The Major League Baseball season has come and gone; October is upon us with its playoff story lines, individual heroics, bad national commentary, and football. To the Astros, this means little other than looking forward to the yet-to-come announcements regarding the future of the club.
But for some of us, October brought the end of one of our most amusing pastimes of the calendar year: six months of Fantasy Baseball. Fantasy Baseball has so much more to offer over Fantasy Football: Daily lineup changes, less uncertainty about injury, a larger free agent pool to repair our teams, greater opportunity for trade, a longer season, and much less luck. It also has something that Fantasy Football completely lacks: Baseball.
But for now, we bid adieu to the Fantasy Baseball season, and what better way to do so than to celebrate the winners of the three official Crawfish Boxes Fantasy Leagues?
The Crawfish Boxes (League 1)
I proudly finished this league with the highest winning percentage (.615), a full six games ahead of the regular season second-place finisher. But I subscribe to the Billy Beane method of General Management, and he says "My job is to get us into the playoffs. Everything after that is ****ing luck." Lady luck reared her bloated and blotchy head, and I lost in the semifinal to fourth-seeded Killer B's. In old-fashioned fan transference, I cheered on Killer B's as he matched up against Third-Seeded Jellystone Berras in the Finals. Berras reached the finals by stepping over HMC Wrecking Crew in their semifinal.
The finals proved that talent wins out over luck, because Killer B's and Jellystone Berras were ranked 2nd and 3rd in terms of Rotisserie points going into the playoffs. Eventually, Jellystone Berras triumphed to take home the championship in a 9-3 offensive beatdown. Berras scored 14 more runs, 5 more home runs, and 12 more RBI with a Batting Average 44 points higher and an OPS a whopping 108 points higher than their opponent. Berra's pitching strategy centered around garnering wins through streaming starters (a strategy that did not work for me in the semi's), and grabbed 7 pitcher Wins by using fifteen (!) different starting pitchers over a week and a half. Surprisingly, he was still able to grab the WHIP and K/9 categories, though streaming typically hurts rate stats.
Most Valuable Mike: Mike Trout (7-2-5-3-.361-1.160)
Least Valuable Mike: Mike Moustakas (3-0-2-0-.148-.480)
Congrats to Jellystone Berras. You win....a free subscription to The Crawfish Boxes! Yay!
TCB Baseball Madness
Furthering the point that the playoffs is a total crapshoot, the League 2 championship featured the 5th and 6th seeded teams. In fact, the league champion finished 10th in regular season Roto Points, indicating that his eventual victory took place on the back of opponent's weak weeks. But you are, as they say, what your record is, and Killer Steve earned his championship with a 7-5 win over AlwaysSunnyInSeattle.
Washingtonians are crying today over the close-fought loss. Every one of the twelve stat categories were relatively close throughout this matchup, and both teams used the streaming technique to grab pitching stats (Both teams used fourteen starters), and in truth Seattle edged Steve in the pitching categories 4 to 2. But mediocre offensive stats by Steve (39-10-36-2-.261-.731) were enough to get the win, as Seattle was completely inept offensively (.234 AVG, .693 OPS...yikes!).
As I always say, offense wins championships, and Steve demonstrated this ably.
Player who contributed least to the winner: Ervin Santana (20.25 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 3.38 K/9)
Player who contributed most to the loser: Clayton Kershaw (0.56 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 10.13 K/9, 2 W, 0 L)
Good for Killer Steve! You win...bragging rights for two or three days!
Boxes O' Crawfish
Finally, in the final league's finale, fourth seed Rock Flag and Eagle took it to seventh seed Astro Nation with a 8-3 victory representing the poor man's eventual triumph over the challenges wrought by a feudal society in the late eighth century. It's worth pointing out that first seed Oklahoma City 89ers led all three leagues with the highest winning percentage (.631), but sadly that wasn't enough to overcome RF&E in the Semis. Astros Nation had to overcome the 2nd seed and 3rd seeded teams to advance into the championship game.
Both teams were terrible on offense: tied in RBI, only 2 runs and HR separated the teams, and RF&E won Average by only 3 points (.257 to .254). This is the type of series that brings low ratings to the television. Neither team cracked a .735 OPS.
Pitching was a whole different ball game. Neither team streamed (THANK YOU!), but it appears that as soon as he garnered a couple wins and a 2.21 ERA, RF&E wisely benched his starters. This led to more wins for Astros nation, but more losses and higher rate stats. The gamble paid off, and RF&E led the pitching stats by 4-2. This matchup hinged on offensive performance, and RF&E's offense was only slightly less offensive than Astros Nation's.
Difference Maker: Matt Kemp (7-4-9-0-.324-1.143)
Difference Maker: Justin Maxwell (3-1-3-1-.179-.564)
Had those two players been on the other team, Astros Nation would have won this matchup running away.
But they weren't, and so Rock Flag and Eagle takes home the championship. Their prize? A lifetime supply of oxygen-rich breathing air!
In all seriousness, thanks to all the readers who participated in the leagues. It was more difficult than I anticipated writing weekly Astros-related fantasy content and tying it in with these leagues, particularly when I was unsure if the posts were being read. But we all soldiered through a tough Astros season and I hope had some fun doing it!