2019 Playoff Preview (Part 1)

Four heroes are going to dish on how the 20 BTSH teams who qualified for the playoffs or play-in game will do.  Any complaints should be directed at one hero in particular, Richie Hero, as he is used to dealing with random people yelling at clouds from his time manning the phones at Crime Stoppers.

20) Gut Rot

Richie Hero: When Gut Rot has a goalie, they win games. Eric and Ed have provided their fare share of W’s along the way, but sadly, Eitan refused to goalie 4 them and they’ve been stuck with a goalie by committee year. Truth be told, I think Russ is funnier than Eitan, and I don’t think Russ is that funny.

Arya: Gut Rot went from five wins and 18th place to two wins and 20th place.  Was Ed leaving really that big of a blow? Fans of narratives will say yes as Gut Rot dropped two spots while WTP went from 12th to 5th.  However, Gut Rot only let up three more goals this year than last year but scored 22 rather than 35, a massive 37% drop in scoring. Whatever the issue is, in playing one of the only two teams they beat this season, they have an amazing chance to notch an improbable playoff victory. If Shelly is there, I don’t think they can do it.

Meatbox: Given the fact that I lose championships every year, look for Gut Rot to win their first round matchup (they’ve beaten Mega once this season), forcing the Rehabs to have to play Fresh Kills in round 2 while Gut Rot is rewarded with a date with the Lbs. Did I just make this about me? Yes, I’ve gone full JW.

JW: Wait, when I was asked to do this I wasn’t told there would be hockey involved.

19) Riots

Arya: The Fresh Kills have had the season from hell thus far, punctuated by a late-season Gabe injury, but I just can’t see them losing to the Riots.  Dave would have to play even better than he did in the OC semi-finals AND the Riots would need a lot of bounces. This is too big a choke for a team like the Fresh Kills.

Richie Hero: While the Riots aren’t going to be hoisting the new PBR Cup in 2019, they will play Fresh Kills tougher than most think. No, Walker, this wouldn’t be the biggest upset in BTSH history. I think Anklebiters over Fresh Kills in 2015 would still top it. 

JW: You’re absolutely incorrect, Rich. This would be the biggest upset in BTSH history if it happens. That’s it, I’m starting a Facebook poll. 

Meatbox: Rich, this would be the biggest upset in BTSH history by a mile. I can’t believe I’m on #teamJW for this one. #ha.

18) Dark Rainbows 

Meatbox: Meatbox math time: Rainbows have talent + Butchers have attendance issues = A tightly contested matchup. That being said, if the Butchers show up, I really don’t see them losing this one for the second year in a row. Stranger things have happened, but unfortunately it looks like the new league sweethearts (or have they always been this and the demons just tried to steal the title?) won’t be making it to the second weekend of the postseason this year.

Richie Hero: I love the Rainbows/Butchers rematch in round 1.  Last year the Rainbows shocked the BTSH Universe with an upset playoff victory in the Play-In round. This year they will try to knock Rachel’s team out again. Last year they wisely took a team picture after they won, because who wants to see a team picture after you lost? I suggest you do the same this year, Rainbows…the Lbs. will be waiting. 

Arya: Indeed we will.  But as much as conventional logic would suggest that I take the Rainbows (they won 4-1 last year and got better in the offseason), I feel like the Butchers are going to light it up with at least four goals and get some revenge for last season’s surprise elimination.  Unless Yetter is ready to start throwing down hat tricks this could be a quick exit for the Bows.

JW: Arya says conventional wisdom leans toward the Rainbows, but I honestly think this is a pick ‘em. (That’s what it’s called, right?) The Butchers had a bit of a rough season, but they are coming off an uplifting shootout win. That said, the Bows also finished the season with a commanding 4-0 win over the Riots. In any case, Brady deserves to win this because of the incredible tie-dyed Cleveland Browns shirt he wore last Sunday. In fact, just give him the Cup now. 

17) Math

Richie Hero: Math is a hard team to judge. The last two years they got eliminated against the eventual champion in the Round of 16, but both times they had the lead. Dave L. is prob the most underrated goalie in the league. While I don’t expect them to win their next 5 games, I do expect them to beat the Sky Fighters, and if they play the Anklebiters give them a real scare. If they play the LBS, I would doubt it would be that close. 

Meatbox: Given Math’s attendance issues, I’m predicting their first round matchup with Sky to be an incredibly low scoring affair. Like if the over is 1.5, still take the under. That being said, I think there is a clear advantage for Math in net and on defense. If Math can get an early lead, look for them to sit on it and find themselves playing the second weekend, most likely in a rematch of week 1 against the Lbs where they will prove to be a tough out (see last season’s matchup against eventual champion Fuzz), but end up overpowered by Alex Frey’s sexiness.

Arya: Thank you for recognizing the sexiness.  Like most of the teams featured in Part I of this preview, Math has had a tough season.  Fortunately, they made the playoffs by virtue of being a team in the league and they’re always a tougher playoff opponent than they should be on paper.  Their matchup is tougher than it looks against the Sky Fighters though and I don’t think this is their year to make a deep run.

JW: Math are very strong defensively (when their D core all show up), and Dave is a very good goalie. They historically struggle to score, however. The Sky Fighters started out the season very slowly but they have bounced back (shocking the Gremlins, and stringing together a few other recent wins in addition to that one). I think this game will be very close as the late-season Fighters show up. However, Math walks away with the win. 

16) Sky Fighters

Richie Hero: We have another play-in rematch with the Sky Fighters and Math. Last year the Sky Fighters lost but outplayed Math. But last year they also had SBJ and Carlin. It’s not going to be there year but if they beat Math, at least they can get a modicum of revenge for last year. 

Meatbox: Rich Glanzer used the word modicum. I am floored. I’m really excited for tomorrow’s word of the day. 

A rematch of last year’s play-in game (also probably the least predictable of the 4). The Sky Fighters find themselves in the same game they were last year, although this time they’re the favorite on paper and it doesn’t look like Poutine is waiting in the wings to scoop up their players. The team has gelled as the season went on, but I don’t think this is the year they make a deep run. Look for them to exit early, regroup in the offseason, maybe add an FA or two, and come back next year possibly avoiding the play in round. 

Arya: Sky Fighters are an underrated group with a terrible playoff draw.  I think they’re on par with some teams who got the play-in bye, but they would have to beat Math before likely facing the top seed in every round and then spending the offseason making sure their top players are put in witness protection.  Not good.

JW: Can’t I just copy and paste what I wrote above about Math/Sky Fighters here?

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