10-Time Cape Cod Baseball League Champions

Cape Cod Baseball League Playoff Preview

(Photo Courtesy of Zach Foley)

By Kieran Wilson

44 games have come and gone and the playoffs are finally here! Y-D has done its part and earned first place in the East Division, meaning they also have home-field advantage for the entire divisional playoffs. In this piece, we’ll take a look at all of the first round playoff series in both divisions. These first-round matchups will begin on Friday, August 4th.


4 Brewster Whitecaps (15-27-2) vs. 1 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (24-19-1)

Y-D will take on Brewster in the opening round, with the teams having finished in first and fourth place respectively in the East Division. The Red Sox have been in the driver’s seat of the East for most of the season, but Brewster will certainly not go down without a fight. 

While Y-D holds a 4-2 lead over the season series, Brewster has won two of the last three times they have played. The Whitecaps enter the series losers of six straight, and their offense has been subpar all season, having scored just 204 runs, the lowest team total across the whole league. Their pitchers have allowed 261 runs, which is third most in the CCBL, so the Whitecaps will be considered underdogs when they face off against Y-D.

Y-D’s offense has also not been their strong point, as they have relied on their dominant pitching staff to keep them in games, although they did score more runs than every other team in the East this season. The Red Sox pitching staff gave up just 203 runs to opponents, which tops the league, with just 169 of those being earned runs. As the favorite, Y-D will have rely on its pitchers and hope for some timely hitting in order to advance to the next round. For a more in depth look at this matchup, check out Ben Strober’s insights here.

Players to watch in the series:

Brewster: James Tibbs has been Brewster’s best slugger this season, hitting six homers, good enough for third in the league. He also led the team in RBIs and batted .303 over the course of the season.

Y-D: Hunter Hines has been the team’s best offensive weapon, hitting a league-leading 13 homers, which also broke the wood bat record in the CCBL. His 45 RBIs also led the league, and his bat has put him in a position to be an MVP candidate. If he gets hot in the playoffs, he could propel the Red Sox all the way to the championship.

3 Harwich Mariners (20-23-1) vs. 2 Orleans Firebirds (24-19-1)

Orleans held onto first place for a day as the season came to a close, before losing to last place Chatham on the final day of the regular season. On the other hand, Harwich hung around second place for much of the season before slipping into third place and ending with a losing record. Harwich leads the season series 4-2, but Orleans has won the last two.

The Firebrids are led by MVP candidate Jo Oyama, who hit .360 with five homers and 17 RBIs from the leadoff spot. The Orleans pitching staff finished with the third fewest runs allowed, but also struck out the third fewest batters. So their opponents have put the ball in play often, but it just hasn’t led to runs.

The Mariners are coming into this matchup looking for the upset, and based on the way they played against Orleans this season, they will certainly have a chance. Harwich pitching allowed three or fewer runs in five of the six games they played against Orleans this season. So, it seems like their recipe for success in this series will have everything to do with limiting the damage the Orleans offense can do.

Players to watch in the series:

Harwich: Lefty Tom Chmielewski has started six games for the Mariners this season, throwing a total of 28 innings and finishing with a 3.21 ERA. Presumably the game one starter, if Chmielewski can shut down the Firebirds, the Mariners could steal the first game from Orleans.

Orleans: Jo Oyama has been this team’s sparkplug all season long. The native of Japan may be small in stature, but he has been mashing the ball all summer. He batted .360 and finished tied for fourth in the league with his five home runs. If he can play at the MVP level he has been, Orleans should be sitting pretty in this series.


4 Bourne Braves (23-20-1) vs. 1 Cotuit Kettleers (28-15-1)

The Cotuit Kettleers have been the best team in the league all season, finishing with 28 wins, the most in the CCBL. Bourne played well, but in a difficult West Divison, finished in fourth place, despite being three games above .500. The two teams split the season series at 3-3. Four of the games were decided by three runs or less, but in the other two, Bourne blew out the Kettleers, by final scores of 14-3 and 13-1.

Cotuit’s offense has been the driving force behind their first place finish in the West. They scored 271 runs, second-best in the league, and hit 44 total homers, 11 more than the next closest team. So the longball has certainly buoyed the Kettleers and allowed them to out-bash teams.

Bourne’s offense ranks in the middle of the pack, but their pitching has been outstanding. Braves pitchers allowed only 211 runs, second-best in the league, and walked the fewest batters of any pitching staff. This series is truly a clash of high-flying offense meeting fantastic pitching.

Players to watch in the series:

Bourne: Bourne’s offense will have to come in clutch if the Braves hope to upset the Kettleers, and Derek Bender might be the best source of that offense. His .374 AVG was good enough to finish second in the league; he also compiled a .446 OBP and .577 SLG with four home runs. On top of that, he also stole 18 bases to lead the CCBL.

Cotuit: Cotuit is known for their offense, but one of their best players has been starter, Camron Hill. The 6’6 left-hander appeared in 11 games, starting 7 of them, and pitching a total of 33 innings. He finished with a 1.09 ERA which led the league by over half of a run, and ranked second in the league with 45 strikeouts, trailing only his teammate, Cam Schuelke. 

3 Falmouth Commodores (24-18-2) vs. 2 Hyannis Harbor Hawks (25-17-2)

In what could be the best opening round matchup, the Falmouth Commodores will take on the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. These two teams had been duking it out for second place in the West, with Hyannis ultimately prevailing. The Harbor Hawks won the season series 4-2, but Falmouth won the last two games by one run apiece.

The Commodores started off slow, but eventually finished as the league’s highest scoring offense, totaling 273 runs, and ranking first in hits and second in walks. They are led by Aussie, Travis Bazzanna, who will certainly finish among the top vote-getters for MVP. However, their pitching is nothing to write home about, finishing in the middle of the league in runs allowed.

Hyannis enters the postseason having lost four of their last five games, but they still managed to grab the second seed in the West. They are the league’s third highest scoring offense, behind Falmouth and Cotuit. Their pitching was above average, allowing 216 runs, tied for the fourth fewest. They do not excel at hitting home runs, totaling only 24 as a team; instead, they rely on doubles and triples, leading the league in both.

Players to watch in the series:

Falmouth: Infielder Travis Bazzanna hit .375 to win the batting title, and he did it while also hitting six homers and driving in 31, both of which were tied for third best in the league. The Oregon St. Beaver also drew as many walks as he had strikeouts and stole 14 bags, also tied for third best in the CCBL. If this MVP candidate catches fire, Falmouth will be hard to contend with.

Hyannis: The Harbor Hawks have to slow down the Commodore offense if they want to prevail in the series, and pitcher, Hayden Frank, might represent their best chance at doing that. He appeared in ten games, starting six of them, and pitched recorded the league’s fourth best ERA at 2.67. He struck out 25 batters over 30.1 innings and only walked seven.

1 thought on “Cape Cod Baseball League Playoff Preview”

  1. Great job on this piece by “Couisin” Kieran and the guys were psyched up yesteray at the dinner for the
    Host families and Pick’s 25th at YD. They are “Ready, Willing and most of all Able” as we host the Whitecaps
    today, and with Smith and Finn going in the first two games, I like our chances to sweep them and move on!!
    Get out and support this team!!! GO SOX!!!


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