Week 22 Fantasy Baseball recap
And a playoff preview!
Aaron, of course, was the last to clinch a playoff spot, although he did jump over Pete to the fifth seed thanks to an arcane Y! tiebreaker rule (I had to do a deep dive into the rulebook to find it in Line 2 of Section A here). That sets up our first-round matchups, which we'll get to in a bit. We also say goodbye to poor Oscar and Sean, who have just seen their last meaningful fantasy baseball action of the year and can now be ignored. Your obituaries have been posted below. I also have a big announcement at the end of this recap.
But before we get to all that, take a look at this analysis I did of our stats this year if our league was rotisserie instead of head-to-head. For fantasy baseball noobs, rotisserie gives points based on season totals for stats rather than having one-on-one weekly matchups (in our league, you'd get 8 pts for leading the league in a stat, 7 pts for second place, 6 for third, etc.). The analysis led to some interesting results...Aaron's team, ranked tied for fifth in the current format, moved all the way up to tied for second with Eliot in rotisserie, while I fell to fourth and Pete fell to seventh. These numbers also tell us things we already knew -- Jesse's team has mostly owned bitches this year, while Sean's team was mostly just a bunch of bitches. This provides a helpful scouting report as well for what to expect from your playoff opponent. For instance, Niko's pitching is usually way better than his offense, while Pete is the opposite.
Anyways, take a look:
1) Jesse: 33.5 offense, 29.5 pitching = 63
T-2) Aaron: 32 offense, 24 pitching = 56
T-2) Eliot: 29 offense, 27 pitching = 56
4) Dan: 21 offense, 28 pitching = 49
5) Niko: 12 offense, 33 pitching = 45
6) Oscar:16 offense, 21.5 pitching = 37.5
7) Pete: 26 offense, 11 pitching = 37
8) Sean: 10.5 offense, 6 pitching = 16.5
R HR RBI SB AVG
Show Me 4 7 4 5 6 = 26
Roid 2 5 5 2 2 = 16
Gaudin 3 1 1 1 4.5 = 10.5
Bays 5 6 7 4 7 = 29
Nancy 1 4 3 3 1 = 12
Pigs 6 2 2 8 3 = 21
Tacos 8 8 6 7 4.5 = 33.5
Shits 7 3 8 6 8 = 32
W SV K ERA WHIP
Show Me 1 2 2 2 4 = 11
Roid 3 4 3 5 6.5 = 21.5
Gaudin 2 1 1 1 1 = 6
Bays 4 3 4 8 8 = 27
Nancy 7 7 8 6 5 = 33
Pigs 6 8 7 4 3 = 28
Tacos 5 6 5 7 6.5 = 29.5
Shits 8 5 6 3 2 = 24
OK, enough numbers for now, let's get to the shit-talking!
Aaron vs. Dan
Shits seal spot, pummel poopy Piggies
On the pitching side, as you guys might have seen, Aaron's guy Patrick Corbin was on the losing end of a near-perfect game for the Giants, when no-name Yusmeiro Petit blew it with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the 9th. Brutal...and by brutal, this Giants hater means AWESOME. I laughed so hard when it fell right in front of Pence. Speaking of the Giants, Aaron got a dogshit win out of Timmy, a waiver wire pickup from the Yoenises. Gives up 5 runs to the Padres and gets a W out of it? Disgusting. I got a dogshit win of my own though on Friday from a A.J. Griffin 4-run outing against the Astros, as well as a vulture win from Huston Street due to some rare 9th inning Padre heroics. I had enough two-start pitchers this week and some streamers to take the counting stats (except wins, which Aaron tied me in on Sunday to get the fifth seed), but once again put up truly horrible ERA and WHIP numbers. What the hell is wrong with the Piggies? Get your shit together dudes. Meanwhile, congrats to Aaron for having by far the most moves made this year, just to be the last team to clinch a playoff spot. That is a lot of rosterbating with not much to show for it. Of course you'll probably roll through the playoffs to the title because the fantasy gods are fickle-ass bitches and life isn't fair.
Jesse vs. Oscar
Oscar ousted despite dominating defenseless Ducks
However, Jesse officially ended Oscar's season by preventing a sweep of the offensive stats too. The Tacos had a lot of guys with poopy averages, but put up enough runs and RBI to do the deed. Hunter Pence is the only Giant left that's worth a damn (after Posey's injury), while Robby Cano had another typically good week. Oscar had a pretty solid-ass week offensively, including some bombs from Matt Wieters (a notorious September baller) and Josh Donaldson, but brutally missed out on Zimmerman hitting two homers Saturday by having him riding the pine. A somehow fitting end to the Mongers season. Meanwhile, despite kicking our asses most of the year, Jesse has limped and stumbled to the finish line here...he'll have to regroup during his well-earned bye week if he's gonna take the title.
Niko vs. Pete
Nancies go forth in fourth
The Yoenises made up some ground on the mound only by not tripping over their dicks too much while the Swansons put up some ugly numbers, including from Seattle youngster Taijuan Walker in his second MLB start. Niko also on Friday left another shutout win from Jose Fernandez on the bench...that's not the first time he's done that either. He left Greinke on the pine Saturday too! If you ain't gonna start them, I'll take 'em for the playoffs. The Nancies somehow didn't manage a single pitching win the entire week until Aroldis vultured one in the Sunday night game. For Pete, he got Matt Moore back from the DL just in time for the postseason, so we'll see if he makes a difference.
Eliot vs. Sean
Sean's shitty season stops
This was truly a battle of boners on the mound. James Shields has been really good all year, but this week's 24.55 ERA is...not that. Even Clayton Kershaw showed that *gasp* he's human with a 5.25 ERA. Sean's guy Homer Bailey had a nice couple of starts with 17 K's, but really won the ERA and WHIP stats by default due to Eliot's awfulness. The Puigs did easily enough though to hold onto that third seed. For the Gropers, it was a lackluster end to a lackluster season, which reminds me...it's obituary time!
Gaudin's Gropers (Sean)
Roid Mongers (Oscar)
NOTE: I'm unclear what the hell is going on in the consolation bracket of this league, so you guys might get a cursory mention in a future recap once we see if you'll even get to play someone again, but I am sure as hell not gonna do a full rundown of some meaningless conso games.
First Round predictions
ELIOT VS. PETE
(previous matchups: Tie 4-4, Pete 7-2, Eliot 8-2, which means ELIOT holds the tiebreaker)
Our first playoff matchup features No. 3-ranked Eliot, whose Puigs were middling at first, but caught on fire just a little after picking up Yasiel himself and have gone 7-1-1 in their last nine matchups. Eliot's performance this year has been even more impressive given his lack of roster moves...his 14 was tied with Sean for second-least in the league (Oscar, of course, had the least with 9, as noted above). So you can expect the Puigs to just dance with the ones who brung him to this spot...and the ones who brung him are pretty fucking good. Eliot has both the top-rated hitter (Miguel Cabrera) and top-rated pitcher (Clayton Kershaw) so far in fantasy this year.
In the other corner we have Pete, the team who held the No. 3 spot for much of the year before falling apart down the stretch and sliding down to the last playoff seed. While they've stumbled to the finish, the Yoenises have played tough against the Puigs, tying them once and kicking their ass in the second matchup (though he got his ass handed back to him in the third battle). Pete also somehow weaseled his way into a bye this week in our other fantasy baseball league, so he'll be able to give this one more attention this week. Pete's top hitter is Chris Davis, who has 48 goddamn homers and is the second-ranked guy in all of fantasy. But as noted in the rotisserie analysis, the Yoenis pitching leaves something to be desired...their top-ranked pitcher is Madison Bumgarner, who Bruce Bochy said Sunday is gonna be kept on a tight leash given the Giants' hopelessness at the end of the year.
I have a feeling this one goes down to the wire, but Eliot has been too good lately and I think he pulls it out. Plus, I play the winner of this matchup, and I don't know if I could take Pete eliminating me from the playoffs again. No sir, I think I might just have to quit fantasy sports forever. Not gonna happen lalalala. Prediction: Eliot, 6-4.
NIKO VS. AARON
(previous matchups: Niko 9-1, Aaron 5-3, Tie 5-5, which means NIKO holds the tiebreaker)
Niko comes into the postseason as the fourth seed, and has been consistently inconsistent this year. The Nancies have never won more than two weeks in a row, so now we're expected to believe they can win three straight playoff weeks to win the title? Schya right. Niko could easily win this matchup though, having won the tiebreaker thanks to a 9-1 spanking of Aaron in these guys' first matchup. He'll have to do better at the plate to pull it off...his guys had the second-worst offense this year, ahead of only Sean. David Ortiz is his top hitter and has been around the top 20, but he only has four hitters in the top 150 based on their season output. Not good. The Nancies' pitching has been the best in the league though, and his Seattle-heavy squad DOES get the weak-ass Astros to start this week, so we'll see if they can carry him again. Jose Fernandez has been his best pitcher, but is getting shut down after one last start this week, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Aaron's season with the Shits has been bookended by some runs (poop punz)...a hilariously bad start of 5 losses in a row and a promising end with a 3-0-1 record in the last four weeks. Obviously, he's hoping he can continue that good Shit streak in the playoffs, and the rotisserie analysis does show that his team has been somewhat better than their record shows. Aaron has five top-20 hitters, and all are in the midst of playoff races so will be going full-bore for these last few weeks. He also has the top winning pitcher and AL Cy Young favorite in Max Scherzer, who is going for win #20 Monday.
While ideally these playoff matchups will all be well-played, hard-fought battles, I think at least one or two of them will be stinkers, and I see the Nancies dropping a big dump in their pants this week, allowing the Shits to easily move on for a spicy matchup between former roommates. Prediction: Aaron, 7-2.
Last Harbinger of Your Wasted Time
For the others, the only relevance this has for you is that I am hereby announcing my retirement as recap writer after these last few weeks. I will still play fantasy baseball (and football), but I am sure as hell not writing this dumb crap while drowning in actual baby crap starting next year. As such, I plan to take this shit out in a blaze of glory with these last few playoff weeks, so stay tuned...