Newsletter for games through 9-28: End of regular season

Here we go with the playoffs in the first season in MLB to conclude without a single fan interference call! Below are the seedings and notes; observe that seeds 1-3 go to the division champs, 4-6 go to the second place teams, and 7 and 8 go to the wildcards.

ITEMS OF NOTE

Top WOR finishes for a teams not in the playoffs are to Ben Leckie of Arizona, Pat Walsh of the Tigers, and Ben Brockreide of the Rangers. None of the those actual teams was very good and all these managers did good work with a short hand. Special kudos to Pat who was also a first-year owner. This league can take some getting used to, so congrats to Gary and Steve for staying competitive until the end — each club scratched out wins in the final week and all games mattered given how tight the races were. Finally, congrats to Andy of the Nats, who finished strong (4-1) and was in a 3-way tie for the last spot out in the NL. In the AL, Alan and his Rays deserve notice for a strong finish and climbing to within one game of the final spot, and ditto to John and the Athletics who gained 2 games in the final week but came up 1 game short of the second spot in the AL West. Long-timers Hugh Brown and Jeremy Moore had tough seasons but each was competitive with their actual clubs. And another great time with Steve Leslie, Josh Clark, and Rob Perkins, who are always a pleasure to interact with during the season.

Finally, I just want to thank everyone for sticking with this and with me through the end. This season was truly an experiment and between the cancellations, makeups, lack of AAA players, new sim, record-DL moves and general chaos this was an ASFBL season like no other, and you’ve all made it a lot of fun for me and helped make it better. Final technical note; the “weekly” stats count back 7 days and this week had an extra day, so the Monday games aren’t counted in the weekly numbers on the standings but are, of course, counted in the overall win totals.

NL DIVISION WINNERS

Seed #1: Dodgers (46 wins). Finished with a strong 4-1, kept alive Rick’s streak of positive-WOR finishes, and had the best regular-season record.

Seed #2: Braves (42 wins). 70% win percentage is no joke, it’s 10 points better than Danny’s best finish ever, and that Braves club has some players on it.

Seed #3: Reds (34 wins). It means something to win a division where 4 teams make the playoffs and Raph finished with a good week….great cap to his 15th season…

NL SECOND-PLACE TEAMS

Seed #4: Padres (36 wins). This is the feel good team of the season and one Al Benedek has captained to strong WOR finishes each of the last 2 years…dangerous in any 5-game series.

Seed #5: Phillies (35 wins). Adam Symonds always makes his teams better, and in this case 7 games better over only a 60-game span. It’s his first playoff appearance since he won it all in 2015…

Seed #6: Cubs (32 wins). Gordon…good to see a Chicago guy manage this team into the playoffs…3rd appearance for Gordie at the head of the Cubs in the last 4 years.

NL WILD CARD

Seed #7: Pirates (29 wins). Up and down week but Mike nudged to the front of the wildcard pack…completed 2 trades with the Phillies, including the last of the year, and added Gurriel from the Astros. Phenomenal first-year finish.

Seed #8: Brewers (28 wins). It’s not how good you were over the season, it’s how hot you are in September/October, and the Brewers were 7-3 over the last 10…Chris has been in the league since 2001 and has a lifetime above-.500 record…been with the Brewers since 2002, and this is his 3rd playoff trip in 4 years.

AL DIVISION WINNERS

Seed #1: Cleveland (37 wins). First place and top seed thanks to a 5-game flip in the standings on the last week…hard to finish better than that. Strong lead-in for the returning champ.

Seed #2: Houston (35 wins). Finished on a 5-0 run and winning 8 of the last 10…traded for Clevinger but he’s had enough pitching so far.

Seed #3: Baltimore (32 wins). Mark is simply having a great year in a tough division…stumbled over the last week a little but still finished +7 WOR.

AL SECOND PLACE

Seed #4: Chisox (35 wins). Tough finish for Leo but if you were looking to adjust up you’d rather do it in the playoffs than the final week. All his trades this year were with teams from Los Angeles; goes into the playoffs with Tommy LaStella.

Seed #5: Yankees (31 wins, better intra-divisional record than Toronto). Biting and clawing into the playoffs and finishing with 14 wins over the last 20 games, Mark Yee nudged the Jays by a single within-division game. Pulled the trigger on 3 trades in the first week and then stood pat…and the formula payed off as the season went on.

Seed #6: Angels (28 wins). This team collapsed in real life but Greg had them at +2 WOR and the division was wide-open…didn’t have the strongest finish but won 12 of the last 20 and held off a charging Oakland team…active right up until the trade deadline and added some pitching, which could be key in the shorter series.

AL WILDCARD

Seed #7: Twins (34 wins). A step behind the actual club but enter the playoffs with a winning record over the past 10 games…held a good hand and goes into the playoffs fully stocked with actual Twins, and is riding in on his second consecutive playoff appearance…Tim’s been in the ASFBL since the last century.

Seed #8: Toronto (31 wins). Life, taxes, and Johnny Mac…always around fantasy sports, always doing good things with his teams. Held off a charging Rays team and came within 1 intra-divisional game of 2d place and only 2 games from first place outright.

PLAYOFF NOTES AND RULES

In all games, the higher seed is the home team and its 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, and 4 vs 5. You can review the playoff rules, but as a quick review the WCS series are best-of-5 games, the DCS, LCS, and World Series are all best-of-7. Stats and overuse figures are now frozen; adjustments continue. You can use a 3-starter rotation, and all games have the DH.

I’ll enter the series today and all lineups are due by Friday at midnight (your time; as usual, courtesy changes are accepted until I wake up Saturday morning). I’ll run the games as soon as I can over the weekend adjusting for my high school senior’s SAT exam (or its probable cancellation) and making sure the new sim knows what to do with playoff stats. We’ll anticipate results by Sunday, and we generally take lineups every 2-3 days from the winners.

Let the playoffs begin! Good luck to all the remaining teams!

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