2017 Power Rankings – April Edition/Preseason Predictions

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I just like this picture…..

APRIL.  EVERYONE HAS A CHANCE TO WIN BUT NOT REALLY.  Let’s look at a quick version of power rankings (these things will be monthly going forward) and get a few quick PRESEASON PREDICTIONS. Other blog contributors FEEL FREE to add your own rankings and predictions to this post throughout the week. After Week 1 predictions are considered cheating. Let’s bang these out right quick, THEY WILL BE BRIEF refer to the team previews for my true feelings on your soon to be mismanaged rosters.

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1-  OceanGate Trout Fishing Club (0-0)

The champ returns with a championship roster, made some tweaks but the core here can absolutely repeat and nobody denies this. FORTUNATELY repeating is really difficult. So we have that to hang our hopes on. That and the marriage curse. ALL HAIL THE MARRIAGE CURSE.

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2-  River City Bad Dudes (0-0)

The Bad Dudes limped into the playoffs last year and then righted the ship and damn near went back to back, so they deserve the second ranking here. They also on the sly upgraded their pitching rotation, which historically has given them cause for concern around the trade deadline and forced them into SHADY dealings. Perhaps shady dealings won’t be needed this year (he will do them anyways).

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3-  Toms River Titans (0-0)

LAST YEAR the Now Toms River Titans found themselves with a 1 seed in BSmith’s GOT-themed power rankings, and once can argue their team is even stronger this year (rotation certainly is), but I AM NOT FALLING FOR IT this time. Pitching is too fragile to rest thy laurels on excellent pitching, that being said this team has excellent pitching. Full health from the staff and they might not need much from the offense, and the offense has the pieces to deliver. SLEEPER CHAMP PICK here. But jk I plan on winning.

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4- Manchester MooniniteZ (0-0)

I plan on winning. GIMME A FEW MONTHS though to get to the top of the Power Rankings, for now I think we slot in about here.

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5- Point Loma X-Rayz (0-0)

And my former partner in crime slots in about here. Again NOT GONNA MAKE BRIAN’S MISTAKE and place them 10th based on some underwhelming aspects of the roster, because the roster should look vastly different by the end of the year and Odom shall manage to optimum performance.

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6-  Barnegat Banana Slugs (0-0)

The Banana Slugs are just full of potential regression. Just. Full of it. HENCE SIXTH. But also they have enough know-how and enough Josh Donaldson and I ADMIT IT enough Trevor Story to get back to the big dance that is the Backyard League playoffs.

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7-  Astoria Isotopes (0-0)

It PAINS ME to say this but I think I like the Isotopes offseason maneuvers as much as just about any team in the league that isn’t Ryan’s team. Not sure why everyone feels the need to always trade Freddie Freeman but at least the ‘Topes got a non-horrifying return, in their return. And I like most of their other offseason moves. STILL RANKED SEVENTH.

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8- Forked River Three-Eyed Fish (0-0)

It also pains me to not rank the 3EF 10th, because they CLEARLY picked up Francisco Liriano as a personal attack towards me and I will not allow Mikey T to tell me differently. This is a call to arms for all of the 3EFs opponents to drop them to 0-4 so I can drop them to 10th on the May Power Rankings.

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9- Rojo’s Renegade Force (0-0) 

ROJO’S RENEGADE FORCE.  I am a fan of the name change, he recognized he had one year to make a Resurgence happen and it didn’t happen and now we move on. It appears the Renegade Force has a very tight knit group, that is the only possible explanation for the QUIET offseason over there in Rojo land. April Power Rankings will forever be unkind to the quiet offseason.

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10-  Q-Tip City Morning Wood (0-0) 

Shane embarks on his maiden voyage following a MAJOR overhaul to the roster, and only Brian (and possibly Lobman) can speak to his weekly management style so TIME SHALL TELL. I think he is a nice fella and I wish him the best but I also disapproved with just about every one of his trades, SUCH IS LIFE.

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PRESEASON PREDICTIONS

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AMERICAN DIVISION CHAMP:  Toms River Titans

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NATIONAL DIVISION CHAMP:  OceanGate Trout Fishing Club

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CHAMP CHAMP:  ME MOTHERFUCKERS

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BACKYARD MVP:  Nolan Arenado 😉

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BACKYARD CY YOUNG:  Clayton Kershaw boringly enough

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BACKYARD ROY:  Andrew Benintendi

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BACKYARD BIGGEST BUST:  YULI GURRIEL FUCK YOU MIKE

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BACKYARD BIGGEST SLEEPER:  Kevin Kiermaier

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Best of luck to all and thank fucking god baseball is back…….

2017 Power Rankings – April Edition/Preseason Predictions

10 Teams In 10 Days: #1 OceanGate Trout Fishing Club

This thing sucks…..

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KNOW YOUR OWNER!:  HEROY! And really what can be said here without coming off as overly mean just because he won last year and that’s how these things have to be. Heroy is a pretty alright guy and he enjoys getting drunk and making the comments of a man that isn’t getting married any fucking day now. So that covers the personal bits. And the teams that Heroy’s presided over have for years been at or near the top of the league in terms of talent, so that’s something for him to be proud of. He should be less proud of being unable to get out of his own goddamned way long enough to ever win the championship, but HEY last year he did precisely that. And he returns a team that has the most talent in alllll the league and that is unfortunate. Fortunately he will also be getting married mid-season so the marriage hangover/curse should keep us from having to endure back to back titles, is what I am going with here. BEST OF LUCK TO GREGORY IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

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KEY ADDITIONS!:  SP Danny Duffy, SP Sean Manaea, RP Andrew Miller, RP Ken Giles, CF Dexter Fowler, 3B/SS Eduardo Nunez

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KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  LF/CF Ian Desmond, CF Andrew McCutchen,  RP Francisco Rodriguez, RONALD ACUNA EVENTUALLY MARK MY WORDS

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THE HITTERS!:  Really no way around this people:  Heroy’s lineup is fuckingggg loaded. Glance around at “average draft position” bullshit for example and just look at sayyyyy the top 10 hitters, and the OGTFC has like 5 of em (Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Kris Bryant, Trea Turner, Anthony Rizzo). Perhaps you can argue the Turner love is a bit premature but the rest of those guys are pure studs, and MOST LIKELY Turner is as well and could end up with some sort of ridiculous 15 HR / 40-50 SB season in 2017. Expand the list to the top 20 hitters and you have to add in Dodgers stud Corey Seager, move a bit farther down to sayyyy top 30 and you have to throw in top catcher Buster Posey. The lineup also features Gregory Polanco and Alex Bregman, both of which can be considered good bets to break out in 2017 (Polanco already has a bit, with 22 HRs in 2016, but there’s room for growth).Then the OGTFC surrounds all these studs with guys who would be considered bigger studs on other teams like Jason Kipnis and Todd Frazier (36 HRs 16 SBs in 2016), here these two almost function as “solid contributors.” The lineup also boasts a tried and true solid fantasy contributor in Dexter Fowler, and a soon-to be eligible a 3B/SS that popped (an unsustainable) 16 HRs and stole (a slightly more sustainable but still unsustainable) 40 SBs (Eduardo Nunez). So yes…..no holes to be found here. Which is unfortunate.

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THE ROTATION!:  Ahhh finally something I can attempt to critique. I posted a troll article about the Ocean Gate (stylized due to character limits as OceanGate) rotation that basically pointed out that it’s a lot of young pitchers that haven’t necessarily settled into their major league careers just yet, and FORTUNATELY that still remains the case and we can all root together for none of these kids (Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, Sean Manaea, Jose De Leon, Dylan Bundy, etc.) to put it together in 2017. If a few of them do watch out, and to be honest guys like Manaea and Cole likely already have and I’m just being an optimist here. Outside of the kids with their questions there’s an even BETTER kid with questions in Aaron Sanchez, a guy who was approaching ace levels in 2016 and can very possibly improve in 2017. Then there’s arms like Kenta Maeda and Julio Teheran, arguable top 25 fantasy hurlers arms that can probably go comfortably in either direction and I for one hope they go in the worse direction. Garrett Richards is returning from a partially torn UCL in which he did NOT elect to have TJ surgery so, standard injury concerns plus a good bit more,  but prior to the injury he was pretty good so logic dictates there’s a chance he can be pretty good again. And then there is Danny Duffy, whom I think is great and is probably the staff ace here and I wish him all the success in the world going forward. I wish nothing but a lack of success on the rest of this rotation though, because I will not stand for repeat champions.

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THE BULLPEN!:  In yet ANOTHER unfortunate development, Heroy put together a pretty little ‘pen here. Andrew Miller came over in the February BLOCKBUSTER with the MooniniteZ and he is the best holds guy in alllll of fantasy, his only downfall would be Francona’s bring him in at any time of the game bullshit and/or ending up a bit overworked. FAMOUSLY FIRST ROUND DRAFTED Ken Giles has left the idiot team that drafted him in the first round and now finds himself on the defending champs, he had a prettttty down year in 2016 but has the talent to strongly rebound in 2017 and hold the Astros closer gig for the whole damn year for a change. Also expected to hold a closers gig for the whole damn year is FINAL BOSS Seung Hwan Oh, who will be doing the damn thing for the Cardinals and WHOM was great last year for them and WHOM can be expected to be pretty good again. The OGTFC round out a damn fine bullpen with BEARCLAW Kyle Barraclough, high Ks high walks setup man for the Marlins. The Marlins seemingly hate AJ Ramos so Barraclough could potentially see save ops down the road, but he is probably behind stupid Brad Ziegler in the pecking order there. Bottom line is he struck out 113 in 72.2 IP last season so he’s a great source of Ks and a very smart “first year player draft” pickup by Gregory. An UNFORTUNATELY GOOD bullpen here, gents. You would have hoped they would have fucked up in the bullpen department given all them good hitters.

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THE OUTLOOK!:  Look it is really really hard to repeat as champions in a league as competitive as this league happens to be. I mean I WOULD KNOW I DID IT THREE YEARS IN A ROW. And all that. But it would silly not to admit that this team has the best shot of doing it since the Sean/Odom dynasty of yesteryears. Those teams never looked as potentially dominant in spring training as the OGTFC do currently, boasting elite hitters across the board with more popping up every season (lookin at you Trea Turner and maybe you Alex Bregman) because life is unfair. Take solace in the fact that fantasy baseball is a lot like poker where you can have the best hand and still lose, it is a lot. like. that. But anyways despite that comfort the Trout Fishing Club look well-positioned to be the first defending champ to grab the 1 seed ohhhh since the Sean/Odom dynasty did it. Twice in a row.

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SEAN’S PREDICTION!:  12-5-1, 1st place.

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What you will notice here, if you look at the entirety of my predictions, is that I predict this season to be RIDICULOUSLY tight 1 through 7 or 8 (I also probably don’t have the math working out with regards to wins and losses but who gives a shit, I think the ties line up maybe?).  The OGTFC remain the best team on paper, perhaps even by a sizable margin, but that was probably the case heading into last year and they finished 4th.  This year I think they take the top spot, in their quest for a repeat, but the shorter schedule and the fact that everyone plays everyone else exactly twice and the increased minors system can alllll come together to make this the tightest jockeying for playoff positioning this leauge league has may have ever seen.  LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!

10 Teams In 10 Days: #1 OceanGate Trout Fishing Club