Mar 15, 2008

Power Rankings @ 112 Games

1. Fargo Fuzznuts [76-36, Run Differential (RD): +265 , Prev Rank (PR): 1]
Fargo continues to play excellent ball, and the All-Star Break did not appear to slow them at all, as they ripped off a 12-2 stretch during a torrid 22-7 stretch. However, Fargo took the short end of a hard-fought three game series against defending NL Champ San Antonio, dropping 2 of 3.

2. Pittsburgh Ponies (77-35, RD: +217, PR: 2 )
Since getting swept by Fargo on February 27, the Ponies have been consistently dominant, losing only one series since that time. However, while the Fuzznuts have peers in the NL, the Ponies are without equal in the AL -- the AL's second best record, New York, trails Pittsburgh by a full 12 games.

3. New-York Yank-mes (75-37, RD: +149, PR: 4)
The Yank-mes had their division lead cut to one game following an awful 4-10 stretch, but reminded the Ripettoes who the leader was, shellacking Atlanta 7-4, 16-7, and 9-3 for the sweep. Significant tests await the Yank-mes during the last third of the season, including 22 games against top-10 teams in the schedule, plus three more games against Atlanta who will be out for blood. While the Yank-mes would be considered a pitching-heavy team, it should be noted that Alan Green is the league leader in OPS (1.173) by a significant margin (2nd place is KC's Edwin O'Malley at 1.021).

4. San Antonio fighters (69-43, RD: +152, PR: 3 )
Not to be outdone, the fighters showed a little vulnerability themselves, posting 3-11 mark around the All-Star Break, including a sweep by Syracuse. Offense continues to be the San Antonio's strength, however, as four fighters rank in the league's top 20 for OPS.

5. Charleston Cobras (64-48, RD: +102, PR: 6)
Charleston has dropped their last two series (a three-game set against Cheyenne, and a four-game series against Trenton), but has otherwise been solid since the All-Star Break. Torrid hitting from Home Run Derby champ Frank Lee has helped shoulder the burden left by a solid, but second-tier pitching staff. Lee has combined with perennial All-Star Javier Marquez for 78 HR already, and the duo should have 200 RBI between them within the next few games.

6. Montreal Valiants (65-47, RD: +105, PR: 7)
Montreal boasts the second-best run differential in the AL, and should be able to improve their record as a relatively soft schedule remains -- the Valiants have only 10 games left in the schedule against teams currently ranked in the top-10. If Montreal maintains pace, they will spend the home stretch watching who will claim the 4th seed in the AL -- their most likely opponent in the playoffs.

7. Kansas City Twisters (64-48, RD: +77, PR: t-8 )

Since the All-Star break, the Twisters have taken three of four from San Antonio and split a four-game set in Fargo, which shows the Twisters can hang with the big boys. As noted earlier, Edwin O'Malley and his league-leading batting average (.341) continue to lead the offense; however, the right fielder is not without help -- Braden Duncan has slugged 32 HR and 101 RBI, and Lariel Santana leads the league in runs with 96.

8. New York Cyclones (65-47, RD: +69, PR: 9)
New York has caught fire, posting a blistering 21-11 mark since the time of the last power rankings. This sustained success may have buried the Wolves chances for division glory, as they lag the Cyclones by nine games. However, the Revolution are still in the hunt at four games back. Considering New York's sub-.500 finish in Season 6, Philip Black (second in the AL in WHIP with 1.10) is easily the off-season's most important free-agent signing. MVP candidate Richie Miller has buoyed the offense with a league-leading 68 SBs to go along with an impressive .963 OPS.

9. Los Angeles Mojo (66-46, RD: +89, PR: 10)
The Mojo crept into the top-10 last time around, and justified the acknowledgement by winning a full two-thirds of their games, going 22-11 over the duration. However, it must be noted that the Mojo played only one game against a top-10 team during that stretch -- the tail-end of a three game sweep by Fargo. The Mojo must continue to fatten up on the league's weak sisters, as a ten game stretch against the Yank-mes and fighters awaits them during the stretch run.

10. Cheyenne Duck Snorts (63-49, RD: +83, PR: 5)
The Duck Snorts' continued bouts of inconsistency move them down 5 spots in the Power Rankings. At one point over the past stretch, Cheyenne maintained an 8 game lead in the AL West, but failed to bolster their lead in dropping series against bottomfeeders Texas and Salem. With a mere 3 game lead in front of surging Colorado, the Duck Snorts' grasp of the division lead appears tenuous.

No comments: