The League’s Best Teams Go Head-to-Head

Justin Turner

This hairy fella, Justin Turner, is the top-rated fantasy baseball player since the All-Star break.

The league’s top two teams face off this week in a premier fantasy league matchup. Bacon at Mile 11 and Warning Track Power square-off for the only time this season. It could determine which team earns the league’s best regular season record.

The top eight teams are separated by just 10 games in the win column. I can’t remember the league being this close so late in the season. The margin between the top team and the ninth place team is just 14 games.

You’ll notice the Ziguana Projections are missing. The site’s projections have everyone in a tie. I think Matt Patchell and High Cheese broke the algorithm.

Here’s a preview of each series this week and, at this point, they’re all big.

High Cheese vs Stadium Mustard

Following last week’s 7-5 loss to Land Shark, High Cheese dropped to third in the league standings with a 99-74-7 record. They’ve lost two of their last three series and lead the JetSetters by just a half-game in the South Division pennant race. Stadium Mustard defeated A-Rod’s Mirrors 7-5 last week and have now won four of their last five series. They are 12th in the league standings with a 80-90-10 record.

Pitching: Reliever Dellin Betances has five net saves/holds in his last six appearances for High Cheese. He’s allowed just one earned run and four base runners during that stretch while striking out 10. Zach Davies has two quality starts to begin the second half for Stadium Mustard. He’s tossed 13.1 innings, allowing just one run while striking out nine. Stadium Mustard had a league-high 12 net saves/holds in Week 15.

Hitting: Rookie shortstop Trevor Story has driven in 12 runs over his past 11 games for High Cheese. He’s hitting .382 with a 1.428 OPS in 42 plate appearances since the All-Star break. Outfielder Ender Inciarte is hitting .353 with a .837 OPS over his first 41 plate appearances in the second half for Stadium Mustard. Inciarte also has three net stolen bases.

Marin Menehunes vs Eephus Monkeys

The Menehunes have dropped to .500 following last week’s 10-2 trouncing by Bacon at Mile 11. They’ve lost two straight series and four of their last six and now sit 10th in the league with a 85-85-10 record. The Monkeys are a dangerous team. They have lost just one series over the past two months and defeated Let’s Play 2 9-3 last week. After a slow start, Jordan’s team is now 11th in the standings with a 81-89-10 record.

Pitching: Max Scherzer has a pair of quality starts since the All Star break with a 1.93 ERA and 0.79 WHIP for the Menehunes. Scherzer has struck out 17 over 14 innings while allowing just 11 baserunners. The Menehunes had the league’s worst ERA last week at 4.64. Adam Wainwright has allowed just two runs over his last 15 innings for the Monkeys, earning a pair of quality starts. He’s struck out 13 during that stretch.

Hitting: Ian Kinsler is hitting .304 with a .942 OPS in his last 11 games. He’s scored nine runs in his last 48 plate appearances and has a net stolen base for the Menehunes. The Menehunes led the league with 14 stolen bases in Week 15. Billy Hamilton hasn’t been the difference maker many believed he would be this season but over his last 10 games he has nine net stolen bases while hitting .340 for the Monkeys. Hamilton has also scored 10 runs. No team had fewer strikeouts last week than the Monkeys.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs The Bulls

The defending league champion Mirrors are in a free fall that could cost them a return trip to the postseason. Last week they were defeated 7-5 by Stadium Mustard and have now lost five straight series. Sean’s team is last in the West Division and 13th in the overall standings with a 81-93-6 record. The Bulls are fighting for a playoff spot with a 85-85-10 record. They are ninth in the league standings. Carolyn’s team saw its two-week winning streak snapped by Warning Track Power last week but the Bulls have won four of its last six.

Pitching: Justin Verlander has been holding the pitching staff together for the Mirrors. He’s allowed just three earned runs in his last 21 IP while recording three quality starts. His 10.2 K/9 is evidence Verlander’s stuff remains solid. The Mirrors led the league with a 2.14 ERA last week. Boone Logan has been a reliable arm in the bullpen for the Bulls. In his first seven appearances since the All-Star game, Logan has pitched six scoreless innings and earned three net saves/holds. The Bulls need more out of their starters. They finished last week with just two quality starts.

Hitting: Infielder Jonathan Villar has four net stolen bases since the All-Star break and is hitting .282 with seven runs scored for the Bulls. He also has a surprisingly strong .890 OPS. Matt Kemp is hitting .317 with a 1.163 OPS in his last 10 games for the Mirrors. He has nine RBI and seven runs scored during that stretch. The Mirrors had the league’s lowest OPS last week with a .591.

JetSetters vs Buster Hugs

The JetSetters are the hottest team in the league. David’s team has won eight of its last nine series and hasn’t lost since Week 6. They are 28-5-3 over the past three weeks and now trail High Cheese by just a half game in the South Division pennant race. Buster Hugs trails Land Shark by a half game in the East Division pennant race and sit seventh in the league with a 91-81-8 record. Andrew’s team tied Los Coches Bomba last week with both teams battling for the league’s final playoff spots.

Pitching: Brandon McCarthy has a pair of quality starts since the All-Star break, allowing just one earned run over 12.1 innings for the JetSetters. He has 12 strikeouts in those two games. The JetSetters led the league with nine quality starts in Week 15. Michael Pineda has two quality starts in his first three appearances since the break for Buster Hugs. Pineda has a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in that stretch. Buster Hugs led the league in innings pitched with 101.2 in Week 15.

Hitting: The JetSetters led the league with 57 runs and a .827 OPS last week. First baseman Joey Votto is raking over his last 10 games for the JetSettters. He’s hitting .484 with a 1.440 OPS and has scored 13 runs in 45 plate appearances. Veteran hitter David Ortiz has nine RBI in his first nine games after the All-Star break for Buster Hugs. No team had more RBI last week than the 50 recorded by Buster Hugs. Ortiz is hitting .314 with a .889 OPS in 40 plate appearances.

Home Run 101 vs Los Coches Bomba

Home Run 101 is coming off its worst week of the season, losing 8-1-3 to the JetSetters last week. It was the team’s eighth loss in the last nine weeks. They are 15th in the standings with a 64-105-11 record and the team’s role now through the end of the season is that of spoiler. Los Coches Bomba can’t afford a series loss to Bailey’s team as they scratch and claw toward a playoff berth. Jenni’s team is clinging to the league’s final post season berth with a 89-79-12 record. Bomba has just one series win over the last month.

Pitching: Jake Odorizzi has a pair of quality starts to open the second half for Home Run 101. He’s given up just two earned runs over 14 innings while striking out 12 batters. Hisashi Iwakuma has a pair of quality starts to start the second half for Bomba. Iwakuma has a 1.38 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over his last 13 innings. Bomba led the league with a 1.04 WHIP in Week 15 but was last in net saves/holds with -1.

Hitting: Justin Turner is the top-rated player in fantasy baseball since the All-Star break. He’s hitting .390 in his last nine games with a 1.297 OPS and 14 RBI for Home Run 101. Hanley Ramirez has 12 RBI with a .941 OPS over his last 10 games for Bomba. He’s swinging a hot bat.
Let’s Play 2 vs Hapamon

The wheels have officially fallen off the wagon for Let’s Play 2 and Louie’s team is in for a bumpy ride to end the season. They hold the league’s worst record at 58-117-5 and have lost nine of their last 10 series. Hapamon has lost six of its last eight and are 14th in the league standings with a 72-94-14 record.

Pitching: There’s a reason Andrew Cashner’s name keeps coming up as a trade target in MLB. In his last two starts, Cashner has posted a 1.54 ERA, 0.60 WHIP and 13.1 K/9 for Let’s Play 2. No team had fewer innings pitched or a higher WHIP than Let’s Play 2 last week. Matt Shoemaker has posted a pair of quality starts with a 1.14 ERA and 0.76 WHIP since the All-Star break for Hapamon. He has 18 strikeouts over his last 15.2 innings. Still, Robert Kirkbride’s team misses ace Clayton Kershaw.

Hitting: Outfielder Mookie Betts is hitting .316 with a .955 OPS in his first nine games since the All-Star break for Let’s Play 2. Betts has just three strikeouts in his last 40 plate appearances. Let’s Play 2 had the league’s fewest Runs, RBI, and Plate Appearances in Week 15. Outfielder Christian Yelich has scored 10 runs and driven in nine more in his 11 games since the All-Star break for Hapamon. He’s hitting .355 with a 1.022 OPS in his last 50 plate appearances.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Warning Track Power

Last week’s 10-2 series win over the Menehunes pushed Bacon at Mile 11 back into the top spot in the league with a 99-71-10 record. However, it was just the team’s second series win in the last 10 weeks. Eric’s team faces a formidable foe this week. Warning Track Power leads the West Division and is second in the overall standings with a 102-76-2 record. Mark’s team is coming off a 9-3 victory over the Bulls and has just two series losses over the last two months.

Pitching: In five appearances since the All-Star break, reliever Zach Britton has five net saves/holds without giving up a run for Warning Track Power. He’s allowed just two base runners and has struck out seven of the 17 batters he’s faced. No team struck out fewer batters last week than Warning Track Power with 6.65 per nine innings. Jonathan Gray has struck out 16 batters over 14 innings to earn a pair of quality starts since the All-Star break for Bacon. Gray has a 0.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with a 10.3 K/9 in those starts. The bullpen was strong for Bacon last week, earning a league-high 12 net saves/holds.

Hitting: Second baseman Jason Kipnis is hitting .375 with a 1.019 OPS over his last 44 plate appearances for Warning Track Power. He also has two net stolen bases since the All-Star break. No team had more plate appearances in the league than Warning Track Power last week. Third baseman Nolan Arenado is hitting .315 with a .981 OPS in his last 40 plate appearances for Bacon. He’s scored eight runs and driven home eight more in his last eight games.
Lower Haighters vs Land Shark

The Lower Haighters have won three of their past four series following last week’s 7-4-1 victory over Hapamon. The team is 96-78-6 and second in the West Division, four games behind Warning Track Power. Land Shark is clinging to a half-game lead over Buster Hugs in the East Division pennant race. They are sixth in the overall standings with a 93-82-5 record. Meredith’s team is coming off an impressive 7-5 series win over High Cheese. It was the team’s sixth series win in the last eight weeks.

Pitching: Masahiro Tanaka has started the second half hot. He has a pair of quality starts with a 0.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. The Lower Haighters led the league with a 10.5 K/9 last week. Reliever Raisel Iglesias has three net saves/holds in his last four games for Land Shark. He’s allowed just five base runners over eight innings while striking out nine.

Hitting: Outfielder Ryan Braun is healthy again (for the time being), for the Lower Haighters. In his last 10 games, Braun is hitting .405 with a 1.055 OPS with five stolen bases and 12 runs scored. The Haighters led the league with 50 RBI last week but also had the highest strikeout total with 87. Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre is driving in runs for Land Shark. He has eight RBI in his last 10 games and has a .984 OPS in 44 plate appearances. He’s struck out just four times during that stretch.


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