Season 28 Play-off Preview

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Season 28 culminates this week with the beginning of the Plumpyville play-offs!  Here’s a look at the twelve teams in the dance, the reasons why they will each win the World Series, the reasons why they each won’t, and what you need to keep your on as the first round unfolds..

National League (In order of seeding)

1.)  Syracuse Magma (116-46)

Round 1 opponent:  BYE, plays winner of Boise vs. Pittsburgh

Why they’ll win it:  The defending NL Champs look stronger than ever.  Frank Leonard will be back from injury in time for the second round, when the Magma will be fresh off a first round bye.  The trio of Julio Rijo-Leonard and Tim Corino is as lights out as they come.  The offense is lead by MVP candidates Lariel Cubillian and Pedro Martin, while the defense is solid across the board.

Why the won’t:  Rijo struggled in the play-offs last season, perhaps due in part to his young age.  Underperformance and small sample size bad luck are the main factors concerning the Magma.  They remain the favorites by a substantial margin.

Keep your eye on:  Patrick Gehrig.  His awful durability doesn’t make him much of a factor in the regular season, but in the play-offs, he’s an incredibly valuable commodity.

2.)  Montgomery Burns (95-67)

Round 1 opponent:  BYE, plays winner of Hartford vs. Scranton

Why they’ll win it:  “Seeeee myyyyy best, see my best, all around player who stomps the rest.”  4 time MVP Roger Conroy is as good as the come in Plumpy, and he’s still in his prime at the tender age of 27.  His left handed bat and Monty’s homer friendly park make him an incredibly dangerous weapon, especially in a hypothetical best of seven match up against Syracuse’s right handed trio of doom.  The pitching staff, lead by Shelley Olson, is solid, and the lineup lead the NL in AVG/OBP/SLG.   This team is dangerous.

Why they won’t:  Montgomery Burns version 2.0 has been filled with upside, but also disappointing play-off results, having failed to make it past the Wild Card round in each of the past three seasons.  This season Burns has a first round bye, and will meet the winner of the Hartford-Scranton series.

Keep your eye on:  Who Burns tabs as its third starter for October (the play-offs really are in October this year.  Neat!)  Ezdra Nunez has had the best season, Carmine Lucas has the strongest track record, while Ismael Park has struggled the past two post-seasons.

3.)  Hartford Submarines (92-70)

Round 1 opponent:  Scranton Boll Weevils

Why they’ll win it:  Offense.  Offense.  Offense.  This team was designed to rip the cover off the ball.  At home, they boast the highest team OPS in the NL at .819.  On the road however, they drop by more than 100 points to just .711.  That said, does anyone want to see Ramon Lin in their opponents’ lineup come play-off time?

Why they won’t:  Pitching.  The team lacks a true Ace who they can rely on in the post-season.  The bullpen is improved, but if the offense gets contained by a strong arm, it’s going to be a short stay in the “Dance.”

Keep your eye on:  Which position Andrew Frasor plays.  He’s logged at least two starts at every spot except Catcher and Pitcher this season.

4.)  Boise Basturds (77-85)

Round 1 opponent:  Pittsburgh Wannabes

Why they’ll win it:  Um... well, here goes.  Craig Winston keeps things close enough to eek out a 2-1 win against Midre Tarrasco in game 1, game 2 goes to Pitt, game 3 the bats get going and they eek out another W, game 4 Winston come back on short rest and shuts the door.  In the NLDS, Frank Leonard has an injury relapse, Tim Corino has drug relapse, and Julio Rijo gets deported.  In the NLCS, well... just you wait and see.  Then in the World Series Winston goes all Sandy Koufax, wins three of the seven games and brings the title home to Boise.  There, that doesn’t sound so ridiculous.

Why they won’t:  Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh.  Despite this team’s losing record, it boasts a good starting staff, a solid lineup, and a great defense.  It’s just tough to imagine anyone getting through the Tarrasco-Louie Sanchez duo and THEN the Magma Trio of Doom.

Keep your eye on:  Mitch Mercedes.  That guy is just plain good at fake baseball.

5.)  Pittsburgh Wannabes (94-68)

Round 1 opponent:  Boise Basturds

Why they’ll win it:  They boast the second strongest rotation in the NL.  After a very disappointing Season 27, this team is right back where we all expected them to be, in the thick of the post-season race.  The offense is also littered with run creators.

Why they won’t:  Boise also boasts enough big bats that they’re twin Aces might struggle more than usual, especially in the long ball friendly air at the Basturds Memorial Stadium.  While they have one of the only SP rotations that can hang with Syracuse, the offense has a couple more holes than the Magma.  Still, this team has as good a chance as any of dethroning the NL Champs.

Keep your eye on:  Geraldo Rosado.  The dude has had an awesome rookie season that few predicted him to have.  Will his lower control become a factor in the play-offs?

6.)  Scranton Boll Weevils (90-72)

Round 1 opponent:  Hartford Submarines 2.0

Why they’ll win it:  Luck, folks.  Good old fashioned luck.

Why they won’t:  This team has a bright future, but there are too many missing pieces for the B-Weevs to make a deep run this post-season.

Keep your eye on:  Mack Wells versus the potent Hartford lineup.  Will his elite control be enough to fool the creatine ridden Submarines 2.0 bats?

American League (In order of seeding)

1.)  Durham Dirt Dogs (117-45)

Round 1 opponent:  BYE, plays winner of Ottawa vs. San Juan

Why they’ll win it:  A regime change did not alter the M.O. of the four time champs:  winning.  They finish with the best record in the A.L.... by a lot.  Their core remains intact for this season (Brian Lewis contract negotiations have reportedly stalled out) and they stand as good a chance as any team of taking home Plumpy gold.  The pitching staff has struggled, somewhat this season, with the exception of Bubbles Franco who has run his record to an astonishing 28-4, and is the clear anchor of the Dirt Dogs rotation.

Why they won’t:  The A.L. is loaded and ready for action.  While Durham remains the favorite, San Juan or Ottawa stands in the way in the ALDS, both of whom are formidable opponents.  Last season San Juan defeated Durham, and Ottawa is having the best season in franchise history. 

Keep your eye on:  Brian Lewis.  He’s slugged 22 post-season bombs in his career, but will he be able to fend of the distraction of his impending free agency?

2.)  Omaha Settlers (101-61)

Round 1 opponent:  BYE, plays the winner of Chicago vs. Oakland

Why they’ll win it:  The Settlers boast an impressive 1-2-3 SP punch in Vic Pena, Del Moya, and Roger Jameson, all free agent acquisitions that have paid off tremendously.  They have a lineup that boasts Silver Sluggers at SS and 3B.  The sheep traders also have a strong combination of veteran leadership and young up and comers just entering their prime.  Omaha is very well rounded, boasting the A.L’s 4th best team ERA, 3rd best team OPS, while accumulating the third most plus plays on defense.

Why they won’t:  Relief pitching remains a question mark.  The SPs will give the Settlers a chance to win every game, but will the bullpen be able to firmly close the door when the best bats in the league come to town?

Keep your eye on:  Desi Pena.  The young slugger has been cold lately, but he has the potential to lead the wagon train to the A.L. pennant.

3.)  Chicago Fatties (98-64)

Round 1 opponent:  Oakland Hammers

Why they’ll win it:  The defending champs retain perhaps the most dangerous weapon in Plumpy, back to back Cy Young award winner Shigetoshi Jang.  Though we have seen the first chinks in his thus far impenetrable armor against regression, he remains the SP to beat in post-season play.  Jang leads a pitching staff that boasts the second best team ERA in the Junior Circuit.

Why they won’t:  The offense has struggled at times this season, and has just the 11th best OPS in the A.L.  The team is vulnerable against right handed pitching, but it’s good enough to put at least a few runs across in every game, which might be all the Fatties pitching staff needs to keep the hardware in the Second City.

Keep your eye on:  Cristobal Guzman.  The guy went 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA and nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio in last season’s post-season run to glory.

4.)  Ottawa Eh’s (92-70)

Round 1 opponent:  San Juan Elephant Seals

Why they’ll win it:  The Eh’s go into post-season play riding their greatest strength: run prevention.  Did you know... the boys now turned men from Ottawa lead the A.L. in team ERA AND in fielding percentage?  If you’re going to Ottawa, make sure to bring a shut down ACE because your team is going to have a hard time scoring many runs.

Why they won’t:  The Eh’s have power, but they have struggled to get on base, ranking 12th in OBP in the A.L., but 7th in SLG.  The home runs are going to come, but who will be on base for them?  They also got a very difficult draw, getting the Elephant Seals and round one, with Durham waiting to take on the winner.

Keep your eye on:  Esteban Ferrer.  The reigning Silver Slugger in CF has missed most of the season with a torn hamstring, but should be recovered in time for some if not all of the ALDS, should the Eh’s make it past San Juan.

5.)  San Juan Elephant Seals (100-62)

Round 1 opponent:  Ottawa Eh’s

Why they’ll win it:  This team is due.  James Rooney had the best season of his career (at an astonishing age 34!) and harpooned the greatest show on pixles to the Major League lead in Homeruns and OPS.  The starting pitching staff is solid, top to bottom, but lacks the true Ace that left with the disintegration of Einar Pena.  Still, the Elephant Seals can put up 8 runs on anyone, and have the pitching to keep opponents bats quiet.

Why they won’t:  The E-Seals have lost a devastating SEVEN American League Championship Series over the past thirteen seasons, a number that seems almost impossible to believe.  One of these seasons, Hiram Bithorn’s finest will crack through and take home the A.L. crown, but they’ll have to get through three very good teams, including arch rival Durham, in order to do it.

Keep your eye on:  James Rooney, because he’s boldly going where no fake baseball player has gone before.

6.)  Oakland Hammers (96-66)

Round 1 opponent:  Chicago Fatties

Why they’ll win it:  Brian Clinton has been outstanding, holding opponents to an AVG of .245 while limiting hitters to just 19 dingers.  His durability makes him a weapon that can be used frequently.  Harry Bautista and Omar Franco are capable of multiple HR games off of even the league’s best pitchers.  This team is well rounded.

Why they won’t:  The A.L., as previously documented, is stacked.  While the pitching staff is strong, the Hammers will likely face Shigetoshi Jang twice in the opening round.  Will the big bats be enough to carry the three time champs to victory once more?

Keep an eye on:  Jerome Hayes.  The Oakland closer doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, but his nasty repertoire held opposing batters below .200 on the season.

-Written by zeustis01

Zachary Eustis


Commissioner of the fakest fake baseball league on the planet: Plumpy Rules!!!!111