With just nine weeks remaining in the regular season, it’s a mad scramble to qualify for the postseason. No team is safe at this point. Here is a preview of a crucial Week 14.
Eephus Monkeys vs Land Shark
The Eephus Monkeys dropped a 6-5-1 decision to the Bulls last week and have just one series victory over the past five weeks. They are 14th in the league standings with a 64-82-10 record. Land Shark leads the East Division by six games and are fourth in the league standings at 82-69-5. They saw their five-week winning streak snapped with a 7-5 loss to Los Coches Bomba last week.
Pitching: Land Shark finished Week 13 with the league’s worst ERA at 5.64 and failed to win a pitching category for the first time since Week 7. They are 5-12-1 on the mound in their last three series. Ricky Nolasco has given up 14 earned runs in his last three starts, posting a 6.87 ERA with just one quality starts. Over the last five weeks, the Monkeys have been strong on the mound, going 23-7.They’ve posted a 3.40 ERA or less in six of the last seven weeks. Jacob deGrom has given up just one earned run over his last 13 innings.
Hitting: The Monkeys were tied for the fewest plate appearances in the league last week with 210 and won just a single hitting category. They are now 3-12-3 at the plate in the last three weeks. First baseman Byung-ho Park doesn’t have a hit in his last 16 at-bats, striking out 10 times. Land Shark has one of the hottest hitting teams in the league over the last month. They’ve gone 20-4 during that stretch and have won five or more categories in three of the last four series. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop is 20-for-49 over his last 12 games with 15 runs scored and a 1.065 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana believes the Monkeys are poised to upset Land Shark. Jordan’s team has a 71.9 percent chance to win while Meredith’s team has just a 15 percent chance to take the series.
Los Coches Bomba vs High Cheese
Los Coches Bomba defeated Land Shark 7-5 last week and have now won two of their last three and three of their last five series. They trail High Cheese by 6.5 games in the South Division pennant race and are sixth in the league standings with a 78-66-12 record. High Cheese saw their four-week winning streak snapped with a 9-3 loss to the Menehunes last week. They maintain the league’s best record at 87-62-7.
Pitching: Bomba had five quality starts in Week 13, tied for the league high and swept the pitching categories for the first time since Week 1. They’ve now gone 10-2 on the mound over the last two weeks. Reliever David Robertson has been lights out, giving up just one run over his last 7.1 innings while saving six games. High Cheese finished last week with a 5.07 ERA, their second worst pitching performance of the season. They won just two categories, their lowest total since Week 8. Chris Tillman has given up 10 runs in his last two starts, posting a 9.31 ERA.
Hitting: High Cheese had the fewest stolen bases in Week 14 with just one and won just a single hitting category last week. It was the worst hitting performance for the team since they slumped in Weeks 7-8 and failed to win a category. Veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta has struck out 11 times in his last 47 plate appearances and is hitting .205 over his last 11 games. Bomba had the league’s fewest RBI with 21 last week and the team has won just one hitting category over the past two weeks. Outfielder Justin Upton has scuffled all season and is hitting just .196 over his last 12 games. He’s scored just three runs over 50 plate appearances during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Los Coches Bomba opens the week favored to win this series. Ziguana gives Jenni’s team a 82.2 percent chance for victory while the Patchell Express has just a 8.5 percent chance to win.
Buster Hugs vs Stadium Mustard
Buster Hugs lost to Warning Track Power 9-2-1 last week and have now lost four of their last five series. They trail Land Shark by six games in the East Division pennant race and are 10th in the league standings with a 75-74-7 record. Stadium Mustard defeated Hapamon 7-4-1 in Week 13 and have now won three straight series. They are just eight games behind Land Shark in the East Division and are 12th in the league standings with a 72-75-9 record.
Pitching: Buster Hugs finished Week 13 with six net saves/holds, tied for the league high but won just two pitching categories. They are now 11-12-1 on the mound over the last month. They do have the league’s hottest pitcher, Junior Guerra, who has three quality starts over the past two weeks with a 0.81 ERA and 0.58 WHIP. Stadium Mustard won just one category last week, the third time in the last five weeks they’ve had just one category win. They finished the last week with a 5.03 ERA, their third worst ERA this season. C.C. Sabathia has struggled in his last three starts for Stadium Mustard, posting an 8.31 ERA and failing to earn a quality start.
Hitting: Buster Hugs had the league’s lowest OPS in Week 13 at .697 and failed to win a hitting category for the first time since Week 5. The team is really scuffling at the plate, failing to post a OPS higher than .700 in four of the past five weeks. First baseman A.J. Reed finds himself on the bench after going 2-for-22 with 11 strikeouts in his last seven games. No team had fewer strikeouts last week than Stadium Mustard with 36 as the team swept the hitting categories for the first time this season. They are 12-6 at the plate over the last three weeks. Edwin Encarnacion is dangerous at the plate, hitting .310 with a 1.137 OPS in his last 12 games. He’s driven in 15 runs during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Andrew’s team has a 56.3 percent chance to win this series while Chris’ team has a 27.3 percent chance according to Ziguana.
A-Rod’s Mirrors vs Warning Track Power
The Mirrors have now lost three straight series and have just two category wins over the last two weeks. The defending league champions have fallen to 11th in the league standings with a 74-76-6 record and are last in the West Division. Warning Track Power defeated Buster Hugs 9-2-1 last week and have lost just one series over the last five weeks. They’ve moved to fifth in the overall standings with a 83-71-2 record and they are just one game behind the Lower Haighters in the West Division pennant race.
Pitching: The Mirrors had the league’s worst WHIP (1.61) in Week 13 and had the lowest strikeout rate (7.67). The last three weeks have been a disaster for Sean’s pitching staff as they’ve gone 2-15-1 and haven’t posted an ERA less than 4.67 or a WHIP of less than 1.55 during that stretch. Reliever Jake Diekman has been bombed in his last six outings, giving up six earned runs. Warning Track Power has gone 9-8-1 during that same time and has had a team ERA of less than 4.00 in two of the past three weeks. Carlos Carrasco has given up just one run in his last 16.2 innings while striking out 21 batters.
Hitting: The Mirrors led the league last week with 290 plate appearances but it was their only hitting category victory over the last two weeks. The Mirrors are 1-10-1 during that stretch. Outfielder Kevin Pillar has scored just two runs in his last 48 plate appearances, posting a .548 OPS. Warning Track Power had the league’s most RBI (54) and the highest OPS (1.080) last week and swept the hitting categories for the first time this season. The team set season-highs in Runs, RBI, Stolen Bases and OPS in Week 13. Outfielder Josh Donaldson has 10 RBI in his last 12 games, hitting .408 with a 1.198 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting Warning Track Power will tighten the pennant race in the West Division this week. Mark’s team has a 63.1 percent chance to win the series while Sean’s team has just a 20.3 percent chance of victory.
Home Run 101 vs Hapamon
Home Run 101 lost to the league’s last place team in Week 13, a 6-5-1 defeat to Let’s Play 2. It was the team’s seventh consecutive series loss. Bailey’s team is now 52-96-8 and 15th in the league standings. Hapamon lost 7-4-1 to Stadium Mustard last week and have now lost four of their last six series. They are 13th in the league standings with a 67-76-13 record.
Pitching: No team pitched fewer innings in Week 13 than Home Run 101 (35.1). The team also had the fewest quality starts (1) and net saves/holds (0). This team has been bad on the mound for the past five weeks, winning more than one pitching category just once during that stretch. They are 6-22-2 on the mound in the last five series. Veteran Chris Young has posted a 11.37 ERA and 2.84 WHIP in his last two starts. Hapamon has been strong on the mound over the last month, finishing with an ERA of 3.43 or less in each of the last four weeks. The team is 16-7-1 on the mound during that period. Closer Jeurys Familia hasn’t been scored on over his last 6.1 innings and he’s earned six straight saves.
Hitting: Home Run 101 led the league in net stolen bases last week with six and has been competitive at the plate during the last month. They’ve gone 12-11-1 during that period. Second baseman Jose Altuve keeps the offense competitive. He’s hitting .408 with a 1.128 OPS and nine RBI over his last 12 games. Hapamon scored the fewest runs in the league in Week 13 with 26 and failed to win a hitting category for the first time since Week 8. The team is now 5-12-1 at the plate over the last three weeks. Catcher Jason Castro is hitting just .214 with 11 strikeouts in his last 31 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: It’s been a while since Bailey’s team has been favored in a series but Ziguana doesn’t like a Clayton Kershaw-less Hapamon. Home Run 101 opens the week as a 76.6 percent chance to win while Robert Kirkbride’s team has just a 12.8 percent chance of victory.
Let’s Play 2 vs The JetSetters
Let’s Play 2 snapped a seven-week winless streak with a 6-5-1 victory over Home Run 101 last week. They remain in last place with a 53-98-5 record. The JetSetters are undefeated over the last seven weeks and are coming off an impressive 10-2 victory over the Lower Haighters. It was their largest margin of victory this season and moves the team to seventh in the league standings with a 79-70-7 record.
Pitching: The JetSetters finished Week 13 with six net saves/holds, tied for the league lead and have been one of the league’s best pitching teams the last seven weeks. They are 30-10-2 during that stretch. Jose Fernandez has a 3.20 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with two quality starts in his last three appearances. After failing to win a pitching category in Week 12, Let’s Play 2 bounced back last week, winning five of six. It was the second time in three weeks they’ve won five pitching categories. Trevor Bauer has given up just three runs over his last 20 innings and has two quality starts in his last three appearances.
Hitting: Let’s Play 2 had just 210 plate appearances in Week 13, tied for the fewest in the league. It’s been a bad month at the plate for Louie’s team. They are just 3-20-1 during that period and have won just a single hitting category the last three weeks. Veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .159 over his last 50 plate appearances with a .513 OPS. The JetSetters set season-highs with 51 runs and RBI last week. They led the league in runs scored but also had the highest number of strikeouts with 68. They are 9-3 at the plate over the last two weeks. Utility Danny Espinosa has been on five, driving in 21 runs over his last 13 games. He’s hitting .400 with a 1.425 OPS in his last 51 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana believes this will be the week Louie’s team scores a series win. Let’s Play 2 has a 67.8 percent chance of victory while David’s team has just a 18.9 percent chance to win the series.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs The Bulls
Bacon at Mile 11 posted their first series win since Week 5 with a 9-1-2 victory over A-Rod’s Mirrors. The team is now second in the overall standings with an 84-63-9 record. The Bulls have won three of their past four series after defeating the Eephus Monkeys 6-5-1 last week. They trail Bacon at Mile 11 by eight games in the North Division pennant race and are ninth in the overall standings with a 76-71-9 record.
Pitching: No team pitched more innings in Week 13 than Bacon at Mile 11 with 79.2. The team also led the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 9.94. Bacon won five pitching categories last week, the first time the team has done that since Week 4, and posted a sub-4.00 ERA for the first time since Week 6. Adam Conley has two quality starts in his last three outings, posting a 2.45 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The Bulls were sharp on the mound as well, leading the league with a 2.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP but the team is just 3-9 on the mound over the last two weeks. Reliever Mark Melancon hasn’t given up a run in his last five appearances, earning four saves with a 0.60 WHIP.
Hitting: Bacon has been a good hitting team the last three weeks. They are 10-5-3 during that stretch. Outfielder Mike Trout is the hottest hitter in the league. He’s 23-of-51 with a 1.306 OPS in his last 13 games. The Bulls have their own hot hitter in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. He’s 17-of-44 with a 1.142 OPS and 14 RBI over his last 12 games. The Bulls lost just one hitting category last week and are 11-5-2 over the last three weeks. They’ve had a .800+ OPS five of the last six weeks.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting Eric’s team will continue to rebound from it’s midseason funk. Bacon opens the week with a 76.6 percent chance to defeat Carolyn’s team while the Bulls have just a 13.5 percent chance to win.
Lower Haighters vs Marin Menehunes
The Lower Haighters have just one series victory over the last month and are coming off a 10-2 loss to the JetSetters, matching their worst loss of the season. They have fallen to third in the overall standings with a 83-69-4 record. The Menehunes have won two straight and are coming off a 9-3 victory over High Cheese, the league’s top team. It was their largest margin of victory since an 11-1 win over Land Shark in Week 2. They are clinging to the league’s final playoff berth with a 78-69-9 record.
Pitching: The Menehunes finished Week 13 tied for the league lead in quality starts with five and went 4-2 on the mound. They’ve posted a sub 4.00 ERA in four of the past five weeks. Bud Norris has been sensational in his last three starts, giving up just two runs in 18.1 innings and earning two quality starts. The Lower Haighters lost five of six pitching categories in Week 13 and are 7-10-1 over the last three weeks. The problem is the team’s ace, Jake Arrieta. He’s given up 10 earned runs in his last 15.1 innings and hasn’t earned a quality start in his last three outings.
Hitting: The Menehunes have been strong at the plate the last two weeks, going 10-1-1. They set a season-high with 48 runs, 44 RBI, and 272 plate appearance in Week 13. Wil Myers has driven in 13 runs over his last 11 games, posting a .992 OPS. He’s also stolen three bases. The Lower Haighters have struggled to hit the ball over the last five weeks, going 11-19 during that stretch. Last week, they won just one category. First baseman Eric Hosmer is struggling, driving in just four runs in his last 53 plate appearances. He has a .668 OPS in his last 12 games.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting the Lower Haighters have a 77.3 percent chance to defeat Elizabeth’s team. The Menehunes have just a 12.3 percent chance to win this West Division rivalry.