10 Teams in 10 Days: #8 Pine Lake Punchouts (Now Toms River Titans)

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They have since been re-branded the “Toms River Titans” rendering this BEAUTIFUL GIF useless. Shame on them….. 

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KNOW YOUR OWNER!:  RYAN! Oh how the mighty have fallen.  Now three years removed from one of the more impressive championship seasons in this league’s history (dominant numbers with under 100 moves IN A MOVES ERA FOLKS), Ryan’s Punchouts hit rock bottom (theoretically) in 2016. Once mathematically eliminated the Punchouts started looking towards 2017, which may have cost them a few 2016 wins (which in turn may have cost them the playoffs earlier in the season), but now 2017 is upon us. Ryan enjoys spacing out his appearances within group functions and hoarding all of the good starting pitchers. Ryan is also now about 5 months removed from having a child, and WHO KNOWS if that has any effect on anything whatsoever, but the reality remains that the two guys that had a child in 2016 didn’t win in 2016 and the one guy that already has children also didn’t win.  #stats  #analysis  BEST OF LUCK TO RYAN IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

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KEY ADDITIONS!:  SS Francisco Lindor, C JT REALMUTO, SP Noah Syndergaard 

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KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  RF Carlos Gonzalez, LF Justin Upton, CF JACKIE BRADLEY JR., 1B Brandon Belt, SP Carlos Rodon if this “biceps tightness” goes the way I THINK IT JUST MIGHT GO

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THE HITTERS!:  And here is where I point out that mayyyyybe Ryan and the Punchouts actually acquired the best available player this offseason, particularly in a dynasty format, Francisco Lindor. Personally I am still waiting for the power to go away but it HASN’T YET:  15 HRs last season (although the ISO and slugging percentage both dropped a bit). Lindor should continue to be a stud, not that the Punchouts were hurting for one at SS as they already own Carlos Correa (36 doubles, 20 HRs, 13 SBs, .361 OBP in ’16).  Outside of the shortstop position, however, this infield has questions. Questions like can Nick Castellanos continue to evolve as a hitter? Can Anthony Rendon stay healthy two years in a row? Will the Punchouts find a first baseman (as of writing this they had none)? Can JT Realmuto SHOVE IT in the face of all of his many one scrawny detractors? Less questions in the OF, BUT STILL QUESTIONS, starting with the question of which of the surplus ends up cut by Opening Day. Andrew Benintendi is the top prospect in baseball according to some, according to others it is the Punchouts other prospect Yoan MoncadaRyan Braun had a renaissance of sorts in 2016 (30 HRs 16 SBs) and has been a mainstay in Ryan’s lineup for several seasons now, will be interesting to see if he is traded by either the Punchouts and/or Brewers in 2017. Miguel Sano has questions about strikeouts but his power is not in question, Byron Buxton looks to continue to put it all together after struggling all season in ’16 before finding his groove in September. George Springer and Christian Yelich  are what they are at this point, which is very good and VERY SIMILAR players (with Springer having more pop). In summary, plenty of questions on offense but also plenty of standouts.

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THE ROTATION!:  Where there are no questions, however, is with this pitching staff.  It is undoubtedly the class of the league, with really only the risk of injuries to hold it back (and again that is something pretty much all pitchers come with to some degree). List your top 5 fantasy SPs and the Punchouts likely have three of them with Clayton Kershaw (1), Chris Sale (5), and Noah Syndergaard (3 or 4). Not too far below these three is Stephen Strasburg, a pitcher good enough to be in that top 5 if he can for once in his fucking life avoid injury for a full season. A bit further down, and with similar injury risks, you would find Matt Harvey. A list of high upside young SPs would include Aaron Nola (another injury risk) and Carlos Rodon and the Punchouts have both of those guys as well. After those names it gets a bit murkier, as the Punchouts STILL have more pitchers for some reason (an aging Adam Wainwright and a volatile but potentially dominant Michael Pinedabut the point is the Punchouts pitching staff is ridiculously deep. If they avoid injury they can probably carry this team by themselves, although the same thing was said last preseason. This staff has gotten better though, somehow

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THE BULLPEN!:  This bullpen offends me eeeeeeven more than the 3EF bullpen, as it comprises only two individuals right now (surely either some pitching or some outfielders will need to be swapped out if the PP want to compete in relief categories). David Robertson is a solid closer that will deliver good Ks and will save some games, possibly more than anticipated now if he ends up dealt to the Nats or some other contending team. Sam Dyson is FAR LESS solid, as his so-so skills will put his job in jeopardy if he slips up even a little bit. These two will not win you any relief categories by themselves, ADDITIONAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.

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THE OUTLOOK!:  This time last year the Punchouts were being declared the league’s best team on the strength of the league’s best rotation, and they once again have ridiculous starting pitching. Starting pitching can be scary to rely on with the always looming threat of injury, and the Punchouts have added a few new injury risks to the rotation (even Syndergaard has “oh no biggie” bone spurs apparently), but if health is maintained the pitching is flat out scary for any opponent. The surplus also presents ample opportunities to sell for extra offense should the Punchouts find the need, and I think after facing some bad luck last season the Punchouts will have enough firepower to return to the postseason in a tight year. First they need to get more goddamned relievers though.

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SEAN’S PREDICTION!:  11-7-1, 5th place.

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10 Teams in 10 Days: #8 Pine Lake Punchouts (Now Toms River Titans)

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