1. Cheyenne Duck Snorts (65-26, Run Differential: +273)
The author regrets perceived assholery associated with putting his team first, but Cheyenne has scored the most runs, allowed the least, and has the best record at the ASB by 7 wins. Cheyenne’s run differential is greater than any two other teams on this list combined. If that’s not enough, the Duck Snorts are currently on a 19-1 run. Can you guess the opposing pitcher that snapped what could have been a ridiculous 20-game win streak?
2. Pittsburgh Ponies (55-36, RD: +135)
Correct – that pitcher was Griffey’s poster boy, the Mustachioed Minnesotan Matt Ross, who dominated Cheyenne in a 3-2 Pony victory. Ross, while “in decline,” has already garnered his requisite Pitcher of the Week, etc. But what needs to be appreciated is that the historically pitching-heavy Ponies feature Griffey’s second-best offense, based on runs scored (531) and team SLG (.841).
3. Chicago Cubs (58-33, RD: +119)
As in other recent seasons, the NL’s top-ranked team has the NL’s second-ranked team, Fargo, nipping at their heels, as documented by cjl9652’s recent “Hiya, erff!” Waveland Avenue ball hawks have again been treated to a barrage of souvenirs generated by the home team, as the Cubs lead the NL in HR by a wide margin (180 vs. Fargo’s 147). Gabby Young came into the All-Star break with 47 dingers, leading all players.
4. Charleston Chew-baccas (58-33, RD: +123)
Griffey World’s favorite Wookiees/Candy, known historically an offense-heavy team, have featured a balanced approach in S12 ranking 2nd in AL team ERA and 3rd in AL team runs scored. Of particular note, Rookie DH David Lima has treated opposing pitchers how Charleston’s name sake treats Stormtroopers/fillings. Lima has posted a 1.152 OPS and 26 HR in only 64 games this season. AL South opposition will have difficulty wresting control of the AL South from Charleston without sticking Lima on a Kessel-bound spice freighter/in the freezer.
5. Fargo Fuzznuts (57-34, RD: +78)
The defending Griffey Champs have overcome a 5-9 start to climb within striking distance of Chicago, and will get their chance to take the lead as their second half opens with a four-game set against their chief rivals. As in years past, the Fuzznuts feature a strong offense (ranked 2nd in NL OPS, .834). Three Fargo players rank in the Top 10 in NL batting average – Alan Green, Fred Serra, and Benito Feliz.
6. Atlanta Ripettoes (53-38, RD: +77)
The Ripettoes are running away with an otherwise weak division, boasting a 13 game lead over their nearest rival, the New York Knights. However, Atlanta fans are still tuning in as one of Griffey World’s all-time greats, Michael Snow, approaches 600 HR. With 19 HR accounted for already on the season and 13 still needed to reach the milestone, Snow is on pace to pass 600 HR sometime around Game 153. Should be fun to watch.
7. Washington Foo Fighters (51-40, RD: +83)
Despite inconsistent play, Washington currently leads Boston in the AL East – the only AL division where the top dog has less than a double-digit lead. The Foo Fighters have been burdened by an uncharacteristically low team OPS of .767 and an unremarkable team WHIP of 1.40. In the second half, and home that Clint Ramirez (24 HR, 76 RBI) and SP Scott Terry (8-3, 1.27 WHIP) can provide the stimulus package needed to stabilize their volatile season.
8. Richmond Rednecks (50-41, RD: +74)
Newcomer nesman has served well at the helm of the Richmond’s Ford F350 dually. With a two-game lead over Little Rock, the Yosemite Sam “Back-Off!” mudflaps are clearly on display. Maintaining the lead would go a long way in restablishing the moribund former-Florida franchise as something other than “the team that traded Matt Ross.”
9. Seattle Mariners (55-36, RD: +69)
The Mariners find themselves in firm control of one of the AL’s two Wild Card slots and seem likely to snap the franchise’s eight-season playoff drought. A strong bullpen, featuring three pitchers with sub-1.25 WHIPs. has kept Seattle in close games. GM the_oat may do well to find a middle-of-the-order bat to strengthen a middling offense.
10. Jackson Shoes (48-43, RD: +70)
Like the Richmond and Seattle, train finds himself leading an impressive retreading of a formerly malodorous franchise. The Shoes have not been in the playoffs since S2, but anchored by a strong pitching staff (ranked T-3 in AL WHIP with 1.34), find themselves in strong position to tread on that trend. Like Seattle, a trade for a big bat might help their chances (ranked 10th in AL OPS).