Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flapjacks Power Rankings Week 12

Let's take a look at the teams in my Yahoo H2H keeper league and see how they're doing. Hopefully I'll be able to do these power rankings more consistently, and provide more original content as well. Doubtful, but one can only hope.

6/17 Flapjacks Power Rankings
(Season record and last week's rankings in parentheses.)

1. Adrian's Revenge (66-40-4) (3)
Though my team has the best record in the league, I almost didn't give myself the top ranking this week, and it might be a short stay if I suffer a second consecutive losing week. My pitching staff has been very strong, leading in Wins and Saves, and we're also second in Home Runs, but I'm last in Steals and second to last in Batting Average. But then again, almost every team in the league has issues right now. Anyways, let's talk about why my team should be the best.
Despite inconsistent pitching from Ian Snell and Rich Hill, my pitching has been strong; I've had strong performances from Javier Vazquez, Ervin Santana, and Ted Lilly, but my success is mainly to do with a strong bullpen. With Brad Lidge, Kerry Wood, Jon Rauch, and Matt Capps, I can dominate in Saves and compete in WHIP, ERA, and K's. Snell has had a couple good starts recently, so he could be turning a corner.
Injuries have slowed my offense, but Mark Teixeira and Carlos Lee have hit well. Chris B. Young has struggled recently, and I need him to start performing like last year. Kelly Johnson has been disappointing since I traded Brian Roberts for him; I already regret not trying to get a better second baseman. Brad Hawpe has performed well since coming off the DL, and he could be a decent pickup for the second half. There's enough talent on this team to make it a strong performer over the rest of the season.

2. The Balls (59-47-4) (2)
The Balls lead the league in Home Runs, RBI, and WHIP, and they also are very strong in Runs and ERA. Their only weakness is a lack of speed; other than Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, there's really no one else that can steal 30 bases. But this team makes up for it in power. They have six guys on pace for 30 or more home runs. Pat Burrell has been especially good lately, rebounding from a poor April to .333 this month. Losing Albert Pujols for three weeks hurts, but it sounds like he could return ahead of schedule.
The pitching staff has performed well recently after struggling, and Jake Peavy looks to be healthy. Erik Bedard had an encouraging performance against Washington, striking out 8 in six innings. But there's still not a lot of depth to this staff, especially with Adam Wainwright possibly missing a month due to a sprained finger. Even if Eric Gagne regains his closer role when he comes off of the DL, the bullpen is still not very strong.

3. Screaming Lemurs (60-42-8) (4)
The Lemurs are not spectacular offensively, but they are solid enough to be competitive each week. They also have shown a lack of speed so far this year, mostly due to Curtis Granderson not running as much as expected and Rafael Furcal being on the DL. Injuries are a problem on this team, with Victor Martinez and Furcal out for another two months. The Lemurs could slump if overachievers such as Jorge Cantu and David Murphy have rough weeks. Ian Kinsler won't be a 30/30 man this year, but he'll come close.
The pitching staff is very good, and there's no reason why they shouldn't continue to dominate in K's. Clay Buchholz could return from the minor leagues soon and strengthen this staff, and Dustin McGowan has 3 Wins in his last four starts. The bullpen continues to be a weakness, with no pitcher guaranteed save chances, and not much in the way of strikeouts.

4. Macafeys (59-48-3) (1)
The Macafeys have had a rough last couple of weeks; B.J. Upton and David Wright have struggled recently, and Alex Rios hasn't hit a home run in over a month. The good news is that this team arguably has the most talent in the league. Derek Lee is hitting .348 over his last twenty-three at bats, and Jimmy Rollins has scored 8 Runs in the past week. But Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon have been a bit of a disappointment for those expecting strong seasons. Despite the Macafeys' flaws, they have hardly any weaknesses.
The bullpen is a little thin, but Tim's starters have been good. Rich Harden has stayed healthy, and Tim will need a healthy Harden if he wants to compete in the pitching categories.

5. The Dinos (55-50-5) (5)
It bodes well for the Dinos championship chances that despite the mediocre record, they still are in the top three of six out of the ten scoring categories. The Dinos have been very productive, they just don't have the wins to show for it. Ryan Howard has been a beast, hitting 2 HR and 13 RBI in the last four games. The Dinos offense is really clicking right now; 2/3 of their team is hitting over .300 for the past week. Eric Byrnes is the only really disappointing player on the roster, with just 4 SB and 6 HR for the season. Chase Headley should be activated this week; time to see what he can do.
The pitching staff has talent, but after Tim Lincecum and Ben Sheets, the talent drops off quickly. With just Troy Percival and Joe Nathan in the bullpen, relief pitching is not a strength. Clayton Kershaw appears to be improving, so he could help in the second half.

6. Val Kilmer's Asshole (62-44-4) (6)
Despite their record, this team does not dominate much in any one category. They have a strong bullpen, and their team has power, but injuries have hurt this team. Lance Berkman and Josh Hamilton have been great, but other than Jose Reyes, there aren't many other standout stars on this team. It's a shame that David Ortiz got injured just as he was starting to come out of his early season slump; now we'll have to see if his wrist will be a hindrance for the rest of the year. I'm not certain why Mark hasn't put Ortiz on the DL, considering he has an open DL spot. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hasn't performed up to preseason expectations.
Jonathan Papelbon and Huston Street have been good out of the bullpen, but the rest of the pitching staff has been inconsistent. Luckily Justin Verlander appears to be turning the corner.

7. The Butt Admirals (57-44-9) (8)
The Admirals offense is speedy, but they lack power. Willy Taveras should steal 50 bases this year, and Grady Sizemore and Ryan Theriot could each have 30. Besides those three, there are at least three others who could steal 20 this year. But when looking at home runs, there are only four players that could hit 30 this year, and I don't think that one of them (Vlad Guerrero) is going to do it. The good news is that Grady Sizemore has gone on a tear over the past week, hitting 5 HR in six games, and Prince Fielder's slugging percentage has rebounded this month.
The Admirals' main strength is their pitching; they have a strong group of starters, and their bullpen, despite consisting of only Bobby Jenks and Joakim Soria, is elite. Bronson Arroyo looks like a smart pickup, but Aaron Harang has struggled in May and June, with an ERA over 5.00. He did look good in his last start, so hopefully he won't wear down over the course of the season.

8. Naterade (58-51-1) (7)
Naterade's offense has been disappointing; if it wasn't for the surprising play of Ryan Ludwick, they'd probably be last in home runs. As it is, there is not a lot of power on this team. Gary Sheffield should return soon, but he's been disappointing so far this season. Mike Cameron should be a good pickup for power and speed, as long as you can survive the low average.
The bullpen has been dominant, with many save opportunities, though Ryan Franklin might not have the closer's role for long. Francisco Liriano has pitched well in the minors, so he could be of help in the second half, though his velocity is not where it was before his surgery.

9. Self Indulgence (35-68-7) (11)
The Self Indulgence has a decent offense, but no speed to speak of and not much in the way of pitching, especially now that Chien-Ming Wang might miss the rest of the year. Chipper Jones has been the man for this team, and he should continue to lead the way offensively. Carlos Pena is a bit of a disappointment; sure, he probably wasn't going to hit .280, but .227 and a DL stint just isn't fair.
Johan Santana is a stud, but he can't do it by himself. This pitching staff is shallow, but a strong bullpen has helped carry the weight. Gil Meche has had two strong outings in a row, and more performances like those would help.

10. Dissect Yourself (42-60-8) (10)
Dissect Yourself doesn't have much in the way of pitching, but they do have a good offense, though it remains to be seen how they'll weather Alfonso Soriano's absence for the next six weeks. Dan Uggla has been a great surprise this year, and Brian Roberts has really done well since being added to this team.
The bullpen is now more of a strength, even with J.J. Putz on the DL. Adding Brandon Morrow gives him four possible closers, and having Carlos Marmol is like getting an extra solid starting pitcher each week. The pitching staff could be turning around after C.C. Sabathia and Roy Oswalt were both lights out in their last two starts.

11. Summer Fox (41-66-3) (12)
The Fox is last in Wins and K's, and their offense hasn't been much to speak of. Adding Manny Ramirez will help, but injuries have set this team back. Paul Konerko has especially been disappointing, but Jason Bay appears to have rebounded from a poor season last year. Now we just have to wait and see when Colby Rasmus will be called up, and whether he'll be more like Adam Lind or Jay Bruce.
Daisuke Matsuzaka and Fausto Carmona should be back in the next week, which is good news for a staff that had been basically relying on John Lackey to carry the load by himself. Billy Wagner has been struggling lately; since the Fox is not going to be winning any Saves categories this year, it might be wise to shop Wagner around while he still has value.

12. The Tossers (35-69-6) (9)
The Tossers have had arguably the worst pitching staff, and their offensive production is in the bottom three. It's hard to imagine where this pitching staff would be without Joe Saunders. With Chris Young sidelined for almost a month, it's fallen upon Saunders and John Maine to carry the team, and Maine has an ERA of 5.40 over the past month. In the bullpen, Takashi Saito hasn't been getting many save opportunities, and Tom Gordon has had two consecutive bad outings.At the plate, Nick Swisher might be finally turning things around, but the Tossers still need Travis Hafner to be healthy and productive.
If Troost were to ask my advice, which he hasn't, I would say that he should shore up his offense by trading away his starting pitching. Put together pitching packages to try and improve the bullpen, making sure to get solid closers. Pick up as many solid middle relievers with high K-rates as you can, and then spot-start nine starters each week. The idea is to improve the offense enough to be competitive each week, and improve your chances to win K's, ERA, Saves, and WHIP with a solid group of relievers. If you're smart and a bit lucky, you can pick and choose your starting pitching matchups, with the hope that they will get you Wins and not hurt your WHIP and ERA.

All right, whether you agree or disagree with anything I've said today, let me hear about it.


Micah said...

Good stuff Ben, I can't argue with your rankings. I like the advice you offer Troost because I'm sure that he won't follow it since it is you who gave it. Of course since I'm writing that he won't follow it, the same logic applies and now maybe he will follow it... its a quandary.
A good poll question: Who's had the best/most productive waiver wire pick up this year?

Nathanael said...

i think brubakers waiver wire pick ups of carlos quentin and edison voloquez are probably the best.

Ben Westrup said...

Yeah, those are pretty good, though Volquez was more hyped than Quentin. Jorge Cantu was another good one.

Any other nominees?

micah said...

Brad Hawpe wasn't a bad one either