Saturday, October 6, 2007

Power Rankings -- Week 6

So the inter-league play was, as somewhat expected, fairly clarifying to the playoff race as now there are two indisputable favorites to win the two divisions. However, the race in each division for the three overall playoff spots still remains quite murky and much work still remains for those teams if they want to be in the post season. Here is how things appear to be to me right now.

1st: Boston Blitz (5.0 – 1.0) (+0 from last week). Boston continues to impress in using a much lower rated team than usual and still fairly comfortably knocking off the defending Champions. It’s fairly ridiculous to me as to how good a team they really seem to be in entirety right now, and I don’t envy the other Eastern teams who will likely have the task of knocking them off in the playoffs when they have draw odds. Boston’s one minor flaw may still only be the pesky Chabonneau issue, and it’s likely that problem might rear its head again this week and given how desperate the Knights are at this point, the Blitz can expect a very tough match. (Win Division: 85%, Make Playoffs: 99%)

2nd: Dallas Destiny (5.0 – 1.0) (+0). This week really could not have been scripted any better for the Destiny with their victory as well as their serious challengers for the division crown all being defeated. They now face the Sluggers two weeks consecutively with a huge chance to cement their division win as if they can even split the series, it will be nearly impossible for any team to catch them and as long as they don’t get swept, they still will be in a good position to take the division. However, not having lost a match yet this season, I don’t see them suddenly losing two in a row. (77%, 97%)

3rd: Seattle Sluggers (3.5 – 2.5) (+0). Plagued by likely the worst connection issues to befall a team in the league’s short history, Seattle suffered a tough loss to New York. How much the connection issues might have played into this defeat is of course anyone’s guess, but Seattle will have to put that behind them and look ahead to their upcoming back to back encounters with Dallas. Though it’s going to be tough for them to take the division title at this stage, they likely should be concentrating on just making sure they make the playoffs as I don’t see San Francisco or Carolina going quietly into the night. (12%, 72%)

4th: Baltimore Kingfishers (3.5 – 2.5) (+1). Baltimore maintained their hold on second place in the division, but really had to be anything but pleased with the overall results of this week as they seemed to most to be heavy favorites to win but couldn’t capitalize (and were really fortunate in the end to even draw the match as they very easily could have lost it). Combined with Boston’s victory they, like Seattle, can’t really be thinking too much about winning their division as the focus now just has to be on getting into the playoffs. I still see them as likely to do so, but a victory this week, as I’m sure they were counting on, would have gotten them a lot further in that regard. Hopefully they do not have to play any further matches without either of their GMs. (7%, 67%)

5th: San Francisco Mechanics (3.0 – 3.0) (-1). The defending champions suffered another alarming setback, and it seems almost certain at this point that they will not three-peat as division champions and as the two teams above, they must be quite concerned with simply making the playoffs at this point. The Mechanics are obviously a much better team than their record this season shows, just all of their players other than Bhat seem to be unable to find their groove so far. (7%, 64%)

6th: New Jersey Knockouts (3.5 – 2.5) (+2). It seems that I really must begin to show the Knockouts some respect as a couple of weeks ago when they were 1.5 – 2.5, I would have pegged them as the East Team least likely to make the playoffs, but with two consecutive victories now seem to be in a prime position to do so. They still have their work quite cut out for them in facing one of their main rivals for the remaining playoff spots in the East, Philadelphia, and then league leading Boston in their next two matches. (5%, 60%)

7th: Carolina Cobras (3.0 – 3.0) (-1). A tough loss for Carolina this week as I’m sure they were counting on a good result on board four yet that was the only board where they couldn’t manage to score. Jones seems to be having a tougher go of it this season than the form he displayed in being a 2006 All Star, but he still has time to turn things around and help the Cobras make the playoffs. (4%, 62%)

8th: Philadelphia Inventors (3.0 – 3.0) (-1). A difficult loss for the Inventors to the Destiny has currently knocked them to fourth place. They still very much control their own fate as to whether they make the playoffs in facing off against their two main competitors for the second and third spots in the East, Baltimore and New Jersey, in the next two weeks, but a loss next week will likely put them in dire straits. (3%, 48%)

9th: New York Knights (2.0 – 4.0) (+1). The Knights finally managed to get their first victory of the season (after I finally had lost faith in them and picked them to lose for the first time this season this past week, I might add). While they might have given their fans something to cheer about finally, they still are running very short on time to recover their playoff dreams, with them still almost certainly needing a 3.5 – 0.5 record to acquire that spot, and they face off against the undefeated, red-hot Boston team next week. Hopefully for them the Charbonneau mojo over Boston stays in place for that match as there isn’t really a time where they needed it more. (0%, 14%)

10th: Queens Pioneers (2.0 – 4.0) (-1). Like the Knights, Queens is treading on the brink of elimination and will need a similar record in their last four matches to make the post season. They still have to face Boston along the way (along with having to face their equally desperate subway foes, the Knights) so it’s going to be anything but easy for them. (0%, 12%)

11th: Miami Sharks (1.5 – 4.5) (+0). Despite only drawing this week, the Sharks actually gained some ground in their quest for a playoff spot with all of their main competitors falling this week. However, despite bridging the gap to the teams they are chasing, with only four matches left, it still seems unlikely that two of those teams will collapse enough to allow the Sharks in. They are somewhat fortunate in that they do face all three of those teams before the regular season ends, allowing them to somewhat control their own fate in that regard, but it’s almost certain they will need a 4 – 0 record to make it, and that’s just not something that can be expected. (0%, 5%)

12th: Tennessee Tempo (1.0 – 5.0) (+0). The Tempo suffered another match this week which basically epitomized their season as a whole, being in a prime position to win their match but unable to hold off being snake bitten late and having to settle for a draw. It’s still a definite building block for their team in once again showing how competitive they really can be despite their record. If they could just manage to solve their late match blues, who knows how good a team they actually could be. (0%, 0%)

No comments: