Week 5 Standings
#1 (n/a): Nashville Sounds (20-9 | 5-0-0)
Opponent: Norfolk (4-2 | +4)
Nashville continues to roll, and there is no debate that they are the best team in the pool. After this week, they have the best head-to-head record, series record, and the highest +/-. Nashville had to work for their series win against Norfolk. Heading into game six, the series was about as even as possible. Two wins each with only a one-point differential in the series. Nashville would take game five 1-0, the lowest-scoring game of the series, to ensure they did not lose the series. In game six, the Sounds would shut out the Tides for the second game in a row, 4-0, and secure their fifth series win. This upcoming week, Nashville will travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jumbo Shrimp for the first time this season.
#2 (n/a): Oklahoma City Dodgers (18-12 | 2-0-3)
Opponent: Albuquerque (3-3 | +11)
This is the second time Oklahoma City has seen the Albuquerque Isotopes, and this meeting was a little less flattering than the last. Oklahoma City went 5-1 in the series against the Isotopes in week one of the season with a 19-point differential. The Dodgers finished the first two games of this series down by just one point. However, games 3-5 of the series were spectacular for the Dodgers scoring 12, 9, and 8 points while only allowing 3, 2, and 5 points. This week Oklahoma City will travel to Round Rock to take on the Express for the first time this season.
#3 (+1): Akron RubberDucks (14-13| 2-2-1)
Opponent: Richmond (3-3 | +/- 0)
Akron has finally crept into the Top-3, and it's not because of spectacular ball play. They've just been playing better than the teams ahead of them. However, it didn't look that way for the first three games in this series against Richmond. It wasn't until the Ducks shut out the Flying Squirrels in game four that we saw the #3 ranked team that we know the RubberDucks to be. After starting 0-3, Akron rallied in the final three games of the series to avoid the series loss. This week they will host the Erie SeaWolves. This will be the second time the two have faced one another this season. Akron went 1-2 and -1 against the SeaWolves in week one.
#4 (-1): Worcester Red Sox (15-15 | 2-2-1)
Opponent: Toledo (2-4 | -5)
After being the #1 team in week 2 of this season, Worcester has not had much luck. In week three, they were nearly swept by a weak Syracuse team, Buffalo tied the series in week four, and this past week Toledo did not like the Red Sox going up 2-0, so they decided to win the last four games and not allow the Red Sox to finish with more than three points. So perhaps we have been a little too lenient on the Red Sox so far, and maybe they should be lower, but we will make that judgment after hosting the Rochester Red Wings this week in their first matchup.
#5 (+1): Tennessee Smokies (14-12 | 3-1-1)
Opponent: Birmingham (4-2 | +3)
After being upset by Chattanooga last week, Tennessee proves that they are a team to be on the lookout for. In their first series against the Barons, the Smokies never had to rally to win the series. Their first loss came after two wins and their second loss came after their third win. They closed out the series with a decent 9-4 win to take the series 4-2. This week, the Smokies will take on the Montgomery Biscuits, and the Chattanooga Lookouts will return to Kodak, Tennessee, for round three following.
#6 (+2): Durham Bulls (13-17 | 1-3-1)
Opponent: Buffalo (4-2 | +4)
The Durham Bulls finally get one on the board against the Buffalo Bisons, who more recently tied a series with the Worcester Red Sox. Heading into game five, the series was split 2-2. The Bulls secured the tie by one point in game five and the series win in game six when they beat the Bison 6-2. Could this be what the Bulls need to get back into contention? This week the Bulls will host the Gwinnett Stripers, who are currently 5-7 against Minor League Monday teams.
#7 (-2): Chattanooga Lookouts (14-13 | 3-2-0)
Opponent: Rocket City (1-5 | -6)
Chattanooga probably had the weirdest start of the week of any of the teams in Minor League Monday. They started the week being shut out 0-5, then bounced back and won by nine points in game two. Then with the series tied 1-1, they lost the next four games, but two of those games were determined by one point. Up to this point, Chattanooga has had a pretty decent season and, like the Smokies, are another team to keep your eye on. They will take on the Mississippi Braves this week, which the Lookouts beat 4-2 in week three.
#8 (+1): Greenville Drive (13-14 | 2-3-0)
Opponent: Rome (5-1 | +13)
Greenville has had an awkward four weeks. In week two, the Drive nearly swept Asheville and sent them to the bottom of the leaderboard, but in weeks three and four, the Drive were nearly swept by the Winston-Salem Dash and the Hickory Crawdads. Then they bounce back, nearly sweeping the Rome Braves. So I guess it's reasonable to put them in the dead center of the pack. Anyone above Greenville we can consider a good team. Anybody below Greenville a bad team. The Drive will travel to Asheville this week to take on the Tourist once again. Maybe this time, they'll complete the sweep.
#9 (-2): Memphis Redbirds (14-16 | 1-1-3)
Opponent: Jacksonville (1-5 | -11)
It has not been a good week for the Redbirds, but on the plus side, they were not shut out this last week and have not been shut out this entire season. Because of this near-sweep by the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, they now have a 10-8 record against Minor League Monday teams. This coming week they will take on the Norfolk Tides, who have a 5-7 record against Minor League Monday teams.
#10 (n/a): Winston-Salem Dash (14-11 | 2-1-2)
Opponent: Hickory (2-2 | -3)
This week, Winston-Salem only had four games against the Hickory Crawdads due to weather. Makeup games are to be set at a later date. Winston, believe it or not, is surpassing our expectations for the season as they have found a way to not lose series'. This week, the Dash will host the Rome Braves who were nearly swept by the Greenville Drive this last week.
#11 (+2): Down East Wood Ducks (12-15 | 1-2-2)
Opponent: Kannapolis (3-3 | +3)
In one of my favorite series, the Wood Ducks and the Cannon Ballers tied in head-to-head matchups but beat Kannapolis in point differential, putting them above the Cannon Ballers in the rankings. The Wood Ducks will host the Lynchburg Hillcats this week in their first appearance against a Minor League Monday team.
#12 (n/a): Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (13-14 | 1-1-3)
Opponent: Down East (3-3 | -3)
Rivalry's make this series interesting. Though the Cannon Ballers didn't move in the rankings, a poor performance by the Woodpeckers allowed the Wood Ducks to move up two positions. The Wood Ducks have some climbing to do in the season rankings to catch up to the Cannon Ballers, but it's still one of the best rivalries in the competition. Kannapolis has a chance to redeem themselves against Fredericksburg this week. The last time the two met the Cannon Ballers fell 1-5.
#13 (-2): Fayetteville Woodpeckers (9-18 | 0-3-2)
Opponent: Charleston (1-5 | -19)
Besides the Tourists, the Woodpeckers are having one of the worst seasons of the teams in the competition. This is the second time that the Woodpeckers have won one or less games this season. This week they will host the Carolina Mudcats.
#14 (n/a): Greensboro Grasshoppers (11-15 | 1-3-1)
Opponent: Asheville (3-2 | +17)
The Grasshoppers finally win a series, but it was against the Tourist, so moving them up in the rankings is nearly impossible, especially since they went 3-2 against them. The Grasshoppers will travel to take on the Hickory Crawdads this week.
#15 (n/a): Asheville Tourists (6-20 | 0-5-0)
Opponent: Greensboro (2-3 | -19)
The Tourists could have not lost their first series had it not been for wether. The Tourists are without a doubt the worst team in this year's competition heading into week six. Maybe their luck will change against the Greenville Drive, who they were nearly swept by in week two.
Games to Watch
#15 Asheville Tourists vs. #8 Greenville Drive