Week 7 Preview: Bacon at Mile 11 Opens as Favorite In Pivotal Week 7 Series

Paul Goldschmidt

Can Paul Goldschmidt hit his way out of his current slump?

For a product that’s in beta testing, Ziguana’s Matchup Breakdown performed admirably in its first week. The system went 5-3 in predicting series winners in our league and nailed the Mirrors’ win over the Menehunes and the Monkeys victory over Stadium Mustard. Those are two I wouldn’t have predicted.

You’ll find the Matchup Breakdown for each Week 7 series below and Ziguana has a few surprises.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs High Cheese

Bacon at Mile 11 remains undefeated after rallying over the weekend to tie Hapamon, 6-6. Eric Brown’s team has the league’s best record at 47-22-3. High Cheese will be a formidable opponent for Bacon. They’ve won five of their first six series and are coming off a 10-1-1 dismantling of Let’s Play 2. Matt & Zach Patchell’s team has the league’s second best record at 44-24-4.

Pitching: Bacon at Mile 11 has struggled to win pitching categories over the past two weeks. The team is 5-6-1 during that stretch. Last week, Bacon had a season-low 1.31 WHIP and just three quality starts. Young Vincent Velazquez, who had been off to such a hot start, has allowed eight earned runs over his last 12 innings. High Cheese, meanwhile, dominated Let’s Play 2 on the mound in Week 6, sweeping the pitching categories. Jon Lester was sensational, striking out nine while giving up just one run over 6.2 innings. It was the third time this season High Cheese has won all six pitching categories in a series. They are 9-2-1 the past two weeks.

Hitting: For the first time since Week 1, Bacon at Mile 11 failed to win a majority of the hitting categories last week. The team’s 24 RBI were a season low. Young outfielder Joc Pederson was 1-for-16 with five strikeouts. High Cheese had a season-high 1.030 OPS last week, scored a season-high 43 runs, and also had a season-best six net stolen bases. Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Ian Desmond combined to drive in 18 runs. It was only the second time this season that the team won four of the six hitting categories.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: On paper, this looks like a close series but Ziguana begs to differ. The computer system gives High Cheese just a 5.3 percent chance to win while Bacon at Mile 11 has an 87.7 percent chance. There is a 7 percent chance of a tie.

Home Run 101 vs A-Rod’s Mirrors

After losing their first four series, Home Run 101 has turned it around, winning their last two. Bailey Penzotti’s team has a big hole to climb out of sitting 24-45-3 and 15th overall. The Mirrors have won four of their past five series and are now 38-31-3 and sixth in the league standings.

Pitching: Pitching has been abysmal for Home Run 101 in 2016. They have won just eight pitching categories all season. Last week, Home Run 101 captured three categories against the Bulls but still finished with a 6.42 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and just one net save/hold. Relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Shawn Tolleson combined to give up nine runs over 3.1 innings. Now they face the Mirrors, a team that has lost just one pitching category over the past three weeks. They dominated the Menehunes on the mound in Week 6, winning all six categories and Rubby de la Rosa and Justin Verlander both turned in quality starts.

Hitting: While Home Run 101 hasn’t pitched well, the bats have come alive over the past two weeks. The team is 9-2-1 at the plate during that stretch. They finished Week 6 with a season-high 272 plate appearances as second baseman Jose Altuve remained hot, going 10-for-22 with just one strikeout. The Mirrors are struggling to score runs. They’ve won the category just once this season. Over the last three weeks, the Mirrors are 5-11-2 at the plate. First baseman Chris Carter epitomized the struggles last week, going 3-for-16 with eight strikeouts.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: This could be the week’s biggest upset if Ziguana’s predictions are correct. Home Run 101 has a 58.7 percent chance of defeating the Mirrors while Sean McKenna’s team has just a 25.3 percent chance to win.There is a 16 percent chance of a tie.

Warning Track Power vs Let’s Play 2

Warning Track Power ended a three-week losing streak with a convincing 10-2 victory over the Lower Haighters last week. WTP is now 38-34-0 and seventh in the overall standings. Let’s Play 2 lost 10-1-1 to High Cheese in Week 6 and has been alternating wins and losses over the last month. They are 28-41-3 and 13th in the league standings.

Pitching: Warning Track Power was excellent on the mound last week. They won five of the six pitching categories and tied a season-high with seven net saves/holds. Jake McGee was the team’s highest-rated player, pitching four scoreless innings to earn four saves. WTP had six quality starts (second best this season), a 1.04 WHIP (second best) and a 3.22 ERA (second best). Let’s Play 2 was swept on the mound for the first time since Week 1. They finished Week 6 with a season-low 4.90 ERA and had a 1.38 WHIP, their second worst mark this season. Taijuan Walker, a big investment for GM Louie Bottaro, gave up four runs over 5.2 innings in his lone start.

Hitting: Warning Track Power won five of the six hitting categories in Week 6 and had a season-high 299 plate appearances. They finished with a .861 OPS, second best mark for the team this season. Second baseman Jason Kipnis went 10-for-22 and finished the series with a 1.206 OPS. The only category loss was strikeouts, which they’ve won just once in 2016. Let’s Play 2 won just one hitting category last week and are 7-10-1 at the dish over the last three weeks. Catcher Yasmani Grandal went 2-for-21 with seven strikeouts last week.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Warning Track Power opens the week with a 59.9 percent chance of beating Let’s Play 2 in this series. Let’s Play 2 has a 24.4 percent chance of winning while there is a 15.7 percent chance the teams will tie.

JetSetters vs Marin Menehunes

The JetSetters have just one series win on the season after losing 8-4 last week to Los Coches Bomba. They are 25-42-5 and 14th in the league standings. The Menehunes lost both series to A-Rod’s Mirrors the past two weeks, their first series losses of the season. The Menehunes are 41-27-4 and sit fourth in the league.

Pitching: The JetSetters have won just three pitching categories over the last two weeks. They had a season-high 70 innings pitched in Week 6 and still lost the category. They’ve posted a sub-4.00 ERA just once this season. Dallas Keuchel gave up eight runs in his six innings last week. The Menehunes are also struggling on the mound, winning just one pitching category over the past two weeks. They have just three net saves/holds in that stretch. Last week, reliever Jesse Chavez gave up a pair of runs in three appearances and finished with -1 net saves/holds.

Hitting: The JetSetters had a season-high .807 OPS last week but still lost the category. They haven’t won the category this season. David Kahn’s team hasn’t won more than three hitting categories in a series in 2016. First baseman Joey Votto, long a mainstay for the team, was just 1-for-13 with six strikeouts in Week 6. The Menehunes lost just one hitting category last week and posted a season-high .877 OPS. Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler went 9-for-24, scored seven runs, and finished Week 6 with a 1.194 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting a very close series. The Menehunes are a slight favorite with a 44.6 percent chance for victory while the JetSetters are 36.7. There is a 18.7 percent chance of a tie.

Buster Hugs vs Hapamon

Buster Hugs snapped a two-week losing streak with a 8-4 victory over Land Shark last week. They are eighth in the league standings but lead the East Division with a 36-32-4 record. Hapamon was in position to upset Bacon at Mile 11 last week but finished the series tied at 6-6.

Pitching: Buster Hugs finished with a 5.00+ ERA for the second straight week but the poor pitching hasn’t cost them as they’ve gone 7-5 on the mound during that stretch. The starters have a combined six quality starts over the past two weeks. Ian Kennedy, Michael Pineda, and Sonny Gray gave up a combined 16 earned runs in their three starts last week. Hapamon has posted a 4.00+ ERA just twice this season. The team has pitched 60+ innings in each of the past two weeks and the starters have a combined 10 quality starts during that period. Clayton Kershaw was dominating last week, tossing a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts.

Hitting: After losing five of the six hitting categories in Week 5, Buster Hugs rebounded to win five of six last week. They scored a season-high 40 runs and tied a season-low with just 51 strikeouts (though they lost the category). The team posted a .882 OPS, their second best mark this season. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna went 9-for-24 and scored seven runs last week. Hapamon had a season-high 36 RBI and 271 plate appearances in Week 6 and split the hitting categories in their series with Bacon at Mile 11. The previous week they had lost five of the six hitting categories against their North Division rival. Outfielder Kole Calhoun drove in a team-high seven runs in Week 6 and finished the week with a 1.045 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Buster Hugs is a solid favorite to start the week, opening at 60.5 percent. Hapamon has a 24.2 percent chance of winning while there is a 15.3 percent chance of a tie. Robert Kirkbride’s team still hasn’t won or lost consecutive games this season. They are 30-34-8 and 10th in the standings.

Stadium Mustard vs Lower Haighters

Stadium Mustard lost 7-4-1 to the Eephus Monkeys last week, snapping a two-week winning streak. Chris Furgiuele’s team is now 29-39-4 and 11th overall. The Lower Haighters suffered their worst defeat of the season last week, a 10-2 blowout by Warning Track Power. The Haighters have now lost two of their last three series and are 42-27-3, third overall.

Pitching: Stadium Mustard has pitched well this season even if the category wins haven’t followed. They’ve had a 3.00 ERA or under in four of the past five weeks. The starters have 26 quality starts during that stretch. James Shields and Tyler Duffey combined to pitch 14 scoreless innings last week. The Lower Haighters had their worst week on the mound in Week 6. They finished with a season-high 5.46 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and just three quality starts. Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Harvey gave up a combined nine runs in their last two starts. The Haighters lost five of the six pitching categories against Warning Track Power.

Hitting: Stadium Mustard had a season-low .649 OPS last week and lost four of the six hitting categories to the Eephus Monkeys. The hitters had plenty of opportunities, posting a season-high 298 plate appearances. Outfielder Nick Markakis went 2-for-23 with seven strikeouts last week. Not only did the Lower Haighters pitch poorly in Week 6 but they also couldn’t hit. They lost five of the six categories to Warning Track Power and had a season-low 26 RBI and -3 net stolen bases. Giancarlo Stanton went 4-for-26 with nine strikeouts and the team had a season-high 53 strikeouts but still posted their sixth straight win in the category.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Stadium Mustard opens the week favored to upset the Lower Haighters. Ziguana says Stadium Mustard has a 44.8 percent chance of winning while the Lower Haighters have a 37.2 percent. There is an 18 percent chance the teams will tie.

Los Coches Bomba vs Eephus Monkeys

Los Coches Bomba defeated the JetSetters 8-4 last week and have now won three of their past four series. They are 40-28-4, fifth in the standings, and four games behind High Cheese in the South Division. The Monkeys are coming off their first series win of the season, a 7-4-1 victory over Stadium Mustard. The Monkeys have the league’s worst record at 22-45-5.

Pitching: Los Coches Bomba is 8-3-1 over the past two weeks on the mound. With the exception of Week 4, when they were swept by the Mirrors, they’ve won at least four pitching categories every week. Relievers Fernando Rodney and Jeremy Jeffress combined to pitch seven shutout innings last week and earn four net saves/holds. After three weeks that saw the Monkeys win a combined two pitching categories, the arms rebounded in Week Six to post three wins and one tie. Relievers Samuel Dyson and Pat Neshek combined to throw seven shutout innings last week and earn four net saves/holds. The Monkeys have posted a sub-4.00 ERA just twice this year.

Hitting: Bomba won four of the six hitting categories against the JetSetters last week and posted their second straight .800+ OPS. They scored a season-high 36 runs in Week 6. Hanley Ramirez went 13-for-28 last week, scoring nine runs and driving in six more. The Monkeys are 7-5 in hitting categories the last two weeks and have 4+ net stolen bases in four of the last five weeks. Xander Bogaerts went 15-for-34 with nine runs scored and eight RBI in Week 6 as the Monkeys scored season-high 38 runs.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bomba opens the week with a 75.2 percent chance of winning this series while the Monkeys have just a 13.5 percent chance to win. There is an 11.3 percent chance of a tie.

Land Shark vs The Bulls

Land Shark saw their three-week winning streak snapped last week with a 8-4 loss to Buster Hugs. They trail Buster Hugs by three games in the East Division and are 34-36-2, ninth in the league standings. The Bulls are still searching for their first series victory of the season after last week’s 6-5-1 loss to Home Run 101. Carolyn Greene’s team is now 28-39-5 and 12th in the league standings.

Pitching: Land Shark had a season-low 1.13 WHIP in Week 6 and had a 2.96 ERA, their second lowest mark in 2016. It was the first time this season the team posted a sub 1.20 WHIP. Starters Jeremy Hellickson and John Lackey combined to pitch 15 innings while allowing just one run. The Bulls had one of their worst weeks on the mound last week but still managed to win three categories. They posted a season-high 6.63 ERA and 1.61 WHIP as the team’s starting pitchers had a season-low two quality starts. Drew Smyly and Zack Greinke gave up 10 runs over 11 innings as neither earned a quality start in Week 6.

Hitting: Week 6 was not kind to Land Shark at the plate. It started with the loss of outfielder Michael Brantley to injury and then dynamic young shortstop Francisco Lindor went 5-for-26 with four strikeouts on the week. Land Shark lost five of six categories and finished without a net stolen base for the first time this season. The 227 plate appearances was the team’s second lowest this year. The Bulls have won just two hitting categories over the past two weeks. They’ve topped .700 OPS twice this year and haven’t driven home 30+ runs in a week yet. Outfielder Ben Revere returned to the lineup but went 1-for-26 and was caught stealing in his only attempt.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Bulls open the week favored to beat Land Shark. Ziguana predicts the Bulls have a 67.8 percent chance to win while Land Shark has just a 19 percent chance of victory. There is a 13.2 percent chance the teams will tie.

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