The postseason field is set. General Manager Eric Brown led Bacon at Mile 11 to the league’s best regular season record at 149-102-13. But we’ve seen this before.
The general manager team of Zach and Matt Patchell guided High Cheese to the league’s second best regular season record and they’ll face Land Shark.
Over the course of a season, the cream always rises to the top, but in a one-week series, anything can happen. We see this during the regular season and we’ve seen it repeatedly in the playoffs over the years. At this point, anything can happen.
High Cheese vs Land Shark
These teams met in Week 15 when Khris Davis knocked in eight runs leading Land Shark to four category wins at the plate and a narrow 7-5 upset victory over High Cheese. Land Shark finished that series with 46 RBI. Over the last month of the season, High Cheese won three of their final four series while Land Shark went 2-2.
Pitching: Jon Lester was tremendous for High Cheese over the past month. In five starts, all quality, Lester allowed just three earned runs, posting a 0.78 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Aroldis Chapman anchored the bullpen, striking out 22 batters in his last 12 innings while recording eight saves. Kevin Gausman has four quality starts in his last five starts for Land Shark. Gausman struck out 34 batters over 31.2 innings finishing with a 1.99 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. St. Louis reliever Seung Hwan Oh allowed just two earned runs over his last 12.2 innings while earning six net saves/holds. He struck out 20 batters during that period.
Hitting: Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre hit .358 with 23 RBI over the last month for Land Shark. In 110 plate appearances, Beltre recorded a 1.193 OPS. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt gives Land Shark a dangerous duo on the corners. Goldschmidt hit .300 over his last 25 games but had just eight RBI as his Arizona teammates didn’t reach base. Goldschmidt did score 21 times during that stretch. First baseman Freddie Freeman has been the best hitter for High Cheese over the past month. Freeman hit .330 with a 1.069 over his last 115 plate appearances. He drove in 20 runs and scored 21 more. High Cheese will miss Lorenzo Cain’s bat in this series. Cain, who is out with an injured thumb, hit .393 with a 1.014 OPS over his last 74 plate appearances. He also had four net stolen bases in his last 17 games.
Buster Hugs vs Lower Haighters
These teams haven’t met since Week 2 when the Lower Haighters defeated Buster Hugs 9-2-1. First baseman Albert Pujols drove in seven runs and Jake Arrieta pitched an eight-inning shutout to lead the Haighters. The Haighters won three of their last four series to finish the season while Buster Hugs went 2-1-1 down the stretch.
Pitching: Reliever Kenley Jansen has seven saves in his last 12 appearances and has been the best pitcher for Buster Hugs over the past month. Jansen struck out 21 batters over 11.2 innings with a 1.54 ERA and 0.43 WHIP. Cincinnati’s Anthony DeSclafani has been the most effective starter for Buster Hugs down the stretch. DeSclafani has four quality starts in his last five outings, recording a 2.57 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He’s struck out 31 batters in his last 35 innings. Veteran Masahiro Tanaka has four quality starts in his last five outings for the Lower Haighters. He’s given up just five earned runs over 33.1 innings while striking out 32 batters. Reclamation project Ivan Nova has settled down a Lower Haighters starting rotation beset by injuries. Nova has four quality starts in his last five outings, posting a 2.38 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in those games.
Hitting: First baseman Eric Hosmer is heating up for the Lower Haighters. Hosmer has driven in 26 runs over his last 115 plate appearances. Hosmer has a .950 OPS in his last 26 games. Albert Pujols isn’t showing his age. He’s hitting .313 with a .909 OPS in his last 24 games for the Haighters. He has just 12 strikeouts in his last 102 plate appearances. Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez has been on fire since being called up from the minor leagues. In 25 games, Sanchez is hitting .366 with a 1.272 OPS for Buster Hugs. He’s driven in 20 RBI in his first 110 plate appearances. Veteran slugger David Ortiz is singing his swan song but he’s going out on a fine note. Ortiz is hitting .341 with a 1.049 over his last 25 games for Buster Hugs. He’s collected 20 RBI in his last 97 plate appearances.
Marin Menehunes vs Bacon at Mile 11
When these teams met in Week 15 Jon Gray had a pair of quality starts while reliever Tony Watson had five net saves/holds without giving up a run as Bacon at Mile 11 swept the pitching categories on their way to a dominating 10-2 victory over the Menehunes. The Menehunes are limping into this second meeting with the league’s top-ranked team, losing three of their last four series. At the same time, Bacon is 3-0-1 during that stretch.
Pitching: Chris Archer has four quality starts in his last five appearances for Bacon. He’s recorded 40 strikeouts in his last 32.2 innings with a 2.48 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. New York Mets youngster Seth Lugo has plugged a hole in the rotation for Bacon. He has four quality starts over the past month with a 2.31 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Lugo has 25 strikeouts in his last 35 innings pitched. Rick Porcello has emerged as the rotation leader for the Menehunes. He has six quality starts in the last month, posting a 2.53 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over his last 42.2 innings. Porcello and Max Scherzer provide the Menehunes with a strong one-two punch at the top of the rotation. Scherzer has four quality starts in his last six outings with a 2.70 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He has 43 strikeouts in his last 40 innings pitched.
Hitting: Infielder Daniel Murphy is hitting .330 with a .905 OPS over his last 25 games for the Menehunes. Murphy has just 10 strikeouts in his last 110 plate appearances. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has 19 RBI in his last 20 games for the Menehunes. He’s hitting .308 with a 1.022 OPS during that stretch. Rookie second baseman Trea Turner is Bacon’s hottest hitter over the past month. Turner is hitting .369 with a .948 OPS in his last 28 games. Turner is a dangerous base stealer, recording 11 net stolen bases over that stretch. Veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia is hitting .456 with a 1.016 OPS in his last 112 plate appearances. During that stretch, Pedroia has scored 21 runs for Bacon.
JetSetters vs Warning Track Power
Starling Marte stole five bases and scored four runs as the JetSetters won four of the six hitting categories to defeat Warning Track Power in Week 8, 7-4-1. Unfortunately, the JetSetters limp into this playoff meeting, losing three of their last four series to end the regular season. Warning Track Power didn’t lose a series over the past month. The team’s only blemish in that stretch was a tie with the Mirrors.
Pitching: Reliever Andrew Miller has been the most effective pitcher for the JetSetters to end the season. Miller has allowed just three earned runs over his last 14 innings while striking out 19 hitters. He has six net saves/holds during that stretch with a 1.93 ERA and 0.57 WHIP. Alexander Reyes has bounced between the bullpen and rotation over the past month but wherever he’s pitched, he’s been strong for the JetSetters. In his last six appearances, Reyes has a quality start and two net saves/holds with a 1.83 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He has 26 strikeouts over 19.2 innings. Chris Sale has been Warning Track Power’s ace in 2016 and he’s pitching like one. Sale has five quality starts in his last six outings, striking out 55 batters over 47.2 innings. He’s recorded a 2.64 ERA and 0.99 WHIP during that stretch. David Price has been an excellent compliment to Sale. He has five quality starts for Warning Track Power over the last month with a 1.85 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.
Hitting: Veteran outfielder J.D. Martinez is hitting .404 with a 1.135 OPS for Warning Track Power over the last month. Martinez has scored 21 runs in his last 26 games. Veteran hitter Kendrys Morales has been strong for Warning Track Power down the stretch. Morales is hitting .315 with a .995 OPS in his last 104 plate appearances. He’s knocked in 23 runs during that period. Young infielder Alex Bregman has been a spark for the JetSetters over the last 26 games. Bregman is hitting .333 with a 1.045 OPS over the past month while driving in 28 runs. He also has a pair of stolen bases during that period. Joey Votto is hitting .374 and has knocked in 23 runs over his last 26 games for the JetSetters. Votto had a slow start to the season but has been strong over the last half.