Franchise Ball News
The Showdown: A Closer Look at the Season 85 World Series
May 24th 2020 By Los Angeles Lions

The Season 85 World Series between the Providence Pineapples and the Bellingham Reruns promises to be a great one. Let's take a closer look at both teams and how they got here.

The Reruns, aka, the "Upset Kings" of Franchise Ball, have been around for 27 seasons, pulling off amazing playoff upsets over Theta Premier's best teams for many of them. Despite this, they never can quite go all the way, and they are still waiting for their first world title. This season is no doubt their best opportunity yet to grab that elusive first world title. They defeated the best offense in the game, the Mayaguez PRnacionals, arguably the best pitching team in FB, the Oceanside Waves, and the Vancouver Terrace Titans, the team that beat the #1 team in the world, the Virginia Beach jimmies. What a resume. Nobody can say they don't deserve a world title for their efforts this postseason...the Reruns have proven that they can hang with, and take down, the best hitting and pitching teams in the game, as well as the team that beat the #1 team in the world. In the world playoffs, their impressive streak continued as they took down the San Diego Giants, Stamford Demo Yankees, and the Indianapolis WolfPack. There is only one more team standing in the way of the Upset Kings' first ever world title...the Providence Pineapples.

The Pineapples, with an impressive 48-12 record good enough for the #5 world ranking, defeated the Erie Keystone Kops, Mount Vernon Boxers, and Spokane Warriors to win the Alpha Ruby, breaking the Warriors' and River Rats' recent duopoly on the league title. They went on to defeat the Osaka Orenji and the Charleston Battery en route to the World Series.

An impressive season by both teams, but only one can win...let's compare them in 4 categories: Offense, pitching, recent form, and experience.

Offense: Advantage Pineapples. Even considering the fact that the Reruns' Theta Premier is generally a tougher league than the Pineapples' Alpha Ruby, it's hard to dispute that the Pineapples have had the better offense...even in the playoffs, they scored 9 runs or more in every game except their battle with the 5-time world champion Spokane Warriors. It's not that the Reruns' offense has been bad, but the Pineapples' has simply been better. The only game where the Reruns scored 8 runs or more (granted, they scored 17, which is impressive, no matter who you're playing) was against the PRnacionals, a team that has an ERA of almost 6.0. Other than that, the Reruns haven't had any huge offensive explosion games in the playoffs; their offense has usually scored just enough runs to get them by. Looking back to the regular season, the Pineapples also scored over 140 more runs and had a team BA higher than the Reruns' by 0.6 points. The Pineapples, undisputedly, have the stronger offense.

Pitching: Advantage Reruns. In general, the Reruns have had better pitching, with a lower ERA and WHIP than the Pineapples in the regular season, and their pitching has also been more consistent in the playoffs, giving up 21 runs in 6 games compared to the Pineapples' 27 in 5 games. The Reruns' 3 projected starters for the World Series also have a much lower combined ERA and WHIP than the Pineapples', and they have better options in the bullpen as well. The Reruns have good reason to be very confident about their pitching matchups in this Series.

Recent form: Advantage Reruns. Let's face it, the playoffs in baseball are all about streaks and getting hot at the right time. The hotter team usually wins, even if the other team looks better on paper, which is why this category is so important. Both teams obviously are on winning streaks, but let's take a closer look at their playoff form...the Reruns have played one more game than the Pineapples, which might give them an added confidence boost. Providence had a bye at 7 PM on the 23rd, which means their players have had a bit of extra rest, but one could argue that when on a winning streak, right before the World Series, you would prefer to continue playing to avoid getting cold...whether the bye works to the Pineapples' advantage or not remains to be seen. However, if they can manage to pick up where they left off, Bellingham could be in trouble...they have outscored their playoff opponents 43-27 (and they outscored their world playoff opponents 18-9), which sounds impressive, but then you compare it to 43-21, which is the margin the Reruns outscored their opponents by. Sounds like advantage Bellingham, right? But then you must realize that if you take out the Reruns' demolition of the PRnacionals, their margin goes to 26-17. That's an average winning margin of less than 2 runs per game...far from a comfortable margin of victory. In the world playoffs, the average margin of victory shrinks even more, as they only outscored their opponents 15-11, barely winning by over 1 run per game. Neither team had an incredible winning streak going into this game, as they both lost on the 20th, with the Pineapples' winning streak standing at 6 games, and the Reruns' standing at 8 games. With everything taken into consideration, recent form for both teams seems almost dead even...the Pineapples were better if you take out the Reruns' win over the PRnacionals, but you can't just pretend as if a game never happened….the Reruns dominated that game and deserve credit for it. The Reruns have a slightly longer winning streak and played more games in the postseason, but what it ultimately came down to is the fact that the Reruns have had a tougher road to the World Series. As I said, they played the best offense in FB, best pitching team in FB, the team that beat the #1 team in the world, and the #2 team in the world. They came out on top every time. If that isn't World Series-winning form, I don't know what is.

Experience: Advantage Reruns. The Pineapples, as impressive as they are, are only in their 6th season, and the Reruns have been around more than 4 times as long as them. The fact that they have the same amount of league titles, although concerning for Bellingham fans, does not tell the whole story; the Reruns have been in the Theta Premier, lurking around and upsetting teams for many, many seasons, and just because they rarely got over the line and won a league title doesn't mean they don't have experience beating the very best in the playoffs. Here is the full list of the teams they have beaten in the playoffs from Season 81-84: Las Vegas Golden Knights, Peoria Destroyers, Mayaguez PRnacionals, Oceanside Waves, Las Vegas Golden Knights. They didn't win a league title any of those seasons, but how about that for a list of quality playoff wins in 4 seasons. The Pineapples have certainly had a few quality playoff wins themselves, defeating the Spokane Warriors and Yonkers River Rats in their very first season (Season 80) en route to a league title, but other than that season and this season, they simply don't have much experience in the playoffs with playing, and beating, the very best. The Reruns have been beating top teams in the playoffs for a long time, and for that reason, they have the edge when it comes to playoff experience. The Pineapples are one of the most promising young teams in the game, but one can't help but worry that the more experienced Reruns will have a substantial advantage in the Big Show.

Final prediction: So, here it prediction for the World Series, based on all this. The Pineapples have a better offense, the Reruns have stronger pitching, and the Reruns also have an advantage when it comes to recent form and playoff experience. Because of that, my prediction for the winner of the Season 85 World Series is...the Bellingham Reruns! I believe the Reruns will take the Series, 5-9, 4-1, 11-9. Their experience and pitching advantage will carry them to their first World title, and nobody can say they won't deserve it. The Pineapples are an amazing young team and no doubt have a very bright future, most likely with at least one world title ahead if they continue working hard, but for now, I feel like the Reruns have an edge in this matchup.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to both teams in the Series!!!