Sunday, August 31, 2008

AL Power Rankings, Week 3

There's a virtual tie for the top spot... OKC is a little ahead in expected record and runs allowed, Madison is a little ahead in actual record and runs scored. Between them and Wichita, the AL Playoffs will be a war.

1 Oklahoma City Chickens

Record (Since Last Rankings): 69-30 (17-6)
Expected Record: 73-26
Last Week: #1
Notes: Slim Edwards has grounded into 28 double plays this season, most in the AL.

2 Madison Massas

Record (Since Last Rankings): 71-28 (18-5)
Expected Record: 68-31
Last Week: #2
Notes: They are #2 by the absolute slimmest of margins. Two games better than OKC in actual record, one game better in the last week. They have scored 25 more runs than the Chickens, but have given up 74 more as well. Their magic number to clinch the division sits at 41.

3 Wichita Sizzlers

Record (Since Last Rankings): 65-34 (14-9)
Expected Record: 66-33
Last Week: #3
Notes: SP Carlos Fuentes leads the AL in strikeouts.

4 Monterrey Acero

Record (Since Last Rankings): 57-42 (13-10)
Expected Record: 57-42
Last Week: #4
Notes: Craig Witt leads the AL with pinch-hit at bats. He's just 2-for-14 off the bench. Albert Sanchez is tied for the AL lead with seven "plus" plays.

5 Kansas City McCoys

Record (Since Last Rankings): 56-43 (14-9)
Expected Record: 59-40
Last Week: #5
Notes: Tied for worst in the AL with a .973 fielding percentage.

6 Boston Badasses

Record (Since Last Rankings): 53-46 (15-8)
Expected Record: 54-45
Last Week: #6
Notes: 2B Darrell Richardson has just one "plus" play and 11 "minus" plays this season.

7 New York Bombers

Record (Since Last Rankings): 51-48 (15-8)
Expected Record: 59-40
Last Week: #9
Notes: Finally starting to get the bounces necessary to catch up with their impressive expected record. They still stand five games out of the last playoff spot. Potentially a very tough playoff opponent for someone. The Bombers have the top 3 pitchers in the AL in WHIP (Doug Tobin, Everett Roosevelt and Lyle Becker). Rudy Atchley is 6th. No other team has more than one pitcher in the top 10. Yorvit Castillo leads the AL in OBP and OPS.

8 Charlotte Winstons

Record (Since Last Rankings): 48-51 (11-12)
Expected Record: 58-41
Last Week: #8
Notes: Playing 10 games worse than their expected record, the biggest gap in the AL. Plenty of that can be chalked up to the Winstons' 19 one-run losses. Tino Chang leads the AL in opponent slugging percentage allowed.

9 Chicago Bearcubs

Record (Since Last Rankings): 50-49 (11-12)
Expected Record: 47-52
Last Week: #7
Notes: Ryan World's version of the NY Yankees: big payroll, big names, some very impressive individual stats... but a real shortage of wins.

10 Washington DC Old School Warriors

Record (Since Last Rankings): 50-49 (15-8)
Expected Record: 42-57
Last Week: #13
Notes: Hamlet Leonard is tied for the AL lead with five sac flies.

11 St. Louis Stampede

Record (Since Last Rankings): 44-55 (10-13)
Expected Record: 42-57
Last Week: #12
Notes: They can certainly work a count-- Trent Thompson is fourth in the AL in number of pitches seen per plate appearance. Charles Coles is sixth. Ivan Cortes leads the majors with a whopping 40 errors.

12 Las Vegas Gamble

Record (Since Last Rankings): 42-57 (11-12)
Expected Record: 46-53
Last Week: #14
Notes: Steven Latham has the best GB/FB ratio in the AL this year at 2.15. Of course he also walks four guys every nine innings, which wipes out a lot of the good stuff. Del Prieto leads the AL with 12 intentional walks received.

13 Arizona Rattlesnakes

Record (Since Last Rankings): 41-58 (6-17)
Expected Record: 41-58
Last Week: #11
Notes: How does a team go from close to .500 to a 6-17 stretch? An absentee owner certainly helps. Once a replacement is in place, they should bounce right back. Jack Serafini leads the AL with 15 HBP. What happens when you play a catcher at 3B? Peter Murata is proof that he'll lead the AL in "minus" plays.

14 Cleveland Indians

Record (Since Last Rankings): 38-61 (2-21)
Expected Record: 40-59
Last Week: #10
Notes: The 2-21 mark is the worst week ever posted in AL Power Ranking history. Soooo... congrats for that. The fire sale began this week when the Indians picked up P Roger Forbes and 2B Ralph Lee for closer Kevin Burke. With the roof falling in, the Indians need to keep getting rid of the old and bringing in some new talent.

15 Durham Bulls

Record (Since Last Rankings): 30-69 (7-16)
Expected Record: 31-68
Last Week: #15
Notes: Diego Mieses has a GB/FB ratio of 61, but has still tied for worst in the AL with 30 HR allowed.

16 Baltimore Wiretappers

Record (Since Last Rankings): 24-75 (5-18)
Expected Record: 24-75
Last Week: #16
Notes: The Pythagorean record and actual record are both equally bad, which is kind of remarkable. There's reason for hope now that there's an experienced owner in charge instead of... well... no one.Josh Brantley and Greg Coleman have combined for a 2-25 record this season.

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