Week 14 Fantasy Baseball recap

Everything is upside down

The intro...

This week marked the end of our second merry-go-round through the matchups, and this one was a bumpy ride. I had my first loss of the season, while Jesse also had his first loss to a team that wasn't me. Meanwhile, the worst team in our league had a guy make the best pitching performance of the season in the league's first no-hitter. Nothing makes any goddamn sense anymore. Hopefully it'll get back to normal next week :( Although next week is a weird two-week matchup with 10 days worth of games because of the All-Star break, so it's bound to be just as freaky as this one.

OK, onto the recaps...

Dan vs. Oscar

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With Roids supplied, Piggies fried

I've made fun of Oscar's team a lot this year for their various roster bumblings, so of COURSE he's the first guy to beat me despite more self-sabotage. The Mongers really got off to the roiding early this week, tallying three homers on Monday. I got back into it with an Alex Gordon granny...unfortunately he got a concussion on a crazy inside-the-park homer a day later and was out for a good chunk of the week :( Luckily Oscar left Bryce Harper on the bench as he made his first start off the DL and hit a homer in his first at-bat. I was going to mention Brycey Baby coming back as I did last week's recap, then took it out anticipating that you'd leave him on the bench. That is some good strategery right there, if I do say so myself, even if it didn't end up making much of a difference. Stupid Nelson Cruz got a grand salami earlier in the week, then Ryan Zimmerman added another one Sunday, and stupid sexy Mike Trout capped off the week with a homer to help take another category by edging me in average. Really just an unseemly amount of roiding all around here, very unfortunate. I really lost the week though with a soooooper sloppy Saturday, starting it 0-for-28 *slaps forehead* and also benched CarGo that day because I thought he was still injured but he came back and hit a homer and went 4-for-4 *slaps forehead again* I also learned that another Piggie, Joey Votto, hasn't had more than 2 RBI in a game ALL YEAR despite his high average...that pretty much sums up my team lately. I've beaten my opponent in batting average all but two weeks so far this season, yet have won the RBI stat less than half the time since the Piggies perennially are just getting hits with no one on base, then blowing it with runners on. Deeply unfair.

Oscar's roiding extended to his pitching this week too, where he mongered an impressive amount of wins, saves and K's, all with low ERA and WHIP. Matt Moore was the team MVP with two scoreless starts for wins with 15 total K's. After all my needling over Cliff Lee, obviously this was the week you actually started him and he got a win despite a high ERA. The Mongers didn't go without any bumbling though because Oscar sat Grant Balfour for no reason and he got two saves on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately for him, he didn't need them since Greg Holland and Rafael Soriano had three saves each this week to win that stat, beating my FIVE closers who could only get four between them. Soriano got the luckiest damn save on Saturday against my beloved Padres though. He put two on with one out, then took a liner off the leg that the Nats were able to get a close out on at first base, then had Adam Laroche make a great diving play to end the game on what could've been a go-ahead 2 RBI single for my guy Everth Cabrera. SONOFABITCH. Then I sat my starters on Sunday to try to hold onto ERA and WHIP while still chasing saves, but Kevin Gregg gives up a 3-2, 2 out HR in the 9th to make me lose ERA by 0.01. What a fucking joke. Props to Oscar though, no one else had beat me, but he got the job done. Now excuse me while I go sob softly in a dark room.

Jesse vs. Pete

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Show-Me's shuck Fucks to curb

Pete managed to end his past three weeks in ties, and would've made it four straight if he hadn't gotten one extra run or steal on Sunday to squeak by Jesse. The Yoenises' Chris Davis hit two more homers this week and already has as many as he did all of last year...seems legit, not cheating at all! He did at least have a funny response to the steroid question on Twitter. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury burned up the basepaths once again for Pete with four steals, while six guys hit at or above .300. So why was your average so shitty? Oh yeah, Captain Crogan's Coco Crisp hit .167 and three other guys hit at or below the Mendoza line. Capers. For Jesse, Robinson Cano took extreme offense to me calling him a lame #1 pick in last week's recap and responded by hitting 3 homers with 10 RBI and a .375 average. Cabrera's still better, but CanoFuckhimself this week. Unfortunately for Jesse though, his outfielder and Pete's namesake, Mr. Yoenis himself, had a bleh week with just two runs, a steal and a .217 average. You're better than that, veiny Yoeny, get your shit together.

Jesse's pitching has led him to the top of the league so far, but was pretty poopy this week, allowing Pete to get the narrow win. Matt Harvey had a rare off day, giving up a bunch of runs for a 7.50 ERA, though he did still manage to get 9 K's in the start. Even most of his guys who got wins had mediocre ERAs like Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez. At least Verlander got a shutout win. His Tigers teammate Anibal Sanchez came back from a DL stint and also looked good, getting a win with a 1.80 ERA on Saturday. However, the shitty starts helped Pete win ERA and WHIP, thanks to good starts by Madison Bumgarner and surprise stud Jeff Locke.

Pete's narrow win wasn't the best thing that happened to him this week though. He (allegedly) hooked up in Maui on the Fourth of July with TV actress Lucy Hale from the show Pretty Little Liars, so congrats on that. He has shit coming to him in our other league for being an unreliable narrator since the exact details of this (alleged) tryst kept changing and getting less risque as more questions were asked, but still...well done on (allegedly) punching way above your weight class.

Niko vs. Eliot

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Bays' bombers bash Niko's Nancies

Eliot was due for a win after some bad luck and some cheddar-bobbing the past couple weeks, and the Bay of Puigs came through with solid hitting and pitching to take Niko down. Miguel Cabrera went bonkers as usual with 3 homers and 8 RBI, while Eric Hosmer is finally actually being of service in fantasy and hit .360 with two jacks for the Bays this week. Mr. Puig himself gave poor Eliot a scare when it looked like he might have been injured (http://t.co/fuEc4kWnqT), but didn't even miss a game. That was a close one. For Niko, Jason Kipnis hit that aforementioned inside-the-park homer that gave my guy Gordon a concussion. Dick! That was the only homer this week for Kipnis, who nevertheless has been the best second baseman in all of MLB this year (even ahead of Jesse's top pick Cano), so that's a stellar mid-round pick Niko made there. Nevertheless, although he piled up an impressive 10 HRs and a .305 average on the week, he fell short in runs and RBI and was tied in steals on the final day by...Puig of course.

On the pitching side, RA Dickface is really all or nothing in his outings...Eliot got a little of both this week with a really solid start against the heavy hitting Tigers on Monday for a win, then an ugly 6-run performance against the mediocre Twins on Saturday. If I was a hacky writer I'd compare his crazy rises and drops to the random flutters of a knuckleball, but I won't do that. The Puigs dominated the pitching stats thanks to two wins, double-digit K's and sub-1.00 ERAs from both Kershaw and Jered Weaver. Very nice. The Nancies had some good starts from Liriano, Sabathia and Jose Fernandez, but too much shittiness from other guys like Greinke and Fister to keep up with the Bays. Oh well...Niko almost got above .500 but got dragged back down to the mediocre middle of the league again. Better luck next time.

Aaron vs. Sean

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Aaron gives no Shits about Sean getting no hits

The first no-no of the season! Hurray! And it benefited Sean, who had the weirdest boner about Homer Bailey's no-hitter on Tuesday, the first in the bigs so far this season. On one hand, it helped bolster his beleaguered pitching staff and helped the Hammerheads win ERA and WHIP, but on the other hand, it came against his beloved Giants, who also make up a good portion of his similarly beleaguered offense. Just face it Sean, the Giants suck CAWWWWWWWK. Unfortunately, that was the peak of the Hammerheads' week on the mound, as Aaron came back to Shit all over Sean's parade. Aaron's dude Max Scherzer improved to lucky 13-0, pretty impressive stuff, while he got two good starts and wins from two young'ns, Corbin and Shelby Miller, and enough saves to easily take down the other pitching stats. Yovani Gallardo blew donkey dong though and was rightly sent to the curb. For Sean, Matt Cain was REALLY bad on Friday...I saw someone wrote on Twitter that he gave up 68 earned runs all of last year, and is already at 60 so far this year. That is...not good.

The Giants' mishaps continued on the hitting end, where Fat Panda swung at a ball that WENT THROUGH HIS LEGS, then got hit in his fat ass with the ball as he was running to first on the same play. He's the best. SF also managed to fuck up the lineup and Posey hit before Pablo on Saturday, costing the team an out and Buster an RBI. How does this happen??? Is this Little League?? Hilarious. With all those blunders, Aaron swept all five batting categories fairly easily. Adrian Beltre hit an impressive four HRs, while Josh Hamilton might finally be coming around...he added two jacks, including a walkoff bomb on Saturday. Aaron continues moving on up, edging past Eliot into fifth place. Still got a ways to go to the top, but maybe not if Jesse and I continue like we did this week.

Predictions (no more poetry)

Tired of my mediocre poetry? I am too...let's change it up this week with a dive into the numbers since we now have two previous matchups between each team to analyze. Also note that this week is going to be crazy and two weeks long because of the All-Star break.

DAN VS. AARON (season series: 2-0 Dan)
I won both of the earlier battles against Aaron, both pretty handily (7-3 and 8-2). We hung out during our last matchup and will again this week (see the Last Harbinger below), so I think that has to bode well for me. Both times, I swept all five pitching categories against Aaron on my way to victory, so he'll definitely have to step up his game on the mound if he wants to beat me. He did hit an impressive 12 HRs against me in Week 8, but I put up a league record 48 runs that week. Aaron has fought back into a playoff spot after some bad luck during a slow start, but I think he comes up just short this week. Prediction: Dan, 6-4.

JESSE VS. OSCAR (season series: 2-0 Jesse)
Jesse won 7-2 over Oscar in Week 1 and 7-1 in Week 8. The Mongers did Roid from day one, hitting 11 HR in the league's first week, but like in many weeks, Jesse found a way to be just a bit better than his opponent and hit one more jack. Matt Harvey had a scoreless start and 10 Ks that week, who knew that would blossom into a Cy Young-level year so far? These guys' Week 8 matchup had much less firepower, with each side hitting only 6 HRs each, and was actually a lot closer than the final score appears, with the artists formerly known as the Delta Duck Tacos winning runs and RBI by a mere two each and SBs by a single steal. Nevertheless, given Jesse's track record and Oscar's fantasy forgetfulness, I don't see why Jesse shouldn't get another win here. Prediction: Jesse, 6-3.

NIKO VS. PETE (season series: Tied 1-1)
The only one of our four matchups this week that is split in the season series, Niko won the season opener 6-3, but Pete got revenge by doing him one better and winning 7-3 in the Week 8 rematch. Pete's Show Me (no longer Your) Yoenis in Week 1 somehow got 48 RBI (a league record that still stands) but ended up tying in steals and losing by a single strikeout and W. Pete had less steals, wins and a worse ERA in Week 8 than in Week 1, but won those categories in the rematch. So goes the fickleness of fantasy. This matchup could go either way, or no way at all given Pete's recent tie history, but I'll give the Yoenises the slight edge. Prediction: Pete, 6-4.

ELIOT VS. SEAN (season series: 2-0 Eliot)
Eliot narrowly beat Sean 6-4 in their opening week matchup, then took him to the woodshed in a 9-1 beating the next time around. Whatever Eliot's team name was five iterations ago, his dudes slugged 14 homers in Week 1, but barely scraped by because of shitty pitching including an ERA in the high 4's and only one save. It was Sean's turn to poop the bed on the mound in the rematch, where he got swept in all five pitching stats, highlighted (or lowlighted?) by a 5.32 ERA and not a single save. He did have some bad luck since his .314 batting average somehow didn't equate to any other decent hitting stats, which led to the blowout. I think Eliot wins again this week, splitting the difference of his last two margins of victory. Prediction: Eliot, 7-2.

Were last week's predictions right? 2-2 (27-20-5 for the year, picking wins for Jesse and me is usually money in the bank but tripped me up this week)

Last Harbinger of Your Wasted Time

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For the Bay Area members of the league (hell, even those out of town should fly in), come one, come all to a fantasy baseball shit-talking, cornhole-playing tailgate extravaganza at the A's/Red Sox game on Saturday. If you didn't follow the email thread from last week's recap, I have tickets pretty much right behind home plate because Billy Beane's dad is dating my mom, so we go to a handful of games each year thanks to Mr. Moneyballz. We only have four tickets for Saturday and Jesse and Aaron already called dibs on the two that won't be used by me and my wife, but depending on how crowded it is for the game, we should be able to do that thing where we sit down, then send one person back up with two of the tickets to bring a fifth person down, then a sixth if necessary, etc. Oscar, Sean, Pete, et al, if you're interested, you'd need to buy a nosebleed ticket to get in (maybe Jesse and Aaron can buy you a beer since they're mooching off of me for the free ticket?), so get on it if you dare. Should be fun.

Until then, adios mofos,

Dan