Sight Unseen Power Ranking — Week 5

After getting down to Lawrence last week, where I had the always amazing opportunity to participate in the Game of the Week, it felt like time for another iteration of the Sight Unseen Power Ranking. Also, Seth messed his up, so here we go.

  1. Kansas Tree Care (5-0)
    The lone undefeated team after 5 weeks.
  1. Harbour Lights (4-1)
    Harbour is playing lights out right now (sorry). Since last ranking, Harbour Lights beat Love Garden by 6 and JWE by 9. You won’t find many better 2 week stretches than this by any team all season.

  2. Post Haus (4-1)
    Doesn’t have wins on as many top teams as Harbour, but owns the closest loss to Kansas Tree Care of anyone on the season for what it is worth.
  1. Love Garden (4-1)
    Since last ranking, Love Garden suffered their first loss of the season, a disappointing 6 run loss to Harbour Lights. We followed it up by narrowly holding off Honey Badgers in the Game of the Week, where we looked great on offense but struggled mightily to handle the Honey Badgers’ aggressive baserunning on defense. Love Garden will need to improve dramatically in that department to have a shot at taking down Post Haus in their huge week 6 matchup. 
  1. JWE (4-1) 
    JWE rises two spots since the last ranking despite losing to Harbour Lights by 9. However, we should note that JWE put up 15 runs in that losing effort — more than twice the number of runs either Kansas Tree Care or Love Garden managed to score against Harbour. Lacking the quality wins of the teams above them, I’d think JWE will need to go 2-1 or better in their remaining games against Red Lyon, Harpies, and Post Haus to stay in the top 5 at the end of the season. 
  1. Red Lyon (4-1)
    Oh how the turntables have turned. In weeks 1 and 2, Red Lyon was getting stomped by the Honey Badgers and barely holding off the mighty KBC Tropics by one run. It seemed like regression had come for the Lyon. Now, fresh off 3-run wins against Lawrence Shirt factory and Harpies, the early season struggles already feel like a distant memory. 
  1. Honey Badgers (3-2)
    The Honey Badgers move up a spot after a win against D-Holes and close GOTW loss to Love Garden. Honey Badgers answered any questions I had about them as a top-10 or better team with the offensive savvy, reliable defense (I can’t really think of any crucial errors), and never-quit energy displayed in the Game of the Week. If they handle business like they should against XXXoxo and grind out a tough win vs. Lawrence Shirt Factory, they should be locked in for the best ever tournament seed in franchise history. 
  1. Ladybird Harpies (2-3)
    Ladybird drops three spots after suffering two losses in the last two weeks. Losing by 6 to Kansas Tree Care is on par with what I’d expect. The 3-run loss to Red Lyon was a surprise, but not a horrible loss by any means either. Giving up 20-runs in the loss, however? That’s trouble. I’ve heard Grant is hurt and either not playing or not 100%. Whatever the reason, The Harpies has given up 57 runs on the season through 5 weeks, which is simply not good enough to achieve whatever high expectations the Harpies have for themselves. The good news is they still have 5 weeks to get right and figure it out before the post season. 
  1. Lawrence Shirt Factory (3-2)
    Lawrence Shirt Factory also drops a few spots after two reasonable losses in the last two weeks (3-run loss to Red Lyon, 6-run loss to Post Haus). No need to sound the alarm. Despite the name, this is a team with a young core. A loss or two, might be the motivation these kids need to get to the next level. They’ll look to bounce back against Red Legs, which should be a fantastic week 6 matchup. 
  1. Red Legs (1-4) 
    I threatened to keep Red Legs as a top 10 team with a 1-4 record. After a 7-run loss to Post Haus and a 10-run loss to Kansas Tree Care, I still genuinely think it’s justified. In fact, it may even be selling the Red Legs short. It just comes down to how insane the Red Legs’ schedule has been so far. You can’t really overstate this point. For example, the Red Legs have lost four games so far. The worst team they’ve lost to is ranked #5 on this ranking. How about their only win? That 3-run win against Home Loans looked questionable at the time. Not as much today. Those Home Loans are now sitting at 4-1 on the season. At the end of the day, when I look at the composite of the Red Legs’ results, I think they can pose a legitimate threat to teams 6-9 on this ranking. 
  1. Johnny’s (3-2)
    Johnny’s is another team that started out slow, but now appear to be righting the ship ever so slowly. The last two weeks have been good to Johnny’s place on this ranking. A one 1-run loss against JWE shows they can still hang with top tier KVKL teams. The 9-run blitzing of the D-Holes show that they can keep play at a level that keeps teams below them in the rankings at arms length. We know Johnny’s has top level kickball experience. The KIFA podcast reminded us that they have some of the best ladies in the league. If they keep piecing things together, there may be no team with bigger tournament upset potential than Johnny’s at the end of the year. All of that is to say that the Johnny’s vibes are changing. Excited to see how they come out in the week 6 GOTW.
  1. Brew Tang (4-1)
    I have Brew Tang moving into the top 12 for the first time in KVKL history. This is a tricky one for me because I, in true sight unseen fashion, haven’t ever seen Brew Tang play, nor do I know their players. The results though speak for themselves. Scoring 20+ runs in both of the last two weeks is good. A 17-run win over Asteroid Head, especially, strikes me as top team kind of thing to do. We have to wait a few more weeks, but I’m excited to see Brew Tang tested by Free State and Johnny’s. Win both of those games and know ‘em or not, a top 10 seed in the tournament should be an inevitability. 
  1. Free State (4-1)
    Free State continues to rack up wins, earning positive results against Jazzhaus and 23rd St. over the past two weeks — two teams that have flashed promise this season. There one loss to Red Lyon is also looking better and better. Free State just lacks a signature win to vault them into the top tier of teams, rather than on the cusp of it. Well, no better time than at the GOTW for that.
  1. Corksuckers (4-1) 
    Corksuckers are on a 4 game win streek, which will sadly be coming to a close on Sunday. (They play Kansas Tree Care.) I got to watch a bit of their game against KBC Tropics this week. The Corksuckers don’t blow you away with athleticism, but they have the feel of a team that just knows situational kickball really well and aren’t going to beat themselves. They have Clint (I think) keeping everything in order as the pitcher. Their 3rd baseman is really good as well. Those attributes together are going to be enough to win a lot of KVKL games.
  1. D-Holes (2-3)
    D-Holes fall a couple spots after losing to Honey Badgers by 11 and Johnny’s by 9. Even though these aren’t upset losses, you would have liked to see more competitive results for D-Holes to keep their number 11 spot on the last iteration of these rankings. I still believe in the D-Holes to be a top 12ish team at the end of the year by ability. Unfortunately, the schedule is doing them no favors as they have Harpies, Red Lyon, and a hungry Home Loans team as there next three opponents. 
  1. Home Loans (4-1)
    Hello. Home Loans is jumping 5-spots up the ranking on the strength of their recent 3-run win over KBC Tropics and 4-run win over R-Bar. They are a young, athletic team still just learning the game. Who knows where their ceiling is, but it is likely higher than this. Should they get past the enigma that is Bald Beavers and Young Spine (playing better lately), their week 8 match up with D-Holes will be a really exciting clash.  (I can’t imagine too many people were circling that one at the beginning of the year.)  If Home Loans goes into that game 6-1, I imagine that at least some people on the podcast will be legitimately picking them to win that game.
  1. XXXoxo (3-2)
    XXXoxo stays at #17 on the ranking list this week. I said in the last ranking that I was putting XXXoxo towards the top of the range where they could conceivably be ranked. I think scoring 27- and 21-runs respectively in their last two games proves this ranking right. Unfortunately for XXXoxo, because I already had them at the top of the range, there wasn’t anywhere to move them further up. Should be a sneaky good game against Honey Badgers this week, I’d think. A win there would put XXXoxo into the conversation for top 12.
  1. Drop Stoppers. (3-2)
    This next range of teams from 18-23 or so gets incredibly difficult for me to pull apart. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to Drop Stoppers first. They have the best win of any of these teams, 4-2 over Corksuckers all the way back in week 1. Over the last two weeks they won one big (Bunt N Grind) and lost one close (Young Spine) to two teams in this same range. That’s good enough for a one spot bump since week 3 rankings. 
  1. Jazzhaus (3-2)
    I’ll take Jazzhaus next in this range, who are also moving up one spot in the ranking. Still one of the most athletic teams in the league,  Jazzhaus seems to be figuring some things out now at the midpoint in the season. The 1-run loss to Free State points to an upward trajectory, and handling business against Ghosts might be the “get right” game Jazzhaus needs to springboard off of as they start the most crucial stretch of their season. Jazzhaus finishes the season against Ladybird Harpies and Lawrence Shirt Factory, so they’ll really want to get as many wins as possible in this three game stretch against Sacred Sword, XXXoxo, and KBC Tropics.  
  1. 23rd St. (3-2)
    23rd St. has won all the games they were supposed to this season, and also lost the expected games. I’m cooling on them a bit after their last two results, where they only managed to squeak by Ghosts by one run, and then weren’t able to get the legs going against Free State. The thing that impressed me most about 23rd St. early on was that they were scoring 10+ runs in their first three games, but they haven’t hit that mark since. Fortunately, the schedule breaks nice to get the offense firing again. They should be favored in all their remaining games, making an 8-2 season possible for this squad.
  1. KBC Tropics (2-3)
    KBC Tropics drops 5 spots after suffering two losses in the last two weeks. Neither of the results are horrible — a 3-run loss to Home Loans and a 1-run loss to Corksuckers — but I had KBC Tropics previously all the way up at 16 in the ranking. To hold onto that spot, they needed to come through with a win in at least one of those. Also, I had the pleasure to watch a lot of the KBC Tropics game on Sunday. They hung tough with Corksuckers and fought to the end, but they are still thinking through things too much on offense and defense, rather than just playing. That will just come with time. 
  1. Bald Beavers (4-1)
    Bald Beavers is also up one spot in these rankings, and all they do is win, apparently. The issue with ranking them higher than this is that all four of their wins are against teams that will be at the very bottom of this ranking. The reason Bald Beavers are as high as they are is that they were competitive in their loan game against a team in the top half of the league. If Bald Beavers can pull out a win against Home Loans this week, then we will really have to reevaluate how good this team is. For now, let’s just enjoy the fact that they are squarely next to KBC Tropics in the ranking. 
  1. Bunt N Grind (3-2)
    Bunt N Grind drops one spot after losing decisively to Drop Stoppers and winning against Pawsh Wash, but giving up 13 runs in the process. As I mentioned before, I think teams 18-23 all feel in a similar tier to me, and for now Bunt N Grind has the short end of the stick. 
  1. Young Spine (3-2)
    The last team with a winning record to enter this list is Young Spine. After an 0-2 start, Young Spine has rattled off three wins in a row. Young Spine earned easily the most impressive result in franchise history this past week with a 5-4 win over Drop Stoppers. In the weeks prior, Young Spine barely escaped with 2-run wins over Pawsh Wash and Soda Jerks. 
  1. Ghosts (2-3)
    Ghosts drop one spot after a couple of losses, 9-8 to 23rd St. and 10-5 to Jazzhaus. Both of these results indicate a team that is closer to the middle of the league than to the bottom. Unfortunately, Katie’s 8-2 projection is now out the window. My projection: Ghosts finish the season 5-5.
  1. R-Bar (0-5)
    R-Bar who has clearly angered the scheduling gods actually moves up two spots after racking up two more losses. In those losses, R-Bar fell short of Corksuckers by 2 in the GOTW, the #14 team on this ranking, and then by 4 to Home Loans the #16 team on this ranking. Those results show a team that is probably closer to the middle of the KVKL pack in terms of ability. R-Bar has two reasonable chances of earning their first win of the season in the next two games, where they will face 23rd St. and Drop Stoppers.
  1. Asteroid Head (2-3)
    Forever the streakiest team in the KVKL, Asteroid Head can get shut out by Bunt N Grind one week and then drop 28 runs (!!) on Schoonies the next. When the legs are on, they can really rival the place kicking of any team in the league, you just can’t really bank on that in any given week. 
  1. Woost (2-3)
    I hope Dan Mauga recovers well from the collision he was involved in on the way to his KVKL game. It’s important, not only because Dan is a great guy, but also because anyone who has ever played with or against him knows the type of impact he makes on a kickball field. Woost has a tough schedule down the stretch too with Brew Tang, Free State, and Love Garden still remaining on the schedule.
  1. Pawsh Wash (1-4)
    Pawsh Wash kicks off what I would call the final tier of teams. They followed up their GOTW win with a close loss to Young Spine, who has been playing better as of late, and a reasonably competitive game with Bunt N Grind. That and the head to head win against Kicking Assets is enough to give them the nod for #29, a fall of one place from the previous ranking.
  1. Kicking Assets (1-4)
    Kicking Assets move up a couple of spots after earning their first win of the season and then scoring a respectable 9 runs against XXXoxo. Kicking Assets plays Young Spine this week in a game that should tell us a lot more about these two teams. Even though they are only separated by 6 places, it feels like a wide gap at this portion of the ranking. 
  1. Louise’s Schoonies (2-3)
    The Schoonies have already notched two wins this season, but one of those came over Empire by just two runs, in one of the closest games that Empire has ever played in the KVKL. Schoonies scored a bunch in their game against Asteroid Head as well, but also gave up a million runs. Maybe Schoonies are better than this ranking, but at the same time they are playing against the winless Late Fees this week, and it kind of feels like a game that Late Fees take down in a high scoring affair.
  1. Reading Rockets (1-4)
    Reading Rockets rise two spots after earning their first win 7-1 over the Soda Jerks. Reading Rockets have also played ghosts very close and held every team they’ve faced this year out of the absurd amount of runs scoring range. Despite their current rank, Reading Rockets should be favored in two of the games remaining on their schedule against Late Fees and Empire.
  1. Mass St. Soda Jerks (1-4)
    Soda Jerks got their first win of the season in a surprising 12-5 win over Sacred Sword. They also lost a disappointing one last week against the Reading Rockets. The result is a bump up the ranking of a couple spots. This week they have a winnable grudge match game against Pawsh Wash, which looks to be the last winnable one before an absolutely brutal four game stretch against Honey Badgers, Love Garden, Brew Tang, and 23rd St. Maybe they can give 23rd St. a run for their money as well?
  1. Sacred Sword (0-5)
    Sacred Sword can’t find a win. After a very respectable 13-11 loss to Home Loans, I really thought that Sacred Sword was poised to win against Soda Jerks and Bald Beavers. Sadly, they lost both games by 7 and 9 runs, respectively. I’m not sure if they have an inconsistent roster, injuries or what, but dropping those games is going to hurt as their schedule doesn’t get easier from here on out.
  1. Late Fees (0-5)
    Late Fees are scoring more than 9 runs a game on average this year. Unfortunately, they are giving up more than 20 runs a game. (A good portion of those runs can be attributed to Harpies dropping 40 on them.) It’s really hard to win KVKL games when the other team has a better defense than you, and it seems that that has been the Late Fees issue thus far. 
  1. Empire (0-5)
    Lastly, we have Empire who is still in search of their franchises’ first win. It feels more and more in reach each week. A 10-8 loss to Schoonies in week 4 is proof of that. Scoring 8 against Brew Tang last week is also a positive sign. I’m not betting on it, but I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibilities that Empire can give Ghosts a scare this week. Otherwise, Empire’s week 7 clash with Reading Rockets will be their last best chance to earn a win in the regular season.