Saturday, May 23, 2009

AL Power Rankings, Week 2

1. Oklahoma City Chickens

Though they've slipped a bit lately, the Chickens have a frightening pitching rotation that features 3 ace-quality starters. That's a strategy that rarely fails, so I wouldn't expect the Chickens' recent cold streak to continue. Star hitter Matt Shave is only hitting .295, so it seems fair to predict an eventual upswing in the Chickens' run production.

2. Wichita Sizzlers

The Sizzlers are locked in a close battle with the McCoys for control of the AL West. Faced with losing their division lead, the Sizzlers have been annihilating opposing pitching staffs, scoring 49 runs in the past 4 games.

3. Kansas City McCoys

Raucous's McCoys have gone 9-1 in their past 10 games, and are just half a game behind Wichita. Their streak features a sweep of Oklahoma City, which is no easy task.

4. New York Bombers

Well off their pace from last season, the Bombers are hanging on to their division lead by their fingernails, which are already bitten to the cuticles and smell distinctly of Jack Daniels. There's never any peace for whichever team leads the AL North.

5. Toledo Holy

Once imaginatively called the "Grover Cleveland of Ryan," factorganize looks like more of an FDR, in the midst of his third consecutive successful season. Toledo has been built into a serious contender to challenge the longstanding rivalry of Madison and New York, which have controlled the AL North since season 1. This team will continue to improve in the future, particularly because Toledo's payroll is only $55 Million, compared to the 83 and 84 of Madison and New York.

6. Madison Massa's

After starting slowly, Madison has caught fire, going on a 12-1 run. btkantz always finds a way. It wouldn't surprise anybody if he took the division once again.

7. Hartford Ascension

Despite a sub-.500 record, Hartford has a solid 4.5-game lead in the AL east. Hartford also sports a shockingly low payroll of only $14.6 Million. Here, milbredhawk destroys pullmeafredo ($25.6) in the "how low can you go" payroll competition. Fredo saves money by running the Burros like Billy Beane's Oakland A's. Milbredhawk 1-ups him, running Hartford like the Cuban National Team. In all sincerity, any owner that stays competitive with such a low payroll deserves credit and is bound to have an enormous surge in a couple of seasons from compiling a surplus of prospects.

8. San Juan Sixburghs

Steelforge put together a really solid team, but unfortunately, his pitching has underperformed. Jimmy Eusebio, Tino Chang, Vladimir Rodriguez and Vin Delgado all have ERA's in the mid 5's, but this does not nearly reflect their ratings.

9. Las Vegas Gamble

Las Vegas is in a difficult position, stuck 10 games behind the fight between Kansas City and Wichita. The future looks bright at 3B, as Everett Rodgers is having a big breakout season.

10. St. Louis Rustlers

St. Louis has the opposite problem of San Juan; the Rustler batting has been far below its potential. Star SS Albert Frazier is hitting only .236, C Dennis Heiserman is hitting only .259, and RF Gerald Monroe below the Mendoza line.

11. Louisville Loud Mouths

Louisville has had a rough season, and most of rdorrian's acquisitions have not worked out. Roosevelt Hanson, Charles Coles and Freddie Reynolds have not hit. SP Roy Robinson has been a disappointment.

12. Fargo Fevola's

Fargo is in a very unfortunate position, stuck behind the Bombers, Holy and Massas. Last year, magicman conned the Bombers out of Wade Hammonds, who has become a very valuable relief pitcher and part of a solid bullpen, the strongpoint of this team.

13. Durham Bulls

Durham's hitting has been fine, and four Bulls have BA's over .315. Unfortunately, their pitching has been terrible. The best ERA in their rotation is 4.80, and their team ERA is a whopping 6.94.

14. Burlington Ice Storm

Burlington has several impressive hitters, such as former Burros Johnny Stroud and Pedro Osuna. Unfortunately, the Ice Storm's pitching isn't nearly as effective. Closer R.A. Bellinger in particular has had a bad year and hurt Burlington.

15. Salem Lites

Anytime a team has a $92 Million payroll and isn't winning, something is amiss. Salem has a team ERA of 5.59 and is near the bottom of the league in runs scored. A firesale is the only solution.

16. Washington D.C. old school warriors

Washington is rebuilding, last in the AL in ERA. Superstar SS Craig Cooper could easily fetch 3 blue-chip prospects at the deadline.

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