Preseason power rankings peg ‘Clips, ‘Choos and ‘Topes

Rnk Offense Power S N W Rnk Pitching Power S N W
1 Chatfield .999 W1 1 Springfield 526.3 S1
2 Applegate .974 N1 2 Applegate 616.4 N1
3 Wisconsin .952 S1 3 Savannah 620.8 S2
4 Margaritaville .951 N2 4 Chatfield 638.4 W1
5 Superior .941 W2 5 Bismarck 681.8 N2
6 Springfield .923 S2 6 Wisconsin 684.3 S3
7 Bushwood .902 W3 7 Margaritaville 696.9 N3
8 Bismarck .901 N3 8 Hickory 703.5 S4
9 Michigan .900 W4 9 Superior 708.1 W2
10 S. Grand Prairie .895 N4 10 Sat. Beach 774.4 S5
11 Savannah .893 S3 11 Iowa 775.6 W3
12 Sat. Beach .859 S4 12 Bushwood 788.2 W4
13 English .854 N5 13 English 820.7 N4
14 Hickory .828 S5 14 S. Grand Prairie 843.5 N5
15 Iowa .784 W5 15 Michigan 875.9 W5

Who will be the towers of power in the new three-division, 15-team I-75 League format in this, our 33rd year?

A careful analysis of Applegate’s exclusive Power Rankings pegs their very own Paperclips as the team to beat in the North, while Springfield’s incredible pitching staff makes it the favorite in the South and Chatfield’s unmatchable offensive attack makes it the team to beat in the West.

The power rankings shown above rank each team overall in the league by both offense and pitching, and then again in those categories within their division.

By way of illustration, Savannah, which has the biggest discrepancy between the two categories, ranks 11th in offense overall and third in the South Division (S3), but sits third overall in pitching and second in the South Division (S2).

The South seems to have a pitching emphasis; the West an offensive emphasis, and the North is pretty evenly distributed.

Remember that six teams make the playoffs: The division champs and the three next-best records. Who do we see making the playoffs in addition to the division champs?

4. Wisconsin. Way too much offense and a just-good-enough pitching staff.

5. Margaritaville. Unless the Volcanoes intentionally disassemble themselves, they still have an offense to be feared and a pitching staff that they know how to manipulate.

6. There are three teams in contention here, Bismarck, Savannah and Superior. All three have totals of either 13 or 14 if you add their pitching and offense ranks together. We’re going to give it to Superior on the basis of three of their West Division foes ranking 11, 12 and 15 in pitching.

Sorry, expansion teams; your clubs are better than expected but we still see you bringing up the division rears, along with Bushwood, South Grand Prairie and Hickory.

What are the numbers based on? The Clips convert the data in the rankings spreadsheet to on-base-plus-slugging numbers for both pitchers and hitters based on a 1-10 ballpark average for singles and homers. Then we weight the value based on an anticipated lefty-righty split. Finally, for offense, we aggregated the numbers for the 10 players we think will see the most playing time, and for pitchers, we took each staff’s best 1400 innings, presuming a manager would use his team’s best 1400 innings. Some teams may be stuck using a starting pitcher who is not part of the team’s best 1400 innings, and that may produce a weaker pitching staff than anticipated.

Last year we nailed five of the six playoff teams, failing to pick Hickory as a playoff team and instead overestimating Springfield. How will we far this year? Check back in October!


2 Responses

  1. […] Back in March we crunched the numbers to forecast who would be the league powerhouses this year. How did we do? […]

  2. Be wary of the Bombers. They laid bare the “Triple Crown” Springfield starters and have the offense to cause big trouble, especially in their offense minded park.

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