Week 17 Fantasy Baseball recap

Waiting for the ax to fall...

The intro...

Welcome back to the recap! Thanks again Jesse for holding down the fort with some admirable shit-talking last week while I was at my sister's wedding. I'm sorry I had to repay you by beating you this week. #notsorry

So I hope everyone enjoyed the roiding while it lasted, because Monday the ax is supposed to fall with a shitload of suspensions, including Oscar's Monger Nelson Cruz and my guy Everth Cabrera. Should be interesting to see if there are any other as-yet-unreported guys that will be suspended, and how the whole thing will shake out for this here fantasy league.


But that's all for next week...this week was damn well interesting enough, with the top two teams tussling but having a turd of a matchup, Aaron and Niko having a slapfest that ended in a draw, Sean coming out of nowhere with a dominant week and Oscar susprising no one with some more derelict managing.


Let's dive in, shall we?

Dan vs. Jesse

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Top two teams trip over each other

This was supposed to be a battle of the titans, the top two teams squaring off once again, but hot damn we sucked. Oh well...this matchup was mostly just for bragging rights anyways since we have the top two spots and first-round byes all but locked up. But still, it was a back-and-forth poopfest that started when Starlin Castro screwed his fellow Piggie Kevin Gregg out of a save in some Fist self-sabotage. Son of a bitch. Luckily for the Pigs, the Ducks endured the Gio-pocalypse on Wednesday, with Gonzalez managing to give up TEN runs in a single start. Then on Thursday, Jesse claimed he was punked by his iPhone app (but probably just forgot to switch his lineup) and left a win and 15 K's on his bench between Justin Masterson and Matt muhfuggin Harvey. But thankfully for the Tacos, my team tried to set the pitching bar even lower on Friday with an 11.81 ERA for the day. Not ideal. But Jesse then either got boned by his app again, just forgot to set his lineup or was trying for some strategery by leaving Lance Lynn on his bench Sunday despite being down .03 in WHIP. I countered by sitting my two starters too, and narrowly held on in WHIP in a battle of the bullpens. Craig Kimbrel might have helped Jesse edge me out with a 1-2-3 inning in the Sunday night game, but he gave up a hit and I held on. Boom.

On the offensive side, I started out hot with Carlos Gonzalez getting a 5-for-5 outing with two steals, helping him impressively get to 20 HRs and 20 steals already this year. However, he has an ongoing sprained finger issue that's apparently now sending him to the DL. Jesse had his own injury problems with top catcher Yadier Molina going to the DL with a knee issue, which is never good for catchers since they're always having to crouch. Our mishaps continued on Friday when Jesse's guy Joey Bats got robbed in what might be the catch of the year by J.B. Shuck. I followed that up by batting a cool .111 on Saturday to let Jesse back in the matchup in runs and average. Blerg. It all came down to Sunday, with half the categories up for grabs, and while Jesse was able to overtake me in average, he made a final boner move by sitting Trumbo, who had a 3-run jack, and had ANOTHER injury, this time Hanley Ramirez tumbling over a wall. I held on by a single run and SB for the ugly victory. Not proud of it but I'll take it, and I'm now 3-0 against Jesse this year. Beat it nerd.

Aaron vs. Niko

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Let's Get Shakespearean on Shits, Swansons

There was a loooooooooooot of trash talking in this matchup, which was back and forth all week and ultimately ended in an unsatisfying tie. Most of the interesting action was on the pitching side thanks to Aaron streaming bitches like it's going out of style. Sometimes it worked, like with Julio Teheran getting a solid win with 11 K's, but it bit him in the ass more times than not this week. Tyler Chatwood's 27 ERA? Mike Leake's 12.60 ERA? They ruined another ridiculous week from Francisco Liriano (two wins, 14 K's and an 0.64 ERA), who continues to improbably dominate the league after a couple shitty years. I enjoyed seeing Niko's closer Aroldis Chapman blow a save earlier this week on a walkoff homer to the Padres on Monday. YOU. JUST. GOT. NORFED. Niko did pile up the wins, nine ain't nothing to sniff at. A couple of them were pretty stinky to sniff at though...Chris Tillman gave up six runs but got the W because the Orioles' offense is beastly. He also got two vulture wins from his closer Chris Perez, which was pretty lucky. What was all skill, not luck, was the shutout, 14 K performance by Jose Fernandez. Dude's only 21 years old, he's a stud. It's too bad they're likely shutting him down at the end of the year to preserve his arm, could bone Niko come playoff time.

Niko's guys blasted some bombs, with 11 total and three each from Anthony Rizzo and Brian McCann. That was the only hitting stat the Nancies would win though, as the Shits had a nice well-rounded effort to win the other four categories. Andrew McCutchen was the best example of well-roundedness, contributing an 8/1/7/2/.379 stat line. Not much more you can ask for there. The trade these two guys did earlier in the year again helped Aaron, who got a .429 average from Beltre this week, while Niko has already dumped Morse and Youkilis, and Giancarlo Stanton should focus on his modeling career if he keeps hitting .087 like he did this week. In the end...there was all this trash talk and it just ended a lame tie? Makes me think of a quote I'll paraphrase from Macbeth: "It is a tale of two idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Pete vs. Sean

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The Gaudins will look back on this week fondling

Well look who pulled off the upset win! A week after stinking his way to a second skunking at the hoofs of the Pigs, Sean's Gropers reached around and found a way to beat Pete's pathetic team, which somehow was in third place despite him never looking at his roster. Yet a three-game losing streak has now rightfully sent his ass packing to a spot lower in the standings. Sean had a 8-2 lead through Thursday and was sitting pretty with an average well above .300 and an ERA well below 2. However, Petey Pablo closed the gap on Friday with a ridiculous 11 runs, 4 jacks and 15 RBI that day, including Chris Davis hitting his 40th homer already this year (25 damn percent more than the next closest guy, Miggy at 32 HRs...not suspicious at all!). Pete came all the way back to tie it coming into Sunday's games, but Sean's guys said enough is enough, knocked Pete's ass unconscious by hitting .344 on the day and began groping away for the easy win. Shane Victorino and Matt Holliday were among the Gropers' top performers, so well done to them. Pete's team is falling apart, with now David Wright, Matt Kemp AND Dominic Brown on the DL, but he has nowhere to put them since he already has Grilli in the DL slot. Gonna have to send some more shipments to Chris Davis to have him make up for the absence of those guys.

Where Sean won this week though was on the mound, winning four of the five pitching stats. Getting six wins with a 1.92 ERA and 0.99 WHIP will win those categories damn near every week. A.J. Burnett had a win, 18 K's and a 1.12 ERA over two starts, while Wade Miley and Homer Bailey contributed shutout starts. Pete's pitching staff is a hot mess...his ERA was north of 6 for much of the week and he only got one win. Pete, be better at fantasy baseball.

Also...Sean, since we're not playing each other again this year, and since you're playing Jesse next week, let me make some roster suggestions for you. Dump Brandon Belt for chrissakes, he just got benched for most of this week for sucking so bad. Definitely ditch Vernon Wells too, and perhaps Marco Scutaro. Kyle Seager should be your starting 3B and you should have someone with better overall stats in a utility spot. Let's allow the experts at Fangraphs explain why Scutaro sucks in fantasy, and why Seager has been an absolute stud. While we're getting rid of Giants, kick Zito to the curb...he has an ERA above 5 and just got pulled from the rotation for being so shitty! Gaudin's on the waiver wire and has actually been pretty good since news of the groping came out, you should pick him up just for comedy's sake.

Speaking of comedy, I hate the Giants but do really enjoy Grant Brisbee, a blogger that covers the team. This is the tweet of the year, as far as I'm concerned.

Eliot vs. Oscar

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Puigs plaster odiferous owner Oscar

The Puigs had themselves quite a week, which was fitting since so did their namesake. After enjoying himself earlier this week just kicking a soccer ball around with Cristiano Ronaldo, making ridiculous catches and making ridiculous catches that didn't even count, Yasiel busted his thumb making another ridiculous catch on Saturday, although apparently he'll be alright? Yahoo says he'll be back as soon as Monday. Oh, and in between all that, he managed to hit .412 this week. Not too fucking bad, Yasiel. He was part of a Bay squad that put up a ridiculous FIFTY runs this week, let by two Braves. Freddie Freeman has been KILLING it lately and had a 9/2/8/.375 line this week, while Justin Upton went 9/3/9/.387. Upton had a ridiculous start to the year, then seemingly fell off a cliff and sucked for a while, but hide your wives and children because he now might be getting going again. Kind of amazing that Eliot's squad did all this despite leaving Miguel Cabrera in all week even though he was out with an abdominal injury. If that keeps up as a long-term thing, that will severely hamper the Puigs' championship chances. For Oscar, Nelson Cruz got one last week of good roidin' in before he apparently joins the rest of the Biogenesis crew on the sidelines for the rest of the year. So congrats on the three chemically-aided homers! I wish they'd suspend Mike Trout too, a .500 average? That just seems unnatural.

Oscar's pitching staff pretty much sums up his team. Matt Moore went on the DL with elbow soreness, but remains in the starting lineup. He also still has Yu Darvish on his DL, even though he's healthy again and pitching and had 14 K's on Thursday. I am SHOCKED at this development. To top it off, he also has Tommy Milone on the roster, even though the A's just sent his ass down to the minors. Just well done all around. Yet the guys the Mongers DID have pitching helped save him from a skunking by putting up a 1.97 ERA, the lone stat that Oscar won this week. For Eliot, Kenley Jansen had just about as good a week as a reliever can possibly have. A vulture win, 3 saves and not a single damn blemish on his WHIP. Yikes, that is some dominance. The blowout win gives a big boost to Eliot's record, which is now above .500.

Predictions

JESSE VS. SEAN (season series: 2-0 Jesse)
Jesse has come a single pitching win from full skunkings both times he played Sean previously, but I think the Gropers might be a little frisky this week coming off a nice victory. Hey Gaudins, just pretend the Tacos are unconscious on a hospital gurney if it helps get your guys in the mood to score. Nevertheless, I think this will be another somewhat easy victory for Jesse...none of the other stats were particularly close in his 9-0 romp in Week 4, with saves and ERA the only somewhat competitive categories in his repeat rout in Week 11. I think Sean can maybe eek out a couple stats this time around, but the overall outcome will never really be in doubt. Prediction: Jesse, 7-2.

DAN VS. NIKO (season series: 2-0 Dan)
My previous two battles with the Nancies have been close...the Piggies won by the hair of their chinny chin chins in Week 4, edging Niko in batting by a ridiculously close .00046 difference in average. The Swansons slugged 12 homers in that matchup but only 5 in the rematch in Week 11...gonna have to bring their A game if they want to keep up with the big bois this week. I think this will be another close one and, hell, let's give this one to the Nancies. Prediction: Niko, 6-4.

AARON VS. ELIOT (season series: tied 1-1)
Aaron's team has been like night and day. In the first part of the season they sucked, and more recently they've been pretty damn good. Let's call it the Tale of Two Shitties. The Shitty Shits reared their ugly head in Week 4 when they hit a laughable .192 with only 4 homers and had an ERA nearing 6, allowing Eliot to win 8-1. Yikes. But while Aaron's squad only got marginally better on offense in the Week 11 rematch (.260 avg, just 5 jacks), he had solid outings on the mound to sweep all five pitching stats on his way to a 7-3 victory. So who will win the rubber match? Both teams need to win to firm up their grasp on a playoff spot, and I think this one goes Eliot's way, just barely, thanks to slightly better pitching. Prediction: Eliot, 5-4.

PETE VS. OSCAR (season series: 1-0-1 Pete)
Ahh, the battle of the league's two derelicts. What epic boner will decide this matchup? Will Pete sit another no-hitter? Will Oscar let another injured guy languish in his starting lineup? So much could go wrong! In Week 4, Pete left a bunch of starting pitchers on his bench, allowing Oscar to win four of the five pitching stats. However, the Mongers forgot their roid shipment and hit a sad .198 on offense that week, allowing Pete to "win" in all five categories with only slightly better stats and squeak out the overall victory. In the rematch, these two sadsacks stumbled to a stalemate, with Pete leaving a Chris Sale 14 K performance on the bench highlighting the usual hilarious gaffes between these two. I think Oscar will get revenge this time around and win in another close one. Prediction: Oscar, 6-4.

Were last week's predictions right? 2-1-1 (34-23-7 for the year, don't act like you're not impressed)

Last Harbinger of Your Wasted Time

So there were a few decent stories from my sister's wedding, the best of which was that the maid of honor drank waaaaaay too much. She was dancing with a groomsman near the end of the night when her top fell down...she thought he pulled it down so she slapped him, then fell on the dance floor and had to be walked away to sleep it off. Classy gal.

Earlier in the week, Sean and I went to my uncle Greg's reunion show in Oakland. For those that don't know, my uncle started the punk band Black Flag and is on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, but is also just a weird guy who is obsessed with cats and veganism. Anyways, it was funny to see a bunch of old guys in the crowd moshing around and throwing beer in the air like they were 20 again. Also, my uncle just sued other ex-members of the band this weekend. Nice. Never a dull moment with my crazy family.

Should be interesting next weekend with Outside Lands, the big-ass music festival in SF's Golden Gate Park, to which I have a three-day pass. I'm sure I'll see plenty of drunk idiots there too, and hopefully a story or two to share the next time we meet.

Until then...