Congratulations to the 20 finalists across the 10 divisions of the Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague.
Going into Friday’s games, there was nothing to choose from between David Runciman and Adam Nicholson, but it was the division winner, Adam, who triumphed after pulling out a stunning 130-point day, thanks to the mighty pitching duo of Zach Eflin and Tarik Skubal.
Despite a second-week comeback, Gav (me) could not recover from a dreadful first week, and 655 points was never going to be enough to beat Mark Blakemore.
Coincidentally, I bumped into Mark and Adam in the Bat & Ball pub in Stratford ahead of the London Series games. They are truly two of the nicest blokes you could wish to meet, so (begrudgingly), I’m really pleased that one of them will become the inaugural #GBfbs champion.
A mega 808-point week from Manc Baseball sets up a mouth-watering final against regular-season division winner Chris Jones. Fantrax projects a Manc Baseball win, but projections are not always reliable.
Baseball Brit (Joey Mellows) missed out on a place in the final by a mere 7½ points. His score of 775 points was higher than many of the teams that progressed to the final in their respective divisions. Tough break, but considering that Joey participated in the draft at an unsociable hour from South Korea, this has been a terrific campaign. In the other tie, Harry Broster was blown away by regular-season division winner Dan Roach’s sensational 819 points.
The much-awaited Steve Pardoe v Michael Garmston matchup was a disappointment as Michael opened up a near 200-point margin. Joining Michael in the final is Jason Toms, who came through a far tighter-fought tie against Matthew Robinson.
There was very little excitement in Round One of the AL West playoffs with winning margins of over 100 points. As expected, regular-season division winner Chris Deeley progressed to the final and will meet Paul Dearnley, who had entered the playoffs as the hottest of the four teams. The final should be one to monitor.
NL EAST DIVISION
The top two teams from the regular season will duel it out in the final, with Marc Collins knowing he needs luck on his side to combat a Mark Finbow roster that was capable of notching over 850 points. With 706 points, James Poppleton bows out of this year’s tournament as one of the highest-scoring losers.
With three teams finishing the regular season with the same record, the NL North’s playoffs were always destined to be closely fought, and just 20 points separated Martin Wood and Tom Drake. Joining Martin in the final is Timothy Burtt, who utilised Julio Rodriguez in his UT-slot to stunning avail with 124 points.
This division continues to produce exceptionally high-scoring ties, and it even gave us an upset when Charlie Deeks, one of the superstars of this year’s Great British Fantasy Baseball Superleague, failed to reach the final.
Using my commissioner hat, I have double-checked the settings and can confirm that there is no glitch; Richard Davison is really this good.
Don’t think that Richard’s dominance is thanks to a roster of superstars; his outfield includes Sal Frelick and Charlie Blackmon. Both good players, but they are not Mookie Betts and Kyle Tucker.
NL WEST DIVISION
Two one-sided ties decided the finalists in the NL West, with Luke Kendrick, unsurprisingly progressing to the final, but in an upset to the projections, Tom Lock misses out.
Despite excellent early-season form, Mal Balmford misses out on a spot in the final after a defeat to the consistently brilliant Ash Smith. However, it is regular-season division winner Jon Lansdown who will start the final as the favourite, especially having just scored 819 points in Round One.
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 Julio Rodriguez by Steph Chambers/Getty Images