AND SO WE ARRIVE AT OPENING DAY, AND AT THE 2017 CHAMPS….
2017 RECORD: 10-6-2
KNOW YOUR OWNER!: COMMISSIONER ODOM AND THE X*RAYZ, your 2017 champs BOW BEFORE THE CROWN YOU BITCHES. That was a bit much but yea, Odom returned to glory last season and captured his 4th title in 7 seasons (insert all your bullshit about the co-managing here) despite once again starting with an unimpressive looking roster. The X*Rayz were the X-Rayz back then and rode that roster to an 8-2-1 finish to the season, grabbing the third seed. And then they marched right through ALL CHALLENGERS in the playoffs (unfortunate BCS incident that we will not get into aside) and came out of things with the cup and all the glory. So now they get that lovely little trophy-based team logo. And their name on the trophy if we ever fucking get around to properly updating it (I predict it takes a year or two). ODOM IS GREAT AND THE X*RAYZ WON THE CHIP LAST SEASON WHICH MAKES THEM ALSO GREAT. BEST OF LUCK TO THE COMMISH IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!
KEY ADDITIONS!: LF Marcel Ozuna, CF Delino Deshields, 3B Nicholas Castellanos, RF Jay Bruce, RF Scott “Young Jay Bruce” Schebler, PERHAPS SS Orlando Arcia, PERHAPS 1B/LF Ian Desmond, PERHAPS but definitely don’t count on it SP Miles Mikolas.
KEY SUBTRACTIONS!: 2B Daniel Murphy, SP David Price, RP Aroldis Chapman, 1B Rhys Hoskins, SP Robbie Ray, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Elvis Andrus,
LF Adam Duvall (pretty much cancelled out by Bruce).
THE HITTERS!: The fun thing about reviewing the X*Rayz in preseason is that you always know the roster will probably look DRASTICALLY different later, and you always know it will probably look super underwhelming upon first glance, and yet you always know Odom is likely to make it work. SPEED KILLS FOLKS. The biggest killer on this particular squad is Jose Ramirez, 7 cat STUD who busted out last year in a hugeeee way with 29 dongs…. plus all the other sexy stuff in all the other cats, FIFTY SIX doubles for example. Jose drives the bus here. Also on the bus are your signature X*Rayz speed demons, Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton, joined this year by potential breakout candidate once a-fucking-gain DELINO DESHIELDS. This time it is happening folks. Mission Valley also went out and made two excellent trades this offseason (I mean I am sure they made a bunch of trades but I am only recognizing two as excellent for now), snagging Marcel Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos. The Babadook is rather high on both those two individuals, and considers them to instantly slot in as the 2nd and 3rd best bats on the team. Beyond these names you have PROBABLY dependable bats in Jay Bruce and Trey Mancini and then a wholeeee bunch of question marks (Andrelton Simmons, Orlando Arcia, Ian Desmond, Yadi Molina). Those four are all suspect for various reasons. Oh yea also they have Scott Schebler, whom I like plenty. ANYWHO let’s look at the HR projections for last year’s worst HR hitting team: SIX projected for 20+ with two projected for 30+ (Ozuna 31 and Bruce 33). And here is where I point out the strange obsession with tracking 0+ HR hitters was allllll a ruse. Cuz this team fucking sucked at homers last season and still stood atop the mountain when it was all said and done. Chicks may dig the long ball but the Backyard doesn’t attract need chicks. Cuz cooties.
The Babadook’s Five Best Bats
1- Jose Ramirez
2- Marcel Ozuna
3- Nicholas Castellanos
4- Dee Gordon
5- Billy Hamilton
THE PITCHERS!: ABTWTS. Always Be Tinkering With The Starters, that’s how they do things in Mission ValleyOOKING RATHER THIN, here. Out are the team STALWARTS David Price and Robbie Ray (if history is any indication they will roster and trade Ray three more times this season though) and in isssss……youth and Jeff Samardzija. The sexiest of that youth is the young man above, a one Luis Castillo of the Reds. FILTHY stuff which was already on display across about 90 innings last season, guy could certainly grab an All Star bid this year. Chris Archer still remains as the guy least likely to ever be dealt by this deal-heavy team, he’s approaching 30 but just gave you like 250 Ks in 200 innings despite an unlucky ERA HE GOOD. Then you have elder statesman of the staff in Samardzija, not a great ERA last season but a great everything else and a great postseason to help the X*Rayz take home the cup. Then it gets ehhhhhhhhhhh: Tanner Roark is meh, James Shields is only here as a monument I hope, Dinelson Lamet has talent but does not have control and also has an elbow issue so he could show some real growing pains and/or miss a lot of time, Luis Gohara plenty of talent as well but couldn’t really pitch to righties last year and is getting a bunch of “I’m a fatty” type injuries already and who knows what the Braves plans would be for him even if he was healthy. Miles Mikolas who fucking knows. LOTTA RISK in lotta profiles, but Mitch Keller and Sandy Alcantara and AJ Puk also lie in wait as potential impact rookie SPs. So really ya just gotta wait and see here.
The X*Rays B*Pen parted with a stalwart of their own (Chapman) but remains very dangerous on the strength of its big 3: Roberto Osuna, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances. Osuna and Diaz are two of the best young closers in the fantasy game today, Diaz prone to a bit more volatility due to walks but both should be pretty excellent with room for growth. And Dellin Betances remains an excellent source of Ks, just take that little quip about walks I just made for Diaz and multiply it by 500 here. HIDEOUS walk rate last year and a testament to his stuff that his ERA wasn’t in the 4s. Mission Valley also appears to be strutting into things with Shane Greene as an additional closer to round out the bullpen and Cam Bedrosian on the bench, SO WATCH THAT BATTLE CLOSELY FOLKS IT SHOULD BE A GOOD ONE. But yea the big three remains very very good here. Dellin please stop walking so many people.
The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump
1- Chris Archer
2- Luis Castillo
3- Roberto Osuna
4- Edwin Diaz
5- Jeff Samardzija
THE PREDICTION!: 9-7-2, 3rd place. These Opening Day rosters for this franchise almost NEVER impress for one reason or another and then they either make 650 moves or guts and guile their way into the playoffs anyways. The X*Rayz continue to corner the speed market and that strategy has served them well, they are your defending champeens and I fully expect them to arrive in the playoffs ready to defend. Just not with a bye.
THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction): 9-7-2, 5th place.
AND JUST TO WRAP IT ALL UP, SEAN’S PROJECTED PLAYOFFS PREDICTIONS PROJECTIONS FOR THE PREDICTED PLAYOFFS…… how I predict the playoffs will play out:
Bad Dudes DEFEAT X*Rayz
Isotopes DEFEAT BDSliderz
Isotopes DEFEAT Trout Fishing Club
Babadooks DEFEAT Bad Dudes
Babadooks DEFEAT Isotopes