Power Rankings: Week 4

No. 2? No, coach, you're No. 1.
No. 2? No, coach, you’re No. 1.

 

No one had a particularly good week – 3-2 was the best record for anybody – so the rankings stay largely the same, with a few small moves.

1. Orleans Firebirds
Record: 16-10 (2-3 last week)
Previous Rank: 1

The Firebirds didn’t have a great week, losing to a pair of their top challengers in Falmouth and Y-D. On the flip side, both of those were one-run games. And based on the overall numbers, there’s no reason to shift the Firebirds from the top spot. They’ve out-scored the opposition by 50 runs – in a year when no other team has a better than plus-15 run differential – and they lead the league in team ERA and team batting average.

2. Cotuit Kettleers
Record: 14-11-1 (2-2-1 last week)
Previous Rank: 2

After a hot streak last week, the Kettleers held steady, though they ended on a low note with their first loss to rival Hyannis Wednesday. Cotuit ranks fourth in the league in hitting and second to Falmouth in slugging percentage, with their 20 home runs also second to the Commodores’ 30. The lineup is deep and talented. Pitching has been a little tougher to peg, though the arrival of star Florida closer Michael Byrne should help.

3. Y-D Red Sox
Record: 14-11-1 (3-2 last week)
Previous Rank: 4

The top team from the first two installments of the rankings regrouped after a wobbly stretch to stay firmly in the upper echelon. A stunning rally against Orleans closer Josh Hiatt helped the cause. Y-D ranks fourth in both team batting average and team ERA. On the negative side, the offense seems to be missing a true slugger and the pitching rotation took a hit with the departure of starter Hogan Harris.

4. Falmouth Commodores
Record: 12-12-1 (1-2-1 last week)
Previous Rank: 3

The most powerful offense in the league hasn’t slowed down much, but pitching continues to be the more important bellwether for the Commodores. The team ERA ballooned to 4.63 this week, with the Commodores giving up seven runs in one game and nine in another. They also lost a 1-0 game to Brewster so it’s not quite as cut-and-dry as “pitch well and win.” But pitching better with this offense – Falmouth leads the league in home runs and doubles – would mean a lot of success.

5. Brewster Whitecaps
Record: 13-12-1 (3-2 last week)
Previous Rank: 5

Brewster probably deserves to move up but consider the Whitecaps on the rise despite them staying put in the rankings. The Whitecaps rank seventh in the league in hitting but second in on-base percentage thanks to the league-high 117 walks they’ve drawn. Their team ERA ranks second in the league behind Orleans and was impressive in the last week. Davis Daniel’s six shutout innings of Falmouth was one of the best performances of the year.

6. Bourne Braves
Record: 14-12 (3-2 last week)
Previous Rank: 7

It’s probably time to admit that the Braves are a pretty good team despite some of the underlying numbers. The Braves rank ninth in both batting average and on-base percentage and are fifth in team ERA. The knack for winning close games hasn’t faded, though, and Bourne is 8-6 against its West Division mates.

7. Chatham Anglers
Record: 12-14 (3-2 last week)
Previous Rank: 9

Two of Chatham’s three wins this week came against No. 2 Cotuit and No. 3 Y-D, so the Anglers get a boost. Their team batting average is tied with Bourne but more production has led to the Anglers ranking fourth in runs scored. Johnny Aiello’s presence should only help.

8. Wareham Gatemen
Record: 11-14-1 (1-3-1 last week)
Previous Rank: 6

Wareham is tied with Brewster for the second-best run differential in the league, but as we said last week, that’s mostly due to a string of blowout wins.¬†Still, the Gatemen sort of have the opposite profile of Bourne – good numbers but not as much to show for it. They rank third in team ERA and fourth in batting average. This week, luck was no help. Wareham played 23 innings over one two-game stretch and ended up with just a tie. Wednesday, it lost to Bourne on walk-off.

9. Hyannis Harbor Hawks
Record: 10-13-2 (2-1-1 last week)
Previous Rank: 8

A win over Cotuit Wednesday highlighted a solid week for the Harbor Hawks. The team ERA still ranks worst in the league, but in the wins this week, Hyannis pitchers allowed a total of three runs – and that was against No. 1 Orleans and No. 2 Cotuit. The Harbor Hawks are still near the top in team batting average. Interestingly, though, they rank just eighth in runs scored.

10. Harwich Mariners
Record: 9-16-1 (2-3 last week)
Previous Rank: 10

Harwich’s struggles in the first half of the season started trickling into the second half, but wins Tuesday and Wednesday have stopped the bleeding. And in fact, Harwich is the only team in the league currently sporting a win streak. There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the offense, with College World Series reinforcements Antoine Duplantis, Johnathan India and Josh Smith providing a spark.¬†

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