Dynasty League Review: Injuries, Despair, and When To Sell

Here at Pitcher List, we thought it would be fun to give the readers a look into the dynasty leagues of Pitcher List staff members. Thanks to moving into my new place (last time I will ever move everything myself, just hire the workers and save yourself the trouble) I couldn’t get around to doing a review two weeks ago. To make up for it, this weeks review will cover the last months worth of dynasty (albeit slightly condensed), including my eventual demise, trades that myself and others have made and waiver wire additions that I think could change the outcome for a lot of teams.

 

Period 3

 

Slack TL;DR

 

This was not a great week for me. While it was great to see waiver wire pickup Brian Goodwin provide some offensive help, my team was still in the bottom 10 in points for and I was lucky to have been facing the Angels who scored the fourth-fewest points this week. Going into the final day, the Angels and I were very close, but an implosion by Collin McHugh (3.1 IP, 9 ER, -21.5 points) and a fairly strong start for David Price (5 IP, 10 Ks, 14.5 points) were able to separate the two of us enough to allow me to breathe.

 

My other matchup was with my rival Benjamin and his Cleveland Indians. A Touki Toussaint blunder (1.1 IP, 6 ER, -18 points), having to start two zeroes in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Harrison Bader, and getting negative points from Travis Shaw really set me back this week.

 

Favourite Trade: The Giants made plenty of deals this week (like every week in Reddit Dynasty), but this week he made one move that at the time seemed minor, yet has become a boon for him.

 

San Fransisco Giants Trades Atlanta Braves Trades
SP Lance Lynn 2B Tommy La Stella
MiLB SP Freddy Tarnok
MiLB SP Sam Carlson

 

The Braves needed a starter and Chuck and his trading spirit came knocking. Little did everyone know,  Tommy La Stella would (so far) turn into one of the most improved hitters in the majors. The Angels this year as a whole have decided to stop striking out, and La Stella has fully bought into this. Not sure if everyone is aware of this or not, but La Stella is slashing .272/.364 and here’s the crazy part: He holds a .583 slugging percentage! He’s done this all while walking more than he’s striking out (9.8% walk rate and 6.6% strikeout rate) and has already doubled his career home run total this year. We like to give Chuck crap for always following his spreadsheets, but this is an instance in which he bought a player early that his spreads liked and its paying off. Kudos Chuckie.

 

Favourite Waiver Add: Giovanni Urshela – Toronto Blue Jays. I was lucky to snag Urshela early. Going into this season, he hadn’t hit well at all in his limited time, but coming into the season he also underwent a stance change and it has been magic for him. When I made the waiver claim, Miguel Andujar was supposed to be out a bit longer (and now indefinitely) so I was happy to be getting a bat that would be playing every day. Unfortunately, I didn’t think Urshela would amount to much, so I dropped him. And was able to re-add him three days later! Then drop him again. Ugh, I have had the worst luck with waiver drops this year. All he’s done is save the Yankees third-base situation by slashing .341/396/.505 to the tune of a 143 wRC+.

End Of Week Record: 3-3

 

Period 4

 

Slack TL:DR

 

From rock-bottom to reaching the stars, this was the best week I’ve had this year, as I led the league in points for with 293. My offense and pitching both helped push me there, with JA Happ having a stellar two-start week and Marcus Stroman only giving up two hits in seven innings. I picked up Adrian Houser for his Monday start and it was a less than stellar idea, as he provided me with -9.5 points. I cannot complain too much though, as when you lead the league in points you can’t too upset. But let’s get to the real JUICY part of this week.

 

Favourite Trade: The Tigers have done a pretty good job of buying players this year so far, and this week he made a deal which at first was confusing but made sense afterwards.

 

Detroit Tigers Trades Los Angeles Angels Trades
SS Manny Machado MiLB SS Carter Kieboom
MiLB OF Luis Robert
MiLB SS Xavier Edwards
MiLB 1st round pick

 

This is a doozy. The Angels are on the upswing, with young Free Keepers like Franmil Reyes, Ryan McMahon, and Max Fried and decided to push some of his chips for a superstar, who don’t always become available in this league. The Tigers, oddly enough, moved on from one of the better options at SS to acquire a haul. Even if he got a prospect package it was odd to see him make a move to make him worse in the short term, as his squad is definitely set up to win this year. I wonder why he did that…

 

Detroit Tigers Trades Houston Astros Trades
MiLB SS Carter Kieboom SS Trevor Story
MiLB SS Xavier Edwards
MiLB 1st Round (Angels pick)

 

Oh. OH! Kevin you tricky bugger! I love this deal for the Tigers, as I might prefer Story to Machado at this point, and he got to keep Luis Robert from the first deal. The Astros have been hit with bad injuries, underperformance, and unluckiness, so they decided it was time to sell and start piecing together a farm.

 

Favourite Waiver Add: RP Luke Jackson – Toronto Blue Jays. Wow have I ever been lucky with waiver wire adds! Luke Jackson at this point was only being considered for the closer’s role. All he’s done since then is take the reins on the role and become a reliable bullpen arm. He’s getting an INSANE amount of ground balls (almost 70%!) with a 10.80 K/9. Other than one blown save so far he’s been a lockdown closer and should continue to get the saves.

End Of Week Record: 5-3

 

Period 5

 

Slack TL;DR

 

Every team will have its peaks and valleys. I just did not expect mine to come in three consecutive weeks: rock-bottom, flying high, then crashing back down. This week was especially bad as the Twins and Athletics combine to have a 9-15 record. This should have been an easy week for me. Unfortunately, Rich Hill, JA Happ, and Marcus Stroman combined for -6.5 points and I sat my second highest point scorer in Wilmer Flores, who had 21 points. When you only score 150 points, your team is bound to look ugly, but oof. It burned extra as the Athletics had made a trade for Jesus Aguilar, who was someone I was looking to acquire before he got him, and he went on to score 28.5 points—more than any of my players. I finished a bottom five team again this week, and things aren’t looking good for my squad. It has gotta turn around soon or I’ll be forced to sell off some pieces.

 

Favourite Trade: The Tigers love to trade. Much like the Giants, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But holy crap has he killed the last couple of trades he’s made.

 

Detroit Tigers Trades Houston Astros Trades
MiLB OF Luis Robert OF George Springer
RP Jose Leclerc

 

So, all-in-all, the Tigers got George Springer and Trevor Story for Manny Machado and Jose Leclerc. That is a deal I would make 10 times out of 10 for him. For the Astros, it makes sense to go full-on rebuild, as Springer is older than I think a lot of people realize. Leclerc is a good rebuilding piece as he showed last year when he’s on he’s one of the best closers, and Luis Robert should be a top 10 prospect at the end of the year.

Also, I feel like George Springer isn’t getting talked about enough this year. He’s slashing .323/.400/.652, with a wRC+ of 182. Statcast is also on his side, as he’s currently CRUSHING the ball. I think Springer is someone a lot of people will regret not jumping on at his discounted price. I mean look at this:

 

 

He’s good.

 

Favourite Waiver Add: Chris Martin – St Louis Cardinals. I find the best waiver adds tend to be relievers, as so many pop-up guys appear every year. Chris Martin was someone I was intrigued in last year coming over from Japan, but he had a semi-mediocre year for fantasy purposes. So far this year he seems a lot more relevant, as his strikeout rate has gone up 7%. While he’s been somewhat lucky (93% LOB%) he should continue to fill the closer’s role while Shawn Kelley is hurt and remain until Jose Leclerc is ready to reclaim the job.

End Of Week Record: 5-5

 

Period 6

 

Slack TL;DR

 

I think this is the start of my downturn. My team, while very unlucky, has been middle to lower of the pack in terms of points for. Ravaged by injuries, I’ve had my three best players all hurt at times (Francisco Lindor, Luis Severino, and Jose Altuve), making it difficult for my team to stay healthy enough to win. Even behind those guys, I’ve got Andrew Heaney, David Robertson, David Price, Jesse Winker, Harrison Bader, Rich Hill, and Jeremy Jeffress all be hurt at some point or another. My depth replacements have been mediocre at times, and a lot of my should be solid regulars aren’t doing well (Travis Shaw, JA Happ, Rich Hill). I’m at a point now where while it’s still semi-early, I think I have to start considering selling. My division is one of the tougher ones in the league, and I’m currently in last place.

 

 

I’ve got lots of older pieces that should still fetch me something decent in Josh Donaldson, David Price, and JA Happ. This week was not awful, as I was middle of the pack in terms of points scored at 200.5, with the streaky Domingo Santana proving he was a good buy this off-season. I squared up against the fresh-faced Detroit Tigers and was promptly dismantled by George Springer and Trevor Story. I also faced the Seattle Mariners, who I was also dismantled by Kris Bryant and his finally-fixed shoulder.

 

Favourite Trade: I ended up swinging a couple of deals, but my favourite had me acquiring a decent buy-low in Blake Treinen. I think Treinen can bounce back this year, and if he resembles anything like he did last year, is a decent keeper option for me. The one concern so far with Treinen I have is his spin rates are all down this year from last year, but that could just be from injury (here’s hoping).

 

Toronto Blue Jays Trades Colorado Rockies Trades
RP Jose Alvarado RP Blake Treien
RP David Robertson

 

This was pre-setback news for Robertson, who I was looking to move to put Alex Cobb or David Price onto the IL. I was able to pick up Chad Green before the news came out he was coming back up and was able to flip him for a pick. I also picked up another player, who was actually my favorite waiver add…

 

Favourite Waiver Add: Mac Williamson Toronto Blue Jays. I will never be able to quit the Mac Train. In his first game back in the majors he dongered, and gave me so much hope (even if it was in Coors). He’s got plenty of playing time opportunity and while he will be prone to striking out, he should hit for a fair amount of power and be decent as a final bench option.

 

A month-long review has me looking to sell, but is this the right call? If I’ve learned anything from sports it’s just to get to the playoffs and go from there. But with the second wildcard team already three games ahead of me, I have to start winning now to have any semblance of a shot.  Let me know if you feel differently!

(Photo by: Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)

Jamie Sayer

Dynasty and prospect extraordinaire, Jamie enjoys his 30 team leagues more than any other league. A Diehard Bluejays, Leafs and Raptors fan, Jamie can be reached on Twitter at @jamie__sayer and on Reddit /u/jamiesayer.

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