10 Teams In 10 Days: #4 Manchester MooniniteZ

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KNOW YOUR OWNER!:  SEAN!  What can be said about this guy that hasn’t already been said, really?  Ungenerous lover?  Surely no one has ever said that about Sean, because it would be demonstrably false.  Anyways, BEST OF LUCK TO SEAN IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

(HEY GUYS LOBMAN HERE: I’m going to do some critiquing of the Mooninitez, if for no reason just to get back at Sean for the HIT SHOW he’s been putting on ya’ll. So here we go. FUCK SEAN AND BEST OF LUCK!)

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KEY ADDITIONS!:  CF Andrew McCutchen, LF/CF Ian Desmond, CF Keon Broxton, SP Vince Velasquez

(Lobman’s Key Additions: Andrew McCutchen, Ian Desmond, A new address, Keon Broxton’s inflated sense of worth, Lance McCullers’s healthy elbow for a month or so, Gray hair, Kendrys Morales)

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KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  SP Danny Duffy, SP Alex Reyes (INJURY), RP Andrew Miller, RP AJ Ramos, CF Victor Robles possibly eventually

(Lobman’s Key Subtractions: His Freedom, Danny Duffy, Dexter Fowler, Andrew Miller, Ability to make the babies, AJ Ramos, His youth, etc)

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THE HITTERS!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. I tell ya I can talk about this collection of hitters all day but will attempt not to. I mean WHERE TO BEGIN? Nolan Arenado is a stud everyone knows this. LESS people seem willing to acknowledge that Joey Votto is…..Votto is grossly disrespected in this league, this is AN OBP LEAGUE (.490 OBP in 2nd half last year, basically the best hitter in baseball over that stretch). So yea stop being rude to Votto ALL OF YOU, top 15 hitter in OBP leagues.  Add Matt Carpenter to the grossly disrespected category, in perhaps his last beautiful year of 2B eligibility (eligibility losses throughout could actually be a bit of a problem come 2018). Everyone knows what Gary Sanchez did last year and everyone has an opinion about what level he can repeat this year. He’s kinda like (a better) Trevor Story in that way. Edwin Encarnacion still has A FEW good years left in him and will be rostered by the MooniniteZ until he retires goddammit. Speaking of eventual demise, reports of Andrew McCutchen‘s demise have been GREATLY EXAGGERATED if you ask me (again his worst year ever last year and it was basically Adam Jones production); the MM look forward to Cutch and Ian Desmond putting up numbers for them that they are therefore not putting up for the reigning champs. And then there is KEON BROXTON, beautiful Keon Broxton. Whom will surely divide opinions around the league but whom hits the ever fucking fuck out of a baseball (when he actually hits it). And can steal 40+ bags and can walk enough to be in position to steal 40+ bags. This franchise fully expects Keon Broxton (and/or his counterpart/replacement Lewis Brinson) to produce excellent numbers this upcoming season. REMEMBER THOSE NAMES. And now I will conclude namedropping everyone on the team. Also I like Justin Turner‘s hair what can I say. Done now.

(Lobman’s Note: Oh hey fuck this team. Actually, they’re very good. Starting at the top, we could talk about the fact that Nolan Arenado might be the best player in baseball overall, which is maybe bold, but saying something! Then move to Easy E, Carp, Votto, and Cutch as some veteran help which really adds a ton of consistency to the mix of offensive young talent that the Moon Men possess. I’m so disgustingly done with the LOVE that Sean throws at Keon fucking Broxton, but in all actuality, he has potential to be a nice fantasy player this year. He will not realize this potential, but HEY lets just dream on that potential! Actually no lets not. The Mooninitez won’t lack for offensive production this year, and if they get some production out of the young hitters and prospects, they could top a lot of the stat columns in the league this year. But he won’t tho, because of the two finalists last season.)

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THE ROTATION!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. Justin Verlander is I suppose TECHNICALLY the staff ace following his 2016 renaissance season (3.04 ERA, 10.04 K/9), but if you ask me (and it is my team) THE REAL GEM is a one Lance McCullers. McCullers has absolutely filthy stuff and only health concerns standing in the way of a possible Cy Young campaign YEA I SAID IT, and ideally some mechanical changes for him that have been discussed this spring alleviate some of those concerns. Another guy with nothing but goddamned health concerns in his way is James Paxton, Mariners lefty of the altered mechanics that gave him third best fastball velocity amongst starters last season (minimum 120 IP). He can be very good this season and many think he in fact shall LOOK AROUND THIS ISN’T JUST ME. That is your big 3 for this rotation, of which only one can be considered established. Behind them are equally un-established but intriguing talents in Matt Shoemaker and Vince Velasquez, both were kinda excellent for stretches there in 2016 (Velasquez more first half Shoemaker more second half) and both are coming off kinda scary injuries (Shoemaker a liner to the head which is scarier for him, Velasquez dreaded biceps issues which are scarier for me). Again dare I say that if we can guarantee solid health you can expect solid performance from those two, likely high K solid performance which is this team’s favorite kind. And lastly and most boringly is Jake Odorizzi, which is what you get when a team is dead last in quality starts 2 years running and gets tired of watching Michael Pineda‘s line implode in the early innings. Odorizzi is being counted on for consistency hopefullyyyyy right around 8 Ks per 9 and an ERA right around 3.60 or something. Also ALEX REYES WOULD HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL THING TO WATCH. Now he’s a possible trade chip or a depressing stash until mid 2018, when he might finally cross the non-minors-eligible threshold.

(Lobman’s Note: Poor Poor Alex Reyes. At least Sean didn’t kill this Cardinals prospect. FLY HIGH FREE BIRD! For some reason, Sean loves Matt Shoemaker, who he called intriguing for whatever reason, but fine. There are many questions with the rotation, but one thing it doesn’t lack is potential. Talking Paxton, McCullers {A Lobman Favorite}, and Vinny Velasquez make for a pretty fantastic young stable of pitchers, albeit with many concerns. I’m sure Sean is concerned. His pitching won’t be the best, but it will be enough for him to be wildly successful as a whole.)

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THE BULLPEN!:  SOME PROMISING PIECES. Really gotta hand it to this owner/manager/savant. Okay I’ll admit the initial look here notttt the mosttttt promising. But also let me just be clear since this came up recently, this team fielded 2016’s best bullpen FULL STOP (only team with 200+ saves+holds, lead the league in Ks and ERA so the bullpen was clearly doing its duties). But now it is 2017. Kenley Jansen is 1st or 2nd best fantasy closer in all the land so he will be fine, but beyond him ehhhhh. The MooniniteZ will be adopting an early strategy of “banking on Dodgers wins” and hoping Grant Dayton is an effective set up man (he was pretty damn good in 2016), they will also be banking on someone OTHER than Koda Glover so that they have the Nats closer rather than just some fuckface Nats holds guy (Blake Treinen and Shawn Kelley currently rostered, AT MOST only one expected to survive final roster cuts)The MooniniteZ will ALSO be banking on Carter Capps and his cheating cheater delivery to return to the dominance they both enjoyed in 2015, and then hope he quickly grabs the closers role, and then hope that it even matters because how many leads are the Padres going to even gather. There’s also hope that the SP-eligible Raisel Iglesias gets a shower seat/takes hold of the closer’s gig in Cincinnati (again leads will be at a premium) and hope that Juan Nicasio grabs some holds out of an SP spot and EVEN hope in minors relievers (Joe JimenezAJ Minter) coming up later in the year and helping out down the stretch run. HOPE ALL OVER THE DAMNED PLACE. HOPE ABOUNDS.

(Lobman’s note: LETS TALK ABOUT CARTER CAPPS. Actually, nah. Really its about Kenley. Mostly because he’s the only real closer on this team right now. That is a problem. The good thing is that the bullpen is pretty easy to fine tune into serviceable during the season, and that’s discounting the fact that the Mooninitez carry some huge potential relievers as of now. SO WHO KNOWS. Whatever tho…)

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THE OUTLOOK!:  THE SKY (and the max carrying capacity of hope) IS THE LIMIT for this talented group of fantasy fodder. There are quietly concerns within the organization over the 2018 team with several players possibly losing KEY positional eligiblity but that makes the desire to win in 2017 (and then dismantle the team like I’m Lobman) all the stronger. A few bullpen issues to likely address throughout the course of the year and pitcher injuries are always headaches (there’s perhaps a slightly elevated risk of those here) and there can be some slumping hitters in this group to work around or upgrade, but who doesn’t trust this owner to put it all together? Anyone? I certainly trust this owner to put it all together.

(Lobman’s Note: You’re lying to yourself if you don’t think this team will be in the race for one of the byes this season. You’re also lying to yourself if you don’t think this team does carry some concern in every area of their roster that could potentially ruin their season. Its kind of the breaks when you have the “thinking ahead of the game” mentality that Sean {and myself} possess. The positive thing is the bone structure of a championship team are absolutely there, so if the breaks are in the Mooninitez favor, he’s an easy title contender. Lets not root for that tho.)

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SEAN’S PREDICTION!:  11-5-2, 2nd place.  BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, people.  Confidence is key.  Note:  This is only second place IN THE REGULAR SEASON, I also fully expect to win the championship. See you bitches at my victory BBQ.

(Lobman’s Note: I’ll base this off of nothing and say The Mooninitez win 10 games and get somewhere in the 4th spot. But that’s spitballing. He will also lose to me in all facets. FUCK SEAN)
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10 Teams In 10 Days: #4 Manchester MooniniteZ

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