Ahhhhh yes. The time of year where baseball really gets interesting, and everyone in Bunt starts to feel that bittersweet pull from the season coming to a close. Hard to believe we are already getting to this point, but its time to start getting ready for the playoffs. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to navigate the landscape created when everyone starts going nuts.
Predictions For Contests
I would be lying if I said that I played very much more than the 10k challenge most days this year, and from what it looks like, most people probably feel the same way. That being said, we should all assume that things will ratchet up considerably for the playoffs. If I were a betting man, my money would go on a ton of awesome contests that will be built around the playoffs, likely with some awesome prizes along the way.
TOPPSMIKE has said on numerous occasions that it hasnt gone the way they had all hoped, and playoff contest structure is a way they might be able to redeem that a bit. Over the last few years, the post season brings people back to Bunt in a big way, and hopefully they will find a method to improve contest experiences from day one.
Building Your Lineup
Right now, playoff races in both leagues are about as solid as Jello right after you pour the mix into the water. That being said, there are some relatively sure things that you can bet on. The Royals, Mets, Cardinals and Dodgers all look to be firmly in control, and will likely avoid playing in the one game playoff. Stocking up your deck with cards from these teams is a REALLY good play.
Because everything will be nationally televised, stock up on the hitters and the pitchers, as you will be able to watch every minute of the games pretty easily. You do not want to be the guy who only has pitchers when Lucas Duda hits a 3 run bomb. Trading up for those golds now will help to avoid price gouging once people figure out the final slate of teams.
Playoff cards will be coming, and I wouldnt hesitate to say they could be readily available when they do, but that doesnt mean your other nice cards for the playoff teams will be worthless to keep.
Also keep in mind there is a VERY small chance that any 2015 Bunt Card will be able to score points in 2016, which means open season on those other cards you arent attached to.
Wild Card Letdown
With a one game playoff before the Divisional series, it can leave a large portion of your preparation nerfed if that team goes down. Let me say up front, in a one game playoff ANYTHING can happen. Its good to play the odds, and go with the better team, but that doesnt always work. If a player is part of a wild card team, be careful in stocking up over a guy from another team that is locked into the non-wild card series. I got burned last year pretty bad on this, and I would hate for anyone to be in the same position.
Playoff Card Releases
Last year, there was a MASSIVE set of playoff cards released for every team. Boost levels were also drastically inflated, which led to a number of issues with the way regular season cards were played.
For 2015, I dont think this formula is going to be in play as much, or at the very least the distribution method. With guaranteed insert per pack releases becoming more of a standard thing, I could see that being used for the playoff cards. I also dont see the huge boosts coming back for cards that arent “game only” variety. There may be a slight inflation, but Im not sure I would think that it will go the same direction as 2014.
With collecting becoming a larger focus this year, I would also expect more insert sets that are commemorating current playoff successes as well as a number of cards that celebrate the past history of MLB’s post season. Hopefully the Parallax cards and other big inserts that were huge last year come back. I really liked the way they did so many amazing cards right in a row.
Bottom line, the post season is as big a time for Bunt as any event during the season, and they will adapt the app to foster the excitement everyone is already feeling. Although my team might or might not be making an appearance, I will definitely be paying attention very closely.