PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 8-8-2, 7th place. The DELICIOUS DOUBLE WHAMMY of having the Bad Dudes both improve upon their 2018 record while also missing the playoffs for the first time eva. FUN. We have fun here.
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: It really doesn’t require much to get the Bad Dudes out of the playoffs for a fucking change, just yanno a series of random tiebreakers pitting 2-3 teams for the 6th seed where the Dudes fall a bit short. If I am trying to bake in regression perhaps it starts with the fact they’re rostering two guys that didn’t even SIGN with a team until like March. Bit of a red flag there. No they should be fine, but the pitching is questionable the entire way through and you just know Rougned Odor will have some LVP weeks that are just SO BAD they crater the entire offense around him. Like some sort of shittiness black hole drawing in everything near it, allowing no OBP to escape from its shitty grasp.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: RF Nomar Mazara – I have been as down on Mazara as any man can possibly be but even I can admit that’s mostly to get the Dudes to shut the fuck up about declaring every player’s every April HR a clear sign that they are about to #BreakOut. I can also admit that Mazara is very young and last year was held down a bit by an all of a sudden inflated groundball rate. Reverse that trend and improve ever so slightly against LHP and you can see 30 dongs outta this ding dong.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: 3B Miguel Sano – SURPRISE, Sano is already hurt and once he gets done being hurt he’s still gonna suck and strike out way too much and just be a shitty person in general. He fits the team name but is probably too streaky and/or shitty to make it to the end of the season on a roster that demands accountability from all players not named Rougned Odor or AJ Pollock or Kevin Gausmanor Marcus Stroman or……
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Alex Reyes – This isn’t a stud pitcher in the sense that I think Reyes will crack the rotation (I believe it’s already declared he opens in the pen) but it IS a “stud” designation in the sense that FOR BACKYARD PURPOSES, I think he can be an impact SP-eligible reliever in 2019. Health needs to hold up of course but if so he can definitely sneak into the Saves and Holds mix and pump out the Ks. Could be a nice lil piece, for the Bad Dudes to no doubt trade at the deadline.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER: SP Carlos Martinez – On the flip side of the Cardinals sitch SURPRISE…. I mean I guess it’s a surprise if you trade Offseason Hype Beast Adalberto Mondesi (whom I also projected to dud, kismet) because if you trade an Offseason Hype Beast you gotta expect to be getting back a useful player. Alas, Carlos Martinez may be fucking toast folks. I predict a brief and disastrous attempt at starting
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 9-8-1, 4th place. LAST YEAR was kinda a blur from like I dunno February on? Some real autopilot shit, and yet I was still probably leading my TERRIBLY NAMED division at some point so this year all we gotta do is practice non-attachment and also not lose our last 5 matchups.
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: The Bears completed a truly EPIC collapse in ’18 by dropping their last 5 weeks, and to be honest I can’t even quite recall how. That is just how the cookie crumbled in 2018, and to make matters worse I took an injured and useless Jose Altuve off Doch’s team and probably provided them with so much support I should be presented a championship ring. ANYWHO we are expecting Altuve to not be useless this year and also figure no wayyyyy Votto and El Gary can remain that shitty and there you go BOOK IT, first playoff win in ages here I come.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: SS Garrett Hampson – I guess this already feels sort of strange because I’m declaring players I believe in will “surprise” me therefore it cannot come as a surprise, to me. But ANYHOW this one actually might because I fully expect the Rockies to FUCK young Garrett here cuz they love to fuck their young players #LeavingCoors. If they DO NOT however Hampson could wind up being an absolute stud, sort of a Trea Turner boosted by the Coors effect type situation. First he needs to get in the lineup and ideally he needs to make his way on up to the leadoff spot, but nothing is impossible.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: 3B/SS Eduardo Escobar – Again allow me to “surprise” myself by suggesting a player I think will be good for the team will actually be bad. Don’t want to do such a thing with any player I’m emotionally invested in so lets do it with Eduardo instead. EDUARDO is supposed to be insurance behind the uncertain playing times of Garrett Hampson and Max Muncy; Eduardo was like top 15 as both a 3B and SS last year due to an abundance of 2Bs and such. Bears management can TOTES see Eduardo failing to prove a valuable enough insurance policy (Chase Field be damned) which would lead to them needing to seek out another 3B/SS OR just one of the two, again depending on some really ridiculous and unjust playing time concerns.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Shane Bieber – SURPRISE, I think Bieber is good and can be surprisingly so. A 4.55 ERA last year looks all gross and shit but UNDERNEATH THE HOOD he was rocking a SEXAY 3.23 FIP and 3.45 SIERA. Among pitchers that threw 110 those metrics ranked 17th and 20th respectively, ahead of and surrounded by some very good pitchers. The book on Biebs is his fastball is kinda shit but he may in fact possess elite control which can allow him to place it on corners and such. Also the slider is a beaut.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER: SP Jose Quintana – I’ve wanted to own Quintana for YEARRRRRS from back in the day when he was churning out QS for the White Sox. So now I am rostering him when maybe I shouldn’t. Let’s just sayyy it is entirely possible those QS glory days are long behind us and I’ll have to drop him by like mid-May. The trappings of longing for bygone days.
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 8-8-2, 6th place. Never rule out this team SQUANDERING its talent but it has justttt enough of it to where I have to predict them making the BackYard Bracket (then losing in the 1st round).
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: So THIS NAME, I can’t tell if it is like the lamest “trolling” in the history of lame trolling or what but I’m going to memorialize it on the 10 in 10 forever in any case. Guess this is what I should expect from a league with division names like ours (also deeply stupid, BANNED from the blog). WHERE WAS I? Oh yea, this fucking team. Still boasts the top two players in fantasy (Trout, Betts) and like 3 of the top 10 (Turner) and will still find a way to be an ABSOLUTE DISAPPOINTMENT. But due to aforementioned players I have a hard time voting them out of the BYB each preseason, even though it’s entirely possible they find a way.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: RF Austin Meadows – Meadows FINALLY got his goddamned cup of coffee last season and was able to display a lil bit of everything across 178 ABs (9 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 6 HRs, 5 SBs). All of that came with a .324 OBP that ESPN ain’t buying apparently (.306 projected), but I AM BUYING. Meadows looked good this spring and I think he obviously has the pedigree to put up some big numbers, possibly out of the leadoff spot for the Rays. Somebody get him off Greg’s team before he squanders his potential.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: SS Willy Adames – Those who have considered themselves Rays fans at some point in time likely have a complicated relationship with Adames and MAYBE THAT IS IN PLAY HERE, and maybe Adames only appears to be a dud from Greg’s perspective (I have a suspicion the rest of the league has a more accurate valuation on the guy)…. but yes I think Adames’ debut was a good bit of smoke and mirrors. His plate discipline was garbage, hit a lot of groundballs, really was propped up by a .378 BABIP that is gonna come downnnn. So very down. Like 60 points or more down. Willy is very young and can improve upon all of these things but FOR NOW I think there’s going to be growing pains and FOR LATER I think he settles in as a solid player but a bit MEH in fantasy, not a guy teams should trade their David Price‘s over.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Tyler Glasnow – Glasnow was a bit shall we sayyyy inconsistent last season BUT, underlying metrics point to a guy that was better than his 4.27 ERA. As one of the three pitchers the Rays will actually allow to act as actual starters he’s got a chance to pitch well and pitch deep into games (at least possible QS deep) and the guy’s got some real K upside, is what he’s got. Another guy someone should remove from Greg’s team but will not be able to due to differing opinions on worth. Such is life in the Backyard.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER: SP Michael Fulmer – SURPRISE, they just announced yesterday or something he needs TJ. Woulda sucked anyway, overrated as all get out after that 2016 season.
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 7-10-1, 10th place. THAT’S right I am predicting B2B years of precisely the same record, Khris Davis style.Fine 6-11-1 ya bastards (10th place).
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: Part of this could just be me trying to get into the head of a Week 1 opponent but part of it must also be my honest assessment of a roster that basically consists of Jose Ramirez, Blake Snell, Speed Guy 1, Speed Guy 2 and not much else. AND REAL POSSIBLE DOWNSIDE ON SPEED GUY 1. Decide amongst yourselves whom that is. The point is if I was just grading this roster as is I would probably project even FEWER wins but I know this owner very well and know he will probably work this “streaming bats” shenanigans to its fullest possible potential. Just a bit unsure about what the fullest possible potential means for that particular strategy.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: SS Tim Anderson – In typical Odom fashion his roster construction is going to challenge my format here ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, but here have a look at Timmy Anderson. I think Tim is already somewhat disrespected in this league, guy is only 25 and went 18-24 and certain owners COMING OFF A TWO WIN SEASON suggested I shoulda just dropped him rather than passing him off to the X-Rayz. Who knows what kinda leash he gets over there but he DID show a more discerning eye in ST if that means anything (.349 OBP, only 7 Ks in 42 ABs). Last year’s 20 HRs may be at or near the very tippy top of Timmy’s abilities BUT if he can cut down on the Ks when it actually counts or learn to take a walk, those SB numbers can improve. JUST what the X-Rayz need, more steals.Andddd he’s mine again…
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: 2B/CF Dee Gordon – Now would it beee a huge surprise if Dee’s downward trend continued? Perhaps not. BUT I did blame the position change and claim he had at least one more year left in the legs so it would be a surprise to me, kinda maybe a little. If Dee’s plate deescipline erodes a bit more and he stops hitting the ball hard enough to get all the way to third base (triples, I am referring to triples) he could be rather dudly do WRONG for this roster. Fucks sake I am really mailing these in….
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Touki Toussaint – I guess these surprise stud pitchers are off to an early prospect heavy start but that is just cuz I am a HACK. But also cuz, like Mitch Keller, I truly believe Touki will have an impact this season. and UNLIKE Keller I think Touki is in the rotation from the jump, so the X-Rayz unfortunately only have 21 early innings to evaluate major league roster worthiness. Toussaint has downright nasty stuff so the key is really to watch the control. 5.79 ERA through 14 spring innings BUT WAIT, 17:2 K:BB. Sexay. We at the blog believe in Touki despite him being yet another prospect we traded away. We trade them all away PROVES NOTHING.
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD PITCHER: RP/SP Ryan Yarbrough – The thing about Ryan Yarbrough is his underlying metrics weren’t even GOOD last year, particularly. I mean also the thing about the Rays is they are weird assholes so whom knows how they’ll use whom and whom knows how long whom’s leash will be whom whom whom only using the word cuz Mikey T gets mad about it. But yea Yarbrough could be real useless real quick OH WELL Rayz Wayz.
Foreword: OH BOY HERE WE ARE. Official Backyard stance is Opening Day doesn’t start for 10 days, because I said so and if you say otherwise you are sorely mistaken. So WITH THAT, 10 Teams in 10 Days attempts a REDUX just in the nick o’ time. Format is revamped, don’t call it laziness call it being unafraid of state changes. 2019’s version of this shenanigans is heavy on “Backyard Projections” because those sound like the sort of thing I could spit out quickly. ALSO have abolished the “Know Your Owner” section cuz uhhhh, I dunno got bored of taking personal shots at everybody? Digs at the contents of the rosters, however, still fair game. Now, let us get to the spitting out:
(Credit for team logo art goes to Brian Smith once again. Brian the world appreciates you. Choose life.)
2018 RECORD: 2-16
PROJECTED 2019 RECORD: 6-10-2, 9th place. I don’t necessarily see any light at the end of this particular tunnel AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME, but also there’s some pieces here despite the trade frenzies so nobody should take the Morning Wood toooo lightly. They’ve already made some nice moves in spring training. And yanno every season is an opportunity to not give away whatever good players you may have left, grab some youth, hope to scoop up a waiver wire breakout or two, etc. etc. etc. DO THAT BONERZ. YEP same projection as last time on the record front, now with 25% more confidence!
BEAR MINIMUM BLOVIATION: NEW TEAM NAME AND NEW LOGO AND SUCH, LOVE IT. Could end up being a similar sitch to the Rays ditching the “Devil” way back when. Could also be Shane very much making a fool out of me here but YANNO WHAT, I think this roster has really improved following last year’s debacle. Gone are some relative disappointments on both the hitting (Brandon Belt) and pitching (Julio Teheran, Carlos Martinez, Jose Quintana) sides of things, and coming in are some players with some reallll potential (Adalwhateverto Mondesi) The former Bonerz aren’t exactly fully cured but they have indeed managed to surround JD Martinez with some improved complimentary pieces. Would be damn near impossible for me to predict a BYB (Backyard Bracket for the millionth time) appearance for this team, given what’s transpired over the past 2 seasons. HOWEVER I fully expect improvement and a few impressive upsets in 2019. I mean a team’s got to surpass 4 wins in a season at SOME POINT does it not? PARITY! CAPS LOCK!
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD HITTER: 1B/LF Jake Bauers – I very NEARLY put Carlos Santana here because I feel the Backyard underrates him significantly, HOWEVER instead we have Jake Bauers. The Rays seemingly gave up on the guy but the Backyard Blog has not, as we feel Jake will be doing a bit of just about everything in 2019. Which can be a real boon coming out of the 1B position. See also: Myers, Wil yanno when he was at 1B and whatnot before the Padres did that really dumb thing (Hosmer, Eric).
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE DUD HITTER: SS Adalberto Mondesi – I know I sorta sung his praises with the “reallll potential” quip up there but TRUTH BE TOLD I feel Mondesi has a tremendous uhhh floor if you will. Tremendous floor, as in “sent down to the minor leagues to work on some things” floor. Adalberto (dumb name) walks (pun intended) a fineee line with his particular skill set and there ain’t much wiggle room if things get a bit unlucky. Or just REGRESS TO THE MEAN. Yanno just….sayin’…..
PROJECTED BACKYARD SURPRISE STUD PITCHER: SP Mitch Keller – I 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 Mike Foltynewicz – This isn’t to suggest Folty isn’t skilled or got lucky last year, as I truly believe he’s got the stuff to back up that stuff. What this IS to suggest is that I don’t trust that goddamned elbow one bit. An injury here a throwing program setback there and you’ve got Folty giving you sub 100 IP in 2019. Which would be disappointing. Downright dudly.
AND SO WE ARRIVE AT OPENING DAY, AND AT THE 2017 CHAMPS….
2017 RECORD: 10-6-2
KNOW YOUR OWNER!: COMMISSIONER ODOM AND THE X*RAYZ, your 2017 champs BOW BEFORE THE CROWN YOU BITCHES. That was a bit much but yea, Odom returned to glory last season and captured his 4th title in 7 seasons (insert all your bullshit about the co-managing here) despite once again starting with an unimpressive looking roster. The X*Rayz were the X-Rayz back then and rode that roster to an 8-2-1 finish to the season, grabbing the third seed. And then they marched right through ALL CHALLENGERS in the playoffs (unfortunate BCS incident that we will not get into aside) and came out of things with the cup and all the glory. So now they get that lovely little trophy-based team logo. And their name on the trophy if we ever fucking get around to properly updating it (I predict it takes a year or two). ODOM IS GREAT AND THE X*RAYZ WON THE CHIP LAST SEASON WHICH MAKES THEM ALSO GREAT. BEST OF LUCK TO THE COMMISH IN THE UPCOMING SEASON!
KEY ADDITIONS!: LF Marcel Ozuna, CF Delino Deshields, 3B Nicholas Castellanos, RF Jay Bruce, RF Scott “Young Jay Bruce” Schebler, PERHAPS SS Orlando Arcia, PERHAPS 1B/LF Ian Desmond, PERHAPS but definitely don’t count on it SP Miles Mikolas.
KEY SUBTRACTIONS!: 2B Daniel Murphy, SP David Price, RP Aroldis Chapman, 1B Rhys Hoskins, SP Robbie Ray, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Elvis Andrus, LF Adam Duvall(pretty much cancelled out by Bruce).
THE HITTERS!: The fun thing about reviewing the X*Rayz in preseason is that you always know the roster will probably look DRASTICALLY different later, and you always know it will probably look super underwhelming upon first glance, and yet you always know Odom is likely to make it work. SPEED KILLS FOLKS. The biggest killer on this particular squad is Jose Ramirez,7 cat STUD who busted out last year in a hugeeee way with 29 dongs…. plus all the other sexy stuff in all the other cats, FIFTY SIX doubles for example. Jose drives the bus here. Also on the bus are your signature X*Rayz speed demons, Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton, joined this year by potential breakout candidate once a-fucking-gain DELINO DESHIELDS. This time it is happening folks. Mission Valley also went out and made two excellent trades this offseason (I mean I am sure they made a bunch of trades but I am only recognizing two as excellent for now), snagging Marcel Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos. The Babadook is rather high on both those two individuals, and considers them to instantly slot in as the 2nd and 3rd best bats on the team. Beyond these names you have PROBABLY dependable bats in Jay Bruce and Trey Mancini and then a wholeeee bunch of question marks (Andrelton Simmons, Orlando Arcia, Ian Desmond, Yadi Molina). Those four are all suspect for various reasons. Oh yea also they have Scott Schebler, whom I like plenty. ANYWHO let’s look at the HR projections for last year’s worst HR hitting team: SIX projected for 20+ with two projected for 30+ (Ozuna 31 and Bruce 33). And here is where I point out the strange obsession with tracking 0+ HR hitters was allllll a ruse. Cuz this team fucking sucked at homers last season and still stood atop the mountain when it was all said and done. Chicks may dig the long ball but the Backyard doesn’t attract need chicks. Cuz cooties.
The Babadook’s Five Best Bats
1- Jose Ramirez
2- Marcel Ozuna
3- Nicholas Castellanos
4- Dee Gordon
5- Billy Hamilton
THE PITCHERS!: ABTWTS. Always Be Tinkering With The Starters, that’s how they do things in Mission ValleyOOKING RATHER THIN, here. Out are the team STALWARTS David Price and Robbie Ray (if history is any indication they will roster and trade Ray three more times this season though) and in isssss……youth and Jeff Samardzija. The sexiest of that youth is the young man above, a one Luis Castillo of the Reds. FILTHY stuff which was already on display across about 90 innings last season, guy could certainly grab an All Star bid this year. Chris Archer still remains as the guy least likely to ever be dealt by this deal-heavy team, he’s approaching 30 but just gave you like 250 Ks in 200 innings despite an unlucky ERA HE GOOD. Then you have elder statesman of the staff in Samardzija, not a great ERA last season but a great everything else and a great postseason to help the X*Rayz take home the cup. Then it gets ehhhhhhhhhhh: Tanner Roark is meh, James Shields is only here as a monument I hope, Dinelson Lamet has talent but does not have control and also has an elbow issue so he could show some real growing pains and/or miss a lot of time, Luis Gohara plenty of talent as well but couldn’t really pitch to righties last year and is getting a bunch of “I’m a fatty” type injuries already and who knows what the Braves plans would be for him even if he was healthy. Miles Mikolas who fucking knows. LOTTA RISK in lotta profiles, but Mitch Keller and Sandy Alcantara and AJ Puk also lie in wait as potential impact rookie SPs. So really ya just gotta wait and see here.
The X*Rays B*Pen parted with a stalwart of their own (Chapman)but remains very dangerous on the strength of its big 3: Roberto Osuna, Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances. Osuna and Diaz are two of the best young closers in the fantasy game today, Diaz prone to a bit more volatility due to walks but both should be pretty excellent with room for growth. And Dellin Betances remains an excellent source of Ks, just take that little quip about walks I just made for Diaz and multiply it by 500 here. HIDEOUS walk rate last year and a testament to his stuff that his ERA wasn’t in the 4s. Mission Valley also appears to be strutting into things with Shane Greene as an additional closer to round out the bullpen and Cam Bedrosian on the bench, SO WATCH THAT BATTLE CLOSELY FOLKS IT SHOULD BE A GOOD ONE. But yea the big three remains very very good here. Dellin please stop walking so many people.
The Babadook’s Five Best On The Bump
1- Chris Archer
2- Luis Castillo
3- Roberto Osuna
4- Edwin Diaz
5- Jeff Samardzija
THE PREDICTION!: 9-7-2, 3rd place. These Opening Day rosters for this franchise almost NEVER impress for one reason or another and then they either make 650 moves or guts and guile their way into the playoffs anyways. The X*Rayz continue to corner the speed market and that strategy has served them well, they are your defending champeens and I fully expect them to arrive in the playoffs ready to defend. Just not with a bye.
THE COMMISH’S PREDISH! (Odom’s Prediction): 9-7-2, 5th place.
AND JUST TO WRAP IT ALL UP, SEAN’S PROJECTED PLAYOFFS PREDICTIONS PROJECTIONS FOR THE PREDICTED PLAYOFFS…… how I predict the playoffs will play out:
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),
THE 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.
1- Bryce Harper
2- Giancarlo Stanton
3- Manny Machado
4- Jose Abreu
5- Yoenis Cespedes
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.
1- Craig KimbrelCarlos 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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).
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 (GarySanchez), 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).
1- Joey Votto
2- Cody Bellinger
3- Gary Sanchez
4- Edwin Encarnacion
5- Rhys Hoskins
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).
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.
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.
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.
1- Josh Donaldson
2- Tommy Pham
3- Jonathan Schoop
4- Ryan Zimmerman
5- Jake Lamb
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.
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.