OBFBL Power Rankings #2 – Through Week 11 (June 22, 2011)

After eleven weeks and fifteen fantasy games played, it is now time for the second edition of the 2011 Power Rankings for the Old Bridge Fantasy Baseball League (“OBFBL”).  The OBFBL is an 18-team, non-keeper, head to head, points, mixed NL/AL fantasy baseball league that has existed since 1999 and is currently in its 13th season.  We will rank each team in the league based on their overall record, points scored, roster trends, significant transactions, and other general criteria.  Without further adieu, here is the second edition of the power rankings through the middle of May 2011.

1. Mets in 2011 (12-3, 1st place AL East, Previous Rank – #5)

Jordan has been on fire since the last rankings winning seven in a row and bludgeoning opponents with lopsided scores.  Joey Votto, Matt Kemp and Justin Upton continue to produce big numbers.  Free agent acquisition Eric Hosmer has been steady and consistent asJordan’s utility player.  His pitching staff has also been dominant with Josh Beckett throwing multiple shutouts, Tim Hudson and Jaime Garcia consistently winning, and the closer duo of Brian Wilson and Ryan Madson racking up saves. Jordanhas already won three weekly money prizes for having the highest scores in the league.  That should help him stockpile diapers which he will need. 

2. The Ewok Rebellion (12-3, 1st place AL Central, Previous Rank – #1)

Abe has backed up his words by maintaining a torrid pace.  He has gone 5-2 since the last rankings and is only bumped from the top spot due to the amount of points the Mets in 2011 have produced.  His pitching staff has been surprisingly good despite losing Bartolo Colon.  Dan Haren is a lock, but recent acquisitions Bud Norris and Ryan Vogelsong have stepped in and produced.  David Ortiz regained his old form and has carried Abe’s offense, which is still waiting for Ryan Howard to go on a hot streak.  First round pick Robinson Cano hasn’t hit his stride yet either.  The loss of Derek Jeter has made no impact on Abe because Jeter sucks at this point.  HA!

3. Benny Enjoys the Moment Being My Bee-otch (12-3, 1st place NL East, Previous Rank – #2)

Marc has opened up an impressive six game lead in the division and looks to be running away with things.  He has also gone 5-2 since the last rankings and recently acquired Alex Rodriguez in a trade.  This could be huge for Marc as the health of outfielder Hunter Pence is now in question.  Marc’s dynamic pitching duo of Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw has justified their positions as his first two draft picks.  The multiple closer theory has been up and down as Joakim Soria has been very inconsistent.  Jacoby Ellsbury and Brennan Boesch have provided solid numbers all year.

4. Fellowship of the Orange Veal Cutlets (10-5, 1st place NL West, Previous Rank – #3)

Maury has been able to hang onto first place in the league’s most competitive division.  He has Justin Verlander to thank for that as the Tigers’ ace put up 94 points in the most recent double-header week giving the Veal Cutlets a sweep.  The OBFBL veteran has little patience for non-production as youngsters Ian Kennedy and Jonathan Sanchez have been relegated to the bench.  His managerial style has worked thus far as he relies on waiver wire pickups to piece together a pitching staff around Verlander.  Ryan Braun and Brian McCann continue to be studs on offense.  The return of Adam Lind also gives Maury another potent bat to rely on.

5. Madoff’s Marauders (9-6, 1st place NL Central, Previous Rank – #4)

Joey I. has only gone 3-4 since the last rankings yet still remains tied for first place in the division.  The great Roy Halladay has been his usual dominant self.  Combine that with Yovani Gallardo and Craig Kimbrel, the Marauders have one of the more formidable pitching staffs in the league.  Credit Joey I. for his scouting team as he landed highly touted prospects Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy who were recently called up by the Royals. Despite being without Ike Davis since April, free agent Mike Morse has filled in nicely at first base.  Ryan Zimmerman recently returned from injury which is a huge boost.  He also has pitching depth with closers Jordan Walden and Sergio Santos sitting on his bench.  . 

6. Blue Horseshoe Loves Giant Douche (9-6, 2nd place NL West, Previous Rank – #13)

The Commish has gone 6-1 since the last rankings and jumped up seven spots on this hot streak.  Several of his big bats got hot at the same time, including Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes and Miguel Cabrera.  Josh Hamilton returned from injury to provide even more offensive output.  The Commish also made another trade acquiring Dustin Pedroia and Logan Morrison who have produced nicely.  Plus, the Phillies called up rookie Domonic Brown who was plugged into the Commish’s lineup as well.  Mark Reynolds finally started hitting some homeruns and even went a few at bats in a row without striking out.  The Commish’s pitching staff is still a work in progress, but the return of Wandy Rodriguez and acquisition of John Danks will help complement Cliff Lee.

7. Pap Smears (9-6, 1st place AL West, Previous Rank – #9)

Jared has gone 5-2 since the last rankings and has created some distance between him and the other teams in his division.  Now owning a three game lead, the Pap Smears have been on a hot streak despite being without ace pitcher Josh Johnson who has been sidelined with an arm injury and isn’t expected back until after the All-Star break.  Other pitching woes have forced Jared to rely on his offense as Jair Jurrjens has cooled off slightly and Shaun Marcum is injured again.  First round pick and pending free agent Prince Fielder has been dominant in terms of his power and run production.  Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre have also been consistent run producers when they are healthy.  The issue will be whether Jared can maintain his lead while waiting for Johnson to return.

8. Jewish Mafia (9-6, 2nd place NL Central, Previous Rank – #7)

If you look at Randy’s roster and see who has been injured or a complete bust, you would be amazed that he is 9-6 and tied for the NL Wild Card.  First round pick Carlos Gonzalez has picked it up lately, but overall he has not lived up to the expectations created from his monstrous 2010 season.  Rockies’ pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has arguably been the biggest fantasy bust in terms of pitchers.  He has battled injuries and ineffectiveness all season, and only just recently won his first game of the season.  He has not been the same since the second half of 2010 began.  Brandon Phillips and Mat Latos have put up very pedestrian numbers compared to what was expected of them.  And Jason Heyward has been ineffective and injured most of the season.  Yet somehow, the Mafia has continued winning.  Maybe Randy drinks a lot of tiger’s blood.

9. Len Tuckwilla’s Nuts Over My Chin (7-8, 3rd place NL West, Previous Rank – #6)

The final sentence in the analysis of Craig’s team in the first edition of the Power Rankings was: “Craig is known for fading in the second half, so hopefully he has built up some OBFBL endurance.”  Sure enough, he has gone 2-5 since those rankings and now finds himself in last place in his division.  Granted there is still plenty of time left in the season, but Craig must adjust to the trends that present themselves.  Troy Tulowitzki has cooled off considerably, and no one else has stepped up to be a constant offensive threat with the exception of Gaby Sanchez (until the Marlins’ recent slide).  Carlos Beltran and Todd Helton do not provide the same type of offensive dominance they once did, and Carlos Santana may be too young to be counted on for such a thing now.  Craig’s pitching will keep him competitive and in the race as he relies on Jered Weaver, Max Scherzer, Michael Pineda, and Gio Gonzalez.

10. RAD (7-8, 2nd place AL Central, Previous Rank – #8)

Amazingly, Matt has scored the fourth most points in the league yet is 7-8 and five games behind in the division.  During the weeks he has won, he has won big.  Other weeks, not so much.  Adrian Gonzalez has been outstanding and Andrew McCutcheon is blossoming into a star.  From a pitching perspective, James Shields, Jordan Zimmerman and Carlos Carrasco have all overachieved and provided superb numbers in all respects.  Unfortunately, Matt has not been able to consistently put it all together week after week.  Matt lacks a big power bat, so perhaps he should look into making a deal with someone as we get closer to the All-Star break.  He proved last year that he can come on strong down the stretch, so this is one team to definitely keep your eyes on.  The points scored thus far demonstrate what Matt can do.

11. Cole Hamels Adopted Charlie Sheen’s Kids (6-9, 3rd place AL Central, Previous Rank – #15)

In an interesting twist, the Philadelphia boys actually starter producing better after Buster Posey sustained his season-ending injury in a horrific collision at home plate with Scott Cousins.  While they cooled off in the most recent double-header week, Jeff and Mike exploded right after Posey went down partially due to the fact Chase Utley is back.  Mark Teixeira got hot again as April became a distant memory, and some of their pitchers had huge weeks including Cole Hamels, Alexi Ogando, Mike Leake and Huston Street.  They are still waiting for Jayson Werth to actually do something other than wash dishes with the excess cash he has sitting around from his ridiculous contract.  Andre Ethier has cooled off considerably since his hitting streak ended.  They should take advantage of having Utley, Rickie Weeks and Danny Espinosa at second base and trade one of them.

12. It’s Gotta Be Mooses…or Meese (6-9, 2nd place AL West, Previous Rank – #10)

The strength of Cory’s team, on paper, is his pitching staff.  However, C.C. Sabathia has won nine games but hasn’t put up dominant numbers such as strikeouts and complete games.  Chris Carpenter has pitched better lately but is still 1-7 with a 4.40 ERA.  Chad Billingsley is only 6-6 with a 4.49 ERA and questions from his manager and team about his heart and desire (and Cory moved him to the bench this week).  And Ricky Romero has pitched better than anyone but is only 6-7 because the Blue Jays do not provide run support.  These pitching woes, along with more injuries to Matt Holliday, have caused Cory much grief and angst as he has gone 2-5 since the last rankings and fallen three games out of first place.

13. This is the Business We’ve Chosen (6-9, 2nd place NL East, Previous Rank – #11)

It has been an ongoing struggle for Mr. Tuvel as he agonizes over selecting Hanley Ramirez in the first round.  It may be Monday morning quarterbacking, but Hanley has been a complete bust thus far and has also missed significant time due to injury.  Newly hired interim manager Jack McKeon put Hanley in the cleanup spot.  It is unknown whether he will remain there, but something needed to be done to kick start some production from the fantasy stud.  Evan Longoria looks to be back in his old form as he missed significant time with an injury.  Now after getting Hanley back, Jason has lost Clay Buchholz to injury.  At six games back in the division, it is getting close to the time where Jason will have to start focusing on the Wild Card where he is only three games out.

14. Admiral Ackbar (6-9, 2nd place AL East, Previous Rank – #18)

After starting the season 1-7 and ranking dead last in the previous rankings, OBFBL sophomoreMario Portillahas stormed back to respectability by going 5-2 over the last five weeks.  Even after trading away Cliff Lee, he is still getting strong pitching contributions from Francisco Liriano, Anibal Sanchez and Jason Vargas.  He now gets Joe Mauer back in his lineup after missing most of the season, so look for a continued upward trend in the standings as Mario digs himself out of a hole.  However, he must overcome the injury bug as players such as Rafael Furcal, Brian Roberts, Aaron Harang and Phil Hughes remain on the DL.

15. Montreal Espos (5-10, 3rd place AL West, Previous Rank – #12)

The first edition of the Power Rankings were done the week David Wright was placed on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his back.  Instead of panicking and make a desperate trade for another third baseman, Pat kept his cool and simply added someone off the waiver wire.  That someone is Greg Dobbs on the Marlins.  While he has not exactly torn it up for Espo, it demonstrates the type of fantasy baseball player Espo is.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out very well as Espo has gone 2-5 since then.  He does have some solid pitching with Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Carlos Zambrano and Dillon Gee (until this week’s game against Oakland).  Curtis Granderson has been one of the top players in both real and fantasy baseball thus far, but Espo doesn’t have too much on offense beyond that.  Shin Soo Choo has been a major disappointment and Billy Butler hasn’t developed the kind of power I thought he would. 

16. Dawg Eat Dawg (5-10, 3rd place NL Central, Previous Rank – #14)

Things are not looking good at the moment for the defending OBFBL champion to become the first ever repeat champion in league history.  Injuries to Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore and Justin Morneau, coupled with the horrendous numbers put up by Vladmir Guerrero and Jason Bay, have rendered Benny a low point machine.  He also became so disenchanted with A-Rod’s lack of power that he dealt him away in exchange for Alex Gordon and two mediocre pitchers.  David Price has been a solid ace and Erik Bedard has been a pleasant surprise, but Roy Oswalt has been a disappointment as his projected #2 starter.  Benny has always been a creative and intense league member, so expect maximum effort in his attempts to climb back into the race.  He better do it soon as he has a lot of ground to make up chasing two teams ahead of him that are 9-6. 

17. It Byrnes When I Peavy (3-12, 3rd place NL East, Previous Rank – #16)

Did you ever just have one of those years where nothing goes right for your team at all?  That pretty much sums up the Co-Commish’s season thus far.  Besides having the second worst record in the league and going 1-6 since the last rankings, now Ari has lost Albert Pujols for 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist.  On top of that, he has to replace Pujols with Adam Dunn at first base.  Few hitters have struggled as bad as Dunn has in his first year in the American League.  In addition, Ari’s ace pitcher Tommy Hanson missed a start but should be back next week.  Ari should be commended though because no matter what the status of his team was, it has not affected his ability to be a leader and sounding board during various league issues that have arisen.

18. Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams (2-13, 3rd place AL East, Previous Rank – #17)

For proof that the number of points you score is not nearly as important as when you score them, just take a look at this: Jim has scored 3,477 points and is 2-13.  Compare that to the Jewish Mafia who has scored a total of 11 more points (3,488) but has a record of 9-6.  The Sharks are on life support as they currently have the worst record in the league and sit 10 games behind in the division.  However, the light at the end of the tunnel is the fact they are only five games out of the wild card, and Jim does have a history of going on lengthy winning streaks.  The acquisition of Jhoulys Chacin has given Jim a solid #2 pitcher behind Tim Lincecum, but it hasn’t proven to be enough to overcome some large point totals accumulated by his opponents. 


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