Let me just say that this was not an easy list to put together. Despite pool play providing much better information about how teams stack up within pools, and how the divisions stack up against each other (Hint: John Brown OP). I also found that it tended to convolute and contradict what I thought I knew about teams when trying to compare teams from different pools.
Take this case for example:
Consider the Ghosts, 0-3 in the 3 pool and being outscored by an average of 8 runs a game by the likes of the Woost, Sacred Sword, and Chalmersiz.
On the other hand, Los Matadores are 2-1 in the 4 pool and scoring almost 3 runs for each they give up. They’ve played the Harpies (W), Rats (W), and Corksuckers (L).
So, which team would you rank higher?
Keep in mind, the Ghosts are losing to better competition than Los Mats are beating. Furthermore, back in week 4, the Ghosts beat the Matadores 9-7 in a head to head match. so it stands to reason that if the Ghosts were in the 4 pool instead of the 3 pool, then they might be cleaning house right now. That said, teams develop throughout the year, players get added, they improve, get injured, etc. Perhaps, then, that week four game isn’t as telling as one might first think. So, how much more heavily do you weigh recent games to games over a month ago?
I don’t have the answer.
I just point this out to show you the contradictory, pseudoscience, eye test, crap that is going into this behind the scenes. No method is perfect, or “right”. In the end, my goal is just to put together the best ranking I can based on 2 parts resume, and 1 part subjective opinion on who I think would win if the two teams played today.
Here’s what I came up with through 8 weeks of play. All stats from pool play.
#1 Kansas Tree Care | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 18 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 2|
#2 Channel 6 | — | 2-1 | Points For: 19 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 3 |
#3 Wildman Attack Force | 2-1 | 3-0 | Points For: 16 | Points Against: 15 |WK 1 Rank: 4 |
#4 Muddy Waters | ↑7 | 2-1 | Points For: 29 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 10 |
#5 Happy Shirt | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 21 | Points Against: 23 |WK 1 Rank: 1 |
#6 Red Legs | ↑6 | 3-0 | Points For: 33 | Points Against: 18 |WK 1 Rank: 13 |
#7 Love Garden | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 31| Points Against: 26 |WK 1 Rank: 7 |
#8 Chalmersiz | — | 3-0 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 12 |WK 1 Rank: 6 |
#9 Free State | ↓3 | 0-3 | Points For: 16 | Points Against: 29 |WK 1 Rank: 11 |
#10 Hurtz Donut D-Holes | ↓5 | 1-2 | Points For: 22 | Points Against: 27 |WK 1 Rank: 8 |
#11 Red Lyon | ↓4 | 2-1 | Points For: 40 | Points Against: 38 |WK 1 Rank: 5 |
#12 Goats | ↓3 | 1-2 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 25 | WK 1 Rank: 14 |
#13 Merchants of Death | ↑2 | 3-0 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 15 | WK 1 Rank: 16 |
#14 Rockets | — | 0-3 | Points For: 23 | Points Against: 35 | WK 1 Rank: 18 |
#15 Das Boot | ↓2 | 1-2 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 20 | WK 1 Rank: 9 |
#16 Pawsh Wash | ↑4 | 3-0 | Points For: 13 | Points Against: 9 | WK 1 Rank: 17 |
#17 Corksuckers | ↑2 | 2-1 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 20 | WK 1 Rank: 15 |
#18 Woost | ↓1 | 1-2 | Points For: 20 | Points Against: 31 | WK 1 Rank: 12 |
#19 Los Matadores | ↑2 | 2-1 | Points For: 43 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 19 |
#20 Sacred Sword | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 24 | Points Against: 45 | WK 1 Rank: 29 |
#21 Rats | ↑1 | 2-1 | Points For: 22 | Points Against: 12 | WK 1 Rank: 20 |
#22 Ghosts | ↓4 | 0-3 | Points For: 27 | Points Against: 51 | WK 1 Rank: 23 |
#23 Leeway Franks | ↑7 | 2-1 | Points For: 42 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 24 |
#24 Where’s My Pitches | ↑1 | 2-1 | Points For: 38 | Points Against: 28 |WK 1 Rank: 21 |
#25 Jazzhaus | ↑3 | 0-3 | Points For: 8 | Points Against: 17 | WK 1 Rank: 28 |
#26 AsteroidHEAD | ↑3 | 3-0 | Points For: 68 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 27 |
#27 Screamers | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 14 | Points Against: 16 | WK 1 Rank: 26 |
#28 Harpies | ↓4 | 0-3 | Points For: 7 | Points Against: 43 | WK 1 Rank: 32 |
#29 Brewballers | ↓2 | 1-2 | Points For: 28 | Points Against: 33 | WK 1 Rank: 34 |
#30 Bad News Bagels | ↑3 | 2-1 | Points For: 36 | Points Against: 49 | WK 1 Rank: 30 |
#31 Johnny’s Tavern | ↑1 | 3-0 | Points For: 44 | Points Against: 19 | WK 1 Rank: 22 |
#32 Late Fees | ↓4 | 1-2 | Points For: 9| Points Against: 24 | WK 1 Rank: 25 |
#33 Repetition Coffee |↑1 | 1-2 | Points For: 26 | Points Against: 49 | WK 1 Rank: 35 |
#34 Nick Lerner’s Homies | ↓3 | 1-2 | Points For: 49 | Points Against: 32 | WK 1 Rank: 31 |
#35 Grandstand Glasskickers | ↑1 | 1-2| Points For: 16 | Points Against: 31 |WK 1 Rank: 33 |
#36 Leafy Greens | ↓1 | 0-3 | Points For: 8 | Points Against: 61 | WK 1 Rank: 35 |
Couple of things worth pointing out…
The three teams that exceeded expectations the most:
3. Muddy Waters
They are sitting at 4th on the power ranking, 6 places above their initial ranking. I knew this team would be good going into the season, but over the past couple years this squad seemed to come up just short, failing to find that big win to put themselves on the map. Not the case this year. See week 7: Muddy Waters 10 – Happy Shirt 8
Say what you will about Muddy Waters deserving to be in 1 pool, and I’d probably agree that we need a more comprehensive tie-breaker, but they have taken the opportunity presented to them and used it as a spring board to the upper echelon of KVKL teams.
2. Red Legs
At 6 on the power ranking, the Red Legs have shot up 7 places from their initial placement. I didn’t quite buy into the hype about this team heading into the season, and that was a mistake. They are the real deal, and run aggressively enough to give even the most experienced infields problems.
1. Sacred Sword
Going into the season I heard grumblings about whether or not the once power house team would even get a roster together. After their week 1 22-2 schalacking by (9) Free State, I thought they might just pack it up and slapped them with a week 1 ranking of 29th. Clearly I went overboard, as Sacred Sword fought back finding their way into the 3 pool, and even after falling a few places after a 1-2 pool play start, they sit 9 places above their initial ranking.
Three teams I thought would be better:
3. Woost/Red Lyon
Both of these teams tie with a 6 spot drop from the week 1 rankings. Red Lyon came into the season off of a second place in the tournament last year, and their results so far have been good, 4-1 in ranked play and 2-1 in pool thus far. The results just haven’t been good enough to keep them in the top 5 where they started. Of course Red Lyon wouldn’t be Red Lyon if they weren’t going to be underrated heading into the playoffs.
Woost for their part seems to just be struggling to find their identity. At the beginning of the year their problem seemed to be on the defensive side of things, but thus far in pool play they have struggled to find their footing offensively, scoring a combined four points against the top of the 3 pool, (13) Merchants of Death and (8) Chalmersiz. They’ll need a solid showing against Das Boot and Sacred Sword for the sake of tournament seeding.
2. Late Fees
Late Fees has fallen 7 spots from their initial ranking of 25. I think this is more of case of myself just not knowing much about them in week 1, and giving them points for experience than anything else. As it stands now, however, their two wins are a 1 run victory over (36) Leafy greens, and a 2 run victory over (27) Screamers. The latter of which, I reffed, and if they played like they did in that game every week, then I they’d still be hovering around their initial ranking.
1. Johnny’s Tavern
Johnny’s Tavern is just a victim of hype and circumstance. I believe I recall some of the folks on the pre-season podcast talking about Johnny’s as threat to win the John Brown. This blogs own Seth Sanchez predicted Johnny’s to tie with Love Garden at a 3-2 record in the division. The problem was Johnny’s wasn’t as good as people thought they’d be, and the John Brown division was really, really good. On top of this, their most winable game came in week 1 against the Screamers. Not a good recipe for a mostly, brand new team.
Now Johnny’s finds themselves ranked 31, a 10 spot drop from week 1. I’m just going to go on record to say that their is no way, they are 5th worst team in the league, but it’s hard to justify moving them up too much when their three wins have come against the 36, 34, and 33 ranked teams. Their big test will come this week against Asteroid Head, which will be huge for tournament seeding purposes, and as metric of how good Johnny’s really is at the end of their first season.
Three times I nailed it:
Bad News Bagels, Los Matadores, and Love Garden are currently the only three teams sitting at the same line they started on. Hey, I guess I do know something about my own team.
Like I have been saying every week, the John Brown has at least thus far shown to be a cut above the rest of the divisions. Through 3 weeks of pool play, the John Brown is a collective 14-4, with three of the six teams at 3-0 in their pool (Merchants of Death, Pawsh Wash, and Johnny’s Tavern.) The average ranking of teams from the John Brown is 15.8.
By comparison, the second best division in pool play thus far is the Wilt Chamberlain at 10-8, with an average team ranking of 16.8.
Whereas the John Brown has been good, the Danny Manning has been (almost) equally as bad at a collective 5-13. The average ranking of teams in the Danny Manning: 21. Oof.
One time the commissioners nailed it (kind of):
Ironically, the division that was most problematic in ranked play (thanks to Muddy Waters, Goats, and Chalmersiz being placed in the same division), is performing with remarkable parity in pool play. The Amelia Earhart is a perfect 9-9, thus far with an average team ranking of 18.2. That is almost right on the nose of 18.5, which would be the average of every division if they were all exactly equal. Interesting!
that’s all I have time for this week. I’ll try and make time for a more comprehensive breakdown of each team before the tournament next week*.
*Or the week after. God damn rain every Sunday. I’ll tell you what…
Here’s a spreadsheet for you nerds!
KVKL Power Rankings and Divisional Strength