2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #1 MISSION VALLEY X*RAYZ

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).

 

 

 

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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.

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1- Jose Ramirez

2- Marcel Ozuna

3- Nicholas Castellanos

4- Dee Gordon

5- Billy Hamilton

 

 

 

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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.

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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:

Round 1:

Bad Dudes DEFEAT X*Rayz

Isotopes DEFEAT BDSliderz

Round 2:

Isotopes DEFEAT Trout Fishing Club

Babadooks DEFEAT Bad Dudes

BCS:

Babadooks DEFEAT Isotopes

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IS WHAT THEY WILL ALL BE CHANTING COME LABOR DAY
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2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #1 MISSION VALLEY X*RAYZ

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #2 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES

 

2017 RECORD:  9-8-1

 

KNOW YOUR OWNER!:  Mike! Mike is still here, still grinding out BCS appearances. NOT WINNIN EM SO MUCH LATELY. But getting there. Which is impressive enough I s’pose. When he’s not scouring waiver wires Lobman enjoys cooking, drinking margaritas, watching CNN, etc. And when he IS scouring waiver wires, he is rather prolific. Last year the Bad Dudes made a league-high SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY FOUR moves in-season, grinded their way to a 4 seed, and then further grinded alllll the way to their third straight BCS appearance. Which resulted in their second straight BCS loss. LETS GO FOR THREE/BEST OF LUCK TO LOBMAN IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

 

 

KEY ADDITIONS!:  SP Jake Arrieta MAYBE, CF Andrew McCutchen2B Jason Kipnis, RP Brad Boxberger, RP Zach Britton MAYBE EVENTUALLY, SP Kevin Gausman forreal this time lolz, SP Carlos Rodon ditto for this guy lolz.

 

KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  RP Wade Davis, RP Archie Bradley, RP Craig Kimbrel ALL THE RPs, 1B Chris Davis, SP Ervin Santana MAYBE if he throws another 4 CGs or whatever (I do not expect this to happen), 

 

 

 

 

Image result for giancarlo stanton yankeesTHE HITTERS!:  These fucking bridesmaids. I kid I kid. Let’s talk about these Bad Dudes Bat Dudes a bit.  The Dudes seem to just shuffle chairs around the stars and that seems to be the case once again, with Bryce Harper Giancarlo Stanton and Manny Machado THE BIG THREE all back obviously. These guys are all good obviously. Also rather good is a man that somehow mustered 43 2Bs SIX TRIPLES and 33 HRs last season and that man is Jose Abreu. Somehow that season snuck by me last year but that is a fucking beaut. Beyond that you’ve got Wilson Contreras as a guy that isn’t Gary Sanchez but is pretty damn good (top 3 we shall say), AJ Pollock as a guy that should be fine humidor be damned cuz he was never going to hit 20 HRs again anyways, Yoenis Cespedes as a potential monster if he can avoid lame injuries, Nomar Mazara looking to take the next step forward as a soon-to-be 23 year-old that knocked in 101 RBIs last season, etc. etc. etc. PLENTY OF BATS TO GO AROUND. Also Rougned Odor who sucks but will probably be fine for our league’s purposes if you can stomach potentially hideous OBP, and Jason Kipnis as an aging poorly/injury-prone question mark that also has hit like six dongs in spring training. HOORAY SPRING TRAINING DONGS. ON TO THE HR REPORT:  NINE projected for 20+, as well as Contreras projected for 19, and 5 of those 9 projected for 30+ (with Stanton projected for freaking 52). Power should be fine here. PERHAPS a smidge top-heavy on O overall but the RCBD bats can compete with any lineup.

 

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1-  Bryce Harper

2-  Giancarlo Stanton

3-  Manny Machado

4-  Jose Abreu

5-  Yoenis Cespedes

 

 

 

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THE PITCHERS!:  These fucking “Second Place Is The First Loser” No Fear T-shirts. I kid I kid. Let’s talk about the Bad Dudes Ball Throwers a bit. SORTA an underwhelming starting staff as I would call it, lead by Carlos Carrasco fresh off his best season to date. I have loved Carlos Carrasco since he was a Clearwater Thresher in my old MLB The Show Phillies franchise TRUE STORY. So yea I love Carlos, surprised I haven’t tried to trade for him yet. After Carlos I declare a bit of a dropoff, as one guy I have NOT ever loved is Marcus Stroman. Should deliver some innings and some QS but meh, but he also may be the second best pitcher on the staff. Sonny Gray is also here as he looks to settle in to a full season as a Yank, if The Kraken can block The Curveballs he could have a nice little season. And Jake Arrieta arrives in Philly, a man shunned in free agency, but at least he showed up before June. Also there’s a bunch of other FRINGE arms (Kevin Gausman, Carlos Rodon, Sean Manaea) that need to show me more or need to not be injured before I waste too much space on them. Also there is Danny Salazar whom the Indians need to go ahead and just turn into Chad Green type already.

As for the Bad Dudes bullpen, changes afoot. SHIPPED OUT were some dudes (Wade Davis, Archie Bradley, Jimmy Sherfy) and BROUGHT IN were some other dudes that might be able to mostly match the performances of those three (Brandon Morrow, Mark Melancon, Joe Jimenez). OH YEA and they still have Craig Kimbrel there, he’s probably the second best closer in all the land which is a sad thing to admit ‘cuz SAWKS Never mind now they have Brad Boxberger, he’s like 3 blown saves from being replaced by Hirano. Now they also have Blake Treinen as Kimbrel replacement *sad trombone*.  The Bad Dudes also have the ghost of Zach Britton rattling his chains around their DL slots, what he’s got when he comes back is anyone’s guess though. He used to be lovely.

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The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump

1-  Craig Kimbrel Carlos Carrasco

2-  Marcus Stroman

3-  Sonny Gray

4-  Jake Arrieta

5-  Danny Salazar

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION!:  8-8-2, 5th place. I expect much o’ the sameeeeee from the Bad Dudes this year, inconsistency and tinkering all season long resulting in an underwhelming playoff berth. And those meeting the Bad Dudes there would be wise to no take them lightly, they’ve marched through all the rounds before they can march through all the rounds again.

THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction):  11-7, 3rd place.  

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #2 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES

Out To Pasture? A Shane McCann Joint

 

S1

 

I sat alone in my pizza taxi the other night, contemplating some of my moves and overall composition of my fantasy roster. I thought, I did a good job getting some young dudes. I mentally patted myself on the back and everything. I did some more extensive sleuthing to find I DID NOT do as good a job as I thought I had in comparison to the rest of ya’ll. That said, I present a ranking of every teams in terms of how old you(r rosters) all reallllllly are. Major Leaguers were examined only.

 

These are done with rosters examined on or about March 23rd, 2018. Ages are averaged out for Opening Day, SO NO MORE ROSTER MOVES UNTIL THEN LOBMAN AND ODOM. Last year’s lowest total moves were the BackdoorSliderz and they made a TOTAL of 191 moves. These two have combined for 52 in ONE MONTH (30 and 22, respectively) and I can’t keep this updated daily until Opening Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranked Oldest to Youngest

 

 

S2

  1. Astoria Isotopes – Average Age – 29.958 years old

 

Batters Only – 29.39 (4th)

 

Pitchers Only – 30.68 (2nd)

 

Oldest Player – Robinson Cano, 35.44 years old

 

Youngest Player – Matt Olson, 24 years old

 

The Topes have built a roster largely of established veterans and currently own the 6th oldest player currently rostered inn recent pickup Pat Neshek. They own the second oldest pitching staff and oldest overall roster probably due to that pickup, as they were only older by probably a day or two over the next team. I’m not doing the math but as you can see it’s super close. Their youngest player will turn 24 on Opening Day (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT OLSON!) But, hey, at least Aaron Judge is there and isn’t fantasy dead yet, though even he will be 26 shortly after the start of the season. Free agent Greg Holland is still rostered too and he’s on the wrong side of 32. I’m making that a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

S3

  1. Barnegat Banana Slugs – Average Age – 29.957 years old

 

Batters Only – 28.82 (5th)

 

Pitchers Only – 31.41 (1st)

 

Oldest Player – Fernando Rodney, 41.03 years old

 

Youngest Player – Luis Severino, 24.10 years old

 

The Slugs shed at least one aging player in the offseason (see Jake Arrieta) yet still boast far and away the oldest group of hurlers by about ¾ of a year. Sure, Rodney sorta jacks up the average there a bit, but it’s not my decision to roster him. Only two pitchers at all are even under 28 (Jon Gray & Luis Severino.) Thankfully, I guess, some young bats keep their geriatric pitching staff feeling young again, with only three guys over 30, Tommy Pham included.

 

 

 

 

 

S4

  1. Rojo’s Renegade Force – Average Age – 29.70 years old

 

Batters Only – 30.47 (1st)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.70 (5th)

 

Oldest Player – Adrian Beltre, 38.98 years old

 

Youngest Player – Joey Gallo, 24.36 years old

 

The old Force, pun intended, will trot out the oldest group of bats in the league, and the only offensive group collectively over 30. Buoyed by the seemingly ageless (but not actually ageless) Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, you have to think Father Time will catch up eventually. To counter this, only Johnny Cueto will be aged more than a week over 30 from their stable of arms and a healthy dose of youth does patrol the field to account for – I’m sure – the soon to be retirement of the elder statesmen.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Q-Tip City Morning Wood – Average Age – 29.05 years old

 

Batters Only – 29.86 (2nd)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.22 (10th)

 

Oldest Player – Zack Greinke, 34.44 years old

 

Youngest Player – Ian Happ 23.63 years old

 

OH HOW WRONG WAS I?? The Wooders squad contains the second OLDEST bats. This is after I did some work getting younger! SAD! Happ does figure to be a lineup staple for years but age is a vengeful mistress and a healthy amount are at or near 30. Evan Longoria & Daniel Murphy are on that wrong side of 32 I spoke of and Lorenzo Cain will be too shortly after Opening Day. BUT HEY, the pitching is super young, which could be a good and bad thing. Only two are going to be 32+ – close enough Felix – and six are 27 or younger. If they all pan out this could be a dangerous stable of arms, a la the Warriors staff even, in like 5 years. Pitching isn’t volatile though. Is it??

 

 

 

 

S6

  1. Bellcrest Park Babadooks – Average Age – 28.87 years old

 

Batters Only – 29.53 (3rd)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.54 (8th)

 

Oldest Player – Ryan Madson, 37.58 years old

 

Youngest Player – Cody Bellinger, 22.71 years old

 

The ushe blog writer, Los Babadooks, feature some of the oldest stick handlers (despite the rostering of Bellinger and Gary Sanchez) with wily veterans Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Votto, though the bunch is only, on average, about a week older than 4th place. Old Man Ryan Madson is BY FAR the oldest ball handler though, an astounding 7 YEARS older than the next arm, and the only one born before 1987, which is why they have the 3rd youngest staff in the league.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Mission Valley X*Rayz – Average Age – 28.50 years old

 

Batters Only – 28.43 (6th)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.59 (7th)

 

Oldest Player – James Shields, 36.27 years old

 

Youngest Player – Roberto Osuna, 24.14 years old

 

The X*Rayz built their championship team with speed (largely anyway) and guys who get on base and that can in part be attributed to the general infusion of youth on the team. Both pitchers and batters are stirkingly similar in age groups and both rank in the bottom half collectively. Besides being the only one willing to roster James Sheilds, only Jeff Samardzija, Yadier Molina and Ian Desmond fall on the “wrong side of 32” as I’ve decidedly coined it. The GM can’t keep half these guys on the roster though and I have no doubt a slew of moves probably happened sometime between when I started this paragraph and when I finished it, but this is not a constantly changing list, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

S8

  1. Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz – Average Age – 28.23 years old

 

Batters Only – 27.36 (8th)

 

Pitchers Only – 29.53 (3rd)

 

Oldest Player – Rich Hill, 38.05 years old

 

Youngest Player – Ozzie Albies, 21.22 years old

 

The Sliderz currently roster the youngest Backyard player in Albies which makes their entry as the 3rd youngest bunch of batters not all that surprising. Only a handful of batters are even over 28, four to be exact. Where the wheels fall off would be the relatively nursing home eligible pitching staff. Jon Lester is 34 and Luke Gregerson soon will be too, and that’s without further mentioning the 3rd oldest Backyarder in Hill. Only two pitchers are 25 and none are younger.

 

 

 

 

 

S9

  1. River City Bad Dudes – Average Age – 28.20 years old

 

Batters Only – 27.64 (7th)

 

Pitchers Only – 29.41 (4th)

 

Oldest Player – Brandon Morrow 33.67 years old

 

Youngest Player – Nomar Mazara, 22.92 years old

 

Another GM that will probably blow up my preseason projections because of the incessant moves, the Bad Dudes slot currently as the third youngest roster, though nearly a year older than the bottom two. Despite this, only 4 players sit on that wrong side of 32 I keep bringing up. Key players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts are all still just 25 and while the pitching staff isn’t among the younger staffs in the league, some Bad Dudes favorites like Sonny Gray, Danny Salazar and Marcus Stroman are all 28 or younger.

 

 

 

 

 

S10
PRETEND THIS IS ROSARIO AND NOT REYES….
  1. Ocean Gate Trout Fishing Club – Average Age – 27.35 years old

 

Batters Only – 26.73 (9th)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.025 (9th)

 

Oldest Player – Justin Verlander, 35.10 years old

 

Youngest Player – Amed Rosario, 22.26 years old

 

The Fishing Club might be a guy for years if the seemingly surplus of youth ALL works out long term. They missed out on youngest pitching staff by a day (yes, one day) and roster two of the five youngest in the Backyard (Yoan Moncada & Amed Rosario.)  They have just 5 players over 30 and only three surpass 32, in Todd Frazier, Justin Verlander & Andrew Miller.) If they work out, this could be a scary group for some years.

 

 

 

 

 

S11

  1. Garden State Warriors – Average Age – 27.17 years old

 

Batters Only – 25.79 (10th)

 

Pitchers Only – 28.67 (6th)

 

Oldest Player – Ryan Braun, 34.36 years old

 

Youngest Player – Yoan Moncada, 22.84 years old

 

The Garden State Baby Boomers – let’s pretend that associated with babies and not people in their 60s or 70s – have FAR, FAR and away the youngest offense, nearly a full year younger than anyone else at just 25.79 years old. Savvy trades and patience for minor leaguers has no doubt shaped this roster with only Ryan Braun topping even 28 years old on the offensive side. The pitching staff does feature a few “old guys” with David Price being the elder statesman at just 32 but they are still in the bottom half of younger pitching. The spectre of age 30 will creep on a bunch of guys shortly after the season begins, with Stephen Strasburg, Craig Kimbrel, Clayton Kershaw and James Paxton all turning 30 at some point early in the year. OK, Paxton is during the season but you get the idea. Did you know he is Canadian? I learned something today.

 

—-

 

 

 

 

What does all of this mean?

S12

 

Well, pretty much, but it was a tiring exercise meant to entertain that I’m sure exactly zero of you will appreciate but I DID IT ANYWAY.   (EDITOR’S NOTE:  SEAN VERY MUCH APPRECIATES IT.)

 

Out To Pasture? A Shane McCann Joint

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #3 BELLCREST PARK BABADOOKS

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https://www.myinstants.com/instant/babadook/#.WrHaMH4J948.link

 

 

2017 RECORD:  11-3-4 (a RECORD for the 18 game season with an impressive .722 win percentage)(also 9th all time, I went back and checked)

 

 

KNOW YOUR OWNER/KNOW YOUR TEAM!:  SEAN!  Sean is a great guy I think we can all agree upon that. As for the newly-minted Babadooks, their MooniniteZ predecessors rode a 6-0-2 midseason stretch (5 straight Ws) to the #1 seed heading into last year’s playoffs before losing a Sunday heartbreaker in Round 2. So that is the recap, SO IT WAS ALL FOR NOTHING. This year the team is taking on a darker edge so it can get away with cutting underperforming “stars” if they threaten to cost them a playoff win, is what is happening here. So yea. BEST OF LUCK TO ME IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

 

KEY ADDITIONS!:  1B/LF Cody Bellinger, LF/1B Rhys Hoskins,  SS Elvis Andrus, SP Aaron Nola, RP Aroldis Chapman, 3B Kyle Seager, SP Michael Wacha, SP Mike Clevinger, RP Ryan Madson, RP Kazuhisa Makita, SP Tim Lincecum, 2B Scott Kingery 😉 , Full Season Version of CF Lewis Brinson, I also hope 2B Jonathan Villar gives me SOMETHING.

 

 

KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:   THEIR VERY IDENTITY IN TWO DISTINCT WAYS (The MooniniteZ name and Nolan Arenado), CF Andrew McCutchen, SP James Paxton, CF Ronald Acuna mehhh, RP Raisel Iglesias, Pretty much anyone from my Key Additions section last year (except Keon, fuck you Keon).

 

 

 

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THE HITTERS!:  Nolan Arenado is gone….let’s get that out of the way right in front here. GONE AND NOT COMING BACK. He never won me anything. ANYWHO, in his place are Cody Bellinger and Rhys Hoskins (AND SCOTT KINGERY) and the Babadooks are confident in all three of these youngsters; ironically enough Bellinger is the youngest of the bunch at 22 years 8 months old, HE IS REALLY GOOD AND REALLY YOUNG nobody cares about the World Series that’s SSS. The two Phils are also expected to produce in BCP, and Joey Votto is still here and still an OBP god. The Bababats also boast fantasy baseball’s best catcher (Gary Sanchez), an ageless HEART OF THE TEAM (Edwin Encarnacion) and a hopefully forreal Justin Smoak. Also a hopefully more 2016 than 2017 Jonathan Villar. Also they recently added last year’s top SS (by league “player rater”) in Elvis Andrus and are eager to see how many HRs he can muster in 2018. SPEAKING OF HRs, ESPN’s HR projections as follows:  NINE projected for 20+, but 6 of 9 are projected for 30+ (Bellinger, Votto, EE, Sanchez, Rhys, Smoak) including one projected for 41 (young Cody B). Last year’s incarnation ended up third in HRs and we think we can do better is all I am sayin’, so we traded one slugger for two (and a half).

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1-  Joey Votto

2-  Cody Bellinger

3-  Gary Sanchez

4-  Edwin Encarnacion

5-  Rhys Hoskins

 

 

 

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THE PITCHERS!:  More things change, more they stay the same as the Babadooks once again set their sights on all the Ks and not enough of the QS. EXCEPT WITH Aaron Nola, key piece in the deal I made where I traded that prospect guy for some guys. Nola was brought in with hopes of having a guy that actually pitches deep into games/pitches all season, given the severe injury concerns (yet also SEVERE TALENT) with other arms in the starting staff (Lance McCullers Jr., Alex Wood, Garrett Richards). If healthy these three will produce though, they certainly meet team requirements of 8+ K/9 for SPs (if they have to do it by only throwing 4.2 IP so be it). A guy that might actually be BETTER than those injury risk fuckers is Zack Godley, 2017 breakout projected by ESPN/other folks to have a helluva 2018 just look for yourselves. Also I am lying to you all Nola is just as much of an injury risk as anyone. ANYWHO, the Babadooks have also increased starting depth (at least for now) in an attempt to decrease terrible streaming, adding promising 27 year-old Mike Clevinger and perhaps still promising/somehow younger than Clevinger but also maybe not that promising anymore Michael Wacha in two separate December deals. The Babadooks are prepared to see what they have there. The Babadooks also hope for a healthy return for Jimmy Nelson around June-ish or July-ish.

In the Bababullpen, the Babadooks sit pretty with the league’s best lookin’ bullpen (on paper, also on computer and phone and tablet, IMHO). Kenley Jansen best closer in all the land NO DEBATE, Aroldis Chapman could have staked claim to that title in years past and still has the goods despite a hiccup last August, Felipe Rivero sexayyyy young closer that should hopefully get the goddamned respect he deserves with another sexay year, and Ryan Madson as boring as they come but unarguably one of the better Holds options out there in his own boring way. The Babadooks also hope Tim Lincecum thrives as a reliever and stays on the squad all season long. OH YEA, the Babadooks also roster the Asian guy that throws like 60 mph…. he shall be kept for his 50 HM innings and PERHAPS MORE if he grabs a late-inning role out there in SD (and PERHAPS LESS if he doesn’t).

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The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump

1-  Kenley Jansen

2-  Aaron Nola

3-  Aroldis Chapman

4-  Alex Wood

5-  Lance McCullers Jr.

 

 

THE PREDICTION!:  10-6-2, 2nd place.  I don’t even WANT second place per se but kinda feel like I will end up in 2nd place. Once again IN THE REGULAR SEASON as I once again fully expect to win the championship. Just have to win a playoff matchup first but CONFIDENCE IS KEY.

THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction):  11-6-1, 2nd place.  

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #3 BELLCREST PARK BABADOOKS

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #4 BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS

 

 

2017 RECORD:  10-6-2

 

 

KNOW YOUR OWNER/KNOW YOUR TEAM!:  BRIAN! OWNER MOST LIKELY TO BITCH IN THE CHAT ABOUT DL SPOTS OR WHATEVER OVER SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS! OWNER MOST LIKELY TO GIVE A MAN HIS WORD ON A START LIMIT IN AN EXTENDED WEEK AND THEN GO BACK ON SAID WORD! OWNER I LOVE ANYWAYS! So that’s Brian. As for the Slugs, they put together an interesting and dare I say impressive season in 2017, going 10-6-2 despite putting up alllll the power numbers of an X*Rayz type team with none of the the speed numbers. So that I declare a bit of an anomaly, but the Slugs certainly had some solid win numbers AND PERHAPS some solid luck on balls in play so to speak and there they were with the second seed and a bye heading into the 2017 playoffs. Lost in the second round to the eventual champs but that is life and don’t I know it. And now 2018 is upon us. BEST OF LUCK TO BRIAN IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

 

 

KEY ADDITIONS!:  2B Whit Merrifield, LF Eddie Rosario, RF Yasiel Puig, 3B Eugenio Suarez, RP Wade Davis, RP AJ Minter, SP Alex Reyes perhaps, 3B Vlad Guerrero Jr. in due time.

 

 

KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  CF Adam Eaton, LF/CF Starling Marte, SP Jake Arrieta, RP Zach Britton I guess eventually maybe. 

 

 

 

 

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THE HITTERS!:  Josh Donaldson is another year older and dealt with some injury woes last year but look at that man up there, he is a baseball murderer and that should not change. Joining Josh as another guy good at hitting baseballs is 2B Jonathan Schoop, fresh off a 32 HR season and yea he seems like a damn fine young 2B. I also love me some Eugenio Suarez, if he stays on the Slugs all season he might provide some nice returns as a recent FA pool pickup. And Eugenio signals my attempts to steer this paragraph with a series of ????????????????? Tommy Pham can he keep it up????? Ryan Zimmerman can he stay healthy????? Jake Lamb will he be the poster boy for humidor-related regression?????? Trevor Story????? Whit Merrifield????? Eddie Rosario?????? Yasiel Puig?????? What all of these guys are preparing to provide can be summed up as a bit of a mystery. EXCEPT, Whit. Whit I believe in. THE HRs REPORT:  ESPN projects EIGHT for 20+ dongs, but only two for 30+ (Schoop for 30, J-Don for 39). I view this offense as the one with the widest variance of possible outcomes is what my point is with all the goddamned question marks. Decent ceilings, probably some low floors, VOLATILITY FOLKS.

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1-  Josh Donaldson

2-  Tommy Pham

3-  Jonathan Schoop

4-  Ryan Zimmerman

5-  Jake Lamb

 

 

 

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THE PITCHERS!:  Max Scherzer, the fucking lunatic above, remains goddamned dominant and prrrrrobably has leapfrogged Kershaw for top fantasy ace at this point (Kershaw’s back and such and such). Scherzer is pretty much the FACE OF THIS FRANCHISE at this point, and deservedly so. Behind him you have Luis Severino forcing Brian to have impure thoughts about buying Yankees hats and shit, Severino broke out in 2017 but has the skill set to back it up HE GOOD. After that, OH NO MORE QUESTION MARKS. Jon Gray is a young hurler with nasty stuff but can he overcome his terrible home park???? Charlie Morton is all of a sudden an excellent K guy and throwing harder than ever at 34, but I mean WHAT GIVES THERE????? Patrick Corbin seems to be past 2014 TJ surgery but why is he so terrible on the road when he was pitching in a “hitter’s park” at home??????? Rick Porcello are you more 2016 or 2017???? Ervin Santana, not even a question mark we know he isn’t that good. He might still return from injury and give the Slugs a pivotal CG or something though. They also have Alex Reyes, whom I am probably obligated to mention, he will likely begin the year in the bullpen but who knows could end up a useful starter down the stretch. I am also obligated to mention command is the last thing to return after TJ surgery, and he didn’t exactly have great command to begin with.

ON TO THE BULLPEN, the Slugs overhauled this area and no longer are known for Zach Britton CUZ HE IS GONE. In his place remains the O’s logical closer until he returns from injury in Brad Brach. The Slugs also picked up Wade Davis, who heads to Coors looking to do as good a job with it as Greg Holland did last year. Which he certainly can. There’s also Fernando Rodney, evidently the Twins closer for now but I have my reservations there. Prettiest ‘pen piece of alllll, however, is AJ Minter (I mean unless Reyes becomes a real weapon there out of an SP slot). AJ Minter has very nasty stuff and if he can stay healthy he should be in line for a year fullll of Ks, possibly the closer by the time 2018 is said and done but even if not should rack up holds and strikeouts and I miss him already.

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The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump

1-  Max Scherzer

2-  Luis Severino

3-  Jon Gray

4-  Wade Davis

5-  Charlie Morton

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION!:  8-9-1, 7th place.  This prediction is more a testament to the trickiness of this 18 game schedule than a knock on the Slugs but YANNO, we can’t just expect all those offensive question marks to work out for them now can we. Couple that with a pitching staff that let go of HEART AND SOUL Jake Arrieta and a bullpen that feels somewhat underwhelming and I think the Slugs streak o’ consecutive playoff appearances stops at 3 in 2018 (please everyone take some time out now to remember the Slugs getting screwed out of a playoff spot in favor of the Bulldogs back in 2014). Happens to the best of us.

THE COMMISH’S PREDISH (Odom’s Prediction):  3-13-2, 10th place. OUCH.

 

 

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #4 BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #5 LACEY TOWNSHIP BACKDOORSLIDERZ

 

2017 RECORD:  9-8-1

 

KNOW YOUR OWNER/KNOW YOUR TEAM!:  DOCHNEY! CHAT RACONTEUR! RABBLE ROUSER! GUY WHO PLAYS DEVILS ADVOCATE WITHOUT BOTHERING TO EDUCATE HIMSELF ON TOPICS HE IS ADVOCATING! Dochney has a lot of dumb opinions but he also makes a lot of moves, as evidenced by the robust key additions I put together below (the term “key” sometimes gets applied loosely with these things), and that’s all we ask for around here. SOLID participation in league affairs, solid managerial acumen, solid chat participation, no accusations of sexual improprieties to date, this guy checks all the boxes. And the BackdoorSliderz had themselves a SOLID debut in 2017, nabbing the 5 seed in a tough playoff race before bowing out to the eventual 2017 champeens in Round 1. Will that success continue? I dunno maybe. BEST OF LUCK TO DOCH IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

 

 

KEY ADDITIONS!:  CF Ronald Acuna LIKE MIKE TROUT ONLY BETTER, SP Robbie Ray, RP Archie Bradley, LF Adam Duvall, C Mike Zunino, SP Jameson Taillon, 1B Matt Carpenter, RP Yoshihisa Hirano maybe, CF David Dahl if healthy and on the MLB roster (EVEN BIGGER MAYBES).

 

 

KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  SP Aaron Nola, LF Marcel Ozuna, SP Kyle Hendricks, 2B Jonathan Villar if I have my way, SS Fernando Tatis Jr. EVENTUALLY.

 

 

 

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THE HITTERS!:  WHATTA PAIR OF 2Bs I TELL YA. The BdSliderz feature top 2B and top two or top three fantasy dude in Jose Altuve, but they also have up and coming ABSOLUTE STUD (IF I AM TO BE BELIEVED) in Ozzie Albies. Those two lock up the 2B and MI spot for quite some time if you ask me. Consider 1B also all set with Freddie Freeman set to pick up right where he left off prior to last season’s wrist injury, and oh yea 3B is also pretty set with Justin Turner and Alex Bregman entrenched (Bregman with the added bonus of SS eligibility for 2018, giving the Lacey contingent some nice infield flexibility FOR NOW) (Note: I wrote this prior to Mr. Turner breaking his damned wrist so now uhhh FACTOR THAT IN, I guess the infield flexibility matters either less now or more now or something). Underrated if healthy 1B Matt Carpenter makes this a solid group in the infield, the OF drops off in terms of PROVEN talents but the unproven talents or the need to see it again just one more time talents will astound. RF Domingo Santana is a beast, again in my own humble opinion, if he can get ABs in a crowded Brewers OF and who knows how good David Dahl as he also finds himself in the same goddamned situation in Colorado. RF Michael Conforto joins Domingo in the probable beast category (these two are also in the need to see it again category) and then OH YEA some guy named Ronald Acuna, CF eligible youngster on the Braves. There is probably a gross amount of words already written about Acuna on the interwebs so I’m not gonna waste THE INK adding more. Let’s go to the ESPN projected HR charts shall we: 11 projected for 20+, but only three projected for 30+ (Freeman with 33 and two guys I didn’t even talk about with 30, Travis Shaw and Carlos Santana). Chicks dig the long ball but this team doesn’t need to rely on that bullshit, as chicks can also be paid for services 😉  Also the BdSliderz boast an impressive balance between speed cats and power cats, so yea…..I like the O I truly do. (ALSO PLEASE NOTE I VIEW THIS PARAGRAPH AS THE DEATH OF MY BEST BREVITY ATTEMPTS, WHY I FELT THE NEED TO DISCUSS THIS MANY GUYS I DO NOT KNOW)

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1-  Jose Altuve

2-  Freddie Freeman

3-  Alex Bregman

4-  OZZIE FUCKING ALBIES

5-  Domingo Santana

 

 

 

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THE PITCHERS!:  Look at that fucking asshole above. On one hand, Jacob deGrom seems pretty good and probably will continue to be good despite the lack of long hair. On the other hand, maybe he sucks now without long hair. Time shall tell. Behind him on the bump are talented K artists in Robbie Ray and Rich Hill, both can be really good but Ray isn’t gonna be as lucky in ’18 as he was in ’17 and Hill will undoubtedly get a bunch of blisters. so BOOM rained on that parade. Behind them you’ve got Red Sawks-stained schmucks in Jon Lester and Drew Pomeranz and a very solid CANCER SURVIVOR in Jameson Taillon. So that’s “bigger than fantasy” or whatever so that’s all I have to discuss I am sure. There’s also a chance Blake Snell gets his shit together and becomes a steal for Lacey as a guy picked up like 6 different times in 2017.

The bullpen is lead by last year’s SURPRISE SENSATION Corey Knebel, who will give you oodles of Ks and probably oodles of saves if the Brewers moves work out the way they intended. Behind him it is a bit murkier; Archie Bradley will give great ratios but likely as a fireman and not a closer, maybe Yoshihisa Hirano grabs that gig and the Sliderz find themselves with a nice little DBacks bullpen combo. Luke Gregerson is a bum.

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The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump

1-  Jacob deGrom

2-  Robbie Ray

3-  Corey Knebel

4-  Rich Hill

5-  Drew Pomeranz

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION!:  9-7-2, 4th place.  The BackdoorSliderz have less than a year in the books with the Backyard and thus HAVEN’T REALLY FACED ADVERSITY. There’s always the chance that comes this year, but I think a very solid lineup and a solid pitching staff and a solid baseball IQ staves that off for just a wee bit. Playoffs once again for Lacey Twp.

THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction):  12-5-1, 1st place.

 

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #5 LACEY TOWNSHIP BACKDOORSLIDERZ

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #6 ASTORIA ISOTOPES

 

 

2017 RECORD:  9-8-1

 

 

KNOW YOUR OWNER/KNOW YOUR TEAM!:  STILL DISGRACED STILL FORMER COMMISSIONER MIKEY T! When Mikey T isn’t “with this broad” or Thirsty Thursdaying he enjoys pestering me about Gary Sanchez and likely pestering any other owner that has any Yankees of value. As for the ‘Topes, they unfortunately squandered two CAREER YEARS out of Charlie Blackmon and Aaron Judge (#1 and #3 on our league’s “player rater” respectively) and lost in Round 1 of last year’s playoffs. Which was a shame ‘cuz I may have even been rooting for them. On the bright side they’ve now acquired Nolan Arenado, #6 on our league’s player rater and he wasn’t having a career year so much as just being himself. Those three are basically all that need to be discussed for Mikey T’s ‘Topes but lets scroll down a bit and I will try and add in some other stuff. Oh and also BEST OF LUCK TO MIKEY T IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!

 

 

KEY ADDITIONS!:  3B NOLAN ARENADO (perhaps the best addition of all time), 1B Matt Olson, LF Corey Dickerson, C Buster Posey, SP Chris Salealso maybe some of the kids if they get a shot (Miguel Andujar, Dustin Fowler).

 

HERE’S THE THING, where do I draw the cutoff on a key addition people?! Is it like somebody who didn’t have an AB or throw an inning for the team last season but should this season? Somebody who played less than X amount of games the previous season? Figure I might as well choose the ‘Topes preview as the opportune time to complain about this conundrum. DISCUSS AMONGST YOURSELVES…

 

KEY SUBTRACTIONS!:  1B/LF Cody Bellinger, 1B Wil Myers, SP Jose Berrios, LF/1B Rhys Hoskins even though he never even suited up, RP Sean Doolittle, Gleyber Torres in time, Scott Kingery soon now verrrrrrry soon nowwww, YOU’LL ALL SEE. 

 

 

 

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THE BATTERS!:  THE ISOTOPES PULL OFF THE BLOCKBUSTERIEST TRADE IN A LONG WHILE AND ADD TOP FIVER Nolan Arenado. That’s really your headline folks. They paid for it in sexy youth upside potential but then went out and added intriguing and possibly sexy youth upside potential in Matt Olson, so perhaps that all works out for them. If not for the ‘Nado headline the headline would be the potential encore performance out of Charlie Blackmon and Aaron Judge who both absolutely crushed it last season. Blackmon has been pretty good for a while so it fits, Judge they weren’t even sure would make the OD roster to begin 2017 so that was a bit of a surprise. PLAN FOR REGRESSION but they should both still be pretty excellent. The ‘Topes also return the fossilized Miggy Cabrera, fresh off a downnnnnnn year. Robby Cano also not getting any younger, but his 2017 was far more okayish than Miggy’s BUT JUST OKAY. Alright enough of this shit, ONTO THE HR #s: Twelve Eleven projected for 20+ including six projected for 30 or more including two projected for 40+ (Judge and KHRUSH DAVIS, with Nado projected for 38). So yea actually TAKE THAT, vaunted Fishing Club offense. Perhaps I’ve overrated you. Perhaps ESPN has overrated most of the ‘Topes team. TIME SHALL TELL.

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The Babadook’s Five Best Bats

1-  Nolan Arenado

2-  Charlie Blackmon

3-  Aaron Judge

4-  Khris Davis

5-  Wil Myers Jean Segura

 

 

 

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THE PITCHERS!:  The Isotopes pitching staff UPGRADED aces and went from a young gun in Berrios to a proven killer in Chris Sale, I dunno how a Yankees fan can stomach rostering the man but power to Astoria. The Isotopes pitching staff also feels older than it is, as Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez both feel like they’ve been around forfucking ever. But Dallas turned 30 on New Year’s Day and Gio is only like 32.5 so whatever maybe they aren’t that old. They’re both pretty good, Dallas the pretty gooder of the two of course. Cole Hamels really IS that old (as in 34) and he feels even older, lotta wear and tear on that arm. Let’s see if it stays attached to his body in 2018. Jose Quintana is a dependable QS maker in a world running out of QS’, and Jose Berrios is an obvious threat to make THE LEAP and instantly become far and away this team’s best starter. I s’pose that title goes to like Keuchel right now or something? Whom knows. Oh yea and Lance Lynn is down there dickin’ around.

The bullpen farrrrr less dependable, as last year’s waiver wire darling Greg Holland remains without a job at press time and Chad Green is a weird long man type thing in a Yankees bullpen that has like 15 great relievers. Tough to predict the numbers there. The ‘Topes will also feature Drew Steckenrider for AT LEAST his remaining 15 High Minors innings or so, he’s a quietly solid arm but I say that about all High Minors potential holds guys I think. Oh yea they also have one actually good bullpen piece in Sean Doolittle, he’s the current closer for a projected first place team so that is always nice.  HEALTH NOT GUARANTEED however.

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The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump

1-  Chris Sale

2-  Dallas Keuchel

3-  Jose Berrios  Jose Quintana

4-  Gio Gonzalez

5-  Cole Hamels

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION!:  8-9-1, 6th place.  Look man let’s be real here, the ‘Topes got RIDICULOUS years out of Judge and Blackmon. Bellinger also hit the shit out of the ball all season. Now you’ve replaced Bellinger with Arenado which is a nice little upgrade (MAYBE) but you have to factor in some regression with Judge and Blackmon, PLUS Moose probably doesn’t hit 38 HRs again, but MAYBE Miggy gets his shit together but maybe he doesn’t. Add it all up and what I see here is a team that barely grabbed a 6 seed even with the top two run scorers in all of baseball rostered. So they’ll probably just grab the 6 seed again….. is what I am saying.

THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction):  10-8, 4th place.

 

 

 

 

2018 10 TEAMS IN 10 DAYS: #6 ASTORIA ISOTOPES