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.
In his first season as general manager of the former Scully’s Slammers franchise, Chris Frugiuele led the team, now named Stadium Mustard, to nearly the identical record the team had in 2015.
The undoing of Stadium Mustard came in the keeper draft, when Frugiuele kept Joe Panik over Brian Dozier. Panik missed nearly a month with a concussion and finished the season as the league’s 173rd-ranked player. Dozier finished as the MVP of the Eephus Monkeys, blasting 30 homes with a .886 OPS. Dozier was the league’s 27th-rated player.
Adding to the team’s woes, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, one of the team’s keepers, had an injury plagued season. He made four trips to the disabled list with calf, hamstring, back, and arm issues and ended 2016 as the league’s 936th-ranked player.
Another keeper, starting pitcher Michael Wacha, had a shoulder injury that rendered him ineffective. Wacha finished with a 5.08 ERA and ended 2016 as the 1,008th-ranked player.
Stadium Mustard could use a little luck in 2017.
General Manager Leslie King drafted Zack Greinke, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, Ryan Doumit and Lance Berkman with her first five picks in the league’s inaugural draft. She added 13 free agents in that first season and made a pair of trades. In June, she sent Matt Garza to the Lower Haighters for outfielder Austin Jackson and in July she traded third baseman Scott Rolen to the Muckrakers for Jorge Cantu and Placido Polanco.
Jackson led the team in runs scored and stolen bases but Holliday quickly emerged as the team’s best hitter. Holliday (.390 OBP, 95 Runs, 28 HR, 103 RBI, 9 SB, 93 Ks) ranked 14th in the league’s player rankings and was the fifth most valuable outfielder.
Holliday and Jackson kept the Slammers in the Biggest Loser Lovers Division race through mid-summer. That’s when the team lost seven of their last nine series to finish 120-136-20. The Slammers were 18.5 games behind division winner Twinkle Toes and they missed the playoffs, finishing 12th in the final league standings.
Starting pitching was a big problem. Wainwright was the only starter with a sub-4.00 ERA. Wainwright (230.1 IP, 25 QS, 213 Ks, 2.42 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) finished as the team MVP. He was the league’s third-ranked starting pitcher behind Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay and ranked seventh overall. Heath Bell (70 IP, 47 Saves, 86 Ks, 1.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) finished as the team’s top reliever.
Entering the league’s second season, King protected Holliday, Bell, Greinke, outfielder Vernon Wells and Polanco. Vernon Wells, James Shields, Encarnacion, and Lorenzo Cain were added in the Regular Season Draft.
Wells struggled, hitting .222 at the All-Star break. He finished with a career-low .248 on-base average and was released by King on May 1. Cain was traded from Milwaukee to Kansas City prior to the season and was sent down to AAA. He was released by King on March 29.
The Slammers slumped at the beginning of the season, winning just two of their first 10 series. They finished last in the East Division standings at 113-150-13. They finished 15th overall.
Shields (249.1 IP, 25 QS, 225 Ks, 2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) earned MVP honors. He was the sixth-rated starting pitcher in the league and ranked 16th overall. Holliday (.388 OBP, 83 Runs, 22 HR, 75 RBI, 2 SB, 93 Ks) was the top hitter while Bell again led the Slammers in saves.
While the first two seasons were a struggle for King, the Slammers broke through in 2012 and won the East Division pennant with a 138-115-23 record. They won eight of nine series between Weeks 6-14. The Slammers upset the Lower Haighters in the championship semifinal before losing a close final to Los Coches Bomba.
The season started with King protecting Holliday, Greinke, Gallardo, Shields and Bell. The key to the season was King’s drafting of Encarnacion in the eighth round of the Regular Season Draft after not protecting him. Encarnacion (.384 OBP, 93 Runs, 42 HR, 110 RBI, 13 SB, 94 Ks) went on to become the team MVP. He was the league’s fifth-rated player and the second-rated first baseman behind Miguel Cabrera.
Kyle Lohse was the staff ace. Lohse (211 IP, 24 QS, 143 Ks, 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) was the league’s 28th-rated player and the eighth-rated starting pitcher. King selected Lohse with the 338th pick in the draft. The bullpen was a big reason for the team’s improvement. Five relievers had 20+ saves/holds. Jim Johnson (68.2 IP, 51 Saves, 41 Ks, 2.49 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) was the team’s top relief pitcher.
The Slammers protected Johnson, Encarnacion, Shields, Lohse, and Joe Mauer heading into the 2013 season. King then drafted Jordan Zimmermann, Coco Crisp, Jason Motte and Shane Victorino in the Regular Season Draft.
The team stumbled out of the gate, winning one series in the first two months. From Weeks 11-18 the team won just one series. It all added up to a sub-.500 season. The Slammers finished 134-150-15 and 14.5 games behind the Eephus Monkeys, the East Division winners. It was the third time in four seasons the Slammers failed to make the playoffs. King added 13 free agents through June 1 but added just five more during the heat of the summer when the team was slumping.
Encarnacion was the team MVP for the second consecutive season. Encarnacion (.370 OBP, 90 Runs, 36 HR, 104 RBI, 6 NSB, 20 GIDP, 62 Ks) finished 2013 as the league’s 24th-rated player and was the third-rated third baseman. Shields (228.2 IP, 27 QS, 7.71 K/9, 3.15 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) was the top starter while Johnson (70.1 IP, 41 NSVH, 7.17 K/9, 2.94 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) led the bullpen.
The Slammers closed the 2014 season with a flourish, winning three of their last four series. It wasn’t enough, as the team finished ninth overall and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. The Slammers ended ’14 with a 127-141-18 record, 24 games behind the East Division winners, Twinkle Toes.
King protected Encarnacion, Shields, Hyun-jin Ryu, Zimmermann and Doug Fister. She drafted David Wright, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, and Austin Jackson with her first four picks in the Regular Season Draft. Fister missed the first month of the season with a strained lat muscle and was limited to 164 innings on the season. Ryu also missed starts with various ailments and pitched just 152 innings. King added 15 free agents during the season including starting pitcher Jason Vargas on March to replace Fister.
For the first time, a relief pitcher won team MVP honors. Wade Davis (72 IP, 33 NSVH, 13.63 K/9, 1.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP) was the 10th-rated player in the league and the second-rated reliever behind Dellin Betances. Zimmermann (199.2 IP, 24 QS, 8.20 K/9, 2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) was the top starter for the Slammers and the 28th-rated player in the league. Encarnacion (.354 OBP, 75 Runs, 34 HR, 98 RBI, 2 NSB, 18 GIDP, 82 Ks) was the team’s top hitter for the third straight season.
The Slammers missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons when they finished 2015 with a 122-128-14 record. They were 14 games behind Twinkle Toes, the East Division pennant winners. The Slammers finished 10th in the league.
The Slammers protected Bruce, Encarnacion, Davis, Ryu, and Zimmermann. Dozier, Kyle Seager, Ben Zobrist and Koji Uehara were added with the first four picks in the Regular Season Draft. King added 16 free agents during the season but only four were added after June 7. The team needed the most help in the last half of the regular season, when they won just two series over the last nine weeks.
Encarnacion (624 PA, .929 OPS, 94 Runs, 111 RBI, 1 NSB, 98 Ks) earned his third team MVP award in four years, finishing as the league’s 15th-rated player and fourth-rated first baseman. Davis had another sensational season, finishing 23rd in the final player ratings. Davis (67.1, 34 NSVH, 10.43 K/9, 0.94 ERA, 0.79 WHIP) was again the second-rated reliever behind Betances. Zimmermann (201.2 IP, 22 QS, 7.32 K/9, 3.66 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) repeated as the team’s top starting pitcher.
Because of the numerous player injuries, Frugiuele was actively working the waiver wire looking for live bodies. He added 28 different players through Aug. 13. After that, the handwriting was on the wall, and the white flag was waived.
Stadium Mustard opened the season with just three series wins over the first 10 weeks. They bounced back to win five of their next seven and finished the season winning eight of their last 12 series. Stadium Mustard finished 11th in the league with a 122-127-15 record.
First baseman Edwin Encarnacion was the team’s most consistent player. Encarnacion (702 PA, .886 OPS, 99 Runs, 127 RBI, 138 Ks, 2 NSB) led the team in plate appearances, RBI, runs scored, and OPS. He finished as the team’s highest-ranked player, finishing 23rd overall.
Young third baseman Kyle Seager was the only other Stadium Mustard player to earn keeper-level status (ranked in the Top 80). Seager (676 PA, .858 OPS, 89 Runs, 99 RBI, 108 Ks, 2 NSB) was chosen by Frugiuele in the seventh round of the draft and he finished as the 56th-rated player.
Reliever Brad Brach was chosen in the 23rd round of the draft and finished the season ranked 82nd. Brach (79 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10.48 K/9, 21 NSVH) led the team in ERA and K/9. He was the best value in the draft for Stadium Mustard.
In her first season at the helm, Meredith James guided Land Shark to a 131-121-12 record and the team’s first postseason appearance since 2012. James guided the team through the playoffs and a third-place finish, a franchise best. The success was built on a strong draft, several excellent free agent acquisitions and the big bat of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
James protected Goldschmidt, outfielders Nelson Cruz and Michael Brantley, and relievers Jonathan Papelbon and Trevor Rosenthal. Goldschmidt and Cruz finished the season ranked in the Top 60 while Brantley was injured and Papelbon and Rosenthal struggled.
Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, drafted 108th overall, finished the season ranked 34th and replaced the offensive production of Brantley. Shortstop Francisco Lindor, drafted 117th, finished 36th and was a consistent run producer. John Lackey was chosen 172nd overall and just missed returning keeper value, ending the season ranked 88th.
As Papelbon and Rosenthal struggled, James turned to the waiver wire to rebuild her bullpen. She added Seung Hwan Oh on April 14 and he led the team with 29 net saves/holds. On June 28, James added veteran Joe Blanton, who pitched in 28 more NSVH.
While Land Shark finished 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs in the race for the East Division pennant, they did upset High Cheese in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Lower Haighters in the semifinals and then beating Warning Track Power in the third-place game.
General Manager Leigh-Ann Wendling guided the Jersey Boys to a winning record in her first season. They started fast, winning their first four series, but the heat of summer nearly wilted the Jersey Boys. They didn’t win a series in July and the first two weeks of August. The team finished 129-124-23, eight games behind pennant winning Twinkle Toes in the Biggest Loser Lovers Division. They beat the Mirrors in the consolation semifinal playoff series and then beat Give it a Yankee to finish fifth.
Wendling, a lifelong Yankee fan, drafted reliever Rivera with her second pick and catcher Jorge Posada with her fourth. Chase Utley, Verlander and Derek Lee rounded out the top five selections. During the season, Wendling added just five free agents and made one trade, sending Yunel Escobar to the Lower Haighters for Phil Hughes. By season’s end, Wendling had Yankees Rivera, Posada, Melky Cabrera, Hughes, and Pettitte on her roster.
Vladimir Guerrero was entering his twighlight as a star but he earned MVP honors for the Jersey Boys in 2010. Guerrero (.345 OBP, 83 Runs, 29 HR, 115 RBI, 4 SB, 60 Ks) ranked 28th in the final league player standings. Verlander (224.1 IP, 22 QS, 219 Ks, 3.37 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) was the top starter while Luke Gregerson (78.1 IP, 42 Saves/Holds, 89 Ks, 3.22 ERA, 0.83 WHIP) turned in a Top 25 season and was the top reliever for the Jersey Boys.
Wendling protected Utley, outfielder Alex Rios, Verlander, and her Yankees, Rivera and Posada, in the Keeper Draft. She targeted additional Yankees in the Regular Season Draft landing shortstop Derek Jeter, Granderson, and reliever Joba Chamberlain.
The Jersey Boys started the season by winning five of their first seven series. They suffered another midseason swoon, losing six of eight from Week 8-15. Wendling was very conservative as a GM, adding just four free agents during the season and making one trade, obtaining Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda from the Lower Haighters in exchange for Utley. Wendling’s strategy worked, as the team finished 129-126-21 and lost a thrilling South Division pennant chase to the Machine by a half game.
The team showed it still had postseason magic left, as they beat the Mirrors in a close consolation semifinal series before losing to Los Coches Bomba in the fifth place game.
Verlander (251 IP, 28 QS, 250 Ks, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) emerged as the Fantasy Cy Young winner and MVP as the top-rated player in the league in 2011. Granderson (.364 OBP, 136 Runs, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 25 SB, 169 Ks) was the team’s top hitter. He ended 2011 as the league’s ninth ranked player. Rivera (61.1 IP, 44 Saves, 60 Ks, 1.91 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) had a Top 50 season and was the team’s highest-ranked reliever.
Wendling showed remarkable consistency as she guided the Jersey Boys to a third-straight winning season and another playoff berth in 2012. The team failed to win a series in April and May but Wendling held course and lost just two series over the last two months of the season. The Jersey Boys finished third in the East Division pennant race at 128-126-22.
The team’s season-ending hot streak extended into the playoffs as they defeated the Cys in the consolation semifinal before finishing fifth with a win over their division rivals, the Machine. In the league’s first three seasons, the Jersey Boys posted a stellar 5-1 postseason record.
The Jersey Boys were built around a group of Yankees. Wendling kept Granderson, Rivera, and Pineda in the Keeper Draft along with Verlander and reliever Jonathan Papelbon. In the Regular Season Draft Wendling added more Yankees to her roster by drafting Hiroki Kuroda, Russell Martin and Rafael Soriano.
Verlander (238.1 IP, 25 QS, 239 Ks, 2.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) won his second team MVP honor in 2012. He finished second to Clayton Kershaw in the Fantasy Cy Young race and ranked sixth in the final payer rankings. Granderson (.319 OBP, 102 Runs, 43 HR, 106 RBI, 10 SB, 195 Ks) finished as the team’s top-rated hitter while Papelbon (70 IP, 38 Saves, 92 Ks, 2.44 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) was the team’s top reliever and ranked in the league’s Top 75 players.
The Jersey Boys saw their streak of three straight playoff appearances end as they finished 125-158-16. They won just one series over the last nine weeks of the regular season and finished last in the East Division and 14th overall.
Wendling protected R.A. Dickey, Verlander, Papelbon, Rivera and Aaron Hill in the Keeper Draft. She added Kuroda, Pettitte and Soriano in the Regular Season Draft to provide a solid base of Yankees. Despite the struggles, Wendling added just two free agents during the season.
Hill was hit by a pitch in early April and spent six weeks on the DL with a broken hand. He had just 327 at-bats for the season. Jason Kubel bounced between the minors and the Twins and had just 259 at-bats. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks strained his back and was eventually demoted to the minors by May. Wendling’s failure to backfill the roster hurt the team.
One player that performed admirably was Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt (.401 OBP, 103 Runs, 36 HR, 125 RBI, 8 NSB, 25 GIDP, 145 Ks) earned team MVP honors and ranked 20th in the league’s player rankings. The starting pitching struggled and Kuroda (201.1 IP, 19 QS, 6.71 K/9, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) was the top-rated pitcher for the Jersey Boys but ranked a lowly 246th in the league player rankings. Rivera (64 IP, 37 NSVH, 7.59 K/9, 2.11 ERA, 1.05) was steady in the ‘pen, ranking 66th in the overall player rankings.
The slide continued for Wendling and the Jersey Boys in 2014. Their 114-145-27 final record was a franchise worst. A midseason slump saw the team lose seven of nine series between Weeks 8-16. They finished last in the East Division, 32.5 games behind pennant-winning Twinkle Toes.
Wendling protected Goldschmidt, catcher Yadier Molina, Hill, Verlander and Papelbon and added just one Yankee in the Regular Season Draft, outfielder Brett Gardner. Wendling added five free agents for the season, preferring to ride out slumps and injuries with her core players.
Outfielder Nate McLouth played most of the season with a hurt labrum and had season-ending surgery in August. He had just 139 at-bats in 2014. Outfielder Jonny Gomes was a part-time player for the Red Sox before he was traded to Oakland in mid-season. He managed just 273 at-bats for the Jersey Boys.
Brantley (.385 OBP, 94 Runs, 20 HR, 97 RBI, 22 NSB, 16 GIDP, 56 Ks) was the team MVP and ranked seventh in the league’s player rankings. Mike Trout was the only outfielder ranked higher than Brantley in ’14. The starting pitching remained frightful as R.A. Dickey (215.2 IP, 23 QS, 7.22 K/9, 3.71 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) was the team’s highest rated starter, finishing 743rd in the final player rankings. Papelbon (66.1 IP, 35 NSVH, 8.55 K/9, 2.04 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) ranked 60th in the league rankings and was the team’s highest rated reliever.
Wendling added just two free agents the entire season and the team remained mired in mediocrity, finishing with a 114-133-17 record, last in the East Division and 20.5 games behind pennant winning Twinkle Toes.
Wendling protected Goldschmidt, Brantley, Cruz, Rosenthal and Papelbon but drafted starting pitching late. Bud Norris struggled and had just three quality starts before he was designated for assignment by the Orioles. Brandon McCarthy tore his UCL and faced Tommy John surgery in April. Wendling didn’t replace either player and the threadbare starting rotation was in tatters by season’s end.
John Lackey (218 IP, 26 QS, 7.22 K/9, 2.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) topped the rotation but ranked 105th in the player rankings. Goldschmidt (695 PA, 1.005 OPS, 103 Runs, 110 RBI, 16 NSB, 151 Ks) emerged as the team MVP for the second time in three years. He ranked ninth in the player rankings and was second among first basemen. Rosenthal (68.2 IP, 45 NSVH, 10.88 K/9, 2.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) was the team’s best reliever.
James had her team firing on all cylinders early in the season, as Land Shark won four of their first five series. The team also proved it could win in the East Division, as they won three of their first four divisional series, including a two of three with Buster Hugs. Land Shark would go on to win nine of their first 12 series before going 5-5 down the stretch.
The playoff victories were the first since 2012 and harkened back to the team’s glory days, where they went 5-1 in the postseason between 2010-12.
Goldschmidt (705 PA, .900 OPS, 106 Runs, 95 RBI, 27 NSB, 150 Ks) was the team MVP for the third time in the last four season. He led the Land Sharks in plate appearances and runs scored and was second in stolen bases. Goldschmidt finished 2016 as the league’s 16th-ranked player.
Beltre (640 PA, .879 OPS, 89 Runs, 104 RBI, 0 NSB, 66 Ks) finished second on the team in RBI and was third in OPS. Another veteran, Cruz (667 PA, .915 OPS, 96 Runs, 105 RBI, 2 NSB, 159 Ks), led the team in RBI and OPS.
James added 10 free agents during the season. Along with rebuilding the bullpen, she added infielder Eduardo Nunez on May 16. Nunez became a key member of the team, leading Land Shark with 30 net stolen bases while scoring 73 runs. He finished 2016 as the league’s 55th-rated player. It’s extremely rare to add a position player as a free agent and have that player return keeper value on the season.
The name of the franchise has now changed four times, Allen & Charlie Bush become the team’s third general manager, and the team’s biggest star since 2010, appears to be running out of gas.
Emmy’s Hoods General Manager, Donna Hood, acquired outfielder Jose Bautista as a free agent on May 9, 2010. He finished the season as the league’s 10th-ranked player.
Bautista bounced around the majors from 2004 to 2008. In his rookie season of ’04, Bautista became the first player to ever appear on five MLB rosters in one season. He was traded to Toronto in 2008 and in September of 2009, after making some adjustments to his swing, he hit 10 homers. Despite the big September the year before, he wasn’t on anybody’s fantasy radar heading into 2010. He went undrafted.
Over the next six years, Bautista failed to earn keeper status twice. Last year, he finished the season ranked 216th. He played in just 116 games, landing on the disabled list twice. The new team’s new general managers now face a decision whether or not to protect Bautista, who has been the cornerstone of the franchise since 2010 and earned team MVP honors twice but has turned 36-years-old.
In the inaugural season of the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League this franchise opened as Emmy’s Hoods and was owned by Donna Hood. The team’s first five players chosen in the draft were outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Cain, Justin Morneau, Dan Haren, and Adam Lind.
Bautista earned team MVP honors. Bautista (.378 OBP, 109 Runs, 54 HR, 124 RBI, 9 SB, 116 Ks) finished the season fourth in the player rankings and was the top-rated third baseman and outfielder. He is still the only undrafted free agent in the league to win team MVP honors. Cain (223.1 IP, 25 QS, 177 Ks, 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) was the team’s top pitcher and ranked 34th in the final player rankings. Reliever Joaquin Benoit (60.1 IP, 26 Saves/Holds, 75 Ks, 1.34 ERA, 0.68 Ks) was the league’s fifth-rated relief pitcher.
It was a disappointing season in the standings, as Emmy’s Hoods finished 118-142.16, 22.5 games behind Twinkle toes in the Biggest Loser Lovers Division race. The team won just three of its first 15 series in that initial season and missed the playoffs.
After the disappointing 2010 season, the team renamed itself the Machine and kept Cain, Bautista, second baseman Rickie Weeks, Morneau, and Haren in the 2011 Keeper Draft. Ellsbury was added with the first pick in the Regular Season Draft.
Unlike 2010, the Machine started fast, losing just three series in its first 15. That fast start resulted in a 134-130-12 record and the team’s first East Division pennant. The Machine lost their seminal series with the top-ranked Lower Haighters and lost the third place series to the Bulls to finish fourth.
Ellsbury (.376 OBP, 119 Runs, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 39 SB, 98 Ks) was the team MVP, finishing as the league’s fourth-rated player. Bautista added 43 homers and 110 RBI and was the league’s top-rated third baseman. Haren (238.1 IP, 26 QS, 192 Ks, 3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) was the ace while reliever Tyler Clippard (88.1 IP, 38 Saves/Holds, 104 Ks, 1.83 ERA, 0.84 WHIP) finished the season as the league’s top-ranked reliever and 20th ranked player.
Bautista, Ellsbury, catcher Matt Wieters, third baseman Chase Headley and Cain formed the nucleus for the Machine as they tried to build on the previous season’s playoff appearance.
The team lost its first two series before winning five straight. The Machine alternated short winning and losing streaks the rest of the season, finishing 132-128-16. They were third in the East Division, 9.5 games behind the pennant winners, Scully’s Slammers. In the consolation semifinal, the Machine defeated A-Rod’s Mirrors but they lost the fifth place game to the Jersey Boys.
Donna Hood made just 12 player transactions on the season. The biggest addition – literally and figuratively – was closer Jonathan Broxton who led the team with 27 saves.
Cain (219.1 IP, 21 QS, 193 Ks, 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) earned team MVP honors, ranking 15th overall in the final player rankings and fifth among starting pitchers. Headley (.376 OBP, 95 Runs, 31 HR, 115 RBI, 17 SB, 157 Ks) was the team’s top hitter and the league’s third-ranked third baseman. Set-up man Joel Peralta (67 IP, 39 Saves/Holds, 84 Ks, 3.63 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) was the most valuable reliever.
Jordan Mazur took over as General Manager and renamed the team the Eephus Monkeys. Mazur protected Bautista, Cain, Headley, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Wieters in the Keeper Draft. He added 14 free agents during the course of the season including starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Carpenter.
The Monkeys started hot, winning four of their first five series as they cruised to a 150-137-12 record and their first East Division pennant. They finished 14.5 games ahead of Scully’s Slammers in the division race. They lost two heartbreaking playoff series with both ending in virtual ties. In the semifinal they were edged by the Lower Haighters and in the third-place game they were defeated by Bacon at Mile 11.
Anibal Sanchez (182 IP, 20 QS, 9.99 K/9, 2.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) earned team MVP honors. Sanchez ranked 21st in the final player rankings and 11th among starting pitchers. Edward Mujica (64.2 IP, 38 NSVH, 6.40 K/9, 2.78 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) anchored the bullpen while Bautista (.358 OBP, 82 Runs, 28 HR, 73 RBI, 5 NSB, 13 GIDP, 84 Ks) was the top hitter.
After his MVP performance in 2014, Mazur protected Sanchez, Bautista, first baseman Eric Hosmer, Cain, and pitcher Tony Cingrani. Cingrani had emerged as a borderline Top 100 player in 2013 after posting seven quality starts with a 10.32 K/9 and 2.92 ERA.
It became evident early in the season the Monkeys would not repeat their East Division title. They won just two series in their first 11 and finished third in the division with a 122-150-14 record, 31 games behind division winners Twinkle Toes. Cain tried to pitch through bone chips floating in his elbow before having surgery in August. He threw just 90.1 inning with a 4.18 ERA. Cingrani was ineffective, posting a 4.55 ERA in 11 starts. The starting rotation never recovered.
While the starters as whole struggled, Jon Lester (219.2 IP, 27 QS, 9.01 K/9, 2.46 ERA, 1.10) emerged as the team MVP. He finished the season ranked 12th overall and seventh among starting pitchers. Bautista (.403 OBP, 101 Runs, 35 HR, 103 RBI, 4 NSB, 18 GIDP, 96 Ks) finished 13th in the league player rankings. Jordan Walden led the bullpen with 21 net saves/holds.
The Monkeys protected Bautista, infielder Anthony Rendon, Lester, Sanchez and Jacob deGrom. They also drafted Jason Heyward, Alex Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, and Justin Verlander. Mazur made 15 player transactions during the course of the season adding Jung-ho Kang, Byron Buxton and Randal Grichuk.
With healthy pitching, the Monkeys improved substantially from 2014. They finished 133-115-16, two games behind Twinkle Toes in the East Division pennant race. They started slowly, winning just two of their first seven series, but finished strong losing just twice over the last three months of the regular season. After capturing the league’s final playoff spot, the Monkeys lost to top-seeded Bacon at Mile 11 in the quarterfinal. They dropped the consolation semifinal to Warning Track Power before rallying to beat Twinkle Toes in the seventh place game.
Bautista (666 PA, .913 OPS, 108 Runs, 114 RBI, 6 NSB, 106 Ks) was again the team MVP. He finished the season ranked 9th in the player rankings and fifth among all hitters. deGrom (191 IP, 23 QS, 9.66 K/9, 2.54 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) led the starting staff. He ranked 11th overall and sixth at starting pitcher. (78 IP, 39 NSVH, 9.92 K/9, 1.85 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) was the team’s top arm in the bullpen, ranking 45ht overall and fifth at relief pitcher.
Losing streaks to open and close the season resulted in a franchise-worst 116-133-15 record for the Monkeys in 2016. The team lost six of their first seven series and failed to win a series over the last six weeks of the season.
Second baseman Brian Dozier earned team MVP honors. Dozier (691 PA, 104 Runs, 99 RBI, 138 K’s, .886 OPS, 16 NSB) and led the team RBI and OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (719 PA, 115 Runs, 89 RBI, 123 K’s, .802 OPS, 9 NSB) led the team in plate appearances and runs scored.
Kelvin Herrera (72.0 IP, 2.75 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 10.75 K/9, 0 QS, 35 NSH) finished the season ranked 68th in the player rankings and teamed with Sam Dyson to provide a solid bullpen. Carlos Martinez led the team with 20 quality starts and logged 195.1 innings pitched.
The team changed general managers and was renamed but Buster Hugs remained the team to beat in the East Division.
Andy Berlind took over for Sunni York as the team’s GM and renamed the Twinkle Toes franchise to Buster Hugs. Catcher Buster Posey, pitcher Madison Bumgarner and closer Kenley Jansen remained the heart of the team. In 2016, they led the franchise to its fourth division title.
Buster Hugs is one of two teams (along with Los Coches Bomba) to win two league championships. Those two titles came courtesy of Posey and Bumgarner, who have formed the nucleus of the team since 2011. York, a San Francisco Giants season ticket holder, always had her eye on San Francisco’s farm system. In the league’s inaugural 2010 season, York plucked Posey off the free agent wire in late May after he was dropped by the Jersey Boys (now Land Shark). In 2011, the Toes drafted Bumgarner in the ninth round and he’s been the team’s ace since.
The Toes claimed the division crown with a 138-117-21 record, finishing eight games ahead of the Jersey Boys. Posey was added to the roster in late May but tallied 67 runs in just 406 at-bats. It was outfielder Shin-soo Choo who carried the team prior to Posey’s arrival. Choo finished as the team’s MVP. In 550 at-bats, he led the team with a .401 OBP, 81 runs scored, 22 home runs, 90 RBI and 22 stolen bases. Mat Latos was the team’s ace, earning 21 quality starts in 184.2 innings pitched. Latos finished 2010 with 189 strikeouts, a 2.92 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Mike Adams anchored the bullpen, pitching 66.2 innings, earning 38 holds, with a 1.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
After that initial championship, the Toes went into a funk that saw them miss the playoffs for three straight seasons.
The Toes kept Posey, Choo, third baseman Evan Longoria, Adams and David Wright but couldn’t repeat the magic. They finished third in the newly renamed East Division with a 125-134-17 record. York added two more youngsters – Bumgarner and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt – but ultimately kept just Bumgarner.
With Posey sidelined by a gruesome leg injury, it was Kinsler that stepped up as the team MVP. In 620 at-bats, the veteran second baseman scored a team-high 121 runs, 32 home runs, and 30 stolen bases. Adams improved on his sensational 2010 season to become the team’s most valuable pitcher. He tossed 73.2 innings earning 34 holds/saves with a 1.47 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Ian Kennedy emerged as the ace of the starting staff, logging a team-high 222 innings with 24 quality starts, 198 strikeouts, a 2.88 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.
The Toes protected Longoria, Kinsler, Posey, Bumgarner and Adams in the keeper draft and grabbed Kennedy with their first pick in the March player draft. It wasn’t enough. The team finished last in the East Division with a 115-141-20 record and they were 15th overall. It is the worst record in the team’s history.
Longoria suffered a partially torn hamstring in April, precipitating the team’s slide, but Posey emerged as the team MVP. he drove in a team-high 103 runs in 530 at-bats. Posey also led the team with a .408 OBP and 24 home runs. Bumgarner (208.1 IP, 19 QS, 191 Ks, 3.37 ERA and 1.11 WHIP) was the staff ace while (33 Saves/Holds, 2.39 ERA, 1.09 WHIP), who was added as a free agent in late March, became the team’s top reliever.
The personnel decision that York might still regret from the 2012 season is the release of Josh Donaldson. He was added to the team in late March but cut in April to make room for catcher Hector Sanchez.
The Toes finished with a 132-149-18 record, 15 games behind the Eephus Monkeys in the East Division pennant race. They kept Kinsler, Longoria, Bumgarner, Posey and journeyman pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong had a solid 2012 season but finished ’13 with just 103.2 innings pitched and a 5.73 ERA.
Bumgarner (201.1 IP, 22 QS, 8.9 K/9, 2.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) continued to blossom and earned the team’s MVP honors. Reliever Trevor Rosenthal and starter Jarrod Parker were obtained in an August trade with High Cheese for second baseman Matt Carpenter. Rosenthal (75.1 IP, 27 Net Saves/Hold, 2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 12.9 K/9) was the team’s best relief pitcher while Kinsler led the offense. In 545 at-bats, Kinsler had a .344 OBP, 85 runs scored and 72 RBI. He hit into just five double plays and struck out 59 times.
The Toes won their second league title with a victory over High Cheese in the championship series. They captured the East Division crown with a 151-117-18 record, second best in the league.
Shortstop Jose Reyes, Bumgarner, Kinsler, Posey and Longoria were the team’s keepers while first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Ian Kennedy were added in the draft. But it was undrafted free agent relief pitcher Andrew Miller who emerged as the team’s MVP. York acquired Miller in June and caught fire, finishing the season with 62.1 innings pitched, 22 net saves/holds, a 2.02 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 14.87 K/9. Bumgarner (217.1 IP, 21 QS, 2.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 9.07 K/9) was again the team’s ace. Reyes lit a fire under the offense, finishing with 610 at-bats, 28 net stolen bases, a .328 OBP, 94 runs scored, 51 RBI. Reyes ground into just four double plays all year and struck out 73 times.
The Toes earned their third East Division title. They finished with a 136-114-4 record, two games ahead of the Eephus Monkeys. The postseason wasn’t kind, as they were beaten by the Mirrors in the first round and failed to win a playoff series.
The roster had a familiar look. Posey, Gonzalez, Kinsler, Bumgarner and pitcher Tanner Roark were protected in the keeper draft. Bumgarner (218.1 IP, 22 QS, 2.93 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 9.65 K/9) earned his second team MVP honors while Posey (623 PA, .849 OPS, 95 RBI, 74 R, and 52 Ks) led the offense. Kenley Jansen anchored the bullpen with 35 Net Saves/Holds, a 2.41 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 13.76 K/9.
Buster Hugs won the East Division by 5.5 games over Land Shark to claim their fourth division title. It was a second half surge that saw the team lose just two series over the last 11 weeks that wrapped up the title.
Buster Hugs went 7-2-1 against East Division foes and had some of the league’s most lopsided victories, including a 10-2 win over Home Run 101 in Week 3, a 12-0 victory over Let’s Play 2 in Week 12, and a pair of big wins over Stadium Mustard (10-1 in Week 14 and 10-2 in Week 19).
Posey, Bumgarner and Jansen were all protected by Berlind in the keeper draft and returned keeper value at season’s end. Veteran slugger David Ortiz (7th round pick) and infielder Jean Segura (14th round) also finished the season ranked in the Top 80.
Bumgarner (226.2 IP, 25 QS, 2.74 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 9.97 K/9) and Jansen (68.2 IP, 41 NSVH, 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 13.63 K/9) led the pitching staff. Bumgarner earned team MVP honors for the third time, finishing the season ranked 8th in the final player rankings. Jansen was right behind at 9th. Bumgarner led the team in innings pitched and quality starts while Jansen was the team leader in net saves/holds, K/9, WHIP, and ERA.
Ortiz (626 PA, 1.021 OPS, 79 Runs, 127 RBI, 2 NSB, 86 Ks) led the team in OPS and RBI and was ranked 18th in the final player rankings. Segura (694 PA, .867 OPS, 102 Runs, 64 RBI, 23 NSB, 101 Ks) ranked 26th and led the team in plate appearances, net stolen bases and runs scored. Posey (614 PA, .796 OPS, 82 Runs, 80 RBI, 5 NSB, 68 Ks) ranked 72nd and finished as the league’s highest ranked catcher and the only player at his position to earn keeper status.
Berlind was one of the league’s most active general managers, using all 40 allowed player transactions by Aug. 21. Berlind added pitcher Junior Guerra on May 22 and he finished the season ranked 176th.