New teams occupy the top spots in the standings so far this year as the expansion Bean Sprouts have shot out of the gate undefeated with a 4-0-1 record after their first five games of play. The Sprouts currently sit in first place and have had very solid starting pitching to go along with aggressive and timely hitting so far this season.
After struggling out of the gate in their first season in the league last year, The Brewers have rebounded nicely and are also sitting without a loss at 2-0-1 through three games. The Brewers have not scored a lot of runs but they have only allowed one run against so far in three games played.
Defending champions and perennial contenders The Warriors sit with 3-1 record to start the year and have been the most impressive team on both sides of the diamond with 24 runs scored and only 4 runs against. The Warriors know how to win games and will be at or near the top of the league for the entire season.
The Whales and Tigers are tied in the fourth spot but the Whales are 2-2 while the Tigers have done it with one win and two ties in their first four games. Both the Whales and Tigers have lost various players to the two expansion teams, but they have a lot of depth and have shown that will still be right in the mix come playoff time
The Maple Buffaloes are the second of the expansion teams and have also shown to be very competitive right off the bat with two wins in their first five games. They have been solid at the plate but have had some trouble on the mound and have allowed 15 runs through the first five games.
The surprise in the JCBL this year is that the expansion teams have shot out guns blazing while three of the most experienced and veteran teams have struggled to find their way. The Giants have had major struggles both at the plate and in the field and have given other teams too many free runners.
While Asahi is always a threat to score in bunches and win the high scoring games, they have allowed a whopping, league-high 29 runs through the first four games of play and must solidify their pitching to have any chance in the playoffs.
Last season’s surprise finalist Tanino, seems to be suffering from a little bit of a Cinderella hangover as the usually high powered offence has only scored four runs through five games this year.
The vibe down at the ball park has been a great one this season as the weather has been fantastic and the league has implemented a score keeping program and has seen a boost in the number of spectators out and around the park this season. There is also a JCBL league photographer at each and every game that has been able to capture some great pictures of the game-by-game action.
The league schedule and stats are fully tracked online at Gamechanger.com