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2016 HRL Play-off Preview

The 2016 HRL regular season is in the books, folks, as is Wifflepalooza.  8 teams are left to view for The Cup, with the first round best of 3 series’ taking place tomorrow, Monday, August 29th to see who will go to the City Finals on Thursday.  Let’s take a look at our first round match ups!

Hopkins

#1 White Sox (32-6) vs. #4 Mariners (15-22)

White Sox won the regular season series 2 game to 0.

On paper, this one may look like a mis-match, as the first year Mariners have the worst record of any play-off team and are going against the winningest team in the HRL this season.  But no one can sleep after the Mariners after the bats woke up and they ran the table at Wifflepalooza yesterday, going 4-0 en route to locking up the franchise’s first play-off berth.  Can the bats continue their explosive run against MVP frontrunner Mippey5 and the dominant Huck Finn?  

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Game 1:  Mippey5 (15-1, 0.97 ERA, 6.22 K/BB ratio) vs. O’Bannion (4-6, 3.11 ERA, 2.05 K/BB)

Game 2:  Huck Finn (9-4, 1.63 ERA, 8.54 K/BB ratio) vs. Squirrel (3-9, 4.03 ERA, 3.73 K/BB)

Game 3:  Mippey5 (15-1, 0.97 ERA, 6.22 K/BB ratio) vs.

O’Bannion (4-6, 3.11 ERA, 2.05 K/BB)

#2 Rangers (29-8) vs. #3 Nationals (28-9)

These two powerhouses split their regular season series 1-1, a 3-2 Nats win and 1-0 Rangers win.

This could easily be a World Series match up if the cards had played out differently (and if the Reds weren’t in the league.)  COO Web Gem’s rookie Rangers have been a 4 man wrecking crew on the HRL in their inaugural season.  Everyone knew Webby would be his usual dominant self on the mound, but Rookie of the Year front runner, Nutshot has been the real surprise, leading the Rangers with a 1.27 ERA.  The Rangers pitching duo will have it’s toughest test to date, as they are going up against the back to back HRL Champs who haven’t lost a play-off series since 2013.  Until someone succeeds in defeating the Nationals, they remain the favorites to win The Cup (except for the Reds.)  Get the popcorn ready, this is going to be a good one.

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Game 1:  Web Gem (12-2, 1.28 ERA, 7.1 K/BB) vs. Sticks (11-0, 1.03 ERA, 8.67 K/BB)


Game 2:  Nutshot (10-2, 1.27 ERA, 4.1 K/BB) vs. Beardface (5-2, 5.83 ERA, 4.0 K/BB)

Game 3:  Web Gem (12-2, 1.28 ERA, 7.1 K/BB) vs. Taco (8-4, 1.79 ERA, 4.19 K/BB)

Eagan

#1 Padres (31-6) vs. #4 Devil Rays (24-15)

The Padres beat the Devil Rays 4-2 in the only game these teams played against each other this season.

The Devil Rays invade Eagan thanks to defeating the Yankees in the finals of Wifflepalooza.  The Devil Rays set all sorts of league high marks for offense in 2016, but for them to have a chance to shock the HRL and take out Eagan’s top seed, their pitching will need to come through.  

Projected Starting Pitchers:

Game 1:  JC (7-2, 2.51 ERA, 4.67 K/BB) vs. Smallpox (5-4, 3.90 ERA, 1.29 K/BB)

Game 2:  Shirls (3-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.67 K/BB) vs. Two Bat (5-4, 4.94 ERA, 2.48 K/BB)

Game 3:  Monsoon (3-2, 4.57 ERA, 2.69 K/BB) vs. Smallpox (5-4, 3.90 ERA, 1.29 K/BB)

 

#2 Reds vs. #3 Dodgers

The Reigning, Defending, Undisputed, Back to Back Eagan Champions went 3-0 against the Dodgers in the regular season, though only one game took fewer than 13 innings.  Don't listen to Hardball, these teams are very evenly matched.  If Old Yeller is able to pitch near the sub zero ERA level he was at prior to his injury, this series gets very interesting very quickly.  

Game 1:  Dr. Seuss (9-0, 0.90 ERA, 7.05 K/BB) vs. Shandy (5-1, 1.90 ERA, 4.16 K/BB)

Game 2:  Nightmare (7-1, 1.60 ERA, 3.48 K/BB) vs. Hardball (6-6, 2.54 ERA, 5.08 K/BB)

Game 3:  Palpatine (9-4, 1.82 ERA, 6.9 K/BB) vs.  Old Yeller (7-0, 0.82 ERA, 4.28 K/BB)

 

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