Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Power Rankings

After a long delay, we have our second power ranking of the season. In this post I will be attempting to rank the 12 teams in my Yahoo H2H keeper league based on how I think they will perform the rest of the year. These rankings are purely subjective and I reserve the right to change my mind on a whim. The rankings will show up intermittently throughout the year, depending on how determined I am. I will be including each team's record as it stands at the beginning of this week, and I will be naming a player for each team that hasn't performed well and who, in my opinion, will continue to not do well. So far almost every team is still within striking distance of the playoffs, so the next couple of months should be exciting as we see how everything shakes out.

1. The $5 Footlongs (71-36-3)
The Footlongs retain the number one spot from the previous power rankings, due in no small part to the fact that he is 10 games ahead of anyone else. The Footlongs have been doing well offensively, thanks to fantasy studs such as Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, and Miguel Cabrera. Jonathan's team has been doing especially well in the SB and BA categories. He's had some great pitching lately from Kevin Slowey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Edwin Jackson. Howie Kendrick and Delmon Young have been disappointing, and it might be time to give up on them. Adam Jones has had a nice breakthrough season this year, though he has slumped this past month. Jonathan will need a healthy Carlos Beltran if he wants to solidify his hold on first place for the rest of the season.
Player to sell: Delmon Young

2. Screaming Lemurs (56-50-4)
The Lemurs are currently in sixth place in the league standins, but they are only 4.5 games out of second and the stats they've put up this season indicate that they are much better than their current record. The Lemurs have a lot of speed and they've benefited from Juan Pierre's strong output during Manny's suspension. I've said it before, but this is a very well-balanced offense. Getting Aramis Ramirez back in a week or two will help a lot, but the Lemurs continue to get a lot of offense from a variety of players. His pitching staff has struggled a little bit, but it's quite a good collection of talent and I believe in their abilities to turn things around. When asked about his team, Posluch said, "I hate Mike Fontenot."
Player to sell: David Price

3. Orc Mischief (52-52-6)
Another team that I feel is better than their current record, Orc Mischief has put up some great offensive numbers this season. They've done a good job at picking up young players such as Nolan Reimold and Andrew McCutcheon throughout the year. Alexei Ramirez is starting to turn things around, Brad Hawpe is continuing to have a career year, and Mark Reynolds has been a nice surprise. The pitching staff doesn't have a lot of depth, but everyone has pitched well this year, and, with this offense, I think there will be a lot of 6-4 or 5-4 games.
Player to sell: Mike Cameron

4. Butt Admirals (56-41-13)
The Admirals have a solid team that is very competitive in the RBI, SB, BA, WHIP and Saves categories. Brad Lidge has struggled this year, but hopefully his time off will help him find last year's success. Ben Zobrist was a great pickup, as was Clint Barmes. Grady Sizemore and Joey Votto are back from their respective DL stints and the Admirals will count on their power production. The pitching staff has talent, but losing Edinson Volquez indefinitely shows this team's lack of pitching depth.
Player to sell: Vladimir Guerrero

5. The Tossers (58-46-6)
The Tossers have a lot of power and a great bullpen, but most of their success has depended on the strong starts by guys like Russell Branyan. Alex Rodriguez has sucked so far, so I guess I can't fault the Tossers for relying on guys like Branyan. Torii Hunter is having a career year, as was Raul Ibanez before he went on the DL. The pitching staff has been decent, but having Roy Oswalt pitch like the Roy Oswalt of years past would be a big addition. I think this team will make the playoffs, but not as a top-three team.
Player to sell: Roy Oswalt

6. Macafey (52-51-7)
After scuffling around in the bottom half of the league standings for most of the season, Macafey has made their way into the top half with some strong performances in the past month. They have a lot of offensive talent, but the team has underperformed for most of the year. Jimmy Rollins, Geovany Soto, and Mike Jacobs have all been disappointments, and David Wright has not hit for the power we expected of him. Derrek Lee and Adam Lind have done surprisingly well this year after underwhelming seasons last year, and Yovani Gallardo has been lights out for the past month. Pitching injuries have hurt this team, though Scott Downs, Roy Halladay, and Erik Bedard should be back in a week or two. This team has the talent to do well in the second half. When asked about his team's peformance this year, Tim replied, "We have not yet begun to fight! I wouldn't trade my team for any other on the road to the playoffs."
Player to sell: Milton Bradley

7. Naterade (56-48-6)
Naterade is currently ranked fourth in the standings, but I feel that they've been a bit lucky as their team hasn't been that good offensively compared to the rest of the league. Russell Martin has really been a disappointment, as was Lastings Milledge. Other than Mark Teixiera, Justin Upton, and Cody Ross, the offense has struggled for the past month. Maybe Andre Ethier will start to hit for a better average when Manny comes back from his suspension. The pitching staff has been very good, and Naterade has a plethora of closers, which will come in handy since Matt Lindstrom just went on the DL. Felix Hernandez has been great this year, and this could be the breakout season that we've come to expect from him. I think this team is a hitter or two away from making a deep run in the playoffs.
Player to sell: Lastings Milledge

8. Dissect Yourself (54-48-8)
Micah's pitching staff has done well so far, but I don't think they can keep it up. C.C. Sabathia has been disappointing, Wandy Rodriguez has been awful lately, Jose Contreras is old, and Gil Meche is inconsistent. At least Carlos Zambrano has pitched well this season. The offense is more talented, but this team has the worst BA in the league, thanks to free-swingers such as Chris Davis and Alfonso Soriano. Adrian Beltre is starting to heat up, and Chris Young has shown signs of life this month, but Jay Bruce and Matt Holliday have not exactly been carrying this team. Troy Tulowitzki is at least showing that he remembers how to be a fantasy stud. Micah had this to say about his team: I view my team this year like a bag of microwavable popcorn. My guys are playing great and you know there are going to be those last little kernels popping as you take the bag out of the microwave (see Bruce, Davis, Soriano, Young). And then I'll add the sweet melted butter (see: Sabathia - always a slow starter). Bon appetit."
Player to sell: Dan Uggla

9. Adrian's Revenge (52-55-3)
My team's driving me nuts. I've had some great performances from guys like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Robinson Cano, and Ryan Zimmerman this year, but it seems like my team can't perform well at the same time. Kosuke Fukudome has been awful since I got him, Cameron Maybin was a bust during his time in the majors, and Magglio Ordonez needs to get in touch with Manny's hormone supplier. Thankfully Colby Rasmus is starting to look comfortable in the big leagues with eleven extra base hits this month, and Jhonny Peralta's power stroke is starting to return. The solid veterans that I thought I was drafting have really let me down this year, though. On the pitching side, Ervin Santana has been a bust and Scott Baker has been inconsistent. I think Ricky Nolasco will continue to improve in the second half, and Jordan Zimmerman will end up having a good year if he can continue his great strikeout rate. Hopefully my closer situation will stabilize and I'll get some more saves each week.
Player to sell: Pick 'em.

10. The Balls (41-63-6)
Here's where we get to the teams that are most likely out of the playoff race already. The Balls have gotten some solid power from Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Howard, but they've lost Carlos Quentin for a month and counting, and most of their outfield is underwhelming. This team should have better stolen base numbers than they've already put up, but they'll need Jason Bartlett to continue his career year. Shin-Soo Choo is looking like a great draft pick. The pitching staff took a big hit with the loss of Jake Peavy, and no other pitcher on this staff is doing well this month. In regards to his team, John said, " The Balls suffered from an acute case of collective social anxiety disorder this year, but they have dealt with the issue and are now ready for a heroic comeback." John also attributes his early season struggles to a lack of "paying attention".
Player to sell: Phil Hughes

11. Summer Fox (44-60-6)
The Fox has been hurt by Carlos Delgado's injury, Manny Ramirez's suspension, and Garrett Atkins poor year, all of which have contributed to them falling near the bottom of every fantasy category in our league. Stephen Drew and Orlando Hudson find themselves heading in the opposite directions as their early season surge/stumble begin to correct themselves. Better performances are needed out of Kevin Youkilis and Brandon Phillips if the Fox has any hope of reaching the playoffs. The pitching staff has been hurt by injury and ineffectiveness and there's not much hope of them rebounding. John Lackey should get better, but I'm not willing to make the same bet for Joba Chamberlain, Daisuke Matsuzaka, or Chien-Ming Wang.
Player to sell: Wang

12. Order of the Phoenix (33-75-2)
Does Mark even check his team anymore? He has four DL-eligible players and three empty DL spots. Injuries to fantasy studs like Jose Reyes, Josh Hamilton, and Scott Kazmir have hurt his team, but he hasn't made any attempt to replace them. David Ortiz has found his power stroke this month, but Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francouer and Vernon Wells have been awful. Justin Verlander and Joe Blanton have been good this year, but Francisco Liriano is the only other starter currently pitching in the majors and he's been terrible.
Player to sell: Too many to list


micah said...

Good job Ben, another solid analysis. Can't say I agree with your assessment of my team though. There's no reason to believe that my team will fall to eight place unless you know that half my team is about to get suspended for steroids. Sure my team has the worst BA in the league but I have a winning record in all the other four categories. And most of these guys will hit their career averages which means Holliday, Soriano, Beltre and yes, even Uggla will pull my average up which in turn means that they are producing even more for me in the other categories. As far as pitching is concerned: Sabathia is consistent. I know, I've had him for 3 years now. He sucks at the beginning of the season and then he's lights out. Wandy had a great start, put together a couple bad outings but had a great start last week. I just picked up Contreras for a spot start so he's not even worth mentioning. I have to option to stream 5 if one or two of my starters get blown up early in the week and I have 3 legit closers. I rank myself 5 or 6. Now i'm gonna go eat some popcorn.

Ben Westrup said...

There's lots of guys within a few games of each other right now and the drop's not that far from 5th to 8th. You do have a winning record in most categories, but the numbers that your team has put up aren't much better than middle of the pack. I hope all your guys hit better (except when I play them), but I don't think we can assume that most of the hitters on your team will end the season with an average identical to their career BA. Your team doesn't stand out to me more than a few of the other teams around you in the standings.

Ben P said...

#2 was unbelievably generous. This might be the worst team I've had in awhile.

micah said...

Yes, its true that no one on my team will have an average identical to their career average. That would be ridiculous. But name for me more than five guys on my team that will end the year with an average lower than it is now. In my opinion Helton, Roberts, Bourn, Scott, and Inge have the possibility of ending the season with lower averages (I guess Rivera too but I just picked him up and probably will add and drop with whoever is hitting around the league). Everyone else has under performed in my mind. But like you say, right now there really isn't that much separating the middle of the pack. I guess I'm just a lot more optimistic about my team than you are, which is the way it should be anyway. Thanks for taking the time do these ranking though. Good stuff.

Nate said...

Nice work - I totally agree with your assessment about my team. Its not very good.

Plus - If anyone wants to buy lastings milledge from me I am all for it