2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: Numba 1 and Numba 2

ONWARD

 

img_4678
who knows (or cares!) what their actual logo is these days, it’s THESE GUYS okay

 

#2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club

2019 RECORD:  9-8-1 + BCS Runner-Up

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  7-3-1, 4th place (2-1 Playoffs, BCS RUNNER-UP ONCE AGAIN). The OGTFC or the OGFC or WHATEVER will forever symbolize something beautiful about the Backyard, in that they used to be (and maybe at the moment this feels more like a “used to be”) I felt the best team on paper (err screen) just about every single year and just about every single year that wouldn’t matter a fucking bit. So it Greg is ANNOYING I might spin that as him being a failure (I know being labeled a “failure” at fantasy sports cuts deep)(actually with Greggers it might) but what I really think it was about, even moreso than the team needing a re-branding as the LessWithMores, was about the IDEA that you could win with just about any roster. This shit’s more roulette than chess. ANYWHO it would be nice for the BDSliderz to not win this year so this point can seem legit, but we aren’t talking about them right now we are talking about Team Greggers. Go blow another BCS matchup you magnificent bastards.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  THE FISHING CLUB. Theseeee assholes. Fresh off their BCS appearance last year where they laid down like DOGS and failed to defend the honor of the trophy (which obviously doesn’t like going to the same team 2x in a row), they’re back with their solid core which keeps them in the hunt prrrrrobably every single year. Regardless of how ownership may try to stand in the way of that. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner are all really really good Backyard participants. And apparently are pretty good IRL as well. Steady bats like Kris Bryant & Anthony Rizzo back those assholes up and then you have a whole buncha other assholes like Josh Bell, Jose Abreu,  JMichael Brantley, Kyle Schwarber etc. etc. that SHOULD be reliable but also COULD have a bit more room for regression baked in. Speaking of room for regression they also have kept a tether to their “Youth Movement” dayz by keeping guys like Nick Senzel, Kyle Lewis, & Eloy Jimenez around. The result is a bit of an incongruous combo of established bats and wild cards but it will PROBABLY work out for them. What do I know.

The pitching staff frustrated me below when I attempted to pick a dud and that’s probably a good thing, yes? They basically have 2-3 studs (Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, and perhaps Glasnow), 2-4 very good arms (Giolito, Castillo, maybe Glasnow here instead FOR NOW), and then 2-3 meh guys (Kyle Hendricks, Griffin Canning, Zac Gallen). What am I supposed to do with these names analyze them? I refuse.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  LF/OF Eloy Jimenez  –  Eloy was certainly solid in year one but the scary thing, if there’s any way someone should find something in fantasy baseball to be ~scary~ (there isn’t), is that like Amed above Eloy got significantly better as the year went by. Perhaps cuz he’s shy of 24 years old. Let’s do the splits again I’m playing with the splits a lot for the finale: .241/.303/.482 in the first half vs. .292/.328/.592 in the second half. And that second half line can be dialed in even closer to a .308/.342/.575 line in Aug./Sept., with 14 Dongs delivered during that time. So yes THE KID IS GOOD. Could and should be even better this season.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Dansby Swanson  –  Tis a testament to the Fishing Club roster that I had to stare at it for a bit before I could select a “dud” (and really that goes for the top 3 in these here previews) but I’m settling on Dansby here. He may not be a large part of the OGFC’s plans but should he get thrust into action at some point methinks there’s a chance he’s more 2017 Dansby than 2019 Dansby. HALF SEASON SPLITS ALERT:  after a solid 1st half (.270/.330/.493) he turned back into a pumpkin in the “second half” with a .204 average and a .308 OBP and a ghastly .254 OBP. He also went from striking out 20% of the time in the 1st half to 30% of the time in the second half and you realllllly need to have a better slugging percentage than that abomination if you want to whiff 30% of the time. Also fuck his name.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Tyler Glasnow  –  Gonna keep this one simple: he was filthy last year in 60 IP so why can’t he be filthy this year in 50-something IP? He CAN. Not that this is going out on much of a limb, and tbh there’s just not many guys in this staff that I need to or want to go out on a limb for. BUT last year the Rays were a little cute with Glasnow’s usage and I think this year they treat him more traditionally (I am prepared to be wrong on this) and with that comes more traditional VALUE. Value added. He can be a top 20 arm, if not top 15 if not top 10. MAN did the Pirates fuck up or what…  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Griffin Canning –  I’m actually sort of mad at Heroy (I may also just be hungry) for giving me this group of good starters and then some MEH guys and now I’m supposed to pick the meh guy that I think will be most MEH? Sorta bullshit. But alright I’ll bite sure GRIFFIN CANNING why not. He does put up some solid Ks numbers but he’s also going to be a part of a 6 man rotation (PITUH) and gives up a lot o hard contact. Too much hard contact. Out of Griffin. So yea let’s pick him.

 

img_4671

#3 Lacey Township Backdoor Sliderz (ayyyy they can space it out now way to go Fantrax 🙂 )

2019 RECORD:  17-1 + BCS Champ (PROPS where props are due. But let’s not forget where that 1 came from 😉 )

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  8-3, 1st place (1-1 Playoffs).  Theseeee assholes again. After squeaking into the last available seed in the 2018 playoffs, and then winning the championship, the LTBS came back considerably stronger (or luckier? There’s some luck to this, it’s like poker, deal with it) and damn near ran the table. SO that’s two titles in two seasons for his Dochness, and staring at an attempt to become the second owner(ship group) in league history to 3peat. But he’ll have to do it in a season that will either be discredited by him or by everybody else, depending if he can actually pull it off. WE BELIEVE his luck will run out (See Soto, Juan) 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: What else can ya say but say this team has slowly but surely amassed a potent roster, OFTEN it’s my fault even (Cody Bellinger, Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis, OOPS TEE HEE 🙂 ). All of those guys are apparently pretty good, the silver lining being Bellinger’s 2019 first half and Tatis’ 2019 in its entirety were prrrrobably a good chunk of unsustainable bullshit. You have to have talent to get to certain numbers, but of course, but sometimes you also have to have the Baseball Gods on your side. And this team did. Juan Soto being diagnosed with covid on OD and Freddie Freeman currently being a little girl about it on the IL right now are perhaps signs the Baseball Gods are trying to bake in some regression, and the rest of the league shall need it.

The Sliderz Armz are ALSO a problem for opposing teams, I mean obviously. They only lost one game last season they were a problem for everybody. Not sure why that isn’t clear. But YEA Walker Buehler is forreal good which is unfortunate, and Jacob DeGrom and Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are here, and Aaron Nola is no slouch (this is another one of mine tee hee). At least the rest of the staff (Ray, Folty, Lucchesi) have the potential to not be aces, and I for one hope none of them are. Fuck em. And also LETS TALK BULLPEN. Like to keep everyone on their toes so I’m going to acknowledge the Lacey bullpen. Liam Hendriks and Roberto Osuna are good the rest are meh. BULLPEN COVERED

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  3B Justin Turner –  Justin Turner is a great fucking hitter and a great man but he is no spring chicken, so it seems like every season inevitably his knee starts barking or something and he’s sidelined. so BEHOLD Mr. Turner, you only need to hold up for 60 games this season. Should be a piece of cake, and should he stay healthy he should be a real stabilizing OBP presence on a roster that doesn’t need any stabilizing per se. But they’re gonna get it anyway.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Keston Hiura – It was tempting to jam Soto in here just to celebrate that news a bit more but I FOR ONE shall not be celebrating any covid IL stints this year cuz it’s too apocalyptic as it is. Lets just hope Soto misses most of the year and then is all out of sorts when he returns. But that him and his family are eventually happy and healthy. ANYWAYS Keston Hiura is likely a pretty good hitter but he is not a .400 BABIP hitter, cuz nobody is, but he was in 2019 (should also note fucking Tatis racked up a .410, just a real BLESSED season for the ButtSliderz amirite) so expect that number to come down this season (or who knows it’s 60 games, maybe it’s .500 this year) and with that comes the sweet sweet regression this squad deserves.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Vince Velasquez – This sickens me a bit because the last thing I need to do is root for this team to have a surprise stud pitcher BUT I still have love in my heart for VV and I believe he might yet be able to get his shit together under the Girardi regime. He’s had some problems with the long ball but there’s been talk of previous pitching coaches trying to work up in the zone in a way he was just plain uhhh BAD at, so I dunno. ERA could be 3.30 or it could be 5.30 and I wouldn’t bat an eye either way. I guess I have to root for the 5.30 though 😦

Wesley Snipes on Potential 'New Jack City' Sequel: "I Don't...Like ...

 

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Foltynewicz  –  The beauty of this blurb is that it’s the last little fucking blurb I have to write for this stupid thing and it basically writes himself because Folty already WAS shit for half a season just last season. And it wasn’t really beinc “unlucky” or something, Folty’s FIP in the first half was 6.15 (to match up to his 6.37 ERA. Of course he righted the ship and pitched to a 2.65 ERA in the second half (3.77 FIP) but I mean, he’s sucked once he can suck again. Try that line on your WIVES you dumb married idiots. I’m running outta gas here clearly.

 

 

AND SO MERCIFULLY IT IS OVER. THERE WE HAVE IT FOLKS. BASEBALL IS BACK, BLOG IS BACK (maybe, in a sense), WEEKLY REVIEWS WILL MAYBE BE BACK (as in like every 4 matchups), TRADE REVIEWS WILL…….eh I dunno. Commitment isn’t really my thing so lets stop this now. No need to get carried away. Best of luck to all of you in this cursed season, as the planet actively tries to exterminate our species (sort of rooting for it).

 

now look at this:

 

 

Feeding Habits - Brown Bear

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: Numba 1 and Numba 2

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 3 & 4

 Alright my beautiful babies, FINAL FOUR here. I am sure this is where the win loss records fall apart but I don’t care, if baseball can’t be bothered to have the Toronto Blue Jays play in Toronto (or seemingly ANYWHERE) I can’t be bothered to line that shit up. Onward….

 

 

 

IBBears

We have many logos okay…

#4 Island Beach Bears

2019 RECORD:  8-9-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-4-1, 4th place (1-1 Playoffs). I mean not to toot my own horn here but I think I deserve some credit for all the GREAT PLAYERS that I have briefly owned, but no longer own. Alotta greats have passed through these doors. And what we are left with now is a team that I think is just top to bottom real solid. Solid but unspectacular, but steady enough to slot right in the middle of the ole playoff pack if we were still having playoffs with some level of dignity. Alas we are not having those. And alas I can’t be steered to victory by my co-owner but I’m sure he can advise me on enough moves to maybe win a playoff matchup for a fucking change? That’d be nice. I’m a simple man of simple pleasures.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  So now the FEELING I get when I glance at this roster is just…WOW. Such potential. Such potential that will be fully actualized. Ketel Marte and Austin Meadows are two young studs that were added last season and they’ll be real good OBVIOUSLY (the latter will need to return from this FUCKING virus first), Max Muncy is forreal and that dastardly Dave Roberts will have to really work overtime to keep benching him against lefties for no reason whatsoever, Marcus Semien was excellent last season and shall obviously be excellent again in his contract year, and BEST OF ALL Cavan Biggio is about to become a bonafide star. Ya got all that and ya got some other stuff and maybe Gary Sanchez will stay healthy and maybe Edwin<3 has one more great year in him. And by “one” I mean three. So that’s the bats.

The pitching I’m even PROUDER of, because Blake Snell is definitely healthy and definitely not bouncing balls in the dirt in his final “spring” tuneup. He pairs nicely with Mike Clevinger as two aces on the staff, which is a personal best for my pitching staffs. Behind them we feel like we’ve got a buncha guys that are top 50 arms or so, like maybe seven guys in the top 60 or something. The whole staff, just good solid arms (and Dinelson Lamet and Joe Musgrove can both make a leap and so obviously they both will). So Michael Kopech can take his ball and go home and see if I fucking care. Also I know I haven’t really talked about the bullpen for anyone else but I will for my team and my team only:  We are happy to have Kenley Jansen back as our longest tenured arm and we also feel like Nick Anderson is really good and has only the “Rays Ways” standing in his…..way. Please note I probably felt the same way about Jose Alvarado last season…..turned out to be a misfire. HEY IN THIS SPORT YOU FAIL 7 OUTTA 10 TIMES AND YOU ARE A HALL OF FAMER AMIRITE?!

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Cavan Biggio  –  I had to ship Jose Altuve outta town just to CLEAR ROOM for this guy, that’s how much we believe in Cavan. Helluva walk percentage last year, made verrrry little “soft contact,” 14 for 14 in SBs. LOOK AROUND and there’s a buncha 20/20 talk surrounding this guy, with a few concerns about his “swings less than Votto” approach but there’s a deep dive on this very website that shows he picked up the ole swinging pace towards the end last year. Just read that or something IDFK:  https://www.fantraxhq.com/breaking-down-biggio-a-deep-dive-into-cavan-biggio/ 

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Carter Kieboom  –  The dud part is a bit hard to pull off when discussing one’s own team CUZ I MEAN if I think a guy is gonna be a true “dud” I should just not be rostering that guy, but in Carter’s case there’s a few caveats. Firstly he’s a prospect I’ve had like twice now, and he still has a whole buncha minors eligible ABs to try and figure this thing out. So we need to ride out that eligibility OBVIOUSLY (even with the tweaks to that system, always tweakin ya tweakers). Secondly team ownership thinks he’s eventually gonna be a real solid bat, team ownership just isn’t sure if that’s going to come to full fruition in a shortened season where he will be most focused on not booting grounders over at third. Lest he lose time to fucking Asdrubal Cabrera. So Carter may have some growing pains in the year twenty twenty Anno Domini.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Dinelson Lamet  –  UNFORTUNATELY (using another chunk from a previous preview, this is just efficient writing) Dinelson has been a sleeper darling all offseason so that’s a curse in and of itself BUT…..we think they get it right on this one, for a change. Lamet was being treated with kid gloves last season as he returned from TJ but this year he’s supposedly in line to be allowed to throw “without restrictions.” He also supposedly throws two sliders (both nasty) and had about 13 Ks per 9 last year across 70ish innings. If we decided he qualified he would have had a top 20ish for starters swinging strike percentage (14%). PS Blake Snell was tops amongst starters at 17.7, Gerrit Cole was the next closest at 16.8 JUSSAYIN.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Jake Odorizzi  –  As stated above we really find our collection of starters to be just CONSISTENTLY ABOVE AVERAGE but if I had to pick one guy I expect to let me down, without the influence of Dave Roberts (seriously I fucking hate that guy), it would be Jake Odorizzi. Because it certainly SEEMS like the Twins may have come to the decision he is best when pulled after the 5th no questions asked. He was very good last year, he was also only allowed to go 6 or more 10 times in 30 starts. PERHAPS QS is a dying stat anyhow and he just blends into the pack but also PERHAPS, that gets so annoying we have to tell him to hit the bricks. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

Bert Lahr (1895–1967) The Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard Of Oz" 1939 ...

#3 East Coast WhateverTheFuck (Lions?? Are they gonna be lion-themed?)

2019 RECORD:  10-8

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  7-4, 3rd place (3-0 Playoffs, BCS CHAMP).  That’s right that crown is NO ACCIDENT, friends. I believe, cuz I have to believe, that 3 titles in a row is just far too statistically unlikely to happen twice in this league. I also believe, as I have for several years now, that the core of this team is good enough to win a championship SHOULD THEIR OWNER PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION. Shorter season plays to the shorter attention span, ergo I predict they finally live up to the potential in the year TWENTY TWENTY. The asterisk title may be more curse than gift but all of the titles are pretty much meaningless, as is life, so don’t worry about it my brother. 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: I feel like I’m always gassin this roster up in these things and I don’t feel like it’s a fraternal thing but I would understand if someone made that accusation but let’s do it againnnn I guess. I mean thank god we took Ketel from this roster or else LOOK OUT AMIRITE?! Nah but their bats are okay, and they got Rhys Hoskins as a return in that deal anyhow and he’s pretty damn solid in this league. Other bats that are solid to above solid include yanno pretty much the ENTIRE lineup. You could make an argument there’s some work to be done with a last OF spot or last two OF spots or something but everywhere else is pretty damn good to great, particularly that Christian Yelich guy and that Gleyber Torres guy  and that great for a long time now Anthony Rendon CHARACTER. The bats are really solid throughout folks. OH YEA also Francisco Lindor and Javy Baez. See what I’m saying here?

The INTRIGUE here may be that for years this team was pitching staff heavy and didn’t quite have the same firepower on the other side of the ball, and now the other side of the ball may be a smidge better. That doesn’t mean the pitching staff isn’t very good, though. Stephen Strasburg, Jose Berrios, James Paxton, Carlos Carrasco, Clayton Kershaw all potentially GREAT when right (which I acknowledge can be said about all sorts of injury prone pitchers out there). Now this staff probably has the most risk baked into it in alllll the Backyard but again, the thinking here is the short season might benefit them most of all for that reason. Perhaps there’s no TIME for these guys to get hurt. Also David Price probably did them a favor by opting out. Also I assume this team, like the rest of your teams, has some relievers and maybe those guys are good I dunno. Short synopsis has no time for (most) bullpens.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Amed Rosario –  NOT that this team needs any help in the middle infield, in fact they probably need less, but I actually well and truly feel something might actually go the Mets way in the form of a real GROWTH SZN outta Amed Rosario. The kid already made for a sneaky Backyard asset even as he struggled to get his OBP up to snuff, chipping in 15 triples over the past two seasons (4th best in MLB). But what intriiiigues me is the tale of two halves for 2019. A not ideal .299 OBP in the first half was replaced by a .351 OBP in the second half, and the slugging percentage ticked up ’bout 40 percentage points. Not sure he’ll ever be confused for a power hitter but a sustained .350ish OBP would give him plenty of opportunities on the basepaths, perhaps plenty of opportunities to score runs should the rest of the Mets DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS. Amed could certainly stand to try and work a few more walks into his game but there’s folks that think he can get the average up over .300. I read it somewhere. On the world wide web. So HERE…..Ryan does not own David Dahl are you happy? Does not own David Dahl yet? 

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B/3B Ryan McMahon – Ryan McMahon hits the ball pretty damned hard and his name is similar to Ryan’s name and he popped 24 HRs last year so what is the problem here why isn’t he in the stud section amirite?! UAREWRONG, cuz he also hit the ball on the ground 50% of the time which means he needed a TWENTY SEVEN PERCENT HR/FB rate to get to those 24 Dongs. Sure there’s guys that had higher rates last year (that wacky fucking new baseball of theirs) but uhhh that’s pretty high man. Not too many true talent 27% hitters out there. He also struck out nearly 30% of the time which is pretty damn high itself. There’s a floor to be found here, Coors be damned . And also just like get the fuck out of Garrett Hampson‘s way mannnnn.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Jordan Montgomery – Perhaps this is Casual Yankees Fan Bias or Regional Bias but I’ve been far too in tune with Jordan Montgomery’s tuneups this year and the guy has looked GOOD. I watched the start on Sunday and he mowed those bitch-ass Mets down. Breaking balls looked filthy, he’s claimed it’s the best he has felt in “a while” and I just think he can be one of the two or three best pitchers in the Yankees rotation this season. PERHAPS meaning that James Paxton isn’t but that would be cuz of injury or something, I like the Big Maple no BM (hehe) slander here….

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Anthony Desclafani  –  They have a really good pitching staff so Desclafani is obviously their worst starter. Can’t I just stop here? I mean I probably could but I’ll go on. Sureeee he’s got pretty solid strikeout numbers but I just feel like this guy feels like he’s perpetually 25 and NO…..he’s 30. And he gives up a lot o Dongs and probably got lucky on both the BABIP and the strand rate last year. I just don’t think he’s particularly good, Sonny Gray made it work in the GAB but many other pitchers do not make it work there, more streamer than rostered fella IMHO. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY I ALREADY FEEL LIKE I SAID MORE THAN I NEEDED TO. 

 

 

 

I think this one may have had my most caps lock and we allllll know what that means. It means I’m getting bored of this shit already. THANKFULLY we have the final two tomorrow, which you can obviously guess (BUT NOT THE PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS MAYBE), so I’ll try and spice it up by including multiple personal attacks on both owners. I’ll also perhaps commit to some level of weekly reviews IN WRITING there to keep me honest, but when I say weekly I mean it will be like every 3 or 4 weeks or something boo hoo deal with it or write em yourself. I will see all of you, my many readers (Brian), tomorrow for the BIG FINALE and MULTIPLE REAL GAMES and POSSIBLY MIKE AND I EACH HAVING TO TAKE A BUNCHA AQUAVIT SHOTS.

 

now look at this:

 

 

jk nothing to look at eat a dick.

 

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 3 & 4

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 5 & 6

I really pondered why I write these before I wrote this, like I don’t give a shit about your teams I barely give a shit about my own. Same goes for fantasy sports as a whole. And the thing I care for LEAST really is this god forsaken blog. And yet I write, even though I don’t care about my readers. This may be why David Foster Wallace killed himself.

ANYWHO this one is gonna be my favorite, I think, so perhaps that propels me through. Might even get a bit verbose on this bad boy (which means lots of parenthetical asides such as so). These two were always meant to be together, we all know em and love em, they probably will be most offended by whomever I declare a “dud,” let’s not waste any more time and let’s bring em out here…….

First though CHECK THIS SHIT OUT….I should probably make this my logo, once I get tired of Brian’s tasteful interpretation.

Bear Surfing On Shark" Art Board Print by NoWukkasMate | Redbubble

SPEAKING OF…

#6 Barnegat Banana Slugs

2019 RECORD:  7-10-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-5, 6th place (0-1 Playoffs). I’m not going to sit here and imply that the BBS are going to be distracted by their League Office role (whatever those roles may be) in this topsy turvy 2020 season, I’m going to just say that the 6th seed is their true talent level. Regardless of the league office shit. WHICH, for my tastes, is off to an auspicious start 😉 😉 😉 (I’ve seen more leadership outta Biden and they’ve all but locked him in a basement until September, is what I’m sitting here implying).

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  The FEELING I get when I glance at that roster is that of a team that oozes potential but needs about 75 things to go right all at once, in a year when NOTHING HAS GONE RIGHT. Which maybe presents a situation where things go right for the Banana Slugs because that’s the sort of thing that would go right in this sort of year so maybe that’s a “sane man in an insane world” sort of thing. Which is no doubt what Slugs ownership thinks of themselves. BUT YEA Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette can certainly be something at SOME point but why would that happen in a 60 game sophomore season….is what I’m saying. They’ll also need these buncha guys (Rosario, Gurriel, Suarez, Soler, Voit) to keep all the GAINZ from their career years and maybe some of them do but surely not all of them. Because life needs to make SENSE. I do think the other two Royals make for nice assets in this here league and I do admit Trevor Story is a real fantasy monster these days. That is a truth I hold to be self-evident. BUT I accurately predicted a sophomore slump for him once upon a time and that’s sort of the theme here now isn’t it. Blue Jays. sophomore. slumps.

The pitching feels like it has less of a floor but there’s still some pitfalls:  Jon Gray pretty consistently pitches better at home than on the road and THAT has to piss Coors off, Trevor Bauer had some correct points about the labor negotiations but REMAINS a tool that picks fights on Twitter and dates his “agent”….decide amongst yourselves which of those things is more pathetic. And BASEBALL WISE GAB is a hitters park and Trevor has one lone and truly ~good~ season to his credit. Alright enough on that schmuck. Max Scherzer is, obviously, one of an ever-dwindling number of starters that can can and will carry a fantasy rotation in a week (which I guess would be TWO weeks in this son of a whore of a season)(Hamilton reference for Bri there). Chris Paddack & Kirby Yates I’m a fan of both of these Friars, they’ll be an asset for the Slugs surely. Anddd if post-PEDs Frankie Montas is still nasty this overall band of arms is probably in pretty good shape all things considered. I trust this ownership group to tinker as needed and I root for Bauer implosions that might test that tinkering. He’ll never quit him though.

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  SS Adalberto Mondesi  –  Lord knows I’ve shit on this man’s batting profile in the past and LORD KNOWS there’s a real floor here but LORD ALSO KNOWS there’s really not a more dynamic player in this league when he’s on. In theory. I can argue. Particularly since there is no lord. But yeah I know I’ve been skewing speed on these stud bats, I think sometimes, but Adalberto is in a class of his own (mostly) in terms of his ability to have a hot week and rack up 3 triples 6 steals that sorta shit. It appears trading Carlos Martinez for him was wise. Is what last year told me.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  1B Yuli Gurriel  –  Yuli is ALLEGEDLY 36 now, and not to take this to a racial place, but let’s be honest that could mean 40. And he just used a juiced ball and a few trashcan bangs to bang his way to 35 Dongs (I saw a very compelling video of him seeing a Jonathan Loasiga changeup was coming last year via BANG BANG BANG. Anywho I’m not sure what the status is on the ball, I’m pretty sure they won’t use trash cans anymore, I’m also pretty sure it won’t matter either way. Yuli ain’t no slugging first basemen in my book and I won’t adjust that book for anybody.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Frankie Montas  –  UNFORTUNATELY for those league owners out there that enjoy seeing bad things happen to the Slugs, if there could possibly be such a thing (and honestly if that’s you what you need to do is look long and hard in the mirror and ask yourself what that’s about, and maybe cut your hair it’s getting really long. Brian is a decent man! You unknown scoundrels), it appears Frankie may be forreal. He’s looked great in whatever this spring training type thing should be termed and the velocity is there and he was named the Opening Day starter and the whole nine. Whole fuckin’ shebang. So that’s a shame. I think the Slugs got to just up and grab him at that point last year where everyone was waiting to grab him due to superior waiver order (something I don’t believe in) and now here we are, and we are just going to have to learn to live with it. At least Lance Lynn probably isn’t this good.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP JA Happ  –  JA, bless his heart, squeaked out a few extra years with some sorta elevating the fastball thing across a few seasons but he’s officially run outta fastball elevation. Guy can’t keep the ball in the park, Yankee Stadium certainly doesn’t help here, but I think he’s gonna suck hard and quickly lose his gig on both the Pinstripes and the Nanslugs. Banslugs? Nanslugs. MAYBE Nannerslugs.

download

#5 River City Fightin’ Margs

2019 RECORD:  6-9-3

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  6-4-1, 7th place (1-1 Playoffs).  Pretty much the same synopsis above implies, because everyone knows this guy is trying to play PUPPETEER behind the scenes. Shadow government. Buy Shane dinner first before you jam your hand up there WOULDYA. But yea the Margs are what they are. 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: I’m not entirely sure what happened to the Margs last year but I think it’s somehow connected to the same forces that made nobody wanna sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper…. and then when they DID sign they were sorta meh the whole year (poor Bryce was fine he’s just cursed by the 197 wRC+ season he shall never repeat, which just isn’t his fault). But anyway I’m not here to defend Bryce Harper via parenthetical I’m here to badmouth Mike’s team so let’s get on with it. The bats here have a pretty wideeee range of outcomes when you look at them:  Giancarlo Stanton, Nomar Mazara, Eric Thames, Byron Buxton, Yoenis Cespedes, ALL OF THOSE GUYS could put up great seasons or terrible seasons and it wouldn’t really surprise me either way (Giancarlo really only stumbles if he misses time, the rest of them can probably be in the lineup and range from “meh” to trash). The more reliable names are probably that dickhead on the Red Sawks (Xander), Pete Alonso, Wilson Contreras, Matt Chapman, etc. etc. These guys I mostly expect to do what they are expected to do, though a sophomore slump from the Polar Bear would be fun. By and large the bats here will live and die with the wide range of outcomes on a whole buncha guys and then how much of  rebound you see out of Machado. I really don’t know what more people expect out of Bryce but it FEELS LIKE Philly is probably mad at him. Love that place. Oh yea and Rougned Odor sucks and offends me as a hitter.

The arms here are the REAL MYSTERY, because I could swear I recall Mike saying to me beside his pool that his pitching staff was “great” or something and then I log on to fantrax dot com and this is what I am greeted with:

Question marks | Diocese of London

A BUNCHA GIANT FUCKING QUESTION MARKS. Sure everybody loves them some Brandon Woodruff and he’s probably really good but the rest of these guys? Questions abound. I’ve never been a fan of Stroman (maybe he’s ~okay~ I dunno), McCullers & Rodon who knows what you’re gonna get, ditto for the returning to the rotation C-Mart, Corbin Burnes trash Freddy Peralta who knows what he is or what his role is (also why so many fucking Brewers pitchers, is everything okay Mike?), Sean Manaea is usually ~okay~ (he’s been getting rocked all “spring” whilst working on his Randy Johnson-aided slider or whatfuckingever), I’m just very perplexed is what I’m saying. I could SWEAR Mike spoke highly of this group of arms and now I’m staring it dead in the face and I’m wondering if it’s inside the league’s top 5. And now I’m also going over everything he’s ever said to me. And I encourage you all to do the same. #DefundLobman

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  LF/CF/RF/OF David Dahl –  This feels like the perfect storm of a season for Dahl to actually remain moderately healthy and put up large numbers, leading to BIG DREAMZ for his fantasy owners for 2021. Which will then be derailed when he shits out his gall bladder or something. Dahl was pretty damned solid last year in his own way (sky high BABIP aside) to the point where I’m sort of surprised the Margs didn’t parlay it into a trade of some sort, but I’ll blame THIS DAMNED VIRUS for really tamping down the league’s trade winds. Which is a shame. Your family’s will all die eventually anyway so that should in no way interfere with you shopping your top 50 OFs. I MISS ROSTER CHURN.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Rougned OdorThis……this was inevitable. Similarly inevitable are the 3 or 4 weeks where “Rougie” puts up league-leading LVP numbers and BOOM that’s half the season. This guy sucks. I’m surprised Lobman hasn’t dug up some tweet about him being “6-12” in simulated games and vomited that thing into the chat but I’m also not paying great attention to the chat so maybe he has.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Lance McCullers – Take what I just said about Dahl  up there and apply it to Lance down here. Whom I LOVE. But yea 60 game season means McCullers largely without restrictions, I expect him to shine (with occasional bouts of walking like 7 in 3 IP) and then I expect him to come back last year and rip his arm from its socket on a beautiful 12-6 curve to even the count at 1-1. Honorable mention same exact scenario except make it a slider:  Carlos Rodon

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Carlos Martinez  –  Maybe this is just to draw scrutiny to the Mondesi deal again (I mean it’s all laid out here STUD vs. DUD) but also maybe I really do think he’s gonna be a bit of a Dud. And I KINDA DO. For starters you need to pitch him out of a P or RP slot for his first five go-rounds, for seconders his shoulder’s been known to give way with a starter’s workload, for thirdlys I’ve heard his commitment to conditioning and whatnot in between starts has been called into question a few times. There’s an article about it! That article seemed to mention Adam Wainwright and his work ethic a lot so it may be a racist St. Louis beat writer sorta issue (Cano vs. Pedroia all over again) but it may also be true. The fact that a guy as good as Carlos Martinez once was had to compete to win the “5th starter” role gives me pause. And he’s on Mike’s team so fuck ’em I hope he’s terrible.

FINAL FOUR COMING UP IN THE FINAL TWO DAYS, each of which will feature actual baseball. Whatta majestic country.

now look at this:

Amazon.com : Home Originality Set of 4 Bears of Grace Figurines ...

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 5 & 6

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 7 & 8

I HAVE NO INTRO, so here look at this…….

 

Image result for bear middle finger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Rojo’s Renegade Force

2019 RECORD:  7-10-1

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  5-6, 8th place (0-1 Playoffs). If there’s anyone that’s susceptible to just sort of forgetting that we are actually attempting a season in this THICK SOUP OF A VIVID NIGHTMARE OF A YEAR, it is Rojo. I’m not even entirely sure whom is on his team so this is mostly based on my wariness about the man himself.

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS:  You know what the cupboard isn’t bare, but there’s also no way for me to make an “Indian in the Cupboard” reference here because there’s no Cleveland representation. But if I could have done that I would have been like “MAN am I fucking good at this or what?!” But I couldn’t so I’m not. N E wayz there’s some decent bats here, which makes sense as I seem to remember this team near the Backyard Hitting Leaderboards at the end of last year (which will burn to the ground if we don’t remove the extra bat before OD….ahem). Rojo is the sort of Yankee fan that can make peace with rostering Rafael Devers so that’s fucking disgusting. Definitely the most heinous roster issue that’s ever sprung up from this team and its ownership. Uhhh some other guys that are less heinous for him to roster include George Springer (except cheater TELL ‘EM T) and Joey Gallo and MITCH GARVER seems like a fine hitter out of the all-annoying catcher spot. Baseball should replace both catchers and umpires with robots.

So yea there’s good bats and there’s Charlie Morton and maybe Yu Darvish and maybe whatever’s left of Corey Kluber (and of Paul Goldschmidt for that matter, he of his 34 HR down years, but we are done covering hitters). THERE’S GOOD PLAYERS OKAY. I just don’t trust the ship to have rudders at all of the times it needs to have those things. I’m no sailor but have you SEEN the way Rojo has been letting his hair and beard go? Doesn’t inspire confidence from shareholders.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/OF Victor Robles – This feels a lot like the Luis Robert pick from yesterday but I swear I’m not going to just keep going with young speedsters (at least I don’t think so) but also I’m not just gonna fucking be like “GOLDSCHMIDT WILL PROBABLY BE GOOD.” Where’s the joy in that, I ask you. So yea Robles. This cat actually amassed solid stats last season, and it feels like Rojo has owned him forever, and yes AGAIN I think this might be another one of those guys that really shines in the short stint. “Fantasy analysts” shall spend all of next February trying to decide how high he should be drafted, and wherever they decide will probably be too high. But we are off topic, HE IS GONNA STEAL BASES AND THAT’S ALL I AM LOOKING AT THIS YEAR.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  2B Jason Kipnis – No WAY this guy ain’t cooked, right? He’s gotta be fucking cooked. You’re telling me Brian Dozier the Bulldog Gawd can’t find a job in baseball but this dipshit is going to get some NL DH ABs for the Cubbies? Fuck that. Find a better fucking second basemen, ‘Gades. Putting him in the actual 2B slot should feel embarrassing.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Kenta Maeda – The thing about dancing with mid-rotation Dodgers arms is they just loveeeee pulling some of those arms out of the fucking game they’re cruising through at like 60 & 70 & 80 pitches, with no regard for strikeouts or nastiness or cruising. I have watched Maeda cruise on my behalf, SEVERAL TIMES,only to be pulled by Dave Roberts shy of the 6th, shy of the 5th, often shy of 90 pitches. So fuck Dave Roberts with a spiky one. Rocco Baldelli, however, great man. SO what’s important here is I don’t think it’s crazy to think Rocco might not have the samequick hook for Kenta (unless he does….. see Jake Odorizzi). But I meannnn it’s a short season, Maeda isn’t some young arm they’re protecting, Minnesota is very clearly a very racist state. Let the chink throw I say.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Madison Bumgarner – I just do nawtttttt see Arizona going particularly well for Mr. MadBum. That park plays up for Dongs and MadBum’s dong rate was up last year, San Fran was obviously a pitcher’s park but his road ERA last year you ask?  5.29. So when I say “nawt particularly well” I mean ERA over 4.5 nawt particularly well. And he’ll be all salty about some hitter watching a Dong for too long and it’s what he deserves, truly. I’m far more interested in what that nervous Ford salesman fellow is up to these days to be honest. REMEMBER THAT GUY?

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_4669

#9 Astoria Isotopes

2019 RECORD:  8-10

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  5-5-1, 7th place (1-1 Playoffs).  The ‘Topes feel like the team poised to get most battered by VIRUS this season cuz why not. If we all were to contract coronavirus and I had to place bets on who survives it Mikey T’s slender frame would have him somewhere near the top of list. After Rojo of course. And Brian. And maybe Shane. YOU’VE GIVEN UP TOO MUCH OF YOUR LIFE FORCE SHANE (sperm). 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS: Only two years removed from NOT SHOWING UP in the BCS, this team is yanno….still here. Still relying on power, at least PROJECTED power, with 11 guys projected for DoubDigDongs© and I dunno that’s maybe the most in the league? Maybe tied for the most in the league? I’m not gonna mail this shit in and then go and check that. They also have Sam Hilliard, whom I LOVE, hanging in there in the minors projected for 9 Dongs. Which sounds doable. Other doable Fantrax HR projections:  Moustakas, ‘Nado, Judge if he stays healthy (big if), Khris Davis if he stays healthy. Non-doable Fantrax HR projections:  Matt Olson (meh), Joc (see below), Judge (won’t stay healthy), Eduardo Escobar (NOT BUYIN IT EDDIE). So there you have it there’s the bats.

Starting to wish I spent more time expounding upon the bats cuz these arms GAH. Let’s just do some Nahs (shoutout to Nas) and then maybe some Yeahs. NAH:  Minor, Marquez, Hamels, Hudson, these men ALL suck. Sadly even Dellin Betances sucks now (ve-lo is gone-o). So really this ENTIRE pitching staff makes me sad, what the fuck happened here (aside from the Sale tragedy 🙂 )? I don’t even have any Yeahs. I kinda like Randy Dobnak a little, I guess. JUST A SMIDGE though nothing crazy. Wouldn’t date em.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  RF/OF Franmil ReyesFranmil is a large man and he hits the ball VERY hard and back in March he was like 12-27 with 5 Dongs. Now does that matter now, no. But does the fact that he dropped 18 pounds in the offseason and still kept mashing those Dongs and doesn’t have to play the field ever again if the Indians so choose matter? YES. Yes it matters. This is precisely the sorta fella that could start this abbreviated season hot and end up the MLB leader in HRs. In fact maybe I’m even predicting that (only will reference this if it actually happens, obviously).

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  1B/LF/RF/OF Joc PedersonNot that I think they’re relying on Joc per se but a platoon bat in a shortened season PITUH…PITUH *spitting on the floor*…. pituh. Joc is also the sorta guy that might bat .100 for a few weeks even against righties and then uhhh he’s out of a job. He just has such a dumb face that I feel like he’s too aloof to get motivated by the fact that the Dodgers basically traded him already.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  German Marquez – SIMILAR THEME here which I love but PLATOON ARM IN A SHORTENED SEAON PUHH PITUH PUHHH. Coors Field is undefeated and Marquez had a 6.26 ERA there last year so uhhh….I mean he’s getting that OD start on the road. Got that going for him. But yea rostering zee German this year is rough. T’s gonna stand by his man though, I AM SURE.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM: German Marquez – SIMILAR THEME here to the dud bat which I love, PLATOON ARM IN A SHORTENED SEAON PUHH PITUH PUHHH. Coors Field is undefeated and Marquez had a 6.26 ERA there last year so uhhh….I mean he’s getting that OD start on the road. Got that going for him. But yea rostering zee German this year is rough. T’s gonna stand by his man though, I AM SURE.

 

 

 

TWO DOWWWNNNN. I’m really hitting my creative writing stride, go back up and look at the “Indian in the Cupboard” reference again. And I mean REALLY…..look at it.

 

now look at this:

 

Image result for bear middle finger

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 7 & 8

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 9 & 10

Foreword: A little background for the uninitiated. These lil team previews are my way of taking shots at your teams and poorly predicting end of season records. This has been made A BIT MORE DIFFICULT by this HELLSCAPE of a year but whatever, let’s do it again. 2020 should be saved on the blog for posterity’s sake. And yanno what let’s also consider these Preseason Power Rankings cuz why not. And since I decided to do this a tad late we are doubling up, 10 Teams in FIVE days leading up to the first full-ish schedule of games allegedly taking place on July 24th. In empty stadiums. So weird, so let’s get weird: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#10 Lakehurst Leviathans

2019 RECORD:  6-12

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  4-7, 10th place (0-1 Playoffs).  LOOK MAN, ya gotta not finish in last place before I project you to not finish in last place. Also your logo gives me “big into Asian schoolgirl hentai porn” vibez but that’s neither here nor there…

 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS, A LA THE SEASON:  Shane’s teams have always had a certain grace about them, in how they just sort of string together a bunch of un-sexy names around JD Martinez and then call it a day. I’ll get this caveat out of the way now and say that ANY PLAYER, and truly anyone you love, can be felled by this virus (or by car accidents, life is chaos get used to it)(RIP Jose Martinez 😦 ) so who knows how JD feels currently. And also who cares. But if he’s alive he’ll hit some Dongs®, Yasmani Grandal is sneaky good, Carlos Santana is a guy I’ve wanted to take off McCann’s hands for a while now, and they have a few bats coming off career years (Kepler, Polanco, a few people that aren’t on the Twins I’m sure) so if that continues WHO KNOWS GANG. Maybe not last place, for Shane.

If I had to stumble for other reasons to think maybe not last place, and really why would I because here I am projecting last place, but if I did: A few top 50-ish SPs in  Mike Soroka, Jack Flaherty, and Patrick Corbin. Counterpoint to suggest MAYBE LAST PLACE THOUGH:  The rest of their pitchers. Fuck ’em. I mean they have both a Zack  and a Zach that can’t bode well.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/OF Luis Robert – Luis might very well hit the ground running and become a Guy™ in the Backyard. OBP might not be anything to write home about, but counting stats might be. Plus worrying about rate stats in a shortened season may be bad business. But what do I know, all I’ve ever done in fantasy baseball is tried to look pretty while Odom made all our dynasty’s roster decisions (getting the first one out of the way before, like, Heroy can).

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  SS Jorge Polanco – We here at Backyard Views dot com project Polanco to turn back into a pumpkin, now that all PEDs have been thoroughly flushed from his system.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Mitch Keller – Mitch had a downright UNSIGHTLY 7.13 ERA over 48 IP last season but SURPRISE I think he’s much better than that. He was striking out 12 per 9 but running a ridiculous a .475 BABIP; FIP was actually a rather delightful 3.19. Ideally Shane is reading all of these acronyms as nerdy gobbledygook and I can have him as a TOSS-IN to that aforementioned Carlos Santana trade. Toss him in the way one might toss in a Vlad Guerrero Jr. for example.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Soroka – Do I think Soroka is going to be a completely useless piece of shit dud? No I do not. But to continue asking questions I will then answer myself, do I think he will keep an ERA under 3 again? Again I do not. Perhaps Soroka is really THAT good at limiting Dongs® but, dear reader, WHAT IF HE ISN’T? I mean he has been his whole minor league career but still, I expect SSS (small sample size duh) to wreak havoc this year. Throw in the NL DH now and that ERA may very well end up over 4….point….two. No more freebies for these pansy NL pitcher fucks.

 

Could I write more about Shane’s team? I don’t know MAYBE, maybe I fucking could. Could I have used less questions to myself in the writing of this? Absolutely. But the season is shortened and sort of ridiculous so these things are going to be the same. For example, last year I made sure all of the records were theoretically possible in the league with my math and this year I likely do NOT. Do that. CHAOS BAYBAY. Let’s get to #9….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

download

#9 #Iwenttothegamean dallIgotwascovid19

2019 RECORD:  7-8-3 (X-Rayz)

PROJECTED 2020 RECORD:  4-6-1, 9th place (0-1 Playoffs).  This is partly cuz Odom GUTTED this roster last year and partly because you made me type out that fucking name. The pic is a favorite of mine but I also refuse to have that man’s face on here. DO BETTER ALL AROUND.

 

SHORT SQUAD SYNOPSIS, A LA THE SEASON ITSELF: This was going to open with some type of “Odom desecrated this man’s roster far worse than he ever desecrated this man’s sister” type joke but I love Annabel and wish her nothing but the best and I know Odom does as well and so we aren’t even going to go there. BUT FORREAL THOUGH, the reason why I half-used that opener is pretty apparent. This roster was managed a real zaaaaaney way and when the dust settled and previous ownership retired to a life of leisure it was left with like Jose Ramirez and…………………………Jeff McNeil?………………….for bats. I threw the new guy Jose Altuve because that’s what I DO, and everyone should be more like me and trading their best players all of the time (#DownWithDynasty). There’s also a buncha people left over from the speed heavy philosophy of olden days but I don’t want to talk about them, so we are done with the bats.

Unfortunately it would be far more difficult to find things to say about the arms. Let’s just say that Guy is very devoid of Guys™ so he’s got his work cut out for him, and I’m not sure if the shortened season will help or hurt in this regard. I do know that the previous regime would have made sure to have as many players as possible active for like the two games on 7/23 so maybe they can do that. I also know they have Aroldis Chapman at least, whom I’ll always love. He should trade him back to me.

 

SHORT SEASON STUD BAT:  CF/RF/OF Mallex SmithA holdover from the Speed Killz days of yore, Mallex is the perfect time for me to dig into these FANTRAX PROJEXCTIONS for Mallex is projected to have the second most steals in alllll of baseball in this bullshit season. And dammit I think he might be able to do it. Which I don’t say about all projections, and I’m sure I’ll disagree with Fantrax far more than I agree, but here we are. Projections are just humans grasping at ways to pretend life isn’t chaos anyhow. ANYWHO Mallex Smith of the M’s is also projected to lead baseball with 4 triples, and if he can nab 4 that can potentially make alllll the difference this year. Like potentially the difference between sayyyy being the last place team and the 9th place team.

SHORT SEASON DUD BAT:  3B/RF/OF Hunter DozierSticking with the Ftrax Trips Projections Theme, they’ve got Hunter here nabbing 3 and I knowww he nabbed 10 last year but Evan Gattis had 11 one year so….yea settle down. I don’t think Dozier is a triples savant and I also don’t think he’s a .500+ SLG guy. I think he’s more slug than slugger is what I’m saying here. Don’t know what else to say.

SHORT SEASON STUD ARM:  SP Ryan Yarbrough – Yarbrough, like many a player in the Rays org, got jerked all around last year due to the typical Rays fuckery. However, in between  “opening” and “bulking” and all of that bullshit, he was actually allowed to well and truly start a few games. Including 8.2 scoreless against the Mariners last August. Sounds like he’s in line to crack the “rotation” this year and perhaps even the Rays let him fly a bit and not pull him every 3 innings, and if they do so I think both they and THIS TEAM (I pray they settle in and change this fucking name because I don’t intend on typing it out twice…..the Redskins is now available I hear) won’t be disappointed in the results.  

SHORT SEASON DUD ARM:  SP Mike Fiers – These were originally terms “surprise” studs/duds but that felt too restrictive, but even if that remained I’m not sure this should necessarily come as a SURPRISE. Just in case it might, just in case a few good months with the A’s may have people viewing Mike Fiers with rose-colored glasses, let me announce that Mike Fiers remains Mike Fiers. Not particularly good for quite some time now, and with Ks dipping to 6.14 per 9 last year I say the margin for error is slim. UNFORTUNATELY beggars can’t be choosers so I understand hoping for a sub-4 ERA here. FORTUNATELY there’s still time to trade him to Mikey T, as he would like to thank Mr. Fiers for his service as Astros Whistleblower. CHAPMAN STILL HUNG THAT SLIDER MIKEY. ANYWHO Fiers sucks.

 

 

ONE DOWN FOUR TO GO.

 

 

YOU UNGRATEFUL “let me spellcheck this immediately” FUCKS.

 

Also welcome to the league Guy 🙂

2020 is all fucked up so 10 Teams in FIVE Days: 9 & 10

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