2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #1 Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz

2018 RECORD:  8-9-1

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  11-7, 1st place.  Theseeee fucks, fairly loaded for the present and future so I’m just taking solace in the fact that it’s REALLY hard to win B2B championships in this damn league (don’t get us started on B2B2B).

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  Let’s just get this outta the way up top: I’ve given them Acuna, Tatis Jr., and Bellinger. I also blame myself for not holding onto Matt Carpenter (FORTUNATELY that season isn’t happening again)I think Heroy traded them Bregman or whatever. They fell into Soto and Albies and I failed to pry the latter away. LOTTA GOOD PLAYERS on this particular franchise. Haven’t mentioned the pitching yet but they’re in pretty good shape there as well (fingers crossed for the old guys to start showing it). Point is, on paper this is the best roster in the Backyard and it ain’t even particularly close. Therein lies the BEAUTY of H2H, the only team that ever won twice in a row did so with like the 7th best roster so there’s plenty of room for maneuvering and plain old luck (good or bad) to take these guys down in their title defense season. That’s why I can project 7 losses (I mean they lost 9 last year with a similar roster) and that’s why I can sleep at night (I can’t). I probably shouldn’t have given Tatis Jr. back though…

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  RF Domingo Santana – The LAST thing we need is this team to have a little “surprise stud” hitter but unfortunately uhhh there was really no reason for the Brewers to give up on ole’ Domingo the way they did last year and NOW, now he’s got a starting role on the Ms/ButtSliderz. Domingo has already contributed a double, grand slam, and steal in limited/Japanese action and he can probably go 30/15 again easy and all of this is unfortunate.

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  2B Ozzie Albies – SOME GOOD NEWS, folks. After a real hot April Albies was basically average or worse the entire rest of the season (158 wRC+ in April, 67 wRC+ 2nd half). MAYBE HE ISN’T ALL THAT GOOD AFTER ALL! Normally this would make me sad as I genuinely like Albies as a player, but in this case and given this roster I think we need to take what we can get and root for him to be Lacey’s Rougned OdorAs always, fuck Rougned Odor…..

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Joey Luchesi – I may not respect the majority of Doch’s opinions or his physique or his gay little nephew but I can respect the man’s ability to build a roster, and scooping up Luchesi was a shrewd move. Guy got really hammered by the long ball last season but also had a nice 18.6% K-BB % that really hints at some underlying upside, should he find a way to cure the dong issue. Rumors that he’s been toying with a cutter and DARE I SAY he might provide the BackdoorSliderz with a nice little mid 3s ERA, over a strikeout an inning, diamond in the rough type. Which would be unfortunate but here we are.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP Robbie Ray – The good thing about Robbie Ray is he can really implode at any time, when walks get the best of him or the humidor ain’t quite humidor-ing enough (the guy gives up a lot of hard contact). Underlying metrics point to it requiring a bit of luck just to get him to a 3.93 ERA, so with any luck things realllly get away from him and he ends up in the 4.5s and rarely sees a sixth inning.

I realize a lot of this “preview” was me wishing poor performances on BackdoorSliderz personnel but that should be viewed as the ultimate sign of respect, as I consider this team the biggest threat to go back to back that we’ve had since that team that went back to back to back.

THAT’S WHY THEY DON’T PLAY ‘EM ON PAPER OR ON THIS SHAKY FANTASY APP, FOLKS.

Best of luck to none of you.

Image result for bear middle finger

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #1 Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #2 Astoria Isotopes

 

2018 RECORD:  13-4-1

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  9-8-1, 3rd place.  These guys are still gonna ding a lot of dongs, but the pitching is sus and there’s certainly plenty o’ fellas here on the wrong side of the aging curve overall.

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  FINALLY, for I believe the first time since I’ve joined this league, the Astoria Isotopes made some noise in the postseason (BACKYARD BRACKET UNTIL IT STICKS). And they were plenty noisy in securing the all-important-for-future-trash-talk-purposes victory over Lobman and the Bad Dudes, and then they flat out ran out of gas in the BCS against the BDSliderz (more on them tomorrow). Blame an Aaron Judge injury or blame the Bears for loading up Lacey w/ talent if you want but the fact of the matter is the Khris Davis’ and Nolan Arenados just plain sucked on the big stage. The Isotopes will be looking for more out of those guys this year + a healthy Judge + I guess the bare minimum required pitching? The blog expects this team to both hit their fair share and give up their fair share of dongs…… time shall tell where that shakes out when the BYB settles, but I guess we see them at least joining the beautiful dance.

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  1B Miguel Cabrera – This league has a wholeee lotta fun telling the ‘Topes they should drop Miggy but on the real I think he can still put up a top 10 1B season in an OBP league such as this. So I say he maybe does that one last time, or maybe he just seems on pace for that or something similar and then they can trade him to Shane. Everybody wins.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  1B Matt Olson – This one’s a cheapy but we are taking it, with the ole’ hammate bone removal surgery you’ve sidelined Matty O for quite a bit. Worse yet when he returns the power is likely to not return with him, not right away, so now you’ve got Matt Olson Without Power which was the only thing Matt Olson was ever good for anyway. GOT DUD WRITTEN ALL OVER HIM.

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Dallas Keuchel – I mean my assumption here is that @ some point Keuchel will sign with some sorta contender on a one year deal or some shit and then WHO KNOWS, maybe he racks up a few nice starts or a whole-ass nice season. I think I get to declare ANY positive stats a surprise since he’s currently sitting at home without a team. Nice loophole there.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP German Marquez – This format was a terrible terrible mistake and I can’t wait until I’m done with these fucking previews but yea ONCE AGAIN disclaimer, I don’t think Marquez will be unusable or something. I DO think people were going a bit nuts over him based entirely off like 90 something 2nd half innings (1st half FIP 4.44) and I DO also note that this guy pitches in Coors and very much succumbs to its effects (4.74 home ERA). So yea it’s all fun and games owning a Rox pitcher until he’s on a homestand in a two start week during the BYB. Or something. This guy’s a bit of an enigma even without the Coors shit, but best of luck to the ‘Topes and by that I mean worst of luck fuck them. Honorable Mention: Kyle Freelandwho just plain sucks.

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #2 Astoria Isotopes

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #3 East Coast Kings

Props to Ryan for just redefining his team as “East Coast,” opens up a whole WORLD of possibilities for life relocation

 

 

2018 RECORD:  13-5

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  10-8, 2nd place.  This franchise is no stranger to wild swings in their performance year to year, but we actually have them maintaining their grip on the second bye despite taking a significant step back in the overall record. PARITY.

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  The Kings have long been a team whose pitching far outpaced its hitting, in 2019 we think it will be a bit more evenly matched. NOT SURE, however, if that will be due to the pitching taking a step back (as injuries threaten to ruin poor Clayton Kershaw and inevitably come for James Paxton and such) or due to some young hitters coming into their own (mostly referring to like Yoan Moncada and Gleyber Torres, both of whom could still take another leap of two forward). How this team fares likely comes down to the health of the pitching staff and the ability of the offense to absorb or avoid growing pains. Yanno basically exactly what I fucking said already.

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  RF Jesse Winker – SO GLAD that the ECK picked up Winker so I can wax poetic about this potential OBP GAWD (one that could perhaps grab the torch from current OBP GAWD and teammate Joey Votto). Winker is only 25 and walked more than he struck out across 89 games last season, before dipping to have a wee bit of shoulder surgery. On a shoulder that allegedly has been bothering him for yearrrrs, yearrrrrrrs I tell you. Now on the one hand he might need a little time to work past that particular surgery, on the other hand if he DOES feel 100% now for the first time long time he may have unlocked some extra power. The potential is here for a guy with a .400 OBP and 20+ HRs and yes that plays IN AN OBP LEAGUE. SOmetimes I wonder if people know we are in an OBP league. Someone sign Shin-Soo Choo is what I’m saying.

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  SS Javier Baez – Let’s call this a “dud” versus average draft position, even though this isn’t a league that uses drafts anymore WHICH WAS A MISTAKE. Anyhow, this is not me saying Baez is going to be terrible this is just me pointing out (something that others have surely pointed out all over the interwebs) that Baez probably had a career year in 2018 and his profile screeeeams regression coming. Guy swings at everything, doesn’t take walks, had a quarter of his fly balls leave the ball park which can be tough to repeat, etc. etc. etc. The Kings probably don’t end up terribly DISAPPOINTED in Baez’ performance (though there’s a chance for that) but I think every website that ranks him over Jose Altuve should be shamed. SHAMEEEE.

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Yu Darvish – I don’t know how to really wield this “surprise” thing clearly but like, I guess what I am saying is I think Yu will get 150 or 160 innings in for 2019 and that would likely come as a surprise to a lot of people. Perhaps I am one of those people. STILL PROJECTING IT. 160 innings with 10+ K/9 and the Kings are in good shape (or they’ve already traded him to fill a hole).

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP James Paxton – We already know that Paxton tends to spend a little time on the ole DL but here’s something we might not know, that I now know: James allowed lefties to slug .495 off him last year. Last year he gave up 1.29 HR/9 and this year he moves to a home stadium with an embarrassment of a right field. Dare I say there’s potential for Paxton to dud a bit even with perfect health; there’s at least some potential here for the ERA to creep up significantly if he doesn’t get the longball issue under control, particularly whilst in the Bronx.

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #3 East Coast Kings

2019’s 10 Teams in 10 Days: #4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

 

2018 RECORD:  12-6

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  9-8-1, 5th place.  This is certainly the most fun team to project to miss the playoffs but UNFORTUNATELY I think they have some nice little hitters and a very very solid pitching staff. Fortunately even that last sentence will offend Slugs ownership due to being not quite complimentary enough…..

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  The Banana Slugs of Barnegat  return with largely the same roster as last year’s squad, a roster that went an impressive 12-6 before being bested YET AGAIN by their BYB Nemesis the Bad Dudes. What’s in the cards for the Slugs this year? I dunno maybe just hoping I’m right about the Bad Dudes missing the playoffs for starters. That might not be a bad start. Apart from that I could have some fun here raising concerns about Luis Severino‘s health or Josh Donaldson‘s health or Jesus Aguilar‘s ability to DO IT AGAIN in 2019 but I’m not going to do that. Not cuz those aren’t legit concerns and not cuz it isn’t a lot of fun to start throwing around dirty R words like “regression” but because I’m working on a real limiting word count in these things. Brevity Is The Brother Of Brilliance. I invented that saying. But yea the Slugs are probably gonna be okay, probably.

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  CF Ramon Laureano – Obviously I had no idea who the hell Laureano was prior to his call up last season but now that I’ve looked him over a bit I have no idea why the Astros would trade him. Only played 48 games last year, and started out 2-10 with 5 Ks in that Japan shenanigans, bu the Slugs may have a legit 20/20 threat here if not 20/30 if not 15/30 you get the idea he’s got a decent bit of pop and good speed. Nice lil player.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  1B Luke Voit – Look who really knows what the hell Luke Voit actually is at this point. Will he continue to have 40% of his fly balls clear the fences? No he will not, he should be happy with half that number. But I’m not necessarily projecting he’s gonna crater and turn into the Luke Voit of old, I am just projecting that Greg Bird has made it a competition over there at 1B and the Yanks just can’t quit him and it’s entirely possible Voit gets option to AAA a week or two into the season once NYY gets some players back. Just puttin’ it out there.

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Jon Gray – Who knows what the fuck to do with Rockies pitchers, I for one avoid them like the plague, but Gray is only 27 and at least had the cute distinction last season of being worse on the road than he was at Coors. Not sure what that’s aboot (eh) nor do I think that helps my case at all but I put it in here anyway. One also sees he ended up with an xFIP of 3.47 last season despite that blehhhh 5.08 ERA, this means long balls were a bit of an issue and indeed they were. Get that HR/9 back around 1.00 or slightly below, get a little bit of luck, and you’re looking at a guy that will strike out a batter an inning and perhaps keeps the ERA around 3.60-3.90. Which would be a SURPRISE if you just look at last year’s ERA and assume he sucks  can already tell these selections are going to get kinda hairy but FORTUNATELY didn’t really happen here, as we think Mitch Keller is going to be up by early June and contributing. HELPIN SHANE FOR THE PLAYOFF PUSH that he could then shove in my face (note: playoffs remain likely not to happen).  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP Luis Severino – Just gonna take the easy way out of analysis here and suggest Sevvy unfortunately has a bit of a lost season due to injury. Lil setback here lil setback there you’re not debuting until June or July, another injury pops up a few starts in BOOM season over. Would be sad (for the Yankees or for fans of exciting young pitching or whatever, would probably chuckle about it in terms of the Backyard storyline).

2019’s 10 Teams in 10 Days: #4 Barnegat Banana Slugs

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #5 Rojo’s Renegade Force

 

2018 RECORD:  8-7-3

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  8-8-2, 8th place.  And YANNO WHAT it’s gonna be a crucial loss or a crucial tie due to the whole Punting Saves Thing, that’s what’s gonna happen. I’ve criticized it for far too long to turn back now.

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  The Renegade Force and their ragtag group are BACK AT IT AGAIN folks, and it sounds like you all are trying to pry players from said ragtag group. Nevertheless at press time this team still has its Joey Gallos and Corey Klubers and Nelson Cruz is still playing bless his heart. Rojo also continues to triple down on the “to hell with closers” strategy BLESS HIS HEART. So quit offering him closers people, is what I am saying. Anywho there’s some good players here I’m just thinking maybe….there ain’t…..enough of ’em.

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  CF Victor Robles – I  mean is it going to be SURPRISING if Robles finally gets the chance to contribute for the RRF and does that very thing? PERHAPS not, but it still sorta feels that way to me because I feel like I traded Robles seven seasons ago. BUT YEA Victor is speedy and I can see him triplin’ and stealin’ for this squad and sporting a good enough OBP and being a nice little player. fucking finally.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  RF Nick Markakis – Markakis is old as shit and spent the first half of 2018 being really good, which is confusing if you really think about it. He spent the second half of 2018 being mostly shitty and that is more like it Nick. Even money that he’s found in the FA pool at year’s end.

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  RP Ryan Brasier – LOOKIN’ LIKE this Ryan Brasier character may turn out to be a nice lil player for the ‘Gades (I welcome the lawsuit, Mikey T), at least in the sense that he seems all set for a high leverage role on a Sawks team that unfortunately will win its fair share of games. Which pains me. Not as much as it shall pain the ‘Gades if Brasier ends up the de facto closer on the Red Sox, which I assume would mean he instantly gets his walking papers. I assume.

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP Rich Hill – SURPRISE, Rich Hill is always hurt. He is hurt right now he will be hurt later on, the Dodgers should euthanize him. None of this is really a surprise but that’s the gimmick I’ve chosen for these team previews and here we fucking are.

2019’s 10 teams in 10 days: #5 Rojo’s Renegade Force

2019 10 Teams in 10 Days: #6 River City Bad Dudes

Hahaha this one is a realllll gem, props to Brian

 

 

 

 

2018 RECORD:  8-10

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  8-8-2, 7th place.  The DELICIOUS DOUBLE WHAMMY of having the Bad Dudes both improve upon their 2018 record while also missing the playoffs for the first time eva. FUN. We have fun here.

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  It really doesn’t require much to get the Bad Dudes out of the playoffs for a fucking change, just yanno a series of random tiebreakers pitting 2-3 teams for the 6th seed where the Dudes fall a bit short. If I am trying to bake in regression perhaps it starts with the fact they’re rostering two guys that didn’t even SIGN with a team until like March. Bit of a red flag there. No they should be fine, but the pitching is questionable the entire way through and you just know Rougned Odor will have some LVP weeks that are just SO BAD they crater the entire offense around him. Like some sort of shittiness black hole drawing in everything near it, allowing no OBP to escape from its shitty grasp.

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  RF Nomar Mazara – I have been as down on Mazara as any man can possibly be but even I can admit that’s mostly to get the Dudes to shut the fuck up about declaring every player’s every April HR a clear sign that they are about to #BreakOut. I can also admit that Mazara is very young and last year was held down a bit by an all of a sudden inflated groundball rate. Reverse that trend and improve ever so slightly against LHP and you can see 30 dongs outta this ding dong.

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  3B Miguel Sano – SURPRISE, Sano is already hurt and once he gets done being hurt he’s still gonna suck and strike out way too much and just be a shitty person in general. He fits the team name but is probably too streaky and/or shitty to make it to the end of the season on a roster that demands accountability from all players not named Rougned Odor or AJ Pollock or Kevin Gausman or Marcus Stroman or……

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Alex Reyes – This isn’t a stud pitcher in the sense that I think Reyes will crack the rotation (I believe it’s already declared he opens in the pen) but it IS a “stud” designation in the sense that FOR BACKYARD PURPOSES, I think he can be an impact SP-eligible reliever in 2019. Health needs to hold up of course but if so he can definitely sneak into the Saves and Holds mix and pump out the Ks. Could be a nice lil piece, for the Bad Dudes to no doubt trade at the deadline.  

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP Carlos Martinez – On the flip side of the Cardinals sitch SURPRISE…. I mean I guess it’s a surprise if you trade Offseason Hype Beast Adalberto Mondesi (whom I also projected to dud, kismet) because if you trade an Offseason Hype Beast you gotta expect to be getting back a useful player. Alas, Carlos Martinez may be fucking toast folks. I predict a brief and disastrous attempt at starting

2019 10 Teams in 10 Days: #6 River City Bad Dudes

2019’s 10 Teams in 10 Days: #7 Bell Road Bears

 

2018 RECORD:  8-10

PROJECTED 2019 RECORD:  9-8-1, 4th place.  LAST YEAR was kinda a blur from like I dunno February on? Some real autopilot shit, and yet I was still probably leading my TERRIBLY NAMED division at some point so this year all we gotta do is practice non-attachment and also not lose our last 5 matchups.

 

 

BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION:  The Bears completed a truly EPIC collapse in ’18 by dropping their last 5 weeks, and to be honest I can’t even quite recall how. That is just how the cookie crumbled in 2018, and to make matters worse I took an injured and useless Jose Altuve off Doch’s team and probably provided them with so much support I should be presented a championship ring. ANYWHO we are expecting Altuve to not be useless this year and also figure no wayyyyy Votto and El Gary can remain that shitty and there you go BOOK IT, first playoff win in ages here I come.

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER:  SS Garrett Hampson – I guess this already feels sort of strange because I’m declaring players I believe in will “surprise” me therefore it cannot come as a surprise, to me. But ANYHOW this one actually might because I fully expect the Rockies to FUCK young Garrett here cuz they love to fuck their young players #LeavingCoors. If they DO NOT however Hampson could wind up being an absolute stud, sort of a Trea Turner boosted by the Coors effect type situation. First he needs to get in the lineup and ideally he needs to make his way on up to the leadoff spot, but nothing is impossible.

Image result for nothing is impossible shia gif

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER:  3B/SS Eduardo Escobar – Again allow me to “surprise” myself by suggesting a player I think will be good for the team will actually be bad. Don’t want to do such a thing with any player I’m emotionally invested in so lets do it with Eduardo instead. EDUARDO is supposed to be insurance behind the uncertain playing times of Garrett Hampson and Max Muncy; Eduardo was like top 15 as both a 3B and SS last year due to an abundance of 2Bs and such. Bears management can TOTES see Eduardo failing to prove a valuable enough insurance policy (Chase Field be damned) which would lead to them needing to seek out another 3B/SS OR just one of the two, again depending on some really ridiculous and unjust playing time concerns.

 

 

 

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER:  SP Shane Bieber – SURPRISE, I think Bieber is good and can be surprisingly so. A 4.55 ERA last year looks all gross and shit but UNDERNEATH THE HOOD he was rocking a SEXAY 3.23 FIP and 3.45 SIERA. Among pitchers that threw 110 those metrics ranked 17th and 20th respectively, ahead of and surrounded by some very good pitchers. The book on Biebs is his fastball is kinda shit but he may in fact possess elite control which can allow him to place it on corners and such. Also the slider is a beaut.   

PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER:  SP Jose Quintana – I’ve wanted to own Quintana for YEARRRRRS from back in the day when he was churning out QS for the White Sox. So now I am rostering him when maybe I shouldn’t. Let’s just sayyy it is entirely possible those QS glory days are long behind us and I’ll have to drop him by like mid-May. The trappings of longing for bygone days.

2019’s 10 Teams in 10 Days: #7 Bell Road Bears