WEEK 13…….the perfect time to start overanalyzing everyone’s season long stats even though all rosters have gone through numerous changes throughout the year (well maybe not Cliff’s roster) and will continue to do so, rendering season to date stats kinda arbitrary. SO YEA LET’S DO THAT ANYWAYS…….
1- Rojo’s Resurgence (8-4)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: I know I just claimed I was going all in on season stats but in the case of Resurgence their reason for hope is just that HEY, maybe it’s just their year. Rojo’s Resurgence are middle of the pack AT BEST in most of their stats, except for RBIs where they are 2 behind the lead with 578, and holds where they are easily in first cuz Rojo is an asshole like that. FIVE SAVES ALL YEAR. But in spite of a lot of middle of the pack counting stats the Resurgence remains in first….
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: FOR NOW. Rojo’s biggest reason for despair is likely the fact that his first place lead ain’t all that comfortable, with a wholeeee slew of teams 2 games back or less. If a couple of matchups start not breaking their way, the Resurgence may have to making some tough decisions on struggling stars (See: Gomez, Carlos) and/or overrated players (See: Kemp, Matt).
2- Point Loma X-Rayz (7-4-1)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: #TrustTheProcess. Odom’s management style is very unique and he is capable of adjusting his roster to fit his needs at any given time. Generally those needs are A NEED FOR SPEED. And speed optimization has the X-Rayz first in triples and stolen bases. A strong bullpen and high K pitchers have the X-Rayz second in the league in strikeouts, as one of only 3 teams in the league over 1000 Ks at this point in the season.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: There are, however, some underlying causes for concern. Earlier versions of the X-Rayz roster performed predictably poorly (SAY THAT FIVE TIMES FAST) in the power numbers and you can see a shift in the roster reflecting that fact. The team is also easily last in OBP, which is a shame because that means Mikey T isn’t. Struggling aces David Price and Chris Archer, as well as a strategy that relies entirely on streamers outside of those two (now that old man Rich Hill is on the DL) have lead to the X-Rayz producing the second worst ERA in the league, one of three teams with an ERA over 4.
3- Barnegat Banana Slugs (7-5)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: EXTRA BASE PROFICIENCY. Trevor Story, Adam Eaton (ugh), and the rest of the gang helped Brian’s BS set the all-time record for triples in a week, and on the year the Banana Slugs are second to only the X-Rayz in that category. Couple that with their first place ranking in doubles and 4th place ranking in HRs and you have a team doing a REALLY good job of trying to convince people they aren’t going to collapse.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™ The Runner Up Curse ™…….. also a few guys are banged up. Likely as a result of the first part.
4- Main Street MooniniteZ (6-5-1)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: A revamping of the rotation around Week 9 and Week 10….farewell Francisco ;( …..has lead to more consistency on the ERA and QS fronts while allowing the MooniniteZ to continue to lead the league in strikeouts. Consistency for QS in this case means avoiding having less than 5. Nobody should start 12 and end up with like 3 QS but OH IT’S HAPPENED. Also the MooniniteZ have the second most runs scored in the league, about 30 runs ahead of the team behind them (which would be the Cuban Missiles).
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: Unfortunate injuries have been unfortunate all season long, with the 15 day DL most recently claiming Dexter Fowler and SP-eligible closer Alex Colome. Also Aledmys Diaz broke his face. Additionally high K guys sometimes come at a cost and that cost is the whole quality start issue. For the second straight year this franchise is establishing the floor for least quality starts in this league, which is an icky feeling.
5- Ocean Gate Trout Fishing Club (6-5-1)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: The Trout Fishing Club has scored the most runs in the league by like A LOT. 634 runs scored at the time of writing this with the next closest team at 585. Also they have Mike Trout and two good young Cubs and that fuckface Mookie Betts. Which probably factors into the whole “alotta runs scored” thing. The OCTFC are also first in HRs at 180 and first in RBIs at 580. Also they are second in ERA and I haven’t even touched on pitchers. SO A LOT TO LIKE HERE. Maybe they should even be ranked fourth. But fuck them.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: HISTORY. Heroy has a long and storied track record of either failing in the championship game or, yanno, failing a bit earlier than that. I believe in history. Also Andrew McCutchen is all up on that struggle bus.
6- River City Cuban Missiles (5-5-2)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: Championship experience. Mike is one of a handful of multiple time champions (joining Ryan and THE ODOM/SEAN DYNASTY THAT NEARLY RENDERED THIS LEAGUE A POINTLESS EXERCISE FOR YOU ALL) and our most recent champion, so he knows a thing or two about a thing or two and about making noise come playoff time. Also the Cuban Missiles are 2nd in HRs, 3rd in RBIs. So there’s still some pop there despite Lobman desperately trying to trade away all his pop. Machado, Odor, Stanton, Harper, Adam Jones these are names of very good players and they are all on the Cuban Missiles.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: A championship hangover and/or impending baby so team sucks syndrome. WHO KNOWS where Lobman’s head is at these days. Could be on his future spawn. Could be on his new grill. And WHO KNOWS where it was at with some of the trades he has made this season. Rosenthal for Freeman was so bad the league should have stepped in, and one could argue there was far too much tinkering done with the championship roster in the offseason. Chris Davis and Anthony Rizzo would be helpful these days. Also Jose Abreu has regressed a bit. And speaking of that Bryce Harper hasn’t been quite as godlike this year and MAYBE THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLANNED FOR. Perhaps we will look back on the Cuban Missiles 2015 championship in the same way we look upon that time I won the football league when Chris Johnson had 2000 yards. REMEMBER THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE? Let’s bring it back.
7- Bad Drake Puns (5-6-1)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: Steals and solid pitching I GUESS. The BDP have maybe stolen a few pages from the Odom playbook by committing their roster to high stolen base guys. This is not unlike the hit film Bring It On, where white cheerleaders rip off black cheerleaders and steal their uhh cheering routines. I think. In fact this is EXACTLY like that. Connor’s squad also leads the league in quality starts and is 4th in ERA, which is unfortunate. Connor’s squad also has Jose Altuve, which is unfortunate.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: RECENT HISTORY. Club *wanking motion* has lost 3 in a row, and that is what we refer to in the industry as a downward trend.
8- Pine Lake Jumpmen (5-7)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: The pitching staff. Clayton Kershaw remains capable of changing a matchup with a CG in any given week, and he’s just really really good in general. In case you haven’t heard. Also Chris Sale can be dominant for large stretches (like entire seasons) and if a few of the injured guys return and return to form this team is still capable of putting together beautiful pitching weeks. Also it has Carlos Correa, a dickhole named Jackie Bradley Jr., and a forever underrated Brandon Belt doing underrated Brandon Belt things.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: The pitching staff. This was projected to be Pine Lake’s biggest strength coming into the year, and since then injuries and ineffectiveness have taken a lot of the shine off. Stephen Strasburg continues to be a delicate flower and is on the DL, Felix Hernandez is also on the DL and I believe his fastball tops out at 86 mph these days. Wainwright has been rather bad and Rodon is rather inconsistent, as young pitchers will be. Also the impending baby thing
9- Springfield Isotopes (4-6-2)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: BEAT ROJO’S RESURGENCE LAST WEEK. Also a couple of shrewd roster moves over the course of the past few months. Getting Chris Davis and Freddie Freeman from Lobman and Lorenzo Cain and Stephen Piscotty from yours truly gives the ‘Topes some solid core players and/or some solid trade bait, although everyone knows David Phelps is the juiciest asset on this squad. Also not all aspects of all trades have worked out because they never do (shout out to Marcus Stroman and SECOND ROUND PICK Starlin Castro).
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: PLENTY OF THINGS. League-worst ERA lead by the struggle bus driver Dallas Kuechel, second-worst OBP lead by a most of the year unusable Prince Fielder. Also that victory over Rojo last week was a lot more about Rojo’s team performing terribly than it was about the ‘Topes playing well. The ‘Topes were still mostly terrible.
10- Whitestone Bulldogs (3-9)
Reason or Reasons for HOPE: Not applicable. No that’s a bit harsh. The Bulldogs lost some tough matchups and they lead the league in ERA. There.
Reason or Reasons for DESPAIR: They also lead the league in not really giving a shit about the league, having made only 55 “moves” on the year. And what you end up with there is the team that is last in runs, last in doubles, second to last in RBIs, and last in Ks. And also the team that is MOST OBLIVIOUS to the league’s holds movement.