Thursday, August 23, 2018
1. Bykofsky (1)- You have to go back to June 6th for the last time Bykofsky lost a game by more than one run.
2. Pollock (2)- Not counting the 5-inning Goldfarb game, only one of Pollock’s other 15 wins had a margin of victory of three or fewer runs.
3. Fradkin (3)- Their offense is what grabs people’s attention, but no team has given up 4 or fewer runs a game more times than Fradkin.
4. Wallman (5)- Wallman has now won five consecutive games by 7+ runs.
5. Brock (4)- In a year where many teams have had at least one long winning streak, Brock’s consistently good team is one of only five that haven’t won more than three in a row at some point this season.
6. Granese (8)- It’s not how you start, but how you finish a season that’s important. Last year’s runner up was a pedestrian 4-6 to start the year but have since won 8 of their last 10 games.
7. Larocca (6)- What I said about Granese can also apply to Larocca. 3-7 to start the season but have a record of 8-2 since.
8. Schefkind (7)- Team Schef has fallen on some hard times after reaching their 11-4 mark and sharing a virtual tie at the top of the division. I blame their bad fortunes more on the high competition than anything else. During their 5-game losing streak, 4 of the losses have come against teams in the top 6 of the power rankings.
9. Lapine (9)- It had seemed that Lapine turned a corner, but Dennis’s club has lost some momentum after losing to Granese by 15 runs and Sarcona by 11. It won’t get any easier as they the league’s number 1 ranked team on Sunday.
10. Goldfarb (NR)- Not ranked last week because their forfeit was imminent. Missed games have caused Goldfarb to either play severely shorthanded(or not at all) at least three times this year. While these losses count, everyone knows the talent is there to make a serious run in the playoffs.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Power Rankings Update:
- Bykofsky(1)- Only two wins away from 18 victories, something that has only been accomplished twice this decade.
- Pollock (4)- The only team that has beaten all division leaders. One of two teams(Bykofsky) that haven’t lost two consecutive games this year.
- Fradkin (2)- Fradkin recently had a stretch where they gave up four or fewer runs in four out of five games. We all know Fradkin can hit, but it’s that kind of defense and pitching that makes them a complete team.
- Brock (5)- Justin Brock already has a myriad of impressive stats as a player. Having a .690 winning percentage after nearly two years as a captain is just as impressive.
- Wallman (7)- This begins the portion of the power rankings where there are five teams who have valid claims for being ranked 5th. I’m going with the team that’s been most dominant of late. Wallman hasn’t lost since July 1st and their 2.5 run differential is even better than Fradkin’s.
- Larocca (8)- Their 10-2 record over the last 12 games is second to only Bykofsky’s 11-1 record over that same span.
- Schefkind (3)- The steep drop in rankings is what happens when you lose both ends of a double-header while other teams remain hot.
- Granese (9)- Granese gets my vote for most dangerous, under-the-radar team. They haven’t won more than three consecutive games all season which is maybe why they haven’t gotten the attentions other teams have gotten. However, their 3.0 run differential is 3rd in the league and their roster consists of many key players from last year’s team that nearly won the championship.
- Lapine (6)- Like Schefkind, Team Lapine gets the short end of the stick for losing on Sunday. No team has a bigger Sunday coming up than Lapine. With two games, they need to be careful their one blowout loss doesn’t turn into a losing streak.
Sunday, August 12, 2018
- Bykofsky(1)- The king still be the king. Bykofsky now has four consecutive 14-win seasons. No other captain has more than two consecutive 14-win seasons this entire decade.
- Fradkin(2)- Lipomi’s injury shortens the lineup for now, but still the top 4 might be the most dangerous the league has seen this decade.
- Schefkind(3)- The league’s biggest surprise(at least according to pre-season writeups) has a chance to make the top two with a win against Bykofsky.
- Pollock(4)- Last week’s victory was a gift, so we’re looking to play a lot sharper against Applebaum and Fradkin this week.
- Brock(5)- Team Brock’s 16.2 RS+RA is the lowest in the league. Great defense always translates to great regular seasons, but the question is will they score enough runs to make a championship run?
- Lapine (8)- the hottest team in the league is doing it thanks to an always great offense and improved defense. Moving Krant to second base has paid huge dividends.
- Wallman(7)- Has a team ever responded better after getting shutout? Since that loss, Wallman hasn’t lost a game. And since their tie(boo!), they’ve beaten opponents by almost 12 runs per game.
- Larocca (9)- It’s been quite a summer for the rookie captain. WInners of six of their last seven, Team Larocca is part of the reason why the playoffs are going to be wide open this year.
- Granese (NR)- Ranking Granese only 9th says more about how great Lapine, Wallman, and Larocca have been than it does about Team Granese. If they can have more games like the 21-run outburst against Sarcona then a trip back to the finals isn’t out of the question.
- Goldfarb(6)- I can’t believe Goldfarb has fallen this low in the rankings, but this is what happens when you can barely field a team some weeks(or can’t field a team at all). When compiling a list of “Teams you don’t want to face in the playoffs even though their record isn’t great”, this team will be at the top of the list.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Monday, July 16, 2018
Did anyone see those rainouts coming? While May was almost a complete washout, we were at least anticipating games to be canceled. It’s a horrible feeling to wake up early on Sunday, psyched to play, only to have a short but strong rainstorm ruin your plans.
At least some teams got to play, so there is some impact on this week’s rankings. The league is now evenly divided into three groups. 6 teams are comfortably above .500, 6 teams are hovering around .500, and 6 teams are in danger of participating in the first ever playoff play-in games. This week I’ll rank the teams in the first two groups.
There’s limited commentary this week to reflect the crummy Sunday we just had.
1. Bykofsky (1): A split is not what the top ranked team was hoping for, and if the Fradkin/Pollock game was played, the winner of that contest would have most likely moved to the #1 spot. As it is, Bykofsky sits atop the rankings for another week.
2. Fradkin (2)
3. Pollock (3)
4. Schefkind (4)- Teams #2-4 remain unaffected this week due to rainouts.
5. Goldfarb (5): Beating a (short-handed) Paladino team is a step in the right direction for a team that seemed pre-destined to make the semi-finals.
6. Brock (8): Beating up on the struggling Team Sarcona might have been the jumpstart Team Brock needed.
7. Larocca(9): Larocca has been building up quite a resume lately with recent victories against three teams in the top third of the rankings (Bykofsky, Fradkin, and Brock).
8. Granese (7): Ideally they should not move down a spot for being idle on Sunday, but Larocca’s win was too big to ignore.
9. Paladino (6): Player attendance was an issue Sunday and is probably going to affect them this week as well.
10. Wallman (NR): Editor’s note: The Wallman/Jacoby game should be continued. There are no ties in baseball!(Unless it’s that infamous 2002 All-Star game which resulted in that ridiculous home field advantage rule). The Wallman/Jacoby result has major seeding implications with Jacoby potentially playing in the play-in game and Wallman in the middle of a tight group of teams. I say just get the teams together after their regularly scheduled Sunday games and finish it off. It’ll most likely only take 10 minutes.
11. Lapine (NR): I said last week that if they sweep a double header, they’d move into the top half of the rankings. Because of the rainout, that wasn’t possible, so the offer still stands this week.
12. Ferrarese (NR): This Sunday’s double header against two strong teams (Brock and Larocca) will be the most pivotal point in this team’s season.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
1. Bykofsky (3): For the first time this season, there’s a team other than Fradkin at the top. While playing the “This team beat that team so they’re better” can lead to a slippery slope, the 25-10 hammering of Fradkin’s team has to count as the tie-breaker between who gets the top spot. Bykofsky’s offense has now scored 25-21-16-21 runs in their last four games.
2. Fradkin (1): After playing unbeatable ball through their first seven games, Fradkin has only played .500 ball over their last six. I’m impressed with their ability to score tons of runs( they’ve scored at least 17 runs more than anybody other than Bykofsky) and ability to keep teams down(no team has given up 5 or fewer runs more times). Next week will be another test against a top 3 team.
3. Pollock(2): Tough to move down a spot after splitting a double header sans the best player in the league, but every team has to deal with missing their top player eventually. While I feel Bykofsky and Fradkin deserve to be #1 and 2, we’re owners of the best run differential in the league.
4. Schefkind(4): The two teams predicted to have the lowest records, a combined 15-29 are now a combined 18-7. Schefkind’s 8-7 victory over Marrone gives the team more one-run victories than any other team.
5. Goldfarb (6): Amazingly, it had been over two months since Goldfarb’s team scored 14 runs in a game. I mentioned last week that the game against Brock could be a turning point, and I think they’re about to go on a nice hot streak.
6. Paladino (10): We’re once again at the most difficult part of the power rankings, so once again the edge goes to the team that’s been the hottest of late.
7. Granese (5): The loss against Larocca says more about how much better Frank’s team is playing than it says anything too negative about Granese. Even though they lost, they scored in the double digits for the 5th time in 6 games, something they hadn’t been able to do even once in the previous 7 games.
8. Brock (7): In a year where there are several offensive seasons shaping up to be among the best of the decade, Justin Brock is having the best season of his “career”(Seriously, what do you call one’s time spent in Marlboro Softball?). The Brocks have a good supporting cast, and I suspect is about to go on a hot streak now.
9. Larocca (NR): After a 1-6 start, it looks like Larocca has righted the ship. The 5-1 record over the last six games is no fluke. It was known that this was a team that was most likely to start off slowly before realizing their potential due to the abundance of rookies on the team. One of the most interesting stories to watch is how well can Larocca play in the second half now that the team is gelling.
Right on the cusp:
Applebaum, Ferrarese, Lapine, Wallman: If any of these teams can sweep their double headers on Sunday, they will earn a spot in the top half of the power rankings.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
It was only one month ago when I was expressing what I considered was a common thought around the league: Fradkin, Goldfarb, Marrone are in a class of their own. Since then Goldfarb and Marrone have gone a combined 3-8 and even Fradkin showed a few cracks that hadn’t shown in their first 7 games. The competition in this league tends to even out in the long run and it’s a reminder that the power structure in the league can undergo huge shifts in such a short amount of time. With 9 games on the menu Sunday, we could be looking at a power ranking next week, particularly in the 4th-9th ranked teams, than what we have this week.
The Clear-cut Top Three (For Now):
1. Fradkin (1): With a 9-2 start, Fradkin can reasonably break the record for best regular season for a rookie captain this decade, established by Brock just last year (16-6).
2. Pollock (2): It took a Fradkin double-header sweep to keep us from the top of the rankings this week. This is probably going to be the only time in league history where a team exceeds its pre-season prediction before the second half even begins. In case you’re wondering, the best regular season this decade by a defending champion is Jacoby’s 16-6 season in 2014.
3. Bykofsky (3): It’s not often that a team gives up 34 runs in consecutive games and win both contests. Team Bykofsky has ranked in the top 5 in Runs Against three years in a row, so I’m not used to a year where the offense has to do most of the heavy lifting. Side note: This is the only team that has not played with a full 13 in any game.
The Crazy, Topsy-Turvy, Rank em’ Based on Who is Hot #4-9:
This is where the rankings get so bunched up where all it can take is a double header sweep to move from unranked to top 5. Any of these teams can look mediocre one week but elite the next. This is what makes me think there will be a 13 beating a 4 or 12 beating a 5 upset in the first round this year.
4. Schefkind (NR): It is the team that has been written off as “too old” that swept a double header in 100 degree weather. No one proved the critics wrong more last Sunday than Schefkind.
5. Granese (NR): It was only 7 days ago that Team Granese were losers of 5 of their last 6 games. One week later they are owners of a three game winning streak and have earned a spot in the top 5. For this team team to keep it up their offense is going to have to keep scoring they we they have over the last four games.
6. Goldfarb (3): On one hand they have lost 4 of their last 5 games(with the one win coming from a forfeit), on the other hand, this is Team Goldfarb! All the pre-season hype was well deserved, but this has been a rough stretch where the bats have mostly gone silent. A tough double-header this Sunday against Fradkin and Brock could be a turning point in the season.
7. Brock (4): Like Goldfarb, I did not think I’d be ranking this team so low this week. They are one double header loss from being a .500 team, which seemed nearly impossible three days ago when they were sitting pretty at 7-3. Brock vs. Goldfarb is the game of the week for two pre-season favorites trying to re-establish positive momentum.
8. Applebaum (NR): Here you are, Brian. The pre-season rankings ranked their defense a C, but it has been the reason why the once 0-5 Apple team is one win away from reaching .500. They have given up 3.9 runs a game over their 5-1 stretch. The 6.7 runs scored average is still worst in the league and needs to pick up if they want to continue their hot streak.
9. Marrone (6): I don’t think anyone expected Team Marrone to be under .500 and in 5th place in their division this late in the season. There’s too much talent here for this slide to continue, and I expect the rebound to start this Sunday.
The “I can’t figure you out because you’re been inconsistent” #10-14 teams. Any of these teams can take a jump into the top half of the league next week with a strong showing on Sunday. I will rank the teams alphabetically.
10(t). Ferrarese (7): The buzz was so strong last week, but two disappointing losses have put that excitement on hold for one week.
10(t). Harris(NR): It wasn’t long ago that Harris was riding a 4 game winning streak against some good competition. Since then they’ve mostly reverted back to the struggles of the early seasons, but the victory Wednesday night against Marrone shows the toughness and potential this team possesses.
10(t). Lapine (NR): Their second loss must have been excruciating. They are the definition of a team who is so close to starting a hot streak if they can just tighten up a few areas
Lapine, Paladino, Wallman
10(t). Paladino(NR): Here’s a team that seems to be slipping under the radar, but here we are at the mid-season mark and they are right around .500. When they lose, they lose big(Their four double-digit run losses are tied for most in the league), but they’ve also had quality performances against good competition.
10(t). Wallman (8): Some weeks I can see this team being a contender for the top 5, but now they’re on a three game losing streak including this week’s low point: a 5-0 shutout loss to Applebaum. On a Sunday full of double headers, I bet Wallman wishes they were playing two. They must be itching to get back in the W column.
Everybody Else in the League AKA "The four teams projected as of Now to play the infamous play-in game" (Listed Alphabetically):
Jacoby: It's been an incredibly unlucky and unfortunate season for Jacoby. Obviously their final record will not reflect the talent on this team. I hope everyone has a speedy recovery.
Larocca: Exhibit #1 why this year;s playoffs will be wild and feature more upsets than usual. Larocca is in the bottom four yet they beat Brock 20-8 and defeated the #1 ranked Fradkin a few weeks ago. They may be in the bottom four right now, but they've shown they can beat anyone in the league.
Randell: Any team with Clamp and JZ is dangerous in the playoffs. The numbers look bad but it should be noted that they've been outscored 33-1 in the two games Clamp has missed. He'll be there in September.
Sarcona: The obvious has to be said which is for this team to improve, the defense has to get better; their 15.1 Runs Against average would be the highest average for the entire decade. On the bright side, Austin Silverberg might deserve to win Most Improved Player again for taking his game to another level.