Week 20 Fantasy Baseball recap

Rivalry week is weak

The intro...

Greetings,

So this rivalry week was pretty disappointing...I, of course, am the most disappointed because Pete won by the narrowest of margins and now gets to pick my Facebook profile picture for the next week. But it was also disappointing because it seems like most of the other teams were asleep at the wheel. Is everyone off doing fantasy football research instead? Or maybe you guys are tired of this and are just waiting for the playoffs to start? Either way, here's hoping everyone starts paying attention again soon, but only if they're not playing me.

OK let's get to it...

Dan vs. Pete

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I hate everything

Did Pete rope-a-dope my bitchass? He sucked for several weeks straight to sucker me into another Facebook profile pic bet, then came on strong...SON OF A BITCH. Pete had more homers by Wednesday this week than he had all of last week, because OF COURSE. Still, I just needed to beat or tie him in steals and RBI to avoid losing the bet, but fell just short because the fantasy gods hate me. I had ANOTHER outfielder go down with an injury after a fastball rearranged Jason Heyward's face and broke his jaw. FUCK. I tried to load up on SB guys like Rajai Davis, who had an eventful first day as a Piggie...he got two steals, but also managed zero RBI in two bases loaded, 1-out at-bats while also wearing a magic hat. Meanwhile, Coco Crisp went all Willie Mays Hayes on me with three straight games with homers. What a load of shit. Jason Castro also had three homers with a .529 average, because of course he did. It all came down to Sunday, and I briefly tied it up by catching Pete in RBI with a bunch of homers, as well as tying him in steals thanks to Jarrod Dyson, one of my desperation SB plays. But dickface Allen Craig got a decisive RBI and stupid Jacoby Ellsbury stole a base in the Sunday night game to screw me over. Dustin Pedroia tied the RBI category with a sac fly on Sunday night and had three hits, but of course none of them led to an RBI. He had one last at-bat in the 9th inning to try to save me, but came up with the bases empty and hit a double when I needed a homer. I hate everything.

The hitting stats were the only close ones at the end of the week because Pete's pitching was a disaster this week, allowing me to win four of the five stats. After four vulture wins from my bullpen helped me get that stat last week, all eight of my wins this week came from the starters, including two each from Samardzija, Lester and Price. However, Pete's shittiness allowed him to load up on pitchers and kill me in K's. Excuse me while I go stick my head in the oven. Sunday was also Pete's birthday, so I'm sure this win is the greatest gift I could ever give him. I hate you.

Aaron vs. Oscar

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Mongers clearly care no longer

Oscar needed to blow out Aaron to have any realistic chance of catching him for that last playoff seed. Instead, despite those stakes and it being rivalry week, he continued not paying attention to his roster and ended up with a tie against his friend. Par for the course. The Mongers left a homer on their bench for no good reason on Monday and another on Thursday, and also left Trout as a starter despite him being out Monday through Wednesday. Nevertheless, Oscar put up his usual good offensive stats, with 37/10/35 helping beat Aaron in those categories. Aaron was able to patch together enough steals to win that category, and had a monster average on Wednesday (.429!) to help carry that stat. Adrian Beltre and Adam Jones, the guys Aaron got in his trade, continued haunting Niko with two HRs and a steal each.

Oscar probably could have won the week with some simple streaming of pitchers to catch Aaron in wins and K's. But he didn't, and let good weeks by guys like Jarrod Parker (2 wins, 13 K's, 1.06 ERA, hasn't lost since May 22!) go to waste. For Aaron, Francisco Liriano mowed down the Padres lineup like they were a bunch of glorified minor-leaguers. Oh yeah...they kind of are. Still, no runs and 13 K's will work every time. Aaron got tripped up though by back-to-back bad outings earlier in the week by Rafael Betancourt (who injured his elbow on Thursday and is done), and by the stylings of Bruce Chen on Friday. The fuck is Bruce Chen doing in your lineup? He sucks...the only reasoning I can come up with is because Chen and Chan are spelled similarly. Nevertheless, the Shits did just enough to keep a firm hold on the sixth seed. This tie should feel more like a win for Aaron, since it pretty much ensures a ticket to the playoffs for him (as well as boner breath Pete just ahead of him).

Jesse vs. Eliot

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Eliot slacks, still slaughters sleeping Ducks

These are both playoff teams, but make no mistake, Jesse and Eliot both mismanaged the HELL out of them this week. Is Eliot even paying attention? He didn't seem too engaged when I beat him last week, and it continued this week, culminating in the inexplicable benching of Jered Weaver Sunday when he would've helped the Puigs win 9-1 instead of 7-2. Jesse also pulled some boner moves, leaving a win on his bench from Jordan Zimmermann. I doubt he did it on purpose, although Zimmermann HAS sucked balls lately, including giving up eight runs on Monday to a shitty Cubs team. The Taco pitching really took it on the chin on Friday too, with both of his starters ending up with ERAs in double digits. The pitching wasn't all bad -- this Clayton Kershaw fellow is pretty good for Eliot, no? He's in pretty rarified air as far as season stats at this point, according to these parameters.


Eliot's dereliction wasn't just on the mound...on Monday, he also left Elvis Andrus and Aramis Ramirez on his bench despite having open starting spots. All they did was put up 4 runs/1 HR/3 RBI/2 steals. On Thursday he left Justin Upton on the bench in a similar situation and he hit a homer. Oops. Same goes for Jesse, who had Bautista and Marte both on the DL but in his starting lineup most of the week. Hmm, what else here...Everyone's favorite Yasiel had an interesting Tuesday. He showed up late to the ballpark, got benched, but then hit a big homer anyways. No biggie. Eliot also got a rare inside-the-park homer on Friday from Ian Kinsler. Wilin Rosario helped the Puigs take most of the offensive stats, but like I said earlier, a little less mismanaging would have gone a long way.

Niko vs. Sean

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Sean's sorry squad slapped by Swansons

Sean was feistier than usual this week but was still dispatched without too much trouble by Niko thanks to his sweep of all five pitching stats. The Nancies overcame an initial blunder on Monday when they left on the bench awesome rookie Jose Fernandez, who predictably had another great start. D'oh! He also added the Rangers' Martin Perez for a Friday start, only to leave his ass on the bench. Hiiiiighly questionable managing here. At least he put Fernandez in for his second start of the week on Saturday, which was -- no way! -- another shutout. Niko had another stellar start from Zack Greinke, making him look better and better in that trade with Jesse. It wasn't too hard to sweep the pitching stats against Sean, whose staff is a mess. Chad Gaudin got put on the DL so...why is he still on your roster, Sean? Just for the name/comedy value? He's out with carpal tunnel...sounds like he's been doing too much groping! It's a damn shame that Cain went on the DL too...his shitty starts this year brought such joy to my black heart.

Sean's groping was more offensive than usual...his squad randomly had an epic Saturday with 13 RBI (I!!) Look at my RBI total, why couldn't you have loaned some of that to me, you dick? Martin Prado has been one of the hottest hitters in the bigs lately and continued with 2 HR/9 RBI/.345 average. Carlos Beltran also had ridic numbers (6/3/6/.419), allowing the Gropers to win runs, HR, RBI and average. Niko didn't have any one guy stand out with crazy stats, but had enough well-rounded totals to compete with Sean and eek out another win.

Predictions

Where the rubber meets the road

AARON VS. SEAN (season series: 2-0 Aaron)
Of our four matchups this week, three are rubber matches between teams that have split the season series so far. Aaron is the only one that has swept 'em, winning 7-1 in Week 7, then 8-2 in Week 14. Poor Sean...the first battle was a lot closer than the final score, with the Gropers tying HRs and RBI and losing wins and saves by one each. The rematch? Not so much. Aaron blew him out in all five offensive categories, and would have had a skunking in play if he had even somewhat legit pitching instead of an ERA nearing 5. Oh well. Sean's offense has been surprisingly feisty lately but I think it drops off big-time this week, allowing Aaron to cruise to another easy win. Prediction: Aaron, 7-2.

JESSE VS. PETE (season series: Tied 1-1)

Jesse's normally awesome pitching has been mostly awful his two times against Pete, with ERAs above 4 both times. His hitting did well enough to make up for it in Week 7, including a ridiculous 47 runs, allowing the Tacos to win 6-3. However, Pete had just enough runs and steals to beat Jesse in the rematch, winning each of those categories by one on his way to a 5-4 win. I think the Tacos will get their shit together on the mound this week and their superfriend Yoenis will help wipe out Pete's puny penises. Prediction: Jesse, 7-3.


NIKO VS. ELIOT (season series: Tied 1-1)

This matchup has the most at stake for both teams, who are both fighting for playoff seedings. Niko's Nancies got double-digit homers in both Weeks 7 and 14, and while he had good overall numbers to help him win the first matchup 7-3, he didn't pile up enough other counting stats in the rematch and fell 6-3. The Nancies-Puigs matchups haven't been the most exciting in terms of crazy stats, but the message board shit-talking has been prolific both times, so hopefully that continues this week. This matchup seems like a total coin flip so you know what? I'm just gonna call it a tie. Prediction: Tied, 5-5.


DAN VS. OSCAR (season series: Tied 1-1)
After I won 6-4 in the first matchup with the Mongers, they then handed the Piggies their first loss of the season in a 8-2 shellacking in the rematch. :( Oscar usually brings the power with his offense and certainly has done so in both of our battles, with a combined 24 jacks in the two weeks. I've countered by putting up double-digit steals both weeks, but have lost most of my SB guys to either injury or suspension. Double :( I don't have much to play for this week so might join Oscar in derelict town while I bone up on fantasy football knowledge, so let's give this one to him. Prediction: Oscar, 6-4.

Last Harbinger of Your Wasted Time

Speaking of fantasy football...it's finally here! This week seems to be the busiest for drafts, since I am in three leagues and all three have their drafts now. Half of this league is in Aaron's 14-team $20 ESPN league, so I look forward to beating your bitchasses there like I have much of the time here.

I'm also playing with Pete for the first time in a $50 league with our other college friends...the commissioner last year set up a relegation league in which the top two from the second-tier league join the big leagues the next year, while the bottom two from the top-tier get sent down to the minors. Needless to say, I'm awesome and won the lower league in its inaugural season, and am ready to conquer the upper tier.

I'll give you guys some WR/TE sleeper picks because I'm nice...Michael Crabtree, Denario Alexander and Dennis Pitta are all gonna have big years. I can feel it!

Peace,
Dan