A pair of Western Division rivals face off in a winner-take-all week’s worth of fantasy baseball to crown the 2016 SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League champion.
General Manager Elizabeth Gravely defied odds and guided the No. 8-seeded Menehunes to the championship series in her first playoff appearance. It was quite a turnaround season for the Menehunes, who finished 15th in the league standings last season with a 99-151-14 record.
This will be the fourth appearance for the Lower Haighters in the championship series. They played in 2010, 2011 and 2013, winning the championship in 2011 with the best record in league history. This year’s team struggled with inconsistency and injuries. The Haighters finished 142-118-8, the league’s fourth best record, but were lucky to advance past the first round as they tied Buster Hugs (the Haighters owned the tiebreaker). The team entered the postseason having used all of its 40 free agent moves.
Now it all comes down to seven days of baseball.
Lower Haighters vs Marin Menehunes
The season series couldn’t have been much closer. The Lower Haighters won two of the three meetings but the teams finished 17-17-2 against each other. The Menehunes beat the Haighters 9-2-1 in Week 21 as Rick Porcello tossed a pair of quality starts, Wil Meyers knocked in eight runs, and Adam Eaton scored nine times. The Haighters finished that series with a 6.41 ERA and a .640 OPS.
Pitching: Porcello killed the Lower Heighters when they last met and he’s been hot in the playoffs. He has three quality starts over the last two weeks, striking out 22 batters over 23.2 innings. Porcello has a 2.31 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in that stretch. James Paxton has two quality starts in the playoffs for the Lower Haighters. Paxton has allowed just three runs over his 14 postseason innings, striking out 16 batters.
Hitting: The Menehunes have two of the hottest bats in the playoffs entering this series, outfielder Odubel Herrera and third baseman Todd Frazier. Herrera is hitting .435 with a 1.176 OPS during the postseason. He’s scored 13 runs and has five net stolen bases. Frazier has knocked in 10 runs, scored 12, and has a 1.080 OPS in the postseason. Veteran first baseman Carlos Santana is hitting .367 during the playoffs for the Haighters.
Land Shark vs Warning Track Power
Warning Track Power was favored to beat the Menehunes and advance to this year’s title series but were upset and will now face Land Shark for third place. The two teams played each other in Week 4 when Land Shark defeated Warning Track Power 7-5. Jeremy Hellickson and Felix Hernandez combined to pitch 14.2 scoreless innings and earn quality starts while second baseman Logan Forsythe had a 1.310 OPS.
Pitching: Veteran pitcher Dan Straily has earned three quality starts for Land Shark in the postseason. He’s allowed just six earned runs over 20.2 innings while striking out 18 batters. In the postseason, Straily has a 2.61 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Kyle Hendricks has continued his magical season for Warning Track Power in the postseason. Hendricks has tossed a pair of quality starts with a 1.93 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, with 16 strikeouts over 14 innings.
Hitting: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and outfielder Nelson Cruz have combined to knock in 20 runs during the fantasy playoffs for Land Shark. Cruz is hitting .302 with a 1.178 OPS while Goldschmidt has a .994 OPS and has added four net stolen bases. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .319 with a 1.046 OPS during the postseason for Warning Track Power. He has 11 RBI, seven runs scored, and three net stolen bases over the past two weeks.
JetSetters vs High Cheese
A pair of South Division foes face off in this year’s Fifth Place series. The JetSetters and High Cheese know each other well. High Cheese defeated the JetSetters 7-4-1 to open the season and just continued to beat them through the season. They swept the season series 4-0 with a combined score of 30-16-2. Cole Hamels had six quality starts for High Cheese this season against the JetSetters.
Pitching: Jon Lester has been the best player in the fantasy postseason. Period. The High Cheese starter has three quality starts, allowing just one earned run over 21.2 innings. He’s struck out 20 over that stretch. Reliever Andrew Miller hasn’t given up a run in five postseason appearances for the JetSetters. During that stretch, he’s allowed just two baserunners while striking out 10.
Hitting: First baseman Freddie Freeman is hitting .475 with a 1.367 OPS during the playoffs for High Cheese. Freeman has knocked in 13 runs over 11 games while scoring nine times. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu is 20-for-48 with nine RBI and 10 runs scored for the JetSetters during the postseason. He has just three strikeouts in 54 postseason plate appearances.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Buster Hugs
After finishing the season with the league’s best record, Bacon at Mile 11 is now playing in the Seventh Place series against Buster Hugs. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Pitching is the main culprit. Luke Weaver, Tony Cingrani, Ryan Madson and Seth Lugo have all struggled. They’ll try to right the ship as they face Buster Hugs for just the second time this yer. In the first meeting, David Ortiz knocked in nine runs and Kenley Jansen had a pair of saves to lead Buster Hugs to a 7-4-1 victory in Week 8.
Pitching: One guy who has pitched well for Bacon in the postseason is Jon Gray. Over 13 innings, Gray has a quality start with a 2.77 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. He’s struck out 26 batters during that stretch. Jansen has been the consistent force at the back of the bullpen for Buster Hugs this season. It’s been no difference in the postseason, where Jansen has four saves in six appearances with a 3.00 ERA and 0.50 WHIP. He’s struck out 11 hitters over six innings.
Hitting: Outfielder Mike Trout has been Bacon’s hottest hitter in the postseason. He’s scored 10 runs over 13 games, hitting .256 with a .857 OPS and 13 walks in his last 57 plate appearances. Middle infielder Jean Segura has led Buster Hugs in the postseason, hitting .373 with a 1.174 OPS over 12 games. Segura has scored nine runs and knocked in nine more during that stretch.