If you don’t already know the staff here at The Pitcher List just wrapped up our inaugural staff league slow draft. We’re competing for fantasy glory, and staff bragging rights, in a 12-team H2H categories league. Standard 5×5 scoring with R, HR, RBI, SBs, AVG., for our hitters and Ks, Ws, SVs, ERA, WHIP, for the pitchers. Each week we’ll be looking at notable transactions, matchup results, and any league wide nonsense. For reference you can click here to see how the draft turned out. On to the match-ups!
Christopher Edmunds (Stunning Bunts) vs Nic Gardiner (Ze German):
Since the Draft Gardiner’s added OF Jay Bruce, whom Edmunds dropped, in a great example of the “One Man’s Trash…” principle. Which, by the way, is not an actual principal. Bruce chipped in for Gardiner in the Mets opener today adding a R and RBI, but the offense was paced by taters from 3B/OF Miguel Sano and 1B/DH Edwin Encarnarcion. Gardiner also added 2-start Jeremy Hellickson (@CIN, WSH), presumably to add some volume to his counting stats. Hellickson was good for an utterly mediocre 5IP, W, 6H, 1ER, 1BB, 1K line today. That extra W certainly helps though and the Reds are a nice target to stream against, even at Great American Small Park while the cool weather lasts. That Washington matchup though…
*As I’m writing this OF Mike Trout ripped a 2R HR off Kendall Graveman for Gardiner…I was streaming Graveman in another league…sadness.
Gardiner had starters Yu Darvish, Kevin Gausman, and Rick Porcello going as well. The bright spot was Porcello’s 6.1IP, W, 6H, 3ER, 1BB, 5K at Fenway against the Pirates. The productive line belies the fact that Porcello averaged 89.9 MPH/88.5 MPH on his 4-seam and Sinker, down 2.5 MPH/1.5 MPH from 2016. He also had roughly 2 inches less drop on the Sinker than last year. It’s too early to be concerned about this now, but I’ll be following his news and starts a little more closely given how important the sinker is to his arsenal.
Chris Edmunds has been very active since the draft adding C Sandy Leon, SP Steven Wright, 1B/OF Brandon Moss, and re-adding 2B Starlin Castro. Moss was necessary to cover 1B with Ian Desmond on the mend, and no other 1B on the roster. However, he cost Edmunds Bruce, who’s been rumored to get time at 1B this year. Both players have similar skills profiles, but with Moss now playing in power suppressing Kauffman Stadium the edge might go to Bruce over the long run. Leon bore some fruit instantly with a 1R, 2/3 line today, and stud 3B Nolan Arenado put up a 2/3 2R line.
Edmunds fared far worse on the pitching side as starters Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber got hit hard spoiling a sparkling 6IP, 5H, 0ER, 0BB, 7K gem from Noah Syndergaard. Thor was pulled early from his start as he developed a blister on his thumb. The Mets announced he’ll have his next start pushed back, but this shouldn’t be an issue going forward. Somewhere Rich Hill is cackling.
Max Posner (Team Posner) vs Nick Pollack (Appel of Manaea):
Posner’s only move since the draft was adding RP Jason Grilli who, along with RP Joe Biagini, will be a part of the closing committee for the Blue Jays…provided he doesn’t keep serving up walk off taters as he did today to Mark Trumbo. Grilli doesn’t offer much other than a brief window at save opps. Posner’s inflated ERA for the week is the handiwork of Masahiro Tanaka who posted a wretched 2.2IP, 8H, 7ER, 2BB, 3K line against the Rays on Sunday. A Google translation of a tweet Tanaka posted after the game reads “I really could not do anything today. It is miserable. I looked back on the video, but it is too cruel.” Undoubtedly Posner feels the same way. Not much offense to speak of yet, but a 3/4 from Freddie Freeman and a 2R, 1RBI, 3/5 from Justin Turner have led the way so far for Posner’s squad.
Pollack got some instant fireworks from his squad on Sunday when his name sake A.J. Pollock put up a 2R, HR, 2RBI, 3/5 line. The tater was a walk off job served up by Mark Melancon whom the Giants spent 64 mil on this offseason in an effort to improve on leading the league in Blown Saves last year. Auspicious beginnings. On the pitching side Pollack’s off to the races with the SVs, and those nice ratios should help balance out the ERA/WHIP risk in his rotation of breakout candidates.
Alex Fast (Betances With Wolves) vs Rick Graham (Mr. Holland’s Opus):
True to his “I believe in the guys I draft” words, Alex Fast hasn’t tinkered with his roster since the draft. He’s off to an amazing start in pitching, which you’d expect from a rotation headed by Clayton Kershaw and Jon Lester. Joining in on the fun was Julio Teheran who continued to befuddle the Mets posting a solid 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 3BB, 6K line on opening day. The day got so much better for Fast though. Perhaps the greatest gift on opening day to any fantasy player is a homer from a guy you own that propels your favorite team to victory. That’s just what Alex got when Trumbo walked off for the Os. Congrats kid.
Graham has been busy on the wire adding Rajai Davis, Zach Davies, and Alex Cobb since the draft. The Davis pick up solidifies a team that already features a lot of nice speed guys in Trea Turner and Jean Segura. Making sure your team wins the categories it’s supposed too is crucial when you find imbalances on your roster. Having not landed an ace in the top half of the draft Graham has his work cut out for him on the wire with streaming but could find some nice value if Davies and Cobb and produce. Hopefully sooner rather than later as he’s in a hole after Melancon, and Sam Dyson got knocked around in their first outings. Plus a subpar 4IP, 6H, 5ER, 2BB, 7K outing from Jon Gray.
Andrew Todd-Smith (Wacko Contenders) vs William Wright (Cespedes Centipedes):
Since the draft ATS has speculated on Santiago Casilla, and added SS depth in Brandon Crawford, but the real story (if there even can be at this point) is Rougned Odor’s monster 2R, 2HR, 4RBI, 2/4 in the opener against his beloved Indians. There’s still plenty of time for my bold prediction on Odor to come true, but so far it’s Odor – 1, Eddy – 0. ATS got some bad news as Junior Guerra will head to the DL with a calf strain. Reports are he was on crutches after the game, so it’s reasonable to speculate on an extended lay off. However, Andrew Miller put up a IP, W, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K line. I have a feeling we’re gonna see a lot of that from Miller this season. He’s a great target to add in H2H if you’re struggling with ratios, as he should get enough Innings to really make a difference there.
Wright has a bit of a roster jam currently with 3 DL guys for just one spot. With a ton of bench bats he’ll need to make some moves to address the pitching vacancies, but the outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, and Yoenis Cespedes should carry him most weeks. The pitchers he does have look impressive thus far, particularly Dallas Keuchel who twirled a 7IP, W, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, 4K gem against a powerful Mariners line up tonight. I’ll be eager to jump into the Pitch F/X data once it posts to check out what Keuchel’s stuff looked like.
Ben Pernick (Team Pernick) vs Ian Post (Ian’s Pornogriffey):
If only Madison Bumgarner’s stats as a hitter translated in fantasy. Alas, for Pernick, both of Mad Bum’s taters were for naught, especially since the lead they provided the Giants was painfully coughed up by their bullpen. Overall it was a great fantasy day for Mad Bum 7IP, 6H, 3ER, 0BB, 11K that was just shy of excellent. Even more impressive was the fact that he sat 93.5 MPH on his heater, up from 91.7 MPH last season. He also had more Vertical movement on his fastball, and more Horizontal movement on his Cutter and Curveball. As if this guy needed to be better. On the offensive side of things leaving Joc Pederson on the bench for his Grand Slam, 5RBI romp, against the Padres assuredly offended Pernick’s senses. Such are the whims of H2H matchups.
Post was delighted to see recent free agent acquisition Randal Grichuk immediately get to work with a R, HR, 3RBI, 2/4 on Sunday night against the Cubs. With Matt Holliday gone, and not much outfield depth behind him, this is Grichuk’s job to lose. Perhaps we’ll finally get to see how much wood a Grichuk would chuck if…I’ll just stop right there. Only Post’s relievers have chipped in thus far. It’ll be interesting to see how much leash Jeanmar Gomez has in Philly after a dirty IP, SV, 2H, 2ER, 1K. Reason would suggest a short one, but the Phillies have an interest in keeping their better relievers cost controlled and SVs add $$ in the arbitration process. Just, ask Dellin Betances about how maddening that whole process is. Gomez could run with the job for a while and kill your ratios while he’s at it.
Max Eddy (12 Years a Save) vs Ben Palmer (Team Name Pending):
I was happy to employ one of my draft strategies this week, and even happier with the results. I knew I was going to take two Aces in rounds 4 and 5 and so I targeted multi-position guys in order to maximize ABs on my roster mixing and matching in bats. With a day off for Willson Contreras, and a free roster spot to play with after the news on Drew Smyly, I streamed Stephen Vogt. Vogt tated in his first at bat, rubbing away some of the stink left earlier when David Phelps spoiled another draft strategy I employed. That of punting Saves. Instead I focused on high skill RPs with potentially high usage this season, like Phelps. It was looking great when Phelps was called upon early in the 6th to spell Edinson Volquez, but not so great after he served up tater bombs to He Who Shall Not Be Named, and, urgh…Adam Lind. I still like my chances at winning Ws and Ks each week with this plan, but I may have been to rosy eyed when looking at the effect the skills forward RPs would have on my ratios. Also, it’s opening week…sooooooo.
Carlos Martinez spit white hot filth on Sunday night to the tune of a 7.1IP, 6H, 0ER, 0BB, 10K line against the defending world champs. If this is what we’re getting on a consistent basis from Car-Mart this year Palmer’s gonna be well rewarded for his patience on pitching at the draft table. Yasmani Grandal and Eduardo Nuñez paced his robust offense on opening day with respective lines of 2R, 2HR, 3RBI, 2/5 and R, RBI, 2SB, 3/4. If you’re in an OBP league Grandal is arguably the top catcher, and if he can stay healthy enough to catch 130 games this season he’s going to provide staggering profits for his owners.
That’s a wrap for now. Back next week with updates on how these all played out!