Saturday, September 13, 2008

Power Rankings -- Week 3

A very topsy-turvy set of results for the second straight week has kept everything in fair disarray with a whopping six teams all having 1 – 2 records. Once again, there will have to be a fair amount of opinion and speculation throw into these rankings if I hope to differentiate between such teams, but I'll give it a try nonetheless. Given the recent discussion about teams' chances to make the Finals or make the Playoffs, it seems like a reasonable time for me to begin including with each team what I think their chances of winning their division's regular season title as well as their chances of being in the post-season.

1st: San Francisco Mechanics (2.5 – 0.5) (+2 from last week). Even though there is still an undefeated team in the midst, I think I still must give San Francisco the top spot this week as I continue to really like the strength of their lineups along with the fact that they have played a very tough set of opponents, with Miami and Dallas both having defeated their other two opponents. That, along with the fact that one of their big weapons, Naroditsky, finally displayed what he's really capable of in their most recent match after tremendously strugging in the previous week could be a big turning point also.
(Win Division: 29%, Make Playoffs: 85%)

2nd: Queens Pioneers (3.0 – 0.0) (+2). So when will I give Queens the top spot one might ask? Well, after they go 10
0 in the regular season, maybe I'll consider it but until then I can't do it. On a more serious note, the Pioneers seem to really be clicking on all cylinders with all of their players playing quite well which gives them some nice choices for lineups to use in their two upcoming feature Monday matches. It certainly still won't be easy for them as both of their opponents, Baltimore and New York, are likely to be rejuvenated after their big wins this week. Those matches should be very telling as to how dominant the Pioneers might really be this year. (34%, 87%)

3rd: Miami Sharks (2.0 – 1.0) (-2). Well the Sharks inevitably had to cool down somewhat, but of course they obviously were not hoping to do so in the form of a loss. Not exactly a big worry, as like their counterparts Dallas, with their only loss being one to the Mechanics by the narrowest of margins, it's hardly a reason to panic. Their big showdown with Dallas this week may well determine which of them will be fighting hard to win the division and which is likely to be a middle of the pack playoff team. (22%, 72%)

4th: Boston Blitz (2.0 – 1.0) (-2). So no revenge for the Blitz in their Finals rematch, but fortunately for them, they don't need to wait until next season to get back into the action. While they don't get a crack at the team they may be chasing for the division lead until the final week, Queens, the team currently on their heels for second place is on the agenda for next week, followed by the always stiff Mechanics. (26%, 73%)

5th: Dallas Destiny (2.0 – 1.0) (+0). Once again, the defending champions continue to impress as most felt they were the underdogs in their grudge rematch against the Blitz. The Destiny have clearly erased any doubts about them that might have cropped up after their opening match loss, but again the role they will really take in being a division contender or being in the middle of the pack could well be largely determined in this week's showdown with Miami.
(20%, 70%)

6th: Chicago Blaze (1.5 – 1.5) (+3). The pre-season and first match worries that cropped up for the Blaze definitely seem to have been silenced with them holding the tough Mechanics to a stiff draw and then claiming a resounding sweep of the Tempo. While like everyone else, they still have a very long way to go, I think it's safe to say things are looking up for them rather than very down as they did in the earliest part of the season.
(13%, 60%)

7th: New Jersey Knockouts (1.5 – 1.5) (+1). A somewhat disappointing draw this week as the Knockouts, bringing out the big guns of their double GM lineup were clearly hoping to make a statement and scoring a full point. While they didn't manage to do the latter, they clearly have little reason to be concerned as the logjam of teams with a 1
2 record in the East really makes anything possible, but I think they would definitely prefer to stay a leg up on most of those teams this week, but that means having to score against the tough Boston Blitz. (17%, 60%)

8th: Baltimore Kingfishers (1.0 – 2.0) (+3). This sort of result was why I felt the Kingfishers 0
2 start wasn't a reason to be hugely troubled. To me, it was clearly just a matter of time before their middle boards turned their results around which is what helped lead them to victory this week. Though their later opponents may provide a slightly bigger challenge, if Erenburg can keep scoring at the rate he's done so far, the Kingfishers will be a mighty force. (9%, 54%)

9th: Philadelphia Inventors (1.0 – 2.0) (-3). A tough loss for the Inventors with their rock Kudrin losing for the first time in the league. While that was naturally inevitable, I'm sure they were hoping for it to do so at a more convenient time as falling to a 1
2 record with a showdown with the Mechanics upcoming, this clearly wasn't the best of times to slip into such a hole. (7%, 52%)

10th: Seattle Sluggers (1.0 – 2.0) (+2). A definite bright spot for Seattle this week in managing a draw. Though they still are obviously not at the point they would have liked to be at this stage, holding the powerful double GM New Jersey lineup to a standstill, along with Nakamura knocking off the rarely beaten Benjamin are both definite causes for optimism. One can only hope that Seattle might take the Knockouts' hint and trot out their own double GM lineup in Monday's feature against Chicago to try to make their own big statement. (8%, 52%)

11th: Arizona Scorpions (1.0 – 2.0) (-4). Another frustrating result for the Scorpions as once again, despite appearing to be favorites in most players' eyes, they fell for a second straight week. I'm not sure if it's simply the first season jitters / unfamiliarity with the league which is causing many of their players to perform clearly below what their real strength is, but the Scorpions need to
turn things around quickly before it gets too out of hand. Fortunately, for them, they are facing two of the lowest ranked teams in the next couple of weeks in Tennessee and Carolina, but no match is ever a certainty, and the Scorpions need to get back on top of things to have the results they really need there. (7%, 49%)

12th: New York Knights (1.0 – 2.0) (+2). Another team which can breathe a big sigh of relief as starting 0
3 might have created an extreme panic the likes of which one can only dream of. Once again, on a more serious note, the Knights simply need to start performing as they did this week on a more consistent basis so as to stop digging themselves into such a big hole to begin with. This week's match against a reeling Carolina team would be a good time to demonstrate that as the following week's challenge against league leading Queens' is likely to be quite stiff. (6%, 50%)

13th: Carolina Cobras (1.0 – 2.0) (-3). Another tough match for the Cobras, falling when they seemed to have a very real chance to score. It just seems that none of their regular team members so far has really demonstrated the ability to play consistently with each of them having a very off game. If they can all play at their near best at the same time, we would see a very different team emerge, but that's obviously far easier to say than do, and until they find a way to accomplish that, they unfortunately will likely stay down here. (1%, 24%)

14th: Tennessee Tempo (0.5 – 2.5) (-1). Once again, after a very positive result, a very forgettable one for the Tempo. As usual, one match is just one match and generally not a reason to panic; they simply must remember how competitive they've been in nearly all their matches recently and must find a way to get back to that way of competing. Certainly, one could guess that the appearance of Ehlvest in a lineup might be a nice tool for jump starting just that, but if that mysterious happening doesn't occur soon, I fear it may be too late for them by then. (1%, 12%)

1 comment:

Greg Shahade said...

My own personal opinion is that Arun is too careful in his percentages. Queens probably needs 2/7 to make the playoffs from this point out. The chances of them getting at least 2/7 should be around 90-93+ IMO. Also there is a chance that even 1.5/7 sneaks in.

There is a similar situation for San Francisco, although they probably need 2.5/7 just to get in, but they outrate so many of their opponent's it seems like the odds of them having such a paltry score should be higher than 85%.

That is just my opinion of the math in this situation.