Week 9 Preview- Emperors and Gold look to knock Royals from the top

Leland vs Saints –  The Saints have been trending downward and have now lost 3 in a row after it seemed like their season was about to take a turn for the better.  Leland has cooled off since their 5 game win streak, and are 2-1-2 in their last 5 games.  Leland lost their grip on first place and are looking to regain the top spot against a team they have beaten two times already this season.  The Saint will need to start winning some games and are in jeopardy of not even being a .500 team after winning 18 games a year ago.
Devils vs The Gold-  The Gold has struggled since winning the Memorial Day tournament, going just 1-3-1 since.  On the other hand, the Devils have now won 2 straight games after dropping 7 in  a row and are being paced by a red hot Cooks who has 7 straight multi-hit games.  The Gold is known to rise to the occasion in big games, but they have a number of players who are not having their typical offensive seasons and will need those guys to start coming through.  
Leland vs D’Backs- Before the Memorial Day tournament, the D’Back were starting to piece things together and play good stickball.  But since the tournament they are just 1-4 and have been shut out in 3 of those games.  Leland is licking their chops as they see an opportunity pick up 2 games this week against teams who are struggling.  Lelands 1-2 punch of Dave and Ferdi will look to keep adding to their impressive stats.
Devils vs Emperors- The Emperors have slowly been creeping up the standings the last couple weeks and find themselves just 5 points out of first. Their offense has started to heat up and their defense has been tops in the league thus far.  The Devils have their work cut out for them as the Emperors have dominated them in their first 2 matchups so far this season. The Devils have started to play better the last few games and will look to keep the momentum going to show these Emperors they are better the results of the first two games.
Ravens vs Saints-  The Ravens had a rough start to the season but have started to play better of late, losing just 1 game in the last 5.  They have 3 ties in this recent stretch and are looking to start putting some wins on the board.  The Saints will need to start playing better defense if they want to start winning games, as they are second to last in team defense by just a 1-run difference.  Both teams need this game badly and that should make for a good matchup.
Royals vs The Gold– The Royals have won 4 of their last five games and have been averaging almost 9 runs per game in that stretch.  Their offensive surge has propelled them back to the top of standings, but their matchups this week will put that 1 point lead to the test.  The Gold have lost both matchups to the Royals this year and will be looking to turn things around after their recent tough stretch. This is the time of year the Gold normally starts to pick things up and play their best ball, but a hot Royals team is standing in their way. 
Ravens vs D’Backs- The Ravens and D’Backs have split the season series so far.  Only 5 points separates these teams in the standings and with the way the Ravens have started to turn things around, this writer won’t be surprised if things were a little close after this game.  The D’Backs have not been able to find consistent offense or defense this year, while the Ravens are showing signs of going on a run. 
Royals vs Emperors- The Emperors have been moving up the standings, but face the Royals this week who they are 0-1-1 against this year.  Both teams are coming into this game hot and there is nothing these two teams like to do then beat each other.  The Royals will have to keep Vido in check as he has been the key to the Emperor offense in their recent hot stretch. The Emperors have the best defense in the league, but the Royals have 4 players in their lineup (Eric, Kevin, Ruben, Darnell) who are in the top 5 in hits in the league.  The Emperors will need to find a way to keep those guys down if they want to get this win.