The Rise Power Rankings, 2019 #4 (July 1, 2019)

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Nick Schaefer

While the standings - dictated by wins and losses - are ultimately all that matters at the end of the Mid Atlantic tournament season, during the season they may not always tell the full story. Player absences, a difficult strength of schedule, and plain old bad luck can muddy the waters mid year. “The Rise” power rankings goes beyond the current standings to gauge which five teams should be considered the favorites at season’s end and which team(s) are ready to crash the party at a moment’s notice.

Four tournaments down and two to go! Mid Atlantic has turned into the Wild West both on and off the field. This includes a number of different teams making the playoffs at different tournaments, changing rosters, and Twitter smack talk. A battle is brewing in York as we sprint towards the Mid Atlantic Championship tournament. 

Once again, all of this action has brought some changes to the power rankings.

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1. ERL

5-0 | 1 top 4 finish | +29 run differential

New team, new roster, no problem. ERL shuffled their roster around (subtracting Dan Whitener and Johnny Costa and adding Devin Torres and Kenny Rodgers) going in Wiffle Wars and didn’t miss a beat. They went out and won the whole thing. In doing so, ERL showed that not only are they a super talented team but they are highly motivated to win. Watch out Wiffle world.

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2. Shortballs

12-7 | 2 top 4 finishes | +39 run differential

Playing a little shorthanded didn’t help, as the Shortballs finished 5th on June 15th but still moved up a spot in the rankings due to their past tournament excellence. The Shortballs have been to two finals and won one, which helps them stand out against other teams ranked below them. However, another slipup will seem them slide in the rankings. 


3. NY Meats

 8-2 | 2 top 4 finish | +13 run differential

The Meats have played well in the two tournaments they have attended and will be a dangerous team to face both in the regular season and playoff round. The Meats have a good balance of hitting and pitching. In order for them to move up in the rankings they will need to notch a tournament championship.  


4. Longballs

10-9 | 3 top 4 finishes | -33 run differential

They might not have a tournament victory or even a finals appearance yet in 2019, but the Longballs have been perhaps MAW’s most consistent team, leading the point standings with 40 points and making the playoff round in all but one tournament (where they lost in a play-in). But, like the Meats, they will be hungry to make it to the finals and win a tournament. The Longballs are slowly and steadily improving each tournament and are ready to peak for the playoffs. They will be a scary team to face come September. 


5. Juggernauts

6-10 | 2 top 4 finishes | +16 run differential

Their Jekyll and Hyde performances in 2019 have them ranked lower than preseason predictions. The Juggernauts have two third place finishes but also didn’t make the playoff round in two tournaments. If they can put it together they are capable of winning it all. But they are running out of time.


Just Missing the Cut


It was tough to leave them out, but the Stompers dropped from number three to unranked in the Power Rankings. In order to move up, the champions of the Philly’s Special tournament will need to turn their close loses into victories and make another playoff round.

New School Risers

Also, watch out for the New School Risers to potentially break into the top five. After making the finals in the last tournament, they seemed primed to go on a run.