Jose Fernandez has been the most dominant player in fantasy baseball over the past three weeks and the JetSetters have reaped the benefits. GM David Kahn’s team has won its past three series and climbed back into the playoff race. They are now just 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs for the final playoff spot.
Here’s a look at this week’s series complete with Ziguana predictions.
Bacon at Mile 11 vs Hapamon
Bacon defeated Hapamon 7-4 in Week 5 as Anthony Rizzo scored 10 runs and finished with a team-high 1.328 OPS. The pitching staff finished with a 3.23 ERA as Chris Archer, Danny Salazar and Adam Conley combined to pitch 19 shutout innings. A week later, the teams tied 6-6 as Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game shutout and Charlie Blackmon and Matt Carpenter combined to drive in 14 runs.
Pitching: Clayton Kershaw just keeps rolling for Hapamon. Kershaw has three consecutive quality starts with a 0.79 ERA, 0.49 WHIP, and a 21/2 K/BB ratio. Jonathan Gray has three quality starts for Bacon over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He’s struck out 22 batters over 20.1 innings.
Hitting: Outfielder Charlie Blackmon has 13 RBI in his last 14 games for Hapamon. Blackmon has gone 18-for-57 with a 1.008 OPS during that stretch. Outfielder Gregory Polanco is 15-for-44 with a 1.034 OPS over his last 12 games for Bacon. Polanco has scored 12 runs while driving in 15 over that time.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed Bacon at Mile 11 as the week’s biggest favorite. GM Eric Brown’s team has an 81.9 percent chance to beat Hapamon. GM Robert Kirkbride’s team has just a 9.5 percent chance to pull the upset.
Home Run 101 vs The Bulls
Home Run 101 defeated the Bulls 7-5 in Week 5 and a week later held on for a 6-5 victory. In the first series, shortstop Brandon Crawford drove in a team-high nine runs for Home Run 101. A week later Jose Altuve scored seven runs for Home Run 101 and led the team with a .986 OPS.
Pitching: Johnny Cueto has been the ace of Home Run 101’s pitching staff. In his last three starts, Cueto has pitched 21 innings with a 0.43 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Jake Odorizzi has a pair of quality starts in his last three starts for Home Run 101. He has a 2.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in those games while striking out 19 batters.
Hitting: Milwaukee shortstop Jonathan Villar has been the top-rated hitter in the league over the last two weeks. Villar has gone 17-for-45 with 12 RBI, 12 runs scored, five net stolen bases, and a 1.153 OPS for the Bulls. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is 18-for43 with 11 RBI in his last 12 games for Home Run 101. He has a 1.184 OPS during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Home Run 101 opens the week favored to defeat the Bulls. GM Bailey Penzotti’s team has a 59 percent chance of victory, according to Ziguana, while the Bulls have a 25.9 percent chance to win the series.
High Cheese vs Let’s Play 2
Let’s Play 2 upset High Cheese 7-4-1 in Week 5 as Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija each had a pair of quality starts. Quintana pitched 15 innings with a 1.20 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. High Cheese rebounded the next week, pounding Let’s Play 2, 10-1-1. Ian Desmond led the charge, driving in 10 runs while Jon Lester had two quality starts and Aroldis Chapman had three saves.
Pitching: Jon Lester has bee dominant for High Cheese in his last three starts, posting a 0.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and a 26/2 K/BB. Has Corey Kluber turned a corner for Let’s Play 2? Kluber is off to a slow start in 2016 but he has a pair of quality starts over the past two weeks, posting a 3.10 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Kluber has also struck out 21 during that stretch while walking just three.
Hitting: Outfielder Mookie Betts has been on a tear for Let’s Play 2 over the past fortnight. He’s gone 16-for-52 with 12 RBI, 14 runs scored, while striking out just five times. Ian Desmond has been raking for High Cheese over his last 12 games, going 22-for-54 with a .974 OPS, He has three net stolen bases, nine runs scored and eight RBI during that stretch.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana predicts High Cheese will cruise to an easy victory over Let’s Play 2 and GM Louie Bottaro. High Cheese opens the week with a 77 percent chance of victory while Let’s Play 2 has just a 9.9 percent chance to win the series.
JetSetters vs Los Coches Bomba
Los Coches Bomba has dominated this series, defeating the JetSetters in Week 5, 7-4, and again in Week 6, 8-4. Second baseman Robinson Cano was a beast in the first series, driving in nine runs, scoring eight times, and leading Bomba with a 1.516 OPS. In the second series, Noah Syndegaard tossed eight innings in a quality start while Fernando Rodney and Jeremy Jeffress each had a pair of saves.
Pitching: Jose Fernandez has found his groove for the JetSetters. He’s the top-rated player in the league over the last two weeks, pitching striking out 32 batters over 21 innings in his last three starts. During that period, Fernandez has posted a 0.43 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Scott Kazmir has emerged as Bomba’s ace over the past two weeks, posting a pair of quality starts. Kazmir has a 2.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in his last three starts.
Hitting: Mike Napoli is 14-for-47 with 16 RBI and 14 runs scored over his last 13 games for the JetSetters. He’s sporting a 1.190 OPS during that span. Robinson Cano might be the MVP for Los Coches Bomba this season. Over his last 13 games, Cano is 15-for-51 with 14 runs scored, nine RBI and a .976 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: If the JetSetters are going to continue their winning streak they’ll have to upset Los Coches Bomba, a heavy favorite. GM Jenni Kirk’s team has a 72.4 percent chance of winning, according to Ziguana, while the JetSetters have just a 14.9 percent chance of pulling the upset.
Buster Hugs for Land Shark
This is the rubber match in this rivalry. Land Shark defeated Buster Hugs 7-4-1 in Week 5 as shortstop Francisco Lindor scored seven runs, stole a base, and led the team with a 1.089 OPS. Buster Hugs returned the favor in Week 6, winning the rematch 8-4. Travis Shaw drove in nine runs and scored nine more while Jeanmar Gomaz had three saves.
Pitching: Journeyman hurler John Lackey has three straight quality starts for Land Shark. He’s pitched 20.2 innings with a 1.74 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 24/7 K/BB ratio. Buster Hugs can always count on Madison Bumgarner for a quality start. Bumgarner has a pair over the last two weeks with a 0.66 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He’s struck out 17 batters while walking four in those starts.
Hitting: First baseman Logan Morrison is raking for Buster Hugs. In his last 14 games, Morrison is 22-for-53 with 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a 1.211 OPS during that stretch and two net stolen bases. Infielder Eduardo Nunez has been the hottest hitter for Land Shark over the past two weeks. He’s 22-for-60 with 11 runs scored, three net stolen bases, and a 0.977 OPS.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Ziguana has installed GM Meredith James and Land Shark as a very slight favorite in this series. They have a 44.1 percent chance to win while Buster Hugs has a 38.7 chance at victory.
Stadium Mustard vs Eephus Monkeys
Stadium Mustard defeated the Monkeys 7-4-1 in Week 5 while the Monkeys returned the favor in Week 6 by the identical score. Brandon Phillips keyed the victory for Stadium Mustard, driving in nine runs, scoring six more, and leading the team with a 1.203 OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts led the Monkeys to victory a week later, scoring nine runs, driving in eight, and leading the team with a 1.178 OPS.
Pitching: Michael Fulmer might be a savior for Stadium Mustard’s beleaguered pitching staff. He’s pitched 15.1 scoreless innings in his last two starts, striking out 11 batters while walking just three. Jacob DeGrom is the top-rated player for Eephus Monkeys the last two weeks. DeGrom has a pair of quality starts with a 1.29 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He also has a 10.9 K/9 ratio.
Hitting: Third baseman Kyle Seager is 20-for-51 with 13 RBI and 13 runs scored over his past 13 games for Stadium Mustard. During this stretch he’s posted a .995 OPS while striking out just eight times. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is still swinging a hot bat for the Monkeys. He’s 18-for-56 with an .877 OPS and 13 runs scored in his last 13 games.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: GM Jordan Mazur and the Eephus Monkey enter this series as a slight favorite according to Ziguana. They have a 45.9 percent chance to win while Stadium Mustard has a 37.4 percent chance of victory.
A-Rod’s Mirrors vs. Marin Menehunes
The Mirrors have dominated this series in 2016, defeating the Menehunes 8-4 in Week 5 and 7-4 in Week 6. In the first victory, Nathan Eovaldi tossed eight solid innings to earn a quality start while Manny Machado drove in six runs and led the Mirrors with a 1.226 OPS. The next week, Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in an unbelievable 15 runs and Rubby De La Rosa had a pair of quality starts.
Pitching: Justin Verlander is pitching like he’s five years younger. In his last two starts for the Mirrors, he’s struck out 25 while walking just three batters and posted a 2.42 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. Francisco Rodriguez has five saves in his last six appearances for the Menehunes. He’s struck out seven batters while walking and has posted a 3.18 ERA and 0.88 WHIP during that time.
Hitting: Everyone who thought infielder Daniel Murphy would regress in 2016 made a big mistake. Murphy has been hot all season for the Menehunes and has gone 18-for-48 with a 1.088 OPS over his last 12 games. Mark Trumbo has supplied the power for the Mirrors this season and has driven in 12 runs over his last 13 games. He has a 1.005 OPS in his last 57 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: This is expected to be a close series. The Mirrors are a slight favorite, with GM Sean McKenna’s team given a 49.9 percent chance of victory while the Menehunes have a 34.6 chance to win.
Lower Haighters vs Warning Track Power
These teams have traded haymakers in their first two meetings this season. In the first meeting, Ben Zobrist drove in 15 runs and led the Lower Haighters with a 1.335 OPS. That sparked the team to a 9-3 win. Warning Track Power rebounded with a 10-2 victory the next week as Zach Britton and Jake McGee combined to pitch seven scoreless relief innings and earn seven saves.
Pitching: Kyle Hendricks has a pair of quality starts for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks, allowing just one run over 17 innings. He’s struck out 13 batters while walking one. Reliever Will Harris has quietly put together and All-Star season for the Lower Haighters. In his last seven appearances, Harris hasn’t given up a run, striking out nine batters while earning five net saves/holds.
Hitting: Catcher Wilson Ramos has been the most productive hitter for Warning Track Power over the past two weeks. He’s gone 15-for-42 with 11 RBI and a 1.090 OPS in his last 13 games. First baseman Eric Hosmer is 18-for-51 with 14 RBI in his last 13 games for the Lower Haighters. Hosmer has a .938 OPS in his last 55 plate appearances.
Ziguana Projected Outcome: Warning Track Power enters this rivalry season as a heavy favorite. Ziguana projects GM Mark Peterson’s team has a 54.4 chance to beat the league’s top team while the Lower Haighters have just a 28.3 percent chance of victory.
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.
Pitching: 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.
Hitting: 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.
Hitting: 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.
Week 4 was crazy. It saw Bacon at Mile 11 and the Marin Menehunes emerge as the only teams still undefeated in the league. You’ll find the details below.
Bacon at Mile 11
Bacon has the league’s best record at 34-12-2 thanks to a hot-hitting offense. They lead the league in Runs with 44, OPS with .842 and they are second with 138 RBI. Last week, third baseman Nolan Arenado, went 10-for-22 with a 1.524 OPS and eight RBI. Bacon won five of the six hitting categories in their 10-2 rout of Let’s Play 2. This is a balanced team. They are third in the league in both ERA and WHIP. Chris Archer and Vincent Velasquez both earned a pair of quality starts last week while Aaron Nola struck out seven over seven scoreless innings in his only start.
Home Run 101
Home Run 101 is now last in the league with an 11-35-2 record following last week’s disappointing 7-4-1 series loss to Stadium Mustard. It starts with pitching. The team is last in the league with just nine quality starts this season. They are last with a 4.70 ERA and they rank 15th in the league with a 1.35 WHIP. Jake Peavy lasted just two innings in last week’s start, giving up six earned runs. And the starters shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame. The bullpen is ranked 14th in Net Saves/Holds with just 15 this season but they look like they might have turned the corner last week with five Net Saves/Holds and
This team is plucky. They scratched out a 6-4-2 series victory over the Eephus Monkeys last week and improved to 20-21-7. If they continue to hang around .500 they’ll be in the playoff mix. To do that, they’ll need to find some hitters. Hapamon is last in the league with 97 RBI and they are second to last in plate appearances with 915. First baseman Brandon Belt provided some power last week, going 5-for-15 with a 1.160 OPS and seven RBI. Clayton Kershaw was brilliant, striking out 24 batters over 16 innings in two starts. Hapamon GM Robert Kirkbride may need to find a replacement for starter Matt Cain. He gave up another six runs in his lone Week 4 start.
It was a tough luck 6-5-1 series loss to the JetSetters last week as the difference between the two teams was mere percentage points in the ERA category. Zack Greinke gave up nine runs over 13.2 innings and cost the team dearly. The Bulls are now 18-26-4 and are desperately looking for some hitters to step up. They are tied for last with 102 runs scored, they are the only team without a net stolen base for the season, and they are last in the league with just 836 plate appearances. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez failed to drive in a run last week in 25 plate appearances.
The strength of this team is its pitching staff. They lead the league in ERA (2.57) and WHIP (1.06). They defeated the Lower Haighters last week, 6-5-1, winning the WHIP category by mere percentage points, and improved to 30-16-2. High Cheese is also tied for second in the league with 21 quality starts. Tanner Roark and Nate Karns both threw seven inning shutouts last week while Marcus Stroman had a pair of quality starts with a 3.07 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. The High Cheese offense has yet to get untracked. They lead the league in strikeouts with 246 and they have just 954 plate appearances, 14th overall. Third baseman David Wright was 4-for-17 last week with six strikeouts and just two RBI.
Strong performances from starting pitchers Juan Nicasio and Matt Moore and reliever Hector Neris helped the JetSetters edge the Bulls 6-5-1 to snap a three-week losing streak and deliver the season’s first series win. The team is now 17-27-4 but remains last in the South Division. The bullpen has been the strength of the team. They lead the league with 28 Net Saves/Holds. Neris earned three in four appearances in Week 4. The problem is the starting pitching and hitting. The JetSetters have just 103 runs (14th in the league) and the team OPS is .691 (15th). When they do get on base, they are a threat, leading the league with 12 net stolen bases. The starters have contributed to the team’s bloated 4.68 ERA (15th overall) and they have just 13 quality starts (tied for 15th).
Los Coches Bomba
It’s been a bizarre year for Bomba. Traditionally, this is a team that hits well and pitches poorly. But so far, they are second in the league with 256.2 innings pitched and they lead the league with 23 quality starts. At the plate, they have a league-worst .711 OPS. Ironically, they failed to win a pitching category in last week’s 7-4-1 series loss to the Mirrors as Noah Syndergaard gave up seven runs over two starts while Hisashi Iwakuma and Hector Santiago both had meltdowns. Ironically, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, and Andrew McCutchen had their best weeks of the season, combining to drive in 21 runs. Bomba is now 25-20-3 and certainly looks like a playoff team, even if they don’t look anything like their past.
Let’s Play 2
The bats, which have been so consistent for Let’s Play 2 this season, fell silent last week. They lost five of the six hitting categories in their series with Bacon at Mile 11 and were routed, 10-2. It dropped Let’s Play 2 to 20-27-1. Russell Martin went 1-for-11, Yasiel Puig 2-for-24 and Colby Rasmus 3-for-21. This was the worst offensive output of the season for a team that is second in the league with 138 runs scored and leads the league with 139 RBI. They are also third with a .792 OPS and tied for second with 11 net stolen bases. The issue has been the backend of the bullpen. They had one net save/hold last week which was just the team’s fifth this year. Let’s Play 2 is dead last in that category.
A starting pitching staff that has struggled this season rose to the occasion last week and delivered a 7-5 series victory over Warning Track Power. Felix Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson combined to throw 14.2 scoreless innings and each earned a quality start. The team earned five quality starts against Warning Track Power. It’s amazing when you consider Land Shark has just 13 on the season. They are also last in the league with a 1.37 WHIP. At the plate, Logan Forsythe went 9-for-20 with a 1.310 OPS but, more importantly, he stole a base that helped Land Shark steal the series. The team is now 23-24-1 and continues to hang around that eighth and final playoff spot.
Edwin Encarnacion and Nick Markakis combined to drive in 11 of the team’s 25 RBI while A.J. Ramos had four net saves/holds as Stadium Mustard snapped their three-week losing streak with a 7-4-1 series victory over Home Run 101 last week. The victory came as the team finally generated some runs. Stadium Mustard is tied for last in the league with 102 runs scored and they are 14th in runs driven in with 98. The offense has generated a league-worst .686 OPS. But Joe Panik, Billy Burns, Kyle Seager and Francisco Cervelli all scored three or more runs in Week 4 and led Stadium Mustard to four category wins on offense. With the win, Stadium Mustard improves to 18-28-2.
Matt Shoemaker’s start in Week 4 sums up the problems the Monkeys are having on the mound this season. Shoemaker gave up nine hits and seven runs over 2.1 innings to finish with a 27.00 ERA and 3.86 WHIP. He was promptly demoted to the minors by the Angels. No team has thrown fewer innings in the league than the Monkeys’ 192.0. They have a 4.36 ERA (14th overall) and a 1.33 WHIP (14th overall). They are last in the league with a 6.98 K/9. The Monkeys actually won the quality start category but it was the only pitching category they won in a 6-4-2 series loss to Hapamon. They are 11-34-3 on the season despite having a competitive offense. They are tied for third with 122 runs scored, are third in plate appearances with 1,031, and are tied for second in net stolen bases with 11.
Buster Hugs ran into a buzzsaw in Week 4. They failed to win a pitching category in their 8-3-1 series loss to the Marin Menehunes despite posting the following numbers: 61.2 innings pitched, 3.06 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.44 K/9, 5 quality starts and seven net saves/holds. Buster Hugs is a team that pitches well. They are tied for second in the league with 21 quality starts. Madison Bumgarner and Wei-Yin Chin each had two last week. Veteran slugger David Ortiz continues to deliver the offense. He went 8-for-21 last week with a 1.244 OPS and five RBI. The team leads the league with 1,046 plate appearances but is also 15th with a whopping 228 strikeouts. They’ll take a 24-21-2 record into Week 5 and hope they don’t run into another red-hot opponent.
Warning Track Power
It was surprising to see Warning Track Power lose its series with Land Shark last night, but that happens when you win just one pitching category. Warning Track Power has pitched well this season. They lead the league with 259.1 innings pitched and they are second with 22 net saves/holds. But Shelby Miller continued his struggles while Kyle Hendricks and Jon Niese couldn’t get out of the fifth inning in their starts. At the plate, Jason Kipnis, Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez combined for 20 of the team’s 37 RBI. Warning Track Power is now tied for third in the league with 127 RBI. Warning Track Power takes a 25-23-0 record into a pivotal Week 5 series with their West Division rivals, the Lower Haighters.
The Menehunes had season-highs in innings pitched (67.0), quality starts (6), net saves/holds (7) and a season-low 2.42 ERA in Week 4. They didn’t lose a pitching category and defeated Buster Hugs 8-3-1 to improve to 33-12-3. Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Rick Porcello each had two quality starts. Porcello didn’t allow a run over 13.1 innings. The team came into the series tied for 15th in the league with just 194 innings pitched. Todd Frazier led the offense, going 7-for-27 with eight RBI and a .862 OPS. The Menehunes are now second in the league with a .798 OPS. They join Bacon at Mile 11 as the only teams in the league that have yet to lose a series.
After a disappointing loss to Land Shark in Week 3, the Mirrors bounced back with a much-needed 7-4-1 victory over Los Coches Bomba in Week 4. The pitching staff led the way, winning all six categories in the series to help the Mirrors improve to 23-23-2. Rich Hill earned a pair of quality starts, giving up just six hits and two runs over 13 innings. Aaron Sanchez also pitched seven scoreless innings to earn a quality start The Mirrors are now third in the league with 252.2 innings pitched and lead the league with 9.58 K/9. Jackie Bradley was the team’s top offensive player, going 9-for-25 with a 1.298 OPS, seven RBI and five runs scored.
The Lower Haighters lost their first series of the season in Week 4, falling to High Cheese, 6-5-1. It was a hard-fought series that saw the teams separated by mere percentage points in WHIP to decide the series. Veteran Victor Martinez is a valuable commodity on the bench. He was the league’s second-rated player last week, finishing with a 1.560 OPS and seven RBI. The team is tied for third with 127 RBI and are second with 1,034 plate appearances. The Lower Haighters are second in the league in ERA (2.75) and WHIP (1.09). They’ll take a 31-14-3 record into Week 5.
The year was 2013. It was the last time the Marin Menehunes won three consecutive series. In that season, the team won six of its first nine, including a pair of three week winning streaks. It wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs as they finished 135-144-20, ninth overall.
With last week’s 7-3-2 victory over Hapamon, the Menehunes won their third straight series to begin this season. Can the team continue to win and qualify for its first playoff berth since GM Elizabeth Gravely took over in 2012?
The Menehunes are getting tremendous production from veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler, utility man Daniel Murphy, and journeyman starter Jaime Garcia. Kinsler has started the season 25-for-75 with 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. Over his first three starts, Garcia has pitched 20.0 innings with a 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Murphy gives the team roster flexibility as he’s eligible at three infield positions. He’s also hitting .397 with a 1.100 OPS and nine RBI in his first 17 games.
The Menehunes are the surprise of the early season but we saw this in 2013. Can Gravely manage the pitfalls of a long fantasy season and guide the Menehunes to their first playoff appearance in league history?
Week 3 Hitting Stats
|Home Run 101||26||26||69||0.729||3||261|
|Bacon at Mile 11||44||37||41||1.040||-3||276|
|Let’s Play 2||42||54||50||0.904||9||292|
|Warning Track Power||27||28||44||0.784||0||270|
|Los Coches Bomba||27||23||57||0.663||1||246|
Week 3 Pitching Stats
|Los Coches Bomba||78.2||2.40||1.00||8.35||9||5|
|Warning Track Power||49.2||4.89||1.25||6.89||3||4|
|Bacon at Mile 11||54.0||2.83||1.07||8.17||4||8|
|Let’s Play 2||55.0||3.11||1.00||8.35||6||1|
|Home Run 101||52.1||4.13||1.28||6.71||4||5|
Bacon at Mile 11
Bacon at Mile 11 has won three straight series to open the season after dispatching the JetSetters 9-2 last week. They are 24-10-2 and first in the division, 8.5 games ahead of Hapamon. Dating back to last season, the team has won eight of its last 10 series. First baseman Anthony Rizzo drove in 10 runs, scored six more, and finished last week with a 1.183 OPS to earn series MVP honors. What is wrong with Chris Archer? The young starting pitcher doesn’t have a quality start in four attempts. Archer has pitched 20 innings, giving up six homers, and posting a 7.20 ERA and 2.05 WHIP.
Home Run 101
Home Run 101 is digging a big hole and they haven’t been competitive in a series this season. For the second week in a row, they won just two categories, losing 10-2 to Buster Hugs. This from a team that had high hopes entering the season after winning five of their last seven series in 2015 to qualify for their first playoff appearance in franchise history. Home Run 101 is now 7-28-1 and last in the division, 17.5 games behind Bacon. Second baseman Jose Altuve needs some support. Altuve carried the offense in Week 3, going 8-for-25 with four runs scored, three RBI, a 1.033 OPS and three net stolen bases. Part of the team’s problem has been the bullpen. Tom Wilhelmsen has -1 net saves/holds in six attempts with a 15.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP.
After last week’s 7-3 loss to the Menehunes, Hapamon has started the season with a tie, a win, and a loss. Dating back to last season, they’ve won three of their past 11 series. Hapamon has a 14-17-5 record this season, second in the North Division, 8.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11. Closer Steve Cishek was perfect for Hapamon in Week 3. He was the team MVP after pitching three perfect innings to earn three saves. Cishek struck out four of the nine batters he faced. The team needs Collin McHugh to begin pitching like an ace. He has one quality start in four attempts with a 7.56 ERA and 2.10 WHIP.
The Bulls can’t buy a series victory. After tying their first two, they lost 9-2 to Los Coches Bomba last week. Dating back to last season, the Bulls have one series win in their last 15 attempts. They’ve won two or fewer categories in three of their last six series dating back to last season. The Bulls have a 13-20-3 record and are 10.5 games behind Bacon at Mile 11 in the division. The one bright spot was starting pitcher Drew Smyly, who was the league’s top-ranked player last week. In two starts, Smyly tossed 15 innings, allowing just one run while striking out 17 batters. The Bulls are patiently waiting for outfielder Anthony Gose to begin hitting. In 51 plate appearances this season, Gose is hitting .174 with 19 strikeouts and just two RBI.
High Cheese sits atop the South Division with a 24-11-1 record following last week’s impressive 7-5 victory over Warning Track Power. It was the third straight series victory for High Cheese and the team has lost just twice in their last eight dating back to last season. They hold a 2.5 game lead over Los Coches Bomba in the South Division. Outfielder Ian Desmond earned series MVP honors in Week 3. He went 8-for-19 with a 1.384 OPS, seven runs scored, five RBI and three stolen bases. Pedro Alvarez is off to a slow start, hitting .108 with one RBI in his first 45 plate appearances.
The JetSetters are still looking for their first series win this season after losing 9-2 to Bacon at Mile 11 last week. It was the team’s worst loss since a 9-2 loss to Bacon in Week 3 last year. The JetSetters are now 11-22-3 and last in the South Division, 12 games behind High Cheese. Outfielder Starling Marte was the team’s MVP in Week 3. Marte went 9-for-29 with a .816 OPS, three RBI, five runs scored, and a stolen base. The team needs Alex Wood to get untracked. He has one quality start in four attempts, pitching 21 innings with a 6.00 ERA and 1.76 WHIP.
Los Coches Bomba
Last week’s 9-2 series victory over the Bulls saw Los Coches Bomba win its most categories in a series since a 9-2 victory over High Cheese in Week 6 last season. They’ve won two of their three series this season and are 21-13-2, 2.5 games behind their arch rivals, High Cheese, in the South Division. This is a different Bomba team, led by pitching rather than hitting. In Week 3, it was Hector Santiago who earned series MVP honors. He started two games, pitching 13 innings, striking out 17 hitters and allowing just two runs to earn a pair of quality starts. Bomba is waiting for outfielder Justin Upton to heat up. Upton has 30 strikeouts in his first 73 plate appearances and is hitting just .214 with 3 RBI.
Let’s Play 2
That was a much needed series victory. Let’s Play 2’s 8-4 win over Stadium Mustard last week was the team’s first series win since a victory over the Menehunes in Week 17 of last season. That was seven weeks without a series victory spanning both seasons. The win pushes Let’s Play 2 over .500 for the season at 18-17-1 and they now sit third in the South, six games behind High Cheese. Outfielder Mookie Betts finished Week 3 as the league’s highest-ranked hitter. Betts went 11-for-34 with a 1.008 OPS, five RBI, 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. Veteran catcher Russell Martin is off to a slow start. In his first 17 games, Russell is hitting .154 with 25 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances.
Land Shark earned a 9-3 series victory over the defending league champion Mirrors last week and are now 16-19-1 and second in the division, 5.5 games behind Buster Hugs. The nine category wins was the most since a 9-3 victory over the Lower Haighters in Week 16 last season. It’s not often a catcher wins series MVP honors but Welington Castillo did just that last week. Castillo went 8-for-21 with nine RBI, six runs scored, a 1.535 OPS and he even swiped a base. It looks like outfielder Khris Davis may be breaking out of his early season slump that has seen him hit .197 over his first 17 games.
Going back to last season, Stadium Mustard has just two series wins over their last 10 and they are looking for their first playoff berth since 2012 when they won the East Division. Last week’s 8-4 loss to Let’s Play 2 was their third series loss this season and leaves them with an 11-24-1 record and 10.5 games behind Buster Hugs in the division. Mat Latos continued his early season success for Stadium Mustard last week, earning a pair of quality starts and finishing as the team MVP. Latos pitched 12.1 innings, allowing just one run while striking out seven batters. The team needs outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Ender Inciarte to return to the lineup. Both are sitting on the DL with injuries.
The Monkeys were bombed 11-1 by the Lower Haighters last week, the team’s worst loss since a 12-1 rout by Bacon at Mile 11 in Week 11 of 2014. They’ve now lost three straight series for the first time since Weeks 20-22 in 2014. They sport the league’s worst record at 7-28-1 and sit last in the East Division, 14.5 games behind Buster Hugs. Outfielder Jason Heyward is heating up. In seven games last week, Heyward went 10-for-29 with five RBI, six runs scored, a .855 OPS and two net stolen bases. He finished Week 3 as the team’s top-rated player. GM Jordan Mazur needs veteran hurler Adam Wainwright to get untracked. Wainwright has tossed 22.1 innings in four starts with a 7.25 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.
It’s been a roller coaster ride for Buster Hugs in 2016. They opened with a 9-2 series win over the Eephus Monkeys, lost to the Lower Haighters 9-2 in Week 2, and rebounded with a 10-2 victory over Home Run 101 last week. The rout of Home Run 101 was the team’s biggest since a 10-2 victory over Land Shark in Week 18 last year. Buster Hugs is now 21-13-2 and lead the East Division by five games. Reliever Kenley Jansen was a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities in Week 3, earning team MVP honors. Jansen allowed just two baserunners in four innings while striking out five of the 14 hitters he faced. Outfielder Evan Gattis is off to a slow start. He’s hitting .188 with just one RBI in 10 games.
Warning Track Power
Warning Track Power was pegged as one of the league’s top teams entering the season but they’ve lost two of their first three series. It may be due to scheduling, as they’ve lost to the league’s No. 2 and No. 4 teams. They are 20-16-0 and sit third in the West, seven games behind the Lower Haighters. Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson was the top-ranked player for Warning Track Power in Week 3. Granderson went 9-for-25 with seven RBI, seven runs scored and a 1.284 OPS. GM Mark Peterson needs more from starting pitcher Shelby Miller. He doesn’t have a quality start in four attempts, pitching 14.2 innings with a 8.59 ERA and 1.98 WHIP.
Despite the winning streak, the Menehunes fell out of first place in the West last week. They still have the league’s second best record at 25-9-2 but are one game behind the Lower Haighters. Outfielder Odubel Herrera earned series MVP honors for the Menehunes in Week 3. Herrera went 8-for-22 with four RBI, seven runs scored, a .944 OPS and three net stolen bases. If the Menehunes are going to make a playoff run, they’ll need closer J.J. Hoover to improve. In his first nine games, Hoover has posted a 15.26 ERA and 2.61 WHIP with zero saves/holds.
After last week’s 9-3 loss to Land Shark, the defending champs have lost two of their first three series and have a 16-19-1 record. They are last in the West Division and last week’s loss was the team’s worst since a 9-3 loss in Week 18 last season to the Lower Haighters. First baseman Chris Carter provided thump to the Mirrors lineup in Week 3. He earned team MVP honors, going 8-for-24 with seven RBI, six runs scored and a 1.149 OPS. The Mirrors need outfielder Carlos Gomez to heat up. He’s 13-for-67 with just one RBI and a .471 OPS in his first 18 games.
The Lower Haighters pummeled the Eephus Monkeys 11-1 in Week 2. It was the largest margin of victory for the Haighters since a 11-1 victory over Los Coches Bomba in Week 11 last year. They now own the league’s best record at 26-8-2. Veteran outfielder Ryan Braun is swinging a hot bat. Braun earned series MVP honors in Week 3, going 13-for-25 with eight RBI, seven runs scored, and a 1.440 OPS. Matt Harvey, one of the team’s keepers, has struggled this season. Harvey has a 5.24 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and just one quality start in four attempts.
Bryce Harper finished Week 2 as the top-ranked fantasy player, leading the defending champion Mirrors to an 8-4 series victory over the Eephus Monkeys in the process.
Harper went 9-for-26 with a 1.246 OPS, 12 RBI, and six runs scored. He also stole a pair of bases to further boost his value. The Mirrors finished the week with 35 RBI, second most in the league, and had 34 runs scored, the league’s third highest mark.
Here’s a look at how each team did last week.
WEEK 2 LEAGUE STATS
Bacon at Mile 11
Nolan Arenado went 9-for-27 with a 1.185 OPS, 12 RBI and seven runs scored as Bacon won five of the six hitting categories to beat Los Coches Bomba 7-5. Arenado drove in nearly half of the team’s 25 RBI and finished as the series MVP. Rookie Vincent Velasquez was the league’s highest rated pitcher in Week 2, tossing a complete game shutout with 16 strikeouts. Velasquez helped Bacon win the K/9 and WHIP categories. The team is now 15-8-1 and lead the North Division by three games.
Home Run 101
The pitching collapsed and the team lost all six categories, falling 10-2 to High Cheese. Home Run 101 finished with a 4.85 team ERA (second worst in the league), a 1.42 WHIP (second worst) and had just two quality starts and net saves/holds. Starters Chris Young and Jake Peavy and reliever Tom Wilhelmsen were the primary culprits. Young started twice, pitching a total of 8.2 innings. He gave up 10 earned runs on 17 hits and four walks. Second baseman Jose Altuve was the team’s best player and the series MVP, going 11-for-27 with seven RBI, eight runs, a 1.336 OPS and just five strikeouts. The team is now 5-18-1 and trails Bacon at Mile 11 by 10 games in the North Division. They have the league’s worst record.
Hapamon defeated the JetSetters 6-5-1 in the closest series of Week 2. They won the RBI and Net Stolen Bases categories by one each and tied Quality Starts. A rare stolen base by catcher A.J. Pierzynski on Sunday salvaged the NSB category while second baseman Dee Gordon drove in a pair of runs on the final day of the series to win the RBI category. Jerad Eickhoff earned team MVP honors for the week with a brilliant seven inning shutout with nine strikeouts. Eickhoff allowed just four baserunners. Hapamon finished with the fourth best ERA for the week and are now one of the surprise teams of the season, sitting second in the North Division with an 11-10-3 record.
The hot hitting of Trevor Plouffe and Delino DeShields and a pair of quality starts from Kenta Maeda helped the Bulls salvage a 6-6 tie with Let’s Play 2 last week. Maeda gave up just one run over 13 innings while striking out 11 batters to finish Week 2 as the series MVP. The Bulls led the league with a 2.47 ERA and finished tied for third with a 1.10 WHIP. Drew Smyly also had an excellent start, striking out 11 batters over seven innings while allowing just two earned runs. At the plate, the Bulls had the league’s fewest strikeouts (36) and highest OPS (.931). Yunel Escobar struck out just one time in 30 plate appearances. The only blemish was the team’s -4 net stolen bases, worst in the league.
High Cheese has the league’s second best record at 17-6-1 following a 10-2 thrashing of Home Run 101 in Week 2. They lead the South Division by five games thanks to a dominating pitching staff led by reliever Dellin Betances. Betances was the team MVP for the week, striking out nine batters over 3.1 innings while earning a pair of net saves/holds. High Cheese finished second in Innings Pitched, ERA, WHIP, K/9 and third in quality starts in Week 2. Jon Lester had a pair of quality starts, allowing four runs over 13.1 innings with 15 strikeouts. First Baseman Chris Davis was the team’s top hitter, going 6-for-23 with a 1.066 OPS with eight RBI and eight runs scored.
The relief corps of Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and Drew Storen were the best in the league in Week 2. They combined for six of the team’s league-high eight net saves/holds. Miller struck out eight batters over three scoreless innings to earn a pair of saves/holds. Despite the 5-6-1 loss to Hapamon, starting pitcher Matt Moore was the series MVP, earning a pair of quality starts. Moore struck out 15 batters over 13.1 innings while allowing just three runs. He issued just one walk combined during in his two starts. The JetSetters will try to get on the winning track this week. They are 9-13-2 overall and last in the South Division and 12th overall.
Los Coches Bomba
Hisashi Iwakuma had a tough start Sunday, finishing seven innings with a 5.14 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. The WHIP was costly, as they lost the category by .04 and dropped the series to Bacon at Mile 11, 7-5. It was surprising they were even in the series by the end of the week. The team finished last in RBI and OPS in Week 2 and had just one net stolen base. They lost five of the six hitting categories. Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Jacoby Ellsbury combined to drive in four runs during the week. Gio Gonzalez earned team MVP honors, notching a pair of quality starts with a 0.69 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over 13 innings. Bomba is now 12-11-1 and second in the South Division, five games behind High Cheese.
Let’s Play 2
Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzija each had a pair of quality starts as Let’s Play 2 led the league in Innings Pitched (74.1) and Quality Starts (8) in Week 2. Quintana gave up just three earned runs over 12 innings while striking out 11. Let’s Play 2 split the hitting and pitching categories with the Bulls and split the series, 6-6. Outfielder Mookie Betts was the team MVP, going 9-for-27 with six RBI and four runs scored. Betts finished Week 2 with an .852 OPS. The team is 10-13-1 and seven games behind High Cheese in the South Division pennant race.
Thankfully, Land Shark’s hitters showed enough plate discipline to tie for the league-lead with just 36 strikeouts in Week 2 because that was the only category the team won as they were trounced, 11-1 by the Menehunes. It wasn’t pretty. Land Shark finished last in Runs (16) and Plate Appearances (193). The pitching was worse as the team finished last in Innings Pitched (42.2), WHIP (1.52) and Quality Starts (1). Veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre was the team’s MVP, going 6-for-21 with eight RBI. Land Shark is now 7-16-1 and 14th in the league standings.
It was a rough week for Stadium Mustard. They won just two categories in Week 2, falling to Warning Track Power, 10-2. They are 7-16-1 and 13th in the league standings. Veteran outfielder Nick Markakis led the team with 30 plate appearances and finished as the team MVP. Markakis went 9-for-25 with a 1.027 OPS, eight RBI and three runs scored. He struck out just twice on the week. Michael Wacha, one of the team’s keepers and a key to the season, had a pair of quality starts, giving up just one earned run over 12 innings while striking out 12.
The Monkeys lost their Week 2 series to the Mirrors, 8-4, but it was closer than it looked. The Mirrors won both the Strikeout and RBI categories by one. The Monkeys tallied 12 of their 48 strikeouts on the final day of the series, with Jose Bautista wearing the sombrero with three strikeouts. Bautista also drove in the team’s only runs on Sunday, plating two. The series loss leaves the Monkeys with a 6-17-1 record. They are 15th in the overall standings. Xander Bogaerts was the team MVP in Week 2, going 6-for-24 with six RBI, four runs, just three strikeouts in 25 plate appearances and two net stolen bases.
Buster Hugs needed some hugs after winning just two categories in a 2-9-1 loss to the Lower Haighters in Week 2. They are now 11-11-2 overall but still lead the East Division by 4.5 games. The team pitched well, but struggled at the plate. Buster Hugs posted six quality starts and five net saves/holds with a 3.04 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. The team could have used outfielder Randal Grichuk’s bat in the lineup. Grichuk went 6-for-21 in 26 plate appearances with a 1.090 OPS, six RBI, and eight runs scored. He would have won team MVP honors had he been in the lineup. That honor went to David Ortiz, who finished Week 2 with a 1.187 OPS and a rare stolen base.
Warning Track Power
It’s a little demoralizing when you lead the league in WHIP (0.90), Runs (38), RBI (39) and Plate Appearances (269), win your series 10-2, and LOSE ground in the division. That’s what happened to Warning Track Power, who saw West Division rival Menehunes go 11-1 in Week 2. Warning Track Power is 15-9 on the season but third in the division standings. So it goes in the always rugged West Division. Chris Sale earned series MVP honors against Stadium Mustard, tossing a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. Outfielder J.D. Martinez was the team’s hitting star, going 11-for-27 in 32 plate appearances with a 1.155 OPS, six RBI, and five runs scored.
Jaime Garcia was brilliant for the Menehunes in Week 2. The veteran hurler tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. Garcia sparked an 11-2 rout of Land Shark that leaves the Menehunes with the league’s best record at 18-6. They sit atop the West Division, two games clear of the Lower Haighters. They led the league in K/9, had seven net saves/holds, and finished the week with a 2.85 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Second baseman was the hitting star, going 9-for-31 in 34 plate appearances with a .884 OPS, a stolen base, five RBI and six runs scored. Kinsler struck out five times on the week.
Harper was the league’s best player but he couldn’t keep the Mirrors from losing ground to the red-hot Menehunes in the West Division. The Mirrors beat the Monkeys 8-4 to improve to 13-10-1 but they are last in the division, 4.5 games behind the Menehunes. The Mirrors led the league in Plate Appearances in Week 2 with 269 and had 35 RBI and 34 Runs. Mark Trumbo was on a tear, going 8-for-25 with a 1.306 OPS, 11 RBI, and eight runs scored. Aaron Sanchez earned a pair of quality starts, allowing just two earned runs over 13 innings with 12 strikeouts.
The Lower Haighters had an impressive 9-2-1 victory over Buster Hugs in Week 2 but lost ground in the West Division. They are 15-7-2 overall, third best in the league. They trail the Menehunes by two games. The team’s best player wasn’t in the starting lineup this week. Utility infielder Josh Harrison went 9-for-27 with a .881 OPS, three net stolen bases, four RBI, and five runs scored. He struck out just three times in 30 plate appearances. Team MVP honors went to first baseman Albert Pujols who went 6-for-22 with a .976 OPS and seven RBI.
Hats off to Matt and Zach Patchell for drafting Colorado’s rookie shortstop Trevor Story in the 22nd Round. Story had a historic week, becoming the first rookie to hit seven home runs in his first six games in the Majors.
Story won’t continue that pace, but what can we expect out of the 23-year-old rookie? In 2013, Story struck out 183 times in 554 plate appearances at High A Modesto. A year later, he struck out just 59 times in 218 at-bats in the same league. Last season, Story hit 20 home runs in 575 at-bats between AA and AAA. Here’s what Baseball Prospectus had to say entering this season.
Pitch recognition issues will be constant, but in between some awkward flails at wayward breaking balls he’ll inflict some serious damage.
We’ve seen the “serious damage” and you can bet major league pitchers have seen it. Story will face the Giants on Tuesday. San Francisco’s veteran staff will adjust.
Story was projected to have eight home runs this year. He had seven in the first week. JetSetters GM David Kahn cringed at each highlight. The complete story has yet to be written but the opening chapter was a doozy.
Here’s a review of opening week for all 16 teams in the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League. I’ve included the hitting and pitching stats for your amusement.
Bacon at Mile 11
Anthony Rizzo earned series MVP honors leading Bacon at Mile 11 to a dominating 8-3-1 victory over North Division rival Home Run 101. Rizzo finished as the league’s eighth-rated player. He went 6-for-22 with a 1.085 OPS, 10 RBI and six runs scored. Two young pitchers, Vincent Velasquez and Aaron Nola pitched beautifully, combining to give up one run over 13 innings while striking out 17 batters. Bacon won all six pitching categories but it’s a bit of a concern that Velasquez and Nola were the team’s only pitchers to earn quality starts. Tony Watson led the bullpen with two holds, pitching 3.1 innings without giving up a run.
Home Run 101
GM Bailey Penzotti entered Week 1 wondering how to replace the offensive production of injured outfielder AJ Pollock. She finished the week with a pitching staff that posted a league-worst 6.46 ERA and just one quality start. It all led to a disappointing 3-8-1 series loss to arch-rival Bacon at Mile 11. In addition, one of the team’s top starters, Tyson Ross, was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury. Second baseman Jose Altuve earned team MVP honors, stealing three bases in six games.
For a team picked to finish last, Hapamon gave The Bulls all they could handle. Ultimately, they fell 5-6-1 but finished the week tied for the league lead with five quality starts. While the starting staff was solid, the bullpen was combustible, earning just one save. The team also finished with -2 net stolen bases, tied for worst in the league. The series literally came down to one plate appearance. Had the Marlins not been rained out, outfielder Christian Yelich would have likely won the series for Hapamon. Clayton Kershaw earned a pair of quality starts and earned series MVP honors, finishing Week 1 as the league’s second-rated player.
Veteran setup man Sergio Romo won this series for the Bulls. He had a team-high four holds as the team led the league with eight net saves/holds. Winning the category was enough to push the Bulls past Hapamon 6-5-1 in Week 1. While Romo was excellent, starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was the team MVP. He allowed just one earned run in 7.1 innings while striking out eight batters. Brandon Finnegan also earned a quality start striking out nine over six innings. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was the team’s top hitter, going 9-for-24 with a 1.215 OPS and five RBI.
It was a great week for the pitching staff but it was overshadowed by the loss of young catcher Kyle Schwarber with a knee injury. He’ll miss the season after registering just five plate appearances. Still, the team opened the season strong, beating the JetSetters 7-4-1. In Schwarber’s absence, rookie shortstop Trevor Story carried the offense, going 9-for-27 with a 1.468 OPS, 12 RBI, and seven runs scored. He became the first player to hit seven home runs in his first week in the league and finished as the series MVP. The starting rotation was solid, going 5-for-7 in quality start attempts while leading the league with a 2.61 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Cole Hamels had two quality starts, pitching 13 innings with a 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 8.3 K/9. Closer Robert Osuna earned three saves, pitching four scoreless innings with a 13.5 K/9.
The JetSetters were simply out-pitched as they lost their season-opening series, 4-7-1. The JetSetters led the league with 42 runs scored and 263 plate appearances but lost the OPS category because of rookie Trevor Story’s unbelievable debut. Things might have been different had GM David Kahn started shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who finished the week as the league’s top-rated player. Suarez went 10-for-23 with a 1.457 OPS, nine RBI, nine runs scored and a net stolen base. Compare that to starting shortstop Addison Russell, who finished with a .451 OPS, three runs scored and two RBI.
Los Coches Bomba
Will Noah Syndergaard miss his start in Week 2? It looks like he will as he hasn’t recovered from an injured lat in his first start. Los Coches Bomba can’t be without their series MVP from Week One. Syndergaard was sensational in his only start, tossing six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts, leading the team to a 7-4-1 victory over Let’s Play 2. The team’s pitching staff was tied for the league lead with five quality starts. Veteran pitcher Edinson Volquez started twice and pitched 11.2 innings with a 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 11.6 K/9. Closer Jeremy Jeffress converted all three of his save chances, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings, as Bomba swept the pitching categories. The only downside was the team’s 209 plate appearances, lowest in the league.
Let’s Play 2
Outfielder Yasiel Puig earned series MVP honors for Let’s Play 2 but it wasn’t enough as Los Coches Bomba won the season-opening series 7-4-1. Puig looked liked a different player than he did in 2015, which is a good sign for GM Louie Bottaro. He went 10-for-26 with seven runs scored, four RBI and a 1.154 OPS. Puig helped Let’s Play 2 score a league-high 38 runs. The problem was pitching. Let’s Play 2 didn’t win a singe pitching category and finished with a 4.60 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. The starters went 2-for-6 in quality start attempts. Ace Corey Kluber gave up four runs in 5.1 innings in his only start, allowing nine hits while walking two.
A quality start by Felix Hernandez on Sunday clinched a 6-5-1 season-opening victory for Land Shark. Hernandez was the series MVP, pitching 13 innings with a 0.69 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 11.1 K/9 and a pair of quality starts. He finished as the league’s fourth-rated player. While they escaped with a tight win over Stadium Mustard, Land Shark needs to find some offense moving forward. The team finished last with 15 RBI. Outfielder Khris Davis went 4-for-23 with 13 strikeouts and failed to drive in a run. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had nearly half of the team’s total RBI with seven.
It’s tough to win a series when you finish last in WHIP (1.64), K/9 (7.07), and your pitching staff finishes with three quality starts and two net saves/holds. This was a series for the taking but Stadium Mustard’s pitching failed and they fell 5-6-1 to Land Shark. Mike Leake, Kyle Gibson and Michael Wacha pitched a combined 13.2 innings while allowing 12 runs. J.A. Happ was the team’s only effective starter. Second baseman Joe Panik finished as the team MVP, going 7-for-26 with a .821 OPS, six runs scored and six RBI.
That’s a swing-and-a-miss for the Eephus Monkeys to open the season. Not only did the team fall to Buster Hugs 9-2-1, but they led the league in strikeouts. They finished with 65 whiffs, led by Byung Ho Park, who struck out 11 times in 18 at-bats. The Monkeys had an opportunity to win the quality start category Sunday but Adam Wainwright coughed up five runs over five innings. Marco Estrada was the team’s best player, pitching seven scoreless innings while striking out eight. The Monkeys need a strong Week 2 to avoid falling into an early hole.
Buster Hugs had a tremendous offensive performance and dismantled the Eephus Monkeys 9-2-1. They now own the league’s best record as they prepare for a big early season series with the Lower Haighters. Shortstop Jean Segura, catcher Buster Posey, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder David Peralta all ranked in the league’s Top 20. Buster Hugs led the league with a .906 OPS and six net stolen bases. Segura was the league’s third-ranked player, going 11-for-27 with a 1.317 OPS, two net stolen bases, five RBI and six runs scored.
Warning Track Power
This was a shocking loss. The projections see Warning Track Power as a championship contender but the team opened with a 7-5 loss to the Menehunes. Shelby Miller had a meltdown, failing to convert a quality start in two attempts. He pitched 11 innings with a 8.18 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. On Sunday, he gave up seven hits, walked two, and allowed four earned runs in five innings and was a big reason the Menehunes won the pivotal ERA category and the series. Aside from Miller, the starting pitching was good, finishing tied for the league lead with five quality starts. At the plate, things were different. Warning Track Power was last in Runs (22) and OPS (.600). Curtis Granderson and Adam Lind were a combined 2-for-35 with 12 strikeouts and no RBI. Josh Donaldson was the series MVP, going 9-for-29 with a 1.113 OPS, nine RBI, and eight runs scored. Donaldson led the team with 31 plate appearances.
Veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler came up big for the Menehunes as they opened the season with a 7-5 upset of Warning Track Power. Kinlser went 8-for-19 with five runs, five RBI, and a 1.082 OPS and was the team MVP. He had 25 plate appearances, second only to third baseman Todd Frazier, and the Menehunes won the category by four. It’s amazing the Menehunes were able to win the series. No team pitched fewer innings (38.1) and they had just one net save/hold. They also had -2 net stolen bases, tied for the league low.
The Mirrors suffered a stunning 5-6-1 loss to their arch-rivals, the Lower Haighters. Up 7-2-3 entering the late games Sunday, GM Sean McKenna watched it fall apart as the Haighters strung together big hit, after big hit, to overtake the Mirrors in Runs and RBI. It culminated with a Sean Doolittle save that tied the Net Saves/Holds category and won the series. The Mirrors had one of the best pitching performances of the week, leading the league in Innings Pitched (72.2), K/9 (10.9) and tied for the league lead with five quality starts. The team MVP, however, was a hitter. Outfielder Matt Kemp went 9-for-25 with a 1.080 OPS and team-high 10 RBI.
Reliever Sean Doolittle closed the door on the Mariners Sunday and, in the process, finished an improbable rally that saw the Haighters erase a 7-2-3 deficit to defeat their arch-rivals, A-Rod’s Mirrors. Jake Arrieta finished as the series MVP, earning a pair of quality starts with 14 innings pitched, a 1.93 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Miguel Montero, Albert Pujols, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer contributed clutch RBI on Sunday to spark the rally.
After this week, season projections will be meaningless. Weekly projections – and your opponent – are all that matter.
Ziguana.com is another fantasy baseball site that allows you to project your league standings based on league-specific settings and their player statistical projections. I’ve run our league through Ziguana and through a “special blend” of projections supplied by Mr. Cheatsheet and run through Baseball Monster.
The team to beat, according to Ziguana’s statistics, is Warning Track Power. GM Mark Peterson‘s team has a 58 percent chance of winning the league and a 31 percent chance of finishing second. Josh Donaldson, Jason Kipnis, and J.D. Martinez are expected to lead the offense while pitcher Chris Sale is the third-ranked player in the league. Baseball Monster predicted Warning Track Power would finish second with a 109-70-1 head-to-head record so both sites like this team.
Ziguana likes Noah Syndergaard as the ace for Los Coches Bomba and David Robertson as the closer. But it’s Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen and Robinson Cano that have the team ranked second with an outside shot at the championship (26 percent). The Big Three hitters all rank in Ziguana’s Top 25 player rankings. Baseball Monster predicted Los Coches Bomba would finish fourth with a 99-80-1 head-to-head record.
Both sites expect Home Run 101 to win the North Division and play in the postseason. I write this with a caveat, both systems have outfielder A.J. Pollock highly rated and he’s going to miss a significant portion of the season with a serious elbow injury. Ziguana predicts Home Run 101 will finish third while Baseball Monster projects sixth with a 92-87-1 head-to-head record.
The projections for the defending champs is vastly different between the two sites. Ziguana has the Mirrors finishing fourth while Baseball Monster projects 15th with a 73-107-0 head-to-head record. Baseball Monster doesn’t like the team’s starting rotation while Ziguana sees Darren O’Day, Craig Kimbrel, and Arodys Vizcaino as Top 50 players that can save the pitching ratios.
The Bulls are another team with wildly different projections. Ziguana projects the team will finish second in the North Division and qualify for the playoffs while Baseball Monster says they’ll finish 13th with an 81-99-0 head-to-head record. Outfielder Hunter Pence is a polarizing player for the computer systems. Ziguana has Pence rated 35th overall while Baseball Monster has him 109th. Both sites agree Stephen Strasburg and Zack Greinke are the team’s best players.
Ziguana and Baseball Monster agree Buster Hugs will win the East Division and return to the playoffs. Baseball Monster has the team finishing third overall with a 107-73-0 head-to-head record. Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is seen as the team’s best player by both systems. Ziguana sees Miguel Sano as a Top 40 player by season’s end.
New GM Chris Frugiuele is expected to guide Stadium Mustard to a playoff berth according to both sites. Ziguana is predicting a seventh place finish while Baseball Monster says fifth with a 97-82-1 head-to-head record. Both sites agree that Edwin Encarnacion and Kyle Seager are the team’s two best players.
GM Meredith James and Land Shark are going to be in a tight race for the league’s final playoff berth according to both sites. Ziguana projects the team will capture the final playoff berth while Baseball Monster expects them to finish ninth with a 92-88-0 head-t0-head record. Both systems agree first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is the team leader. Goldschmidt is the league’s top-rated player by Ziguana.
If Ziguana’s projections are correct, the Lower Haighters will miss the playoffs for the first time in league history. The site is projecting a ninth place finish for the team. The “Special Blend” projections in Baseball Monster expect the Haighters to win the West Division with a 113-67-0 head-t0-head record and win the league championship. The key to the season could come down to Drew Pomeranz and Phil Hughes at the back of the starting rotation.
Baseball Monster expects Bacon at Mile 11 and GM Eric Brown to capture the league’s final playoff berth with a 86-93-1 head-to-head record, finishing second in the North Division. Ziguana forecasts a third-place finish in the North Division and 10th overall. Young players Joc Pederson and Ketel Marte will need to exceed projections for Bacon to be a title contender.
Ziguana projects the JetSetters to finish second in the South Division pennant race but miss the playoffs. Baseball Monster also expects the JetSetters to finish second in the division but squeeze into the playoffs with a 92-88-0 head-to-head record. The team’s series with Bacon at Mile 11 and Land Shark will have major playoff implications.
If the computer systems are accurate, it’s going to be a struggle for High Cheese to make the playoffs in 2016. Ziguana is projecting a 12th place finish while Baseball Monster sees High Cheese finishing third in the South Division with a 84-96-0 head-to-head record and 11th overall. The strength of the team is the bullpen with Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman and Roberto Osuna.
Both computer systems project the Eephus Monkeys to finish last in the East Division and miss the playoffs. Baseball Monster is forecasting a 85-95-0 head-to-head record and a 10th place finish. Ziguana projects a 13th place finish.
Hapamon and new GM Robert Kirkbride will avoid the dreaded Wooden Spoon awarded to the team with the worst record in the league but both computer systems project a last place finish in the North Division. They also agree that Hapamon will finish 14th overall and Baseball Monster is predicting a 80-100-0 head-to-head record.
The two projection systems differ on which team will earn the Wooden Spoon. Ziguana says it will be the Marin Menehunes while Baseball Monster expects Let’s Play 2 to take the dubious honor. Baseball Monster expects Let’s Play 2 to finish with a 72-108-0 head-to-head record while Ziguana believes they’ll finish 15th, just ahead of the Menehunes. Baseball Monster says the Menehunes will finish with a 82-98-0 head-to-head record and 12th overall.