After 22 weeks of competition in the Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague, we enter the playoffs. The format changes slightly now, with each matchup extending over two weeks instead of one. This helps avoid the randomness of single-week matchups. The competition for overall points leader continues, although, as you will see below, Richard Davison has taken the excitement out of this competition.
In true reflection of the quality of the participants in the Champions League, this was the only division across the entire Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague where all four of the teams progressing to the playoffs broke the 7,500-point barrier.
Despite finishing the regular season strongly, two previous champions, RotoBrits (Ryan Owen) and Behind Home Plate Podcast (Jonny Gould and James Holden) fell just short of the playoffs.
Adam Nicholson concluded his impressive campaign to finish 17-5, a full two games clear of Gav (me). I led for most of the year, but since Shohei Ohtani’s injury, the wheels have come off. Although, unlike the Angels, my team has scraped into the playoffs.
In an unstoppable final surge of four straight wins, Mark Blakemore took third place in the division to book a playoff matchup against David Runciman.
Remember, the winners of the other divisions will be invited to join the Champions League in 2024.
Can Michael Garmston’s regular-season dominance continue into the playoffs? His stunning 20-2 record – the best across all 10 divisions – gave him a five-game winning margin. Despite a late-season splutter, Steve Pardoe scraped into the playoffs, and his reward is a Round One matchup against Michael.
Matthew Robinson (13-9) also made the playoffs after an impressively consistent season but faces Jason Toms, who is the hottest team in the division, thanks to a seven-game win streak.
Despite scoring the second most points in the division (and only one of 20 teams across all 10 divisions to break the 7,500 point barrier), Jack Wain misses the playoffs by one game with a 12-10 record.
Chris Jones and Manc Baseball have been the class outfits in the division all season. Although Manc Baseball has accumulated more points, it is Chris who tops the standings at the end of the regular season with a 17-5 record.
Josh Salter clinched a playoff berth with a 15-7 record, but despite an impressive points tally of 7,435, Ben Salvi’s two-game losing streak at the death cost him a playoff spot. However, with the consolation bracket, Ben has plenty of opportunity to continue scoring points to improve his seeding next season.
Dan Roach enjoyed a five-game win streak to finish the regular season with a 17-5 record and separate himself from the pack. And what a pack, with all four teams vying for the last two spots of the playoffs tied 14-8. Courtesy of a greater points tally, Joey Mellows (Baseball Brit) and Harry Broster progress while Dave Nicholson and Ed Jefferies head to the consolation bracket.
With an 18-4 record, Chris Deeley topped the standings at the end of the regular season and will play Martin Osborne in the first round of the playoffs after Martin held off Charles Baldwin’s late-season surge to secure the final playoff spot.
The other playoff matchup features Paul Dearnley, coming off a three-game winning streak, against Steve Jones, who heads into the playoffs on a losing streak.
They say that fantasy baseball is a marathon and not a sprint, but Jon Lansdown added a few 4:30 miles to accelerate to the top of the standings. Mal Balmford also enjoyed an impressive August and will play 15-7 Ash Smith in the playoffs.
Despite overcoming a disastrous autodraft which seemed to just pick pitchers, Alan Ford (GB legend Harry’s dad) fell at the final hurdle and lost out on the final playoff spot by just a few points.
Either Richard Davison has the #GBfbs cheat codes, or he is a fantasy baseball genius. His 18-4 record opened clear daylight over his closest rival, Charlie Deeks, but his points tally of 8,515 is extraordinary.
|Richard Davison||NL Central||8,515|
|Bat Flips & Nerds||AL North||7,953|
|Michael Garmston||AL Central||7,922|
|Manc Baseball||AL North||7,896|
|Baseball Brit (Joey)||AL East||7,867|
|Dan Roach||AL East||7,853|
|Gav (me)||Champions League||7,838|
|Luke Kendrick||NL West||7,789|
|Adam Nicholson||Champions League||7,766|
|Charlie Deeks||NL Central||7,740|
|Tom Athene||NL Central||7,720|
Neil Littlewood held his nerve to claim the final playoff spot, with Tom Athene and his 7,720 points missing out. Tom’s tally was higher than four of the division winners.
This division certainly doesn’t feel like the real NL Central.
Mark Finbow looks unbeatable as he carries a two-month winning streak into the playoffs, although if Moneyball taught us anything, it is that the playoffs are a “crapshoot”. Mark meets James Poppleton in Round One after James pipped Bubba (Jason Derr) on points scored.
Marc Collins also heads into the playoffs on good form after two straight wins to finish 16-6.
At the other end of the division languishes Andy Brown, GB baseball’s official artist. It’s safe to say that Andy’s extraordinary talents with the brush do not translate to his ability to choose baseball players.
With a 15-7 record and six victories over the last six weeks, Martin Wood clearly had the best campaign in the division.
In one of the most tightly-contested divisions, with seven teams within two games of each other, it was Timothy Burtt who seized the opportunity to finish with six straight wins and secure second place. Tom Drake clinched the final spot just ahead of Phil Stone, Troy Hutchinson, John Loftus, and Four Bases’ Joel Bailey.
With a 9-13 record, it wasn’t Nick Wilson-Smith’s year in the Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague, but he is currently top of the Bat Flips & Nerds January Best Ball League. This was an early-season draft before spring training started. Very impressive.
Luke Kendrick has been one of the class acts across all of the 10 divisions of the Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague and finished top of the standings with an 18-4 record. However, he was pushed all of the way by Tom Lock (17-5), who was one of only 20 teams to break the prestigious 7,500-point barrier.
The trash-talking between BBF and BSUK can stop now as Baseball Softball UK’s Chris Knoblock made the playoffs with an impressive 15-7 record, while BBF’s Tom Thornhill fell just short in the AL East.
Want to get involved in the Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague in 2024? Keep following Bat Flips & Nerds for further information. Entries open in January.
Featured image of Alek Thomas and Geraldo Perdomo by Norm Hall/Getty Images