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.
Welcome folks to the finals of the Pitcher List Legacy League. Every year, twelve of us compete for the PLATYPUS. The Pitcher List Award That You Pulverized US. Ten have been eliminated. Two are left standing.
No. 3 Super Mario Bro vs. No. 1 ManBearPuig
Jonathan Metzelaar vs. Rick Graham
Mono y mono
One week will decide our next champion. So I asked each of them for a quote about the matchup. Rick’s approach was one of pure respect: “First of all, I have to hand it to Austin for his impeccable streaming record this week and causing me to blow my waiver budget just to keep up with him. If it weren’t for some Austin-on-Austin crime late Sunday, Meadows’ 3-run home run, that is, I‘d be playing for third right now. Jon’s got a deep squad so I’m expecting a similar down to the wire finish this weekend.” Rick’s squad has been near the top of the league all season, dominating from the early part of the year. He’ll roll out Zach Davies for a two-start week accompanying Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Shane Bieber, and Charlie Morton in this otherworldly pitching staff.
According to Jon, “the fact that I’ve made 237 transactions this year and find myself in the finals just goes to show that indecisiveness, lack of commitment, and an unhealthy abundance of free time can get you anywhere in life.” Sarcasm drips from his words like dew from a tree, but his point is not wrong. His scouring the wire got him Jorge Soler, Gio Urshela, Bo Bichette, Jake Odorizzi, and Seth Lugo, who have all helped him immensely in his first season up from the Prodigy League. As I said, in a week’s time, we’ll have a victor. We’ll also officially lose three league members, taking the top three from the Prodigy League. The league will look different, but Rick or Jon will always have 2019 because flags fly forever. Oh yeah, and Kyle is playing Austin for third.
– Dave Cherman
The Prodigy League has their championship game set, and it is a surprise. No. 5 seed Astudillo Ghibli (Ben Pernick) will take on No. 6 seed Brennan’s Bold Team (Brennan Gorman) for all the marbles.
We almost didn’t make it here. Ben pulled off a narrow 5-4-1 win over the No. 2 seed Statcast Darlings. He was boosted by Eddie Rosario and Danny Santana’s strong weeks, as well as Kyle Schwarber and Trey Mancini, helping him earn narrow victories in four of the five hitting categories. His pitching staff struggled, but 14 strikeouts from Yu Darvish was enough for him to win one category, and advance to the finals in a real nail-biter.
The other side of the coin was a close one as well, as No. 6 Brennan took on No. 1 Boydz-in-the-Hood (Michael) and downed him, 6-4. Brennan took full advantage of the AL wild card race, with hot hitting from Marcus Semien, Khris Davis and Austin Meadows leading him to victory in four of the five hitting categories. A pair of saves from Ken Giles pretty much sealed it for him in the pitching categories, and he will have a chance to play for it all this week.
– Andy Patton
Looks like the Futures League will end like we always hoped it would. The top two seeds – Dave Fishman’s team (Not Dan) and Paul Ghiglieri’s squad (Paul’s Busty Posers) – take aim at each other. What we didn’t realize is after those two teams blowing the rest of the league out of the water, that it would be such a struggle to get out of the semis.
Paul’s 20-game, in-season tiebreaker was put to good use to finish off Jake Bridges (Valley of the Dahls) 4-4-2. As is the case with any match that requires a tie-breaker to decide, this was extremely close. The two teams tied in both homers (13 apiece) and saves (3). Paul’s guys also rode Mike Moustakas’ eight RBI to win the category by just one (40-39) and WHIP was decided by just a tenth of a point (1.28-1.38).
Not Dan took down Dan Wist’s team (Juanderkinds) 6-3-1, in dominant fashion. Even in the best-case scenario heading into the final day of the week, Juanderkinds would have been able to force a tie but ultimately lose the tie break.
Not Dan’s offense was clutch. Almost all the other categories were blowouts, with Matt Olson (5 HR, 8 R, 10 RBI), Austin Meadows (3 HR, 6 R, 9 RBI), Kris Bryant (3 HR, 9 RBI) and George Springer (4 HR, 7 RBI) fueling an impressive onslaught that accumulated 23 HR, 43 Runs and 55 RBI. Dave’s pitching was also on-point, amassing six wins and a 2.39 ERA thanks to Zack Greinke (2 Wins, 12 Ks, 0.75 ERA, 0.67 WHIP).
All this leads to Dave and Paul fighting for bragging rights…and a little cash. May the best man-ager win.
– Travis Sherer
No. 3 Massive Deverstation (Ben Ruppert) vs No. 2 Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore)
Isn’t it nice when your team walks into the semifinals and puts up a monster performance? Prognosis Negative shellacked Massive Deverstation in 7 categories, taking the overall matchup 7-3. 47 R, 17 HR, 46 RBI, and 10 SB is a hell of a week for hitters, even with the not-great .235 AVG. None of those categories were particularly close. On the pitching side, PN dominated K, ERA, and WHIP too with totals of 66, 3.74, and 1.26, respectively. Even while losing W and SV, the scores were very close at 3-2 for both categories. What can you say, the Prognosis was very, very positive in the semifinals.
No. 4 Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright) vs No. 1 Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze)
I gave Led Z.Eflin the slight edge and boy was it slight indeed. With a 5-4-1 victory, they’ll advance, but not by much. Pitching saved the day as Z.Eflin managed to throw up wins of 2 to 0 in SV, 91 to 70 in K, 2.93 to 6.11 in ERA, and 1.04 to 1.56 in WHIP. Those ratios are… not ideal for the Nats. Offensively, things went a little better with the Nats taking R by 50 to 35, narrowly winning HR by 13 to 12, and AVG by .286 to .261. Z.Eflin took SB 6 to 2 and the teams tied at 37 RBI.
Finals | No. 1 Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze) vs No. 2 Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore)
It’s No. 1 vs No. 2 because we only do chalk around these parts. During the regular season, these two teams took turns pounding each other. In Week 8, Led Z.Eflin put up an amazing performance (.823 xW% and .796 zW%) to take the matchup 9-1. In Week 19, Prognosis Negative almost completely turned the tables with an 8-1-1 thrashing. Toss in that Led Z.Eflin would’ve taken a matchup last week 5-4-1 if matched up and this should be a good show.
The offenses are very evenly matched with a significant lead for PN in R and a slight lead in HR, SB, and AVG while LE has a slight advantage in RBI. On the pitching side, Z.Eflin flips the script with a good lead in SV and K, slight leads in ERA and WHIP, and just missing W, which Prognosis Negative has an 85 to 84 advantage in for the year.
Given the two-week finals, it’s unlikely that one team will have an advantage in starts, as most SP should have 3, unless given a rest in the final week. Z.Eflin has the advantage of rostering Justin Verlander while Prognosis plays craps every week and rolls the dice on Mitch Keller and Dylan Cease. However, flipping that is that neither team has a great bullpen, but with Hector Neris, Prognosis Negative has just a single legit closer while Z.Eflin has Archie Bradley, whom the Diamondbacks have been using in that role and Jairo Diaz and Seth Lugo who have poached some SV in the last month.
On the hitting side, Z.Eflin has an absolutely nuclear Eugenio Suarez who has gone for 19 R, 14 HR, 24 RBI, and a .316 AVG in the last 30 days, supported by Kolten Wong and Tommy Pham who have posted strong AVG lately while combining for 16 SB in the last month. There are some holes in the lineup, especially with a slumping Yasiel Puig.
For Prognosis Negative, Acuna’s been running into some tough luck, but even a bad month from him is nearly 1 R+RBI per day and some SB to boot. Villar is still looking great, the Franimal is playing well, and Austin Meadows is raking. Who will win? Well, I’m calling Prognosis Negative in an upset, by a nose. Their offense is a bit hotter right now and while Z.Eflin’s pitching is slightly superior, pitching comes with inherent variability from week to week. Let’s see how it plays out.
– Ryan Fickes
Well, at least the PL2 playoffs aren’t literally as chalky as they could be, I guess? Whoo, that No. 3 upset over No. 2, can you contain your excitement?!?! Top-seeded and virtually wire-to-wire first-place holder Austin’s Team (Austin Gretencord) predictably advanced to the championship round with a 6-3-1 win over Rhys Lightning (John Wallace). John managed to take three hitting categories to give his team a nice foundation to work from, but even on a good week, his pitchers were unlikely to swing the matchup away from Austin. The two tied with five saves and Austin took the wins category with just three, but 55 Ks, a 2.27 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP were probably never going to get beaten.
Now for that juicy survive-and-advance upset! Yu Snell My Bum (John Hale) pulled a 6-2-2 win over Otto von Bettsmarck (Rob D.) in the semifinals to earn a date with the juggernaut that is Austin’s Team. I don’t want to say John got lucky here, but he won a matchup in which his team put up a .218 batting average and a 5.25 ERA. He did post impressive numbers with 48 runs, six saves and 68 Ks.
So we have the yawn-inducing “Austin’s Team” name versus “Yu Snell My Bum,” a mashup so diabolical I can’t decide if I badly want to meet John Hale or badly want never to. In the immortal words of Al Czervik, “Step right up! Place your bets, place your bets!”
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Welcome to the Top of the Bottom of the Barrel Ewing Oil (Matt McLaughlin) and New World Odor (Colin Ward).
Semifinal: No. 5 Ewing Oil (Matt McLaughlin) defeats No. 1 North Correa (Kyle Frank)
Matt saw 3 HR a piece from Eloy Jimenez and Austin Meadows set the tone for his 6-3-1 victory over Kyle. Batting wise, this matchup was incredibly tight in 3 of 5 categories (38 R to 37 R, tied at 4 SB, and a .253 AVG to .0251), but Matt’s prolific HR spree gave him easy victories in HR (17 to 7) and RBI (46 to 25). On the rubber, Matt and Kyle alternated category wins, with Matt taking 3 of the 5 categories. In the end, Kyle’s strategy of loading up on relievers gave Matt the cushion he needed to rack up strikeouts with his starters (100 Ks to 41, due to a 51.2 IP difference).
Semifinal: No. 3 New World Odor (Colin Ward) defeats No. 2 Donny’s Dandy Team (Donny Moskovits)
Aside from Donny racking up 1 SV to Colin’s 0, Colin took this matchup 9-1. Bo Bichette and Yoan Moncada led the way for Colin as he put up a cumulative line of .263 AVG, 50 R, 16 HR, 39 RBI, and 6 SB. Neither team had a good week on the rubber (4.50 ERA vs. 7.30 ERA, 1.29 WHIP vs 1.58 WHIP), but Colin saw decent performances by Lance Lynn and Jose Berrios to take the W.
– David Fenko