Previous Rank: 5
For the first time all season the Sluggers are firing on all cylinders and ironically enough it’s the pitching staff that is finally pulling it’s weight. The return of 2-time Cy Young award winner Wendal Kinkade has lifted follow pitchers Flip McCall and Timothy Ducey back to their normal levels. A post-allstar break run including a sweep in Altanta has stretched the divison lead to 7 games.
A recent injury to former MVP Ted Bolick who is lost for most of the regular season keeps me from pushing my team higher. Behind SF the Sluggers boast the 2nd highest exp. win % and the 3rd highest actual win %
4. Little Rock
Previous Rank: 3
As I am sure you noticed this list is “light” on NL teams. It may be an AL owner bias but this year even more so than other seasons the balance of power seems to have shifted to the AL. That said the last 5 titles have come out of the AL, so there is some historical basis.
Little Rock slips to three due to no fault of their own, just two teams have been more impressive over the middle third of the season. Little Rock sits 1 GB back of LA for the 1 seed in the NL
3. Los Angeles
Previous Rank: 4
LA started the season strong and has continued the run with enough authority to take the number one spot in the NL (both in power ranks and actual record), yes LA is the 3rd and final NL team in the power ranks. LA has made three trades this season but all three have directly impacted their ML roster, by my count since the beginning of the season through the trade route LA has upgraded 3 of their 5 SP spots, added 2 strong bullpen arms (including a recent deal for Ivan Pena) & significantly upgraded their CF spot. These moves have positioned the Baja Racers to knock the Renegades off for the first time in 5 seasons.
Previous Rank: 6
To be completely honest I was flip-flopping on whether it would be Washington or Louisville in the 2-spot. It wasn’t the threat of being called a homer that stopped me short. It was the previously mentioned Ted Bolick injury which caused me to give Washington the nod.
After the last power ranks lets_try mentioned that being ranked 6th was an insult and motivation for his team………well he proved to be prophetic. Since the last power ranks Washington has been one of the hottest teams and holds a commanding 23 game lead in the AL East over Columbus. If Let_try sees a 2-rank an insult his team may decide not to lose another game for the season.
1. San Francisco
Previous Rank: 2
SF was the team I originally wanted to put at number 1 to start the season but in the words of Rick Flair “To be the champ you have to beat the champ…….Wooooooo”. With that in mind I gave the nod to the Back to Back champ NB. For the first time this season the Night Demons ascend to number 1 in the ranks. With roster expansion today, I know that SF will be calling up some reinforcements for the post-season which given the fact my team resides in the AL is frankly……..scary.
The Night Demons have the highest exp win % in the AL and fall a couple percentage points of LA for the world lead.