Here we are again. The fourth installment of the NWLA Tournament and coming at you here is the (historically) best and most accurate power rankings out there. I’m gonna say mean stuff about you. I don’t care. Deal with it. As long as somebody beats those green wearing fools I’ll be happy.
16.) BWACS Lot Lizards
They beat (guaranteed) Griffle in their regional and almost beat (guaranteed) WSEM. They tied Indy Southside, who got pummeled in game 1 but came together afterwards. They can hit, but their problem is pitching. The ERA on the team is 5.25. They finished 4th in the worst region, I’m not hugely confident in them.
15.) MWLWI Mequonderers
These guys are my friends and I hate having to put them all the way down in 15th, but if they bring the same four guys to Ohio that they brought to regionals they’ll be in trouble. I don’t think they will because that roster was put together in two days, but here’s some troubling pitching stats: 24.57 ERA, .518 BAA. Yuck.
14.) BWBLPA Super Heroes In Training
They got in via Shed Field not being able to make the trip. They only beat Hudson Valley, and one of their players had a very scary looking injury in the final game. I placed them here because this tournament kills teams that can’t pitch, and they struggle to pitch and hit. A team average of .156 doesn’t carry a pitching staff with a 6.10 ERA.
13.) MNWA Gophers
Sorry guys, but we’ve officially reached the point of “nothing makes sense let’s put this team here”. Don’t take it personally. To start, I’ll give the bad news first. They have one awesome pitcher: Devin Nelson. However, it doesn’t seem like they have anything behind it. Now I’ll say something nice: they mash the ball, posting a .444 team AVG in regionals.
12.) SRL Hotel Sterling
Yeah they beat us in the Regional, but it was a game that we had already stated was a we-don’t-care game. As far as SRL goes, their pitching staff is very good. They have two arms who are pretty good, and are gonna turn some heads. One of their guys is 46 though, so two days of throwing is gonna do damage. The other minus for this team is hitting.
11.) GBL Celebration Station
Also affectionately known as “Texas Roadhouse”, they have been a middle of the pack team every year. They switched up some rules to resemble the tournament, but their regional stats are BAD. I know they have some other arms who they left at home because they were guaranteed, but the concerning stat was how bad the hitting was.
10.) WWL Warriors
I’ve seen this team in action in Ohio over the years and I can say they can finish wherever their hitting takes them. They have some good arms without question, but those guys always seem to tire quickly. They will feast off the lower end teams like they did in their regional, but once they face some great all-around teams, things go downhill.
9.) PWL Nationals
They beat us in the first round last year on an absolute gem from whichever Shannon it was. Once again, the Shannons are the ace, but in the past few years they’ve been inconsistent. Face them when they’re on and they can beat anybody. But if one of them isn’t throwing strikes, the team is doomed. They ruled in regionals, but now they have to step up.
8.) HVWBL River Monsters
This was a surprisingly good team at the Wilkes-Barre regional who played everyone tough. They get by on their awesome pitching staff that had a staff ERA of 1.26. This is the other team that beat us, and they are willing to wait for strikes at the dish. Not a bad strategy in this tournament. Eventually, they’re going to run into a good team and falter.
7.) KWL Keggers
Kalamazoo has been around since the inception of the NWLA Tournament but has never really produced much in the way of success. They absolutely pwned their regional mates (except for WSEM), not letting anyone they played breathe. They posted a 1.41 staff ERA, which is an improvement for them. They were also hitting the ball. Weak region though.
6.) SWBL Cardinals
It’s incredibly hard to pick this top 6, but Skibbe did something different in their regional that may help them. Their pitching numbers were better than usual but still not great, but their hitting stats were very un-Skibbe like. Their offense has been the reason why they have finished at the top the last few years, and if that doesn’t return to normal, trouble looms.
5.) HRL Lady Slippers
I love this team, their name, and everyone on it… and that’s enough fanboying. They have outstanding pitchers who, when on, can beat anybody in the game. But during the regionals, they were just okay. Flakne allowed no runs, but seven walks is too many. Smart teams (like us) will sit back and watch as balls fly by if it means a W.
4.) WSEM Dads
I put a fake 16 ranking for them last year and they won the whole thing. Not making that mistake again. I don’t think this team takes home a second crown though for one reason: hitting. When you get up to the top four you have to hit the ball. That was our problem last year. That will be their problem forever.
3.) OCWA Freaky Franchise
For once, I didn’t rank my own team first. I have a few reasons for that. The first is that Bigler is gone, and his hitting and defense will be sorely missed. The second reason is that behind Roeder and Bush, who is the third guy? The plus side for us is that Roeder and Bush are the best 1-2 punch at this tournament. Debate that. You’ll lose.
2.) HFWB Hitmen
I ranked a rookie team this high. That’s right, I did it. Their pitching is outright ridiculous. They didn’t allow a single run in regionals, something which no one else can say they did. Their top two is outstanding, but we never got a look at who #3 or #4 are. Two days is a long time, but this team has good enough hitting to give their pitchers runs. They are dangerous.
1.) TBW Lightning
I’ve stopped with the stupidity of ever ranking this team outside the top 2 because they’ve never finished outside of it. I’m not sure this is the year that somebody wins their second title, but they have a good chance. Shane Effertz is back, which gives them a very solid number 2 or 3 pitcher. In fact, neither the Harleys nor Effertz let up a single run in Minnesota.