Written by: Frank Selesky
Howdy guys. After a long year off I’m back at it! This is the column for your less than serious season preview for the upcoming LORG season. I hope you find some laughs along the way.
Regular Season Boldish Predictions:
Here’s a few fun predictions for you to get this started off on a bold note. I’ll throw together one for each team in no particular order.
1. BobMo ain’t making the playoffs. In fact, he will be eliminated from contention by Week 20.
2. JMo goes 0 for the year in the save category and still finishes 1st in the league.
3. McKinnon leads the league in HRs. And still somehow misses the playoffs.
4. Gregg beats Van 28-0 on aggregate this year. Still finishes behind John.
5. Van’s team throws less than 1000 innings this year and he loses 200+ categories in an abysmal last place finish (not that bold). He will lose at least 3 pitching weeks due to less than 35 IP.
6. Ray Butler has Benintendi finish with more homeruns and a higher OBP than Mookie and he somehow finishes behind Gregg.
7. Zach is #GoingForIt and it will work. He finishes top 3 this year and sweeps Frank in the season series forcing me to wear some other hideous jersey to the bars on Saturday nights. (shout out to Single L)
8. Ben gets no one on his pitching staff with a sub 4.00 ERA and somehow backdoors into the playoffs.
9. Caleb starts out strong and leads the league after week 6. Then he fades and sweats out a playoff berth.
10. Adam has a pretty poor season overall and quits at least twice before the season ends, yet still finishes ahead of Van. He also trades for/picks up 8 Milwaukee brewers by years end.
11. Matt’s only 25 HR hitter is JBJ and his team has a terrible and quite frankly inexplicable season.
12. Frank has Corey Seager win the MVP, and #BALLINGER ends the year with more ABs than Dee Gordon. Doesn’t matter though. He’s in the bottom 4th of the league.
Who wants a Breakdown?!
I’ll go in inverse order of how I feel the regular season standings will shake out. Quick write up on offense and pitching for each team and maybe some shenanigans along the way.
Side Note: Not all these records may be possible if you add all the team’s records together. I am aware of this but I’m not going to do the math and make it work. Just shut up and enjoy the read Zach.
#12 Joe Buck Yourself
This is kind of an easy one here. Even with other teams rebuilding Van is going to finish last. Not to say his future doesn’t have some promise but his active roster is thinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
Offensively I think he has an active player at every position..? He has 4 shortstops and I believe Jean Segura is the only one on a major league roster to open the year. Kendrys Morales hit 30 taters last year and he may again this year but if he slumps he has no other options to slide in at 1b. Ditto with Salvador Perez, Moose, Yung Joc…Etc. This offense is thin and if it’s slumping things could be very bad.
He has a lot of young and promising arms no doubt (I really like the future for this group if he keeps them). But these are arms that have very few MLB innings in the last calendar year. Junior Guerra led the squad with 121IP last year. Late in the year there could be innings counts on some of his young guys and that will be an issue. He has some great closers. But that will only do so much when it comes down to it. Active depth is really the problem Van has. His farm system looks bright though. Trade your closers Van.
#11 Sausage Party
Adam got Ryan Carey’s failed Yuli Gurriel Leftovers (and didn’t even get to keep the sweet, sweet FAAB). It’s pretty fair to say it’s not his fault yet.
I’m a fan of his outfield. Soler, #PuigYourFriend, Maraza, and even Ian Desmond is good though I’m not a huge believer he quite repeats last year. He has moved on from Cutch’s Clutches and has Bird, Ray, and Moncada waiting in the wings. I don’t think he quite has the depth to hang with the top half of the league week in and week out but he’s on the right track and has a solid future. Plus he has a full lineup in the MLB so that puts him ahead of Van.
He has King Felix and Jake Arrieta on the top end but after that things get a bit dicey. Estrada is usually pretty solid and Robbie Ray will eat innings for him alongside a couple of decent, rebuild quality closers who may steal a few weeks. After that he’s waiting on Brett Honeywell to make a debut. Ross and Skaggs have some potential but I don’t think this is the year they throw it all together. Quality innings will be a concern from the bottom half of his staff. Overall I like his hitting future more than his pitching future at the moment.
Yeah yeah. I know it‘s going to be a long year, but I won’t be last. At least I started the Emoji thing..
While there are a lot of prospects on the roster at least some of them will be in the big leagues getting playing time. #Ballinger should be up before the end of the year and Judge, Peraza, Bell will all be starters to open the year. Jake Lamb slots in to help ease some potential Healy growing pains. If Conforto and Brantley can get a spot and stay healthy, respectively, then there may be an upset or two but overall a bright future lies beyond a bumpy road this year. Wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention Seager. He’s got SS locked down but there are options at all the other positions that should help with some depth.
Teheran, Gray, Matz, and Manaea should all put up respectable innings this year but Harvey and Bundy remain question marks at this point. Hader and Lopez are both very talented and should see some time this year but I don’t expect it to be dominating just yet. All in all there’s upside here but this isn’t the year it all comes together.
#9 Logan’s Heroes
I love the name but minus points for no emoji.
I’ll go position by position for this one. Yadier Molina is old garbage and will lose his spot to Carson Kelly. Daniel Murphy is good. Jose Altuve may be the 3rd best player in all the league. Beltre is old and I hate the Rangers so screw that guy. Tulo is probably going to hurt himself Paxton style again. Nelly Cruz hit one of the farthest homeruns I’ve ever seen live. Seriously. He hit the train in deep left center at Minute Maid. I swear I felt the contact. It was incredible. Odubel is a weird name and he’s going to have 8 RBIs this year. Dexter Fowler doesn’t eat bacon so I don’t trust him to be worth a crap. HanRam is fat and slow (idk I hate the redsox though.) I really hope Jay Bruce gets traded. Gyorko is on his bench, been there done that. Bonus points for owning Logan Morrison though. 2 clap emojis.
Scherzerbot is just flat out incredible. 284 k’s in 228IP makes me want to pee myself. Seriously, holy hell. I have had to triple check that I wasn’t seeing things. Kenedy and Porcello may be pretty good this year. Then he’s got Ken Giles…… and 2 other closers. Add John Lackey.. and Hisashi Iwakuma.. Seriously it falls off a cliff quick. IP may not be a sure thing here with one closer being forced to be benched every day. Side note: All three of those closers sported 3+ ERAs last year so enjoy the rollercoaster!
#8 Super Gurriel Bros
Someone had to drop right? Let’s be honest, Trout will never let this happen but I think Trout breaks a finger on a HBP in May and misses 8 weeks due to setbacks. Matt upset some spiritual being and his fantasy team will suffer for it.
JBJ will probably drop 25 HRs this year because he is the GOAT. But Trout is the true gem here, shame about that finger. His offense shouldn’t be the problem honestly. I like Rendon, Schoop ain’t bad, Bogaerts is in a great lineup, but Joey Bats is Tom Brady… he’s DONE. Eric Hosmer has a weird name and I don’t like it. I really think Matt just has some seriously atrocious luck this year. Just a gut feeling I have. He is going to lose a lot of REALLY close matchups this year.
I’m not sold on this as a championship staff. (What the do I know though? I just predicted a 10th place finish for my own team.) Carrasco is excellent and probably a top 20 pitcher but the bad luck bug struck with that broken hand last year. Cole Hamels feels ageless but I hate the Rangers so he’s going to have an off year. Danny Duffy just sounds like a bum. Matt does have that annoying SP eligible closer but I’m betting Cinny doesn’t have many games to close. Gsellman will probably be a good option but Pineda and Reed won’t help much.
#7 Trevor Ending Story
Poor McKinnon.. I really wanted him to make the playoffs.
Jesus lord this offense is stacked. Billy Hamilton is the only guy who hit less than 10 homers last year and he stole net 50 bags. Once he plugs Trumbo in, he’s going to be starting 7 guys with 27+ taters last year. Throw in a .400 OBP from Votto, and get another 200 Abs from Stanton and Story and this offense is a juggernaut. Heck, Nunez went 16 HRs and 30NSB last year and he really doesn’t have a spot in the everyday lineup. He’s going to lose his fair share of K matchups but this is a McKinnon Ray style team. Chicks dig the long ball.
Oh he’s going to screw up the streaming. 100%. No doubt in my mind. This is why he won’t make the playoffs. Sorry McRay.
#6 Dominican DDs
Ben makes the playoffs. Seriously. I’m shocked too.
Gary “Pablo’s Son” Sanchez hit a homer every 10 ABs last year. That’s insane but he’s a talented guy. Goldschmidt with the rare 1b speed packaged with a .400+ obp and counting stats that rival 100/20/100 and you’ve got a star. Baez, DJ, miKel Franco is a good little infield. I’m not huge on his OF but they’ll do. Plenty of SS depth, Baez with 3 position eligibility. Couple acceptable back up OF options. He can mix and match his way to some W’s. Managing will be the key.
This is a group of guys I have heard of and who all have been pretty good before. Taillon could be really good this year and I like him a lot but he is young. Tanaka has shown he can dominate but even a year like last year would go a long way. But if you read above, every one of these guys is going to be below average in 2017. Sure, Archer will throw for 200 innings but again, 4+ ERA. Darvish will get hammered occasionally spiking his ERA. LMJ will tire down the stretch. These are all just random thoughts. Sonny Gray. That guy. Can’t catch a break. John gave him food poisoning and he fell off a cliff. Now he’s hurt and it may be better that way. Relief pitching wise hit me up Ben. One closer ain’t enough! Congrats on the playoff spot.
#5 Very Good Team
Cool team name. Short and simple. And mostly accurate.
Caleb has been a busy little beaver this offseason. Personally I hate that he traded away Altuve but I am biased towards the little guy. Can we talk about Schwarber’s catcher eligibility? THANKS YAHOO. What a great guy to be able to plug in at catcher. If he is healthy all year look out. Very Good Team 1/1. Freddie Freeman at 1b? Very Good Team 2/2. Matt Carpenter probably won’t be 2b eligible next year but I’ll buy that he’s going to have a strong first half. Staying healthy will be interesting to see but at the moment Very Good Team 3/3. BREGMAN. Very Good Team 4/4. Aldemys Diaz…. Hmmm He’s Cuban so that’s good. But he’s a Cardinal and that’s bad. I’m torn here but since he isn’t Corey Seager I’ll give him a .5. Very Good Team 4.5/5. Pollock missed most of last year which is a shame but this year he’s Very Good Team 5.5/6. Cespedes gets the 6.5/7. Adam Jones is a nice fit. Very Good 7.5/8. Justin Turner lol. I will say this about the guy, he is always rostered. Very Good Team 7.5/9. (Shout out to Tom Murphy. Like his potential this year as evident by my 26 trade offers Caleb has snubbed.) He’s also got Dansby so I’ll make this an even 8.5/10 on offense.
Bumgarner, DeGrom 2/2 Very Good. Verlander haahahaha Caleb is the Verlander whisperer. 3/3. Roark is very good and I think Eikhoff is on the verge so I’ll bite on 5/5. Snell is young and could be good but I won’t put him there just yet. 5/6. Liriano is a body. 5/7. Both closers had good years last year and I think they will service him fine. 7/9. Montgomery might be good unless Joe Maddon goes full Joe Maddon. 7.5/10. “But what about Greinke?!” I worry for him this year.. I think he is going to have another rough go of it. His fastball velocity seems to be down and that always makes me nervous. But hey, Bartolo Colon right? So there’s a chance. I won’t pass judgment yet. Overall I’d say 16/20 Very Good Team.
#4 The Syndergaawds
Ray is good at fantasy. He just got a late start. But we are friends now and that makes me happy J.
Trea Turner is an all-star this year. And Ray doesn’t even have to play him at 2b. Dozier PROBABLY won’t hit 42 bombs again this year but I don’t see any reason to doubt he threatens 100 runs/100 RBI again this year. Kyle Seager and Jonathan Villar are two of those dudes you hear their name and go “eh..”. Then you look them up and go “oh”. His team is sneaky good. Ray doesn’t get sold on name recognition and that’s a real skill in this league. He’s got homers up and down the lineup and while he K’s a decent amount (Crush Davis) he is still somehow getting solid OBP from his whole lineup. (Justin Upton meh..). Plus he has Benintendi who is the new Mookie now that Mookie wants to be Trout.
This is a staff I can get behind. He added the best closer in the league and has the weird throwing Carter Capps who is a real threat to take the closing job right out of spring. Syndergaard is an ace, Hendricks pitched like one last year, Stroman, Sanchez, Norris, and Rodon all have safe floors and great upside. Samardzija and Moore are going to eat innings though I like Matt Moore after his 2nd half showing last year. All in all his whole team is a reliable, quality, deep squad who you can pretty much count on to not lay eggs. With a couple of slightly above average seasons he could walk away with a ‘SHIP.
#3 Mookie Monsters
God I hate doing this one already.
Literally anyone worth a damn that McKinnon used to own is on this team. Donaldson, Machado, Betts, Rizzo, Yelich, Cano, Harper. Seriously I hate this guy. I’m not going to stroke him off in this column. You all know how good his team is.
Kershaw, Sale, Cueto, Strasburg, Cole. This reads like an all-star team. Aaron Nola will probably out preform Kershaw this year because it’s Gregg. Why does anyone trade with this guy? Weaver sucks, Hill is old, and Ivan Nova LOL good luck with that. There. I found some inadequacies.
#2 The Disabled List
LOL I know, I know. I giggled to myself writing him in ahead of Gregg too. It’s even better when you imagine Gregg’s reaction to it hahaha. But he is #GoingForIt and God bless him I respect that. If it doesn’t work out he will always have this column.
It could happen! If everyone preforms to expectations I think he will do it! Springer, McCutch, CarGo. That’s a solid ass outfield. Khris Davis is going to provide what he provides, HRs, RBI, and have a miserable OBP but that’s ok! 40 homers and he’s a great fit! Longo and Lindor are both going to have great years. Longo isn’t as old as I thought he was so there’s even some future there! I worry a little about Jason Kittens but I did last year too and look how that turned out. He probably won’t win steals very often but I’m sure Billy Hamilton will find his way back around to The Disabled List. Zach two claps for going for it.
He’s DEEP yall. 11 active starting pitchers. He basically streaming without having to stream. And he can still steam if he wants! All of these are good, a few great, names and no one jumps off the page as a severe hindrance to his immediate success. His closers should be serviceable..? (If Kelley gets the role I guess #DUSTY) Richards threw up a great year last year in very limited action and I’m betting on Keuchel to bounce back. De Leon will see (hehe) his way to a better year and everyone on the staff should see at least 150 IP this year with reasonable ERA’s and a boat load of QS. God Speed Zach. If nothing else you made it to second here.
#1 North Correa
THE CHAMP IS HERE!
I love John’s team. Plus he won last year so he deserves this spot for now. Buster Posey is the best actual catcher in the league. Easy money there. Miggy Cabrera is a Hall of Famer and he’s still got some years left in him. Kinsler is solid at 2B no complaints from me. Correa is outstanding and young. Arenado for my money is the #1 player in our league. Blackmon, Marte, Braun, Myers is a lethal OF setup. John started the prospect hype train rolling and then bargained his way to a championship. He’s a pioneer and has a long run of great chances ahead of him.
This mayyyyyy be the one thing I worry about a little for John. He’s got a top notch starting core in Lester, Kluber, Price, Pomeranz, and Quintana. Then, arguably, it’s Paxton who we all know about. Musgrove has a lot of potential and it could be a breakout year for Davies. Then there’s a maybe in Lance Lynn. We shall see but I’m betting John isn’t worried. He has plenty of hitting depth to trade for another top notch starter if he needs one. Like I said though, he doesn’t technically have a closer on his roster. Miller may get used all over but that’s up to Terry. He’s no doubt the most valuable reliever in the MLB and that same guy has slim to no value to our league. But I digress. John is good and I expect him to win 200 Cats this year.
There you have it boys. Should be an exciting 2017 season and I expect these ranking to be almost 100% incorrect. Good luck to everyone but Gregg. Remember, This one counts (for money).