Week 22 Fantasy Baseball recap

And a playoff preview!

The intro...

The regular season, at long last, is over. Halle-fucking-lujah. But for some reason, Aaron invited almost all of you slapdicks along for the playoffs too. How are there six playoff teams in an eight-team league??? 75 percent of the league?!?

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


Hitting

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

Pitching

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

Aaron came in to this matchup with one goal in mind...win one damn point and clinch that last playoff spot. He easily did that with some solid across-the-board offense to sweep all five stats, led by Mike Napoli's bitchass knocking out four homers with nine RBI and a .476 average all by his bad self. Napoli, go suck a bag of dicks. But while Napoli's outburst was somewhat unexpected, he at least has a track record of beasting out on occasion. My power sources were random as hell though...Rajai Davis? More like Roidja Davis, amirite? He hit two homers, while Andrelton Simmons had an unlikely three bombs as well. Other guys balling as usual for Aaron were Adam "Not Pac Man" Jones going for three bombs and Matt Carpenter putting up a ridonkulous 10 runs with a .379 average. 46 runs total for the Shits! Not fair.

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

Oscar needed a skunking to have any hope of a playoff spot, but that was a tall order that the Mongers couldn't quite pull off. He did it on the pitching side, sweeping all five stats thanks to nice starts from guys like Cliff Lee, who sat on the bench for far too many Roid starts but went out in style with 10 K's and a 1.13 ERA for a win. Jesse tried to be accommodating, leaving pitchers on his bench seemingly at will. The guys that DID start on the mound for the Tacos weren't particularly impressive, while his closers put up some crooked numbers too.

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

Niko held onto the fourth seed thanks to a nice win over Pete, including sweeping all five offensive stats. He got the best share of Boston's ridiculous 20-run performance Wednesday, with Big Papi getting 2 HRs and 4 RBI that game. He also had two homers from Wil Myers on the same day. A total of 45 runs and a .300+ average will do just fine most weeks, so well done. Pete got two more bombz from Carny, as well as a couple more from Willie Mays Hayes Crisp, but couldn't match the offensive firepower, leading to his fall from the fifth to sixth seed.

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

Oddly, this was the third of the four matchups in which one team swept all five offensive stats. In this case, it was Eliot's dudes continuing their strong finish to the regular season. Jay Bruce paced the Puigs with three bombs, while Freddie Freeman had a nice little week with two jacks and eight ribbies. Mr. Puig himself missed a couple of games with a knee strain but it doesn't seem major...he was back by Friday and hit a homer Saturday. For Sean, I thought my Padres were gonna have another sexy sweep of the Giants, but stupid fat Panda made sure that wouldn't happen, hitting THREE jacks for 6 RBI Wednesday. He only had two homers since the beginning of June, then does that shit. I hope his bitchass eats with reckless abandon this offseason and comes back next year even fatter.

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!

Obituaries

Gaudin's Gropers (Sean)

I first thought Sean was going to get last place when we were only two rounds into the draft and he picked fatass Pablo Sandoval. I KNEW Sean was going to get last place when he picked bunk-ass Brandon Belt just two rounds later, leaving countless better players still on the board. Oddly, Sean's last two picks of the draft ended up being his best...Homer Bailey and A.J. Burnett have had fine years and were better than anyone else picked in those rounds. His offense also picked it up near the end of the year and he wasn't a pushover like he was earlier in the season. Nevertheless, the Gropers finished with the worst totals in SEVEN of the league's 10 categories, which is no easy feat. I feel kinda bad because I was the one that convinced Sean, a fantasy baseball noob, to join the league, then proceeded to shit all over his team both in these recaps and in our matchups (I skunked his ass not once, but TWICE, and they were the only skunkings in the league this year). I don't feel THAT bad though since Sean learned a couple valuable lessons from this season that he can take with him if he ever plays fantasy baseball again. First, don't pick all Giants in the draft like a dope. Second, CAWWWWWWWWWWW.


Roid Mongers (Oscar)

Make no mistake...this should have been a playoff team (as the rotisserie analysis above shows). If Oscar had just checked his lineup more regularly, I have no doubt he would've joined the top 6 in the playoffs. Yes, there was some bad luck -- Cole Hamels in particular was snakebitten this whole year -- but a lot of it was the Mongers bringing it on themselves. Oscar drafted well, but didn't have the roster maintenance and waiver wire skillz to match. He only made nine moves all year! Many of them were total dogshit too. Fun fact...he actually drafted Zack Greinke in the ninth round, but shortsightedly dumped his ass during his brief injury stint. Jesse then picked him up, flipped him for a top closer, and Niko is now enjoying Greinke's awesome run late this season. Same goes for Matt Moore, a top pitcher Oscar drafted and later dumped. He's now on Pete's squad. Also, for a team called the Roid Mongers, it's disappointing that only one guy on Oscar's squad got suspended for PEDs. Poor form. I, for one, am glad to see Oscar go since he had my number as the only guy to beat me twice this year. So don't let the door hit you on the way out, and we'll see you in the football league.

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.

Playoff Preview

First Round predictions

OK, before getting into the predixxx, please refresh yourselves on the tiebreaker rules for the playoffs in case your matchup ends in a tie. Somewhat interestingly, the seeds are meaningless since the first tiebreaker is your head-to-head totals against your opponent. It's definitely something to keep in mind if it gets to be late in the week and the score is close. As your trusty recap writer, I have included the head-to-head totals for each matchup so you know if you can play for the tie or need to go for the win.

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 those that I know in this league, you already know that my big announcement is that I'm gonna be a dad (it's 13 weeks along and due in late March, just in time for fantasy baseball 2014!).

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...

-Dan