Round One Recap

Basket Catch League Championship

The BCL Championship hosts two familiar teams in 2022, the back-to-back Defending Champion LeBronto Blue James and the 2019 Inaugural League Champ, Pablo and the Secret Weapons. No matter the playoff bracket format, there’s no arguing that these have been the two strongest teams in the Basket Catch League this season. After duking it out all season for a Division Title, they get to go at it again, this time for a BCL League Championship.

Pablo claimed the BCL Vic Division Title in the waning moments of the Regular Season by way of the tiebreaker and can thank the power bats in their lineup for that. Pablo gets Yordan Alvarez back in the lineup after missing five games during Round One, and hopefully that can reignite these bats because Cal Raleigh leading the team with 49.5 Hitting Points last week doesn’t seem to be the performance that’s going to take down LeBronto. Judge, Yordan, Julio and Bregman will have two weeks to try and out play the Blue James and claim another Championship Title chance.

The LeBronto Blue James continue to make things interesting. Losing a Division Title at the last second could easily cause a team to fold and make an early exit in the postseason, but not this team. This team, has taken a #6 Seed and turned it into a League Title before so what’s so bad about coming in as a #3 Seed? The LeBronto General Manager appears to have built a strong balanced roster here in 2022, finishing as both the 3rd best Hitting Team and 3rd best Pitching Team in terms of Points Scored. Their advantage over Pablo and the Secret Weapons is on the mound, and that advantage is going to have to outweigh Pablo’s advantage with the bats. Sandy Alcantara has certainly led the Blue James staff to this point, but the difference will be made with the performances of guys like Zac Gallen, Blake Snell and Jose Berrios. If those guys pitch to their potential over these next two weeks, it’s going to be hard to stop them from a third consecutive Championship Title Game.

Shot Call League Championship

Tough to believe anyone saw this Shot Call League Championship Match-Up coming. The Orlando Splitters announced themselves as favorites in the SCL fairly early on in the 2022 Season, but the rest of the League Standings have been a bit of a shuffle. One thing has remained consistent throughout that shuffle however, the hairy Tubmen record did not reflect just how strong that team could be. After the Splitters, the hairy Tubmen led the four SCL Playoff Teams with 382.33 pts in Round One, followed closely by Wally Mash (381.5 pts), then by Brooklyn (308.33 pts) and an injury-ridden Super Smash ‘Stros (260.17 pts).

Orlando rolls into the Semi-Finals with a hot Xander Bogaerts and a collection of new young bats to complement their formidable Pitching Staff. Simply leading the League to Total Points Scored over the full duration of a Season doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things, as the Splitters have learned in years past, still without their logo up on the League Championship Banner. But a roster that has bettered the second best HumBabe team by more than 850 points, clearly has something figured out in terms of strategy. Orlando’s Pitching Staff has always been the franchise’s strength, intentionally, and this year’s collection of arms has fifteen different starting pitchers averaging more than 10 points per start. Gerrit Cole, Corbin Burnes, Shane Bieber, Kevin Gausman and yours truly Spencer Strider, make up the five Orlando Splitter SP’s that rank in the League’s Top 20 – three of which were acquired via an Offseason Draft and two by way of Free Agency – for those taking notes. Their Semi-Final effort will start with Kevin Gausman and Lance Lynn on the bump during Monday’s games.

Easily the biggest surprise to reach the HumBabe Dynasty Final Four, the hairy Tubmen have totaled the League’s 7th Most Points Scored in 2022 but end the Regular Season with just a 9 – 10 record. Once you get into the postseason however, none of that matters, right? The Tubmen now bring their ridiculous group of middle infielders (Trea Turner, Tommy Edman & Marcus Semien) to the gates of a League Championship, similar to the efforts of their previous life – Wisconsin neckBeards in 2019. Andrew Heaney will take to the mound for the Tubmen on Monday, but this Pitching Staff is certainly a different structure than that on the other side of the Match-Up. Where the Splitters only have Starting Pitchers to throw out, the hairy Tubmen will have Clay Holmes, Taylor Rogers, Jorge Lopez and Daniel Bard all at the ready to collect point night in and night out.

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