Welcome folks to the Pitcher List staff leagues! This year Pitcher List added a huge amount of new staff members which allowed us to expand from three to a whopping six leagues! As a reminder, these leagues are standard 5×5 and are set up relegation style, which means if you finish in the top three, you move up; if you finish bottom three, you move down.
MAYHEM IN THE LEGACY LEAGUE!
When you earn a bye to the semifinals, what do you hope for from the matchup to determine your opponent? A quick blowout so you know who you’re facing? If so, you would be very disappointed to be Rick Graham or Kyle Bishop. BOTH of the Legacy League semifinals finished in a 5-5 tie. We’ll get into the recaps of each matchup briefly and then look ahead to the semifinals at hand.
Austin Bristow entered the day leading by 3 in R, 1 in HR, 1 in RBI, and trailing by 1 in SB, and 5 in Ks against fifth seed Jay Dunbar. Knowing he had no chance to overcome his massive deficits in ERA and WHIP, Austin threw a Hail Mary with seven starting pitchers, which helped him to 25 Ks to Jay’s 18, giving him the category win. Sunday was a wild day for their offense as well, as Austin posted 5 HRs with 11 RBI, a SB, and 7 runs. Jay did not go down without a fight, getting 10 RBI from Yordan Alvarez and George Springer as part of a 2 HR, 11 RBI day. The two titans traded blows in 4 of the 5 offensive categories before the dust settled at 5-5.
So what is the tiebreaker? First, it’s overall record against your opponent. Well, Austin and Jay played twice: Jay won one and Austin won one. The second tiebreaker is seeding, which played in Austin’s favor as he moved on to play Rick Graham in the semifinals. What makes this defeat truly heartbreaking for Jay is he was up 10-0 in the middle of the week. That’s why we play seven days, folks.
The other matchup gave us the same result with none of the fanfare and excitement. Entering Sunday’s action, Jon Metzelaar and Ian Post entered play with Jon leading 5-4, tied in wins (3-3) and with Jon clinging to a narrow 3-run lead. He would pad that lead with 5 runs scored on Sunday, but Ian nabbed a W from late-season arrival Sean Manaea giving him a fifth category win.
Unfortunately for Ian, we tell the same story as our other matchup: the two split their season series, but Jon entered the matchup as the No. 3 seed vs Ian’s No. 6 seed and Jon advances to the semifinals.
Now, let’s look ahead to the semis.
No. 2 Gallo’s Cole (Kyle Bishop) vs No. 3 Super Rosario Bro. (Jonathan Metzelaar)
Although Kyle sits as the No. 2 seed with a first round bye, it wasn’t the easiest path for him to get there. He lost four of his last six matchups, including a loss to Metzelaar in Week 17. He also dropped his other matchup to Metzelaar way back in Week 6, perhaps giving Jon the advantage. In fact, Jon held this second place spot until the end of Week 21, when Jon fell to the King of Spoilers, Alex Fast and dropped to No. 3. On the season, Jon has stepped up when facing top competition, going 7-2 against playoff teams while Kyle struggled to the tune of 3-6 against such teams.
No. 1 ManBearPuig (Rick Graham) vs No. 4 Troy & Amed in the AM (Austin Bristow II)
You may have guessed it from the No. 1 seed but there was no more dominant team in the league than Rick Graham this year. He rattled off a 12-1-1 streak from Weeks 5 to 18, only dropping a week to Myles Nelson in Week 8. During that streak, he shutout Austin 10-0, so do with that information what you will. However, when they played last, just two weeks ago, Austin had the upper hand winning 6-4. The loss marked Rick’s first loss against a playoff team, going 7-0-1 in other matchups.
Austin had an elite stretch of his own, using the 10-0 loss to Rick as motivation to kickstart a 6-1-1 stretch from Weeks 11 to 18. Austin is hoping to get some magic in the semis to overcome his 4-5-1 record against playoff teams and prove he’s not just someone who feasted on the bottom half of the league. He’s got an uphill climb with Rick trotting out two-start weeks from Shane Bieber and Jacob deGrom.
– Dave Cherman
We had a pair of upsets in the first round of the playoffs for the Prodigy League.
First up, fifth-seeded Astudillo Ghibli (Ben) defeated fourth-seeded Troy Klauder, 7-3, to advance to the semifinals. Ben’s squad was led by J.T. Realmuto and Carlos Santana at the dish, with strong pitching from Noah Syndergaard and Max Fried as well. He now gets to face the No. 2 seed Statcast Darlings.
Meanwhile, sixth-seeded Brennen’s Bold Team laid waste to the No. 3 seed Hurling Archer’ in a stunning 8-0-2 blowout, advancing on to face the No. 1 seed Boydz-N-The-Hood. Brennen’s team won in commanding fashion, with strong hitting from Josh Donaldson, Austin Meadows and Jose Abreu as well as elite pitching from Gerrit Cole, Julio Teheran and Lucas Giolito.
– Andy Patton
No. 3 Valley of the Dahls (Jake Bridges) def. No. 6 Big League Chu (Scott Chu), 7-3
This one went the way it was supposed to, with Big League Chu getting ambushed in the Valley of the Dahls. For the most part, Jake’s offense overwhelmed Scott’s, led by Yasmani Grandal’s crazy week, hitting .333 with 4 homers, 6 runs and 5 RBI. Francisco Lindor chipped in with 3 dingers. He won Home Runs (16-12), Runs (43-32), RBIs (43-36) and SBs (10-2) pretty handily. When it comes to pitching, Jake’s team won the counting stats despite pitching fewer innings, with victories in Wins (6-5), Saves (3-1) and Ks (73-71), mostly due to Zac Gallen and Max Fried, who combined for a 0.00 ERA and a 0.20 WHIP and 17 Ks.
The No. 3 seed Dahls move on to play No. 3 Paul’s Busty Posers (Paul Ghiglieri) in the semifinals.
No. 4 Juanderkinds (Dan Wist) def. No. 5 Inglourious Baezterd (Rob Z), 5-3
In maybe the closest matchup of the season for the whole league, five categories ended up in play and this really was anybody’s week. It was a tale of mediocre hitting and pitching, with a pair of ties in RBI (22) and SB (2) and really no remarkable results. The only real clear stat wins were by Dan, who took Average (.263-.230), Wins (5-1), and K’s (76-61) easily. Runs were decided 34-31 for Dan, and Homers were 9-7 for Dan.
Willson Contreras and Juan Soto led the way for the Juanderkinds with a pair of homers apiece. Despite fantastic performances from Justin Verlander (7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K) and Yu Darvish (5 IP, 0 ER, 7 K), Dan couldn’t hold off Rob in ERA (4.43-4.38) and WHIP (1.33-1.25) even though the two were virtually almost a coin flip.
Juanderkinds plays top-seeded Not Dan (Dave Fisher) for a spot in the final.
– Travis Sherer
Now that we’re in the playoffs, lets’ change the format a little bit, because while consolation brackets are nice and all, you’re here for the championship.
No. 4 Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright) vs No. 5 Air Yordans (Alex Isherwood)
As expected, this matchup was extremely close. So close, in fact, that it ended in a tie at 5-5. However, not all ties are created equal and while the Nats may have advanced because of their higher seed, they earned it after dominating 4-of-5 hitting categories. The Nats took R by 44 to 35, HR by 14 to 4, RBI by 38 to 24, and AVG by .310 to .219. Air Yordans was able to snag SB by 4 to 2. It was a well-balanced attack, but it was the White Sox who pushed the Nats over the top with Jose Abreu putting up 3 R, 3 HR, and 9 RBI with a .263 AVG and Tim Anderson going for 9 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, and a .414.
On the pitching side, the Yordans struck back with a solid 4 W, 3 SV, 78 K, 2.20 ERA, and 0.99 WHIP while the Nats posted a respectable 5 W, 2 SV, 67 K, a 3.31 ERA, and a 1.24 WHIP. The fifth W for the Nats came from Mike Minor’s 8 IP, 2 ER, 3 K showing against the Orioles on Sunday. A Sunday start against the Orioles is a nice ace in the hole to have, even if Nick Pollack might look at those K and wonder if dinner for the family was a little light that night.
No. 3 Massive Deverstation (Ben Ruppert) vs No. 6 Hedenson’s Team (Hunter Denson)
Deverstation took this one 9-1. Looking at the teams, it just didn’t look like it would be a particularly close matchup and well, it wasn’t. Some of the categories were reasonably close, such as HR at 12 to 11 and AVG at .245 to .213, the rest were solidly won, even if not by Massive totals (eh?! eh?!?!). Sometimes just being solid across the board is enough.
Upcoming Matchups | Semifinals
No. 3 Massive Deverstation vs No. 2 Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore)
This is an extremely tough draw for Prognosis Negative, as the two teams finished with nearly identical metrics: .609 xW%, .597 zW%, and .590 pW% for PN versus .595 xW%, .586 zW%, and .588 pW% for MD. The problem for Prognosis Negative comes in their head to head matchups, which Massive Deverstation has taken by a combined 16-3-1 tally.
In the categories, the two teams finished neck and neck in R (814 for MD to 804 for PN), RBI (750 for MD to 743 for PN), and HR (268 for MD and 255 for PN). ERA and WHIP are similarly close. Four of the remaining five categories were more decisive, but split between them with Prognosis Negative having solid leads in SB and W while Massive Deverstation was much better at AVG and SV. The 10th category was a significant 1241 to 1043 lead in K for Prognosis Negative. Then we get into the more recent performances. Last week, Prognosis Negative would have likely taken R, RBI, AVG, K, ERA, and WHIP and the overall win, although some of those categories would have been close.
I think that it’s going to be tough for Massive Deverstation to take W or K, with Prognosis Negative having five two-start SPs this week to Deverstation’s two, but SV can be safely booked as a win. ERA and WHIP are a toss-up. I like Prognosis Negative’s top hitters a bit better, too, especially Ronald Acuna, so I’m going to predict a narrow victory for Prognosis Negative. Even if your team gets throttled in the regular season, when you advance in the playoffs, that’s Amore.
No. 4 Mostly Nats vs No. 1 Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze)
With the way Led Z.Eflin dominated this season, it’s hard to see them falling short in the semifinals, but the season stats are closer than one would think. The Nats have a 764 to 721 lead in R, balanced by Z.Eflin’s 93 to 86 lead in SB. Amazingly, Z.Eflin has just a 2 RBI and 3 HR lead on the season. In pitching, things are a little more weighted towards Z.Eflin, with significant leads in SV, K, and ERA and a solid enough lead in WHIP. The Nats posted more W on the year.
More concerning for Z.Eflin though is that the Nats played them very well, taking the season head to head by a 12-8 total. If the two teams had met last week, Z.Eflin’s offense would’ve struggled and the Nats likely would have taken R, HR, RBI, and AVG. Pitching would have worked out better, but a quick survey shows a likely 5-5 tie. Both teams currently have four two-start SPs this week, giving neither a clear advantage in K and W. Could there be some streaming attempts this week? If so, they’d better check in on the SP Roundup to see who won’t tank their ratios. I’m going to give Z.Eflin the slight edge this week, even if only because tie goes to the season champion.
– Ryan Fickes
PL2 is setting up for a pretty chalky finish. The higher seed in both quarterfinal matchups advanced, leaving only the league’s top four teams by regular season finish alive.
No. 4 Rhys Lightning (John Wallace) vs No. 5 Holland Otts (Clay Cotton)
Rhys Lightning bested Holland Otts by 6-4 to earn himself a semifinal matchup with the league’s juggernaut, Austin’s Team (Austin Gretencord). This wasn’t a particularly impressive matchup in any way as scores like a .256 average, 10 home runs and a 4.22 ERA won their respective categories, but it’s all about the scoreboard.
No. 3 Yu Snell My Bum (John Hale) vs No. 6 MonStarz (Kyle Monson)
In the other quarterfinal, Yu Snell My Bum just embarrassed MonStarz by 9-1. There’s just not much to say about this one as it wasn’t really even competitive. Hale rode ridiculously hot weeks from Austin Meadows, Yoan Moncada and Christian Yelich to a semifinal meeting with Otto von Bettsmarck (Rob D), PL2’s No. 2 seed. On to the semis! May your injuries be scarce and your spot starts fruitful.
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
No. 3 New World Odor (Colin War) vs. No. 6 Tinseltown Monarchs (Jessica)
Colin came out ahead in this matchup by a score of 6-4. Throughout the year, Jessica was able to start each week with the advantage of a 1-2-3 punch of Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Walker Buehler. Unfortunately, during this quarterfinals matchup, neither Dodger was up to the challenge, combining for 10 K in 9.1 IP with a 8.68 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP. On the other side, Colin had duds from Aaron Nola and Jose Berrios, but having Michael Pineda’s last start before suspension and Sean Manaea’s return helped cushion those starts. On offense, stellar weeks from Yoan Moncada and Trea Turner (who combined for 4 SB, matching Jessica’s team total) allowed Colin some might to offset Jessica’s ownership of Joc Pederson and his 8 R, 8 RBI, 4 HR week.
No. 4 Ewing Oil (Matt McLaughlin) vs. No. 5 Kramerica Industries (Erik Smith)
Matt nearly completed the clean sweep of Erik in this quarterfinals matchup, coming out ahead 9-0-1 (tying runs at 39). Trevor Bauer’s struggles in Cincinnati have been well covered, and they certainly didn’t help Matt this week, but the Geodude himself (Lucas Giolito), J.A. Happ, and Zac Gallen really helped cushion that blow. Austin Meadows was intent on making the semifinals, putting up a line of .522 AVG, 9 R, 8 RBI, 4 HR, and 1 SB for Matt. Along with Jeff McNeil’s .360 AVG, 5 R, 8 RBI, and 2 HR, Matt had a great week for rate and counting stats.
– David Fenko