Friday, September 19, 2008

AL Power Rankings, Week 6

Nine games left, and the race for the wild card spots are still wide open. The Bombers are reasonably comfortable, but there are still five different teams that could earn their way in to the postseason.

1 Madison Massas

Record (Since Last Rankings): 111-42 (11-7)
Last Week: #1
Magic # To Clinch Homefield Advantage: 22
Playoff Prognosis: Have clinched no worse than the #2 seed. They can clinch homefield throughout by finishing 5-4 or better.

2 Oklahoma City Chickens

Record (Since Last Rankings): 106-47 (12-6)
Last Week: #2
Magic # To Clinch First-Round Bye: 3

Playoff Prognosis: Barring something like a 1-8 or 8-1 finish, they will almost certainly finish as the #2 seed.

3 Wichita Sizzlers

Record (Since Last Rankings): 100-53 (13-5)
Last Week: #3
Playoff Prognosis: Pretty much locked into the #3 seed. OKC holds the tie-breaker, so even if the Sizzlers finish 9-0, they would need to the Chickens to go 2-7 to get that first-round bye.

4 Boston Badasses

Record (Since Last Rankings): 82-71 (8-10)
Last Week: #4
Playoff Prognosis: Their season summed up in a nutshell-- they have a middling, but losing week, but gain ground and lock up the playoff berth. Unlikely to stick around long in the postseason.

5 New York Bombers

Record (Since Last Rankings): 84-69 (10-8)
Last Week: #5
Currently The #1 Wild Card
Magic # To Clinch Playoff Berth: 5
Playoff Prognosis: Five games up on Chicago and seven games up on Kansas City with nine to go. The Bombers' next three games are all against KC, followed by three against Chicago-- unless they lose four or five of those, they're pretty much home-free.

6 Monterrey Acero

Record (Since Last Rankings): 81-72 (9-9)
Last Week: #6
Currently Wild Card #2
Magic # To Clinch Playoff Berth: 8

Playoff Prognosis: The Acero hold the tie-breaker over Kansas City, so a 5-4 finish would eliminate the McCoys. However they're only two games up on Chicago, and the Bearcubs hold the tie-breaker there. They're also two games up on Charlotte with three games still to play against the Winstons. They could still very easily blow what was once a seemingly comfortable lead.

7 (tie) Chicago Bearcubs

Record (Since Last Rankings): 79-74 (10-8)
Last Week: #8
Playoff Prognosis: They have made a great run, but if they're going to finish the year in the playoffs, they are definitely going to have to earn it. After three against lowly Durham, they finish with the powerful Bombers and Massas. Of course, both of those teams may be safely in the playoffs and resting their regulars at the time.

7 (tie) Charlotte Winstons

Record (Since Last Rankings): 68-67 (11-5)
Last Week: #9
Playoff Prognosis: Hold the tie-breaker over the Bombers and Chicago, but not against Kansas City. They need to sweep Monterrey to get the tie-breaker there. Thanks to that series against the Acero and the tie-breaker over Chicago, they actually control their own destiny.

9 Kansas City McCoys

Record (Since Last Rankings): 77-76 (6-12)
Last Week: 7
Playoff Prognosis: Another bad week leaves them basically needing a miracle. Winning the next three over the Bombers is almost a necessity. Otherwise, they need Monterrey to completely collapse and need Charlotte and Chicago to lose a bunch as well. The last six games (Arizona and Las Vegas) are all winnable, but this is a team that just went 3-3 against lowly Baltimore. Likely to miss the postseason for the first time since Season 3.

Everyone else: See you next year.

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