With roughly 90% of the season wrapped up, the playoff picture is starting to heat up. Teams are bunching together tighter than white cotton panties on a girl in heat. Below are the rankings going into the final 16 games of the season:
1. Las Vegas Dealers (98-48, 1st AL West) -- This team has gone 22-12 since the last rankings, showing no slowdown evidenced by the recent 10 game winning streak. They did lose RP Javier Gardel for the season to the dreaded shoulder Aneurysm. This hit in depth could be crucial come the playoffs. Despite this loss, it looks as if all roads to the World Series will go through Vegas, Baby, VEGAS!!!!
2. Charlotte Chickens (88-58, 1st AL South) -- Since the last post, Charlotte has gone a lukewarm 18-16. Barring a major collapse, it looks as if Charlotte will have the 2nd seed wrapped up, but this performance will have pjrobb a little skittish going into postseason.
3. Syracuse Comics (82-64, 1st AL North) -- Who needs edwzipper. This team runs just fine with Sim AI running the reigns. Since last post, Comics have gone 23-9 and is now holding the 3 seed in the AL. Not sure what edwzipper has done to 'manage' this team, but I need tips to be able to have that success.
4. Iowa City Independence (80-66, 2nd AL West) -- carlspenard is at it again. A late season push has rallied this team into the 1st Wild Card seed.....AGAIN. Posting a 22-12 record since last post, their latest push included a 6-1 head-to-head record against Norfolk, a sweep of Charlotte, and 3 out of 4 against New York.
5. Norfolk Phanatics (80-66, 1st AL East) -- The only division leader to be BELOW .500 since last post (16-18) it has the disclaimer of being the best underachiever in the AL right now. Losing Al Gandarillas and Alex Dunham has definitely put a strain on the pitching staff. They hold their fate with the season winding down.
6. Cleveland Indians (79-67, 2nd AL North) -- Right now, ajb's squad holds the last Wild Card spot, but it has lost grip on 1st Place to red-hot Comics after posting an 18-16 record since last post. If Cleveland is to make the postseason, they will have to hold their own during the next 3 series (4 @ Iowa City, 4 @ Norfolk, 3 vs. Syracuse). Yikes!
7. New York Mutuals (78-68, 2nd AL East) -- After leading the East for the majority of the season, the Mutuals now stand with no ticket to the postseason party. They have lost their last 7 series, which simply CANNOT happen if you plan on making it to the postseason. They will have to reverse their 13-21 record since last post to have any chance. Key series at home against Charlotte and at Norfolk will more than likely determine piratestros' fate.
8. Richmond Rattlers (74-72, 2nd AL South) -- tafkadave has a slight chance of recording his best season with the Richmond Rattlers (Rattlers went 83-79 in Season 7). Sweeping Cleveland has given this team continued hopes for postseason, but will need to sustain that momentum in series against Norfolk and Charlotte to make that hope a reality.
9. Boise Bats (72-74, 3rd AL North) -- renrog's squad has posted a 20-14 record since last post, including imressive series wins over New York and Charlotte. Despite that, it looks as if the Bats will be seeing their 4th consecutive downward trend in standings barring a spectacular finish (will need to finish 13-3 to finish better than last season's 84-78 finish).
10. Salem Argonauts (71-75, 3rd AL West) -- Playing in the west is tough enough with Las Vegas and Iowa City constantly in your way. It makes it tougher when your team ERA is over 5 after 146 games. Expect this team to look for some serious pitching help in the offseason.
11. Tampa Bay Crowns (70-76, 3rd AL South) -- Going 18-16 since last post, deaconsoule had a good season once Prince was put back into the rotation. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for this squad as they will also see a 4th consecutive downward trend in standings.
12. Monterrey Cucarachas (61-85, 4th AL South) -- It looks as if mgdtiger will avoid the late season fatigue factor and finish off the season with some fight. Since last post, the Cockroaches have posted a 14-22 record. Don't let that fool you though. This team is dawg-tired on the offensive side (5 starters are less than 100%, and 2 of those are less than 90%).
13. Pittsburgh Sluggers (58-88, 3rd AL East) -- larr100 has shown some life since the last post, going 17-17 and winning some decent series against Las Vegas, Syracuse and Salem (twice). Hopefully this will be something for the Sluggers to build off of for next season.
14. Seattle Pilots (57-89, 4th AL North) -- Since the last post, it seems that the Pilots have gone missing. Going 12-24 since last post, they have not won any of the last 9 series (2 4-game series were split). The highlight for Hextall is that this team has already matched last season's win output, so anything in the last 16 games will be gravy.
15. Philadelphia Phillies (53-93, 4th AL East) -- bball10 will need to hire a fielding GENIUS next season to improve on this team. Expect to see bball be a mover and shaker in the offseason.
16. Vancouver Asteroids (53-93, 4th AL West) -- brooklypunx looks to be starting the process of cleaning house. Trading future HOF Bernie Gongora back to Houston, losing Willis Munoz to Pittsburgh via Waivers, along with other trades made earlier this season, he saved himself $42MM. However, he will need to continue to wheel and deal if he is to have any chance of a quick turnaround from this season.
That is all for now. The NL Power Rankings will be out either later today or tomorrow.