We at the Blaseball Prospectus spent Monday crunching the numbers, reading the tweets, and weighing the odds of a dark horse using any analysis as bulletin-board material on the way to winning the Coffee Cup. We’ve come up with our highly scientific* POWER RANKINGS that we can laugh at after we learn what the known unknowns were for this Cup.
Caveats: We have no idea what the weather will be like for the Cup, so we don’t know which teams will benefit from or curse the shifting winds. We don’t know what Tired or Well-Rested or Observed does, nor do we know WHATEVER is up with BC Noir.
Methodology: The rankings are in reverse order, 16 to 1, based on the aggregate of ranking from Ace Analyst (AA) and Luckey Haskins (LH). In the case of a tied aggregate, we used the tournament seeding as a tiebreaker. Without further adieu, here are the POWER RANKINGS.
Further Adieu: (We are really, really sorry for the bottom 3. Prove us wrong?)
Society Data Witches
Tournament Seed: #9
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.56
Rotation Stars — 2.0 • 3.5 • 2.5 • 3.5 • 1.5
Power Ranking: 16 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: I really hate analysis, sometimes. The Data Witches have been an utter delight on Twitter in the run-up to the Coffee Cup. But their blaseball stats? Their first match-up? UFF DA. The Data Witches’ rotation has the fewest stars in the Cup, by a significant margin. Round 1 pits them against one of the best lineups; C&S United has only one batter under 4*. The Data Witches have a middle-of-the-road lineup, and 5* Batista Oatmilk is a bright spot, for sure. But without some help from the weather, they look like a tough bet to get out of Round 1.
AA: Well… I guess this is what happens when you trust the sim. By regular ILB standards, this is a very respectable ballclub. But this ain’t your ordinary ILB — it’s the Coffee Cup, and stars abound on this stage (er, uh, field). The offense looks well-rounded but unoptimized, with their weakest hitter up front and the two brightest spots (Batista Oatmilk and Beans Reblase) scattered across the lineup. The rotation is sadly lacking, too, with just 2 pitchers breaking the 3 star mark. Of course, ratings aren’t everything and I’m sure I haven’t seen all the stats the team has, but a date with Cream & Sugar — one of the strongest offenses — doesn’t help their chances.
P.S. I hope this doesn’t affect our friendship, SIBR 🙁
Tournament Seed: #12
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.25
Rotation Stars — 5.5 • 3.5 • 3.0 • 3.0 • 2.0
Power Ranking: 15 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: Oh geez. My bottom two spots are both fan teams. I really hope my predictions turn out to be way off-base. The Artists have a legit top-of-the rotation pitcher in PomPom Pomodoro. Outside that, the team is all over the place (befitting the Pandemonium name) and is below the Cup average in hitting & pitching. There are mitigating variables: we don’t know what Tired does, how often Well-Rested will proc, or what the Artists’ Shadows look like. They are a chaos team, and chaos can win tournaments. That said, they drew a challenging Round 1, so chaos will have to reign early.
AA: This is the first of 3 teams that are hard to accurately rank, given their unknown status effects. We know we’ll be seeing some players emerge from the Shadows… but how good will they be? They could make the team better, or take away a bright spot. Anyway, as it stands, the Artists are sadly unspectacular. Arbutus Bones and Chromatic Jump stand out along with a couple other bats, but the lineup as a whole is underwhelming and a bit disorganized. PomPom Pomodoro will probably give hitters fits, but as we’ve seen in the past, one ace can’t save a team. Now, if the massive collective of talented Artists offers up a new star or two, maybe they’ll pull off an upset. Right now, though, they’ve got a tough matchup, and I don’t know if they can paint their way out of this corner.
Real Game Band
Tournament Seed: #2
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.70
Rotation Stars — 3.5 • 3.0 • 3.0 • 3.5 • 2.5
Power Ranking: 14 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: I know, I know. I put the three teams of new players in the bottom three spots, and yes, I am upset with myself. Real Game Band is, for all intents & purposes, a solid if average team. The lineup has no weaknesses, but also caps out at 4.5*. The rotation… is rough. Honestly, if this was a round-robin tournament, or they were facing a different team in Round 1, I’d list them higher. Thing is, in a 5-game series, they’ll face Burke Gonzales (6*), Pitching Machine (5*), and Curry Aliciakeys (5*) to start. We don’t know weather effects, and we don’t know what Observed does, and Macchiato City has holes in their lineup. Absent more information, though, it’s hard to see RGB make it through.
AA: (I’m so sorry The Game Band please don’t hurt me please don’t hurt me)
Anyway… I’ll be honest, RGB doesn’t look too bad. The lineup is consistent with a solid middle of the order, and the pitching staff is decent, if a little drab. (Not the people just the ratings I promise pls don’t be mad Joel) Where I run into trouble here is with their matchups. First, they’d have to get by Mac City, who has an absurd 1-2-3 in their rotation and some proven stars at the plate. Even if they manage to eke out a series victory, Light & Sweet Electric Co. would pose a real challenge in Round 2. Like the Artists, though, there’s some uncertainty given their effect — I have no clue what Observed does, and this is blaseball, after all.
Tournament Seed: #11
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.00
Rotation Stars — 4.0
Power Ranking: 13 (Ace), 11 (Luckey)
LH: I have no idea what’s going on here. We’ve got two new Hard-Boiled players, one in the lineup, the other in the rotation. This was thought to be the “Anything” team before rosters were announced, and I assume they’re not trotting out only two players each game. Maybe they are. Or maybe the Noir hire mercenary players each game, setting the lineup from players not in any Coffee Cup team’s roster or Shadows? No idea. The tournament seeded them at #11, so that’s where I’m leaving them.
AA: Aaaand the final “this could literally be completely wrong” team. Please don’t take this ranking into account. When Hard Boiled actually means something and chaos breaks loose, forget I put Noir this low. But as it stands… I don’t see BC making many waves. To be honest, on paper they’re worse than Heavy, who will put out a better lineup and a better pitcher for the first 3 games of the series. But again, forget I said any of this.
Club de Calf
Tournament Seed: #7
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.56
Rotation Stars — 4.0 • 2.0 • 3.5 • 3.5
Power Ranking: 12 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: I love the energy of the Club de Calf roster, but they just look outmatched. They’ve got average hitting, a shortened rotation that’s pretty okay, and that’s about it. They face a team that looks better on paper in every aspect. I absolutely love the combination of personalities on this team, but unless they can elevate to a higher level of caffeinated consciousness, I don’t see them moving out of Round 1.
AA: Like with Real Game Band, this team looks solid on paper, with a well-optimized lineup and a more-or-less average pitching staff. I’m not sure if they can handle Light & Sweet, who can certainly outhit them and will probably match them rotation-wise. But don’t count them out just yet — Haynes and Septemberish have been putting up top notch numbers for the past few seasons, and they’ve got one of the splort’s premier flamethrowers in Dunlap Figueroa. Don’t get your hopes up, but don’t assume they’re already out, either.
Tournament Seed: #6
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.14
Rotation Stars — 5.0 • 4.0 • 4.5 • 2.5 • 3.5
Power Ranking: 13 (Luckey), 11 (Ace)
LH: This is the ranking that I have the least faith in. Heavy FC has a great rotation but a shortened lineup that caps out at 4*. They look like they could beat BC Noir… IF WE KNEW WHAT THE DEAL WAS WITH BC NOIR. (Anyway.) At the moment, BC Noir has a single 4* pitcher, and I remember that working out pretty okay for the Snackrifice Era Tacos (at first). Even if Heavy FC gets past BC Noir, they’re likely to face Americano Water Works, a pre-tournament favorite. I would love for the [FOGHORN SOUND] to cut through all this analytical fog, but their path forward is murky at best.
AA: They may be named Heavy, but they’re actually a little light on the hitting side of things. They’ve only got 8 hitters, and none of them really stand out (their best is the 4-star Peanut Holloway). The rotation, meanwhile, is pretty [FOGHORN SOUND]ing incredible. Three of the most memorable, and best, pitchers in blaseball history open it up, and Evelton McBlase is a solid #5. However, though it might be enough to push them past BC Noir (although who knows what’ll happen with them), I don’t think Heavy can [FOGHORN SOUND] their way around Americano or Inter Espresso, who have far better lineups and can stack up pitching-wise. Well, [FOGHORN SOUND].
Cold Brew Crew
Tournament Seed: #16
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.00
Rotation Stars — 5.0 • 4.0 • 4.0 • 3.0 • 3.0
Power Ranking: 10 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: The Crew have the weakest lineup in the tournament, and their lowest-rated hitter in the cleanup spot. On the other hand, the Crew have a high-quality rotation that is topped by 4* and 5* pitching. They also have a favorable draw in Atletico Latte, whose lineup is only marginally better, and whose rotation matches advantageously for Cold Brew. Plus, everyone loves a 16-seed defeating a 1-seed, AND Tillman Henderson is thought by some to be the protagonist of Blaseball. There’s more than a snowball’s chance in Hades this team advances.
AA: The Crew are definitely going to be overlooked by a lot of people going into the Coffee Cup — especially with them being the 16 seed — but I wouldn’t count them out just yet. For one, though their lineup doesn’t look very formidable overall, leadoff hitter Nerd Pacheco broke out in Season 11, and they’re surrounded by solid supporting cast members like Felix Garbage and Tillman Henderson. What I’m trying to say is, though they might not be a machine out there, the offense can certainly hold its own, especially when being backed by such a powerful rotation. The 1-2-3 of Winnie Hess, Alexandria Rosales, and Yosh Carpenter isn’t the strongest in the tourney, but it gives them a fighting chance against Atletico Latte. All in all, they’ve probably got an equally good chance of playing it cool or getting the cold shoulder.
Tournament Seed: #1
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.22
Rotation Stars — 4.5 • 3.0 • 4.5 • 3.0 • 2.5
Power Ranking: 9 (Luckey, Ace)
LH: I am really curious how the teams were seeded. Was it based on the player pool available, before rosters were finalized? In any case, the Latte don’t scream 1-seed to me. They have average overall hitting, but the assembly of the lineup might result in difficulty manufacturing runs. They have relatively average pitching, but they at least face the weakest lineup in Round 1. The path in front of them is easier than many other teams, so a top 4 finish is not outside the realm of possibility. But neither is a first-round upset.
AA: “Teamwork makes the steamwork” is the Latte slogan, but the Latte just happen to be one of the more uneven teams in the Cup. As Luckey pointed out, the lineup is configured pretty awkwardly, with no real string of strong hitters like all the teams I’ve put above them have. The rotation is solid enough — Elvis Figueroa is one of the game’s best hurlers, and Bendie on the mound is an intriguing touch — but while they might brrrrrrreeze past the Crew, I can’t see them making a championship run.
Tournament Seed: #4
Avg. Hitting Stars — 4.00
Rotation Stars — 4.0 • 3.0 • 3.5 • 2.0 • 3.0
Power Ranking: 8 (Ace), 6 (Luckey)
LH: These are your heavy hitters in the Coffee Cup. At least, this is the team that’s piled up all those hitting stars. There is little respite to be found from spots 1-9. Unfortunately, this is countered by a spotty rotation. The Royal PoS feels like a recent Wild Low team, hoping to get just enough pitching to allow their lineup to tear through the opponent. Were we in Sun 2 weather, they’d be higher in the rankings. Instead, Royal PoS starts the Cup against the strongest rotation in the tournament. And if they get past Round 1, they face one of the tournament favorites. But if the weather favors hitting, watch out.
AA: “Oh, Sweet” must be what Royal fans said when they first saw their team’s lineup. It’s got everyone’s favorite dork York Silk and everyone’s best friend Richmond Harrison, and no real weak spots throughout. The rotation, though, isn’t great, although I’m excited to see if the Reverberating Don Mitchell will have any interesting effects on the mound. They’ve got a tough draw against Milk Proxy, who have the arms to counter the PoS bats. It could be close, but I think Royal lacks the balance needed to edge out their opponents.
Tournament Seed: #15
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.22
Rotation Stars — 6.0 • 5.0 • 5.0 • 4.0 • 2.0
Power Ranking: 7 (Luckey), 6 (Ace)
LH: It feels risky as heck to put a team this high when its lineup is this uneven and has so many holes in it. But LOOK AT THAT ROTATION. It is completely optimized for best-of-5 play. Burke Gonzales, Pitching Machine, Curry Aliciakeys are a dream 1-2-3 combo. And if a team beats one of them, Eugenia Garbage is a killer option for a #4 starter. They’ve got a real chance at upsetting the Commissioner’s team in Round 1, though there’s enough uncertainty to make it far from guaranteed. And even if City’s lineup is unbalanced, it still has Jessica Telephone leading off and the Margarito-Fish combo at 4-5. Macchiato could pull it off, but teams dependent on their rotation don’t have a lot of room for error.
AA: This is the ranking I’m least sure about. While I have no doubt they’ll get past Real Game Band (at least, given what we know now), they might not have the depth for a serious run. But they’ve got 3 legit bats — some of the ILB’s best — and probably the best pitching staff in this whole thing. Problem is, it all depends on the matchups, as there are plenty of teams that have the bats to beat up on City’s lesser arms — and if the offense has a bad day, that could mean good night. And yet — you can’t lose if they don’t score.
Tournament Seed: #14
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.72
Rotation Stars — 5.5 • 3.5 • 4.0 • 3.0 • 4.0
Power Ranking: 8 (Luckey), 5 (Ace)
LH: When the lineups were first announced, my initial reaction was that the low seed for Espresso made sense. As I compiled the information, though, I kept moving them up the rankings. I may not have moved them up enough. They have a good lineup, the top of which is among the best in the Cup. Their rotation is average, but it’s hard to bet against Theo Cervantes. Heck, the rest of the rotation matches up well to most other teams in this tourney. Unfortunately, the team they go up against in Round 1 is a tournament favorite, Americano Water Works. I think Inter Espresso has a real chance to pull the upset here, but maybe not? They have a very difficult road, but the more I look at Espresso, the more buzzed I am about their chances.
AA: If there’s any team that can absolutely defy their seeding and pull off a few crazy upsets, it’s this one. As Luckey pointed out, they may not look like much at first, but this is a tightly organized bunch with very few real weaknesses. Their lineup begins with 4 players who are some of their ILB teams’ best, and is ordered in a way that eschews any streaks of poor hitters. The rotation is deceptively impressive, too, with a bona fide ace in Cervantes and the shaky but impressive Parker Meng closing it out. They have a tough matchup, it’s true, but Espresso more than nearly anyone else have the skills and balance to expose a leak in the Water Works.
Cream & Sugar United
Tournament Seed: #8
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.94
Rotation Stars — 5.0 • 3.0 • 2.5 • 3.5 • 2.0
Power Ranking: 7 (Ace), 5 (Luckey)
LH: Here we have the arguably the best (or second-best) lineup in the Coffee Cup. All but one of their hitters is at 4* or 4.5*. They are high-quality in 8 of 9 spots, but also don’t have a big 5* bat. While the United’s lineup has even-handedness, though, their rotation has the opposite. Only one pitcher with a rating of 4* or better. Then again, one of the “average” pitchers is Sandoval Crossing, who’s had some stellar seasons for the Sunbeams of late. The United are the more tempered version of the Royal PoS, but United also face an easier opponent if they advance out of Round 1.
AA: I can’t stop staring at this offense. Like…what?????? 8 out of their 9 hitters are 4 stars or higher, which is just downright CRAZY. The rotation, though, gives me pause. They’ve got Gabriel Griffith as a great first starter, but aside from the underrated Sandoval Crossing, there’s not a whole lot else to look forward to. It’s not BAD, for sure, and they could definitely compensate for it with their lineup. Did I mention their lineup is CRAZY? They’ve got an easy Round 1 and are likely bound for the Final 4, but a more balanced team like Milk Proxy or FWXBC could deny them a trip to the finals.
Milk Proxy Society
Tournament Seed: #13
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.50
Rotation Stars — 5.5 • 5.5 • 2.5 • 4.0 • 5.0
Power Ranking: 4 (Luckey), 3 (Ace)
LH: I’m not sure how this team got seeded so low. Sure, their lineup is average overall, though the only rating below 3* is the #9 spot, so it seems pretty optimized. That rotation, however, is a dangerous beast. They have more stars than Macchiato City, but are slightly less optimized for a best-of-5 series. Still — trotting out three pitchers rated at 5* or more is a thing you want in a tournament. Naturally, this rotation is facing off against the highest-rated lineup (Royal PoS) in the Coffee Cup. This is because splorts gods are fickle and find humor in the fact one of these powerhouse teams will fall out in Round 1.
AA: Similarly to Mac City, the MPS has what looks to be an unstoppable rotation. The difference is that the Proxy Society, though lacking in big-name bats, only has one real weakness, and it’s at the bottom of the order (sorry, Theo!!). I actually had the Proxy Society first in my rankings for a while, but they’ve just got a slightly tougher slate than my #1 pick. They face a fairly rough first matchup in Royal PoS (if anyone can stop this unstoppable staff, it’s them), but if they can withstand that and get favorable matchups against FWXBC, I see no reason why this club can’t make a finals run.
Light & Sweet Electric Co.
Tournament Seed: #10
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.89
Rotation Stars — 4.0 • 3.0 • 3.5 • 3.0 • 3.5
Power Ranking: 4 (Ace), 3 (Luckey)
LH: After my breathless appreciation for the “best” or “strongest” lineups or rotations, it may seem a bit odd to have a team like this ranked above those teams. L&S Electric Co. has a dependable, if not flashy, rotation. (Counterpoint: any rotation with Cell Barajas leading Usurper Violet AND Bonk Jokes, followed by two Combs, is flashy in my book, stars be damned.) The Electric Co. has a top-notch lineup that leads off with big-time hitting in spots 1-5. They also have one of the easier roads to the final four, which helps their ranking.
AA: I went back and forth on this ranking a lot, because the Electric Co aren’t an easy team to gauge. They’re not as consistent as FWXBC, and lack the star arms of a Mac City or a Water Works to compensate for the holes in their lineup. I think they’ll probably breeze past Club de Calf, but if Real Game Band can push the series vs Mac City to 4 or 5 games, Light & Sweet’s chances may soon turn sour. If not? They could power their way to the finals and beyond.
Tournament Seed: #5
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.83
Rotation Stars — 5.0 • 4.0 • 3.5 • 3.5 • 4.5
Power Ranking: 2 (Ace), 1 (Luckey)
LH: And here it is, my pick for the favorite in the Coffee Cup. They have a lineup that is high quality, consistent from top to bottom with little weakness. Thomas Daracaena leads off with an Actual Airplane, and there doesn’t look to be an easy out all the way through. The rotation is top three in the Cup, and can match up with any other rotation. The risk to FWXBC is that tournaments sometimes favor unbalanced teams over those that are consistent throughout the roster. But until we see which way chaos blows, FWXBC has the track to bring home the inaugural Coffee Cup.
AA: I’ve always believed that, especially in a tournament, consistency is key, and FWXBC are the epitome of consistency. No hitters sit below 3 stars, and no pitchers below 3.5. Their leadoff hitter, Thomas Dracaena, is one of the league’s most consistently good hitters. There are some interesting position swaps, such as Tot Clark and Castillo Turner, that actually improve the team overall. Sure, they’ll probably get overpowered in some games by a juggernaut offense like Royal PoS or a shutdown staff like the Proxy Society’s. But as long as they can keep plugging away, FWXBC could certainly stay the course and take the Cup.
Americano Water Works
Tournament Seed: #3
Avg. Hitting Stars — 3.89
Rotation Stars — 5.5 • 3.0 • 5.0 • 1.5 • 3.0
Power Ranking: 2 (Luckey), 1 (Ace)
LH: This team was a prohibitive favorite when all we had was a list of available players. The big concern was around the rotation options. Then it was announced that Nagomi McDaniel would captain the rotation, and there was much excitement in the Water Works. That said, the rotation is still an up-and-down affair, but it helps that they can sandwich Inky’s Blagonball between Nagomi & Scandal, and finish off with Silvia Rugrat. Meanwhile the vaunted Americano lineup has Cerveza, Cashmoney, and Blackburn up top, and finishes with the Haunted Esme Ramsey. Americano has a slightly tougher path to the championship than my top-ranked team on this list, but they are a very good shot to win it all.
AA: Alright, I’m gonna be honest — I was tempted to put FWXBC at #1 too, and Luckey is definitely justified in doing so. But even though I said consistency is key, I’m a sucker for star power, and hoo boy do the Water Works have plenty. Aldon Cashmoney — who had one of the best offensive seasons in Blaseball history in Season 11 — isn’t even leading off this lineup, which has a formidable triple threat leading off and some underrated — and Haunted — hitters at the bottom. Plus, the weaker hitting links player superb defense, including the 8 (!!) defensive-star Richardson Games. Yes, as Luckey said, the rotation is a concern. But as the Tacos and others have proven time and time again, who needs pitching when nobody can get you out? Americano could certainly be upset by Inter Espresso, who are similarly configured, but no way are they going out without a fight — and probably some runs along the way.
That’s All, folks.
We hope you enjoyed reading our power rankings and we hope you enjoy watching the Coffee Cup!