A good starting point is to take a look at where the teams ended up at years end last year then make some adjustments. The following is the 2016 final season standings.
Cream of the crop:
1- Mariners (1-1) – The Mariners are always one of the top teams. They are off to a 1-1 start. Matt Fliesser replaces Brian DiNapoli on the roster. Coming off a two year layoff, Matt Fliesser may start the season slow with the bat. He did single off of Jordan Robles this past week which is not an easy feat however he was 0-3 with 2 walks against Greg Tyler. Matt was out pitched by Jordan Robles week 1, losing a total base game, and starts the season 0-1 on the carpet after only giving up 3 hits and no runs. A nice showdown is on the schedule for 2 week against the D-backs which could have head to head playoff seeding implications come years end.
2- Diamondbacks (1-1): Also always one of the top teams, the D-Backs will be one of the best teams in the league. Week one they split with the improved Brewers. Garrett Torres pitched a good game but gave up a homerun to Anthony Bevilacqua which was the difference. Game 2 last week showed the D-backs flexing their muscle, scoring 10 runs. Rich Guillod hit three homeruns this game. He is coming off a subpar season where he only hit 2 homeruns all last year in limited action. The D-backs best pitcher, Devin Torres, did not pitch last week but a healthy Devin Torres along with that hitting squad will command a top rating all season long.
3- Dodgers (2-0) – Off to a 2-0 start, the Dodgers have all the makings of a championship team. They outscored the Expos 18-1 week 1. They had a very impressive showing both with the bat and on the carpet week 1. The Dodgers lead the league in most offensive categories after 1 week. Dodgers vs Cardinals week 2, we can find out if the 2-0 Dodgers record is for real or if the 0-2 Cardinals record is a mirage.
4- Padres – (1-1) Whether the Padres can crack the top three this season will depend on their ability to win total base games. They will no doubt be involved in a lot of shutouts this season after trading Wiffman and adding Jordan Robles. Those total base games may depend on the bat of Sean Ryan. Sean had 7 home runs last season. If he matches those numbers it can equal 7 (1-0 wins) with the pitching they have. You can’t rank a team with Jordan Robles and K-Von any lower than 4. Week 2 brings in the Astros, my guess is the Padres start the season 3-1.
5- Giants (1-1) – The Giants split with the Astros last week. I rank them 5th because I believe with the Mcelraths’s pitching every week they don’t have a weakness. They will be a threat to sweep a series each week. They have two dominate starters and enough hitting.
6- Yankees (1-1) – I still think the Yankees are a player away from winning it all, either a beast of a hitter or another A1 starter. Greg Tyler did a fantastic job week 1, he only giving up 1 run over 4 innings but he still took the loss and I think him and Bo Muschinsky may come up short against some of the better 1-2 punches in the league. They will no doubt ride Mike Weiner to a playoff spot and scare the hell out of their opponents in the playoffs.
7- Cardinals (0-2) – The Cards lost two tough games to Oliver Avallone week 1, both 1-0 games. They were missing their #1 and # 2 starters on the depth chart and still held the Royals to 1 run each game. They had opportunities to win both games having the tying run on 3rd base and the winning run on 2nd base in the last inning of the 1st game and losing the lead in the last inning in game 2. Over the course of the season those games will even out and the Cardinals will be competing for a playoff spot by years end. They have a dangerous hitter in Jimmy Cole now and incredible pitching depth.
Possibly a player away:
8- Expos (0-2) – The Expos are having roster and attendance issues after winning it all last year. Tyler Wegerzn had a bad day on the carpet week 1. Week 2 will tell if Tyler Wegerzn is off to a slow start on the carpet or if it was that the Dodgers are just that good this year after scoring 18 runs in 2 games. Anthony Didio has made the moves necessary the last 2 years to win and I don’t believe this year will be any different. A slight roster adjustment will get the Expos going. Of course Kenny Rodgers making a visit to NY could fix the problem as well.
9- Astros (1-1) – The jury is still out on the Astros. They have a new roster and had some players missing. Gerard Fitzgerald did a great job on the carpet this past week, something he could build on should the Astros need him to throw this year. The success of the Astros will depend on Frank Kollias and Sean McRae who were both missing week 1. Jordan and K-Von coming to town week 2, it may equal a 1-3 record to start the season.
10- Royals (2-0) – Which Palisades team is the only team that has started 2-0 the past 2 years. These guys…. Lol. That and a metro card will get you on the subway in Manhattan. The Royals will have to show they can win when Avallone is not throwing to move up in the rankings. If Ryan Petrone, Freddy Gonzalez or new comer Ben Stant cannot get wins, the best the Royals can hope for is a shot at the last playoff. They are part of a group of teams without a dominate #2 starter that will fight for the last playoff spot.
11- Brewers (1-1) Who would have thought the Brewers had a knockout punch. Anthony Bevilacqua goes deep against Garret Torres game one and the Brewers start the season 1-0. He added another homer for good measure game 2 as well and has started the season off very hot with the bat. The Brewers will need Joe Schaefer or A-Bev to win some games on the carpet if they are going to claim a playoff spot this year, the question is how many weeks will it take for A-Bev to get back to what he was in 2015 on the carpet. Does he still have something left in that arm? Week 2 will bring the Royals and the Giants, they can start picking off victims this week and move up in the rankings.