Half of the playoff field is set. Bacon at Mile 11, High Cheese, Warning Track Power and the Lower Haighters all qualified for the playoffs last week. Four spots remain.
Buster Hugs leads Land Shark by 2.5 games in the East Division as both teams fight for a playoff berth while the JetSetters, Marin Menehunes, and Bulls are also in the hunt. Good luck to everyone fighting for those final postseason berths!
The Bulls vs Hapamon
The Bulls have the most difficult road into the playoffs. They trail the Menehunes by seven games entering the final series and are ninth in the league standings with a 118-121-13 record. They are also stumbling down the stretch. They have just one series win over the last five weeks. The did, however, manage to tie Bacon at Mile 11, 6-6, last week. Hapamon is 14th in the overall standings with a 98-132-22 record but they do get pitcher Clayton Kershaw back this week. They lost last week’s series 7-4-1 to Home Run 101 and have lost eight of their last nine.
Pitching: Jeurys Familia was the top relief pitcher in fantasy baseball last week. Familia didn’t give up a run in five appearances for Hapamon, earning three net saves/holds while allowing just one baserunner in 4.1 innings. Veteran reliever Sergio Romo has struggled this year but his slider was sliding for the Bulls last week. He tossed 3.1 scoreless innings and earned three holds in five appearances.
Hitting: Bulls second baseman Rougned Odor went 12-for-27 with 15 RBI to finish Week 21 as the league’s highest-rated player. Odor finished the week with a 1.522 OPS. Outfielder Christian Yelich hit .308 with a 1.112 OPS last week for Hapamon. He drove in nine runs and scored five while stealing a base.
Stadium Mustard vs Land Shark
Land Shark has won three of its last four series and trails Buster Hugs by just 2.5 games in the East Division. They defeated the Monkeys 6-5-1 last week to improve to 128-112-2 and move to seventh in the league standings. Land Shark faces a Stadium Mustard team that is playing the role of spoiler. They defeated Land Shark, 7-5, two weeks ago and thumped Buster Hugs, 9-1-2, last week. Stadium Mustard is 11th in the league standings with a 113-124-15 record but they are a dangerous team.
Pitching: Julio Teheran earned a pair of quality starts for Stadium Mustard last week. Teheran allowed just two runs over 13 innings, finishing the week with a 1.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 10.4 K/9. Ricky Nolasco tossed a complete game shutout for Land Shark last week. Nolasco allowed just four baserunners while striking out seven batters.
Hitting: Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre was hot for Land Shark last week. He went 9-for-24 with seven RBI and 11 runs scored and finished with a 1.256 OPS. Outfielder Ender Inciarte went 11-for-26 over six games for Stadium Mustard last week. Inciarte was also strong on the base paths, finishing with two net stolen bases.
Buster Hugs vs Eephus Monkeys
Buster Hugs was derailed by Stadium Mustard last week on their way to the East Division title. The surprising 9-1-2 loss leaves Buster Hugs with a 131-110-11 record and just 2.5 games ahead of Land Shark in the division race. Buster Hugs has yet to lose to the Monkeys in three meetings this year and defeated their division rival 9-2-1 in Week 20. The Monkeys have lost four straight series following last week’s 6-5-1 loss to Land Shark. They are 110-127-15 and 10th in the league standings.
Pitching: Carlos Martinez had a pair of quality starts for the Monkeys in Week 21. Martinez struck out 19 batters over 12 innings while finishing the week with a 2.25 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Reliever Kenley Jansen had two saves in three appearances for Buster Hugs last week. Jansen struck out seven batters over three scoreless innings.
Hitting: Second baseman Brian Dozier his .367 with a 1.341 OPS in seven games for the Monkeys last week. Dozier drove in nine runs and scored six more. Infielder Jean Segura hit .421 for Buster Hugs in 20 plate appearances last week. He finished the week with three net stolen bases and a .976 OPS.
Marin Menehunes vs Warning Track Power
The Menehunes snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 9-2-1 victory over the Lower Haighters that drastically improved their playoff chances. They are currently eighth in the league standings with a 124-114-14 record. They have a seven game lead over the Bulls for the final playoff berth. Warning Track grabbed the West Division lead with last week’s 7-5 victory the Mirrors. They’ve lost just one series over the last nine weeks and are one of the hottest teams in the league. Warning Track Power has a four game lead over the Lower Haighters in the West and is third in the league with a 139-105-8 record. The Menehunes did defeat Warning Track Power 7-3-2 in Week 18 so this could be an interesting series.
Pitching: Carlos Carrasco tossed a 7.1 inning shutout for Warning Track Power last week. He allowed just seven baserunners while striking out 11. Max Scherzer struck out 11 over eight innings for the Menehunes in his lone start last week. He allowed two runs but just four base runners.
Hitting: Outfielder Adam Eaton was on fire for the Menehunes at the plate in Week 21. He went 10-for-31 with give RBI and nine runs scored. Eaton finished the week with a .901 OPS. In seven games for Warning Track Power, veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson hit .286 with a 1.169 OPS last week. He drove in eight runs and scored six more, striking out just three times in 27 plate appearances.
JetSetters vs High Cheese
These teams have met three teams and High Cheese has won all three meetings. It’s one reason High Cheese leads the South Division and is second in the league standings with a 142-101-9 record while the JetSetters are 129-111-12 and sixth overall. High Cheese is a coming off a 6-6 tie with Los Coches Bomba but has just one series loss over the last six weeks. The JetSetters snapped a three-week losing streak with a 7-5 win over Let’s Play 2 last week.
Pitching: Luke Gregerson was strong in relief for the JetSetters in Week 21. He earned three net saves/holds, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings while striking out two hitters. Aroldis Chapman had a pair of saves for High Cheese, giving up just one run over five innings while striking out nine hitters.
Hitting: Freddie Freeman went 8-for-20 with seven RBI and seven runs scored last week for High Cheese. Freeman hit .400 with a 1.450 OPS over 30 plate appearances. Infielder Alex Bregman was swinging a hot bat for the JetSetters last week. Bregman went 9-for-26 with just three strikeouts in 27 plate appearances. He finished with a .947 OPS.
Let’s Play 2 vs Los Coches Bomba
It would take a miracle for Los Coches Bomba to qualify for the playoffs and for Let’s Play 2 to dig themselves out of the league cellar. Bomba is 115-120-17 and 10th in the league standings following last week’s 6-6 tie with High Cheese. Their last win was a 6-4-2 victory over Let’s Play 2 a month ago. Let’s Play 2 saw their modest two-week winning streak snapped with a 7-5 loss to the JetSetters last week but the team has been much more competitive since a 12-0 loss to the Menehunes in Week 17. They have the league’s worst record at 87-155-10.
Pitching: Trevor Bauer earned a pair of quality starts for Let’s Play 2 last week. Bauer gave up just three runs over 14.1 innings while striking out eight batters. In his lone start for Los Coches Bomba last week, Gio Gonzalez pitched six strong innings, allowing just one run and three baserunners while striking out four hitters.
Hitting: Will Let’s Play 2 General Manager Louie Bottaro give outfielder Byron Buxton a chance in the starting lineup this week? He was red-hot last week, going 9-for-16 with a 1.875 OPS. Veteran first baseman Hanley Ramirez went 9-for-23 with 10 RBI and eight runs scored last week for Bomba. Ramirez finished the week with a 1.331 OPS.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Home Run 101
Bacon at Mile 11 has the league’s best record at 142-98-12. They hold a 23.5 game lead in the North Division, the league’s largest division lead. They’ve won three of their past four series but did tie The Bulls last week, 6-6. The question for Bacon at Mile 11 remains: Can they handle the playoffs after a weak regular season schedule? They face Home Run 101 this week, a team they haven’t lost to this year. In fact, they’ve gone 27-8-1 against their North Division rival. Home Run 101 is 15th in the league standings with a 94-144-14 record but they have won two of their past three series, beating Hapamon both times.
Pitching: Reliever Ken Giles had three saves in three attempts for Home Run 101 last week. Giles allowed just one run over three innings while striking out five batters. Eduardo Rodriguez nearly pitched a perfect game for Bacon in Week 21. He allowed just one hit over eight scoreless innings.
Hitting: In five games last week, outfielder Mike Trout went 10-for-18 with six RBI and eight runs scored for Bacon. He had just one strikeout in 23 plate appearances and ended the week with a 1.986 OPS. First baseman Jose Abreu knocked in 13 RBI for Home Run 101 last week. Abreu went 14-for-34 with a 1.206 OPS.
Lower Haighters vs A-Rod’s Mirrors
The Lower Haighters likely lost the West Division pennant with last week’s 9-2-1 loss to the Menehunes but they are one of four teams that have qualified for this year’s playoffs. Despite the loss, they’ve won six of their past eight series and are 135-109-8 and fourth in the league standings. After winning last year’s championship, the Mirrors have collapsed this season. They are 111-133-8 and 13th in the league. The Mirrors have just one series win over the last 11 weeks and have lost all three series with the Haighters.
Pitching: In his lone start last week, veteran Rich Hill earned a quality start for the Mirrors by tossing six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. He allowed just three baserunners in the outing. Reliever Will Harris was the one bright spot in a poor pitching effort for the Lower Haighters last week. Harris earned a pair of holds in three appearances without giving up a run.
Hitting: It must be 2010, because first baseman Albert Pujols is on a tear for the Lower Haighters. In five games last week, Pujols went 9-for-21 with a 1.429 OPS, seven RBI, and five runs scored. In six games last week, outfielder Matt Kemp went 10-for-28 with eight RBI and five runs scored. He finished the week with a .974 OPS.
The top four teams in the league are now separated by three games with four weeks remaining in the regular season. Three of the league’s four divisions feature red-hot pennant races, with team’s separated by three games or less. It’s safe to say this is going to be a fun last month to the season.
Eephus Monkeys vs Land Shark
The Monkeys defeated Land Shark 8-4 when they faced them in Week 14. It was the start of a four-week undefeated streak that was snapped with last week’s 7-5 series loss to Buster Hugs. The Monkeys are 101-105-10 and 11th in the standings but they are squarely in the chase for the league’s final playoff berth. Land Shark trails Buster Hugs by one game in the East Division pennant race. They are 110-98-8 following last week’s 6-4-2 victory over Stadium Mustard. It was their third series win in the last four weeks.
Pitching: Land Shark won four of the six pitching categories in Week 18, as starter John Lackey notched a pair of quality starts. The veteran pitcher tossed 14.2 innings with a 0.61 ERA. It’s worth watching Lackey this week as he was experiencing shoulder soreness in Sunday’s start. Despite finishing Week 18 with a 5.31 ERA and 1.48 WHIP, the Monkeys managed to win three pitching categories. Relievers Pat Neshek and Sam Dyson combined to earn four net saves/holds without allowing a run.
Hitting: Land Shark finished with a 1.051 OPS last week and scored 36 runs. Despite the excellent week at the plate, they won just two categories while tying two others. Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre knocked in eight runs and ended the week with a team-high 1.367 OPS. The Monkeys managed to win just two hitting categories against Buster Hugs last week and ended the week with a .789 OPS. Outfielder Billy Hamilton finished the week with an amazing seven net stolen bases, six runs scored, and a healthy 1.047 OPS to lead the Monkeys.
Los Coches Bomba vs High Cheese
Los Coches Bomba notched a much-needed series win with a 6-4-2 victory over Let’s Play 2 last week. It broke a four-week winless streak. Bomba is now 102-98-16 and in a heated playoff chase. Every point is big for the team heading down the stretch. High Cheese defeated the JetSetters in a thrilling 7-5 series and now lead the South Division by 1.5 games. They are third in the league with a 118-91-7 record. High Cheese and Bomba are old division rivals and have a lot riding on this series.
Pitching: High Cheese won last week’s series with pitching. They took five of the seven categories against the JetSetters thanks to Cole Hamels and Steven Matz. Hamels and Matz each had a pair of quality starts while Dellin Betances had two net saves/holds in three scoreless innings while posting a 24.00 K/9 rate. Bomba struggled on the mound in Week 18, finishing with a 4.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Noah Syndergaard and Gio Gonzalez each lasted just five innings in their respective starts. Jason Hammel was the team’s best pitcher, tossing seven scoreless innings to earn a quality start.
Hitting: While High Cheese didn’t hit poorly last week, they couldn’t match the firepower from the JetSetters, losing four of six categories. Veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman led the team in runs (8), RBI (8) and OPS (1.730). Bomba’s hitters helped defeat a stubborn Let’s Play 2 squad last week, winning four of the six categories. Third baseman Evan Longoria scored five runs and drove in nine more. First baseman Hanley Ramirez also had nine RBI but he’s going to miss the next three days on the bereavement list.
Buster Hugs vs Stadium Mustard
Buster Hugs won their second consecutive series with a 7-5 victory over the Eephus Monkeys in Week 18. They have just one series loss over the last two months. They are now one game ahead of Land Shark in the East Division pennant race with a 111-97-8 record. Stadium Mustard is 95-108-13 and 13.5 games behind Buster Hugs in the division. They are coming off a 6-4-2 loss to Land Shark, their second series loss in the last three weeks.
Pitching: The pitching was abysmal for Buster Hugs in Week 18. The team earned a 6.75 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Tyler Skaggs was bombed in his lone start, finishing with a 12.60 ERA over five innings, while Hector Rondon had a classic bullpen meltdown, getting one out while giving up two homers and finishing with a 108.00 ERA. A lack of pitching cost Stadium Mustard their series last week. They won just two categories and finished the week with a 4.56 ERA and -1 net saves/holds. A.J. Griffin failed to earn a quality start in two attempts while Carlos Estevez pitched 3.1 innings in relief and finished with a 13.50 ERA.
Hitting: Buster Hugs defeated the Monkeys last week thanks to a pair of runs scored and two additional RBIs. It was that close in the hitting categories. Infielder Starlin Castro led the team with seven RBI while David Ortiz finished with a team-high 1.076 OPS. While Stadium Mustard won just two hitting categories against Land Shark in Week 18, they were competitive at the plate, finishing with 43 RBI and a .929 OPS. Third baseman Kyle Seager drove in a team-high 10 runs, scored five times, and ended the week with a .986 OPS.
A-Rod’s Mirrors vs Warning Track Power
The defending champion Mirrors are tumbling down the league standings and are in serious danger of not making the playoffs. They’ve lost seven of their last eight series and are 95-113-8 and 13th in the overall standings. The Mirrors are 24.5 games behind Warning Track Power in the West Division. Warning Track Power remains the top team in the league with a 120-89-7 record despite a 7-3-2 loss to the Menehunes last week. It snapped a five-week winning streak and moved the Lower Haighters to within three games in the division pennant race.
Pitching: The Mirrors faced a red-hot Lower Haighters pitching staff in Week 18 and won just two categories. Blake Snell had a disaster on the mound, lasting just 1.2 innings while giving up five runs, two earned. Warning Track Power finished Week 18 with a 5.90 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and managed to win just one category against the Menehunes. Veteran Jon Niese gave up six runs in 1.2 innings of relief last week and finished with a 32.40 ERA.
Hitting: The Mirrors lost five of the six hitting categories to the Lower Haighters in Week 18 and had just 208 plate appearance. Jed Lowrie and Kevin Pillar both missed the series with injury while Bryce Harper had just four plate appearances. Mark Trumbo led the Mirrors with eight RBI but he also struck out 11 times in 28 plate appearances. Warning Track Power was lucky it faced the light-hitting Menehunes last week or they would have been swept at the plate. WTP posted a .711 OPS with just 176 plate appearances. Curtis Granderson failed to drive in a run in 20 plate appearances and ended the week with a .250 OPS.
Home Run 101 vs Hapamon
With last week’s 8-4 loss to Bacon, Home Run 101 hasn’t won a series since a 6-5-1 victory over the Bulls in Week 6. They are 80-125-11 and 15th overall. Hapamon is coming off a 4-7-1 loss to the Bulls and are now 84-114-18 and 14th overall. They’ve lost six straight series. It’s safe to say this series won’t be featured on Fantasy Baseball Tonight.
Pitching: While Home Run 101 didn’t pitch well in Week 18, they did win four of the six categories. They finished with a 4.47 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and just two quality starts but Bacon at Mile 11 was horrific. Reliever Ryan Buchter was Home Run 101’s most effective pitcher, tossing three scoreless innings and earning a hold. It’s safe to say Hapamon misses injured ace Clayton Kershaw. With just a few more solid innings, the team could have defeated the Bulls last week. Instead, they finished with a 4.91 ERA, 1.73 WHIP and were swept on the mound. Patrick Corbin had a disastrous start, posting a 21.60 ERA over 1.2 innings.
Hitting: It can’t get much worse at the plate for Home Run 101. They were swept by Bacon last week. They didn’t hit poorly, finishing with a .949 OPS, 33 RBI, and 35 runs scored, but they ran into a hot hitting team. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and second baseman Jose Altuve each collected six RBI for Home Run 101 while outfielder Jason Werth led the team with a 1.278 OPS. Hapamon won four of the six hitting categories against the Bulls last week as the team finished with a .885 OPS and 38 runs scored. Outfielder Charlie Blackmon was on fire, scoring 13 runs with nine RBI and a 1.913 OPS in 35 plate appearances.
Let’s Play 2 vs JetSetters
The JetSetters had gone 11 weeks without a series loss until last week’s 7-5 defeat to High Cheese. The series was decided by a razor-thin WHIP margin, so a single hit or walk over the course of the week gave High Cheese the win. The JetSetters are now 115-91-10 and fifth in the league. They trail High Cheese by 1.5 games in the South Division. Let’s Play 2 lost to Los Coches Bomba 4-6-2 last week and, like the Cubs of yore, are playing out the season. They are last in the league standings with a 69-138-9 record.
Pitching: Let’s Play 2 pitched very well in Week 18 but managed just two category wins. The team finished 2-2-2 despite posting a 1.86 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Reliever Adam Warren tossed three scoreless innings and earned two net saves/holds. The JetSetters also pitched well last week, finishing with a 3.53 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Unfortunately, they ran into a hot pitching High Cheese team and won just a single pitching category. Danny Duffy was magnificent for the JetSetters, giving up just one run in a complete game quality start.
Hitting: With Yasiel Puig, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Conforto out of the lineup, Let’s Play 2 finished Week 18 with just 167 plate appearances. It’s tough to win categories without opportunities and Let’s Play 2 won just two. Outfielder Mookie Betts carried the offense, knocking in 10 runs, scoring five times, and ending Week 18 with a team-high 1.273 OPS. The JetSetters won four of six hitting categories against High Cheese, scoring 45 runs, knocking in 40, and posting a .985 OPS. Outfielder George Springer had eight RBI, scored eight more, and ended the week with a 1.177 OPS.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs The Bulls
Bacon at Mile 11 snapped a two-week losing streak with an 8-4 victory over Home Run 101 in Week 18. They are second in the league standings with a 117-87-12 record and they lead the North Division by 14 games over the Bulls. The Bulls beat Hapamon 7-4-1 last week and have now won four of their last six series. They are 103-101-12 and can’t catch Bacon but they are in the mix for a playoff berth.
Pitching: Bacon had one of their worst pitching performances of the season last week. They finished with a 9.97 ERA and 2.03 WHIP, earning just a single quality start. Five of the team’s pitchers finished with a 10.00+ ERA. Vincent Velasquez gave up nine runs over 4.2 innings in his start. The Bulls didn’t pitch well last week but it didn’t matter as they won all six categories against Hapamon. They ended Week 18 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.45 WHIP and won both categories. Bartolo Colon was the most effective starter, tossing a seven-inning quality start. Outfielder Hunter Pence struck out 14 times in 28 plate appearances and posted a .475 OPS.
Hitting: As poorly as Bacon pitched, the team was swinging some hot lumber in Week 18. They swept the categories against Home Run 101 and finished with 52 runs and 36 RBI. Catcher Sandy Leon scored seven runs and led the team with a 1.650 OPS. Rookie second baseman Trea Turner scored seven runs and swiped a pair of bases. Bacon will face a Bulls team that is not swinging the bat well. They won just one category against Hapamon last week and finished with a .738 OPS.
Lower Haighters vs Marin Menehunes
The Menehunes came up big in Week 8, defeating the West Division leaders, Warning Track Power, 7-3-2. The Menehunes have gone 19-3-2 over the last two weeks and jumped back into the eighth and final playoff spot with a 107-97-12 record. The Lower Haighters are fourth with a 117-92-7 record and trail Warning Track Power by three games in the West. Their 9-3 victory over the Mirrors last week was their fourth series win in the last five weeks.
Pitching: The pitching staff won four of six categories for the Lower Haighters and posted a 2.79 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in Week 18. Nate Jones pitched five innings of scoreless relief, earning a pair of holds with a 12.60 K/9 rate. The Menehunes won four categories against Warning Track Power and finished with a 3.53 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Rick Porcello pitched 15 innings with a 1.80 ERA and 0.73 WHIP to earn a pair of quality starts.
Hitting: The Lower Haighters drove in 45 RBI with an .850 OPS and won five of the six hitting categories last week against the Mirrors. Most of the damage came off the bats of shortstop Carlos Correa and outfielder Ryan Braun. They combined to score 12 runs and drive in 21 RBI. The Menehunes held their own at the plate despite finishing with a .744 OPS and just 15 RBI. They won three categories and tied another. Infielder Daniel Murphy drove in five runs while Adam Eaton Scored five.
High Cheese is sitting atop the league standings and they are coming off a huge 11-1 victory over A-Rod’s Mirrors last week. The’ve won four straight series for several reasons.
Outfielder Adam Jones and pitcher Jon Lester are big reason for the team’s surge. Jones is hitting .313 with a .959 OPS with 27 RBI and 25 runs over the last four weeks. Lester has five straight quality starts in that period with a 1.46 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.
Can they keep it going and does Ziguana believe in the Cheese this week?
Lower Haighters vs JetSetters
The Lower Haighters have lost just one series over the past six weeks and are coming off an important 8-4 victory over Bacon at Mile 11. The Lower Haighters are 81-59-4 and are second in the league standings The JetSetters are one of the hottest teams in the league. They saw their five-week winning streak snapped last week but they were able to forge a tie with the Eephus Monkeys. The JetSetters are 69-68-7 and 11th overall.
Pitching: The JetSetters led the league in Week 12 with a 10.54 K/9. After going 15-2-1 on the mound the previous three weeks, the JetSetters were stymied by the Monkeys last week, losing four of the six pitching categories. Jose Fernandez was brilliant, earning a pair of quality starts while finishing the week with a 0.64 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. The Lower Haighters won four pitching categories last week and are now 16-7-1 on the mound over the last four weeks. Drew Pomeranz pitched seven scoreless innings with a 0.57 ERA to lead the Haighters in Week 12.
Hitting: The JetSetters were tied for the league lead with 46 RBI last week but also were tied for the most strikeouts with 59. They won four of the six hitting categories against the Monkeys in Week 12. Third baseman Jake Lamb drove in eight runs while Wilson Contreras and Jay Bruce each had seven. The Lower Haighters won four of the six hitting categories against Bacon at Mile 11 last week and won the runs scored and RBI categories for the first time in four weeks. Shortstop Carlos Correa led the team with a 1.282 OPS in 27 plate appearances while driving in nine runs and scoring six times.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Lower Haighters opened the week as a 77.8 percent favorite. Ziguana predicts the JetSetters have just a 11.4 percent chance to win the series.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs A-Rod’s Mirrors
It’s unbelievable to think Bacon at Mile 11 hasn’t won a series in seven weeks and have lost four of their last five. They are licking their wounds following a 8-4 loss to the Lower Haighters that dropped them to fourth in the league standings with a 75-62-7 record. After winning seven straight, the Mirrors have now lost two in a row and a coming off a 11-1 butt-whipping at the hands of High Cheese. The Mirrors are 73-67-4 and are now seventh in the overall standings.
Pitching: Bacon has won just seven pitching categories over the past six weeks. The team is 7-27-2 on the mound during that dismal stretch. Young pitcher Aaron Nola finished Week 12 with a 17.05 ERA and 3.16 WHIP while John Gray lasted just four innings in his start. The Mirrors have their own pitching problems, losing five of the six categories in each of the last two weeks. In the last month, the Mirrors are just 8-16 on the mound. Starters Nathan Eovaldi and Justin Verlander each finished Week 12 with a 7.00+ ERA.
Hitting: The Mirrors finished Week 12 with 59 strikeouts, tied for the most in the league. Outfielder Matt Kemp struck out eight times in 24 plat appearances. For the first time in 2016, they were swept in the hitting categories and are now 6-12 at the plate over the past three weeks. Bacon at Mile 11 led the league last week with a .969 OPS, their second highest mark this season. Despite the high OPS, the team lost four of six hitting categories. Anthony Rizzo had a 1.036 OPS in 19 plate appearances but failed to score a run and drove in just one.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bacon at Mile 11 is a heavy favorite to win this series. Ziguana predicts Bacon has a 66.2 percent chance of victory compared to A-Rod’s Mirrors, who have just a 20.2 percent chance to win.
Let’s Play 2 vs Home Run 101
This series features two teams trying to avoid finishing last in the league and earn the Wooden Spoon. Let’s Play 2 is 47-93-4 and currently in last place. They’ve lost seven straight series and are coming off a 12-0 drubbing by Buster Hugs. They are the first team this year to get skunked in a series. Home Run 101 has lost six straight, lost 9-2 last week to Land Shark, and are 47-90-7 and 15th in the overall standings.
Pitching: Let’s Play had just 44.0 innings pitched in Week 12, tied for the league’s fewest. Jeff Samardzija lasted just three innings in his lone start, finishing with a 18.00 ERA and 2.67 WHIP. No team had fewer strikeouts per nine innings than Home Run 101 last week (4.85) or net saves/holds (1). Home Run 101 is 5-17-2 on the mound over the past four weeks and has won just one pitching category in three of those series. Erasmo Ramirez was terrible in relief last week, posting a 22.50 ERA and 3.50 WHIP in two innings while blowing a save.
Hitting: Home Run 101 tied the Eephus Monkeys for the lowest number of runs scored last week with 22 as the team lost five of six hitting categories against Land Shark. Ben Revere didn’t score or drive in a run in 20 plate appearances last week while posting a .311 OPS. Let’s Play 2 was one of three teams that finished with -1 net stolen bases in Week 12 and had the fewest plate appearances with 193. It can’t get much worse for Louie’s team at the plate as they haven’t won a single hitting category the last two weeks. Brock Holt and Dexter Fowler are both on the DL while Michael Conforto has been optioned to the minors.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: It might be fitting if these teams played to a tie but Ziguana has installed Let’s Play 2 as the early favorite, with Louie Bottaro’s team a 60.1 percent chance to win. Home Run 101 has just a 24.3 percent chance to take the series.
Marin Menehunes vs High Cheese
High Cheese dismantled the Mirrors 11-1 last week, winning their fourth straight series. They have the best record in the league at 84-53-7. The Menehunes are 69-66-9 and 10th in the overall standings. They snapped a two-week losing streak with a 7-4-1 victory over Los Coches Bomba last week but they’ve lost six of their last eight.
Pitching: No team allowed more walks or hits than the Menehunes in Week 12. They finished with a league-high 1.68 WHIP. The last three weeks has been rough on the pitching staff as the team has gone 4-12-2 on the mound. Jordan Zimmermann lasted just 3.2 innings in his lone start last week while finishing with a 17.18 ERA and 2.45 WHIP. High Cheese won five of the six pitching categories against A-Rod’s Mirrors last week and has now gone 12-6 on the mound over the last three weeks. Tyler Roark had a pair of quality starts last week while Aroldis Chapman and Roberto Osuna combined for four saves/holds.
Hitting: High Cheese led the league in runs scored (48), RBI (46) and plate appearances (275) last week. They swept the hitting categories against the Mirrors and have now gone 14-3-1 at the plate over the last three weeks. Chris Davis and Angel Pagan combined to drive in 18 runs last week while Ian Desmond led the team with a 1.495 OPS in 22 plate appearances. The Menehunes won five hitting categories against Los Coches Bomba last week and are now 10-7-1 at the plate over the last three weeks. Adam Eaton scored nine runs in 33 plate appearances in Week 12 while Marcus Semien knocked in seven runs and finished with a team-high 1.223 OPS in 25 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: High Cheese is on a serious roll and Ziguana doesn’t see Matt Patchell’s team slowing down this week. They have a 66.5 percent chance of defeating the Menehunes. Elizabeth’s team has just a 19.3 percent chance to win.
Buster Hugs vs Warning Track Power
Every category win is important for Buster Hugs at this point in the season. They are 73-65-6 and sixth in the league standings but have a host of teams bearing down in the race for the final playoff berths. Buster Hugs is coming off a huge 12-0 victory over Let’s Play 2, ending a three-week losing streak. Warning Track Power has just one series win over the last five weeks but at 74-69-1 they are holding onto the league’s final playoff spot.
Pitching: Warning Track Power led the league with 67.0 innings pitched in Week 12 but finished tied for last in net saves/holds with one. David Price lasted just 2.1 innings in his start while posting a 23.14 ERA. It’s been a tough month for the team’s staff, going 9-15 during that stretch. Buster Hugs had the most quality starts in Week 12 with seven and for the first time this season won all six pitching categories. Sonny Gray and Madison Bumgarner each had two quality starts while Santiago Casilla had three saves without giving up a run and recording a 16.88 K/9.
Hitting: No team had fewer strikeouts in Week 12 than Buster Hugs with 21, or more stolen bases, with 5. They swept the hitting categories against Let’s Play 2 last week, the first time this year they’ve won all six categories in a series. Shortstop Jean Segura posted a 1.029 OPS and scored 11 runs in 34 plate appearances. Buster Hugs hasn’t lost the plate appearances category since Week 5. Warning Tack Power won just two hitting categories last week, their worst performance at the plate since Week 8. Curtis Granderson had a team-low .597 OPS in 24 plate appearances in Week 12.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana expects Warning Track Power to defeat Buster Hugs. Mark Peterson’s team has a 60.1 percent chance to win while Andrew’s team has just a 23.7 percent chance of victory.
Stadium Mustard vs Hapamon
Stadium Mustard defeated the Bulls 7-5 last week and have now won two straight and three of their last five. They are 65-71-8 and 13th in the league standings. Hapamon defeated Warning Track Power 8-4 and has won two of their last three series. They are 63-69-12 and 12th in the league standings.
Pitching: After losing 10 of 12 pitching categories combined in Weeks 9-10, the Stadium Mustard staff seems to have found its bearings over the last two weeks. They won five of six categories against the Bulls last week and are 9-1-2 on the mound over the last two weeks. The bullpen was especially strong last week as Neftali Feliz, Brad Brach, and A.J. Ramos combined for six saves/holds without giving up a run. Hapamon’s pitching staff enters this series on a nice roll, going 12-6 over the last three weeks. They won four of six against Warning Track Power last week.Closer Jeurys Familia earned four saves without giving up a run in Week 12.
Hitting: No team had a lower OPS in Week 12 than Stadium Mustard at .655 or fewer net stolen bases (-1). The team won just two hitting categories, their worst showing at the plate since Week 3. Outfielder Trayce Thompson failed to reach base in 15 plate appearances, striking out eight times, while veteran catcher Yadier Molina posted a .255 OPS in 20 plate appearances. Hapamon also finished with -1 net stolen bases but won four hitting categories against Warning Track Power. It was their best hitting performance since Week 9. It was keyed by Matt Carpenter and Charlie Blackmon, who combined to score 16 runs and drive in 14 more.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Stadium Mustard opens the week as a slight favorite, with Ziguana projecting they have a 51.6 percent chance to win. Hapamon has a 31.2 percent chance of victory.
Los Coches Bomba vs Land Shark
Land Shark is one of the hottest teams in the league. They are coming off a 9-2 victory over Home Run 101, their fifth straight series win. Their record is now 77-62-5 and they sit third in the overall standings. Los Coches Bomba lost 7-4-1 to the Marin Menehunes last week and have now lost three of their last five. They are 71-61-12 and are fifth in the league standings.
Pitching: Los Coches Bomba finished Week 12 with a 6.58 ERA, the league’s highest but also led the league with nine net saves/holds. The team won four of the six categories against the Menehunes but it wasn’t a thing of beauty. In fact, Edinson Volquez’s start was so hideous he finished just one inning while posting a 99.00 ERA and 11.00 WHIP. The team’s 1.64 WHIP was a season-high and they still won the category. Land Shark lost just one pitching category last week and is now 13-9-2 on the mound over the last four weeks. Jeremy Hellickson had a pari of quality starts while Seung-hwan Oh inherited the closing role in St. Louis and earned two saves.
Hitting: Land Shark has lost just three hitting categories combined over the past three weeks and scored a season-high 42 runs last week. Three players (Paul Goldschmidt, Jonathan Schoop, and Francisco Lindor) all posted +1.000 OPS while Schoop scored eight times in 31 plate appearances. Los Coches Bomba failed to win a hitting category last week, the first time this season they didn’t win at least one category at the plate. Catcher Kurt Suzuki was the only payer on the team with a +1.000 OPS in Week 12 while Robinson Cano failed to drive in a run in 32 plate appearances last week.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Meredith’s team enters this series as a big underdog. Ziguana has Land Shark with just an 8 percent chance to defeat Los Coches Bomba. Jenni Kirk’s team has a 83 percent chance to win.
Eephus Monkeys vs The Bulls
The Monkeys haven’t lost a series in the last five weeks and are coming off a 6-6 tie with the JetSetters. They are 59-76-9 and 14th in the league standings. The Bulls have won four of their last six series but did lose 5-7 last week to Stadium Mustard. The Bulls are now 70-66-8 and 9th in the overall standings.
Pitching: The Bulls were tied for the lowest number of innings pitched in Week 12 with 44.0 and had the fewest quality starts with one. That led to the team losing five of the six categories against Stadium Mustard and it only gets worse as Stephen Strasburg hit the DL this week. The Eephus Monkeys finished Week 12 with the league’s lowest ERA at 2.32 and the lowest WHIP at 1.10. This pitching staff is on a roll, going 19-5 over the last four weeks on the mound. Jacob deGrom tossed eight scoreless innings in Week 12 while reliever Sam Dyson had a pair of saves without giving up a run.
Hitting: The Monkeys tied Home Run 101 with the fewest number of runs scored last week with 22 and they’ve won just six hitting categories combined over the past month. Outfielder Jason Heyward had a .513 OPS with just one run scored and one RBI in 31 plate appearances in Week 12. The Bulls won four hitting categories last week and have now gone 7-4-1 at the plate over the last two weeks. Carlos Gonzalez is in a nice groove, posting a 1.007 OPS over his last 30 plate appearances while driving in six runs.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana expects the Eephus Monkey’s to win this series. Jordan’s team has a 53.7 percent chance of victory compared to the Bulls, who have just a 28.8 percent chance.
Jose Fernandez has been the most dominant player in fantasy baseball over the past three weeks and the JetSetters have reaped the benefits. GM David Kahn’s team has won its past three series and climbed back into the playoff race. They are now just 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs for the final playoff spot.
Here’s a look at this week’s series complete with Ziguana predictions.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Hapamon
Bacon defeated Hapamon 7-4 in Week 5 as Anthony Rizzo scored 10 runs and finished with a team-high 1.328 OPS. The pitching staff finished with a 3.23 ERA as Chris Archer, Danny Salazar and Adam Conley combined to pitch 19 shutout innings. A week later, the teams tied 6-6 as Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout and Charlie Blackmon and Matt Carpenter combined to drive in 14 runs.
Pitching: Clayton Kershaw just keeps rolling for Hapamon. Kershaw has three consecutive quality starts with a 0.79 ERA, 0.49 WHIP, and a 21/2 K/BB ratio. Jonathan Gray has three quality starts for Bacon over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s struck out 22 batters over 20.1 innings.
Hitting: Outfielder Charlie Blackmon has 13 RBI in his last 14 games for Hapamon. Blackmon has gone 18-for-57 with a 1.008 OPS during that stretch. Outfielder Gregory Polanco is 15-for-44 with a 1.034 OPS over his last 12 games for Bacon. Polanco has scored 12 runs while driving in 15 over that time.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed Bacon at Mile 11 as the week’s biggest favorite. GM Eric Brown’s team has an 81.9 percent chance to beat Hapamon. GM Robert Kirkbride’s team has just a 9.5 percent chance to pull the upset.
Home Run 101 vs The Bulls
Home Run 101 defeated the Bulls 7-5 in Week 5 and a week later held on for a 6-5 victory. In the first series, shortstop Brandon Crawford drove in a team-high nine runs for Home Run 101. A week later Jose Altuve scored seven runs for Home Run 101 and led the team with a .986 OPS.
Pitching: Johnny Cueto has been the ace of Home Run 101’s pitching staff. In his last three starts, Cueto has pitched 21 innings with a 0.43 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Jake Odorizzi has a pair of quality starts in his last three starts for Home Run 101. He has a 2.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in those games while striking out 19 batters.
Hitting: Milwaukee shortstop Jonathan Villar has been the top-rated hitter in the league over the last two weeks. Villar has gone 17-for-45 with 12 RBI, 12 runs scored, five net stolen bases, and a 1.153 OPS for the Bulls. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is 18-for43 with 11 RBI in his last 12 games for Home Run 101. He has a 1.184 OPS during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Home Run 101 opens the week favored to defeat the Bulls. GM Bailey Penzotti’s team has a 59 percent chance of victory, according to Ziguana, while the Bulls have a 25.9 percent chance to win the series.
High Cheese vs Let’s Play 2
Let’s Play 2 upset High Cheese 7-4-1 in Week 5 as Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija each had a pair of quality starts. Quintana pitched 15 innings with a 1.20 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. High Cheese rebounded the next week, pounding Let’s Play 2, 10-1-1. Ian Desmond led the charge, driving in 10 runs while Jon Lester had two quality starts and Aroldis Chapman had three saves.
Pitching: Jon Lester has bee dominant for High Cheese in his last three starts, posting a 0.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and a 26/2 K/BB. Has Corey Kluber turned a corner for Let’s Play 2? Kluber is off to a slow start in 2016 but he has a pair of quality starts over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Kluber has also struck out 21 during that stretch while walking just three.
Hitting: Outfielder Mookie Betts has been on a tear for Let’s Play 2 over the past fortnight. He’s gone 16-for-52 with 12 RBI, 14 runs scored, while striking out just five times. Ian Desmond has been raking for High Cheese over his last 12 games, going 22-for-54 with a .974 OPS, He has three net stolen bases, nine runs scored and eight RBI during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana predicts High Cheese will cruise to an easy victory over Let’s Play 2 and GM Louie Bottaro. High Cheese opens the week with a 77 percent chance of victory while Let’s Play 2 has just a 9.9 percent chance to win the series.
JetSetters vs Los Coches Bomba
Los Coches Bomba has dominated this series, defeating the JetSetters in Week 5, 7-4, and again in Week 6, 8-4. Second baseman Robinson Cano was a beast in the first series, driving in nine runs, scoring eight times, and leading Bomba with a 1.516 OPS. In the second series, Noah Syndegaard tossed eight innings in a quality start while Fernando Rodney and Jeremy Jeffress each had a pair of saves.
Pitching: Jose Fernandez has found his groove for the JetSetters. He’s the top-rated player in the league over the last two weeks, pitching striking out 32 batters over 21 innings in his last three starts. During that period, Fernandez has posted a 0.43 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Scott Kazmir has emerged as Bomba’s ace over the past two weeks, posting a pair of quality starts. Kazmir has a 2.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in his last three starts.
Hitting: Mike Napoli is 14-for-47 with 16 RBI and 14 runs scored over his last 13 games for the JetSetters. He’s sporting a 1.190 OPS during that span. Robinson Cano might be the MVP for Los Coches Bomba this season. Over his last 13 games, Cano is 15-for-51 with 14 runs scored, nine RBI and a .976 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: If the JetSetters are going to continue their winning streak they’ll have to upset Los Coches Bomba, a heavy favorite. GM Jenni Kirk’s team has a 72.4 percent chance of winning, according to Ziguana, while the JetSetters have just a 14.9 percent chance of pulling the upset.
Buster Hugs for Land Shark
This is the rubber match in this rivalry. Land Shark defeated Buster Hugs 7-4-1 in Week 5 as shortstop Francisco Lindor scored seven runs, stole a base, and led the team with a 1.089 OPS. Buster Hugs returned the favor in Week 6, winning the rematch 8-4. Travis Shaw drove in nine runs and scored nine more while Jeanmar Gomaz had three saves.
Pitching: Journeyman hurler John Lackey has three straight quality starts for Land Shark. He’s pitched 20.2 innings with a 1.74 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 24/7 K/BB ratio. Buster Hugs can always count on Madison Bumgarner for a quality start. Bumgarner has a pair over the last two weeks with a 0.66 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He’s struck out 17 batters while walking four in those starts.
Hitting: First baseman Logan Morrison is raking for Buster Hugs. In his last 14 games, Morrison is 22-for-53 with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a 1.211 OPS during that stretch and two net stolen bases. Infielder Eduardo Nunez has been the hottest hitter for Land Shark over the past two weeks. He’s 22-for-60 with 11 runs scored, three net stolen bases, and a 0.977 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed GM Meredith James and Land Shark as a very slight favorite in this series. They have a 44.1 percent chance to win while Buster Hugs has a 38.7 chance at victory.
Stadium Mustard vs Eephus Monkeys
Stadium Mustard defeated the Monkeys 7-4-1 in Week 5 while the Monkeys returned the favor in Week 6 by the identical score. Brandon Phillips keyed the victory for Stadium Mustard, driving in nine runs, scoring six more, and leading the team with a 1.203 OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts led the Monkeys to victory a week later, scoring nine runs, driving in eight, and leading the team with a 1.178 OPS.
Pitching: Michael Fulmer might be a savior for Stadium Mustard’s beleaguered pitching staff. He’s pitched 15.1 scoreless innings in his last two starts, striking out 11 batters while walking just three. Jacob DeGrom is the top-rated player for Eephus Monkeys the last two weeks. DeGrom has a pair of quality starts with a 1.29 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He also has a 10.9 K/9 ratio.
Hitting: Third baseman Kyle Seager is 20-for-51 with 13 RBI and 13 runs scored over his past 13 games for Stadium Mustard. During this stretch he’s posted a .995 OPS while striking out just eight times. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is still swinging a hot bat for the Monkeys. He’s 18-for-56 with an .877 OPS and 13 runs scored in his last 13 games.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: GM Jordan Mazur and the Eephus Monkey enter this series as a slight favorite according to Ziguana. They have a 45.9 percent chance to win while Stadium Mustard has a 37.4 percent chance of victory.
A-Rod’s Mirrors vs. Marin Menehunes
The Mirrors have dominated this series in 2016, defeating the Menehunes 8-4 in Week 5 and 7-4 in Week 6. In the first victory, Nathan Eovaldi tossed eight solid innings to earn a quality start while Manny Machado drove in six runs and led the Mirrors with a 1.226 OPS. The next week, Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in an unbelievable 15 runs and Rubby De La Rosa had a pair of quality starts.
Pitching: Justin Verlander is pitching like he’s five years younger. In his last two starts for the Mirrors, he’s struck out 25 while walking just three batters and posted a 2.42 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Francisco Rodriguez has five saves in his last six appearances for the Menehunes. He’s struck out seven batters while walking and has posted a 3.18 ERA and 0.88 WHIP during that time.
Hitting: Everyone who thought infielder Daniel Murphy would regress in 2016 made a big mistake. Murphy has been hot all season for the Menehunes and has gone 18-for-48 with a 1.088 OPS over his last 12 games. Mark Trumbo has supplied the power for the Mirrors this season and has driven in 12 runs over his last 13 games. He has a 1.005 OPS in his last 57 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: This is expected to be a close series. The Mirrors are a slight favorite, with GM Sean McKenna’s team given a 49.9 percent chance of victory while the Menehunes have a 34.6 chance to win.
Lower Haighters vs Warning Track Power
These teams have traded haymakers in their first two meetings this season. In the first meeting, Ben Zobrist drove in 15 runs and led the Lower Haighters with a 1.335 OPS. That sparked the team to a 9-3 win. Warning Track Power rebounded with a 10-2 victory the next week as Zach Britton and Jake McGee combined to pitch seven scoreless relief innings and earn seven saves.
Pitching: Kyle Hendricks has a pair of quality starts for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks, allowing just one run over 17 innings. He’s struck out 13 batters while walking one. Reliever Will Harris has quietly put together and All-Star season for the Lower Haighters. In his last seven appearances, Harris hasn’t given up a run, striking out nine batters while earning five net saves/holds.
Hitting: Catcher Wilson Ramos has been the most productive hitter for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks. He’s gone 15-for-42 with 11 RBI and a 1.090 OPS in his last 13 games. First baseman Eric Hosmer is 18-for-51 with 14 RBI in his last 13 games for the Lower Haighters. Hosmer has a .938 OPS in his last 55 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Warning Track Power enters this rivalry season as a heavy favorite. Ziguana projects GM Mark Peterson’s team has a 54.4 chance to beat the league’s top team while the Lower Haighters have just a 28.3 percent chance of victory.
Week 4 was crazy. It saw Bacon at Mile 11 and the Marin Menehunes emerge as the only teams still undefeated in the league. You’ll find the details below.
Bacon at Mile 11
Bacon has the league’s best record at 34-12-2 thanks to a hot-hitting offense. They lead the league in Runs with 44, OPS with .842 and they are second with 138 RBI. Last week, third baseman Nolan Arenado, went 10-for-22 with a 1.524 OPS and eight RBI. Bacon won five of the six hitting categories in their 10-2 rout of Let’s Play 2. This is a balanced team. They are third in the league in both ERA and WHIP. Chris Archer and Vincent Velasquez both earned a pair of quality starts last week while Aaron Nola struck out seven over seven scoreless innings in his only start.
Home Run 101
Home Run 101 is now last in the league with an 11-35-2 record following last week’s disappointing 7-4-1 series loss to Stadium Mustard. It starts with pitching. The team is last in the league with just nine quality starts this season. They are last with a 4.70 ERA and they rank 15th in the league with a 1.35 WHIP. Jake Peavy lasted just two innings in last week’s start, giving up six earned runs. And the starters shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame. The bullpen is ranked 14th in Net Saves/Holds with just 15 this season but they look like they might have turned the corner last week with five Net Saves/Holds and
This team is plucky. They scratched out a 6-4-2 series victory over the Eephus Monkeys last week and improved to 20-21-7. If they continue to hang around .500 they’ll be in the playoff mix. To do that, they’ll need to find some hitters. Hapamon is last in the league with 97 RBI and they are second to last in plate appearances with 915. First baseman Brandon Belt provided some power last week, going 5-for-15 with a 1.160 OPS and seven RBI. Clayton Kershaw was brilliant, striking out 24 batters over 16 innings in two starts. Hapamon GM Robert Kirkbride may need to find a replacement for starter Matt Cain. He gave up another six runs in his lone Week 4 start.
It was a tough luck 6-5-1 series loss to the JetSetters last week as the difference between the two teams was mere percentage points in the ERA category. Zack Greinke gave up nine runs over 13.2 innings and cost the team dearly. The Bulls are now 18-26-4 and are desperately looking for some hitters to step up. They are tied for last with 102 runs scored, they are the only team without a net stolen base for the season, and they are last in the league with just 836 plate appearances. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez failed to drive in a run last week in 25 plate appearances.
The strength of this team is its pitching staff. They lead the league in ERA (2.57) and WHIP (1.06). They defeated the Lower Haighters last week, 6-5-1, winning the WHIP category by mere percentage points, and improved to 30-16-2. High Cheese is also tied for second in the league with 21 quality starts. Tanner Roark and Nate Karns both threw seven inning shutouts last week while Marcus Stroman had a pair of quality starts with a 3.07 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. The High Cheese offense has yet to get untracked. They lead the league in strikeouts with 246 and they have just 954 plate appearances, 14th overall. Third baseman David Wright was 4-for-17 last week with six strikeouts and just two RBI.
Strong performances from starting pitchers Juan Nicasio and Matt Moore and reliever Hector Neris helped the JetSetters edge the Bulls 6-5-1 to snap a three-week losing streak and deliver the season’s first series win. The team is now 17-27-4 but remains last in the South Division. The bullpen has been the strength of the team. They lead the league with 28 Net Saves/Holds. Neris earned three in four appearances in Week 4. The problem is the starting pitching and hitting. The JetSetters have just 103 runs (14th in the league) and the team OPS is .691 (15th). When they do get on base, they are a threat, leading the league with 12 net stolen bases. The starters have contributed to the team’s bloated 4.68 ERA (15th overall) and they have just 13 quality starts (tied for 15th).
Los Coches Bomba
It’s been a bizarre year for Bomba. Traditionally, this is a team that hits well and pitches poorly. But so far, they are second in the league with 256.2 innings pitched and they lead the league with 23 quality starts. At the plate, they have a league-worst .711 OPS. Ironically, they failed to win a pitching category in last week’s 7-4-1 series loss to the Mirrors as Noah Syndergaard gave up seven runs over two starts while Hisashi Iwakuma and Hector Santiago both had meltdowns. Ironically, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, and Andrew McCutchen had their best weeks of the season, combining to drive in 21 runs. Bomba is now 25-20-3 and certainly looks like a playoff team, even if they don’t look anything like their past.
Let’s Play 2
The bats, which have been so consistent for Let’s Play 2 this season, fell silent last week. They lost five of the six hitting categories in their series with Bacon at Mile 11 and were routed, 10-2. It dropped Let’s Play 2 to 20-27-1. Russell Martin went 1-for-11, Yasiel Puig 2-for-24 and Colby Rasmus 3-for-21. This was the worst offensive output of the season for a team that is second in the league with 138 runs scored and leads the league with 139 RBI. They are also third with a .792 OPS and tied for second with 11 net stolen bases. The issue has been the backend of the bullpen. They had one net save/hold last week which was just the team’s fifth this year. Let’s Play 2 is dead last in that category.
A starting pitching staff that has struggled this season rose to the occasion last week and delivered a 7-5 series victory over Warning Track Power. Felix Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson combined to throw 14.2 scoreless innings and each earned a quality start. The team earned five quality starts against Warning Track Power. It’s amazing when you consider Land Shark has just 13 on the season. They are also last in the league with a 1.37 WHIP. At the plate, Logan Forsythe went 9-for-20 with a 1.310 OPS but, more importantly, he stole a base that helped Land Shark steal the series. The team is now 23-24-1 and continues to hang around that eighth and final playoff spot.
Edwin Encarnacion and Nick Markakis combined to drive in 11 of the team’s 25 RBI while A.J. Ramos had four net saves/holds as Stadium Mustard snapped their three-week losing streak with a 7-4-1 series victory over Home Run 101 last week. The victory came as the team finally generated some runs. Stadium Mustard is tied for last in the league with 102 runs scored and they are 14th in runs driven in with 98. The offense has generated a league-worst .686 OPS. But Joe Panik, Billy Burns, Kyle Seager and Francisco Cervelli all scored three or more runs in Week 4 and led Stadium Mustard to four category wins on offense. With the win, Stadium Mustard improves to 18-28-2.
Matt Shoemaker’s start in Week 4 sums up the problems the Monkeys are having on the mound this season. Shoemaker gave up nine hits and seven runs over 2.1 innings to finish with a 27.00 ERA and 3.86 WHIP. He was promptly demoted to the minors by the Angels. No team has thrown fewer innings in the league than the Monkeys’ 192.0. They have a 4.36 ERA (14th overall) and a 1.33 WHIP (14th overall). They are last in the league with a 6.98 K/9. The Monkeys actually won the quality start category but it was the only pitching category they won in a 6-4-2 series loss to Hapamon. They are 11-34-3 on the season despite having a competitive offense. They are tied for third with 122 runs scored, are third in plate appearances with 1,031, and are tied for second in net stolen bases with 11.
Buster Hugs ran into a buzzsaw in Week 4. They failed to win a pitching category in their 8-3-1 series loss to the Marin Menehunes despite posting the following numbers: 61.2 innings pitched, 3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.44 K/9, 5 quality starts and seven net saves/holds. Buster Hugs is a team that pitches well. They are tied for second in the league with 21 quality starts. Madison Bumgarner and Wei-Yin Chin each had two last week. Veteran slugger David Ortiz continues to deliver the offense. He went 8-for-21 last week with a 1.244 OPS and five RBI. The team leads the league with 1,046 plate appearances but is also 15th with a whopping 228 strikeouts. They’ll take a 24-21-2 record into Week 5 and hope they don’t run into another red-hot opponent.
Warning Track Power
It was surprising to see Warning Track Power lose its series with Land Shark last night, but that happens when you win just one pitching category. Warning Track Power has pitched well this season. They lead the league with 259.1 innings pitched and they are second with 22 net saves/holds. But Shelby Miller continued his struggles while Kyle Hendricks and Jon Niese couldn’t get out of the fifth inning in their starts. At the plate, Jason Kipnis, Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez combined for 20 of the team’s 37 RBI. Warning Track Power is now tied for third in the league with 127 RBI. Warning Track Power takes a 25-23-0 record into a pivotal Week 5 series with their West Division rivals, the Lower Haighters.
The Menehunes had season-highs in innings pitched (67.0), quality starts (6), net saves/holds (7) and a season-low 2.42 ERA in Week 4. They didn’t lose a pitching category and defeated Buster Hugs 8-3-1 to improve to 33-12-3. Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Rick Porcello each had two quality starts. Porcello didn’t allow a run over 13.1 innings. The team came into the series tied for 15th in the league with just 194 innings pitched. Todd Frazier led the offense, going 7-for-27 with eight RBI and a .862 OPS. The Menehunes are now second in the league with a .798 OPS. They join Bacon at Mile 11 as the only teams in the league that have yet to lose a series.
After a disappointing loss to Land Shark in Week 3, the Mirrors bounced back with a much-needed 7-4-1 victory over Los Coches Bomba in Week 4. The pitching staff led the way, winning all six categories in the series to help the Mirrors improve to 23-23-2. Rich Hill earned a pair of quality starts, giving up just six hits and two runs over 13 innings. Aaron Sanchez also pitched seven scoreless innings to earn a quality start The Mirrors are now third in the league with 252.2 innings pitched and lead the league with 9.58 K/9. Jackie Bradley was the team’s top offensive player, going 9-for-25 with a 1.298 OPS, seven RBI and five runs scored.
The Lower Haighters lost their first series of the season in Week 4, falling to High Cheese, 6-5-1. It was a hard-fought series that saw the teams separated by mere percentage points in WHIP to decide the series. Veteran Victor Martinez is a valuable commodity on the bench. He was the league’s second-rated player last week, finishing with a 1.560 OPS and seven RBI. The team is tied for third with 127 RBI and are second with 1,034 plate appearances. The Lower Haighters are second in the league in ERA (2.75) and WHIP (1.09). They’ll take a 31-14-3 record into Week 5.
The year was 2013. It was the last time the Marin Menehunes won three consecutive series. In that season, the team won six of its first nine, including a pair of three week winning streaks. It wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs as they finished 135-144-20, ninth overall.
With last week’s 7-3-2 victory over Hapamon, the Menehunes won their third straight series to begin this season. Can the team continue to win and qualify for its first playoff berth since GM Elizabeth Gravely took over in 2012?
The Menehunes are getting tremendous production from veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler, utility man Daniel Murphy, and journeyman starter Jaime Garcia. Kinsler has started the season 25-for-75 with 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. Over his first three starts, Garcia has pitched 20.0 innings with a 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Murphy gives the team roster flexibility as he’s eligible at three infield positions. He’s also hitting .397 with a 1.100 OPS and nine RBI in his first 17 games.
The Menehunes are the surprise of the early season but we saw this in 2013. Can Gravely manage the pitfalls of a long fantasy season and guide the Menehunes to their first playoff appearance in league history?
Week 3 Hitting Stats
|Home Run 101||26||26||69||0.729||3||261|
|Bacon at Mile 11||44||37||41||1.040||-3||276|
|Let’s Play 2||42||54||50||0.904||9||292|
|Warning Track Power||27||28||44||0.784||0||270|
|Los Coches Bomba||27||23||57||0.663||1||246|
Week 3 Pitching Stats
|Los Coches Bomba||78.2||2.40||1.00||8.35||9||5|
|Warning Track Power||49.2||4.89||1.25||6.89||3||4|
|Bacon at Mile 11||54.0||2.83||1.07||8.17||4||8|
|Let’s Play 2||55.0||3.11||1.00||8.35||6||1|
|Home Run 101||52.1||4.13||1.28||6.71||4||5|
Bacon at Mile 11
Bacon at Mile 11 has won three straight series to open the season after dispatching the JetSetters 9-2 last week. They are 24-10-2 and first in the division, 8.5 games ahead of Hapamon. Dating back to last season, the team has won eight of its last 10 series. First baseman Anthony Rizzo drove in 10 runs, scored six more, and finished last week with a 1.183 OPS to earn series MVP honors. What is wrong with Chris Archer? The young starting pitcher doesn’t have a quality start in four attempts. Archer has pitched 20 innings, giving up six homers, and posting a 7.20 ERA and 2.05 WHIP.
Home Run 101
Home Run 101 is digging a big hole and they haven’t been competitive in a series this season. For the second week in a row, they won just two categories, losing 10-2 to Buster Hugs. This from a team that had high hopes entering the season after winning five of their last seven series in 2015 to qualify for their first playoff appearance in franchise history. Home Run 101 is now 7-28-1 and last in the division, 17.5 games behind Bacon. Second baseman Jose Altuve needs some support. Altuve carried the offense in Week 3, going 8-for-25 with four runs scored, three RBI, a 1.033 OPS and three net stolen bases. Part of the team’s problem has been the bullpen. Tom Wilhelmsen has -1 net saves/holds in six attempts with a 15.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
After last week’s 7-3 loss to the Menehunes, Hapamon has started the season with a tie, a win, and a loss. Dating back to last season, they’ve won three of their past 11 series. Hapamon has a 14-17-5 record this season, second in the North Division, 8.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11. Closer Steve Cishek was perfect for Hapamon in Week 3. He was the team MVP after pitching three perfect innings to earn three saves. Cishek struck out four of the nine batters he faced. The team needs Collin McHugh to begin pitching like an ace. He has one quality start in four attempts with a 7.56 ERA and 2.10 WHIP.
The Bulls can’t buy a series victory. After tying their first two, they lost 9-2 to Los Coches Bomba last week. Dating back to last season, the Bulls have one series win in their last 15 attempts. They’ve won two or fewer categories in three of their last six series dating back to last season. The Bulls have a 13-20-3 record and are 10.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the division. The one bright spot was starting pitcher Drew Smyly, who was the league’s top-ranked player last week. In two starts, Smyly tossed 15 innings, allowing just one run while striking out 17 batters. The Bulls are patiently waiting for outfielder Anthony Gose to begin hitting. In 51 plate appearances this season, Gose is hitting .174 with 19 strikeouts and just two RBI.
High Cheese sits atop the South Division with a 24-11-1 record following last week’s impressive 7-5 victory over Warning Track Power. It was the third straight series victory for High Cheese and the team has lost just twice in their last eight dating back to last season. They hold a 2.5 game lead over Los Coches Bomba in the South Division. Outfielder Ian Desmond earned series MVP honors in Week 3. He went 8-for-19 with a 1.384 OPS, seven runs scored, five RBI and three stolen bases. Pedro Alvarez is off to a slow start, hitting .108 with one RBI in his first 45 plate appearances.
The JetSetters are still looking for their first series win this season after losing 9-2 to Bacon at Mile 11 last week. It was the team’s worst loss since a 9-2 loss to Bacon in Week 3 last year. The JetSetters are now 11-22-3 and last in the South Division, 12 games behind High Cheese. Outfielder Starling Marte was the team’s MVP in Week 3. Marte went 9-for-29 with a .816 OPS, three RBI, five runs scored, and a stolen base. The team needs Alex Wood to get untracked. He has one quality start in four attempts, pitching 21 innings with a 6.00 ERA and 1.76 WHIP.
Los Coches Bomba
Last week’s 9-2 series victory over the Bulls saw Los Coches Bomba win its most categories in a series since a 9-2 victory over High Cheese in Week 6 last season. They’ve won two of their three series this season and are 21-13-2, 2.5 games behind their arch rivals, High Cheese, in the South Division. This is a different Bomba team, led by pitching rather than hitting. In Week 3, it was Hector Santiago who earned series MVP honors. He started two games, pitching 13 innings, striking out 17 hitters and allowing just two runs to earn a pair of quality starts. Bomba is waiting for outfielder Justin Upton to heat up. Upton has 30 strikeouts in his first 73 plate appearances and is hitting just .214 with 3 RBI.
Let’s Play 2
That was a much needed series victory. Let’s Play 2’s 8-4 win over Stadium Mustard last week was the team’s first series win since a victory over the Menehunes in Week 17 of last season. That was seven weeks without a series victory spanning both seasons. The win pushes Let’s Play 2 over .500 for the season at 18-17-1 and they now sit third in the South, six games behind High Cheese. Outfielder Mookie Betts finished Week 3 as the league’s highest-ranked hitter. Betts went 11-for-34 with a 1.008 OPS, five RBI, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. Veteran catcher Russell Martin is off to a slow start. In his first 17 games, Russell is hitting .154 with 25 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances.
Land Shark earned a 9-3 series victory over the defending league champion Mirrors last week and are now 16-19-1 and second in the division, 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs. The nine category wins was the most since a 9-3 victory over the Lower Haighters in Week 16 last season. It’s not often a catcher wins series MVP honors but Welington Castillo did just that last week. Castillo went 8-for-21 with nine RBI, six runs scored, a 1.535 OPS and he even swiped a base. It looks like outfielder Khris Davis may be breaking out of his early season slump that has seen him hit .197 over his first 17 games.
Going back to last season, Stadium Mustard has just two series wins over their last 10 and they are looking for their first playoff berth since 2012 when they won the East Division. Last week’s 8-4 loss to Let’s Play 2 was their third series loss this season and leaves them with an 11-24-1 record and 10.5 games behind Buster Hugs in the division. Mat Latos continued his early season success for Stadium Mustard last week, earning a pair of quality starts and finishing as the team MVP. Latos pitched 12.1 innings, allowing just one run while striking out seven batters. The team needs outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Ender Inciarte to return to the lineup. Both are sitting on the DL with injuries.
The Monkeys were bombed 11-1 by the Lower Haighters last week, the team’s worst loss since a 12-1 rout by Bacon at Mile 11 in Week 11 of 2014. They’ve now lost three straight series for the first time since Weeks 20-22 in 2014. They sport the league’s worst record at 7-28-1 and sit last in the East Division, 14.5 games behind Buster Hugs. Outfielder Jason Heyward is heating up. In seven games last week, Heyward went 10-for-29 with five RBI, six runs scored, a .855 OPS and two net stolen bases. He finished Week 3 as the team’s top-rated player. GM Jordan Mazur needs veteran hurler Adam Wainwright to get untracked. Wainwright has tossed 22.1 innings in four starts with a 7.25 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.
It’s been a roller coaster ride for Buster Hugs in 2016. They opened with a 9-2 series win over the Eephus Monkeys, lost to the Lower Haighters 9-2 in Week 2, and rebounded with a 10-2 victory over Home Run 101 last week. The rout of Home Run 101 was the team’s biggest since a 10-2 victory over Land Shark in Week 18 last year. Buster Hugs is now 21-13-2 and lead the East Division by five games. Reliever Kenley Jansen was a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities in Week 3, earning team MVP honors. Jansen allowed just two baserunners in four innings while striking out five of the 14 hitters he faced. Outfielder Evan Gattis is off to a slow start. He’s hitting .188 with just one RBI in 10 games.
Warning Track Power
Warning Track Power was pegged as one of the league’s top teams entering the season but they’ve lost two of their first three series. It may be due to scheduling, as they’ve lost to the league’s No. 2 and No. 4 teams. They are 20-16-0 and sit third in the West, seven games behind the Lower Haighters. Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson was the top-ranked player for Warning Track Power in Week 3. Granderson went 9-for-25 with seven RBI, seven runs scored and a 1.284 OPS. GM Mark Peterson needs more from starting pitcher Shelby Miller. He doesn’t have a quality start in four attempts, pitching 14.2 innings with a 8.59 ERA and 1.98 WHIP.
Despite the winning streak, the Menehunes fell out of first place in the West last week. They still have the league’s second best record at 25-9-2 but are one game behind the Lower Haighters. Outfielder Odubel Herrera earned series MVP honors for the Menehunes in Week 3. Herrera went 8-for-22 with four RBI, seven runs scored, a .944 OPS and three net stolen bases. If the Menehunes are going to make a playoff run, they’ll need closer J.J. Hoover to improve. In his first nine games, Hoover has posted a 15.26 ERA and 2.61 WHIP with zero saves/holds.
After last week’s 9-3 loss to Land Shark, the defending champs have lost two of their first three series and have a 16-19-1 record. They are last in the West Division and last week’s loss was the team’s worst since a 9-3 loss in Week 18 last season to the Lower Haighters. First baseman Chris Carter provided thump to the Mirrors lineup in Week 3. He earned team MVP honors, going 8-for-24 with seven RBI, six runs scored and a 1.149 OPS. The Mirrors need outfielder Carlos Gomez to heat up. He’s 13-for-67 with just one RBI and a .471 OPS in his first 18 games.
The Lower Haighters pummeled the Eephus Monkeys 11-1 in Week 2. It was the largest margin of victory for the Haighters since a 11-1 victory over Los Coches Bomba in Week 11 last year. They now own the league’s best record at 26-8-2. Veteran outfielder Ryan Braun is swinging a hot bat. Braun earned series MVP honors in Week 3, going 13-for-25 with eight RBI, seven runs scored, and a 1.440 OPS. Matt Harvey, one of the team’s keepers, has struggled this season. Harvey has a 5.24 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and just one quality start in four attempts.
How teams are divided into divisions and the regular season schedule that follows are important elements to consider when building a team in any fantasy baseball league. Are you going to play every team in the league an even number of times? How many teams are included in each division and how do teams qualify for the playoffs?
The 16 teams in the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League are divided into four, four-team divisions. The four division winners automatically qualify for the playoffs. The four teams with the best overall record that didn’t win a division title are then added to the eight-team playoff pool.
The schedule is built around division rivalries. Within a division, the top two teams from the previous year’s standings play each other four times. The teams that finished third and fourth within the division also play four times. Other division rivals play each other three times so that 10 of the 22 regular season series are played within the division. Teams outside of divisions face each other once.
We’ve made it simple – the clearest path to the postseason is by defeating your division rivals. This format compliments Yahoo’s Rivalry Week scheduling and builds a league narrative. You know before the season starts the teams you have to beat to qualify for the playoffs. You also know how you’ve performed against these teams in the past.
One of the primary goals when we built the SFRRC Fantasy Football League was to emphasize continuous competition. A weekly head-to-head schedule coupled with division rivalries accomplishes this goal.