Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flapjacks Power Rankings Week 13

Let's dive in and see how the teams in my Yahoo H2H keeper league stack up against each other.

6/24 Flapjacks Power Rankings
(Season record and last week's rankings in parentheses.)

1. Adrian's Revenge (71-44-5) (1)
My team retains the number one ranking after a tough matchup versus one of the preseason favorites, the Dinos. It was a big offensive week with 17 HR from my team, led by Carlos Lee, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira. Hopefully Teixeira's 3-home run outburst on Sunday is signalling an offensive turnaround for the first baseman. His .906 June OPS is his highest of the season, and he's been consistently better in the second half of the season for his career. Brad Hawpe continues to hit well, and the team could receive a boost from a recently healthy Josh Willingham, if his back doesn't affect his power. My third basemen have been dropping like flies, with Ryan Zimmerman on the DL for at least another month, and Kevin Kouzmanoff has missed the past six games with back problems, though it looks like he'll avoid the DL.
On the pitching side, Ervin Santana and Justin Duchscherer continue to dominate; for the month of June they've combined for 6 Wins, 43 K's, a 2.41 ERA, and a 1.05 WHIP. The bullpen has also been stellar, shutting out the competition over their last 15.1 innings, but Javier Vazquez has been knocked around a bit the last month, and Ian Snell continues to struggle after a promising couple of starts. Snell has soreness in his pitching elbow, but it seems that he'll only miss a start. Some time off may help him clear his head, but he's been awful for most of the year. In other news, Rich Hill has been sent to the Cubs spring training complex to work on his mechanics; he's been wild in AAA and it's hard to know if the promising pitcher will ever contribute to my fantasy team this season. My pitching staff is in trouble, but so far they've been able to stay competitive.

2. The Balls (67-48-5) (2)
The Balls suffered from a bit of a power outage last week, but still managed to beat Summer Fox 8-1. Luckily the Balls have studs like Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez to keep them afloat. There's a lot of talent on this team, but they need everyone to step up to their potential if they want to win. Robinson Cano is still struggling, hitting .220 in June after it looked like he had gotten his season back on track when he hit .295 in May. Pat Burrell is still showing power but he's slumped recently. Milton Bradley has hit well this season, but it looks like the bumps and bruises are beginning to take their toll; the Balls have depth to weather injuries, but they need players like Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu to be productive. Luckily Albert Pujols should be back this week, giving them a much need offensive boost.
The pitching staff is hurting, but Zack Greinke and Edinson Volquez have pitched well as of late. The Balls need Jake Peavy to pitch like Jake Peavy, otherwise this team could be done in by inconsistent production.

3. Screaming Lemurs (65-47-8) (3)
The Lemurs had a very strong week offensively; Jermaine Dye hit 5 HR last week, and Aramis Ramirez hit 4. There's a lot of offensive talent on this team, and everyone's been performing well over the past month. With Victor Martinez injured for a while, the Lemurs need Jeff Clement to pick up the slack and live up to the hype, and it sounds like Seattle is giving him the chance to do that by making him a starter.
Brandon Webb has been awful in June so far, but Cole Hamels has been lights out. Despite a lack of closers, the bullpen is looking strong and Salomon Torres appears to have really taken to the role of closing for the Brewers. Santiago Casilla should be a good addition, as he was pitching well before he got hurt; he'll help with K's and WHIP/ERA. The Lemurs have a strong squad and they've stayed consistent throughout the year; I believe they'll be competing deep into the playoffs this year.

4. Val Kilmer's Asshole (67-49-4) (6)
The Kilmer's have a good offense, but injuries have plagued this team all year. David Ortiz is out for at least another month, and who knows how Andruw Jones will perform when he comes back at the All Star Break? Incidentally, I'm curious to know why Marky continues to burn a bench spot on Ortiz by not using his second DL spot. Even with the injuries, this team has a good offense; Josh Hamilton, Lance Berkman, and Jose Reyes have been great, and Jeremy Hermida looks like he's starting to turn his season around. One player who's performance has still be disappointing is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. His slump hasn't helped fill the holes at first base and catcher.
For the pitching staff, there's a lot of depth, but the Kilmer's need consistent production from Jeff Francis, Joe Blanton, and A.J. Burnett if they want to succeed. Burnett hasn't pitched well lately, but he has the talent to rebound, and Scott Kazmir and Ryan Dempster have pitched great. Huston Street has struggled, but Jonathan Papelbon has been there to pick up the slack.

5. Dinos (59-55-6) (5)
I picked the Dinos in the preseason to compete for first place, but their record has kept them in the middle of the pack. Despite their mediocre record, they have competed statistically and are in the top three in the league in almost every category. Part of their problem has been poor luck; despite having the league's best ERA and WHIP, their record in those categories is 6-6 and 7-5 respectively. They also have the third-most home runs but only a 5-6-1 record. Things are looking up for the Dinos, as for the first time all season, they have a fully healthy roster. Eric Byrnes is back from the DL, and the Dinos will look for him to regain some of last year's production. J.D. Drew and Carlos Beltran both had great weeks, but the infield has struggled greatly. Miguel Tejada has only 6 RBI in June, and Chase Utley has hit .229 this month. Chase Headley has produced since being called up, with 2 HR in 24 at bats, and he could be the second-half spark that this team needs.
The pitching staff, led by Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte, has been very strong lately. The bullpen is shallow, but Joe Nathan and Troy Percival have been very productive.

6. Macafeys (62-55-3) (4)
The Macafeys' offense struggled last week, and they fell 7-3 to Naterade. Geovany Soto has hit .200 this month, Ian Stewart was demoted, and Adam Dunn is slugging just .355 in June. Though the team has struggled to hit regularly, they have been productive in both power and speed. Still, it doesn't look like Jeff Francoeur, Alex Gordon, or Alex Rios will have the home run totals that were expected of them this year.
The pitching staff did well last week, but both Shaun Marcum and Carlos Zambrano ended up on the DL. Neither injury should require surgery, but Marcum does seem like he'll be out for a while. A little rest might do Zambrano some good, and maybe it will help his strikeout rates return to their previous levels.
The Macafeys have now lost three series in a row, and it seems a long time since they were in first place, though it was less than a month ago. With 10 games between them and first place, they'll have to start making up some ground soon.

7. Butt Admirals (61-48-11) (7)
The Admirals showed an abundance of power last week; Prince Fielder hit 5 HR and Vlad Guerrero contributed 3 HR.  Both batters appear to have come out of their early season slumps, which is good news for the Admirals as they look to become more competitive on offense.  The offense has talent, but they've tended to underperform, and the team struggles to find consistent RBI production and Average.  The Admirals need their star players such as Fielder, Guerrero, and Grady Sizemore to carry them.  Rickie Weeks is finally healthy again, and we'll see if he's able to produce at the plate as he has on the base paths.  Nate McLouth has slumped this past month, as has Dustin Pedroia.
Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang had poor starts last week, but Josh Beckett, Dan Haren, and Joakim Soria were brilliant.  Harang has too much talent to perform this bad, so he should rebound, unless all of those innings over the past few years are catching up with him.

8. Naterade (65-54-1) (8)
This team has really surprised me this year; they were easily the youngest and most inexperienced team coming into the season, but they've really performed well.  Despite their record, I think there are too many under performers and inconsistent players for this team to win it all.  Nick Markakis has had an all-around solid year, Russell Martin has been one of the best catchers, and Justin Morneau has been a solid slugger.  But this team needs better production from its younger prospects such as Delmon Young and Justin Upton, who have both disappointed this year.  Gary Sheffield comes off the DL today, and hopefully he can be the productive bat that he was last year.
Naterade has one of the best bullpens in the league.  Francisco Rodriguez is on pace to break the season saves record, and George Sherrill has been solid for most of the year.  Naterade has helped himself to some saves by picking up Ryan Franklin and Mike Gonzalez.  Felix Hernandez avoided what could have been a derailment to his fine season when the sprained ankle he suffered on Sunday turned out to not be as serious as was feared.  It would be a blow to Naterade if his young hurler were hindered by this sprain all year.  This team has quite a few young pitchers, and quite a few of them are putting together nice stretches all at the same time.

9. Self Indulgence (40-73-7) (9)
Self Indulgence's offense performed well last week, led by Aubrey Huff's 4 HR and Orlando Cabrera's 7 RBI, but they are still near the bottom of offensive productivity when compared to the rest of the league.  They hit for good average, but not much else.  Chipper Jones has been this team's MVP all year, but he's dealing with an injured quad right now.  This team needs Jones to play consistently if they want to compete.  Derek Jeter is starting to hit better, as is Jeff Kent, but Magglio Ordonez has slumped this month.  Mark Reynolds appears to have come out of his May slump, so hopefully he can produce some HR and RBI for this team.
Self Indulgence has a solid bullpen, but the team desperately needs help for their starting pitching.  Johan Santana and Gil Meche can't do it alone.  
What's interesting is that this team has two available bench spots that they're not using.  Pick up some starting pitching while Chien-Ming Wang and Carlos Pena are on the DL.

10. Dissect Yourself (46-64-10) (10)
The offense didn't show much power last week, but they did hit for great average.  Dan Uggla is the man, hitting .278/.384/.639 in June.  Brian Roberts, Matt Holliday, James Loney, and Jeff Baker are all hitting well.  The team has Troy Tulowitzki back, but he's still not hitting.  Neither is Jay Bruce, who's hit .235 this month.  News on Alfonso Soriano's injury is that the bone is healing well; this team could really use his power.
Lot of relief options on this team, but Carlos Marmol has struggled recently, and Brandon Morrow had to deal with back issues over the weekend.  Morrow should be ready this week to fill in for J.J. Putz at closer; Putz doesn't appear ready to come back for another couple of weeks.  C.C. Sabathia and Jon Lester both pitched well last week.
This team has a lot of talent, and it surprises me that they haven't done better this year. They've been consistently getting beat in the RBI and pitching categories, so hopefully their revamped bullpen will help them in the second half.  

11. The Tossers (40-74-6) (12)
The Tossers hit well last week, but like Dissect Yourself, they didn't show much power.  Despite that, the offense has been good lately, and it looks like Nick Swisher might be finally coming around.  It could be time to drop Blake DeWitt for someone more productive; he's hitting .185 in June, and the Dodgers could decide to give more at bats to Andy LaRoche at third.  Bad news about Travis Hafner: he's had a setback of some kind, and it looks like he won't be back any time soon.
Hong-Chih Kuo was a smart pickup; he's given up only 3 ER since the beginning of May, and he's struck out 35 batters in 29 innings over the same time period.  Derek Lowe has looked good recently, as has John Maine, and Manny Parra could be one to hold onto if he can cut down on the walks issued.  The Tossers can compete, but they need stellar pitching from here on out.

12. Summer Fox (42-74-4) (11)
The Fox are in the bottom 3 in every offensive category except for Steals, and they have been merely average on the pitching side.  Their offense has talent, but they can't seem to put it together.  Almost everyone has struggled over the past month except for Jose Guillen, and Manny Ramirez.  Kenji Johjima hasn't displayed the offensive talent that he did in years past, and it might be time to look for another catcher.  
Fausto Carmona suffered a setback, and it's not yet clear when he'll come back from the DL. Both John Lackey and Mark Buehrle have pitched well, but the rest of the staff has pitched erratically.  Daisuke Matsuzaka was disastrous in his first outing off the DL, but he should make his next start.
I'm not certain the best way to help this team, other then to ascertain which players can break out of their slumps and which players can't, and acting accordingly.  You might be able to get good value for a player with name value who is merely doing okay for a player to could be due for a breakout.

Let me hear your opinions and disagreements. 


Bobby Abreu said...

If Summer Fox is bottom 3 in hitting, and "merely" average in pitching, shouldn't his rank be higher than last? am i right?

Ben Westrup said...

He's posted merely average stats compared to the rest of the league up to this point, but mostly that was because of good pitching by guys like Fausto Carmona and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Both of those guys have been injured recently, and the Fox's pitching has suffered. It's not certain when Carmona will be back, and I can't give Matsuzaka the benefit of the doubt until he has a good outing. If the Fox has a good week or two of pitching, then he'll move up a few spots.