Who Should be Ranked #1?
Following the No. 1 Fog's loss on Sunday, plus the No. 4 Rapids and (unranked) Wrecking Crew's pair of wins, the Power Rankings are likely in for a top-to-bottom shake-up. The door is also now open for a new No. 1 team. Tomorrow an updated set of rankings will be released. Until then, here's a look at each team with a case to be No. 1 should (and shouldn't) be given the top spot...
No. 1 Bay Area Fog (6-1)
Case FOR: Losing to the Rapids by one run (14-13) is a "good loss." They're still the best batting team in the league (.401 team avg) with a deep lineup of talented hitters. Chase Johnson's pitching on Sunday underwhelmed, but is still posting an above average ERA at 13.09. The Fog are well-rounded, fairly consistent and incredibly explosive when playing their best.
Case Against: Both they and the Rapids both have a loss, but the Rapids won head-to-head.
No. 4 Castle Rock Rapids (5-1)
Case FOR: They just beat the No. 1 Fog and have the same number of losses. Jared Shagool's ERA is 3rd-best in the league and still in single digits at 9.51. The Rapids only loss is a "good loss" to the Bison (4-3) back at the beginning of the season. They also have a good win over the Wrecking Crew.
Case Against: Offensively Ty Johnson and Jared Shagool are feared batters, proven capable of making big plays, but statistically they are underwhelming. Combined, Johnson and Shagool are hitting .262, which is actually below the league-average of .285 and they've only hit 2 total home runs in six games. The JAL 23 season has featured an explosion of increased hitting and scoring.. Can we really put a team No. 1 that's putting up mediocre offensive production?
No. 2 Toutle Lynx (4-2)
Case FOR: Tegan Connors appears to have regained his footing in the pitching circle where, at his best, is one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. Offensively the Lynx crush the ball with a .325 team average. In their latest games they split with the Bambinos, beating them once easily (14-0) and losing the other in extras (9-8).
Case AGAINST: Toutle has been inconsistent all season. They struggled to beat the Sasquatches, Lawmen and Waves earlier this season and were beat by the Wrecking Crew. Despite being 4-2, they lose the three-way tiebreaker with the Bambinos and Wrecking crew (also both 4-2) making them presently 4th in American Conference.. It would seem awfully strange to rank a team No. 1 that's not even currently inside the playoff picture.
No. 3 Cowlitz Bambinos (4-2)
Case FOR: Picking the league's best team is a debatable subject, thus it becomes easy to fall back on the defending champions. Cowlitz has the deepest pitching staff and two arms in Erik and Colton Titus who've had flashes of dominance this season. Offensively they are similar to the Rapids this season, hitting an underwhelming team average of .239.. However, unlike the Rapids, Colton is individually hitting .391 and Erik gets a bigger benefit of the doubt for being the reigning Batting Crown winner.
Case AGAINST: As mentioned, the team's .239 average is hard to ignore, but even worse is their upset loss to the Sasquatches.
(NR) Chattanooga Wrecking Crew (4-2)
Case FOR: The Crew have a great win over the Lynx and no "bad losses" (Rapids 11-10 in extras, Bambinos 8-0). Matt Morton's 7.50 ERA has him in the Pitching Crown race and both he and brother Cameron are hitting over .300.
Case AGAINST: They are a hot team right now, but it's been a slow burn to get to this point. Going from unranked to No. 1 would probably be a leap too far to take seriously, but the Crew certainly deserve a top 5 spot and have room to climb higher with two games left (both vs Lawmen).
(NR) Kansas Lawmen (3-1)
Case FOR: Kansas is 3-1 and positioned 1st in the AC. They're only defeat was a closely contested "good loss" to the Lynx.
Case AGAINST: The Lawmen may be perched at 1st in the AC, but nobody expects it to last. Kristian Knight is capable of throwing dangerously good games on occasion, but overall his ERA is an unconcerning 21.84. Offensively the team bats .194 which is second-worst in the league. How the Lawmen are even 3-1 at this point is so shocking that nobody would be much surprised if they finished 3-5.