*Disclaimer* – Hardest rankings I’ve ever done. Keepers have balanced the league nicely.
10.) Donald Trumboners (2016 Record: 104-140-8)
Is Purdleball the new moneyball?
First we need to address the turtle in the room. I don’t know if Purdle woke up yesterday and decided to punt Wins, QS’s, and K’s, or if this radical plan was hatched long before Steve wished us good luck this year because, “you’re all going to need it”. Either way, the Trumpboners took a big dump on your draft board by spending the first 12 rounds hoarding bats. If you’re wondering why your outfield sucks so bad, it’s because Purdle reached for AJ Pollock in Round 3 and didn’t look back.
I’m all for ingenuity. And I get the idea here. Well, kind of.. This lineup is filthy good, obviously. Having Anthony Rendon batting at utility is a luxury none of us have. But think about it, Purd.. You might hit 50 home runs in a week, but say you lose steals, a category that tends to fluctuate, and/or one of your low end starters blows up.. You’re done. Even if you win saves you’re looking at a 6-6 week at best. And as it is now, you only have three closers… So not only are you rolling out a group of starters that could destroy your ERA and WHIP with one bad start, you didn’t even get enough closers to assure you take saves every week.
Another thing, this is a keeper league. Everyone is stacked. Going all offense is going to be less effective because you’re still going to be playing a team that likely already has four elite bats locked in. I predict this experiment goes bad and goes bad early. And the first pick in the 2018 draft goes to……..
9.) Team W (2016 Record: 103-136-13)
Pretty cool of Peter to let the BCG name his firstborn child. Butter McNug Witchger is going to love high school.
Quietly, Witchger brought the old band back together. Carpenter Bruce is Kershawing again. This isn’t the Team W that had a top 3 draft pick locked up before the season we remember. Instead of seven closers there’s a real team here. As Marve pointed out during the draft, a real old team! Hah really though, 15 players on Team W’s roster are 30+ years old, not a bad thing necessarily, nothing wrong with a little wisdom, but it does make me wonder how much upside is there.
If this was 2010 we would be looking at the best team in the league hands down. With age comes injury concern. It’s just a shame they don’t let players do steroids anymore. Good team here with limited upside and a very high probability to run out of DL spots by June.
8.) Dobis PR (2016 Record: 106-130-16)
Welcome aboard the Schwarber bandwagon Petey! Please, make yourself comfortable there’s plenty of room. Can I interest you in a flag with a capital W on it while you’re here?
For those who don’t remember, Dobis PR held the West division fairly deep into the summer before a late season collapse. This roster as I see it, is good not great in a lot of areas. Greinke, Porcello, Salazar, and Lackey fill out a nice top end rotation. Pitching can be counted as a strength. Punch outs will be abundant. The offense is solid too, but the absence of a top 10 bat is noticeable. Expect steals to be an issue. Odubel Herrera is the only player on the roster who is going to be a real asset in that category. Outfield in general is a slight concern. Schwarber probably needs to hit 35 gophers to carry his draft position.
In other news if you hadn’t heard, Peter Francis has a girlfriend now. That leaves Purdle as the only virile male still hunting in the BCG. With girlfriends come great responsibility. Every year there are four to five stars waiting on the waiver wire. Don’t let free pussy and wine distract you from building the fantasy baseball juggernaut you deserve. The West Division is going to be a tough fight.
7.) Marvin’s Room (2016 Record: 126-110-16)
This is a put up or shut year for Marve. Nobody likes being little brother and Marvin’s Room has been my little brother in the West division for the last two years. I’ll never forget Marve texting me during a rough patch three years ago saying he was going to quit fantasy baseball. I like to think I lit a fire under his ass that day because Marvin’s Room hasn’t missed a postseason since. I can’t take too much credit though, any good big brother would have done the same.
There is a notable lack of power that characterizes the first version of this offense. Right now, including Adam Jones, I count three players with reliable 20+ home run potential. Pitching while not deep, is young and explosive and in the good way, not the Marve sleeping on his bathroom floor with his pants down way. Purdle could have gone Strasburg-Degrom at one point but passed so Marvin’s Room could have a formidable one-two with Martinez.
Clearly outfield isn’t a strength, which makes the preseason acquisition of Adam Jones a smart move. One thing about Marve that makes his team difficult to judge, the hustle. By that I mean O’Hara is going to get into the office so he can put his hands on every fresh donut in the break room before you even get out of bed.. 141 pickups last year for Marvin’s Room. That is work. Marve wrote some big checks with his mouth this year. Let this disappointing ranking be your motivation to back up that talk.
6.) Minnesota Twaints (2016 Record: 111-129-12)
If you thought you were confused by all the keepers on the board, ask Tim about his draft day experience. Beneath the tough exterior Tom is just simple man who likes his keepers easy and his books with pictures and 72 font. Based on the exasperated look on Tim’s face during our post draft facetime consultation, I could tell this was a man who didn’t expect to wake up today with Chris Davis and Ryon Healy on his roster.
That said, this is an infinitely better team going into this season than the 18 pitchers Tim defiantly drafted in succession last year. I should mention that team ended up sixth somehow. Because when Farrell isn’t busy buying vacation homes in Marve’s head, there is an advantageous GM in there hiding amongst the bullshit. Maybe the ticket hustle is starting to translate into fantasy. Tarrell is one of the best in the league at flipping assets and upgrading roster spots.
To me, the Twaints have the makings of a top 3 offense to go along with a solid but otherwise unexciting pitching staff after Cueto and Archer. That could be good enough though. One thing I do know, it’s sure as shit better than Purdle’s team in which case Tom will be making money either way.
5.) Laotian Humminahumminas (2016 Record: 146-94-12)
When we look back at our lives and everything we did, it’s going to be hard to top Falvey’s story. Between teaching English to young Laotian kids and dispensing brain damage to the local villagers on the rugby pitch, the American Big Bear is a rare breed. I get flustered when my wifi goes out for five minutes, meanwhile Falvey is halfway across the world in the jungle moving trees for little people. It’s a goddamned honor to fantasy baseball with you, Malvey.
Last year’s runner up will have some work to do to replicate that 146-94-12 regular season record. One particular issue to watch out for, batting average. There is a lot of similar components to last year’s team only without the David Ortiz’s to balance out the violent approaches of Trevor Story, George Springer, Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez and crew.
After three years of dominance, I concede the title of best pitching staff to the Humminahumminas. Absolutely loaded. Pitching wealth gives you the best opportunity to make a good trade, and Falvey has more than demonstrated his prowess at the negotiating table. I expect Bob and the Humminas to slug it out for the East division again this year.
4.) Orbit’s Woody (2016 Record: 129-116-7)
Last year, Orbit’s Woody was in the playoffs for 20 weeks. And then he wasn’t. Remember the injured seal/shark week analogy I used at All-Star break? Bower got his ass ate ten feet from the beach. Well, 2017 is a fresh start for Orbit’s Woody and Kevin did well to sit back and let the bargains fall into his lap. Adam Jones, Matt Kemp and Ian Desmond were all rung up at big discounts. BREAKING: Goodbye Adam Jones, herrro Masahiro Tanaka. No point in waiting to address needs. We’re already on pace to break last year’s record trade total.
Like last year, the offense is going to be good. Maybe even better. And you have to like bringing in a guy like Tanaka to stabilize a staff with some injury volatility. Everyone knows Japanese people don’t have UCL ligaments, they just keep throwing until the inflammation hardens over. If we get a healthy Carrasco, Gerrit Cole and Matt Harvey this year, watch out. Unfortunately that may be asking a lot.
3.) The Fighting Moles (2016 Record: 104-130-8)
There may not be a more talented member of this group than Brent Young, the official color commentator of the BCG. Our Uncle is an artist of sorts, painting a vivid picture for his faithful radio audience each and every night through the power of supreme basketball articulation and sultry vocals. You could call it giving sight to the blind. In fact, I would pay good money just to hear Brent freestyle the starting lineups of a girl’s regional tournament game before I go to bed every night. That is skill, folks. Keep an eye on BYoungSports.
As you can expect from a team that drafted Bryce Harper in the third round, The Fighting Moles are dynamic on offense. After a disappointing 2016 campaign, this team has bounce back written all over it. Speed, power, upside, it’s all there. And unlike last year, there is a steady pitching staff to match. By all reports Syndergaard is locked in this spring. Pinning 98mph darts to every corner of the plate and then snapping off a hammer curve with enough spin to induce vertigo. The big question mark is David Price, but there are enough power arms on this roster to offset his absence the first few months of the season.
If Byron Buxton doesn’t turn out this year, definitely next year.
2.) Team Sabermetrics (2016 Record: 131-110-11)
Drafting in the ten spot was even more difficult than I anticipated. It is excruciating sitting there watching every other team pick over promising players I would have had to reach up 30 spots to get. In a lot of ways I’m starting with a slightly worse version of last year’s team. Do I love Carlos Santana at 1B? No, but it’s a lot better than what would have gotten had I waited another 19 picks.
I’m also going to have to deal with a roster packed full of talented lefties burdened by heavy splits. I’ll be relying heavily on the offseason work habits of 24 year olds if I want to have a shot at repeating this year. I’m also counting on big leaps from young studs Correa, Franco, Contreras and Piscotty. Even pitching, normally my calling card, has questions. Scherzer has already been ruled out for opening day. If Carlos Rodon’s stellar second half doesn’t carry over to this year I could have some discord in the back half of my rotation.
There are questions, sure, but it’s hard to point to any significant weaknesses that would keep me from contending once again. I’m a realist, I can feel the pack getting closer. It wasn’t two years ago when I had a team finish in the top 3 in every category but steals, where I was fifth by one bag. Oh yeah, and I lost in the semifinals that year.
1.) Cubs Mascot Dong (2016 Record: 136-101-15)
Great keepers late gave Bob free reign to stock talent in the first five rounds. To be honest, this looks like a better version of last year’s team that went 136-101-15 and barely missed out on a title shot. No real weaknesses to speak of going into the season with loads of upside. If you thought Bob’s last two years were a fluke, you were wrong. Can’t even think of anything funny to say about it. Infield is strong. Outfield is loaded. Pitching staff is chock full of filthy lefties. Even the late round picks were excellent.
I do want to spend a little time talking about the wife curse I had previously speculated on after Peter eloped. There is no wife curse. My apologies to Katrina. If anything, wives are an asset to fantasy baseball success. My girlfriend fucking hates baseball. Hates it. And as much as it pains me, there will be some days where I will have to watch the Ellen Show instead of a 1:00 Cardinals-Pirates game. You don’t have that problem with a wife. Think about it.. Not only are you exempt from going on dates, she is financially tied to your team’s success. Carlee is basically a minority owner in the Cubs Mascot Dong enterprise. Just another reason to like Bob as the preseason title favorite.