- Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (29-11, 1st in West)
The RedHawks are simply on fire right now. Since June 11, the league leaders have gone 13-2, with the two defeats coming by a combined two runs. Their roster is peppered with All-Star selections, including three West Division starters (Drew Ward, Manuel Boscan and John Silviano). Their pitching staff has plenty of representation too, with starters Tyler Grauer, Sebasitan Kessay and Kevin McGovern all earning a trip to Chicago, alongside closer Alex DuBord. Veteran Leobaldo Piña, another All-Star selection, earned his second straight Batter of the Week award this week, the first player to accomplish that feat since 2008. The RedHawks’ schedule gets tougher this week, including a showdown with Winnipeg, but they’ve shown they’re up to the challenge.
- Kansas City Monarchs (27-13, 2nd in West)
The Monarchs had a brief slip-up in Sioux Falls over the weekend, losing two out of three to a feisty Canaries team that hit two grand slams in the series finale. Still, the Monarchs remain an extremely talented side with a hold on the second spot in the standings. Jan Hernandez continues to mash, leading the Association with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. (His .368 batting average isn’t too shabby either.)
- Winnipeg Goldeyes (22-17, 3rd in West)
The Goldeyes are coming off one of the biggest series wins of their season, a three-game sweep at Lincoln where their pitching staff allowed a combined three runs. Rookie starter RJ Martinez continues to impress, with a victory in Cleburne on June 23 lowering his season ERA to 3.37. Landon Bourassa, who earned the win in Sunday’s game, has a 2.14 ERA in four appearances in his return to the Goldeyes. Plue, closer Tasker Strobel has emerged as one of the top relievers in the Association, with 10 saves and a minuscule 0.85 ERA.
- Chicago Dogs (25-14, 1st in East)
The Dogs racked up accolades and wins last week. After sweeping the Lake Country DockHounds on the road over the weekend, Chicago had seven players named to the East Division all-star team, including all four position player reserves. All that has added up to a firm hold of first place in the East Division standings. One potential area of concern for the Dogs: They’re currently 14-1 against the three teams at the bottom of the Association standings and 11-13 against everyone else.
- Lincoln Saltdogs (21-18, 4th in West)
Lincoln have weathered the storm a bit in a difficult West Division, earning a much-needed home victory against Kane County on Monday night. Losing All-Star starter Justin Byrd to the Mexican League, but the team still features a solid pitching staff, led by All-Star Greg Minier (2.60 ERA). Brett Jodie’s team will look to find a rhythm against Kane County this week before heading to Fargo for a big series this coming weekend.