Blaseball. Blaseball is back.

Well, almost. Everyone’s favorite splort, cultural event and courtroom drama will probably* be returning soon, and our experts here at the Blaseball News Network are eager for the season to get underway.

That’s why we’ve assembled a panel of experts from BNN and SIBR, including Firewall Andrews, Forsythia Helltiger, Benson “Nutty” Newton, Luckey Haskins, Frijoles Jones, Cowboy Moth, Joseph Ferrante (No Ichor on Youtube, #Dargo4 on Discord), and Ifh-Biff, the Data Efreet (@BiffIfh on Twitter), to vote on their expectations for Season 12 of Blaseball … and here’s what they had to say.

Teams are ranked based on average votes from our panel, and each team’s movement since our Season 11 power rankings is noted alongside the team name.

20. ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ Tokyo Lift [-]

The Lift brought plenty of soul and swole to the ILB, but didn’t bring many wins to go with it. Being dropped into a very competitive ILB landscape without years of practice, blessings and party time, Tokyo found itself on the losing end of most games, scoring the fewest runs in blaseball in Season 11 while allowing the second-most. And following an offseason and Grand Siesta with little impact to player abilities via blessings or other boosts and boons, the Lift figure to be near the bottom of the league until they can get some help from party time, the gods, or whatever other forces are in store for the 20 teams this season. If you’re looking for a bright spot on this team, look no further than the dynamic duo of Cudi di Batterino and Ayanna Dumpington, two of the team’s better hitters who combined for 32 home runs and 15 stolen bases a season ago.

19. ๐Ÿ— Mexico City Wild Wings [-2]

Unlike the Lift, the Wings are seasoned veterans of the ILB, but like the Lift, Mexico City lost 61 games in Season 11. The underlying stats were much, much better for the Wings, who allowed 150 fewer runs than Tokyo, but the offense was similarly poor for the former champions. However, with the removal of several offense-focused buffs and blessings heading into Season 12, things could definitely swing back toward the Wild Wings. Burke Gonzales is a star pitcher, while Rafael Davids and Silvia Rugrat are due for a rebound after having disappointing seasons last time out. They could certainly exceed this ranking, but a lackluster offense will ultimately keep the Wings out of playoff contention.

18. ๐Ÿฅง Philly Pies [-9]

The Pies were the surprise team of Season 11 for all the wrong reasons, tanking hard and finishing at the bottom of the Mild League with only 34 wins. Our experts are worried that this team might just not have what it takes to compete in a stacked Mild High division or hold up when facing Mild Low opponents in interdivision play. Are the Pies the third-worst team in blaseball? Definitely not. But will they finish with the third-worst record? We think so. Eduardo Woodman has been one of the most consistent hitters in Blaseball over the Discipline Era, with at least 20 home runs every season, while Elvis Figueroa is easily among the best pitchers in the history of the splort. But the batting order isn’t quite strong enough to support Woodman and the pitching rotation is inconsistent outside of Figueroa, likely dooming the Pies to the bottom of the Mild League for a second straight season.

17. โœจ Yellowstone Magic [+2]

Similar to the Pies, the Magic are probably not the fourth-worst team in Blaseball, but they are due for a poor record and low finish in the final standings thanks to playing in the very competitive Mild League. The 0 No blessing helps them somewhat, and the emergence of Curry Aliciakeyes and Inky Rutledge as star pitchers will keep them from too poor of a record, but the rest of the pitching staff can certainly let down the hitters, while the lineup features some solid options like Oscar Dollie and Francisco Preston, but some struggling batters like Wyatt Glover and Washer Barajas, as well. One thing this team does have is speed with Sutton Picklestein and Eizabeth Elliott both capable of stealing a lot of bases, something that may come into play more in what could be a lower scoring season in the ILB. That’s the Magic’s key to a rise in the standings.

16. ๐Ÿšค Miami Dale [-]

The Dale ranking 16th in our power rankings is now just as reliable, if not more so, than the Eat the Rich decree. Since we started voting on power rankings back in Season 7, the Dale and Wild Wings are the only teams to rank in the No. 16 spot … and you’ll remember the Wild Wings won a title in Season 7 when ranked in this position. Can the Dale repeat as underdog champions in Season 12? It’s not out of the question, but it’s far from likely. Qais Dogwalker is a legitimate star pitcher, and we expect Sixpack Santiago, Rivers Clembons and Wyatt Owens to perform better with many of the Wild Low’s offense-friendly blessings gone for Season 12. That’s a solid quartet of pitchers in our estimation, but the lineup still leaves something to be desired. Beck Whitney is an all-time great and can get the offense going any time they bat, while Avila Guzman brings a great power bat while Logan Horseman and Francisca Sasquatch chip in with consistent on-base skills. The rest of the lineup struggles at times, especially with strikeouts, and that will be a key in the Dale being the life of the playoff party and not just the life of enhanced party time in Season 12.

15. ๐ŸŒน Boston Flowers [-]

The Flowers are a lot like the Dale, with a great front-line starting pitcher in King Weatherman and some good top-tier hitters like Nic Winkler, Jacob Haynes and Hiroto Cerna. The problems for Boston are also similar to those of Miami, which include a pitching rotation with some weak spots and a batting order that isn’t consistent enough. That said, they do have a slightly better defense than Miami, according to scouting reports, and have the Growth blessing that helps them improve over time during the season. That’s enough to set them just ahead of their Wild Low rivals, who both remain in the same spot they were featured in our Season 11 rankings.

14. ๐Ÿฌ Kansas City Breath Mints [-7]

We’ll admit that we overrated the addition of Jessica Telephone to this lineup in our Season 11 rankings, because while the superstar batter did perform very, very well for the Mints, they also hit at the end of the lineup and did not get to make as big of an impact as possible. Kansas City really needs Telephone higher in the order, and either the reduction or improvement of several other hitters in the lineup. The pitching staff struggled in Season 11, but so did pitchers for most teams, and we could see this group having a rebound season in Season 12 … but again, that’s true for every team. Winnie Hess is among the best in the business and PolkaDot Zavala has interesting upside, while Hewitt Best brings some speed on the bases, but ultimately this team is going to need a big boost to compete in the very difficult Mild League.

13. ๐Ÿ‘ Breckenridge Jazz Hands [-1]

The Jazz Hands finished third in the Wild High in Season 11, but that was more a sign of the decline of the division than a rise from the once great squad. There are still some fantastic players putting on a show in Breckenridge, and a lower-scoring Season 12 could send them flying to the top of the charts, but we’re worried about their batting and the consistency of their rotation when facing teams like the Tigers, Sunbeams, Tacos and Spies so often. This team is good enough to finish well ahead of the Wild Wings and Lift, led by star pitchers like Wyatt Pothos and Campos Arias, but the batting order needs more than just Baby Doyle to compete with the best teams in the Wild league.

12. ๐Ÿ“ฑ New York Millennials [+2]

Is this going to be the year the Millennials get back to their title-challenger ways of long ago? They still have one of the all-time best players in Thomas Dracaena and some solid pitching including Theodore Cervantes and Penelope Matthews, but they’re a team that always seems to fall shy of expectations and scouting reports. Whether that’s because of one too many avocado toasts or a lack of home ownership, we’re not sure, but the Mills have all the pieces to contend this season … we just don’t trust that they will. Perhaps a lower scoring ILB is the right environment for the Mills, who will need to overcome some of the best teams in the league in the Mild League just to make the playoffs. It’s possible, but not likely.

I, Firewall Andrews, was among the highest on the Mills in our voting, and the reason for my optimism is recent addition Alejandro Leaf. Leaf struggled a bit with walks in Season 11, but with fewer walk blessings and other buffs circling the league in Season 12, Leaf should take a big step forward. I predict that the Mills will make the playoffs in the Mild League with four pitchers posting an ERA of 3.50 or lower.

11. ๐Ÿ”ฅ Chicago Firefighters [-1]

Are we underrating the Firefighters? I almost certainly am, giving them the lowest ranking of any voter, despite Chicago falling just shy of 60 wins in Season 11. The batting order features some rising stars like Goobie Ballson and the returned Peanutiel Duffy, plus stalwarts like Baby Triumphant and Joshua Butt. The pitching staff doesn’t have many big names apart from long-time ace Rivers Rosa, but did perform very well a season ago. There’s just something … missing from this team. A spark, a flicker of upside, I don’t know how to put it. I just don’t see this team outperforming the top few clubs in the Wild League, which you’ll learn about below, and I think they’d fall short of most of the top clubs in the Mild League were they to switch divisions. Chicago has some of the slowest baserunning in the league, as well, which I think will be pivotal in a season with less scoring than Season 11.

Our contributor Luckey Haskins tells us he sees the Firefighters as “the epitome of ‘not bad'” because they outperform expectations, play in a weaker division and have a great hitter in Ballson. However, Luckey is concerned that the Fighters need to break out of the cycle of being good enough to finish in the playoffs in a less competitive league, but not good enough to make a run at a title, to see the fans in the second city celebrating a first-place finish once again.

10. ๐Ÿฅฉ Dallas Steaks [+8]

Conner Haley leads the Steaks into Season 12 with the hopes of another trip to the playoffs for this consistently above average squad from Dallas. The pitching was a bit of a surprise a season ago, as Leach Herman and Orville Manco both delivered solid numbers, and in a less offense-focused league, we should see better performances out of Ronan Jaylee and Sixpack Dogwalker, as well. But the offense really is the story for the Steaks, with Haley, Rai Spliff, August Sky and Patel Beyonce all capable of power, speed and consistent on-base ability. Haley is an MVP candidate, and they will have to go above and beyond in a very tough Mild League to make a run in the playoffs. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Steaks’ superstar batter.

9. ๐Ÿ’‹ San Francisco Lovers [-6]

The Lovers have some of the best pitching in Blaseball, with Yosh Carpenter, Parker Meng and the legendary Jaylen Hotdogfingers all capable of racking up strikeouts and keeping opponents at bay. The hitting, though? Not so much. NaN is a legendary player in terms of their impact on the history of the ILB, but at the plate they don’t have quite the same reputation. Knight Triumphant and Don Mitchell join the two Helgas as solid hitters, but this team just needs more at the plate to make a run at a title any time soon. This team could very easily finish the season with one of the best team ERAs but a record right around 50-50.

8. ๐ŸŒฎ Unlimited Tacos [+5]

The Tacos had one of the best offensive seasons in ILB history in Season 11, only to be overshadowed by the Sunbeams in their historic run to the title. But Halexandrey Walton, McDowell Mason and Valentine Games is the best 1-2-3 hitting combo in the league, and there is no weak spot in this batting order. The “worst” hitter, Vito Kravitz, hit 30 home runs while driving in 91, both near the top of the league in those categories. The pitching is a different story. Sexton Wheerer is fine, but not spectacular, and Peanut Bong really struggled in Season 11, winning just 35 percent of their games. Things won’t get any easier for this two-player rotation, and that’s the main thing holding them back from a much higher ranking.

7. ๐Ÿ Hawai’i Fridays [+1]

The Fridays are a divisive team among our panel of experts, as many believe in the incredible talent on the roster, while others think they’re destined for another lackluster finish and a spot in party time. The positives here are obvious: The pitching staff is incredible, led by Stevenson Heat and Gabriel Griffith, supported by lesser known but very good arms in Evelton McBlase and James Mora and former Crab Montgomery Bullock. The batting order should be great, with one of the best hitters in the splort, Nagomi Mcdaniel, but the rest of the hitting just hasn’t delivered since the former Crab (and former former Friday) arrived. The team needs Jacob Winner, Juice Collins or Alyssa Harrell to step up and provide a solid secondary option in the lineup alongside McDaniel, or this team could be in for a season full of 1-0 or 2-0 losses. If they can figure out how to manufacture runs, though? This is a title contender. The margins are thin and the upside is very high.

Our contributor Ifh-Biff has this to day: As the official SIBR Data Efreet(แต—แต), it feels like every season I looked at the star rankings of the Fridays and say, “Why isn’t this team better?” And every year, I made the bold prediction that it will be the breakout year on The Big Island. And yet this season, I put them lower than almost every other writer. Why? ‘Cause I’ve come to realize … they don’t care. They’re just vibing. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, and the return of The Most Powerful Mom in the Universe, Mcdaniel, wakes the Fridays up … but don’t be surprised if they just keep floating.

6. ๐Ÿ•ต Houston Spies [-2]

Houston has emerged as a leading ILB team in recent seasons with the emergence of star pitcher Alexandria Rosales and the three-headed monster on offense of Comfort Septemberish, Math Velasquez and Fitzgerald Blackburn. However, they play alongside the Tacos and Sunbeams one of the best divisions in the splort, and struggled to a record barely over 50 percent in their own division last season. With the league likely shifting back to being more pitcher-focused and lower scoring, can Rosales lead the Spies back to the postseason and give the hitters a chance to bring a title to H-Town?

Contributor Cowboy Moth had this to say about Houston: The Spies, along with the rest of Wild Low, will have to prove that Season 11 was about more than just seasonal blessings. There’s plenty of reason for spies fans to be optimistic about Season 12; the batting lineup remains one of the scariest in the league and Rosales continues to be a steady presence on the mound, but inconsistency across the rest of the rotation leaves some doubts about the Spies’ ability to make a deep playoff run. Still, strong baserunning and improvement from the supporting cast surrounding Rosales could transform the Spies into legit title contenders.

5. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ Charleston Shoe Thieves [-4]

When it comes to number of batters sent to the plate, this team wins hands down, as Esme Ramsey finds themself haunted by random players all the time. However, the real stars at the plate are not the random ghosts of Blaseball past, but the trio of Richardson Games, Howell Franklin and Blood Hamburger who provide speed (in Games’ case) and power that keeps the lineup moving at all time. Add in the RGSOTS combo of Games and Velasquez Alstott, one of the best sacrifice hitters in the splort, and this offense can score when it needs to, even with flinching and some weaker hitters scattered throughout the lineup. The pitching should benefit from a league heading away from the offense-first focus of Season 11 … but that season did show us just how big of a downgrade Tillman Henderson was from Jaylen Hotdogfingers. Fitzgerald Wanderlust, Cornelius Games and Gunther O’Brian are all fantastic and should win plenty of games for the Thieves, but ultimately the rotation and batting order might fall just shy of being worthy of a grand heist in the Season 12 finals.

4. ๐ŸŽธ Seattle Garages [+1]

One look at the star-based scouting report for the Garages and you’d wonder why they weren’t destined for a spot in the finals every season. So much talent on the mound, led by Pitching Machine and Goodwin Morin, plus a batting lineup that doesn’t really have a weak spot top to bottom. But there are certainly a handful of players on the team who don’t quite live up to their scouting reports … and there are just too many pitchers in the rotation in general! A rotation of Betsy Trombone, Durham Spaceman, Arturo Huerta and Pitching Machine would be a title contender, as they’re some of the best strikeout artists in the splort, but Morin hasn’t figure out how to put their talent to use on the ILB field yet while Lenny Marijuana gets smoked by opposing batters on a regular basis. And while yes, the batting lineup doesn’t really have a weak point, it doesn’t have a strength, either. Theodor Duende and Malik Destiny are solid batters and Paula Turnip can speed around the bases with the best of them, but there’s just enough about this team that’s “not quite good enough” to leave them in a respectable fourth place rather than at the top of the charts.

3. ๐ŸŒž Hellmouth Sunbeams [+8]

The defending champions join the Steaks in leaping up the rankings, setting records with their run scoring and getting some timely pitching from an inconsistent rotation. Sandoval Crossing is an ace and one of the best in the splort on the mound, while the batting lineup features one of the 10 best hitters in Blaseball history (Hahn Fox) and a rising star in Dudley Mueller. Nerd Pacheco, Nagomi Nava and Sigmund Castillo chip in with power, speed or both to round out a very solid core to a very good lineup. But outside of Crossing, the pitching might not be good enough in a lower-scoring ILB in Season 12. Lars Taylor was a playoff hero but lives up to their “Lone Star” nickname most of the time, while Miguel James, Eugenia Bickle and Zack Sanders will need to take a big step forward if the Beams want another title. They certainly have the bats to get there, and the ace to win an important game. Can the other pitchers step up and earn a second title for the fans at the Solarium?

2. ๐Ÿ—ฃ Canada Moist Talkers [-]

Be gross, be kind, and be excellent at Blaseball. The Moist Talkers have some of the best batters in league history with Fish Summer and York Silk, combined with solid contributors like Eugenia Garbage, Alston Cerveza and Commissioner Vapor. The pitching might be even better, with the legendary PolkaDot Patterson leading a rotation that’s backed up with top-end talents in Jenkins Good and Beasley Gloom. The lesser options in the batting order can struggle at times, and Mooney Doctor and Greer Lott can at times lag behind their rotation-mates, but the Talkers are a big step up in quality from the Beams and all teams before them in the rankings. It was very clear in our voting process that Canada and Hades are the frontrunners for the title this season, and it’s really hard to see another team staking a claim at the championship without going through one of these two squads.

1. ๐Ÿ… Hades Tigers [+5]

Will we see ascension immediately following the Grand Siesta? The Tigers have a couple of the best pitchers in Blaseball history in Hiroto Wilcox and Dunlap Figueroa, while sporting a lineup with all-time greats like Paula Mason and Aldon Cashmoney. They can’t be siphoned or incinerated, so this lineup should stay mostly in tact depending on what’s in store for the players under The Boss’ leadership in Season 12, and with the league losing many blessings that won’t impact Hades and their strong rotation in the slightest, it seems all set up for the Tigers to never look back at the ILB on their way up to Blaseball2.

Our contributor Dargo had this to say about Hades: The Tigers are in the same position the Crabs once were — a strong team in a league that’s weaker than them. They’re overhelmingly stronger than the Wings and Lift, comfortably ahead of the Firefighters and Jazz Hands, and their excellent pitching — the best in the league — is perfectly set up to stave off any Wild Low challenger. The only serious opponents on their side of the League are the Sunbeams, but they will have a much harder time than in S11 without their seasonal blessings. Finally, their blood siphon and incineration immunities mean they’re in a perfect position to boost their players from weather events. If no Mild team can rise up to the occasion, it’s quite likely Season 12 will be the Tigers’ third championship win.

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