OBFBL Power Rankings #3 (Through Week 14)
This is the third installment of the 2010 OBFBL Power Rankings. As I did with the last two, I will rank each team in order of strength based on overall record, points scored, upward or downward streaks, and my own subjective criteria. I will provide a quick breakdown and analysis and list each team’s previous ranking.
Here we go!
#1 – Dawg Eat Dawg (14-5) – Previously #1
Nothing has changed at the top despite Benny Greenstein going 2-2 since the last rankings. However, he has seen his lead in the AL West shrink to 2 games, so the pressure is on. An impressive 338 points in the double-header week was not enough to derail Jason Tuvel, but still shows Benny’s strength with the league’s best pitching staff. Roy Oswalt is pitching like it’s 2002, Tim Lincecum and Zack Greinke are pitching like Cy Young award winners, and Bronson Arroyo is always awesome against the Mets. Barring any major injuries to his pitchers, Benny is clearly the team to beat.
#2 – C.C. Ate My Ketubah (14-5) – Previously #2
Co-Commissioner Ari Teplitz must be given credit for succeeding despite the catastrophic loss of Kendry Morales. Ari has gone 3-1 since the last rankings and still has a 5-game lead in the NL Central. Miguel Cabrera has put up Triple Crown numbers all year and Kevin Youkilis has been consistent as he always is. Ari’s pitching staff consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright and Ricky Nolasco continue to impress, and his two closers Carlos Marmol and Jon Rauch have been producing like quality starting pitchers.
#3 – This is the Business We’ve Chosen (12-7) – Previously #4
OBFBL veteran Jason Tuvel has the misfortune of being in the same division as Benny because he would be in 1st place in 4 out of the other 5 divisions. Jason has gone 3-1 since the last rankings, including an impressive double-header sweep in Week 14 with 341 points. Vicente Padilla’s 57 points are probably more than he accumulated during 2005-2007 total. David Price and Jon Lester have been a dominant 1-2 punch in his rotation, and Josh Hamilton has helped carry the offense for the last month. The key will be whether Jason can overcome his history as a 2nd half fader.
#4 – Benny Is Tiger Woods’ Bee-otch (11-8) – Previously #5
Marc Stein is back in 1st place in the carousel that is known as the NL East after a sweep in the Week 14 double-header. In a bold move, Marc benched staff ace Chris Carpenter due to his matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez, and it paid off. Stephen Strasburg has been nothing short of dominant with another 29 points. Carl Crawford’s 50 points led a consistent offensive attack where all but one of Marc’s offensive starters had double-digit points. Albert Pujols still has yet to have one of those Pujols-esque weeks, but he continues to produce solid numbers. And WTF is with Jose Bautista???
#5 – Slappy McSingleton (10-9) – Previously #10
OBFBL rookie Matthew Abbott once again ascends to the upper echalon of the league with an impressive 3-1 record since the last rankings. Roy Halladay has not gotten into the win column very frequently since his perfect game, but he continues to pitch well and put up points, including 59 in the double-header week and an even more impressive 22 points in a loss in Week 13. Free agent pick-up Wandy Rodriguez could be a steal as he put up 39 points in Week 14. Adam Dunn had a monster week with 5 HR’s, and Vladimir Guerrero’s renaissance season has given Matthew a potent lineup that also includes Justin Morneau and Brandon Phillips.
#6 – Hoof Hearted (11-8) – Previously #12
Jared Levitt is the San Diego Padres of the OBFBL as he sits in 1st place in the NL West yet is 15th in the league in points scored. He has gone 4-0 since the last rankings and has ridden Carlos Quentin’s hot streak. Quentin put up an amazing 64 points in the double-header week, including 6 homeruns. Chad Billingsley has turned it around and the young Jonathan’s (Niese and Sanchez – yes, I know Niese spells his with an “o”) have pitched extremely well. Again, it will be interesting to see how the multiple closer philosophy works out for Jared as it hasn’t been successfully done in years.
#7 – Full Metal Jacket (10-8-1) – Previously #15
Joey I. is the biggest jumper in the rankings as he vaulted up 8 spots and into 1st place in the AL East going 4-0 since the last rankings. Josh Johnson has been arguably the best pitcher in the league (sans Ubaldo Jimenez) and young arms Mat Latos and Max Scherzer have given Joey I. a formidable pitching staff. Oh yeah, he also has Edwin Jackson who threw a no-hitter a couple weeks ago. Young guns Mike Stanton, Joey Votto and Evan Longoria have been hot. Joey I. is proving that his playoff run in 2009 was no fluke.
#8 – Jewish Mafia (10-9) – Previously #6
Randy Peltz has gone 2-2 since the last power rankings, but he could be on the verge of taking off as he gets Carlos Beltran and Jason Heyward back in his lineup after the All-Star break. First base has been a big question mark all year for Randy, as rookie Justin Smoak goes from a hitter’s park in Texas to spacious Safeco Field in Seattle with not much support in the Mariners’ lineup. Ubaldo Jimenez is clearly the best pick of the draft leading Randy’s pitching staff, which also includes Cole Hamels and Brian Wilson.
#9 – There is no Giant Douche, Only Zool (10-9) – Previously #3
It was yet another double-header massacre for the Douche as he was swept for a third time this year. While Mark Teixeira (47 points), Matt Holliday (50 points), Madison Bumgarner (48 points) and Felix Hernandez (53 points) had monster weeks, this was offset by the trainwreck that was Scott Kazmir’s -28 points, which set a new all-time record for most negative points in OBFBL history. Erik Bedard was supposed to come off the DL, but that has been pushed back. The Douche also has Edinson Volquez ready to return, so reinforcements are ready to go.
#10 – Death Star Destroyers (9-10) – Previously #16
Abe Strasser’s double-header sweep has propelled him into 1st place in the sub-.500 AL Central. Mario Portilla had been in 1st place all season until Abe’s 1-2 punch of Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia exploded for a combined 115 points. Carl Pavano and Andy Pettitte have also produced consistently for Abe, but his offense lacks any real stars. If Abe is going to stay in the race and win his division, he will likely have to make a trade for a hitter using his surplus of pitchers. Is Omar Vizquel available???
#11 – Cole Hamels’ Multi-Racial Children (9-10) – Previously #13
Jeff Mickletz & Co. have gone 3-1 since the last rankings and climbed right into the middle of the NL wild card race. This has been quite an impressive run especially given their team being decimated by injuries and having quite possibly the worst pitching staff in the history of the league. Buster Posey’s awesome 73 points helped offset losing Chase Utley, Clay Buccholtz and David Freese in one week. More impressively, they benched both Uptons and still swept the double-header. Unbelievably, Corey Patterson is still in the big leagues and actually contributed with 38 points. A trade for a pitcher is necessary.
#12 – 5 Finger Baseball (9-10) – Previously #9
Mario’s once insurmountable division lead is gone as he finds himself below .500 and tied for 1st place. It didn’t help that Aramis Ramirez and his 54 points were on the bench in favor of Eric Hinske. He had impressive offensive performances from Adrian Gonzalez, Rafael Furcal, Magglio Ordonez and Angel Pagan. However, Mario’s pitching staff continues to struggle despite A.J. Burnett finally turning it around. Justin Verlander has been average at best, and Matt Garza has had some rough patches. Rookie Travis Wood could be a steal for Mario. Boo-ya!
#13 – Jumpin’ Jesse Orosco (8-10-1) – Previously #14
OBFBL rookie Tim Catts almost swept the Week 14 double-header week but lost to Full Metal Jacket by 4 points. Tim has gone 2-2 since the last rankings and seems to be in dire need of pitching help. He could have had some from his own bench as Jason Hammel and Dave Bush have been pitching well. Lance Berkman has been revitalized and is putting up Berkman-esque numbers again. David Wright has had an MVP first half and helped carry Tim’s team. Inexplicably, Dustin Pedroia was left in Tim’s lineup this past week. Either he felt there were no better options on the free agent market, or he made a fatal mistake.
#14 – Sharks With Phrickin’ Laser Beams (8-11) – Previously #7
Jim Malloy has had one of the biggest free-falls in the rankings going 0-4 since the last installment. The blockbuster trade of King Felix, et al. for Phil Hughes, et al. has not generated wins so far, but that is far from the reason why. Jimmy Rollins has missed most of the season but if finally back. The rest of the Sharks’ pitching staff has been inconsistent and patchwork with Jered Weaver struggling of late and Carlos Silva coming back to earth. But with Rollins back and David Ortiz hitting homeruns again, the Sharks could make a late run and turn it around quickly. The key will be whether Phil Hughes has his starts, pitches and innings limited.
#15 – Len Tuckwilla’s Nuts Over My Chin (8-11) – Previously #8
Craig Kirschner has also dropped 7 spots since the last rankings by going 0-4 in that stretch. Things could have turned out quite differently had he started John Danks in the double-header week as he had 54 points in a complete game shutout rotting on the bench. Carlos Santana was a great pick by Craig to stash in the minors, and he is now producing at a high level. Craig’s pitching staff has been underwhelming as Tommy Hanson has struggled, Dice-K is never healthy, and the three closers (Bailey, Cordero and Feliz) have not been racking up the saves. Hideki Matsui has been relegated to Craig’s bench, so a trade for a bat is likely needed.
#16 – Mets in 2010 (7-12) – Previously #17
It was a tough double-header week for Jordan Maliavsky as he was swept, but lost one game by 17 and the other by 8. That could have been a huge swing had things gone Jordan’s way. The difference was Mike Pelfrey’s abomination that was -22 points for the week. It looks like the law of averages has caught up to the Mets’ pitcher as Pelfrey has been spiraling out of control. Cliff Lee’s trade to the Texas Rangers should help him with wins as the Rangers have a much better lineup and bullpen than the Mariners. A-Rod is heating up and can carry a team over a period of time, so Jordan should be in the race down the stretch.
#17 – What is the Plural of Moose? (7-12) – Previously #11
It has been a rough month for Cory Varrial going 0-4 since the last rankings and likely losing Jake Peavy for the year – again. Maybe Cory was too rough with Peavy during that one-night stand. One of the glaring issues on Cory’s team is the lack of production he is getting from his 1st pick, Joe Mauer. It seems evident that Mauer’s power numbers have been effected by the spacious Target Field. While Mauer is clearly a top option at catcher, he is not putting up numbers that the 5th overall pick should have. Nick Swisher has been swish-alicious, but Cory will need some pitching help if he is going to make a run.
#18 – Veal Cutlet a L’Orange (3-16) – Previously #18
Maury Weisel remains at the bottom of the rankings after going 1-3 since the last rankings were released. Maury’s pitching staff has been in shambles, and it is especially painful for him to see Wandy Rodriguez now succeeding on someone else’s team after he was dropped in Week 13. Jason Bay was supposed to be one of his big bats, but like the New York Mets, Maury has been greatly disappointed by Bay’s lack of production across the board. While still mathematically alive in playoff contention, Maury has a long way to go to climb back into the wild card and division races.
And there you have it. Feel free to respond or comment on the 3rd installment of the OBFBL Power Rankings.by