With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Bacon at Mile 11 has moved back into he top spot in the league standings. But things are close. Very close. The top eight teams are separated by just 20 games in the loss column. Just nine games in the loss column separate the top five teams.
Now, on to Week 21.
Eephus Monkeys vs Land Shark
Land Shark pummeled the Monkeys 7-2-3 in Week 19 to even the season series at 1-1 but then stumbled last week in a 5-7 loss to Stadium Mustard. That left Land Shark trailing Buster Hugs in the East Division by seven games. The team is now 122-107-11 and seventh in the league standings and, barring a total collapse over the next two weeks, should be a lock for the playoffs. The Monkeys are 105-121-14 and stand 11th in the league. They haven’t won a series over the last month and have slid out of playoff contention.
Pitching: Reliever Kelvin Herrera has earned nine net saves/holds over his last 13 games for the Monkeys. He’s posted a 0.77 WHIP and 11.1 K/9 during that stretch. Felix Hernandez has four quality starts in his last six outings for Land Shark. Fernandez has a 2.57 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his last 42 innings.
Hitting: Second baseman Brian Dozier is a dangerous hitter for the Monkeys. He’s hitting .320 with a 1.121 OPS and 29 runs scored over his last 28 games. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is leading Land Shark at the plate over the last month. In his last 98 plate appearances, Goldschmidt is hitting .306 with a .906 OPS and 24 runs scored.
Los Coches Bomba vs High Cheese
Can Los Coches Bomba recover from a devastating loss to Let’s Play 2 last week? It was the team’s third loss in the last four weeks and leaves them 10th in the standings with a 109-114-17 record. They now face arch-rival High Cheese, a team that’s beat them twice this season including a 9-2-1 thumping in Week 19. Last week’s 9-2-1 victory over the JetSetters was the fourth series victory in the last five weeks for High Cheese. They have the league’s second best record at 136-95-9 and have a 12-game lead in the South Division.
Pitching: Jon Lester has five straight quality starts over the past month for High Cheese. Lester has allowed just six earned runs over his last 31.2 innings, posting a 1.71 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Noah Syndergaard remains the ace for Los Coches Bomba but he’s struggled to go deep in games lately. He has just three quality starts in his last six, giving up 12 earned runs over 37.2 innings.
Hitting: In his last 27 games, first baseman Freddie Freeman is hitting .316 with a 1.131 OPS for High Cheese. He’s driven in 22 runs and scored 26 times during that stretch. Veteran first baseman Miguel Cabrera is hitting .365 with a 1.086 OPS in his last 25 games for Los Coches Bomba. He has 18 RBI in that span.
Buster Hugs vs Stadium Mustard
Buster Hugs is the league’s hottest team. They have just one series loss over the last nine weeks. They are coming off a 9-2-1 victory over the Eephus Monkeys and face a Stadium Mustard team they haven’t lost to this season. Buster Hugs has the league’s fifth best record at 130-101-9 and have a seven game lead over Land Shark in the East Division. Stadium Mustard has beaten the league’s top team, Bacon at Mile 11, and Land Shark over the last month but they were thumped by Buster Hugs, 10-2, in Week 19. They are 104-123-13 and 12th overall and last in the East Division.
Pitching: Journeyman pitcher Ian Kennedy has five quality starts in his last six for Buster Hugs. In his last 39.1 innings, Kennedy has a 1.14 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Veteran reliever Jim Johnson has eight net saves/holds over his last 12 games for Stadium Mustard. Johnson has allowed just one run in his last 12 innings.
Hitting: Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez has been pretty good for Buster Hugs over his first 21 games. He’s hitting .425 with a 1.426 OPS with 21 RBI. Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips is hitting .379 with a .970 OPS in his last 23 games for Stadium Mustard. Phillips has struck out just five times in his last 92 plate appearances.
A-Rod’s Mirrors vs Warning Track Power
Warning Track Power trails the Lower Haighters by just a half game with two weeks left in the season in their quest for the team’s first West Division pennant. They are 132-100-8 and fourth in the league. They defeated the Menehunes 6-5-1 last week but tied the Mirrors in Week 19, 6-6. It’s been a quick fall from grace for the defending league champion Mirrors. They have just one series win over the past 10 weeks and have fallen to 106-126-8 and 13th in the standings. The last time they faced Warning Track Power they were pummeled, 10-2, in Week 14.
Pitching: The league’s top pitcher over the last month is Justin Verlander. Over his last six starts for the Mirrors, the veteran hurler has allowed just 11 earned runs over 42.2 innings, and he’s earned six quality starts. Kyle Hendricks has five straight quality starts for Warning Track Power and can match Verlander. Hendricks has a 1.53 ERA and 0.79 WHIP over his last 35.1 innings.
Hitting: Third baseman Manny Machado has driven in 23 runs over his last 27 games for the Mirrors. During that stretch he’s hitting .322 with a .949 OPS. Yasmany Tomas has a .973 OPS over his last 22 games for Warning Track Power. He’s driven in 20 runs in that period.
Home Run 101 vs Hapamon
Hapamon ended a seven-week losing streak with a surprising 6-5-1 victory over the Bulls last week. They now take aim at Home Run 101, a team that has beaten them twice this season by a combined score of 17-5. Hapamon is 94-125-21 and 14th in the standings while Home Run 101 is 87-140-13 and 15th. Given last week’s win by Let’s Play 2, it’s possible Home Run 101 could end up with this year’s Wooden Spoon. The team has just two series victories over the last 14 weeks.
Pitching: Chris Devenski has allowed just 16 baserunners over his last 22.1 innings for Hapamon. Devenski has a 2.01 ERA and 0.72 WHIP during those nine games. Reliever Ken Giles has been the most effective pitcher for Home Run 101 over the last month. He has five net saves/holds in his last nine outings.
Hitting: Outfielder Charlie Blackmon is hitting .365 with a 1.200 OPS for Hapamon in his last 25 games. Blackmon has scored 32 runs in that period. Second baseman Jose Altuve is the best hitter in baseball. In his last 26 games for Home Run 101 he’s hitting .343 with a .926 OPS while driving in 25 runs.
Let’s Play 2 vs JetSetters
Dreams of a South Division pennant came crashing down for the JetSetters over the last three weeks. In that span they’ve lost twice to High Cheese by a combined score of 7-16-1 and they were defeated by Let’s Play 2, 5-6-1. They have just one win series victory over the last five weeks and have fallen to sixth with a 122-106-12 record, 12.5 games behind High Cheese. Let’s Play 2 defeated Los Coches Bomba 7-5 last week for their second straight series win. They are still at the bottom of the league standings with an 82-148-10 record but they are now within striking distance of Home Run 101.
Pitching: Danny Duffy has five quality starts in his last six outings for the JetSetters. During that stretch, Duffy has 39 strikeouts and just nine walks. Corey Kluber has six straight quality starts for Let’s Play 2. In his last 39.2 innings Kluber has posted a 2.04 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Hitting: Outfielder Mookie Betts has led Let’s Play 2’s resent resurgence. Betts is hitting .388 with a 1.096 OPS and 27 RBI in his last 28 games. Now, if General Manager Louie Bottaro inserts the red-hot Jose Ramirez into his lineup, he might avoid the Wooden Spoon. The JetSetters have hit a rough patch but it isn’t Joey Votto’s fault. He’s carrying the offense with a .404 average and 1.115 OPS in his last 27 games. He’s also driven in 24 runs during this stretch.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs The Bulls
Bacon has won three straight series by a combined score of 27-9. The streak has vaulted the team into first place in the league standings with a 136-92-12 record. One of those wins was an 8-4 victory over the Bulls in Week 19. It avenged a 6-5-1 loss to their North Division rival in Week 14. The Bulls have lost three of their last four series and are in danger of not making the playoffs. They are 112-115-13 and ninth overall, three games behind the eighth-place Menehunes in the loss column. Last week’s 5-6-1 loss to Hapamon was a blow to the Bulls’ postseason hopes.
Pitching: Chris Archer has earned four quality starts in his last six outings for Bacon at Mile 11. Archer has earned a 3.03 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and a 10.9 K/9 in those starts. Reliever Kyle Barraclough has been the best pitcher for the Bulls in August. He’s earned five net saves/holds over his last 16.1 innings with a 2.20 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.
Hitting: Third baseman Nolan Arenado is hitting .337 with a 1.061 OPS over his last 27 games for Bacon at Mile 11. He’s driven in 33 runs and scored 25 over that stretch. Infielder Anthony Rendon has knocked in 20 runs over his last 26 games for the Bulls. In that span, Rendon is hitting .330 with a .964 OPS.
Lower Haighters vs Marin Menehunes
The Lower Haighters have won four straight series and seven of their last nine to regain the top spot in the West Division by a half game over Warning Track Power. They have the league’s third best record at 133-100-7 and have won two straight series against their West Division rivals, the Menehunes. The Menehunes are clinging to the league’s final playoff berth with a 115-112-13 record. They certainly can’t afford another 9-3 loss like they took in Week 19 when they were thumped by the Lower Haighters. The Menehunes have lost five of their last seven series at a time when they need to win.
Pitching: Young reliever Edwin Diaz has solidified the back end of the bullpen for the Lower Haighters over the last month. In his last 14 appearances, Diaz has 13 net saves/holds with a 15.0 K/9 rate. Journeyman starter Rick Porcello has five straight quality starts over the last month for the Menehunes. He has a 2.39 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over his last 37.2 innings.
Hitting: Veteran outfielder Ryan Braun has carried the Lower Haighters at the plate lately. Braun has 28 RBI in his last 24 games with a 1.029 OPS. He even has a pair of stolen bases. Infielder Daniel Murphy is hitting .311 with a .921 OPS in his last 24 games for the Menehunes. He’s knocked in 22 runs during that stretch.