August 1st. One day into Week 17, the week before the final week of the regular season. SEVERAL teams all bunched all over the fucking place, which gives me a bit of creative licensing with the rankings here. And everyone recovering from the dust that hath settled following the trade deadline. We will acknowledge any deadline deals made and acknowledge what I think the current Power Rankings are and they will realllly skew from the current standings cuz fuck y’all and we can just get that started right now let’s do that…….
(All seasonal rankings from press time here, games through July 31st)
1- Manchester MooniniteZ (10-3-3)
YEA IT IS ME, I HAVE LOCKED UP A BYE WHILE MOST OF YOU FUCKERS HAVEN’T EVEN LOCKED UP A PLAYOFF SPOT SO DEAL WITH IT. The MooniniteZ maintain a grip on the top spot because they maintain a grip on the #1 seed and have lost a precious few games to a precious few opponents (and only one current owner, DAMN YOU TURTORAAAAAAAA), an 8 week stretch of uhhh not losing helping them wrap up the aforementioned bye. And let’s see how they did it, usually I just highlight a few cats here but fuck it this is the grand finale let’s get ’em all in there (NOW WITH MOVES!): Runs 2nd, Doubles t-6th, Triples 6th, HRs 4th, RBIs 3rd, SBs 4th, OBP 3rd, Strikeouts 1st, QS t-10th, CG t-8th, Wins 1st, Saves t-5th, Holds 5th, ERA 6th, MOVES 4th. So a bit of a balanced attack although we have CERTAINLY lost some ground in some cats relative to last month, which may explain that ugly run of Ties is what that may explain. But still competitive through and through. Except for those FUCKING Quality Starts, something we have been cursed to never be even competent at. Joey Votto has been masterful and Justin Smoak has been a SURPRISE REVELATION and Nolan Arenado leads the league in both RBIs and handsomeness by a healthy margin and even Andrew McCutchen is back to basically being Andrew McCutchen, minus the steals pace that is gone forever (9 AIN’T BAD). This team has been in command of a bid for a bye for many weeks now and CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF their owner is aware of how one wins a playoffs matchup without having to consult the owner of the Point Loma X-Rayz. ALTHOUGH I MAY DO JUST THAT IN ANY MATCHUP THAT DOESN’T PIT ME AGAINST HIM.
DEADLINE DEALS: ONE if you count the earlier int he week flipping of Alex Reyes for Felipe Rivero. Much maligned by people that wanted me to add more future pieces but WE ARE TRYING TO GET THIS DONE NOW and Reyes is useless til like 2019. I promise there will be less caps lock going forward.
2- Barnegat Banana Slugs (10-5-1)
Can’t. Deny. A current five week win streak. As much as I would like to and work in some Trevor Story digs (he’s been bad though), the Slugs have overcome all challenges and now have tied the season high win streak achieved separately by each half of the former dynamic dynastic duo (with a chance at setting a new season high win streak should they get past one of them in Week 17 SEE ABOVE). The Slugs might be masters in doing just enough to get past their opponent, for here are the ranks: Runs 7th, Doubles 8th, Triples 7th, HRs 9th, RBIs 9th, SBs 7th, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 3rd, QS 4th, CGs t-2nd, Wins 7th, Saves 3rd, Holds 3rd, ERA 5th, MOVES 9th. So A LOT of poor production on offense, perhaps propped up by prettier pitching numbers which are perhaps propped up by their bullpen optimization and uhhh Max Scherzer. The Slugs have to hope Josh Donaldson gets back on track towards the end of the season here, which would help the O a lot, and they’ve gotten quietly excellent seasons out of Jonathon Schoop, Jake Lamb, and Brett Gardner (this one got less quiet for a second there)….and also Starling Marte is back and maybe he is really good even without the cheating. But I mean fuck the point is this team has won 5 straight and who am I to criticize that. I am merely the guy scheming to stop it at 5, is who I am.
DEADLINE DEALS: NONE
3- Astoria Isotopes (8-7-1)
And we first break from standings here, as the ‘Topes are technically seeded 6th but somebody forgot to tell their offense that. It’s all built on the backs of Aaron Judge and Charlie Blackmon and Cody Bellinger and let’s see those numbers and all the rest of the numbers: Runs 5th, Doubles 10th, Triples 3rd, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 8th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 8th, QS 8th, CGs 7th, Wins 4th, Saves 2nd, Holds 6th, ERA 8th, MOVES 5th. FACKIN POWAH NAWMBAHS is what people from Boston would exclaim upon seeing that. The ‘Topes have reached double digit HRs in 16 of 18 weeks and have 20 more HRs than any other team and THAT is what can make them rather dangerous come playoff time. HRs are the only guaranteed uhhh 4 cat contributions (if you count OBP) and the Astoria Isotopes have em in spaaaaaaades. Also they’re the only team to beat the MooniniteZ twice and the only current owner to beat them at all and WHAT A FEAT THAT MUST BE. Perhaps for the first time in ages I am not 100% confident the Isotopes will bow out in the first round, is what I am saying here.
DEADLINE DEALS: NONE
4- River City Bad Dudes (9-6-1)
The Bad Dudes have themselves in position to once again make the playoffs and potentially make some noise in said playoffs, as they will tell you about at length if you ask “hey have you guys ever missed the playoffs and do you want to also talk about whether or not you’ve always made the 2nd round or whatfuckingever mehhhhh”. Anywho, the numbers: Runs 6th, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-4th, HRs 3rd, RBIs 4th, SBs t-10th, OBP 8th, Strikeouts 2nd, QS t-4th, CGs 5th, Wins 3rd, Saves 1st, Holds 8th, ERA 6th, MOVES 1st. TYPICAL RIVER CITY (I really haven’t tamped down on the caps lock much) with their typically solid offense, as usual not much of a threat to steal a base but a threat in most other spots. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are no longer flirting with SBs that can be part of it, in Machado’s case he is flirting with no longer being a top talent. But he has still been okay, and Harper has been very good, and Giancarlo Stanton has been very good, and even the long-yearned-for AJ Pollock is doing enough to maintain Mike’s chub for him I am sure. So that is good. And the Bad Dudes are always a threat to get to the BCS once they reach the playoffs, so that is bad for other playoff teams. Let’s hope they fail in Round 1, because we don’t need teams reaching the BCS 3 seasons in a row ever ever ever again. Unless it is one of my teams.
DEADLINE DEALS: NONE
5- Point Loma X-Rayz (8-6-2)
Business as usual out in Point Loma, as the X-Rayz close in on yet another playoff berth using the same tried and true speed kills approach. THE NUMBERS PLEASE: Runs 4th, Doubles 5th, Triples 1st, HRs 10th, RBIs 10th, SBs 1st, OBP 9th, Strikeouts t-4th, QS 3rd, CGs 6th, Wins 5th, Saves 4th, Holds 7th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 3rd. An interesting new wrinkle here with the X-Rayz pairing elite speed with PRETTY ELITE pitching, shout out to Chris Archer and David Price and Robbie Ray. And now here is the bad news, the last two just hit the DL and who can really say for how long. And now here is the good news, Brad Peacock should slot back into the rotation following some Astros injuries I don’t want to discuss. And the other good news is uhhh that Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton still steal a lot of bases, and the X-Rayz actually have some guys that can put up good HR/RBI numbers in any given 7 week stretch, and if the pitching holds up the speed kills strategy could propel the X-Rayz to their first playoff victory (ASIDE FROM YANNO THE MANY PLAYOFF VICTORIES WE ALREADY ACHIEVED BEFORE BEING FORCED TO DISSOLVE).
DEADLINE DEALS: NONE
6- Rojo’s Renegade Force (7-8-1)
Rojo’s Renegade Force have some eye-popping offensive numbers, and prior to their recent run-in with yours truly they had not lost in their last 4 weeks (3-1-1 in their last 5). Which ain’t bad. So yea…..those numbers: Runs 1st, Doubles 3rd, Triples 2nd, HRs 2nd, RBIs 2nd, SBs 5th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 6th, QS 1st, CGs t-2nd, Wins 6th, Saves 10th (eye roll emoji, Holds 1st (eye roll emoji), ERA 2nd, MOVES 2nd (WHOAAA). So the Renegade Force didn’t take my advice at picking up a closer to keep other teams honest (lost Saves last week 3-0, tied in Holds 4-4 AHEM) but they do have a SUPAH FACKIN STRAWNG AWFENSE and are even currently employing a bit of an island of misfit toys vibe ONCE AGAIN, utilizing guys like Chris Taylor and Scooter Gennett and P
aul Goldschmidt and Joey Gallo and Nelson Cruz and George Springer (some of these guys aren’t misfit toys, Springers DL’d though so CLOSE). They also have Corey Kluber and an improving-of-late Masahiro Tanaka and a newly-acquired top 5 pitcher (MadBum). WIN AND THEY ARE IN, and if they get in perhaps they can once and for all go on a run and get me to shut up about the closer thing (very very unlikely that I would).
DEADLINE DEALS: ONE, acquiring Bumgarner and CarGo for Puig, Schwarber, David Phelps, and Michael Fulmer. Gotta give talent to get talent friends.
7- Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (8-7-1)
The non-struggling new guy impressed out the gate, then dropped a bunch in a row, but has now rebounded to go 3-1 in his last 4 and find himself firmly in the playoff conversation. The numbers for Lacey for the year (and I am not referring to meth busts or home abortions or anything of that sort): Runs 3rd, Doubles 1st, Triples t-4th, HRs 5th, RBIs 5th, SBs 3rd, OBP 5th, Strikeouts 9th, QS t-10th, CGs t-8th, Wins 8th, Saves 7th, Holds 9th, ERA 7th, MOVES 10th (but NO WORRIES here this isn’t another Cliff situation, very active owner both in trade negotiations and farm stocking). LOOKIN’ PRETTY GOOD with the bats, competitive in absolutely every category. Jose Altuve remains himself and Freddie Freeman has gotten back on track after the wrist injury and Marcel Ozuna and Travis Shaw have been great. LOOKIN’ PRETTY BAD on the pitching side of things. Which is strange because Jacob DeGrom has been good and Rich Hill tends to be good when he pitches and Aaron Nola was a really smart pickup. STREAM BETTER, I guess. The reality is the BackdoorSliderz are precariously clinging to a playoff spot and should they get in I don’t even KNOW what kinda managerial style they’ll employ, inaugural season and all. We have seen first year teams go on a playoff run that takes them all the way to the BCS before, and this team certainly has the talent to do that. First they gotta get in.
DEADLINE DEALS: ONE, trading Brian Dozier for Justin Turner and Brendan Rodgers. Which I think was a nice little deal.
8- OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (4-6-6)
Ohhhh this sad sad title defense. Mercifully we seem pretty close to it being all over and done with, because WHAT IN THE FUCK KINDA RECORD IS THAT?! Let us gaze with horror upon whatever numbers might birth such an atrocity: Runs 8th, Doubles 4th, Triples 8th, HRs 6th, RBIs 7th (WITH 666 RBIs WHICH MAKES PERFECT SENSE), SBs 2nd, OBP 1st (interesting), Strikeouts 10th, QS 7th, CGs 10th (only team in the league without a CG this season), Wins 9th, Saves 8th, Holds 4th, ERA 9th, MOVES 6th. I mean you look at a lot of the numbers, and at THE MARK OF THE BEAST RBI total, and you can kinda see how the OGTFC found themselves in this predicament. Just the classic championship hangover coupled with the occasional extended injuries to Mike Trout, Trea Turner, Jason Kipnis, Gregory Polanco coupled with the trading of the heart of the team, Buster Posey. I MEAN THEY CURRENTLY DON’T EVEN HAVE A CATCHER. Somebody tell them that Mejia is not coming up this week please. Also their pitching hasn’t been all that great outside of like Andrew Miller, and sometimes Gerrit Cole. I could waste a bunch of time writing extra words about how they could be dangerous if they make the playoffs but WHATS THE POINT, I don’t see it happening. Officially calling it a 7 teams for 6 spots race. And really its like 4 teams for 3 spots or something. #MATH
DEADLINE DEALS: FOUR, in a desperate attempt to reach the playoffs that probably falls short 😦 the four are the two I already discussed with other teams PLUS trading away their heart earlier in the week for Josh Bell and Clint Frazier PLUS picking up Verlander for Ian Happ. The first two deals were mostly pretty justifiable, the last two here a bit less so but still…. meh.
9- Toms River Titans (5-10-1)
Ohhh this franchise, coming up on 3 years removed from one of the most impressive championship seasons I think this league has ever seen that wasn’t one of mine. Back in a time when pitching did indeed win championships….this year that will not be the case for the Titans. Remember the Numbers: Runs 9th, Doubles 9th, Triples 9th, HRs 7th, RBIs 6th, SBs 6th, OBP 7th, Strikeouts t-4th, QS 2nd, CGs t-2nd, Wins 2nd, Saves 9th, Holds 2nd, ERA 1st, MOVES 7th. The pitching staff has done mostly what it was asked to do, even as it has endured injuries off and on to Kershaw and Syndergaard and Strasburg (AND EVEN….Pineda). However the pitching has not been enough to overcome a lower tier offense that has struggled outside of Carlos Correa (now also injured) and Lindor and Sano and Rendon. There is still a strong core within this team, they’ve traded away George Springer but have also added Buster Posey and Yu Darvish. And they will be closely watching Yoan Moncada throughout the rest of the season, and probably hoping he amasses as few ABs as possible in a lost year. THE TITANS WILL RISE AGAIN is what I am saying. But for now they toast so fuck em.
DEADLINE DEALS: ONE, astutely trading Josh Bell and Clint Frazier for (perennial top catcher that isn’t nearly as close to being done catching as people seem to believe) Buster Posey.
10- Q-Tip City Morning Wood (2-13-1)
And last but not least, the struggling new guy. Who is nevertheless an active and valuable member of the league and one should be allowed to shape his roster however he pleases in his inaugural season, even if that shape ends up resembling a turd sandwich. Let’s check out the numbers for that sandwich: Runs 9th, Doubles t-6th, Triples 10th, HRs 8th, RBIs 8th, SBs t-10th, OBP 10th, Strikeouts 7th, QS 6th, CGs FIRST (THANKS Ervin Santana, whom has since been traded), Wins 10th, Saves t-5th, Holds 10th, ERA 10th, MOVES 8th. As is well known by now, this team ain’t won a single game since starting out 2-0 and you can certainly sorta see why here; important to note they are last in Runs by FIFTY ONE currently. Perhaps they can recapture some magic out of the gate next year, but MIGHT BE TOUGH considering all the talent they shipped outta Q-Tip City. Pretty much all that remains is like, JD Martinez and Justin Upton and to a lesser extent Brandon Belt and to even less of an extent you can hope the gains are for real with Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson and even perhaps Aaron Altherr but YEA. Not too pretty of a sight on offense, and with pitchers it is Carlos Martinez and hoping that Zack Greinke ages gracefully and hoping that Alex Reyes eventually returns from TJ and reaches his full potential. LIVIN’ ON HOPES AND PRAYERS IN AM BONERTOWN.
DEADLINE DEALS: ONE, for we are counting the early week flipping of Felipe Rivero for Alex Reyes that helped boost up their farm system.
So there you have it ladies, one man’s correct interpretation of the Backyard Championship League’s current Power Rankings. EXCITINGLY ENOUGH the new wrinkle of the 18 game schedule means the champion will be decided in the first few days of September, meaning this will also serve as your Power Rankings finale for this season. If you are itching for a Power Rankings in September just do as I stated last year: 1- Wait for the champion to be crowned ’round Labor Day. 2- That team is #1 in the Power Rankings. 3- Every other team is #10 because they FAILED. Best of luck for all of you trying to not fail and best of luck in 2018 for all of you that have failed already, maybe you will grab a decent spot in the 2018 preseason Power Rankings if you play your offseason cards right or something.