Blaseball Not-So-Grand Siesta’s Speed Dating: Team Capsule Rundown and Review
The ledger on old Blaseball history is now closed. Its pages are frayed, torn, and smudged with fingerprints, but at least full. The names are known, and the teams are known. Now, a new era has begun, but the new ledger is filling up with names we have never seen, or old names that are now unrecognizable to us. What are these Blaseball teams? Who are these people? Here’s what we know, strictly from a numbers perspective. Get ready for some acronyms!
OPS+ = On base Plus Slugging +. An estimator of good hitting, average is 100, higher number is better.
ERA- = Earned Run Average -. An estimator of good pitching, average is 100, lower number is better.
OAA = Outs Above Average. An estimator of good fielding, average is 0, higher number is better.
1. THE MOAB HELLMOUTH SUNBEAMS
“Sartre once said, Hell is a lineup of batters all with an OPS over .900.”
S2 Run Differential: +303 Lineup OPS+ rank: #1, 127.7 Rotation ERA- rank: #11, 94.6 Team OAA rank: #19, -24.6
Towering over them all are the Sunbeams, and they are hitting, their bats lively and quick and doubling down the line and they are bowing to the ladies. They will never stop hitting, they say. They say they will never die. You might look and think, hey, that run prevention seems not great! Who cares? They score 8 runs per game! The Sunbeams strength is not just in their great hitters, but the length of their lineup. This is the only Blaseball team with no hitters in their lineup with a below league average OPS. Even with their balance, there are a few players who stand out here. Two great infielders in Kajjala Aliyev and Cravel Gesundheit (2nd and 8th best Wins Above Average (WAA) respectively) are perfectly situated to get a good amount of ground balls despite low Reach, and also hit extremely well. Mooney Doctor carries the rotation with a top ten in the league FIP. But really, it’s just hitting. Hitting that never stops. Hitting. HITTING.
2. THE MEXICO CITY WILD WINGS
“Bane: You merely adopted your good hitters! We were born with them!”
S2 Run Differential: +212 Lineup OPS+ rank: #2, 119.8 Rotation ERA- rank: #10, 91.1 Team OAA rank: #11, 20.7
Unlike other Blaseball teams that won boosts to get to the top of the league, the Wings are ALL NATURAL. Unfortunately, when you live by the sim, you also die by the sim. The Wings have had seven different position players in the top 40 of WAA over the course of the first two seasons: Katja Twain (seasons one and two), Fletcher Peck (season one), Baldwin Jones (season one), Nori Bluegrass (season one), Letitia Diop (season one), James Boy (season two), and Arugula Hadji (season two). They also have had the fourth best (season one) and tenth best (season two) pitcher by WAA in Viernon Sierpinski and sixth best (season one) pitcher by WAA in Anastasia Isarobot. Of those nine players, two were incinerated, and three were shadowed at some point or another. Perhaps the best strategy going forward is to appease the sim with some kind of blood sacrifice. Wait, never mind. Let’s not give the sim any ideas.
3. THE YELLOWSTONE MAGIC
“Why does the larger team simply not win another boost blessing?”
S2 Run Differential: +199 Lineup OPS+ rank: #3, 117.65 Rotation ERA- rank: #6, 87.4 Team OAA rank: #6, 36.7
The Yellowstone Magic are the only Blaseball team in the league thus far which has won two boost blessings (Pitching and Wind Sprints) and will soon test just how overpowered boosts are. (The answer is very.) With wind sprints, the Magic have turned into a triple-mashing team at 123 total, the only other Blaseball team with more than 100 is the Flowers with 102. Kiki Avci in particular hit 40, and also led the league in OPS with 1.432 (also, also hit over .400!). Demet Cabrera is defensively awesome on the infield and hits well, making them the best player in the league in WAA by a full win over the second best player. Rat Mason and Mooney Doctor II are poised to lead an awesome pitching staff, and Duncan Phantom is about all you can ask for in an incineration replacement. If this team doesn’t win the title, it would be a choke. A gag. Don’t blow it. No pressure.
4. THE BOSTON FLOWERS
“More Stealth than Metal Gear Solid.”
S2 Run Differential: +192 Lineup OPS+ rank: #5, 112.9 Rotation ERA- rank: #3, 77.6 Team OAA rank: #15, 4.1
Another boost-blessed Blaseball team, the Flowers turned a 35-55 record in Season One into a 60-30 record in Season Two thanks to the overall team boost. Just by looking at their baseline hitting stars, one might be a little unimpressed (2.745 in their lineup, 7th worst in the league), but they pack a secret: the second highest Stealth score in the league, a stat which helps them produce slugging (they hit the most doubles in the league at 417 and the second most triples at 102). Combine that with an overall excellent pitching staff, and you’ve got a solid contender. Zack Sanders exemplifies their offensive style of play (3rd best WAA in the league, of their 156 hits only 33 are singles) and Amir Murphy (16th best pitching WAA) is a solid ace. Famous mascot Jessica Telephone is also there for moral support.
5. THE CHARLESTON SHOE THIEVES
“A defensive wizard on the Shoe Thieves? Never heard of that before.”
S2 Run Differential: +121 Lineup OPS+ rank: #8, 102.1 Rotation ERA- rank: #2, 77.4 Team OAA rank: #1, 58
The Shoe Thieves are extremely lazy. Only three of their position players have more than .400 Reach, and two of them play in right field, which tends not to see much action. Cue Penelope Berkowitz. Combine a midfielder position with low reach teammates and nobody playing in left field and you have a recipe for a single player doing everything on defense. Berkowitz fielded 652 chances at a 79% success rate last season, the most chances of any player in the league at a highly efficient clip. Throw in the solid offensive threesome of Vee Curry, Fish Summer, and Kaj Statter Jr. and you’re cooking with gas. The pitching staff doesn’t have to be amazing to get outs with their one-man defense. The Jammy Decksetter alternate thinned their lineup by quite a bit, but they can still win by emulating a group project where everyone offloads the work onto one person.
6. THE HAWAI’I FRIDAYS
“How good are the vibes? There’s a player named Mags Highlife.”
S2 Run Differential: +110 Lineup OPS+ rank: #9, 100.4 Rotation ERA- rank: #4, 81.9 Team OAA rank: #2, 56.3
The Fridays had the best defense in the league by Defensive Efficiency Ratio (DER), but there is a very serious question as to how long that can persist. A huge chunk of value was provided by top ten WAA player Elijah Valenzuela, the best defender in the top ten of position players. A good hitting, good defending infielder is kind of a cheat code. Here’s the issue: Valenzuela got alternated in game 85. Eun Senior and Stephanie Schmitt are both solid pitchers even with a fall-off on defense, but Sexton Wheerer and Svetlana Dickens are not. Oxen Seo and Justice Spoon will need to carry the Blaseball team offensively with a new, worse hitting former star. At least the vibes will be good
7. THE ATLANTIS GEORGIAS
“So fresh and so clean.”
S2 Run Differential: +89 Lineup OPS+ rank: #4, 113 Rotation ERA- rank: #17, 105.8 Team OAA rank: #15, 4.4
The Georgias are proof of the theory that a good offense matters more for success than run prevention because they are a bottom half pitching staff and defense that still wins because they hit the damn ball. First, we gotta talk about Mckinney Vaughan, who is a legit star. The best position player in season one by WAA and the fifth best in season two, Vaughan is an excellent hitter and defender AND plays the infield (cheat code!). The hitting foursome of Doc Cash, Juan Murphy, Khulan Kebede, and Beck Whitney means the lineup isn’t just top-heavy. Unfortunately, the pitching is kind of a mess, with a group of players who can’t strike anybody out (league average strikeouts per 9 innings is 7.2, and the Georgias are at 5.9). This staff puts a lot of pressure on the defense, so if balls aren’t getting hit to the right defenders, woof. With this pitching, the Georgias are probably destined to make the playoffs and get eliminated in the first round for a while.
8. THE BROKEN RIDGE JAZZ HANDS
“Why are they called the Jazz Hands?”
S2 Run Differential: +64 Lineup OPS+ rank: #6, 105.2 Rotation ERA- rank: #12, 96.8 Team OAA rank: #21, -44
They won a boost! Every other Blaseball team from the season one election that won a boost saw massive to strong improvement, enough to make the playoffs and get deep into the postseason. The Jazz Hands, however? Well, luck was not on their side. In game 42, Bonk Jokes was alternated from a very good lineup player into a not-so-good one. Their second best hitter, Sigmund Castillo, was cursed to not lose. Their pitching staff boost’s value was blunted by a terrible defense. Evelton McBlase II, their best pitcher, was the 35th best in the league by WAA, at least. Their offense should still be solid, led by doubles machine Qais Dogwalker, but not enough to overcome a leaky defense with a very bad defender, Albert Stink, hogging the infield.
9. THE SAN FRANCISCO LOVERS
“How many juniors can we fit into one name?”
S2 Run Differential: +44 Lineup OPS+ rank: #18, 95 Rotation ERA- rank: #8, 88.9 Team OAA rank: #13, 5.6
How did this Blaseball team make the playoffs? Only three of their eight hitters were above league average in OPS. Their pitching staff walks people and doesn’t generate a ton of strikeouts. According to WAA, they overperformed by 6 wins, so maybe some of this was luck and a top-heavy division, but let’s try and pick out the good stuff here. Alvie Kesh is a top 11 player by WAA, great offensively, although you wish they would try to maybe field a little more (.023 Reach/ 1.145 Magnet). Mordecai Kingbird is a nice number 2 hitter with basically the same defensive preferences as Kesh. The rotation is anchored by the very good Erin Jesaulenko, and the rest of the pitchers are carried by a lineup that maybe can’t hit very well, but is at least slightly positive on the whole defensively. This team is probably due for some regression, but a Blaseball team that keeps games low-scoring can always win some lucky coin tosses.
10. THE BALTIMORE CRABS
“In their soft shell era.”
S2 Run Differential: +26 Lineup OPS+ rank: #14, 97.3 Rotation ERA- rank: #6, 87.7 Team OAA rank: #8, 32.3
Perhaps the sim has fallen out of love. The Crabs are still a competitive Blaseball team, but their poor hitting means that they are unlikely to challenge for a playoff spot. Losing Ramirez Winters to incineration in game 68 meant that a top 3 WAA player in season one was now dusted and the Crabs defense/offense was worse off for it. The formerly zoneless Tiera Wigdoubt is now going to have to step up as the team’s best player, but those are big shoes to fill. Declan Suzanne was the 9th best pitcher by WAA and the lead on a solid rotation, but how much the defense suffers without Winters remains to be seen. The Crabs are firmly lodged in mid.
11. THE CORE MECHANICS
“We may or may not be able to fix this.”
S2 Run Differential: +8 Lineup OPS+ rank: #10, 100.4 Rotation ERA- rank: #14, 100.9 Team OAA rank: #16, -7
Sheri Friday. Sheri was carrying massive weight on the Mechanics lineup before getting alternated into a bad hitter on day 88 of the season. Sheri led the league in doubles with 72, had the second highest OPS in the league at 1.341 (a long way away from their second best teammate Comfort Septemberish and their .934) and hit the third most homers to boot. Scoobert Toast and Tevin Melcon are a good pair of pitchers with above average strikeout rates, but here’s the thing. Losing a 5+ win player from your Blaseball team sucks, especially at the tail end of a season where you’re going nowhere. Time to rebuild.
12. THE KANSAS CITY BREATH MINTS
“Please sir, may I have some better batters?”
S2 Run Differential: +8 Lineup OPS+ rank: #22, 85.5 Rotation ERA- rank: #1, 69.3 Team OAA rank: #6, -36.6
The Breath Mints appear to be locked in a life or death struggle to field a Blaseball team that wins or loses every game of the season 1-0. Let’s start with the pitching. Plums Blather led the league in strikeouts. Hatfield Suzuki and Hops Chen are not far behind them. Their worst pitcher is better than the league average by ERA. They have some very good defenders up and down the lineup, but their standout player by volume is Brooklyn Nottingham, who is also their best hitter by OPS and the 4th most valuable position player in the league by WAA. Unfortunately, only having two hitters (Stretch Sutton being the other) who can actually hit is kind of an issue. A big key to their punchless offense is how station-to-station it is, with their league worst lineup Stealth score. Perhaps Vernon Glump will help, retrieved via Yeet.
13. THE PHILLY PIES
“A team that is its own Bizarro team.”
S2 Run Differential: -5 Lineup OPS+ rank: #11, 98.5 Rotation ERA- rank: #14, 101.5 Team OAA rank: #17, -9.4
This Blaseball team comes into its games fighting for its life against itself. There are good players on this team! Four top fifty WAA players in the lineup! Amos Parveen! Siobhan Chark! Tucker Thane! Jira Sealegs! But there are also four bottom forty players! Bevan Wise! Ariadne Amaat! Dimi Wobbler! Lucas Petty! What about pitchers? Three top twenty pitchers by WAA! Steals Chark! Pudge Nakamoto! Marco Escobar! But also! Two bottom ten pitchers! Augusto Reddick! Thomas Marsh! When this team finally defeats its true demon, itself, it will become a contender.
14. THE MIAMI DALE
“The best team Alternates can buy. Turns out Alternates can’t buy much.”
S2 Run Differential: -8 Lineup OPS+ rank: #16, 96.2 Rotation ERA- rank: #8, 90.9 Team OAA rank: #10, 24.1
Really good, well-rounded players are hard to generate. This is the lesson I feel like we learn from alternates. The Dale alternated four players on their team after the season one election, including one twice, and it feels…fine? Serge Shortvat joined Sixpack Santiago with double S names and also having defensive skill, Una Manhattan became a little better than league average as a pitcher, and Eddie Mulberry took two alternations and is the 200th worst position player in the league by WAA. Joe Voorhees is an excellent slugger and Malik Romayne is a great pitcher, but this Blaseball team needed better results from their alternates, and what they got was a whole plate of meh.
15. THE CANADA MOIST TALKERS
“Stan Van Gundy Voice: Form a freaking wall!”
S2 Run Differential: -52 Lineup OPS+ rank: #20, 94.9 Rotation ERA- rank: #13, 99.9 Team OAA rank: #3, 41.2
Wind Sprints is an interesting boost because it can function as a boost to a middling pitching staff as well as a slight boost to team overall slugging, at least in theory. How much that will do for a Blaseball team that struggles to hit the ball will be interesting, but the run prevention results should be good for a team that has great Reach/Magnet numbers across the board. The Talkers already had the boringly named Scott Gray as a top twenty WAA player and solid infield hitter. Now, the defensive buff gives them three players over 1 Magnet in Jay Camacho, Donna Milicic, and Khulan Sagaba. Eris Street was already a strong pitcher for the Talkers, but the rest of a fairly mediocre rotation should get pulled up by this Blaseball team’s wall of defense.
16. THE SEATTLE GARAGES
“I got it, I got it, I got it, I don’t got it.”
S2 Run Differential: -56 Lineup OPS+ rank: #7, 103 Rotation ERA- rank: #21, 118.1 Team OAA rank: #24, -89.5
The thing that seems to separate the middling Blaseball teams from the bad teams appears to be this: elite baddies. The absolute worst players out there, often in multiple. This brings us to the Garages. They won a thwack boost and have a top ten offense. Normally, 1) winning a boost and 2) hitting well, means success, but nope. This Blaseball team has an anti-MVP. Susan Witherspoon is the team’s leading fielder with 474 chances, and fields at a .601 DER (League average is .709). Susan also can’t hit. Combine all that, and WAA has them pegged as the second worst player in the game, producing -6.8 wins this past season. A large chunk of the remaining lineup isn’t much better on defense, with four other players below league average. This is unfortunate for Brisket Friendo, the pitcher WAA thinks is the best in the league two seasons running. There are good hitters here, like Hendricks Richardson and a good name in Sheev Shriffle, plus a potentially beastly hitter in Chambers Simmons doing King Arthur stuff, but this team needs some fielding drills, badly.
17. THE DALLAS STEAKS
“Nobody on the infield. It’ll definitely work.”
S2 Run Differential: -62 Lineup OPS+ rank: #20, 96.7 Rotation ERA- rank: #18, 105.8 Team OAA rank: #4, 40.6
The Steaks have the backbone of a good run prevention Blaseball team, and a smattering of good but not great players mixed in with a roster of mostly below average folk. Their worst player is probably pitcher Archie Lampman, but a pitcher in the current schedule only throws 18 games a season, so it could be worse. Unfortunately, their best players have some drawbacks. Vanille Okidoke is an awesome name and a good hitter with bad defense, Baby Sliders is a good defender with bad hitting, and Agan Harrison is a good pitcher but, again, 18 games a season. Their defensive positioning, which has everyone in the outfield, means Sliders is their closest player to the defensively valuable area (good) but has to range out of position to cover it entirely (bad). The Steaks need to, uh, cook more.
18. THE CHICAGO FIREFIGHTERS
S2 Run Differential: -91 Lineup OPS+ rank: #24, 80.5 Rotation ERA- rank: #5, 86.4 Team OAA rank: #7, 36
At the bottom of the league, there are three types of Blaseball teams. Ones that can’t hit, ones that can’t prevent runs, and ones that can’t do a damn thing. The Firefighters are the type that can’t hit, and I’m making a not so bold pronouncement that is the second worst problem aside from being completely terrible. The Firefighters lack of hitting is uniquely bad. Most teams have at least one or two elite to very good hitters. The Firefighters are the only Blaseball team without a single hitter above league average by OPS. Not one. Now, Yosh Carpenter is a top 30 WAA player strictly because of defense, but when your best position player hits under .200, that is tough. Nerd Pacheco and Lupita Juice also contribute to a very good defense, and WAA thinks the FFs have two top five pitchers in Don Elliott and Karato Rangel, but this team needs somebody, literally anybody, who can hit. A single damn person!
19. THE OHIO WORMS
“The less extreme version of the Lift!”
S2 Run Differential: -118 Lineup OPS+ rank: #13, 97.6 Rotation ERA- rank: #22, 121.7 Team OAA rank: #12, 11.1
This team is bizarre. Let’s try to take it piece by piece. Malin Hsu and Itsuki Weeks are both good hitters, but the entire rest of the lineup is extremely average or below that, yet never quite trawling the bottom of the league like some other bad Blaseball teams. Arturo Huerta is probably a top 30 pitcher but the rest of the staff is awful and guileless (lowest rotation Guile in the league). The defense has some very good defenders on it (Badgerson Stromboli) but the two players who fielded the most for them by far are Malin Hsu and Archie Yanez, who together have sucked up 1211 opportunities out of the team’s total of 2721 and are extremely bad at defending. This team’s problems seem so…particular that I have no idea what to say here so let’s move on.
20. THE HOUSTON SPIES
“Striking out in multiple senses of the phrase.”
S2 Run Differential: -166 Lineup OPS+ rank: #17, 96.1 Rotation ERA- rank: #20, 114.6 Team OAA rank: #20, -40.5
When you start diving into the Spies numbers, you kind of get why they might be packing it in for a team-wide strikeout. If you scan the WAA leaderboard, you have to scroll down a bit before you see a Spy hitter, Rivers Rosa at #60. Rosa played in 41 games before being incinerated, replaced by Mimosa Arslan who was doing pretty well, and then also got incinerated. Bees Gorczyca loves to field a ton of balls and is very bad at it. Wyatt Mason IV is at least an ace, but former legends Howell Franklin and Margarito Nava are horrendous pitchers. The team had 14 different players take at-bats in their lineup, a tumultuous second season due to weather and other factors. This is pretty rough, but there’s not much more the sim can do to screw stuff up, surely!
21. THE LA UNLIMITED TACOS
“Give us some damn wills.”
S2 Run Differential: -171 Lineup OPS+ rank: #21, 86.6 Rotation ERA- rank: #19, 108.7 Team OAA rank: #18, -20.2
Well, good news. The Tacos won one of the most effective blessings in the game. The bad news? Everything else, especially the large number of players they have doing the wrong thing on the field. Jenkins Good is a fine hitter who would be an awesome pitcher. Nigel Candy is one of the worst hitters in the league who should be pitching. Yulia Skitter is a terrible pitcher who should be hitting. The shadows and, uh, the dirt are housing a lot of potential upgrades to the lineup. The pitching staff is without note for the most part, but at least the lineup has a few gems. Malik Destiny is a top ten player by WAA in the league and an excellent slugger, plus Piper Legume was a nice incineration replacement and a good overall player. If only the roster could be shuffled around…
22. THE NEW YORK MILLENNIALS
“There’s a player named Guacamole on the team.”
S2 Run Differential: -207 Lineup OPS+ rank: #15, 97.3 Rotation ERA- rank: #23, 138.7 Team OAA rank: #23, -85.2
The Mills don’t have a terrible lineup to build from. Offensively, anyway. Hernando Winter is an excellent hitter and Clayton Legume ain’t bad either. Run prevention is unfortunately a nightmare. Bennett Bluesky is a good pitcher whose ERA is worse than it should be because of this defense. The non-Bluesky pitchers are giving up an average of 6-10 runs per game, with Jonathan Catalina being the second worst pitcher in the league by WAA. There’s some hope for improvement, slim as it is. Ren Hunter’s defensive buff might be enough to juice the defensive efficiency a bit out of the basement of the league. Realistically though, this Blaseball team is going to need some work. Old people are going to make millennial jokes about this team for a while.
23. THE HADES TIGERS
“The mighty have fallen, but did they have to fall like this?”
S2 Run Differential: -220 Lineup OPS+ rank: #23, 83 Rotation ERA- rank: #15, 105.4 Team OAA rank: #9, 29.8
The once dominant Tigers of the Discipline Era are, these guys are not. The Hades Tigers are about as punchless as it gets, with the league’s worst average of batting stars in the lineup. The Velasquez Alstott incineration replacement Hana Wildebeest has been a massive step down in quality, both offensively and defensively, and in fact, perhaps they are making up for lost incineration time, because Leandra Beech and Steals Mondegreen were also incinerated in Season 2. Gloria Bugsnax was the worst position player in the league by WAA. Their highest ranked lineup player is Adrian Melon, the 76th highest WAA in the league. They have one of the best defensive players in the league, well-positioned and talented in Stevenson Heat, but Heat also is one of only two hitters in the league with a negative WRC+ (batting number that is extremely not good). Amaya Jackson is a top tier pitcher at least. I’d say they’re probably wishing they were fireproof again in the new era, but, eh, maybe not.
24. THE TOKYO LIFT
“Trying hard to turn every other team’s lineup into the Sunbeams.”
S2 Run Differential: -230 Lineup OPS+ rank: #12, 98.4 Rotation ERA- rank: #24, 145 Team OAA rank: #22, -84.6
If you’re going to be the worst Blaseball team in the league, at least be entertaining, and the Lift mostly live up to that. This team is built like it thinks it’s in a home run derby whenever it plays a game, a home run derby it usually loses. The team’s ERA is 7.24. Look at that! Just look at it! The third worst Blaseball team in the league by ERA, the Worms, is a FULL RUN BETTER on average. This team on average has to score 8 runs just to win a game. To be fair, there is some offense here to make that occasionally possible. Roscoe Sundae and Vernon Cotterpin are two awesome sluggers, but the offense also features two of the worst position players in the league in Gumdrop Che Amran and Barry Burkhard. Silvia Rugrat is the worst pitcher in the league by WAA, the only pitcher to subtract 5 wins from their team. The Lift could be greatly improved just by having run prevention that wasn’t an utter tire fire, but their defense and pitching staff apparently enjoy numbers going up just as much as the rest of us.
Thanks to Bagyilisk, glumbaron, Abyline, and Sproutella for the Coronation Era statistics and advanced statistics.
-InnercityGriot, who’s a part of Blaseball Analysis Co, which you can find at https://blaseballanalysisco.libsyn.com/