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WSL POWER RANKINGS

Check each periodically as the latest edition of the WSL Power Rankings will be posted.

Rank Team (Record) Pre-Season Rank Comment
1 San Francisco (70-32) 5 Let me first apologize to the WSL chat for everyone having to hear about this for the next decade. After years of coming up short vs their NL West opponents, San Francisco finally looks to be the top team in their division, sporting the best record in WSL so far. At the heart of this sea change is a rotation that has been everything the Bang Bangs could have asked for, featuring two CY-level seasons from Zach Greinke and Jeff Samardzija, plus a major bounceback from Alex Wood. Their pen features a pair of plus arms in David Robertson and Chad Green, while the lineup is stacked with RH power in Nolan Arenado, Carlos Correa, and Buster Posey. A NLDS with Chicago or New York seems inevitable, though it's possible SF will regret not adding some real LH hitting against the mostly RH rotations they're likely to face.
2 New York NL (64-38) 2 Another year, another AC division win seems inevitable with the combo of the usual New York additions in July, as well as Atlanta trading their way out of first place. New arrivals Corey Seager, Craig Kimbrel, Brad Hand, Jose Quintana, Alex Bregman, and Josh Reddick add variety to an AC squad that was already focused on balance. The lineup is as nasty as any team New York has put on the field, though I'm sure AC management wishes they could have added one more monster in the lineup or rotation somewhere, as well as filling out the bench. New York will live and die with their starting lineup looking to bury opposing pitchers before any depth issues play out.
3 Boston (66-36) 4 The Chowds were sweating bullets after going 12-14 in April and watching Toronto race to a 5-game lead. As a testament to not panicking and staying the course, Boston trusted their process and were rewarded with a dominating 39-10 run through June and July. The Boston rotation was expected to be a strength, but bold trades for former ACs Josh Donaldson and JD Martinez have added a necessary power surge to the Chowds lineup. Boston is built to beat LH pitching as well as any team in WSL. A lack of killer LH bats may be an issue vs righty SP though.
4 Colorado (67-35) 3 There's a lot of ways to win in WSL. Colorado has taken the path of hanging around .500 vs good teams and absolutely destroying the bottom-feeder teams to the tune of a 31-5 record vs the worst teams WSL has to offer. That strategy worked well for Toronto for years and it's working well for Colorado now. Realistically, the Blue Rocks can put up a pair of aces with Chris Sale and Luis Severino in any playoff series, supported by a nasty bullpen and a lineup that can keep Colorado in any game. Let's hope for a Boston/Colorado first round matchup, as the 3 AM ET start times may drive Milwaukee crazy.
5 Milwaukee (63-39) 13 All those years of waiting for Spivey to escape the gulag have paid off, as Milwaukee made short work of the AL Central as they cruise into their first division win since 2013. Breakout years from Logan Morrison, Brandon Belt, and Eugenio Suarez have provided the bats that Clayton Kershaw and the MIL pen have needed for years. Eating up Boston and Toronto to the tune of 11-1 so far can't hurt either. Seems clear the Alchys would prefer to face the AL East champ.
6 Arizona (59-43) 6 After years of being bogged down with bad contracts, Arizona finally had a chance to spend some money this off-season and added/re-signed quite a few players. Those players, led by true star Joey Votto, have the Desert storm holding onto the top wild card spot in the AL. Oddly enough, they are the rare team up top that has mostly beaten the top WSL teams, but struggled to handle the bad teams. Playing to the level of their competition may be the difference between first place and a division title or having to hope they can survive Texas/Toront in a one-game playoff.
7 Texas (58-44) 18 Texas blew their pre-season ranking away through a series of trades, adding Christian Yelich, Michael Fulmer, Eric Hosmer and more to a roster originally found on the Island of Misfit Toys. A disasterous early-season sweep by Boston has Texas on the low end of the wildcard matchup with Arizona, with Toronto sniffing around in the distance. Ideally, Texas would line up against a right-handed rotation that would allow Hosmer, Yelich and the crew to maximize their damage. With likely matchups with some combination of Chris Sale/Jon Lester, Dallas Keuchel, Robbie Ray, Clayton Kershaw, etc, Texas may be in trouble without some luck.
8 Chicago NL (64-38) 7 The trade deadline finally ended months of Chicago NL roster upheaval and changing priorities for the Juice. What's left is arguably the best rotation of WSL's likely playoff teams and an improved defense from this season's start. On the other hand, the Juice will uncharacteristically have to win low-scoring games, as their lineup is arguably the weakest of WSL's contenders. While it's hard to take away a lot from past stats given how much turnover the roster has seen, the Juice going 5-1 vs SF and 15-21 vs the other playoff teams may show Chicago's preference in playoff opponents.
9 Anaheim (62-40) 10 Anaheim won the 2016 battle vs San Francisco, but after going 3-9 vs SF so far, it looks like 2017 may go to the Bang Bangs. The Assassins have handled their business vs most every other contender, going 18-6 vs NYN/CHN/ATL/PHi. A Paxton vs Strasburg showdown in the wildcard seems likely.
10 Atlanta (58-44) 1 Atlanta is a case of leaving well enough alone. Walking into the season with a killer lineup and the league's top rotation, panic and the trade itch has left the Pharaohs barely holding onto a wildcard spot. Had Kansas City and/or Philly made some moves during the season, Atlanta may even be on the outside. What's left has the potential to pop the right team in the mouth, however, as the Atlanta lineup contains as many big LH bats as any team in the league. Given a 7-11 record vs SF and NYN, Atlanta has to be praying for a playoff matchup vs the Juice. Both due to Atlanta's lefty lineup giving Chicago pitching fits, as well as it's easier for those teams to discuss swapping rosters around every 5 minutes if they're in the same place at the same time. One thing to watch for, however: Assuming Strasburg has to pitch in the wildcard game, Atlanta is in real trouble with a playoff rotation headed up by Chris Archer and Sonny Gray.
11 Toronto (52-50) 8 Toronto looked like world beaters early in the season after going 17-9 in April. Boston fans were relieved to see Toronto follow it up with 11-16 in May and 10-14 in July. The deadline brought incremental improvements in Toronto, improving a roster that needed the depth, especially a rare and shocking intra-division trade of Carlos Martinez from BOS for spare parts. The Avengers have long relied on teams falling over themselves to give up their best players for whatever garbage Toronto wanted to move, yet those deals have been fewer and far between. Toronto will have to overtake a wildcard spot looking more like Kansas City than the Toronto teams of old.
12 Philadelphia (52-49) 9 If I told you that Philadelphia would be at or near the league lead in HRs hit, you would assume they had a pretty great season, right? Unfortunately, their pitching is every bit as bad as their lineup is good. Despite all that, the Phillies are still within 5.5 games of a wildcard berth. Indecision has plagued ownership in what little time they've spent on the roster this season, as the trade deadline came and went without a deal either way. The NL wildcard teams should be thankful Philly took up residence on the fence.
13 Cleveland (52-50) 15 Cleveland has some of the best players in WSL. Unfortunately, they currently play for Atlanta and Chicago NL. Despite looking like a favorite for a wild card spot, Cleveland impulsively blew up a roster that was keeping pace with some of the league juggernauts. While that decision led to more than a few snickers around the league, it may not have been such a knee-jerk reaction. In fact, Cleveland has gone 18-30 vs likely WSL playoff teams up to this point. The real problem is that for a rebuild to work, you need to actually acquire good players. Unfortunately, Cleveland focused on cap space vs player returns. The graveyard of WSL teams trying to build through free agency is vast, however, and Cleveland needs a strong off-season to avoid taking that long nap.
14 Kansas City (53-49) 20 Years of dominance from the Monarchs had a price, as KC is now at a cross roads. While they are only 5 games out of a wild card spot, ownership felt they could not survive a series with the heavyweights in the NL. So, at the trade deadline, Kansas City...did mostly nothing. As the line goes, you can either get busy living or get busy dying. The Monarchs had a lot of company on the fence this year, unfortunately.
15 Seattle (46-56) 19 The price of one last run has left Seattle in WSL Hell: Too good to tank, too bad to make the playoffs. Long-term contracts to Robinson Cano, Brandon Crawford, Todd Frazier, Mike Leake, Parker Bridwell, JC Ramirez...get the idea?...leave Seattle with an expensive roster that's probably only going to get worse. On the flip side, the Yeomen have invested heavily in trying to build a rotation on rookie contracts. To some, there is no such thing as a pitching prospect, as injuries have slowed down development across the board. Imagine Seattle still pushing for a playoff race with healthy, complete versions of Kevin Gausman, Anthony Reyes, Jaime Garcia, and the rest, eh?
16 Brooklyn (48-54) 11 The Brooklyn PR team put out a lot of noise this past off-season about the Dodgers being even better than last year. The results have...not held, which was clear to anyone but Brooklyn ownership. As history shows, building a team around a strong bullpen only works if there are leads to protect. For 2018, the Dodgers will focus on surrounding Matt Chapman, Daniel Robertson, a hopefully-healthy Thor, and Edwin Diaz with some warm bodies. Current rumblings have ownership eager to retool for a 2018 run, however, as the rest of the league prepares to send those sneaky good BRK trade emails to spam.
17 So Cal (44-58) 12 In most any other division, So Cal may have seen much different results. Unfortunately, timing is everything, and the Thrills went all in within one of the toughest divisions in WSL. The 2018 off-season should be critical for So Cal, as they'll have to decide whether to rebuild around a youngish core of Bryce Harper, Andrelton Simmons, and Kyle Freeland or retool around...a young core of those same three guys. At least RW played some of his games this year, I guess.
18 Detroit (47-55) 14 The Domos have become the patron saint of WSL teams that should have rebuilt for years, but kept plugging along. If nothing else, they serve as a lesson of the dangers of no-trade contracts, given the careers of Hanley Ramirez, Andrew McCutchen, and Jason Kipnis fell apart soon after signing. After calling it quits in May after one last push, however, the Domos built a framework of their next run. A core of Franky Mejia, Miguel Andujar, Brandon Nimmo has a real chance to frustrate opposing pitchers. With Carlos Carrasco and others set to hit FA in the off-season, we'll see if Detroit has learned their lesson with big contracts.
19 St. Louis (42-60) 24 I imagine you guys are surprised to see St. Louis at the bottom. St. Louis has not been better than 3rd in the NL Central since...1997. There's some talent on the Browns in first-rounder Amed Rosario and Javy Baez up the middle, plus a breakout season from Sean Manaea. It's hard to get excited about the roster, however, until St. Louis keeps the same ownership for more than a single season. It seems like forever since that has happened. Otherwise, they'll be right back at the bottom next year.
20 Baltimore (33-68) 17 Berg has quickly rebuilt the Baltimore farm system after One-and-Done Larry mysteriously had no time to continue in WSL after selling off everything he could only to taste that AC ass in 2016. Few teams have focused on pedigree quite like the Crabcakes, acquiring former 1st rounders in Rafael Devers, Bradley Zimmer, and Yoan Moncada. The upside is there, but it's unclear when/if those bats will develop, so a Baltimore resurgeance may be later than sooner.
21 Chicago AL (35-67) 16 Not every bad team needs to worry about being bad, provided they have a solid foundation moving forward. Unfortunately, chicago AL finds themselves with a mediocre roster with a real lack of upside in their lineup going forward. The roster is old, injury-prone and expensive. The real focus going forward looks to be in the rotation, where they'll hope for a healthy Madison Bumgarner season along with rebounds/development from Steven Matz, German Marquez, and Lance McCullers. This is a team that cannot afford to keep trading first-round picks for relief pitching though, especially with a revived Milwaukee franchise and Pittsburgh on a quick rebuild.
22 Florida (34-68) 21 Florida has not had a winning season since 2010, going 84-78. If you squint, you can see some sprouts coming up through the ground with post-hype Kyle Schwarber, Jose Berrios, Miguel Sano and Clint Frazier. Florida will need another strong draft and some success in free agency if they're to get out of the cellar though. As ever, Florida fans hope ownership is paying enough attention to finally give them another winner.
23 San Diego (30-72) 22 Following the death of Jose Fernandez, the floor has fallen out for the Madres. San Diego avoided a true rebuild for a few years now, arguably to their detriment, but no longer. Going forward, the Madres' rotation features a still-elite Max Scherzer and a bevy of highly-drafted SP in Walker Buehler, Luis Castillo, and Reynaldo Lopez. As ever, San Diego's future rests on whether they'll ever hit enough to support their pitching.
24 Pittsburgh (24-78) 23 Few teams have gone from first-to-worst quite like Pittsburgh has in the last calendar year. On the bright side, the Yinzers managed to acquire two MVP-level players in Kris Bryant and Francisco Lindor, all without blowing up the farm. Fans can see a proper core forming with those two players alongside #1 overall pick Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Odubel Herrera, and AJ Minter. Once again, things can turn quickly in WSL.
 


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