You can rank teams in so many different ways that if 20 people did it, you would probably get 20 different rankings. It just depends of what you rank them on and the rating scale you decide to use. That said, this was just done for some fun. It does not mean that the teams are as good or bad as I have ranked them and it doesn’t mean they will preform like I may have suggested. It’s just one of probably a thousand ways to rank teams. Me? I am not good with number so I try to keep it simple for me. Therefore, I ranked pitching based on a 5 man rotation using starting pitchers with at least 750 MBF’s. Relief was based on the top 4 relievers. A pitcher could not be rated at both. Pitchers were divided into BBW pitcher grades (25-30, 20-24, 15-19, 10-14, 5-9) and given a rank value for each grade,…so a grade 25 got the same rank as a grade 30.
The hitting rankings were based on OPS. For me, you need runners to be on base (OB%) to score runs and you need hits to score them. Because different grade pitchers turn different hit numbers into outs, AND since ALL hit numbers EXCEPT the power numbers 1 and 0 get changed, that makes SLG an important category for me,…therefore I used OPS. Again, you can rate and rank the teams in any way you want. I just did it this way. It may not be right, but it may not be wrong,…it just is what it is…a simple way for my non mathematical mind to put order to something that I wanted to order.
Las Vegas and Jack Street tied for the top team with a score of 40. Vegas had a score of 30 for their pitching staff and a score of 10 for their hitting. Vegas didn’t have the power that other teams had, but be careful,…they had plenty of players hitting over .300 and if those numbers come up they are going to be scary. Jack Street will rely on their bats as they scored an AL high 18 for hitting. They’ve got some powerful sluggers. Havana’s 15 was the next closest to them. However, Jack Street’s pitching scored a very low 22 compared to Vegas’ 30 (tops in the AL). Jack Street’s 1-2 punch of a grade 15-14 (13-12-12 bottom end) pales in comparison to Vegas’ 20-20 at the top of the rotation (18-14-12 bottom end). No matter, over the course of the season they should have fun battling for dominance.
Hanging right there with these two teams should be Middle Channel with a score of 39.. In fact, they could finish ahead of both of them. Middle Channel’s score in pitching was 1 point less than Vegas,…29. That score was 2nd best in the AL. With a rotation that features a 21-19-18-16-11 they stack up close to Vegas and their 20-20-18-14-12 rotation. Both bullpens are very good with identical scores of 15,…highest in the AL. Middle Channels hitting graded out at a 10 which was the same as Vegas. So, don’t count these guys out. They will definitely be in the mix for the Division Crown.
Trailing those three teams should be Chicago (35), KC A’s (35) and Lewisberry (34). Chicago had a 24 pitching grade with a 13 score starting rotation (19-16-15-12-12) and an 11 hitting grade. KC had a 25 pitching score with a rotation score of 13 (18-16-16-15-13) and a 10 hitting grade. KC’s 1 point difference from Chicago’s pitching came courtesy of a better bullpen score. So if it comes down to managing decisions, Stray is in trouble. 🙂 Lewisberry’s pitching was a low 22 with a 12 rotation rating based on starters graded (18-17-14-14-13), but their hitting was a nice 12. In fact, they have 3 hitters with an OPS over 1.000. If they catch fire they could carry this team to a better finish. Rounding out the AL EAST are Southlake (32) and Boston (31). Even though Boston had a 20-14-13-13-13 rotation, Southlake’s 17-16-15-14-14 was rated 1 point better. And Southlake’s bullpen also rated 1 point better , giving Southlake a 26-24 pitching advantage. However, when it came to hitting, Boston had 1 hitter with a .900 OPS which gave Boston a 1 point edge in hitting . Unfortunately, those scores don’t appear to put either of those two teams in playoff contention. Yeah,…that’s what they said about the ’69 Mets.
Continuing with the idea of trying to rank the LEG teams for the upcoming season (an idea that is surly to fail), here is the scoop on the AL WEST.
The top rating in the AL WEST went to Havana and Stratford. Both teams scored a 38. Stratford scored an AL WEST high 27 in the pitching category with a 13 score on a 18-17-16-13-13 rotation and a 14 score on the bullpen. Havana’s rotation was 16-14-14-14-13 for an 11 score with a bullpen score of 12 for a total of 23 to Stratford’s 27. So, it appears Stratford has the advantage on the mound. But when it comes to hitting? Well, that’s a little different. Havana topped out at a 15 with two batters clocking in with an OPS over 1.000,…tops in the AL WEST. So, look for Havana to make up any pitching deficiencies with bats loaded with power. Stratford;s 11 score for hitters didn’t quite match Havana’s but they are hoping their pitching will keep them in the game. Will these two teams be the favorites to win the AL WEST? Maybe. Maybe not.
Hollywood and Purry are going to have something to say about that. Hollywood has a good bullpen and a solid rotation (15-14-13-12-12). Look for that pen to be used early and often. If the pitching can keep the game within reach, the hitters wll have a chance to score some runs. With 7 hitters having an 800 to 1,000 OPS and one with an OPS over 1.000, Hollywood has the potential to score lots of runs. And their total score of 37 puts them right in the hunt with Stratford and Havana. Not only that, but Steve’s move to the AL puts him in a league where he doesn’t have to worry about making NL type strategic moves,…he can just let his team do what needs to be done. Right on Hollywood’s heels is Purry with a 36 score. Purry has what I call a counting staff,…a 16-15-14-13-12. With a good bullpen rated at 14, the pitching staff garnered a 26 score compared to Hollywood’s 25. With 8 hitters scoring in the .800 to 1.000 range, Purry’s 10 score fell just short of Hollywood’s 12 score. But remember, you have to play the games and the math gods of probability and statistics can change things in a hurry. With Havana and Stratford at 38, Hollywood at 37 and Purry 36, this Division sets up to be a real dogfight.
Following the top four is a group consisting of Wrigleyville, Cincinnati and Fort Worth. Wrigleyville had the stronger starting staff with a 12 score (16-16-14-13-12) just edging out Cincinnati (19-14-14-14-11) and Fort Worth’s (15-15-13-12-7) 11 scores, But, in terms of total pitching scores, Fort Worth’s 14 bullpen score gave them a pitching score of 25. Wrigleyville, with an 11 bullpen, scored a 23 and Cincinnati’s 10 pen gave them a 21 score. So much for pitching,…what about hitting? Fort Worth scored a dismal 8 on the batting scale to give them a 33 total score, making them a team that will rely on pitching throughout the season. Wrigleyville’s hitters came in with a score of 11 and had one batter with a 1.000+ OPS and ended up with the 34 score. With scores of 12,11,11 they pan out to be a balanced team who will depend on the skillful managing of the astute Paul Sixta. And even though Cincinnati’s hitting score of 12 edged out Wrigleyville by 1 point, their overall 33 put them tied with Fort Worth and 1 behind Wrigleyville. These three teams should be fun to watch and any one of them could make a move on the top teams in the Division. Watch Cincinnati’s starters. If they do well, the addition of 1 or 2 strong bullpen arms could move Cincy up a few notches.
Last, but not least, The Kansas City Blues come in with the lowest score at 31. The pitching staff scored a 22, 13 for starters and 9 for the pen. The 13 for starters ties them with Stratford for the top starting rotation in their Division. The staff consists of a 18-16-15-13-13. The bullpen is where they fell short. Some strengthening there could be a big boost for KC. The hitters? A score of 9. Second lowest in the Division. They will need some players to out perform their stats,…and we all know that is very possible.
With that I have finished the American League. Remember, this is just one way of looking at it through the eyes of (according to Stray, Steve and Nik) an old man. Who really knows which teams will do well and who will be in the playoff race. But, it’s fun (for me anyway) to try and make guesses. And that’s basically what these are,…guesses. Enjoy the year.
TEAMS RATING SCORE
Jack Street 40
Las Vegas 40
Middle Channel 39
Kansas City A’s 35
Fort Worth 33
Kansas City Bluse 31