Monday, February 29, 2016

Manhunters and Piñata Beaters Promise Standout Race for NL West Title

The race NL Central title is a doozy, featuring the high octane offense of Justin P's Spanish Harlem Piñata Beaters vs the stingy pitching of Joel Q's Martian Manhunters.  The two squad's have the best records in the National League and, unfortunately for them, are pitted directly against each other this season.

We all know Justin – a stalwart ATB owner that currently ranks #1 overall in the All Time Power rankings.  His Beaters attack the baseball, and currently sit first overall in the National League with 266 runs scored.  Their high octane offense is led by rookie sensation, Bryce Harper, circa 2015.  While he's cooled off a bit lately, Harper has been worth the early round draft choice batting .299 / .401 / .480 and leads his team in Runs Batted In and Home Runs.  It is not a one man show however, as Nap Lajoie (.770 OPS), Joe Jackson (.821 OPS), Mike Piazza (.751 OPS), Cy Seymour (.866 OPS), and Derrek Lee (.872 OPS) are all having solid years.

We don't yet know Joel very well, but that is about to change. While an ATB rookie, Joel has many seasons of historical DMB simulations under his belt.  His Martian squad counters with a below average offense, but keep in mind they play in 1914 Forbes Field, and extreme pitchers park:  92/92, 92/92, 92/92, 20/20.  Given the park, Honus Wagner is having a season for the ages - .292 / .357 / .452 and leads the team in OPB, SLG, OPS, Doubles, Home Runs, Runs, and RBI.  The rest of the offense is struggling, batting .231 / .310 / .317 as a whole.

That hasn't slowed the Manhunters down though, as their pitching staff is excellent.  Their team ERA is under 2.00 and I have no idea who to give the most accolades to.  Is it Bucky Walters and his 1.77 ERA in 122 IP?  How about Buddy Groom and his 0.00 ERA in 25 IP?  Six total regulars (starters or relievers) have ERAs under 2.00.  Incredible.

It's been the year of the pitcher across the National League and the Beaters  ERA of 3.10 is only good enough for fourth in the league, and not too far off from the league average of 3.27.  The rotation is led by John Smoltz, and Justin made a great choice in the draft, selecting the starter from 1996, a year that has not been used since ATB 8.  It's paid off - the righty is 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA.  The rest of the rotation is solid with only Mike Caldwell struggling.

The Martians currently have a narrow 1 game lead, thanks in part to a 5-3 head to head record against the Beaters.  With the schedule unbalanced towards divisional rivalries, these two squads face off another 14 times, the winner of which will undoubtedly decide this race.

1 comment:

  1. It's a little worrisome for me - if Honus is basically carrying my offense, if he gets injured or goes into a slump (or just stops being on a hot streak, if he is on one), I might find myself suddenly struggling a lot more to score runs.