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.
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.
Ziguana is now 8-8 on the season after going 3-5 last week. It ended up being a tough week to predict as three series ended tied. Remember, the projected outcome was made before the first pitch yesterday.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Buster Hugs
Bacon at Mile 11 leads the league with a 53-28-3 record and has the league’s largest division lead at 14.5 games over Hapamon in the North. They are the only team in the league that hasn’t lost a series in 2016. Buster Hugs has just one series win over the past month and have dropped to eighth in the overall standings at 42-38-4. Despite the struggles, they still lead a weak East Division by four games over Land Shark.
Pitching: Two staffs that struggled last week look for more success when they meet in this series. For the first time in 2016, Bacon was swept in the pitching categories in Week 7. They finished with a season-high 5.40 ERA and 1.64 WHIP (the worst WHIP in the league last week) in 63.1 innings pitched as Jon Gray lasted just 3.1 innings in his start and finished with a 24.30 ERA. The team is 5-12-1 on the mound over the last three weeks. Buster Hugs won just one pitching category last week and the team ERA the last four weeks is 3.06, 5.74, 5.30, and 3.96. They had just one Net Save/Hold, which was tied for the worst mark in the league in Week 7 as Kenley Jansen blew two.
Hitting: Bacon had a season-low 21 RBI but a season-high five net stolen bases to sweep the hitting categories last week. They also scored a league-high 41 runs in Week 7, including a combined 16 by Mike Trout and Gregory Polanco. Buster Hugs has gone 10-2 in hitting categories the past two weeks and has a .800+ OPS in four of the first seven weeks. Catcher Cameron Rupp led the team with a 1.492 OPS last week.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bacon at Mile 11 opens Week 8 as the second biggest favorite this week. Ziguana projects the team has an 86.3 percent chance of victory while Buster Hugs has just a 6.9 percent chance to win the series. There is a 6.8 percent chance the teams will tie.
Home Run 101 vs Lower Haighters
The Lower Haighters hold a slim 1.5-game lead over the Marin Menehunes in the West Division. They have just one series win over the past month and now sit fourth in the league standings with a 48-33-3 record. Home Run 101 is 15th in the league standings at 28-53-3. They’ve won two of their past three series but are 25 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the North Division.
Pitching: Home Run 101 won just one pitching category in Week 7 against the Mirrors and they’ve had five series in the first seven weeks where they’ve won one or fewer pitching categories. Jake Peavy lasted just 1.2 innings in his lone start, finishing with a 27.00 ERA. The Lower Haighters salvaged four pitching categories in last week’s series with Stadium Mustard to earn a 6-6 draw. The team has now lost the Net Saves/Holds category the last two weeks despite earning six each week. Nick Vincent and Will Harris combined for four Net Saves/Holds in Week 7.
Hitting: Home Run 101 had a .667 OPS last week, their second lowest mark this season, but still managed to win three hitting categories against the Mirrors. Outfielder Mitch Moreland struck out six times in 16 plate appearances and had a .321 OPS in Week 7. The Lower Haighters are struggling at the plate, going 3-9 the last two weeks. They finished Week 7 with a season-low 24 RBI and 48 Strikeouts, the team’s second highest total of the season. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton had 17 strikeouts in 25 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Lower Haighters have a 78.9 percent chance to win this series while Home Run 101 is a big underdog with a 10.9 percent winning chance. There is a 10.2 percent chance the teams will tie.
Warning Track Power vs JetSetters
All four West Division teams would qualify for the playoffs today, including Warning Track Power, which is last in the division. However, the team is seventh overall with a 47-37-0 record and have won their last two series. The JetSetters are coming off a rare series win, just their second this year, and are now 32-47-5, 13th overall. They are 17.5 games behind High Cheese in the South Division.
Pitching: For the first time in 2016, the JetSetters won five of the six pitching categories in a series. The staff finished with a season-low 1.01 WHIP and a season-high 11.12 K/9 (which led the league last week). The bullpen has been impressive, totaling seven or more net saves/holds in five of the season’s first seven weeks including a league-high eight in Week 7. Alex Colome had three Net Saves/Holds last week with a 19.29 K/9. Warning Track Power has lost just one pitching category over the past two weeks and swept Let’s Play 2 last week. The team posted a season-low 2.19 ERA on 70 innings with six quality starts, as Jon Niese pitched 13 innings with a pair of quality starts and a 2.08 ERA.
Hitting: Warning Track Power won three of the six hitting categories against Let’s Play 2 last week as the team had just 45 strikeouts, its second lowest total of the season. Amazingly, they were able to win the Net Stolen Bases category with -1. Second baseman Jason Kipnis led the team with nine RBI. It’s beginning to look like the bats aren’t going to come around for the JetSetters. They are 14-28 at the plate this season and they have yet to win the Strikeouts or OPS categories. Last week, they tied High Cheese for the league-high with 64 Strikeouts as Eugenio Suarez finished with 17 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is projecting this series will be the most lopsided of Week 8. Warning Track Power opens the week with a 92.7 percent chance to win the series while the JetSetters have just a 2.6 percent chance for victory. There is a 4.7 percent chance they’ll tie.
The Bulls vs Marin Menehunes
The Bulls snapped a four-week losing streak with a 7-5 series victory over Land Shark last week. They are now 35-44-5 and 11th in the overall standings. The Bulls are 17 games behind Bacon in the North Division. The Menehunes are 46-34-4 and just 1.5 games behind the Lower Haighters in the West Division. They have the league’s fifth best record but are in the midst of a three-week losing streak.
Pitching: The Bulls are coming off their first sweep of the pitching categories this season. Zack Greinke earned a pair of quality starts with a .240 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. Over the past three weeks, they’ve gone 14-4 on the mound. The Menehunes are going in the opposite direction. They are 2-16 over the past three weeks and they haven’t finished with a sub-4.00 ERA during that stretch. They led the league in Innings Pitched with 73.2 last week but they were last in Quality Starts with two. Jordan Zimmermann failed to earn a quality start in two tries.
Hitting: The Bulls have won just three hitting categories over the past three weeks. In five of the season’s first seven weeks, Carolyn Greene’s team has a sub-.700 OPS and it has yet to win the Plate Appearances category. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez finished last week with a .059 OPS in 17 Plate Appearances. The Menehunes won four of the six hitting categories against the JetSetters last week and have been competitive at the plate all season. Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler scored eight runs and drove in six more. They are 28-12-2 at the plate and haven’t lost the runs scored category in 2016. They finished last week with league-low 32 Strikeouts but also had a league-low 206 Plate Appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Menehunes open Week 8 as a slight favorite to defeat the Bulls. GM Elizabeth Gravely’s team is a 50.7 percent favorite while Carolyn Greene’s Bulls have a 32.4 percent chance of victory. There is a 16.9 percent chance the teams will tie.
Land Shark vs Hapamon
After winning three straight series, Land Shark has now lost two following last week’s 7-5 loss to the Bulls. They are 39-43-2 and 10th in the overall standings, four games behind Buster Hugs in the East Division. Hapamon is 36-40-8, ninth in the league, and 14.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the North. Hapamon has lost just once over the past month.
Pitching: Hapamon won five of the six pitching categories against Buster Hugs in Week 7 and finished the series with a season-low 1.86 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Jerad Eickhoff earned a pair of quality starts, finishing with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched. The team’s ERA was the lowest in the league last week and they also led the league with seven Quality Starts. Hapamon has won the WHIP category four straight weeks. For the second time in 2016, Land Shark was swept on the mound in Week 7. The team finished with a season-low 4.98 ERA and it was the fourth time in the past six weeks that Land Shark’s ERA was above 4.40. Ubaldo Jimenez had a 10.80 ERA in two starts.
Hitting: Hapamon struggled at the plate in Week 7. The team had a season-low .639 OPS, a season-low 16 RBI (which was the lowest mark in the league in Week 7), and tied a season-low with just 24 runs scored. Hapamon lost five of the six hitting categories as Brett Lawrie struck out nine times in 21 Plate Appearances. Land Shark had one of their best week’s at the plate in Week 7. They took five of six categories against the Bulls and had a season-high 37 RBI, which lead the league last week. Khris Davis and Nelson Cruz combined to drive in 16 runs. The .884 OPS was the second-highest this season for Land Shark.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Hapamon has played well lately and they’ll begin Week 8 as a 52.6 percent favorite. Land Shark has a 30.8 percent chance to win the series. There is a 16.6 percent chance the teams will tie. The team’s .884 OPS was their second highest this season and that led to a season-high 37 RBI. Land Shark also had a season-high six net stolen bases.
Stadium Mustard vs Los Coches Bomba
Stadium Mustard earned a 6-6 tie with the Lower Haighters last week and are now 35-45-4 and 12th in the league standings. They are just seven games behind Buster Hugs in the East Division. Los Coches Bomba is now third in the league with a 48-31-5 record. They’ve won three straight series and four of their last five and trail High Cheese by just a 1.5 games in the South Division.
Pitching: Stadium Mustard lost four of the six pitching categories to the Lower Haighters last week, costing the team a series win. The 5.95 ERA was the team’s highest this season (and highest in the league last week) and the 1.54 WHIP was second highest. Michael Wacha finished with a 13.50 ERA with just four innings pitched in his lone start last week. The 5.79 K/9 was the lowest in the league in Week 7. WHIP is often a leading indicator for the health of a team’s pitching staff and Stadium Mustard has won the category just once in 2016. Bomba split the pitching categories against the Monkeys in Week 7 thanks to a pair of quality starts from Noah Syndegaard. They are now 11-6-1 over the last three weeks on the mound. They have lost the Quality Starts and Innings Pitched categories just once this season but did finish with a league-low 1 Net Save/Hold in week 7.
Hitting: Stadium Mustard won four of the six hitting categories against the Lower Haighters in Week 7 to salvage a series tie. They led the league in Week 7 with nine Net Stolen Bases as outfielder Billy Burns swiped three .They also led the league with 296 Plate Appearances, their second highest number of Plate Appearances this season. After a slow start this season, Bomba’s bats have come alive the last three weeks. They’ve gone 12-6 during that stretch including taking five of six hitting categories from the Monkeys last week. Veteran first baseman Miguel Cabrera was last week’s star, driving in a team-high six runs with a 1.538 OPS. Bomba is coming off a season-high .898 OPS, which led the league in Week 7.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana expects this to be the closes series of the week. Stadium Mustard is a slight favorite at 47.6 percent chance of victory while Los Coches Bomba has a 36.7 percent chance to win. There is a 15.7 percent chance these teams tie.
High Cheese vs Eephus Monkeys
High Cheese has moved into second place in the overall standings following last week’s 6-6 tie with Bacon at Mile 11. They have a 50-30-4 record and lead the South Division by 1.5 games. The Monkeys remain last in the league with a 25-53-6 record. They’ve lost six of their seven series.
Pitching: The Monkeys posted their first sub-3.50 ERA of the season and won three pitching categories against Los Coches Bomba in Week 17 as Adam Wainwright pitched 6.2 shutout innings to earn a quality start. In Weeks 3-5, this team won just two categories on the mound, so the fact that they’ve won six in the past two weeks indicates progress. High Cheese swept Bacon at Mile 11 off the mound last week and laid claim to having the league’s best pitching staff. It was their fourth sweep on the mound this season and they haven’t lost the Quality Start category or had an ERA over 4.00 this season. Chris Tillman has five quality starts with a 1.62 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over the last month.
Hitting: The Monkeys had a season-low -4 net stolen bases last week as outfielder Stephen Piscotty was caught twice. It was the lowest NSB of any team in the league in Week 7 and the Monkeys failed to win a hitting category. The team hasn’t won the Strikeouts category yet this season. High Cheese was swept at the plate by Bacon at Mile 11 last week and finished the series with a season-low .587 OPS and just 18 Runs. The team had the league’s lowest Runs and OPS and highest number of Strikeouts in Week 7, as outfielder Adam Jones posted a .212 OPS in 24 plate appearances. Over the last three weeks, they are 5-12-1 at the plate.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Could this series be the week’s biggest upset? The Monkeys open Week 8 with a 51.7 percent chance to beat High Cheese. That’s a bold prediction given the strength of the High Cheese pitching staff. Matt Patchell’s team has just a 26.4 percent chance of victory. There is a 21.8 percent chance these teams will tie.
Let’s Play 2 vs A-Rod’s Mirrors
The Mirrors are in hot pursuit of the Lower Haighters in the West Division, trailing their rivals by two games. They have the league’s sixth best record at 46-35-3 and are coming off a 8-4 victory over Home Run 101. Let’s Play 2 has lost three of their past four series and have fallen to 14th in the league standings. They have a 31-50-3 record.
Pitching: For the second consecutive week and the third time this season, Let’s Play 2 was swept on the mound. They lost every pitching category to Warning Track Power in Week 7, despite posting decent ratios. The bullpen has struggled all season, failing to win the Net Saves/Holds category and posting one or fewer NS/H’s in four of the first seven weeks. Relievers Zach Duke and Steve Geltz both have 10.00+ ERAs over the past two weeks. Let’s Play 2 was tied for the league-low with one Net Save/Hold last week. The Mirrors are on a serious roll on the mound. Over the past month, they’ve gone 22-2 and Rich Hill has five quality starts during that stretch. They took five of the six pitching categories in their Week 7 series against Home Run 101. The team had a league-high eight Net Saves/Holds last week along with a league-low 0.76 WHIP. They also had the lowest number of Innings Pitched with 44.2.
Hitting: Let’s Play 2 split the hitting categories against Warning Track Power last week but has gone 4-7-1 at the plate over the last two series. It’s surprising given the play of Mookie Betts, who has scored 19 runs and driven in 16 more over his last 19 games. Let’s Play 2 is a free-swinging team, winning the Strikeout category just once in 2016. The Mirrors have struggled at the plate this season, going 14-20-2. They did split the categories with Home Run 101 last week, winning the Runs category for the first time since Week 2 despite scoring a season-low 25 runs. Outfielder Jackie Bradley has been the team’s best hitter the past three weeks, hitting .426 with a 1.288 OPS with 20 RBI.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Mirrors have a 58.2 percent chance to defeat Louie Bottaro’s struggling team. There is a 26 percent chance that Let’s Play 2 can pull the upset. Ziguana predicts a 15.8 percent chance the teams will tie.
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.
Bryce Harper finished Week 2 as the top-ranked fantasy player, leading the defending champion Mirrors to an 8-4 series victory over the Eephus Monkeys in the process.
Harper went 9-for-26 with a 1.246 OPS, 12 RBI, and six runs scored. He also stole a pair of bases to further boost his value. The Mirrors finished the week with 35 RBI, second most in the league, and had 34 runs scored, the league’s third highest mark.
Here’s a look at how each team did last week.
WEEK 2 LEAGUE STATS
Bacon at Mile 11
Nolan Arenado went 9-for-27 with a 1.185 OPS, 12 RBI and seven runs scored as Bacon won five of the six hitting categories to beat Los Coches Bomba 7-5. Arenado drove in nearly half of the team’s 25 RBI and finished as the series MVP. Rookie Vincent Velasquez was the league’s highest rated pitcher in Week 2, tossing a complete game shutout with 16 strikeouts. Velasquez helped Bacon win the K/9 and WHIP categories. The team is now 15-8-1 and lead the North Division by three games.
Home Run 101
The pitching collapsed and the team lost all six categories, falling 10-2 to High Cheese. Home Run 101 finished with a 4.85 team ERA (second worst in the league), a 1.42 WHIP (second worst) and had just two quality starts and net saves/holds. Starters Chris Young and Jake Peavy and reliever Tom Wilhelmsen were the primary culprits. Young started twice, pitching a total of 8.2 innings. He gave up 10 earned runs on 17 hits and four walks. Second baseman Jose Altuve was the team’s best player and the series MVP, going 11-for-27 with seven RBI, eight runs, a 1.336 OPS and just five strikeouts. The team is now 5-18-1 and trails Bacon at Mile 11 by 10 games in the North Division. They have the league’s worst record.
Hapamon defeated the JetSetters 6-5-1 in the closest series of Week 2. They won the RBI and Net Stolen Bases categories by one each and tied Quality Starts. A rare stolen base by catcher A.J. Pierzynski on Sunday salvaged the NSB category while second baseman Dee Gordon drove in a pair of runs on the final day of the series to win the RBI category. Jerad Eickhoff earned team MVP honors for the week with a brilliant seven inning shutout with nine strikeouts. Eickhoff allowed just four baserunners. Hapamon finished with the fourth best ERA for the week and are now one of the surprise teams of the season, sitting second in the North Division with an 11-10-3 record.
The hot hitting of Trevor Plouffe and Delino DeShields and a pair of quality starts from Kenta Maeda helped the Bulls salvage a 6-6 tie with Let’s Play 2 last week. Maeda gave up just one run over 13 innings while striking out 11 batters to finish Week 2 as the series MVP. The Bulls led the league with a 2.47 ERA and finished tied for third with a 1.10 WHIP. Drew Smyly also had an excellent start, striking out 11 batters over seven innings while allowing just two earned runs. At the plate, the Bulls had the league’s fewest strikeouts (36) and highest OPS (.931). Yunel Escobar struck out just one time in 30 plate appearances. The only blemish was the team’s -4 net stolen bases, worst in the league.
High Cheese has the league’s second best record at 17-6-1 following a 10-2 thrashing of Home Run 101 in Week 2. They lead the South Division by five games thanks to a dominating pitching staff led by reliever Dellin Betances. Betances was the team MVP for the week, striking out nine batters over 3.1 innings while earning a pair of net saves/holds. High Cheese finished second in Innings Pitched, ERA, WHIP, K/9 and third in quality starts in Week 2. Jon Lester had a pair of quality starts, allowing four runs over 13.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. First Baseman Chris Davis was the team’s top hitter, going 6-for-23 with a 1.066 OPS with eight RBI and eight runs scored.
The relief corps of Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and Drew Storen were the best in the league in Week 2. They combined for six of the team’s league-high eight net saves/holds. Miller struck out eight batters over three scoreless innings to earn a pair of saves/holds. Despite the 5-6-1 loss to Hapamon, starting pitcher Matt Moore was the series MVP, earning a pair of quality starts. Moore struck out 15 batters over 13.1 innings while allowing just three runs. He issued just one walk combined during in his two starts. The JetSetters will try to get on the winning track this week. They are 9-13-2 overall and last in the South Division and 12th overall.
Los Coches Bomba
Hisashi Iwakuma had a tough start Sunday, finishing seven innings with a 5.14 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. The WHIP was costly, as they lost the category by .04 and dropped the series to Bacon at Mile 11, 7-5. It was surprising they were even in the series by the end of the week. The team finished last in RBI and OPS in Week 2 and had just one net stolen base. They lost five of the six hitting categories. Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Jacoby Ellsbury combined to drive in four runs during the week. Gio Gonzalez earned team MVP honors, notching a pair of quality starts with a 0.69 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over 13 innings. Bomba is now 12-11-1 and second in the South Division, five games behind High Cheese.
Let’s Play 2
Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija each had a pair of quality starts as Let’s Play 2 led the league in Innings Pitched (74.1) and Quality Starts (8) in Week 2. Quintana gave up just three earned runs over 12 innings while striking out 11. Let’s Play 2 split the hitting and pitching categories with the Bulls and split the series, 6-6. Outfielder Mookie Betts was the team MVP, going 9-for-27 with six RBI and four runs scored. Betts finished Week 2 with an .852 OPS. The team is 10-13-1 and seven games behind High Cheese in the South Division pennant race.
Thankfully, Land Shark’s hitters showed enough plate discipline to tie for the league-lead with just 36 strikeouts in Week 2 because that was the only category the team won as they were trounced, 11-1 by the Menehunes. It wasn’t pretty. Land Shark finished last in Runs (16) and Plate Appearances (193). The pitching was worse as the team finished last in Innings Pitched (42.2), WHIP (1.52) and Quality Starts (1). Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre was the team’s MVP, going 6-for-21 with eight RBI. Land Shark is now 7-16-1 and 14th in the league standings.
It was a rough week for Stadium Mustard. They won just two categories in Week 2, falling to Warning Track Power, 10-2. They are 7-16-1 and 13th in the league standings. Veteran outfielder Nick Markakis led the team with 30 plate appearances and finished as the team MVP. Markakis went 9-for-25 with a 1.027 OPS, eight RBI and three runs scored. He struck out just twice on the week. Michael Wacha, one of the team’s keepers and a key to the season, had a pair of quality starts, giving up just one earned run over 12 innings while striking out 12.
The Monkeys lost their Week 2 series to the Mirrors, 8-4, but it was closer than it looked. The Mirrors won both the Strikeout and RBI categories by one. The Monkeys tallied 12 of their 48 strikeouts on the final day of the series, with Jose Bautista wearing the sombrero with three strikeouts. Bautista also drove in the team’s only runs on Sunday, plating two. The series loss leaves the Monkeys with a 6-17-1 record. They are 15th in the overall standings. Xander Bogaerts was the team MVP in Week 2, going 6-for-24 with six RBI, four runs, just three strikeouts in 25 plate appearances and two net stolen bases.
Buster Hugs needed some hugs after winning just two categories in a 2-9-1 loss to the Lower Haighters in Week 2. They are now 11-11-2 overall but still lead the East Division by 4.5 games. The team pitched well, but struggled at the plate. Buster Hugs posted six quality starts and five net saves/holds with a 3.04 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. The team could have used outfielder Randal Grichuk’s bat in the lineup. Grichuk went 6-for-21 in 26 plate appearances with a 1.090 OPS, six RBI, and eight runs scored. He would have won team MVP honors had he been in the lineup. That honor went to David Ortiz, who finished Week 2 with a 1.187 OPS and a rare stolen base.
Warning Track Power
It’s a little demoralizing when you lead the league in WHIP (0.90), Runs (38), RBI (39) and Plate Appearances (269), win your series 10-2, and LOSE ground in the division. That’s what happened to Warning Track Power, who saw West Division rival Menehunes go 11-1 in Week 2. Warning Track Power is 15-9 on the season but third in the division standings. So it goes in the always rugged West Division. Chris Sale earned series MVP honors against Stadium Mustard, tossing a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. Outfielder J.D. Martinez was the team’s hitting star, going 11-for-27 in 32 plate appearances with a 1.155 OPS, six RBI, and five runs scored.
Jaime Garcia was brilliant for the Menehunes in Week 2. The veteran hurler tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. Garcia sparked an 11-2 rout of Land Shark that leaves the Menehunes with the league’s best record at 18-6. They sit atop the West Division, two games clear of the Lower Haighters. They led the league in K/9, had seven net saves/holds, and finished the week with a 2.85 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Second baseman was the hitting star, going 9-for-31 in 34 plate appearances with a .884 OPS, a stolen base, five RBI and six runs scored. Kinsler struck out five times on the week.
Harper was the league’s best player but he couldn’t keep the Mirrors from losing ground to the red-hot Menehunes in the West Division. The Mirrors beat the Monkeys 8-4 to improve to 13-10-1 but they are last in the division, 4.5 games behind the Menehunes. The Mirrors led the league in Plate Appearances in Week 2 with 269 and had 35 RBI and 34 Runs. Mark Trumbo was on a tear, going 8-for-25 with a 1.306 OPS, 11 RBI, and eight runs scored. Aaron Sanchez earned a pair of quality starts, allowing just two earned runs over 13 innings with 12 strikeouts.
The Lower Haighters had an impressive 9-2-1 victory over Buster Hugs in Week 2 but lost ground in the West Division. They are 15-7-2 overall, third best in the league. They trail the Menehunes by two games. The team’s best player wasn’t in the starting lineup this week. Utility infielder Josh Harrison went 9-for-27 with a .881 OPS, three net stolen bases, four RBI, and five runs scored. He struck out just three times in 30 plate appearances. Team MVP honors went to first baseman Albert Pujols who went 6-for-22 with a .976 OPS and seven RBI.
Hats off to Matt and Zach Patchell for drafting Colorado’s rookie shortstop Trevor Story in the 22nd Round. Story had a historic week, becoming the first rookie to hit seven home runs in his first six games in the Majors.
Story won’t continue that pace, but what can we expect out of the 23-year-old rookie? In 2013, Story struck out 183 times in 554 plate appearances at High A Modesto. A year later, he struck out just 59 times in 218 at-bats in the same league. Last season, Story hit 20 home runs in 575 at-bats between AA and AAA. Here’s what Baseball Prospectus had to say entering this season.
Pitch recognition issues will be constant, but in between some awkward flails at wayward breaking balls he’ll inflict some serious damage.
We’ve seen the “serious damage” and you can bet major league pitchers have seen it. Story will face the Giants on Tuesday. San Francisco’s veteran staff will adjust.
Story was projected to have eight home runs this year. He had seven in the first week. JetSetters GM David Kahn cringed at each highlight. The complete story has yet to be written but the opening chapter was a doozy.
Here’s a review of opening week for all 16 teams in the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League. I’ve included the hitting and pitching stats for your amusement.
Bacon at Mile 11
Anthony Rizzo earned series MVP honors leading Bacon at Mile 11 to a dominating 8-3-1 victory over North Division rival Home Run 101. Rizzo finished as the league’s eighth-rated player. He went 6-for-22 with a 1.085 OPS, 10 RBI and six runs scored. Two young pitchers, Vincent Velasquez and Aaron Nola pitched beautifully, combining to give up one run over 13 innings while striking out 17 batters. Bacon won all six pitching categories but it’s a bit of a concern that Velasquez and Nola were the team’s only pitchers to earn quality starts. Tony Watson led the bullpen with two holds, pitching 3.1 innings without giving up a run.
Home Run 101
GM Bailey Penzotti entered Week 1 wondering how to replace the offensive production of injured outfielder AJ Pollock. She finished the week with a pitching staff that posted a league-worst 6.46 ERA and just one quality start. It all led to a disappointing 3-8-1 series loss to arch-rival Bacon at Mile 11. In addition, one of the team’s top starters, Tyson Ross, was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury. Second baseman Jose Altuve earned team MVP honors, stealing three bases in six games.
For a team picked to finish last, Hapamon gave The Bulls all they could handle. Ultimately, they fell 5-6-1 but finished the week tied for the league lead with five quality starts. While the starting staff was solid, the bullpen was combustible, earning just one save. The team also finished with -2 net stolen bases, tied for worst in the league. The series literally came down to one plate appearance. Had the Marlins not been rained out, outfielder Christian Yelich would have likely won the series for Hapamon. Clayton Kershaw earned a pair of quality starts and earned series MVP honors, finishing Week 1 as the league’s second-rated player.
Veteran setup man Sergio Romo won this series for the Bulls. He had a team-high four holds as the team led the league with eight net saves/holds. Winning the category was enough to push the Bulls past Hapamon 6-5-1 in Week 1. While Romo was excellent, starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was the team MVP. He allowed just one earned run in 7.1 innings while striking out eight batters. Brandon Finnegan also earned a quality start striking out nine over six innings. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was the team’s top hitter, going 9-for-24 with a 1.215 OPS and five RBI.
It was a great week for the pitching staff but it was overshadowed by the loss of young catcher Kyle Schwarber with a knee injury. He’ll miss the season after registering just five plate appearances. Still, the team opened the season strong, beating the JetSetters 7-4-1. In Schwarber’s absence, rookie shortstop Trevor Story carried the offense, going 9-for-27 with a 1.468 OPS, 12 RBI, and seven runs scored. He became the first player to hit seven home runs in his first week in the league and finished as the series MVP. The starting rotation was solid, going 5-for-7 in quality start attempts while leading the league with a 2.61 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Cole Hamels had two quality starts, pitching 13 innings with a 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 8.3 K/9. Closer Robert Osuna earned three saves, pitching four scoreless innings with a 13.5 K/9.
The JetSetters were simply out-pitched as they lost their season-opening series, 4-7-1. The JetSetters led the league with 42 runs scored and 263 plate appearances but lost the OPS category because of rookie Trevor Story’s unbelievable debut. Things might have been different had GM David Kahn started shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who finished the week as the league’s top-rated player. Suarez went 10-for-23 with a 1.457 OPS, nine RBI, nine runs scored and a net stolen base. Compare that to starting shortstop Addison Russell, who finished with a .451 OPS, three runs scored and two RBI.
Los Coches Bomba
Will Noah Syndergaard miss his start in Week 2? It looks like he will as he hasn’t recovered from an injured lat in his first start. Los Coches Bomba can’t be without their series MVP from Week One. Syndergaard was sensational in his only start, tossing six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts, leading the team to a 7-4-1 victory over Let’s Play 2. The team’s pitching staff was tied for the league lead with five quality starts. Veteran pitcher Edinson Volquez started twice and pitched 11.2 innings with a 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 11.6 K/9. Closer Jeremy Jeffress converted all three of his save chances, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings, as Bomba swept the pitching categories. The only downside was the team’s 209 plate appearances, lowest in the league.
Let’s Play 2
Outfielder Yasiel Puig earned series MVP honors for Let’s Play 2 but it wasn’t enough as Los Coches Bomba won the season-opening series 7-4-1. Puig looked liked a different player than he did in 2015, which is a good sign for GM Louie Bottaro. He went 10-for-26 with seven runs scored, four RBI and a 1.154 OPS. Puig helped Let’s Play 2 score a league-high 38 runs. The problem was pitching. Let’s Play 2 didn’t win a singe pitching category and finished with a 4.60 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. The starters went 2-for-6 in quality start attempts. Ace Corey Kluber gave up four runs in 5.1 innings in his only start, allowing nine hits while walking two.
A quality start by Felix Hernandez on Sunday clinched a 6-5-1 season-opening victory for Land Shark. Hernandez was the series MVP, pitching 13 innings with a 0.69 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 11.1 K/9 and a pair of quality starts. He finished as the league’s fourth-rated player. While they escaped with a tight win over Stadium Mustard, Land Shark needs to find some offense moving forward. The team finished last with 15 RBI. Outfielder Khris Davis went 4-for-23 with 13 strikeouts and failed to drive in a run. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had nearly half of the team’s total RBI with seven.
It’s tough to win a series when you finish last in WHIP (1.64), K/9 (7.07), and your pitching staff finishes with three quality starts and two net saves/holds. This was a series for the taking but Stadium Mustard’s pitching failed and they fell 5-6-1 to Land Shark. Mike Leake, Kyle Gibson and Michael Wacha pitched a combined 13.2 innings while allowing 12 runs. J.A. Happ was the team’s only effective starter. Second baseman Joe Panik finished as the team MVP, going 7-for-26 with a .821 OPS, six runs scored and six RBI.
That’s a swing-and-a-miss for the Eephus Monkeys to open the season. Not only did the team fall to Buster Hugs 9-2-1, but they led the league in strikeouts. They finished with 65 whiffs, led by Byung Ho Park, who struck out 11 times in 18 at-bats. The Monkeys had an opportunity to win the quality start category Sunday but Adam Wainwright coughed up five runs over five innings. Marco Estrada was the team’s best player, pitching seven scoreless innings while striking out eight. The Monkeys need a strong Week 2 to avoid falling into an early hole.
Buster Hugs had a tremendous offensive performance and dismantled the Eephus Monkeys 9-2-1. They now own the league’s best record as they prepare for a big early season series with the Lower Haighters. Shortstop Jean Segura, catcher Buster Posey, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder David Peralta all ranked in the league’s Top 20. Buster Hugs led the league with a .906 OPS and six net stolen bases. Segura was the league’s third-ranked player, going 11-for-27 with a 1.317 OPS, two net stolen bases, five RBI and six runs scored.
Warning Track Power
This was a shocking loss. The projections see Warning Track Power as a championship contender but the team opened with a 7-5 loss to the Menehunes. Shelby Miller had a meltdown, failing to convert a quality start in two attempts. He pitched 11 innings with a 8.18 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. On Sunday, he gave up seven hits, walked two, and allowed four earned runs in five innings and was a big reason the Menehunes won the pivotal ERA category and the series. Aside from Miller, the starting pitching was good, finishing tied for the league lead with five quality starts. At the plate, things were different. Warning Track Power was last in Runs (22) and OPS (.600). Curtis Granderson and Adam Lind were a combined 2-for-35 with 12 strikeouts and no RBI. Josh Donaldson was the series MVP, going 9-for-29 with a 1.113 OPS, nine RBI, and eight runs scored. Donaldson led the team with 31 plate appearances.
Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler came up big for the Menehunes as they opened the season with a 7-5 upset of Warning Track Power. Kinlser went 8-for-19 with five runs, five RBI, and a 1.082 OPS and was the team MVP. He had 25 plate appearances, second only to third baseman Todd Frazier, and the Menehunes won the category by four. It’s amazing the Menehunes were able to win the series. No team pitched fewer innings (38.1) and they had just one net save/hold. They also had -2 net stolen bases, tied for the league low.
The Mirrors suffered a stunning 5-6-1 loss to their arch-rivals, the Lower Haighters. Up 7-2-3 entering the late games Sunday, GM Sean McKenna watched it fall apart as the Haighters strung together big hit, after big hit, to overtake the Mirrors in Runs and RBI. It culminated with a Sean Doolittle save that tied the Net Saves/Holds category and won the series. The Mirrors had one of the best pitching performances of the week, leading the league in Innings Pitched (72.2), K/9 (10.9) and tied for the league lead with five quality starts. The team MVP, however, was a hitter. Outfielder Matt Kemp went 9-for-25 with a 1.080 OPS and team-high 10 RBI.
Reliever Sean Doolittle closed the door on the Mariners Sunday and, in the process, finished an improbable rally that saw the Haighters erase a 7-2-3 deficit to defeat their arch-rivals, A-Rod’s Mirrors. Jake Arrieta finished as the series MVP, earning a pair of quality starts with 14 innings pitched, a 1.93 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Miguel Montero, Albert Pujols, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer contributed clutch RBI on Sunday to spark the rally.