Can the Monkeys Upset High Cheese?

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve is the top-rated hitter in the league but he hasn’t been able to carry Home Run 101 to more victories.

Ziguana is now 8-8 on the season after going 3-5 last week. It ended up being a tough week to predict as three series ended tied. Remember, the projected outcome was made before the first pitch yesterday.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs Buster Hugs

Bacon at Mile 11 leads the league with a 53-28-3 record and has the league’s largest division lead at 14.5 games over Hapamon in the North. They are the only team in the league that hasn’t lost a series in 2016. Buster Hugs has just one series win over the past month and have dropped to eighth in the overall standings at 42-38-4. Despite the struggles, they still lead a weak East Division by four games over Land Shark.

Pitching: Two staffs that struggled last week look for more success when they meet in this series. For the first time in 2016, Bacon was swept in the pitching categories in Week 7. They finished with a season-high 5.40 ERA and 1.64 WHIP (the worst WHIP in the league last week) in 63.1 innings pitched as Jon Gray lasted just 3.1 innings in his start and finished with a 24.30 ERA. The team is 5-12-1 on the mound over the last three weeks. Buster Hugs won just one pitching category last week and the team ERA the last four weeks is 3.06, 5.74, 5.30, and 3.96. They had just one Net Save/Hold, which was tied for the worst mark in the league in Week 7 as Kenley Jansen blew two.

Hitting: Bacon had a season-low 21 RBI but a season-high five net stolen bases to sweep the hitting categories last week. They also scored a league-high 41 runs in Week 7, including a combined 16 by Mike Trout and Gregory Polanco. Buster Hugs has gone 10-2 in hitting categories the past two weeks and has a .800+ OPS in four of the first seven weeks. Catcher Cameron Rupp led the team with a 1.492 OPS last week.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bacon at Mile 11 opens Week 8 as the second biggest favorite this week. Ziguana projects the team has an 86.3 percent chance of victory while Buster Hugs has just a 6.9 percent chance to win the series. There is a 6.8 percent chance the teams will tie.

Home Run 101 vs Lower Haighters

The Lower Haighters hold a slim 1.5-game lead over the Marin Menehunes in the West Division. They have just one series win over the past month and now sit fourth in the league standings with a 48-33-3 record. Home Run 101 is 15th in the league standings at 28-53-3. They’ve won two of their past three series but are 25 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the North Division.

Pitching: Home Run 101 won just one pitching category in Week 7 against the Mirrors and they’ve had five series in the first seven weeks where they’ve won one or fewer pitching categories. Jake Peavy lasted just 1.2 innings in his lone start, finishing with a 27.00 ERA. The Lower Haighters salvaged four pitching categories in last week’s series with Stadium Mustard to earn a 6-6 draw. The team has now lost the Net Saves/Holds category the last two weeks despite earning six each week. Nick Vincent and Will Harris combined for four Net Saves/Holds in Week 7.

Hitting: Home Run 101 had a .667 OPS last week, their second lowest mark this season, but still managed to win three hitting categories against the Mirrors. Outfielder Mitch Moreland struck out six times in 16 plate appearances and had a .321 OPS in Week 7. The Lower Haighters are struggling at the plate, going 3-9 the last two weeks. They finished Week 7 with a season-low 24 RBI and 48 Strikeouts, the team’s second highest total of the season. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton had 17 strikeouts in 25 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Lower Haighters have a 78.9 percent chance to win this series while Home Run 101 is a big underdog with a 10.9 percent winning chance. There is a 10.2 percent chance the teams will tie.

Warning Track Power vs JetSetters

All four West Division teams would qualify for the playoffs today, including Warning Track Power, which is last in the division. However, the team is seventh overall with a 47-37-0 record and have won their last two series. The JetSetters are coming off a rare series win, just their second this year, and are now 32-47-5, 13th overall. They are 17.5 games behind High Cheese in the South Division.

Pitching: For the first time in 2016, the JetSetters won five of the six pitching categories in a series. The staff finished with a season-low 1.01 WHIP and a season-high 11.12 K/9 (which led the league last week). The bullpen has been impressive, totaling seven or more net saves/holds in five of the season’s first seven weeks including a league-high eight in Week 7. Alex Colome had three Net Saves/Holds last week with a 19.29 K/9. Warning Track Power has lost just one pitching category over the past two weeks and swept Let’s Play 2 last week. The team posted a season-low 2.19 ERA on 70 innings with six quality starts, as Jon Niese pitched 13 innings with a pair of quality starts and a 2.08 ERA.

Hitting: Warning Track Power won three of the six hitting categories against Let’s Play 2 last week as the team had just 45 strikeouts, its second lowest total of the season. Amazingly, they were able to win the Net Stolen Bases category with -1. Second baseman Jason Kipnis led the team with nine RBI. It’s beginning to look like the bats aren’t going to come around for the JetSetters. They are 14-28 at the plate this season and they have yet to win the Strikeouts or OPS categories. Last week, they tied High Cheese for the league-high with 64 Strikeouts as Eugenio Suarez finished with 17 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is projecting this series will be the most lopsided of Week 8. Warning Track Power opens the week with a 92.7 percent chance to win the series while the JetSetters have just a 2.6 percent chance for victory. There is a 4.7 percent chance they’ll tie.

The Bulls vs Marin Menehunes

The Bulls snapped a four-week losing streak with a 7-5 series victory over Land Shark last week. They are now 35-44-5 and 11th in the overall standings. The Bulls are 17 games behind Bacon in the North Division. The Menehunes are 46-34-4 and just 1.5 games behind the Lower Haighters in the West Division. They have the league’s fifth best record but are in the midst of a three-week losing streak.

Pitching: The Bulls are coming off their first sweep of the pitching categories this season. Zack Greinke earned a pair of quality starts with a .240 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Over the past three weeks, they’ve gone 14-4 on the mound. The Menehunes are going in the opposite direction. They are 2-16 over the past three weeks and they haven’t finished with a sub-4.00 ERA during that stretch. They led the league in Innings Pitched with 73.2 last week but they were last in Quality Starts with two. Jordan Zimmermann failed to earn a quality start in two tries.

Hitting: The Bulls have won just three hitting categories over the past three weeks. In five of the season’s first seven weeks, Carolyn Greene’s team has a sub-.700 OPS and it has yet to win the Plate Appearances category. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez finished last week with a .059 OPS in 17 Plate Appearances. The Menehunes won four of the six hitting categories against the JetSetters last week and have been competitive at the plate all season. Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler scored eight runs and drove in six more. They are 28-12-2 at the plate and haven’t lost the runs scored category in 2016. They finished last week with league-low 32 Strikeouts but also had a league-low 206 Plate Appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Menehunes open Week 8 as a slight favorite to defeat the Bulls. GM Elizabeth Gravely’s team is a 50.7 percent favorite while Carolyn Greene’s Bulls have a 32.4 percent chance of victory. There is a 16.9 percent chance the teams will tie.

Land Shark vs Hapamon

After winning three straight series, Land Shark has now lost two following last week’s 7-5 loss to the Bulls. They are 39-43-2 and 10th in the overall standings, four games behind Buster Hugs in the East Division. Hapamon is 36-40-8, ninth in the league, and 14.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the North. Hapamon has lost just once over the past month.

Pitching: Hapamon won five of the six pitching categories against Buster Hugs in Week 7 and finished the series with a season-low 1.86 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Jerad Eickhoff earned a pair of quality starts, finishing with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched. The team’s ERA was the lowest in the league last week and they also led the league with seven Quality Starts. Hapamon has won the WHIP category four straight weeks. For the second time in 2016, Land Shark was swept on the mound in Week 7. The team finished with a season-low 4.98 ERA and it was the fourth time in the past six weeks that Land Shark’s ERA was above 4.40. Ubaldo Jimenez had a 10.80 ERA in two starts.

Hitting: Hapamon struggled at the plate in Week 7. The team had a season-low .639 OPS, a season-low 16 RBI (which was the lowest mark in the league in Week 7), and tied a season-low with just 24 runs scored. Hapamon lost five of the six hitting categories as Brett Lawrie struck out nine times in 21 Plate Appearances. Land Shark had one of their best week’s at the plate in Week 7. They took five of six categories against the Bulls and had a season-high 37 RBI, which lead the league last week. Khris Davis and Nelson Cruz combined to drive in 16 runs. The .884 OPS was the second-highest this season for Land Shark.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Hapamon has played well lately and they’ll begin Week 8 as a 52.6 percent favorite. Land Shark has a 30.8 percent chance to win the series. There is a 16.6 percent chance the teams will tie. The team’s .884 OPS was their second highest this season and that led to a season-high 37 RBI. Land Shark also had a season-high six net stolen bases.

Stadium Mustard vs Los Coches Bomba

Stadium Mustard earned a 6-6 tie with the Lower Haighters last week and are now 35-45-4 and 12th in the league standings. They are just seven games behind Buster Hugs in the East Division. Los Coches Bomba is now third in the league with a 48-31-5 record. They’ve won three straight series and four of their last five and trail High Cheese by just a 1.5 games in the South Division.

Pitching: Stadium Mustard lost four of the six pitching categories to the Lower Haighters last week, costing the team a series win. The 5.95 ERA was the team’s highest this season (and highest in the league last week) and the 1.54 WHIP was second highest. Michael Wacha finished with a 13.50 ERA with just four innings pitched in his lone start last week. The 5.79 K/9 was the lowest in the league in Week 7. WHIP is often a leading indicator for the health of a team’s pitching staff and Stadium Mustard has won the category just once in 2016. Bomba split the pitching categories against the Monkeys in Week 7 thanks to a pair of quality starts from Noah Syndegaard. They are now 11-6-1 over the last three weeks on the mound. They have lost the Quality Starts and Innings Pitched categories just once this season but did finish with a league-low 1 Net Save/Hold in week 7.

Hitting: Stadium Mustard won four of the six hitting categories against the Lower Haighters in Week 7 to salvage a series tie. They led the league in Week 7 with nine Net Stolen Bases as outfielder Billy Burns swiped three .They also led the league with 296 Plate Appearances, their second highest number of Plate Appearances this season. After a slow start this season, Bomba’s bats have come alive the last three weeks. They’ve gone 12-6 during that stretch including taking five of six hitting categories from the Monkeys last week. Veteran first baseman Miguel Cabrera was last week’s star, driving in a team-high six runs with a 1.538 OPS. Bomba is coming off a season-high .898 OPS, which led the league in Week 7.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana expects this to be the closes series of the week. Stadium Mustard is a slight favorite at 47.6 percent chance of victory while Los Coches Bomba has a 36.7 percent chance to win. There is a 15.7 percent chance these teams tie.

High Cheese vs Eephus Monkeys

High Cheese has moved into second place in the overall standings following last week’s 6-6 tie with Bacon at Mile 11. They have a 50-30-4 record and lead the South Division by 1.5 games. The Monkeys remain last in the league with a 25-53-6 record. They’ve lost six of their seven series.

Pitching: The Monkeys posted their first sub-3.50 ERA of the season and won three pitching categories against Los Coches Bomba in Week 17 as Adam Wainwright pitched 6.2 shutout innings to earn a quality start. In Weeks 3-5, this team won just two categories on the mound, so the fact that they’ve won six in the past two weeks indicates progress. High Cheese swept Bacon at Mile 11 off the mound last week and laid claim to having the league’s best pitching staff. It was their fourth sweep on the mound this season and they haven’t lost the Quality Start category or had an ERA over 4.00 this season. Chris Tillman has five quality starts with a 1.62 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over the last month.

Hitting: The Monkeys had a season-low -4 net stolen bases last week as outfielder Stephen Piscotty was caught twice. It was the lowest NSB of any team in the league in Week 7 and the Monkeys failed to win a hitting category. The team hasn’t won the Strikeouts category yet this season. High Cheese was swept at the plate by Bacon at Mile 11 last week and finished the series with a season-low .587 OPS and just 18 Runs. The team had the league’s lowest Runs and OPS and highest number of Strikeouts in Week 7, as outfielder Adam Jones posted a .212 OPS in 24 plate appearances. Over the last three weeks, they are 5-12-1 at the plate.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Could this series be the week’s biggest upset? The Monkeys open Week 8 with a 51.7 percent chance to beat High Cheese. That’s a bold prediction given the strength of the High Cheese pitching staff. Matt Patchell’s team has just a 26.4 percent chance of victory. There is a 21.8 percent chance these teams will tie.

Let’s Play 2 vs A-Rod’s Mirrors

The Mirrors are in hot pursuit of the Lower Haighters in the West Division, trailing their rivals by two games. They have the league’s sixth best record at 46-35-3 and are coming off a 8-4 victory over Home Run 101. Let’s Play 2 has lost three of their past four series and have fallen to 14th in the league standings. They have a 31-50-3 record.

Pitching: For the second consecutive week and the third time this season, Let’s Play 2 was swept on the mound. They lost every pitching category to Warning Track Power in Week 7, despite posting decent ratios. The bullpen has struggled all season, failing to win the Net Saves/Holds category and posting one or fewer NS/H’s in four of the first seven weeks. Relievers Zach Duke and Steve Geltz both have 10.00+ ERAs over the past two weeks. Let’s Play 2 was tied for the league-low with one Net Save/Hold last week. The Mirrors are on a serious roll on the mound. Over the past month, they’ve gone 22-2 and Rich Hill has five quality starts during that stretch. They took five of the six pitching categories in their Week 7 series against Home Run 101. The team had a league-high eight Net Saves/Holds last week along with a league-low 0.76 WHIP. They also had the lowest number of Innings Pitched with 44.2.

Hitting: Let’s Play 2 split the hitting categories against Warning Track Power last week but has gone 4-7-1 at the plate over the last two series. It’s surprising given the play of Mookie Betts, who has scored 19 runs and driven in 16 more over his last 19 games. Let’s Play 2 is a free-swinging team, winning the Strikeout category just once in 2016. The Mirrors have struggled at the plate this season, going 14-20-2. They did split the categories with Home Run 101 last week, winning the Runs category for the first time since Week 2 despite scoring a season-low 25 runs. Outfielder Jackie Bradley has been the team’s best hitter the past three weeks, hitting .426 with a 1.288 OPS with 20 RBI.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Mirrors have a 58.2 percent chance to defeat Louie Bottaro’s struggling team. There is a 26 percent chance that Let’s Play 2 can pull the upset. Ziguana predicts a 15.8 percent chance the teams will tie.

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