Average Joes def. 1: Hollywood Homies. Confidence: 2/10
3: Cincinnati Reds def. 2: Little Rock Cougars. Confidence: 3/10

Championship:

4: Columbus Average Joes def. 3:  Cincinnati Reds. Confidence: 1/10

There is always so much parity in the wildcard; unless there is a rare 48-win team (which, of course, there sometimes is), all the teams usually have almost the exact same record. This makes for lots of “upsets” and very low confidence! The Homies are the #1 seed but have only won 4 games more than the #8 seed! This means, obviously, that even the biggest of “upsets” according to the seeding are not really that big. Particularly this season, where there is no undisputed #1, anyone can beat anyone. With that being said, the Homies and Cougars are the top seeds for a reason, and they look very strong, and it wouldn’t make sense to predict an upset (although, other than the Bench Warmers, the Homies look like the most likely #1 seed to be sent packing early). The Reds, on the other hand, look amazing on paper with their 2nd-ranked offense (and don’t forget, they play in the same division as the San Diego Bombers) and they look like the most convincing team in the wildcard. The Average Joes look very strong as well, but they haven’t been blessed with an easy matchup...they face the Seattle Marvols. Still, I think the Joes have a great team and should be able to win. In the second round, I feel like both the Joes and the Reds have what it takes to pull off some upsets. The Homies and Cougars are both very solid teams, but I feel like the playoff experience of the Reds, and the sheer motivation of the Joes, with this being their final season, will push them over the top, allowing them to pull off the upsets. This sets up an all-Delta wildcard championship game, and I believe the Joes are just a little bit stronger all-around than the Reds, and the aforementioned motivation will push the Joes all the way to the top of the wildcard playoffs dogpile.


So, that’s it for the league playoff predictions! Let’s take a look at all the predicted league champions!

Alpha Ruby: 2. Yonkers River Rats (44-16)
Alpine Sound: 1. Buffalo Bisons (48-12)
Alta Canyon: 1. Hartford HTFD_Yankees (51-9)
Beta Compass: 2. Boston Monarchs (45-15)
Delta Premier: 1. San Diego Bombers (49-11)
Epsilon Peak: 1. Houston Nightcrawlers (45-15)
Ocean Star: 1. Baltimore Orioles (47-13)
Theta Premier: 2. Oceanside Waves (50-10)
Wildcard: 4. Columbus Average Joes (43-17)

Now, for the world playoff predictions! (Note: The seed given to teams in the world playoffs is their world ranking, not their seed within their league.)

World Playoffs Round 1:

2. Hartford HTFD_Yankees: Bye

As the top-ranked team remaining in the world playoffs, the YANKEES receive a bye to the second round of the world playoffs.

3. Oceanside Waves vs. 29. Columbus Average Joes

The best pitching staff in the game will shut down the Joes’ scary offense and the Waves will score just enough runs to win. Prediction: 3-1, Waves.

5. San Diego Bombers vs. 20. Yonkers River Rats

Facing one of the most successful teams of the current era, the Bombers’ pitching will continue right where it left off at the end of the regular season, shutting down another great team. The Bombers’ offense will show up when it matters most, as a late-inning comeback seals a thrilling game. Prediction: 5-4, Bombers.

6. Buffalo Bisons vs. 14. * Boston Monarchs

The Bisons’ pitching has been impressive all season, but the Monarchs’ hitting overpowers the Bisons, and the offense struggles to keep up against the very solid Monarchs’ pitching staff. A disappointing end to what was a promising season for the Bisons. As for the Monarchs, their new and improved pitching continues to push them forward. Prediction: 9-4, Monarchs

8. Baltimore Orioles vs. 14. * Houston Nightcrawlers

The Nightcrawlers’ offense has been impressive all season, but their pitching will fail them as the Orioles smash the Nightcrawlers’ pitching staff, forcing them to empty the bullpen, but they still can’t stop the Orioles’ offense. The Nightcrawlers offense tries to keep up, but just barely can’t. Prediction: 11-8, Orioles.

Second round:

3. Oceanside Waves: Bye

As the second-best remaining team in the world playoffs, the Waves receive a bye. They will advance to the world semifinals.

2. Hartford HTFD_Yankees vs. 14. Boston Monarchs

In a battle between two elite offenses, the YANKEES’ offense does what it has done all season...crush fastballs, curveballs, and dreams. The Monarchs’ improved pitching staff will fight valiantly and hold the YANKEES under their runs per game average this season, but it won’t be enough, as the YANKEES score just enough runs to get the win. Prediction: 8-5, YANKEES

6. San Diego Bombers vs. 8. Baltimore Orioles

The Bombers’ offense has destroyed all challengers in the Delta Premier this season, and the Orioles’ sensational balance (top 5 in the Ocean Star in both hitting and pitching) has led them to this point. Both teams pride themselves on offense, and both sets of bats will come flying out of the gate. Both teams will be forced into their bullpen early, and the Bombers’ very solid bullpen will outshine the Orioles’ tired and relatively weak bullpen. Tavion Fry, arguably the best closer in FB, will have pitched in 3 of the last 4 games for the Orioles, so they will have to use their other options, and the Bombers’ offense will take advantage. The Bombers take down the Orioles in a slugfest. Prediction: 14-10, Bombers.


World semifinals:

6. San Diego Bombers: Bye.

The Bombers get a bye to the World Series since the other two remaining teams, the YANKEES and Waves, already had byes. San Diego will get to relax and watch the best pitching and hitting teams in the world go at it.

2. Hartford HTFD_Yankees vs. 3. Oceanside Waves.

Pitching vs. hitting. Yet again. The Waves, the team with the best ERA and WHIP in FB (and other than their partner team, the LA Lions, nobody is even close) face the team with the 2nd-best BA and best OBP in the world. The game will no doubt be a classic, with both teams fighting for their playoff lives. The YANKEES’ offense will strike first with a big 3rd inning, and the Waves will have a tough decision...go into their untested bullpen, or stick with their proven, elite, but beat-up starter? They will decide to go to the bullpen, and the YANKEES will continue to pour on the runs. The Waves’ offense will try to keep up, but the YANKEES’ offense is just too high-powered. Nobody in the entire Waves’ dugout can stop them. The YANKEES take down the Waves, and they are back in the World Series! Prediction: 10-7, YANKEES.


THE WORLD SERIES

2. Hartford HTFD_Yankees vs 6. San Diego Bombers.

So, here we are. The Big Show. The World Series. Two of the best offenses in the game, facing off. The Bombers have worked hard on their pitching, but after seeing the Waves’ legendary pitching fail to stop the YANKEES, their confidence is shaken. The YANKEES’ confidence couldn’t be higher. They’ve waited almost 40 seasons for another World Series title. They’re almost there.

In game 1, the Bombers strike first, but the YANKEES strike back quickly, and the game quickly turns into a slugfest. Both teams have to go deep into their bullpen, and the YANKEES’ incredible offense takes pitcher after pitcher out of the game. None of the Bombers’ relievers can stop them. The machine that is the YANKEES marches to a win in Game 1. Prediction: 13-8, YANKEES.

In game 2, the YANKEES’ pitcher gets taken out of the game early and they are forced to go into their bullpen yet again. Their bullpen is tired, and the Bombers hit 3 bombs in one inning to take a commanding lead. The YANKEES are out of pitchers, and the Bombers win, despite a late comeback attempt that forced the Bombers to use 3 pitchers in the 9th inning. Prediction: 14-12, Bombers.

In game 3, the bats are surprisingly quiet through the first four innings, but the YANKEES’ offense turns it on in the 5th, loading the bases. 2 impressive outs by the Bombers’ starter seems to be crisis averted for the Bombers, but then back-to-back doubles score 4 runs for the YANKEES before the inning is over. The Bombers, meanwhile, still can’t get the offense going. The YANKEES add two more in the 6th, and one more in the 7th, and soon, it is 7-0. The Bombers refuse to give up and make it 7-4 after 8 innings, but they come to their final opportunity with 2 outs, nobody on base in the top of the 9th. Former FB MVP Mauricio Sierra strikes out looking, and the stadium goes into pandemonium. The YANKEES have done it!!! Champions once again, at last!!!


So, there you have it...according to my predictions, the Hartford HTFD_Yankees will win the World Series!! I would now like to, once again, apologize to everyone who I predicted would have any success, because my predictions are almost never right! Of course, anything can happen in the playoffs, and that is the magic of it. You never know what will happen in the playoffs, so don’t expect most (or any!) of these predictions to come true. Still, I hope you have enjoyed the article!

Good luck to everyone in the playoffs, and may the best team win!!