Written by: Ray Butler
We are more than a third of the way done with the regular season (36% to be exact), and the standings are basically one giant cluster. Seeds 2 thru 6 are separated by a mere five games combined, and two of this week’s matchups feature teams slotted somewhere within the top 7. I’ve been moderately disappointed so far in the number of ‘pretender contender’ trade. I guess the impending collapse(s) needs to hold off until the second half of the season before the jaw-dropping trades begin to flow like cheap drinks on Memorial Day.
Here’s what the newly branded “robot” says will happen in week 9:
South Correa vs. SeagerShine- Projection: South Correa wins 9-4-1
After a rocky start, John is 19-8-1 in the past two weeks (that’s more like it) and officially the poster boy of the “Seemingly Good Teams That Had An Awful First Six Weeks But Are Pulling Themselves Up By Their Boot Strap” campaign. And while Frank and I are noted best friends, he probably shouldn’t have lost to McKinnon by three points (even though he took solace in the fact he beat my projection once again). Now Franky gets to face a team that’s beginning to hit their stride. Fantasy baseball and baseball in general hardly plays out the way it’s supposed to, but this feels like a trouble-spot for Frank. #NeverTrustTerryCollins
Sausage Party vs. Logan’s Heroes- Projection: Logan’s Heroes wins 9-4-1
Will either of these guys read this preview? It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed we had wrongly written off both Matt AND Bobby. Not it’s beginning to feel like we only prematurely wrote off Matt. Granted, Bobby is still hanging around at .500 and only a hop, skip, and a jump from the top 6 in the standings, but this feels like an important “just take care of business” week for him. Meanwhile, did Adam lay out the new blueprint last week as to how to not embarrass yourself against Gregg? At the end of the day, it’s still an L, but a 5-9-0 loss seems awfully respectable for Adam. So respectable that a week later, Bobby is projected to beat him by a wider margin.
The Magnificent 7-7s vs. Joe Buck Yourself- Projection: The Magnificent 7-7s wins 9-5-0
Remember after week 3 when I said it truly felt like Ben was *this* close to breaking out and getting over the hump? He’s gone from 21-21-0 to 61-48-3 since then, and finds himself comfortably in the playoff picture. If it eventually falls apart, it likely won’t be this week. Van has basically averaged three category wins per week, and with most of his ETA: 2017 guys still in the minor leagues (and guys he expected to be able to lean on like Julio Urias back on the farm), things won’t get much better anytime soon. At least future trade piece David Price is finally back and able to chew up some innings.
Super Gurriel Bros vs. The Disabled List- Projection: The Disabled List wins 8-5-1
Our only top 6 matchup of the week. Fun fact: Matt has only lost one matchup since the first week of the regular season. That matchup was against Gregg. Not so fun fact: Zach has quietly dropped three matchups in-a-row (though none have been blowouts so his record hasn’t taken a gigantic hit). Mike Trout’s health status will play a role in this matchup, as will how well Matt’s offensive performance from last week carries over to this week. Regardless, this feels like a contest that’ll go back-and-forth all week and will almost certainly go down to the wire. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the projected score ended up being flipped before the end of the week.
A Krismas Story vs. Inconsistent Team- Projection: Inconsistent Team wins 8-5-1
Good news: Justin Turner and AJ Pollock have resumed baseball activities after being placed on the DL. Madison Bumgarner is set to resume throwing later this week after a dirt bike accident derailed him until at least the All-Star break. Bad news: It’s very likely that none of those players will play a role for Caleb’s team this week against McKinnon. More bad news: Yoenis Cespedes suffered a setback in his recovery from a quad injury and Adam Jones seems to be ailing as well. It’s been that kind of year for Caleb, who finds himself 21 games under .500 and 30.5 games out of first place (through eight weeks). If it continues heading in this direction, the fire sale could be EPIC. There could be bonafide star players moved. On the other side of this coin, McKinnon keeps winning, regardless of his current inhabited country. He hasn’t lost since week four (Gregg again, smh), and I feel as though with each passing week, he becomes increasingly comfortable with streaming strategies. I’ll go ahead and disclaim that it would be downright shocking if this projection holds true, but Jesus once fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. Impossible is nothing.
Mookie Monsters vs. Acuna Matata- Projection: Mookie Monsters wins 8-5-1
If we had an actual following of folks outside of the 12 league owners who actively kept up with the goings-on of LORG, this would have been a matchup circled by plenty before the start of the regular season. As it stands now, this is a contest similar to that of a Round of 32 game featuring a 1 seed and a 9 seed. One seed upsets in the Round of 32 happen every so often, but they always seem fluky. I guess that’s all I can hope for here. Luckily, as Kevin Malone once said: “A fluke is one of the most common fish in the sea, so if you go fishing for a fluke, chances are you just might catch one.” On a serious note, this is the first time in a while that .500 feels somewhat attainable for me. I would be okay if Gregg didn’t blow me out. Also, did you know that Chris Sale has been every bit as good as Clayton Kershaw this season? Unfortunately, these pitchers are owned by the same guy.
Here’s an update on the season-long standings projection:
|3||The Disabled List||161||131||16||.551||+.020||36|
|4||Super Gurriel Bros||161||135||12||.544||+.037||38|
|6||A Krismas Story||155||138||15||.529||-.005||42.5|
|7||The Magnificent 7-7s||152||145||11||.512||+.053||47.5|
|12||Joe Buck Yourself||81||212||15||.276||-.034||116.5|
Most Overperforming Team: SeagerShine (Now projected to win 17 games more than original projection)
Most Underperforming Team: Inconsistent Team (Now projected to win 25 games fewer than original projection)
Thru eight weeks, on average, the season-long projections are currently 9.5 games (in either direction) of each team’s projected win-loss-tie record.