Tagged: fantasy baseball statistical projections

When it Comes to the Playoffs, No Team is Safe

Brewers Spring Baseball

Pitcher Junior Guerra is the league’s top-rated player over the past two weeks.

With just nine weeks remaining in the regular season, it’s a mad scramble to qualify for the postseason. No team is safe at this point. Here is a preview of a crucial Week 14.

Eephus Monkeys vs Land Shark

The Eephus Monkeys dropped a 6-5-1 decision to the Bulls last week and have just one series victory over the past five weeks. They are 14th in the league standings with a 64-82-10 record. Land Shark leads the East Division by six games and are fourth in the league standings at 82-69-5. They saw their five-week winning streak snapped with a 7-5 loss to Los Coches Bomba last week.

Pitching: Land Shark finished Week 13 with the league’s worst ERA at 5.64 and failed to win a pitching category for the first time since Week 7. They are 5-12-1 on the mound in their last three series. Ricky Nolasco has given up 14 earned runs in his last three starts, posting a 6.87 ERA with just one quality starts. Over the last five weeks, the Monkeys have been strong on the mound, going 23-7.They’ve posted a 3.40 ERA or less in six of the last seven weeks. Jacob deGrom has given up just one earned run over his last 13 innings.

Hitting: The Monkeys were tied for the fewest plate appearances in the league last week with 210 and won just a single hitting category. They are now 3-12-3 at the plate in the last three weeks. First baseman Byung-ho Park doesn’t have a hit in his last 16 at-bats, striking out 10 times. Land Shark has one of the hottest hitting teams in the league over the last month. They’ve gone 20-4 during that stretch and have won five or more categories in three of the last four series. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop is 20-for-49 over his last 12 games with 15 runs scored and a 1.065 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana believes the Monkeys are poised to upset Land Shark. Jordan’s team has a 71.9 percent chance to win while Meredith’s team has just a 15 percent chance to take the series.

Los Coches Bomba vs High Cheese

Los Coches Bomba defeated Land Shark 7-5 last week and have now won two of their last three and three of their last five series. They trail High Cheese by 6.5 games in the South Division pennant race and are sixth in the league standings with a 78-66-12 record. High Cheese saw their four-week winning streak snapped with a 9-3 loss to the Menehunes last week. They maintain the league’s best record at 87-62-7.

Pitching: Bomba had five quality starts in Week 13, tied for the league high and swept the pitching categories for the first time since Week 1. They’ve now gone 10-2 on the mound over the last two weeks. Reliever David Robertson has been lights out, giving up just one run over his last 7.1 innings while saving six games. High Cheese finished last week with a 5.07 ERA, their second worst pitching performance of the season. They won just two categories, their lowest total since Week 8. Chris Tillman has given up 10 runs in his last two starts, posting a 9.31 ERA.

Hitting: High Cheese had the fewest stolen bases in Week 14 with just one and won just a single hitting category last week. It was the worst hitting performance for the team since they slumped in Weeks 7-8 and failed to win a category. Veteran infielder Jhonny Peralta has struck out 11 times in his last 47 plate appearances and is hitting .205 over his last 11 games. Bomba had the league’s fewest RBI with 21 last week and the team has won just one hitting category over the past two weeks. Outfielder Justin Upton has scuffled all season and is hitting just .196 over his last 12 games. He’s scored just three runs over 50 plate appearances during that stretch.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Los Coches Bomba opens the week favored to win this series. Ziguana gives Jenni’s team a 82.2 percent chance for victory while the Patchell Express has just a 8.5 percent chance to win.

Buster Hugs vs Stadium Mustard

Buster Hugs lost to Warning Track Power 9-2-1 last week and have now lost four of their last five series. They trail Land Shark by six games in the East Division pennant race and are 10th in the league standings with a 75-74-7 record. Stadium Mustard defeated Hapamon 7-4-1 in Week 13 and have now won three straight series. They are just eight games behind Land Shark in the East Division and are 12th in the league standings with a 72-75-9 record.

Pitching: Buster Hugs finished Week 13 with six net saves/holds, tied for the league high but won just two pitching categories. They are now 11-12-1 on the mound over the last month. They do have the league’s hottest pitcher, Junior Guerra, who has three quality starts over the past two weeks with a 0.81 ERA and 0.58 WHIP. Stadium Mustard won just one category last week, the third time in the last five weeks they’ve had just one category win. They finished the last week with a 5.03 ERA, their third worst ERA this season. C.C. Sabathia has struggled in his last three starts for Stadium Mustard, posting an 8.31 ERA and failing to earn a quality start.

Hitting: Buster Hugs had the league’s lowest OPS in Week 13 at .697 and failed to win a hitting category for the first time since Week 5. The team is really scuffling at the plate, failing to post a OPS higher than .700 in four of the past five weeks. First baseman A.J. Reed finds himself on the bench after going 2-for-22 with 11 strikeouts in his last seven games. No team had fewer strikeouts last week than Stadium Mustard with 36 as the team swept the hitting categories for the first time this season. They are 12-6 at the plate over the last three weeks. Edwin Encarnacion is dangerous at the plate, hitting .310 with a 1.137 OPS in his last 12 games. He’s driven in 15 runs during that stretch.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Andrew’s team has a 56.3 percent chance to win this series while Chris’ team has a 27.3 percent chance according to Ziguana.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs Warning Track Power

The Mirrors have now lost three straight series and have just two category wins over the last two weeks. The defending league champions have fallen to 11th in the league standings with a 74-76-6 record and are last in the West Division. Warning Track Power defeated Buster Hugs 9-2-1 last week and have lost just one series over the last five weeks. They’ve moved to fifth in the overall standings with a 83-71-2 record and they are just one game behind the Lower Haighters in the West Division pennant race.

Pitching: The Mirrors had the league’s worst WHIP (1.61) in Week 13 and had the lowest strikeout rate (7.67). The last three weeks have been a disaster for Sean’s pitching staff as they’ve gone 2-15-1 and haven’t posted an ERA less than 4.67 or a WHIP of less than 1.55 during that stretch. Reliever Jake Diekman has been bombed in his last six outings, giving up six earned runs. Warning Track Power has gone 9-8-1 during that same time and has had a team ERA of less than 4.00 in two of the past three weeks. Carlos Carrasco has given up just one run in his last 16.2 innings while striking out 21 batters.

Hitting: The Mirrors led the league last week with 290 plate appearances but it was their only hitting category victory over the last two weeks. The Mirrors are 1-10-1 during that stretch. Outfielder Kevin Pillar has scored just two runs in his last 48 plate appearances, posting a .548 OPS. Warning Track Power had the league’s most RBI (54) and the highest OPS (1.080) last week and swept the hitting categories for the first time this season. The team set season-highs in Runs, RBI, Stolen Bases and OPS in Week 13. Outfielder Josh Donaldson has 10 RBI in his last 12 games, hitting .408 with a 1.198 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting Warning Track Power will tighten the pennant race in the West Division this week. Mark’s team has a 63.1 percent chance to win the series while Sean’s team has just a 20.3 percent chance of victory.

Home Run 101 vs Hapamon

Home Run 101 lost to the league’s last place team in Week 13, a 6-5-1 defeat to Let’s Play 2. It was the team’s seventh consecutive series loss. Bailey’s team is now 52-96-8 and 15th in the league standings. Hapamon lost 7-4-1 to Stadium Mustard last week and have now lost four of their last six series. They are 13th in the league standings with a 67-76-13 record.

Pitching: No team pitched fewer innings in Week 13 than Home Run 101 (35.1). The team also had the fewest quality starts (1) and net saves/holds (0). This team has been bad on the mound for the past five weeks, winning more than one pitching category just once during that stretch. They are 6-22-2 on the mound in the last five series. Veteran Chris Young has posted a 11.37 ERA and 2.84 WHIP in his last two starts. Hapamon has been strong on the mound over the last month, finishing with an ERA of 3.43 or less in each of the last four weeks. The team is 16-7-1 on the mound during that period. Closer Jeurys Familia hasn’t been scored on over his last 6.1 innings and he’s earned six straight saves.

Hitting: Home Run 101 led the league in net stolen bases last week with six and has been competitive at the plate during the last month. They’ve gone 12-11-1 during that period. Second baseman Jose Altuve keeps the offense competitive. He’s hitting .408 with a 1.128 OPS and nine RBI over his last 12 games. Hapamon scored the fewest runs in the league in Week 13 with 26 and failed to win a hitting category for the first time since Week 8. The team is now 5-12-1 at the plate over the last three weeks. Catcher Jason Castro is hitting just .214 with 11 strikeouts in his last 31 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: It’s been a while since Bailey’s team has been favored in a series but Ziguana doesn’t like a Clayton Kershaw-less Hapamon. Home Run 101 opens the week as a 76.6 percent chance to win while Robert Kirkbride’s team has just a 12.8 percent chance of victory.

Let’s Play 2 vs The JetSetters

Let’s Play 2 snapped a seven-week winless streak with a 6-5-1 victory over Home Run 101 last week. They remain in last place with a 53-98-5 record. The JetSetters are undefeated over the last seven weeks and are coming off an impressive 10-2 victory over the Lower Haighters. It was their largest margin of victory this season and moves the team to seventh in the league standings with a 79-70-7 record.

Pitching: The JetSetters finished Week 13 with six net saves/holds, tied for the league lead and have been one of the league’s best pitching teams the last seven weeks. They are 30-10-2 during that stretch. Jose Fernandez has a 3.20 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with two quality starts in his last three appearances. After failing to win a pitching category in Week 12, Let’s Play 2 bounced back last week, winning five of six. It was the second time in three weeks they’ve won five pitching categories. Trevor Bauer has given up just three runs over his last 20 innings and has two quality starts in his last three appearances.

Hitting: Let’s Play 2 had just 210 plate appearances in Week 13, tied for the fewest in the league. It’s been a bad month at the plate for Louie’s team. They are just 3-20-1 during that period and have won just a single hitting category the last three weeks. Veteran first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .159 over his last 50 plate appearances with a .513 OPS. The JetSetters set season-highs with 51 runs and RBI last week. They led the league in runs scored but also had the highest number of strikeouts with 68. They are 9-3 at the plate over the last two weeks. Utility Danny Espinosa has been on five, driving in 21 runs over his last 13 games. He’s hitting .400 with a 1.425 OPS in his last 51 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana believes this will be the week Louie’s team scores a series win. Let’s Play 2 has a 67.8 percent chance of victory while David’s team has just a 18.9 percent chance to win the series.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs The Bulls

Bacon at Mile 11 posted their first series win since Week 5 with a 9-1-2 victory over A-Rod’s Mirrors. The team is now second in the overall standings with an 84-63-9 record. The Bulls have won three of their past four series after defeating the Eephus Monkeys 6-5-1 last week. They trail Bacon at Mile 11 by eight games in the North Division pennant race and are ninth in the overall standings with a 76-71-9 record.

Pitching: No team pitched more innings in Week 13 than Bacon at Mile 11 with 79.2. The team also led the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 9.94. Bacon won five pitching categories last week, the first time the team has done that since Week 4, and posted a sub-4.00 ERA for the first time since Week 6. Adam Conley has two quality starts in his last three outings, posting a 2.45 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The Bulls were sharp on the mound as well, leading the league with a 2.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP but the team is just 3-9 on the mound over the last two weeks. Reliever Mark Melancon hasn’t given up a run in his last five appearances, earning four saves with a 0.60 WHIP.

Hitting: Bacon has been a good hitting team the last three weeks. They are 10-5-3 during that stretch. Outfielder Mike Trout is the hottest hitter in the league. He’s 23-of-51 with a 1.306 OPS in his last 13 games. The Bulls have their own hot hitter in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. He’s 17-of-44 with a 1.142 OPS and 14 RBI over his last 12 games. The Bulls lost just one hitting category last week and are 11-5-2 over the last three weeks. They’ve had a .800+ OPS five of the last six weeks.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting Eric’s team will continue to rebound from it’s midseason funk. Bacon opens the week with a 76.6 percent chance to defeat Carolyn’s team while the Bulls have just a 13.5 percent chance to win.

 
Lower Haighters vs Marin Menehunes

The Lower Haighters have just one series victory over the last month and are coming off a 10-2 loss to the JetSetters, matching their worst loss of the season. They have fallen to third in the overall standings with a 83-69-4 record. The Menehunes have won two straight and are coming off a 9-3 victory over High Cheese, the league’s top team. It was their largest margin of victory since an 11-1 win over Land Shark in Week 2. They are clinging to the league’s final playoff berth with a 78-69-9 record.

Pitching: The Menehunes finished Week 13 tied for the league lead in quality starts with five and went 4-2 on the mound. They’ve posted a sub 4.00 ERA in four of the past five weeks. Bud Norris has been sensational in his last three starts, giving up just two runs in 18.1 innings and earning two quality starts. The Lower Haighters lost five of six pitching categories in Week 13 and are 7-10-1 over the last three weeks. The problem is the team’s ace, Jake Arrieta. He’s given up 10 earned runs in his last 15.1 innings and hasn’t earned a quality start in his last three outings.

Hitting: The Menehunes have been strong at the plate the last two weeks, going 10-1-1. They set a season-high with 48 runs, 44 RBI, and 272 plate appearance in Week 13. Wil Myers has driven in 13 runs over his last 11 games, posting a .992 OPS. He’s also stolen three bases. The Lower Haighters have struggled to hit the ball over the last five weeks, going 11-19 during that stretch. Last week, they won just one category. First baseman Eric Hosmer is struggling, driving in just four runs in his last 53 plate appearances. He has a .668 OPS in his last 12 games.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting the Lower Haighters have a 77.3 percent chance to defeat Elizabeth’s team. The Menehunes have just a 12.3 percent chance to win this West Division rivalry.

A-Rod’s Mirrors in Championship Form

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander has been sensational the last three weeks and has the Mirrors looking like championship material

As always, the projections from Ziguana were made Monday before the first pitch of the week. They may have changed since that time.

Let’s Play 2 vs Land Shark

Let’s Play 2 hasn’t won more than four categories in a series for the past five weeks and they’ve won just two series this season. Louie Bottaro’s team now stands at 42-74-4 and are 15th in the league standings. Land Shark is trending in the other direction. Meredith James’ team has won three straight and are now in seventh place with a 61-55-4 record.

Pitching: Land Shark is 8-3-1 in pitching categories over the past two weeks and has seven quality starts in two of the past three weeks. The team had a season-high 77.1 innings pitched in Week 9. John Lackey is the league’s seventh-rated player over the past three weeks, pitching 27.2 innings for Land Shark, earning four quality starts, while posting a 1.30 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. Let’s Play 2’s pitching staff is in the midst of a major meltdown, winning just two categories over the past five weeks. There was a glimmer of hope last week, as the team posted a season-low 2.40 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. After a great start, Jeff Samardzija has just one quality start in his last four appearances with a 5.48 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

Hitting: Let’s Play 2 has held their own at the plate over the last three weeks, going 9-9 in hitting categories. Outfielder Mookie Betts has carried the team, going 24-for-76 with a .955 OPS, 14 RBI and 19 runs scored during that period. A big reason for Land Shark’s winning streak has been the hitting. The team is 16-7-1 in offensive categories over the past month and didn’t lose a category in their Week 8 series with Hapamon. Infielder Eduardo Nunez has a .929 OPS over his last 19 games with just nine strikeouts in his last 91 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Is this the week Let’s Play 2 wins a series? Ziguana thinks so, giving Louie Bottaro’s team a 56.5 percent chance of winning. Land Shark has a 28.2 percent chance of avoiding what would be a catastrophic loss.

Home Run 101 vs Warning Track Power

Home Run 101 remains in the league basement with a 40-74-6 record. How bad has it been? They’ve won just two series this year and are in the midst of a four-week losing streak after losing last week to the Bulls – the only team they’ve beaten this year. Warning Track Power is also scuffling. Mark Peterson’s team has just two series wins over the last two months. They are sixth in the overall standings with a 63-56-1 record.

Pitching: Home Run 101 has won just two pitching categories over the past two weeks and seven over the past four. It’s been a difficult stretch on the mound for the team. Chris Young doesn’t have a quality start in his last three appearances and has a 5.19 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in those starts. In the last three weeks, Warning Track Power is 5-12-1 in pitching categories. Starter Chad Bettis has made four starts in the last three weeks, hasn’t earned a quality start, and has an 11.57 ERA and 2.27 WHIP.

Hitting: Home Run 101 won four offensive categories last week against the Bulls, their best performance at the plate since Week 5 against the Bulls. Unfortunately, the team is 6-10-2 at the plate over the past three weeks, including winning just one category in each of Weeks 8-9. Outfielder Steven Souza has been particularly bad over his past 18 games, striking out 28 times in his last 75 plate appearances. Warning Track Power is 9-3 over the past two weeks at the plate and has lost the important OPS category just three times all season. Catcher Wilson Ramos has been the team’s best hitter the past three weeks, hitting .305 with a .966 OPS over his past 18 games. He has 15 RBI during that stretch.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed Warning Track Power as the second biggest favorite in the league this week. They have a 74.4 percent chance of winning this series. Home Run 101 will need to continue to pitch well to pull the upset. They have just a 12.8 percent chance of winning.

High Cheese vs Hapamon

High Cheese has lost just one series over the last five weeks and now sits third in the league standings with a 66-48-6 record. Hapamon is coming off an impressive 8-4 series win over Bacon at Mile 11. The victory snapped a five-week winless streak and they are now 12th in the league standings with a 51-58-11 record.

Pitching: After not winning a pitching category in Week 9 against Los Coches Bomba, Hapamon bounced back last week and won five of the six categories against Bacon at Mile 11. Matt Shoemaker has bolstered the staff, posting three quality starts in his last four appearances with a 2.32 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. High Cheese has one of the top pitching staffs in the league. They’ve gone 22-7-1 on the mound over the past five weeks. They’ve lost the quality starts category just once this season. Jon Lester has four quality starts over the past three weeks with a 0.59 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts over 30.1 innings. He’s the league’s second-rated player during that period.

Hitting: Hapamon has struggled to get opportunities at the plate. They have lost the plate appearances category eight times in the first 10 weeks. It’s difficult to win counting categories if you can’t take your hacks. A good example is catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who has just 31 plate appearances over the past three weeks. High Cheese broke out of a hitting slump last week, winning four categories against Let’s Play 2. Prior to that, the team had gone 2-15-1 in hitting categories the previous three weeks. The team needs more from first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is hitting .174 with a .529 OPS over his last 19 games entering this series. He has just three RBI in his last 81 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: High Cheese is this week’s biggest favorite. Ziguana projects that Matt and Zach Patchell’s team has a 75.5 percent chance to win the series. Robert Kirkbride’s team has played most of the season in an underdog role but they’ve pulled some upsets. They have just a 12.8 percent chance of winning.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs Eephus Monkeys

Bacon has fallen on hard times. They haven’t won a series in the last five weeks and have lost their last three. Eric Brown’s team has fallen to fourth in the overall standings with a 66-49-5 record. Jordan Mazur’s Monkeys are going in the opposite direction, having lost just one series over the past five weeks. The Monkeys are now 48-65-7 and 14th overall.

Pitching: The Eephus Monkeys have gone 14-4 in pitching categories that past three weeks and haven’t posted an ERA above 3.40 over the past four weeks. Jacob deGrom has pitched 20 innings over his past three starts with a 2.25 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11.7 K/9. It’s been a terrible month on the mound for Bacon. The team has won just four pitching categories in that time, going 4-18-2 during that period. The staff has been hit by injuries with starters Vincent Velasquez and Gerrit Cole both hitting the DL along with reliever Joe Smith. Veteran reliever Huston Streets has given up three runs in his last four appearances and hasn’t posted a save in those games.

Hitting: The Monkeys didn’t lose a hitting category in Week 8 against High Cheese but since then have gone 4-8. The team’s most consistent hitter, and top-rated player overall, over the last three weeks has been shortstop Xander Bogaerts. He’s posted a .999 OPS in his last 18 games with a .375 average and 19 RBI. Bacon has held its own at the plate over the past three weeks, going 9-9. They’ve lost the Runs Scored category just twice this year. Not surprisingly, outfielder Mike Trout has been strong, posting a .900 OPS over his last 19 games. Trout also has four net stolen bases over that period.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bacon has struggled lately but Ziguana expects Eric Brown’s team to snap out of it this week. They have a 56.7 percent chance to win the series. The Monkeys are playing well but Ziguana gives Jordan’s team just a 27.8 percent chance to win.

Buster Hugs vs The Bulls

Buster Hugs has lost their last two series and have just one victory in the past month. They are 58-57-5 and 10th in the league standings. The Bulls want to keep their momentum going, having won three of their past four series. That modest wins streak has the team back in the playoff race with a 57-56-7 record, ninth overall.

Pitching: Buster Hugs won just two pitching categories against Land Shark last week but they’ve gone 9-8-1 over the last three weeks. They’ve lost the Quality Starts category just three times this season. Madison Bumgarner has been fantastic over this past three starts, pitching 19.2 innings with a 0.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and a 10.1 K/9. The Bulls have been accumulating points on the mound over the last month, going 17-5-2 on the mound. They’ve lost the K/9 and Innings Pitched categories just three times each in 2016. In his last four starts, Stephen Strasburg has pitched 25 innings with a 3.60 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 12.6 K/9 for the Bulls.

Hitting: It’s been a struggle at the plate for Buster Hugs over the past three weeks. They’ve won just seven hitting categories in that stretch but have just three category wins at the plate in the last two weeks. The middle infield, Starlin Castro and Jean Segura, have combined to score 13 runs during that stretch. Castro is 15-for-74 with a .203 average over his last 19 games. The Bulls have been very competitive at the plate over the past three weeks, going 11-7 in hitting categories. Infielder Jonathan Villar is hitting .306 with a .881 OPS over his last 19 games and is the league’s ninth-rated player during that period.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana expects Buster Hugs to win this series. They open the week with a 73.6 percent chance of victory, the third largest chance to win in the league this week. The Bulls have a 13.8 percent chance to win.

Stadium Mustard vs Marin Menehunes

A pair of struggling teams look for much-needed series victories when they meet in this series. The Menehunes have lost five of their last six and are clinging to the league’s final playoff spot with a 60-54-6 record. Stadium Mustard has just one series victory over the past five weeks and sits 13th in the league standings with a 50-64-6 record.

Pitching: It’s been a rough couple of weeks on the mound for Stadium Mustard. They’ve won a combined two pitching categories over the past two weeks and haven’t posted an ERA less than 4.66 in three of the past four weeks. Michael Wacha has just two quality starts over the past month, posting a 6.95 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in that period. The Menehunes have struggled on the mound the past six weeks. They’ve gone 9-27 in pitching categories during that time. They’ve won the Net Saves/Holds categories just twice this year. Starter Jordan Zimmerman doesn’t have a quality start over the past three weeks and has a 7.84 ERA and 1.65 WHIP during that time.

Hitting: Stadium Mustard is struggling to find consistency at the plate. They are 8-9-1 in hitting categories over the past three series and have had trouble driving in runs. They’ve won the RBI category just twice this season. Veteran catcher Yadier Molina is hitting .190 in his last 18 games and has driven in five runs over his last 70 plate appearances. Wil Meyers is on a tear for the Menehunes. He’s hitting .344 with a 1.093 OPS over his last 18 games. He’s driven in 17 runs during that stretch. The team is 6-4-1 in offensive categories over the past two weeks.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Menehunes start the week with a 60.8 percent chance to defeat Stadium Mustard, which has a 23.8 percent chance at victory.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs. JetSetters

The Mirrors are on a roll. They’ve won seven straight series and are second in the league standings with a 68-48-4 record. After losing five of their first six series, the JetSetters have rebounded to win their last four in a row. They are now 55-58-7 and back in the playoff hunt.

Pitching: The JetSetters are winning because the pitching staff has been solid the past month. The team has gone 18-4-2 on the mound in that stretch. They’ve lost the K/9 category just once this season. Jose Fernandez is the league’s third-rated player over the past three weeks, posting three quality starts with a 1.67 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and 13.3 K/9. The Mirrors have gone 16-7-1 on the mound over the past four weeks. They haven’t lost the K/9 category this season. Over the past three weeks, Justin Verlander has pitched 29 innings with a 2.17 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and three quality starts.

Hitting: The JetSetters lost four of six hitting categories last week but have gone 10-8 at the plate over the last three weeks. The team takes its hacks. They have lost the plate appearances category just twice this season. Outfielder Jay Bruce has led the JetSetters over the past 19 games, hitting .288 with a 1.023 OPS. He’s driven in 16 runs during that stretch. The Mirrors are 11-7 at the plate over the last three games, and haven’t had an OPS under .700 this season. The team is vulnerable on the base paths, winning the category just three times in 2016. Infielder Manny Machado is hitting .308 with a .952 OPS over his last 20 games. He’s tied for the team lead with 14 runs scored over the past three weeks.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana projects the Mirrors have a 68.5 percent chance to win the series while the JetSetters are a long shot at 18.3 percent.

Lower Haighters vs Los Coches Bomba

The Lower Haighters have the league’s best record at 69-48-3 while Los Coches Bomba is fifth in the standing at 60-50-10. Bomba has lost two of their last three series while the Lower Haighters haven’t lost a series over the last month, going 2-0-2.

Pitching: In two of the past three weeks, Los Coches Bomba hasn’t won a pitching category but in that third week, they didn’t lost one. It’s been a wild ride on the mound. In his last four starts, Hector Santiago has an 11.93 ERA, 2.09 WHIP and no quality starts. The Lower Haighters have lost just two pitching categories over the past two weeks and have lost K/9 just once this series. Reliever Sean Doolittle has appeared in eight games over the past three weeks for the Lower Haighters, tossing 7.1 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and just one hit and two walks.

Hitting: Los Coches Bomba won four of the six hitting categories against the JetSetters last week but has gone 7-9-2 at the plate over the past three weeks. Second baseman Robinson Cano is hitting .309 with a .969 OPS over his last 20 games. He’s scored 20 games during that stretch. The Lower Haighters enter this series cold at the plate. They are 4-8 in hitting categories the past two weeks. The lineup has been hit with a variety of injuries and it has limited the team’s opportunities. They’ve won the Plate Appearances category just once over the past seven series.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Los Coches Bomba opens the week as a 62.4 percent favorite to win this series. The Lower Haighters have a 22.9 percent chance to win.

Jose Fernandez is Leading a JetSetters’ Resurgence

Jose FernandezJose Fernandez has been the most dominant player in fantasy baseball over the past three weeks and the JetSetters have reaped the benefits. GM David Kahn’s team has won its past three series and climbed back into the playoff race. They are now just 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs for the final playoff spot.

Here’s a look at this week’s series complete with Ziguana predictions.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs Hapamon

Bacon defeated Hapamon 7-4 in Week 5 as Anthony Rizzo scored 10 runs and finished with a team-high 1.328 OPS. The pitching staff finished with a 3.23 ERA as Chris Archer, Danny Salazar and Adam Conley combined to pitch 19 shutout innings. A week later, the teams tied 6-6 as Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout and Charlie Blackmon and Matt Carpenter combined to drive in 14 runs.

Pitching: Clayton Kershaw just keeps rolling for Hapamon. Kershaw has three consecutive quality starts with a 0.79 ERA, 0.49 WHIP, and a 21/2 K/BB ratio. Jonathan Gray has three quality starts for Bacon over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s struck out 22 batters over 20.1 innings.

Hitting: Outfielder Charlie Blackmon has 13 RBI in his last 14 games for Hapamon. Blackmon has gone 18-for-57 with a 1.008 OPS during that stretch. Outfielder Gregory Polanco is 15-for-44 with a 1.034 OPS over his last 12 games for Bacon. Polanco has scored 12 runs while driving in 15 over that time.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed Bacon at Mile 11 as the week’s biggest favorite. GM Eric Brown’s team has an 81.9 percent chance to beat Hapamon. GM Robert Kirkbride’s team has just a 9.5 percent chance to pull the upset.

Home Run 101 vs The Bulls

Home Run 101 defeated the Bulls 7-5 in Week 5 and a week later held on for a 6-5 victory. In the first series, shortstop Brandon Crawford drove in a team-high nine runs for Home Run 101. A week later Jose Altuve scored seven runs for Home Run 101 and led the team with a .986 OPS.

Pitching: Johnny Cueto has been the ace of Home Run 101’s pitching staff. In his last three starts, Cueto has pitched 21 innings with a 0.43 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Jake Odorizzi has a pair of quality starts in his last three starts for Home Run 101. He has a 2.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in those games while striking out 19 batters.

Hitting: Milwaukee shortstop Jonathan Villar has been the top-rated hitter in the league over the last two weeks. Villar has gone 17-for-45 with 12 RBI, 12 runs scored, five net stolen bases, and a 1.153 OPS for the Bulls. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is 18-for43 with 11 RBI in his last 12 games for Home Run 101. He has a 1.184 OPS during that stretch.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Home Run 101 opens the week favored to defeat the Bulls. GM Bailey Penzotti’s team has a 59 percent chance of victory, according to Ziguana, while the Bulls have a 25.9 percent chance to win the series.

High Cheese vs Let’s Play 2

Let’s Play 2 upset High Cheese 7-4-1 in Week 5 as Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija each had a pair of quality starts. Quintana pitched 15 innings with a 1.20 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. High Cheese rebounded the next week, pounding Let’s Play 2, 10-1-1. Ian Desmond led the charge, driving in 10 runs while Jon Lester had two quality starts and Aroldis Chapman had three saves.

Pitching: Jon Lester has bee dominant for High Cheese in his last three starts, posting a 0.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and a 26/2 K/BB. Has Corey Kluber turned a corner for Let’s Play 2? Kluber is off to a slow start in 2016 but he has a pair of quality starts over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Kluber has also struck out 21 during that stretch while walking just three.

Hitting: Outfielder Mookie Betts has been on a tear for Let’s Play 2 over the past fortnight. He’s gone 16-for-52 with 12 RBI, 14 runs scored, while striking out just five times. Ian Desmond has been raking for High Cheese over his last 12 games, going 22-for-54 with a .974 OPS, He has three net stolen bases, nine runs scored and eight RBI during that stretch.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana predicts High Cheese will cruise to an easy victory over Let’s Play 2 and GM Louie Bottaro. High Cheese opens the week with a 77 percent chance of victory while Let’s Play 2 has just a 9.9 percent chance to win the series.

JetSetters vs Los Coches Bomba

Los Coches Bomba has dominated this series, defeating the JetSetters in Week 5, 7-4, and again in Week 6, 8-4. Second baseman Robinson Cano was a beast in the first series, driving in nine runs, scoring eight times, and leading Bomba with a 1.516 OPS. In the second series, Noah Syndegaard tossed eight innings in a quality start while Fernando Rodney and Jeremy Jeffress each had a pair of saves.

Pitching: Jose Fernandez has found his groove for the JetSetters. He’s the top-rated player in the league over the last two weeks, pitching striking out 32 batters over 21 innings in his last three starts. During that period, Fernandez has posted a 0.43 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Scott Kazmir has emerged as Bomba’s ace over the past two weeks, posting a pair of quality starts. Kazmir has a 2.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in his last three starts.

Hitting: Mike Napoli is 14-for-47 with 16 RBI and 14 runs scored over his last 13 games for the JetSetters. He’s sporting a 1.190 OPS during that span. Robinson Cano might be the MVP for Los Coches Bomba this season. Over his last 13 games, Cano is 15-for-51 with 14 runs scored, nine RBI and a .976 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: If the JetSetters are going to continue their winning streak they’ll have to upset Los Coches Bomba, a heavy favorite. GM Jenni Kirk’s team has a 72.4 percent chance of winning, according to Ziguana, while the JetSetters have just a 14.9 percent chance of pulling the upset.

Buster Hugs for Land Shark

This is the rubber match in this rivalry. Land Shark defeated Buster Hugs 7-4-1 in Week 5 as shortstop Francisco Lindor scored seven runs, stole a base, and led the team with a 1.089 OPS. Buster Hugs returned the favor in Week 6, winning the rematch 8-4. Travis Shaw drove in nine runs and scored nine more while Jeanmar Gomaz had three saves.

Pitching: Journeyman hurler John Lackey has three straight quality starts for Land Shark. He’s pitched 20.2 innings with a 1.74 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 24/7 K/BB ratio. Buster Hugs can always count on Madison Bumgarner for a quality start. Bumgarner has a pair over the last two weeks with a 0.66 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He’s struck out 17 batters while walking four in those starts.

Hitting: First baseman Logan Morrison is raking for Buster Hugs. In his last 14 games, Morrison is 22-for-53 with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a 1.211 OPS during that stretch and two net stolen bases. Infielder Eduardo Nunez has been the hottest hitter for Land Shark over the past two weeks. He’s 22-for-60 with 11 runs scored, three net stolen bases, and a 0.977 OPS.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed GM Meredith James and Land Shark as a very slight favorite in this series. They have a 44.1 percent chance to win while Buster Hugs has a 38.7 chance at victory.

Stadium Mustard vs Eephus Monkeys

Stadium Mustard defeated the Monkeys 7-4-1 in Week 5 while the Monkeys returned the favor in Week 6 by the identical score. Brandon Phillips keyed the victory for Stadium Mustard, driving in nine runs, scoring six more, and leading the team with a 1.203 OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts led the Monkeys to victory a week later, scoring nine runs, driving in eight, and leading the team with a 1.178 OPS.

Pitching: Michael Fulmer might be a savior for Stadium Mustard’s beleaguered pitching staff. He’s pitched 15.1 scoreless innings in his last two starts, striking out 11 batters while walking just three. Jacob DeGrom is the top-rated player for Eephus Monkeys the last two weeks. DeGrom has a pair of quality starts with a 1.29 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He also has a 10.9 K/9 ratio.

Hitting: Third baseman Kyle Seager is 20-for-51 with 13 RBI and 13 runs scored over his past 13 games for Stadium Mustard. During this stretch he’s posted a .995 OPS while striking out just eight times. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is still swinging a hot bat for the Monkeys. He’s 18-for-56 with an .877 OPS and 13 runs scored in his last 13 games.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: GM Jordan Mazur and the Eephus Monkey enter this series as a slight favorite according to Ziguana. They have a 45.9 percent chance to win while Stadium Mustard has a 37.4 percent chance of victory.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs. Marin Menehunes

The Mirrors have dominated this series in 2016, defeating the Menehunes 8-4 in Week 5 and 7-4 in Week 6. In the first victory, Nathan Eovaldi tossed eight solid innings to earn a quality start while Manny Machado drove in six runs and led the Mirrors with a 1.226 OPS. The next week, Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in an unbelievable 15 runs and Rubby De La Rosa had a pair of quality starts.

Pitching: Justin Verlander is pitching like he’s five years younger. In his last two starts for the Mirrors, he’s struck out 25 while walking just three batters and posted a 2.42 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Francisco Rodriguez has five saves in his last six appearances for the Menehunes. He’s struck out seven batters while walking and has posted a 3.18 ERA and 0.88 WHIP during that time.

Hitting: Everyone who thought infielder Daniel Murphy would regress in 2016 made a big mistake. Murphy has been hot all season for the Menehunes and has gone 18-for-48 with a 1.088 OPS over his last 12 games. Mark Trumbo has supplied the power for the Mirrors this season and has driven in 12 runs over his last 13 games. He has a 1.005 OPS in his last 57 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: This is expected to be a close series. The Mirrors are a slight favorite, with GM Sean McKenna’s team given a 49.9 percent chance of victory while the Menehunes have a 34.6 chance to win.

Lower Haighters vs Warning Track Power

These teams have traded haymakers in their first two meetings this season. In the first meeting, Ben Zobrist drove in 15 runs and led the Lower Haighters with a 1.335 OPS. That sparked the team to a 9-3 win. Warning Track Power rebounded with a 10-2 victory the next week as Zach Britton and Jake McGee combined to pitch seven scoreless relief innings and earn seven saves.

Pitching: Kyle Hendricks has a pair of quality starts for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks, allowing just one run over 17 innings. He’s struck out 13 batters while walking one. Reliever Will Harris has quietly put together and All-Star season for the Lower Haighters. In his last seven appearances, Harris hasn’t given up a run, striking out nine batters while earning five net saves/holds.

Hitting: Catcher Wilson Ramos has been the most productive hitter for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks. He’s gone 15-for-42 with 11 RBI and a 1.090 OPS in his last 13 games. First baseman Eric Hosmer is 18-for-51 with 14 RBI in his last 13 games for the Lower Haighters. Hosmer has a .938 OPS in his last 55 plate appearances.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Warning Track Power enters this rivalry season as a heavy favorite. Ziguana projects GM Mark Peterson’s team has a 54.4 chance to beat the league’s top team while the Lower Haighters have just a 28.3 percent chance of victory.

Ziguana Week 6 Projections

Ziguana has introduced a new feature called “Matchup Breakdown” where the site projects the final score of each series in our league. These projections are updated on a daily basis.

Below are series previews with Monday’s Ziguana projections for each series. I’ll send out an update on the projections later this week as the stats begin rolling in.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs Hapamon

Bacon at Mile 11 is now the league’s only undefeated team after beating Hapamon 7-4-1 last week. They have the league’s best record at 41-16-3. Despite the loss, Hapamon is hovering around .500 at 24-28-8 and 10th in the league standings.

Clayton KershawPitching: Bacon has gone 19-9-2 on the mound, losing the ERA, WHIP and K/9 categories just once this season. Danny Salazar, Aaron Nola, and Vincent Velasquez lead the starting staff with a combined 13 quality starts. All three have WHIPs under 1.00 this season. Despite the presence of Clayton Kershaw, the league’s second-rated player, Hapamon is just 12-13-5 on the mound. They’ve lost the K/9 category in four of the first five weeks. Closer Steve Cishek has been a pleasant surprise and is the team’s second-rated player behind Kershaw.

Hitting: Bacon is 22-7-1 at the plate and they haven’t lost the RBI category yet this season. Bacon has lost the Runs, OPS, and Strikeouts categories just once. Third baseman Nolan Arenado is the leagues third-rated player, first baseman Anthony Rizzo is fifth and the surprising Aledmys Diaz has a 1.113 OPS through his first 29 games. Hapamon would appear overmatched, going 12-15-3 at the plate this season. The team hasn’t won the Plate Appearances category and has won the Runs category just once. Outfielders Christian Yelich and Gerardo Parra are the team’s highest-rated hitters.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Bacon at Mile 11 has an 86.8 percent chance of winning this series compared to a 6.5 percent chance for Hapamon. There is a 6.7 percent chance of a tie. The predicted final score is a 8-4 victory for Bacon at Mile 11.

Home Run 101 vs The Bulls

Home Run 101 earned its first series victory over the season with a 7-5 win over the Bulls last week. They’ve dug an early hole with an 18-40-2 record, but there is plenty of time to make a run. The Bulls are the only team in the league without a series win. After tying their first two series, they’ve lost three straight and are 23-33-4 and 13th in the league standings.


Pitching
: Through the first three weeks of the season, Home Run 101’s pitching staff earned just one pitching category victory. It was a little better in Week 4, when they won ERA, WHIP, and K/9, but they are now 5-25-0 and haven’t had a category win in Innings Pitched or Quality Starts. Johnny Cueto is the team’s lone starter ranked in the league’s Top 150 players. The Bulls are 13-16-1 on the mound. The claimed five of the six pitching categories against Home Run 101 when they met last week. Stephen Strasburg, Drew Smyly and Kenta Maeda are the strength of the rotation.

Hitting: Home Run 101 swept the Bulls at the plate last week, their best performance since winning three categories against Bacon at Mile 11 to open the season. They are 13-15-2 at the plate. Jose Altuve is the league’s top-rated player and has 12 net stolen bases. Home Run 101 has lost the category just once this year. The Bulls are 10-17-3 at the plate and are still looking to win the Net Stolen Bases and Plate Appearances categories for the first time this season. Second baseman Rougned Odor is the team’s top-rated player, ranking 10th in the league.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Home Run 101 is a slight favorite in this series. Ziguana projects a 54.9 percent chance of victory for Bailey’s team. Carolyn Green and the Bulls have a 28 percent chance to win the series while there is a 17.1 percent chance these two teams tie. The predicted final score is a 6-6 tie.

High Cheese vs Let’s Play 2

High Cheese fell out of the ranks of the undefeated in Week 5 with a 7-4-1 series loss to Let’s Play 2. As a result, High Cheese fell to fourth in the overall standings with a 34-23-3 record. Let’s Play 2 has just one series loss over the past month and is gaining ground in the early-season race for the final eight. They are ninth overall with a 27-31-2 record.

Pitching: After sweeping the pitching categories against Home Run 101 and Warning Track Power in Weeks 2-3, High Cheese has built a 22-6-2 record on the mound. High Cheese hasn’t lost the Quality Starts category and has just one loss in Innings Pitched, ERA, WHIP, and Net Saves/Holds. Jon Lester is the team’s highest rated player, earning five quality starts in six attempts. Let’s Play 2 hasn’t won the Net Saves/Holds category this season and has just one win in Quality Starts. They are 8-21-1 overall. The team needs Andrew Cashner and Trevor Bauer to turn their seasons around.

Trevor StoryHitting: As good as High Cheese has been on the mound, they’ve struggled at the plate. Twice this season they’ve posted just one category victory at the plate in a series. They are 12-17-1 overall. Shortstop Trevor Story is the leading hitter for High Cheese, driving in 27 runs in his first 31 games. Let’s Play 2 is 19-10-1 at the plate, including a sweep against Stadium Mustard in Week 3. They have yet to lose the Net Stolen Bases category and have lost Runs and Plate Appearances just once. Outfielders Dexter Fowler and Mookie Betts are the top-rated players on the team.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana is predicting High Cheese has a 46.4 percent chance to win this series while Let’s Play 2 is the underdog at 34.5 percent. There is a 19.1 percent chance these teams tie. The predicted final score is a 6-6 tie.

JetSetters vs Los Coches Bomba

The JetSetters couldn’t sustain their Week 4 momentum after defeating the Bulls. They lost 7-4-1 to Los Coches Bomba in Week 5, their fourth series loss this season. The JetSetters are 21-34-5 and 14th in the overall standings. Bomba has alternated wins and losses each week and sit fifth in the overall standings at 32-24-4.

Pitching: The JetSetters won just one pitching category in Week 1 against High Cheese and last week against Los Coches Bomba. They are 11-14-5 overall and have just one win in the ERA category. Starter Steven Wright is the team’s top-rated pitcher. He’s 6-for-6 in quality starts in 2016. Los Coches Bomba has been a juggernaut on the mound, going 19-10-1 and that includes a Week 4 debacle against the Mirrors that saw Bomba fail to win a pitching category. Noah Syndergaard is the staff ace while David Robertson and Fernando Rodney are the top closers.

Hitting: The JettSetters are 10-20-0 at the plate and have yet to win the Strikeouts or OPS categories in 2016. They earned just one category win against Hapamon in Week 2 and Bacon at Mile 11 in Week 3. Outfielder Starling Marte is the team’s top-rated player, ranking 23rd in the league. Veteran second baseman Robinson Cano is the top-rated player for Los Coches Bomba, ranking sixth overall in the league. They started the season by winning just two hitting categories over the first two weeks but they are now 13-14-3.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Los Coches Bomba has a 56.3 percent chance to win this series while the JetSetters are the underdog at 28 percent. There is a 15.7 percent chance this series ends tied. The predicted final score is Los Coches Bomba 7-5.

Buster Hugs for Land Shark

With last week’s 7-4-1 victory over Buster Hugs, Land Shark has three straight quality wins and four victories in the first five weeks. They are 30-28-2 and quietly becoming a playoff-caliber team. Buster Hugs is going in the opposite direction. They’ve lost three of their last four series and are now 28-28-4 and eighth in the overall standings.

Pitching: Buster Hugs is 15-13-2 on the mound but have just one category win in Net Saves/Holds. It was the only pitching category they lost against the Eephus Monkeys in Week 1 and Home Run 101 in Week 3. Surprisingly, relievers Kenley Jansen and Hector Rondon are the team’s top-rated pitchers and both rank in the Top 50. Land Shark is 14-15-1 on the mound but have lost the WHIP category just once this season. The problem has been Innings Pitched, a category they’ve won only once. Despite making just three starts, Kevin Gausman is the team’s top-rated pitcher.

David OrtizHitting: Buster Hugs is 13-15-2 at the plate but have two series where they haven’t won a hitting category and two others where they’ve won five. It’s been all or nothing. Veteran slugger David Ortiz is the team’s top-rated player, ranking 10th overall. Land Shark won five of the six hitting categories last week against Buster Hugs and is 16-13-1 overall. They’ve lost the Net Stolen Bases category just once in 2016. Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre and young shortstop Francisco Lindor are the team’s top-rated players.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: Land Shark opens as the early favorite with a 49.6 percent chance of victory. Buster Hugs has a 31.7 percent chance to win the series. There is an 18.7 percent chance this series ends tied. The predicted final score is a 6-6 tie.

Stadium Mustard vs Eephus Monkeys

After losing three straight series to open the season, Stadium Mustard has won its last two, including last week’s 7-4-1 victory over the Monkeys. Stadium Mustard is 25-32-3 and 12th on the league ladder. The Monkeys remain mired in the league cellar with a 15-41-4 record and have yet to earn a series victory.

Pitching: Stadium Mustard lost just one pitching category to the Monkeys last week and are 7-4-1 over the past two weeks. Relievers Wade Davis and A.J. Ramos are the team’s top-rated players and have helped Stadium Mustard to a 13-15-2 record on the mound. The Monkeys have just two pitching category victories over the past three weeks. They are 6-20-4 overall and still looking for their first category victory in Innings Pitched and K/9. Marco Estrada and Carlos Martinez are the only pitchers on the team ranked in the league’s Top 100.

Hitting: Stadium Mustard has struggled to find consistency at the plate. They won just one hitting category over a two week period in Weeks 2-3. They are now 12-17-1 overall. Third baseman Kyle Seager is the team’s top-rated hitter but he ranks 109th overall. The Monkeys are 9-21-0 at the plate and won just a single hitting category in each of their first three weeks. They are looking for their first category wins this season in Strikeouts and OPS. Young shortstop Xander Bogaerts is the team’s top-rated player, ranking 12th in the league.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Eephus Monkeys open as a huge favorite in this series. They have a 78.6 percent chance of winning according to Ziguana. Stadium Mustard has an 11 percent chance of victory while there is a 10.4 percent chance the series ends in a tie. The predicted final score is 8-4 Eephus Monkeys.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs. Marin Menehunes

The Mirrors have won three of their past four series to improve to 31-27-2. They are sixth on the league ladder. The team’s 8-4 series win over the Menehunes last week was the highlight of the early season for the Mirrors. It was the first series loss this season for the Menehunes and dropped them to 37-20-3. They are now third in the standings.

Pitching: The Mirrors are 19-10-1 on the mound and have lost just one pitching category combined in their last two series. They haven’t lost the K/9 category this season and have lost Innings Pitched just once. Veteran Rich Hill is the team’s top-rated pitcher, ranking 54th overall. Despite winning just one pitching category last week, the Menehunes are 17-11-2 on the mound this season. They didn’t lose a pitching category against Land Shark in Week 2 and Buster Hugs in Week 4. Rick Porcello and Jordan Zimmermann have emerged as the team’s leaders on the mound.

Hitting: Despite having two of the league’s top-rated hitters in Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Mirrors are just 12-17-1 at the plate. They’ve won the Runs and Net Stolen Bases categories just once and earned just one hitting category victory against both the Land Sharks in Week 3 and Los Coches Bomba in Week 4. The Menehunes are 20-9-1 at the plate and lost just three hitting categories over the first three weeks of the season. Veteran middle infielders Daniel Murphy and Ian Kinsler are the team’s top-rated players followed by Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: The Mirrors open as a slight favorite with a 51.6 percent chance for victory. The Menehunes are the underdog at 32.8 percent. There is a 15.6 percent chance this series ends tied. The predicted final score is a 6-6 tie.

Lower Haighters vs Warning Track Power

The Lower Haighters are 40-17-3 and ranked second overall. They’ve lost just one series this season. Warning Track Power has lost four of its first five series and are 28-32-0.

Pitching: The Lower Haighters are 19-10-1 on the mound including a sweep of the pitching categories against the Eephus Monkeys in Week 3. They haven’t lost the Net Saves/Holds category this season. Jake Arrieta is the team’s top-rated player and he ranks sixth overall. Warning Track Power is 13-17-0 on the mound but have won just four pitching categories over the last three weeks. They’ve lost Innings Pitched just once but they’ve won ERA and WHIP just once. Chris Sale ranks fifth overall in the league and is WTP’s top-rated player.

Hitting: After winning five of the six hitting categories last week against Warning Track Power, the Lower Haighters are now 21-7-2 at the plate. They haven’t lost the Strikeout or Runs categories this season. Veteran outfielder Ryan Braun is the team’s offensive leader, ranked 16th overall. Warning Track Power is 15-15-0 and have two series where they won just one offensive category and two where they’ve won five of six. Third basemen Josh Donaldson and Nick Castellanos are WTP’s top-rated hitters.

Ziguana Projected Outcome: This series is a dead heat. The Lower Haighters open a very slight favorite with a 44.8 percent chance of victory while Warning Track Power is 37.3 percent. There is a 17.9 percent chance this series ends tied.

Analyzing the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball Draft

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When you analyze the history of the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League you can see a clear relationship between a successful draft and a successful season. Of course, it only makes sense, teams that draft the best players should win.

The excellent fantasy baseball site, Baseball Monster, helps us measure the value of each MLB player by creating z-scores based on the specific statistics we use in the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League. This year, Baseball Monster gave us the opportunity to upload statistical projections and create z-scores based on those.

I uploaded the 2016 MLB player statistical projections from Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster. Using those projections, Baseball Monster created z-scores for each player. Below, you’ll see the average z-score for players drafted by teams in our league based on Shandler’s projections.

Remember,  a player with a z-score of zero is league average. A z-score of 1.00 is excellent and a score above 2.00 is elite. Clayton Kershaw has a z-score of 2.9897 and is the highest rated player in our league. Catcher Jeff Mathis has the lowest z-score at -2.5068. It’s also important to remember that these scores were calculated using ONE SET of statistical projections based on our league scoring criteria. Shandler will have his share of misses.

Average Player Z-Scores

Lower Haighters +0.1875
Warning Track Power +0.0234
Marin Menehunes -0.0262
Bacon at Mile 11 -0.0266
The Bulls -0.0720
Eephus Monkeys -0.0823
Buster Hugs -0.0890
Stadium Mustard -0.1228
High Cheese -0.1257
Los Coches Bomba -0.1266
A-Rod’s Mirrors -0.1281
JetSetters -0.1393
Home Run 101 -0.1505
Hapamon -0.1506
Land Shark -0.2208
Let’s Play 2 -0.2389

When I created my draft list, I used Shandler’s projections and two sets of FanGraphs projections to develop an average z-score for each player. Because Shandler’s projections were integral to my draft list, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Lower Haighters emerged from the draft with the highest average player z-score. Now, if Shandler and FanGraphs are accurate with their player projections, the Lower Haighters should be a very competitive team. If not….

Based on Shandler’s projections, the Lower Haighters have a league-best 16 players with positive z-scores. Warning Track Power has 13 players with positive z-scores and the Marin Menehunes have 11. On the other end of the spectrum, Let’s Play 2 has just six players with positive z-scores.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Below, you’ll find the average z-scores for the starting pitchers drafted by each team based on Shandler’s 2016 statistical projections.

Average Starting Pitcher  Z-Scores

Lower Haighters +0.5075
The Bulls +0.2084
Warning Track Power +0.0717
Marin Menehunes -0.0301
Eephus Monkeys -0.1218
Stadium Mustard -0.1228
High Cheese -0.1257
Los Coches Bomba -0.1266
Bacon at Mile 11 -0.1275
A-Rod’s Mirrors -0.1281
JetSetters -0.1393
Hapamon -0.1959
Let’s Play 2 -0.1969
Buster Hugs -0.2237
Land Shark -0.3345
Home Run 101 -0.4242

Starting pitcher notes: While Kershaw is highly rated, Hapamon’s starting pitcher z-score took a hit because Matt Cain has a -1.1447, the second lowest for any player on the team. As a keeper, Hapamon has a big investment in Cain…Starting pitching will be the issue for Home Run 101. Chris Young (-1.0828), Joe Kelly (-1.0717) and Jake Peavy (-0.8981) are the lowest rated players on the team. Two of the three will likely be in the starting lineup on opening day…Stephen Strasburg (+1.0975) is the highest-rated player for the Bulls while Zack Greinke (+0.6938) is third highest…The High Cheese starting staff is led by Jon Lester (+0.5841) but Cole Hamels, Steven Matz and Marcus Stroman all have positive z-scores…Noah Syndergaard is the only starting pitcher for Bomba with a positive Z-rating.

Average Relief Pitcher Z-Scores

Buster Hugs +0.3777
Stadium Mustard +0.2076
High Cheese +0.1075
Bacon at Mile 11 +0.0640
Warning Track Power +0.0595
Hapamon +0.0486
Lower Haighters +0.0039
The Bulls -0.0039
Land Shark -0.0048
JetSetters -0.0548
Marin Menehunes -0.1167
Los Coches Bomba -0.1904
A-Rod’s Mirrors -0.1932
Let’s Play 2 -0.2065
Eephus Monkeys -0.2562
Home Run 101 -0.2831

Relief Pitcher Notes: The pool of relief pitchers with a positive z-score is high and that’s reflected in our team z-scores. Seven teams have bullpens that average positive scores. It’s much tougher to find hitters and starting pitchers. Only three teams have hitters and starting pitchers with average positive z-scores…Kenley Jansen (+0.9175) is the leader for Buster Hugs but the team has just three relievers on the roster. All three are very good…Stadium Mustard has 10 players with positive z-scores to start the season and three are relievers, Wade Davis (+0.8210), AJ Ramos (+0.2812) and Brett Cecil (+0.1944)…Ken Giles (+0.6150) and Shawn Tolleson (+0.1412) are the only relievers with positive scores for Home Run 101 but the team’s overall reliever rating takes a hit because Chris Young (-1.0828) and Erasmo Ramirez (-0.7207) are both eligible as relievers…The Eephus Monkeys have the same issue with Doug Fister (-0.8311) and Marco Estrada (-0.4371).

Average Hitter Z-Scores

Lower Haighters +0.1682
A-Rod’s Mirrors +0.0527
Bacon at Mile 11 +0.0098
Home Run 101 -0.0154
Marin Menehunes -0.0318
Eephus Monkeys -0.0523
Los Coches Bomba -0.0556
Stadium Mustard -0.0712
Buster Hugs -0.1024
Warning Track Power -0.1651
Hapamon -0.1664
The Bulls -0.2384
JetSetters -0.2610
Land Shark -0.2680
Let’s Play 2 -0.2818
High Cheese -0.3722

Hitter notes: Mookie Betts (+1.2972) and Paul Goldschmidt (+1.2750) are Shandler’s two highest-rated hitters…The lowest-rated hitter on a roster is catcher Chris Gimenez (-2.0669) for the Bulls. Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy are the only catchers with positive z-scores. As a fantasy owner, your primary goal is to minimize the damage on a weekly basis from your two catchers…Only nine shortstops have a positive z-score led by Manny Machado (+0.8195)…The Mirrors have eight players with a positive z-score and six of the eight are hitters. Bryce Harper (+1.1252) is the highest-rated player for the defending champs…The Lower Haighters are led by young shortstop Carlos Correa (+0.7632), Ryan Braun (+0.6458), and Giancarlo Stanton (+0.5979)….High Cheese might be second-guessing last year’s trade of Machado to the Mirrors for pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. Cheese has just four hitters with positive z-scores on the roster.