Week 9 Power Rankings

Week 9 – Power Rankings

1) SANDVIPERS (20-4, 2-2 in 1-Run Games) – No surprises here. Week in and week out this team has continued to maul their opponents into submission, their run differential is higher than 5 teams total runs scored this year! Averaging over 7 runs scored per game, the Vipers are on pace to shatter their own record for runs scored in a season. The offense leads in Average (.336), Slugging (.693), On-base Percentage (.435), Runs (183), Hits (190), Doubles, (20), Triples (7), you get the point. This is nothing new, they have one of the top offenses every year, what is new is the now the pitching is also at the top of the PLW in ERA (3.01). If you are looking for a 1st Half MVP, my vote may have to go to Adam Tanic. He has been a force this year at the plate (.347, 8 HRs, 24 RBIs) and on the mound (9-2, 3 Svs, 2.51 ERA).

2) CAJUNS (16-8, 0-1 in 1-Run Games) – With a steady climb up from the bottom of the PLW power rankings, here come the reigning PLW Champs. Led by the manager Andrew Ledet’s quite confidence, his presence in the middle of the Cajuns’ lineup and his left arm, this is a team on a mission to become the league’s first ever 2x Champions. This is not a one man show by any means, the team has an On-base Percentage at .397, led by rookie Gavin Mansell’s .516 and 6 others over .348, the line up is unrelenting 1 through 6. And did we mention they have the lowest team ERA in the PLW at 2.34. Led by reigning Cy Young Ryan Ruesch’s 1.21, Ledet’s 1.90 and fan favorite Sashi Bobba’s 1.44! Adding PLW veteran Spencer Barrick helped shore up the outfield defense, don’t be surprised to see this team in another championship series.

3) VADERZ (17-7, 1-0 in 1-Run Games) – Just a bump in the road last week as the Vaderz fell to the Cajuns in their Week 8 matchup. The Vaderz owner Sesai Alarcon orchestrated maybe the biggest blockbuster trade in PLW history in acquiring former Pharaoh owner/manager and former Vader, Logan Christie, and Josh Bosnos from the Pharaohs for 4 players (see Pharaohs) to give his Vaderz an opportunity to become the PLW’s first 2x Champion. A rotation that now features 4 all-star caliber starting pitchers (B. Santiwan, Eder, Roundy & Christie) and adds lengthens the lineup with both Christie and Bosnos, I look for a big second half from the Vaderz. The pitching is one of the deepest, the lineup one of the most powerful and the defense may have gotten better if that was possible.

4) LIGHTNING (16-8, 2-4 in 1-Run Games) – I could probably, but the Lightning anywhere between the 2nd and 4th spots in the Power Rankings honestly. This team has been just as dominating as any team in the league this season. And they can beat you anyway you want, they can mash with the best teams in the league (.291 Avg, .505 Slugging, .402 On-base). Led by Tyler Hallead (.398, 12 HRs, 37 RBIs) and Bruce Huson (.343, 6 HRs, 24 RBIs) the lineup is very deep 1 through 6, with 5 guys hitting over .278. Or they can flat out shut you down no matter who is on the bump (Hallead 2.02 ERA, Purdy 2.30 ERA or Spurrier 2.33 ERA). And the defense is top tier when the attendance is there. Hopefully, the injury to Traut is not lingering as he looked a little hampered last week. And the addition of former Snapper and Gold Glover Jesse Capps solidifies the defense even more.

5) BOMBERS (12-11, 1-1 in 1-Run Games) – Are we getting ready for a “Bombing Run?” Winners of 8 of their last 12, the Bombers may have found their stride and are looking to keep building on the momentum from recent weeks. One of the few teams that have not been swept in any series so far this season. The offense has been less than expected from a lineup that features reigning league MVP Trevor Bauer (.310, 6 HRs, 18 RBIs) and last year’s Homerun Champ, Mateo Fernandez (.345, 13 HRs, 24 RBIs). Someone at the bottom of the order will need to find another gear to keep the playoff hopes alive. On the mound, the staff has been a Top 5 staff all season, with Kenny Santiwan (and his nasty knuckleball) leading the way with a 2.82 ERA and a team leading 55 K’s. It is doubtful they can catch the Top 4, but can they hold off the bottom of the PLW?

6) SNAPPERS (8-15, 2-2 in 1-Run Games) – Maybe the most difficult team to figure out this season has been the Snappers. The names are the same, the lineup still potent and the pitching staff familiar and the rookies are contributing. So why are they 7 games under .500? Is it the offense? The lineup features 4 regulars that are hitting at least .289, led by 3x MVP Taylor Bryner (.349, 7 HRs, 17 RBIs). I know it is not the defense, with stalwarts Shane Weber and Greg Kelley holding down 2 of the defensive positions and rookies Austin Topel and Adam Kennedy making great defensive plays every week. That leaves the pitching staff. And the inability to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard has been an issue, see the team ERA of 5.57. Which arm will step up in the second half? Someone will need too, because the innings limit and a different starter for every game is because of TB7.

7) LEGENDS (9-15, 3-0 in 1-Run Games) – I wish I could paint a prettier picture for my beloved Legends, but I cannot. I the last 2 weeks alone, we have won a game we probably should not have (thank you Billy Osgood) and lost 2 games that we probably should not have. But if you look back this is right where the Legends were last season (8-16) before going on a 14-game winning streak. Is that going to happen again, unlikely. But the bats are coming around, the team batting average has climbed to .248 up 15 points in the last 2 weeks. And the pitching staff has been solid all season, led by JT Church (4-5, 1 Sv, 3.00) and Billy Osgood (3-2, 1 Sv, 4.00). It is the attendance that has been the biggest issue, but that should ease over the second half. If the full roster is available on gameday, this team is playoff caliber. Let’s see what the 2nd half brings.

8) ONES (8-16, 2-4 in 1-Run Games) – That did not take long. Predicted to win 6 games all season, the Ones have passed out full plates of crow for those predictors to munch on. The lineup has produced in the first half, led by Adrian Gutierrez (.338, 12 HRs, 23 RBIs). PLW veteran James Stein (.310) and 2nd year player Tyler Peter (.281) have also been solid at the dish. On the mound, it has been Stein (4-1, 1 Sv, 2.55) leading the way with rookies Richard Parsons and James Ogburn following suit. The defense will need to get better. Too many fielding errors that have led to crooked numbers have been the biggest issue. Look for newest One (acquired in the Spencer Barrick deal), Kyle Baker to help at the plate and in the outfield. I do not know if this is a playoff team. But I said it before, do not overlook the Ones!

9) NIGHT OWLS (7-16, 3-2 in 1-Run Games) – Coming of a series win, sort of (they are leading 9-1 in a suspended game) the Night Owls are looking to build some momentum going into the second half the season. The offense is solid with a team batting average of .276, led by ROY candidate Malik Ogburn’s .364. And the return of Kyle Loman lengthens this already deep Owl lineup. The team defense has been the issue. Giving away extra outs has led to a league leading 32 unearned runs. And the pitching staff has not been able to help the defense out with a league worst 126 Bases on Balls and 55 Homeruns allowed. The team is very athletic and should be better defensively. If they can clean that up and avoid the free pass, this team should stay out of relegation. But if they cannot, relegation it will be.

10) PHARAOHS (5-18, 1-3 in 1-Run Games) – In a move that shook the foundation of the PLW, Logan Christie sold the franchise to a trio of former Vaderz (Battistoni, Hutt & Ibarra) to facilitate his trade back to his original franchise, the Vaderz. I know that Gio, Alec and Ethan are very excited about the opportunity to have their own team. And the influx of offensive talent to this franchise will change the trajectory for sure. With the addition of PLW veteran pitcher Jason Walker, who will now take over as the team’s #1 starter and Pharaoh holdovers, Barden, Baxa, Trask and Staggs the pitching staff should be able to keep them in games. And a new lineup adding Battistoni and Hutt at the heart, runs should be easier to come by. The Pharaohs have the pieces to turn the ship around, and with Ibarra moving back to town before the relegation tournament, it will be hard to keep this team out of the PLW mix next season.
Author: Brad Ogden