- Chicago Dogs (42-20, 1st in East)
Butch Hobson’s team remain the top Dogs in the East Division. They finished off a three-game weekend sweep of the Cleburne Railroaders, who had come into the week as one of the hottest teams in the league. All-Star second baseman Grant Kay is proving the Home Run Derby doesn’t hurt your swing: He’s hit safely in every game since the All-Star break, including four longballs over his past six games. Fellow All-Star Michael Crouse is riding a 19-game hitting streak, batting .430 with an unreal .516 on-base percentage over that stretch. On the mound, Jeff Kinley has won all three of his decisions since moving into the rotation, including a seven-inning, two-run performance in the Dogs’ win over Cleburne Saturday night.
- Kansas City Monarchs (40-22, 2nd in West)
Even with Player of the Year contender Jan Hernandez watching from the sidelines, the Monarchs remain formidable. Joe Calfapietra’s team picked up a huge rubber-game win in Fargo on Sunday afternoon, taking control in a nine-run seventh inning. Per league historian Hoffman Wolff, Kansas City is on pace to destroy their league record for home runs in a season, set just last year. In 2021, the Monarchs blasted 147 homers. This year they’re on pace for 189. Oh, and they’re second in the American Association with a 4.47 team ERA.
- Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (41-21, 1st in West)
The Sunday loss to Kansas City will sting for Chris Coste’s side, but the RedHawks have shown they’re still in the thick of the West Division race with plenty of season to go. Their pitching staff continues to impress in a hitter-friendly league: the RedHawks lead the Association with a 4.22 ERA, nearly a full run better than the league average. Plus, per Steve Schuster, they’ve got the top two pitchers in the Association in terms of Wins Above Replacement: Kevin McGovern and Tyler Grauer.
- Winnipeg Goldeyes (35-27, 3rd in West)
The Goldeyes have the look of a team that will be dangerous come playoff time. Star outfielder Max Murphy was on fire this past week, reaching base in all seven games, clubbing three home runs and driving in nine. His 22 homers on the season rank tied for second in the Association. David Washington is swinging a hot bat too, riding a streak of five straight multi-hit games that includes three longballs. Rick Forney’s pitching staff is looking up as well, with Luis Ramirez and RJ Martinez earning victories with solid starts over the weekend and closer Tasker Strobel tied for the league lead with 17 saves.
- Milwaukee Milkmen (32-30, 2nd in East)
Anthony Barone’s team is as hot as they’ve been all year, winners of seven of their last eight games before a nail-biting loss to Sioux City on Sunday. That included taking three out of four from Kansas City in Franklin, a massive series win. Slugger Keon Barnum earned Pointstreak Batter of the Week honors this past week, hitting. 418 with five homers and 15 RBIs. Bryan Torres continues to lead the league in batting average, sporting a .385 mark heading into Tuesday’s games. Up next for the Milkmen: an intriguing matchup at Haymarket Park against the Lincoln Saltdogs.