#1(+2): OKLAHOMA CITY DODGERS (5-1 | 1-0-0 | 15 PTS)
Opponent: Albuquerque Isotopes (5-1 | +19)
The Oklahoma City Dodgers take the cake for week one! Coming into the season ranked at #3, we had high expectations for this team. They delivered against the Albuquerque Isotopes, going 5-1 and scoring double what the Isotopes scored to close the series. If it weren't for a sixth-inning run in game two, the Dodgers could have completed the sweep but fell short by one point. The Dodgers will travel to El Paso this week to take on the San Diego Padres affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas.
#2 (+5): WORCESTER RED SOX (5-1 | 1-0-0 | 14 PTS)
Opponent: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (5-1 | +11 PTS)
Worcester is the team that we predicted would hang around the middle of the pack for the entirety of the season, but their near sweep of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp justifies putting them in second. However, they will have to be dominant for the entirety of the season to compete for the title as they only play one series against another team on this list, the #4 Durham Bulls. This week they will host the 3-3 Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
#3 (+6): NASHVILLE SOUNDS (4-2 | 1-0-0 | 13 PTS)
Opponent: Durham Bulls (4-2 | -3)
What a way to start the season! A series win against the previous #1 team! Granted, the now #4 Durham Bulls did outscore the sounds, but four wins are better than two. Next, the Sounds will square off against the Gwinett Stripers, who the #11 Memphis Redbirds just tied their series with. We expect a more dominant performance this week from the Sounds.
#4 (-3): DURHAM BULLS (2-4 | 0-1-0 | 12 PTS)
Opponent: Nashville Sounds (2-4 | +3)
Perhaps it was a fluke, but the Durham Bulls lost the series against the now #3 Nashville Sounds. So at least going undefeated in every series is off the table. This week, the Bulls will host the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, who the #2 Worcester Red Sox just dominated. Anything less than a sweep is nearly unacceptable if the Bulls wish to be in that #1 slot.
#5 (N/A): AKRON RUBBERDUCKS (1-2 | 0-1-0 | 11 PTS)
Opponent: Erie Seawolves (1-2 | -1)
Though the RubberDucks went 1-2 in their series against the Seawolves, it was about as even as a series as you could get in three games. So it's hard to move them up or down on the list, but the upcoming series against the Reading Fightin' Phils will let us know whether we should or should not move them. We hand-selected the RubberDucks because they are supposed to be a contender. Dominance is the expectation.
#6 (-2): GREENVILLE DRIVE (1-2 | 0-1-0 | 10 PTS)
Opponent: Hudson Valley Renegades (1-2 | -6)
The Greenville drive, while they lost their series against the Renegades, it's not enough to move them down past this since each game was relatively close. Two of them just didn't go in their favor. This week the Drive will travel to Asheville to take on the #9 Asheville Tourists.
#7 (-5): GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS (1-2 | 0-1-0 | 9 PTS)
Opponent: Rome Braves (1-2 | -10)
This hurts. This one... really... hurts. We were hoping that the Grasshoppers would continue the trend of either winning or tying every series, but the Rome Braves spoiled that one. This week Greensboro will travel to take on #14 Winston-Salem Dash. An easy dub? We won't go that far because the Dash are known to sneak a few in, but this matchup is not series of the week worthy.
#8 (+7): KANNAPOLIS CANNON BALLERS (3-0 | 1-0-0 | 8 PTS)
Opponents: Fayetteville Woodpeckers (3-0 | +20)
The Cannon Ballers came out SWINGING!!! Though they swept the previous #11 team, they did so in dominating fashion. In just three games, Kannapolis was able to bring home 40 runners. The most behind the #1 Oklahoma City Dodgers, who brought home 43 but played six games. Consecutive performances like this could elevate the team that sat at the bottom of last year's standings to the top! This week, the Cannon Ballers will travel to compete against the #13 Down East Wood Ducks in a pivotal series.
#9 (-3): ASHEVILLE TOURISTS (0-3 | 0-1-0 | 7 PTS)
Opponent: Bowling Green Hot Rods (0-3 | -16)
Opening week is bound to have a lot of movement from our Preseason Rankings. We tried to go easy on the Asheville Tourists since they were swept by arguably the best team in their division, but they were swept nonetheless. The Tourists will have a tough matchup against the #6 Greenville Drive this week. Hopefully, the Tourist can bounce back and get a few W's on the board.
#10 (+4): TENNESSEE SMOKIES (2-1 | 1-0-0 | 6 PTS)
Opponent: Chattanooga Lookouts (2-1 | +7)
Based on last year's performance, we did not expect the Tennessee Smokies to beat the Chattanooga Lookouts the way they did. In their two wins, the Smokies shut out the Lookouts. In their second win, they nearly pitched a no-hitter. This week, the Tennessee Smokies will travel to take on a very powerful Montgomery Biscuits team. Should the Smokies win this series, we predict they will be the biggest movers of week two.
#11 (+1): MEMPHIS REDBIRDS (3-3 | 0-0-1 | 5 PTS)
Opponent: Gwinnett Stripers (3-3 | -5)
Are the Memphis Redbirds the new Greensboro Grasshoppers? It wasn't a win. It wasn't a loss. Though the Gwinnett Stripers are not in our Minor League Monday Series, they did cause significant disruption in the rankings last season. This week, how the Sounds perform against the Stripers will determine just how far the Redbirds will move. The Redbirds will travel to the Queen City this week to take on another 3-3 team, the Charlotte Knights.
#12 (-4): CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS (1-2 | 0-1-0 | 4 PTS)
Opponent: Tennessee Smokies (1-2 | -7)
There may be a solid rivalry brewing in eastern Tennessee. The Lookouts and the Smokies will meet five more times this season, so you best believe the Lookouts will be coming back with a vengeance next time around. Unfortunately, they will square off against a Birmingham team that has yet to win a game this week.
#13 (-3): DOWN EAST WOOD DUCKS (0-3 | 0-1-0 | 3 PTS)
Opponent: Carolina Mudcats (0-3 | -11)
The Wood Ducks are a favorite of this season, maybe not to win it, but a favorite amongst the fans, so it sucks to see them this low on the list. They will host this week's biggest mover, the #8 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The Sweeper vs. the Sweepee. This series could either be really good for the Cannon Ballers or really bad, depending on what side of the Wood Ducks we see.
#14 (-1): WINSTON-SALEM DASH (1-2 | 0-1-0 | 2 PTS)
Opponent: Hickory Crawdads (1-2 | -5)
No surprise here. The Winston-Salem Dash are hit or miss... most of the time, they miss. However, expect the Dash to get a little better if their Single-A affiliate #8 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers keeps playing how they played this week and sends a few of their players up. This week Winston will host the #7 Greensboro Grasshoppers.
#15 (-4): FAYETTEVILLE WOODPECKERS (0-3 | 0-1-0 | 1 PTS)
Opponent: Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (0-3 | -20)
We had high hopes for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers coming into this season as they finished last season at #4. However, this week, they did not just get swept by the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. Kannapolis dominated them. Hopefully, the Woodpeckers can get some momentum going and not be stuck in the Bottom of the Barrel Series all year long. This week the Woodpeckers will be looking to redeem themselves against the Salem Red Sox.
Series of the Week Winner: Nashville Sounds
4-2 vs. Durham Bulls
April 5: Sounds 5 | Bulls 4
April 6: Sounds 4 | Bulls 9
April 7: Sounds 3 | Bulls 6
April 8: Sounds 3 | Bulls 1
April 9: Sounds 2 | Bulls 1
April 10: Sounds 4 | Bulls 3
Biggest Winner: #8 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (+7)
Biggest Loser: #7 Greensboro Grasshoppers (-5)
April 11-17 Series of the Week:
#13 Down East Wood Ducks vs. #8 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers