*Not going to spend for audio but the top is best read to any one of the songs from the original Halo.
It’s starting to get real boys. The Summer Classic marks the last third of this hallowed season. The home stretch, if you will.
Only 7 more weeks of baseball are guaranteed to all 10 owners. Last year the magic number was 135 wins. Last year (pause), we had 4 teams clearly above the rest. This year comes with an entirely different narrative. There are currently 8 teams within 15 games of the final playoff spot.. Just 4 games separating the top 3 teams in the West Division.. a postseason appearance only guaranteed to the victor.
With no trade deadline in play, now begins the most exciting regular season finish of your short fantasy baseball lives. One Sunday Night 3 Run bomb could swing a category and decide your playoff hopes and dreams. I’ve been off for a few weeks and so, without further ado, RANKINGS:
|Cubs Mascot Dong||94||67||7||.580||—|
|Big Bears Budder Brigade||92||68||8||.571||1.5|
|Flare Up Your Dae-Ho||74||88||6||.458||20.5|
|Carpenter Bruce Kershawing||69||91||8||.435||24.5|
|The Fighting Moles||71||87||10||.452||13|
10. Minnesota Twaints (63-96-9 – 5th WEST)
Last Week: L 3-9 Big Bears Budder Brigade
It’s a good thing Tim likes his other league more, because I don’t know that this is how he thought things would turn out. Then again, this is the brain trust that drafted Derek Jeter with the last pick of the 20th round. 13 picks before Wil Myers, 18 before Mark Trumbo.
In Tim’s defense, this was a weird year for pitching. A lot of household names lost trust this season. 75% of those names with the Twaints owning stock. Thanks to some savvy trades and waiver work, at least Tim has put his team in a position to take a few categories every week. Still, under new ownership, Minnesota’s flagship fantasy franchise is on pace to barely eclipse last year’s win total.
The new 4 keeper rule is going to benefit Tom, but just how much? If we assume Mike Trout stays as the first pick, that conceivably leaves 3 prospects slotted as keepers. There are two prospects on the roster yet to be called up. There are 7 weeks left and it’s possible one of those prospects spends another month or longer in the minors. Any one could come up and pee their pants. Which should make it interesting at least to see which lottery tickets Tim ultimately decides to handcuff himself to.
7 weeks still to go and as a competitor you’d like to see the Twinks focus on this year rather than load up for 2017 with 84 head to head categories still in play. But I suppose Falvey is right, it’s Tim’s team, he gets to rule as he sees fit. And now let’s to go live to House Farrell for his 2016 surrender and ceremonial raising of the white flag:
Goodbye baseball, hello pickleball!
9. Carpenter Bruce Kershawing (69-91-8 – 5th EAST)
Last Week: L 4-8 Team Sabermetrics
I take my hat off to you, Pete. You drafted 16 relievers and still somehow managed to compete all year. Carpenter Bruce has my respect. The same kind of respect I would have for a one legged basketball player. I appreciate you being out here and trying your best. But when it comes down to it, I know when I get the ball I’m trying to break Wilt Chamberlain’s record. Probably hang on the rim too if we lower the basket enough.
If the Kershaw injury was the nail, the Matt Carpenter injury was the chainsaw that fell on Carpenter Bruce’s head at work. The offense is still pretty, but any knockout potential takes a big enough hit to just about put Wasky to bed for good. That said, we’re in Interleague play the rest of the year and I fully expect Pete to rise up for the opportunity to ruin some seasons.
8. Flare Up Your Dae Ho (74-88-6 – 4th EAST)
Last Week: W 9-3 Marvin’s Room
Flare Up Your Dae Ho comes in at 8 for two simple reasons: Marvin’s Room has an infinitely easier path to the playoffs and with The Fighting Moles, at least there seems to be a plan in place. I make the latter statement because, as the team with the most abundant pitching talent, I have yet to receive a whisper from Flare Up Your Japanese Name. Not even a Facebook Poke.
Sure, last week’s win was great. But what really changed when you think about it? If Purdle and his endless carousel of Japanese homonyms are still serious about this year, it’s time to look at the writing on the wall. If you are dead last in wins and strikeouts by literally 100, it might be time to make a call in for some pitching help.
On offense, we’re talking about one of the most talented lineups in the league. Too talented. It’s like watching a fat kid corner the market on cheeseburgers. You still have plenty of cheeseburgers, only now there would be french fries to complete a well balanced breakfast. Does that make sense? I was going to use a bombing ISIS for their oil analogy but it came out a little heavy handed. Either way, call me. I even have Japanese pitchers. They love Yu long time.
7. The Fighting Moles (71-87-10 – 4th WEST)
Last Week: 6-5-1 Cubs Mascot Dong
Of all the teams lurking in the depths, The Mole People are the most likely to make a heroic last push towards Fantasy daylight. This offense is built for the second half. There are more bombers in this lineup than a North Korean propaganda video. Right when it looked like Diesel was about unload his biggest gun, it took one Giancarlo laser beam in late June for Uncle to shut down his borders.
If the human avatar continues its mission to kill everyone trying to catch pokemon in the stands with a line drive, we’re looking at a sleeping godzilla when Dee Gordon comes off his suspension for Bunt Steroids. Before you get too giddy Brenda, I wouldn’t exactly build a house on that ravaged jenga tower The Fighting Moles call a bullpen. Even Norse gods get arm fatigue apparently. As much as it pains me to say it, nature says humans shouldn’t be able to throw sliders at 92mph. If Thor, God and Jesus forbid, succumbs to mortality at any point during the next 7 weeks, The Moles skip immediately to the 2017 season.
That’s why the Trevor Bauer move is so confusing. Why trade a first basemen with a better OPS than Bryce Harper, about to make his first All Star Appearance, possibly nearing the height of his value.. for a pitcher that could end up back in the 7th inning if he blows up in a couple starts? And I’m a Trevor Bauer fan. He was picked up off the waiver wire two weeks ago, and he could deserve to be back on it two weeks from now… Way too much risk, way too little reward for me to understand this move. Brandon Belt should at least get me an upper tier pitcher with job security. Big time mistake from a defending champion in desperate need of a reliable ace.
Now read that last paragraph back aloud and in one breath to understand my thoughts on this deal. In the meantime, let’s watch Giancarlo winning the home run derby:
Dee Gordon is using the wrong juice.
6. Marvin’s Room (79-77-12)
Last Week: 3-9 Flare Up Your Dae Ho
If Marve’s season were a ride at the State Fair, I would have thrown up several times already. Marvin’s Room missed a chance to capitalize on a downed Dobis PR last week, which actually isn’t all that surprising when you consider we haven’t seen this group put together back to back wins since weeks 8-9.
I can’t really figure out what’s going on in Marvin’s Room. They went from a pitching heavy roster with no hope on offense, to an all around dynamo, to I don’t know what now. The offense is still plenty good. There’s been some bad luck on that side. Trea Turner and his speed potential could unlock something special. The pitching though, normally the staple of a Marvin run team, has been as unpleasant as the bottom two thirds of a girl on tinder. That’s being kind. The Big O hasn’t seen a safely sub 4 ERA since Week 9. I was almost surprised not to see James Shields six times when I dug around the debris and checked to see who or what was doing all this damage. Turns out it’s just a bunch of Steven Wrights with runners on second & third and no outs.
Marve has been uncharacteristically quiet lately. No shit talk to speak of for a team within reaching distance of first. I know that Marve. That’s a Marve who has decided rather than soak in a morbidly obese ERA, to instead channel his fantasy frustrations in the form of a romantic night playing wet my willy with a tinder baby. Can’t blame him for that. But Marvin’s Room needs an ace to have real shot, and I don’t see one on this roster. Still just 4 games back in the division, we’re going to find out if any of Marve’s night moves involve magic and/or a swing and miss slider.
5. Orbit’s Woody (90-74-4 – 3rd EAST)
Last Week: W 7-4-1 Dobis PR
Did you know: Orbit’s Woody is 9 games under .500 over the last 7 weeks. *Cue Skip Bayless Hot Take Affirmed Tweet*. Kevin probably knew that, but I had no idea things had turned this far the wrong way for the 4x Rankings headliner. Puts into perspective how fast Orbit’s Woody got out of the gate. You have to ask if K Bone ever wonders what Ryan Braun is up to these days, now that the two best outfielders remaining on the roster are watching games from the shelf.
Fantasy Baseball has a cruel way of humbling the best of us. Sometimes though, things may seem a little too unfair. Getting a girlfriend midseason was a surefire way to make the Fantasy Gods angry with Orbit’s Woody. The Fantasy Gods hate girlfriends. Zach Greinke’s sore oblique is just one example of a vengeful third party at work here. Orbit’s Woody needed a change and since Hannah wasn’t going anywhere..enter Brandon Belt and a serviceable arm. Really doesn’t even matter if Jordan Zimmerman turns out. Bower wins the Bauer trade handily. More on that later.
Orbit’s Woody is squeezing the 4th seed tighter every week. There hasn’t been a challenge all season but there are a few teams in the West creeping up with plans that don’t involve Bower seeing Week 22. Has a little bit of a shark week feel to it – there’s a seal with a big chunk out of it, flopping around by the boat. For a second you want the seal to get away, but then you remember why you came. Because you’re high and you want to see sharks do shark things.
I don’t know if Orbit’s Woody is going to make it safely in the boat, but you budder believe I’ll be watching the show.
4. Dobis PR (83-73-12 – 1st WEST)
Last Week: L 4-7-1 Orbit’s Woody
Quietly, the last month has seen Dobis PR drop 3 of their last 4 matchups. Take this ranking as no disrespect to the West’s longest reigning pole sitter though. These business boys are in first place for a reason. We’ve seen what a run from Dobis looks like. Same reason I don’t feed apex predators at Harry Potter theme parks anymore. If you wake up enough garbage cans with teeth, at least one is going to try to eat your kid. Check please.
Speaking of sleepers dude, Peter Francis has managed to collect more sleepers than Rolaha at a CYO Mixer. You go down the list.. Jackie Bradley Jr..Danny Salazar.. Adam Duvall is more in the what the fuck zone but still.. Xander Bogaerts was a draft steal.. Neil Walker got bit by Babe Ruth’s ghost and turned into white Tony Gwynn.. There’s a scout at Dobis that deserves a raise.
RIP Matt Harvey. That’s a blow, even with him performing below expectations. You lose a presumed 2nd starter and a solid trade chip for nothing. Shame. Should have traded him Gerard. We tried to tell you. Fortunately, Dobis has the firepower to get a top arm if the pitching doesn’t hold up. The slight Rankings drop isn’t an indictment, if anything it’s impressive that after an underwhelming month, Dobis PR is still on top of the division. If Peter loses his hold on the division though, you should expect pitching offers.
3. Team Sabermetrics (83-77-8 – 2nd WEST)
Last Week: W 8-4 Carpenter Bruce Kershawing
If you think this looks like a homer pick then I don’t blame you, but you haven’t been paying attention.
After about an hour of self reflection following a loss to the lowly Timmy Taints, Team Saber (third person references are a low, cold place) has been the hottest team on planet Joe Mauer. 19-5 over the last two weeks along with a little cold water being thrown on the teams in front, justifies a tight squeeze into the 3 spot. I’d be lying though if I said losing WHIP by .04 and Batting Average by .004 last week didn’t trigger some post traumatic stress from my loss to Falvey in the 2014 Semifinals.
Alright, I have the most prolific, consistent pitching staff top to bottom in the league. That’s out there. But even being that I’m in the top few in Runs and RBI’s, the offense has underperformed. Tremendously, I think is the adjective The Donald would use. This isn’t the perfectly sculpted frankenstein monster I had envisioned it would be. I was forced to abandon most of my speed/power outfielders after slow starts, and a lot of my big names are still far away from their potential. But getting closer as my recent hot streak would attest.
As currently constructed, I do not yet view Team Sabermetrics to be a championship level team. That said, I believe my roster has swelled with enough pieces to change that. Hopefully everyone isn’t already traded out by now. And can you guess the special someone that has as many walks as strikeouts in July….. I STILL BELIEVE IN YOU BYRON.
Get well soon buddy.
2. Big Bears Budder Brigade (92-68-8 – 2nd EAST)
Last Week: W 9-3 Minnesota Twaints
Good morning to most, happy evening pot roast to Falvey. Contrary to popular belief, there is WiFi in Laos and our friend Big Bear and his Budder Brigade have been taking full advantage.
In between a setback against Carpenter Wasky, we’ve had a chance to take a glimpse at the immense potential of BBBB’s offense. Not all .300 BA’s are created equal. A .300 BA from the Budder Brigade comes with a .900 OPS and an avalanche of counting stats. The qualifiers for shortstop alone on this roster have combined for enough scoreboard posters to power an outfield. Ian Desmond is leading all Center Fielders in hits for christ sake.
Regression is coming.. in BA at least. This won’t sustain as a .270+ team without Bryce well above replacement level in that category. The outfield minus the defending NL MVP and born again Ian Desmond looks shaky on paper. Admittedly shallow criticism with Pence and Brandon Moss slated to return at some point. There are still a few holes to be found on offense; a name or two carrying a little more weight than they’re worth. The pitching staff has teetered a bit without Cueto until last week. Last week being fairly sensational though I should add – 89K’s, 10QS, 10W’s – trumping the Twaints at their own game.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it right now, when Big Bear is on you may as well be Leo DiCaprio in the Revenant. It’s either hit 18 bombs and beat the MadBum/Arrieta combo or get buried underneath a .900+ OPS. That’s why I have the Budder Brigade down as one of my favorites, perhaps the favorite to win it all.
1. Cubs Mascot Dong (94-67-7 – 1st EAST)
Last Week: L 5-6-1 The Fighting Moles
Week after week it seemed, I tried to write a eulogy for CMD. Too many injuries, not enough pitching. Well, it appears now I must finally submit to reality. Cubs Mascot Dong is here to stay awhile.
CMD is boldly going against the common notion that you need big names at the corners to excel. Bobby is betting big on young studs Wil Myers and Maikel Franco, Myers in particular, repeating their star making performances in the first half. They have the pedigree. Getting Johnny Cueto put out the last of my biggest criticisms of this roster, although the back end of the rotation isn’t exactly the bottom half of the Ms. America pageant. Kris Bryant has evolved into Charizard faster than anyone could have anticipated. His keeper value looms larger with every baseball he lands on the moon.
As a whole, I see batting average regressing but not a lot else. Miguel Sano might hammer 20 balls out in the second half. 30 won’t be a surprise. Impressively, CMD came out of last week’s backyard bareknuckle Kimbo Slice tribute match against the Fighting Moles with little more than a black eye. And 17 steals???? Had to check the math when I saw that. That’s a felony in most states. Commissioner Bobby Butter Business looks poised for a rare repeat Playoff appearance. You earned it buddy.