Pitcher List Staff League Review: Week 1
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; bottom three, you move down.
Best Performance: ManBear Puig (Rick Graham)
On the back of an absurd 2.18 ERA and 1.04 WHIP on 91 IP, Rick rolled to a dominant 8-2 victory over Alex Fast, who matched him for the most part on offense but lagged behind just a bit, losing HRs by 1, RBI by 7, and average by 8 points. It’s a tough-luck loss to a team that was just firing on all cylinders.
Closest Matchup: It’s really a toss-up.
Who’s Your Vladdy (Dave Cherman) edged out Max Posner’s Team (Max Posner) by the slightest of margins, going 5-4-1 with a tie in steals and a 1 RBI advantage despite losing HRs by just 1. Meanwhile, Ian’s Team (Ian Post) edged out Chapman & The Hosk (Myles Nelson) by the same margin of 5-4-1 with Ian edging Myles by one steal. Myles also took batting average by just 3 points.
Best Performance: Brandon’s Team (Brandon Lundberg)
Brandon’s Team got off to a hot start this season, winning 9-1 thanks to monster weeks from catcher Gary Sanchez and 2B Jonathan Villar, oh and some guy named Mike Trout. It didn’t hurt that Shane Greene of all people earned seven(!) saves, and that Matthew Boyd recorded 23 strikeouts. Saved by Tigers pitching is not something we were expecting this early in the season – or at all really. Nice work by Brandon though.
Closest Matchup: Andy Patton (Oh Say Can Yusei) vs Nate von Benken (Nate’s Nifty Team)
Although the final score was 6-2-2, the matchup between Andy (Oh Say Can Yusei) and Nate (Nate’s Nifty Team) was a close one throughout. The final day got away from Andy however, as his team hit just .139 and Brad Keller only managed three strikeouts while Nate’s squad featured outstanding starts from Mike Clevinger and Merrill Kelly, leading to 15.0 innings of 0.60 ERA ball with 21 strikeouts and a comfortable Week 1 victory.
Weirdest Stat: Adam’s Okay Team was decidedly okay indeed, winning all five hitting categories but getting smoked by Brennen’s Bold Team in all five pitching categories, leading to a Week 1 tie. Adam’s squad featured strong hitting from Michael Conforto, Aaron Judge, Alex Bregman and Mitch Haniger, but disastrous pitching performances by Walker Buehler, Jose Quintana, Carlos Carrasco and Kyle Hendricks did him in to kick off the 2019 campaign.
– Andy Patton
Best Performance: Bomb Voyage (Alex Drennan)
In a losing effort, Alex’s team jacked a mind-boggling 24 homers with 72 RBIs. His team did exactly what he was hoping, but the squad led by Bellinger/Sanchez/Arenado/K. Davis/Stanton wasn’t good enough.
Closest Matchup: Take your pick.
Three matchups resulted in 5-5 ties while the other three were 5-4. Dan Richards’ (Yu Can’t Judge) 5-4 win over Dave Fishman (Not Dan) really could have gone either way, with Dan taking WHIP 1.18 to 1.17 and losing RBI 42-43. Average was also close, with Dan taking it .246 to .239.
Weirdest team stat: Travis Sherer’s (Coffee’s for Closers) pitchers threw 75.2 innings in the first week to the tune of a 3.33 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP but somehow did not garner a single staff win.
Biggest Performance Enhancing Wire Add: Jake Bridges (Valley of the Dahls) picked up Zach Eflin on Sunday, April 7 and started him. Eflin threw seven innings of one-run ball with a 0.86 WHIP. That pickup won Jake WHIP, snatched him from the jaws of defeat and earned him a 5-5 tie.
– Travis Sherer
Our league didn’t complete our draft in time (not my fault!), so we’re starting this week. Here’s the preview, though*:
Top 3 Teams are (xW% | zW% | vW%):
1. Justin Paradis (.727 | .698 | .695)
2. Ryan Fickes (.618 | .609 | .650)
3. Alex Isherwood (.700 | .707 | .627).
Also projected into the playoffs are Charlie Wright, Max Freeze, and Ben Ruppert.
Things’ aren’t looking great for Ryan Amore (.300 | .318 | .364), Ben Hizer (.318 | .349 | .364), and Michael Ajeto (.277 | .267 | .309).
Ryan Fickes has the most polarizing team with just half of the projected toss-up decisions as anyone else in the league, thanks to a heavy emphasis on pitching in the draft (projected to finish first in all five pitching categories). He also has the strongest overall projected category with an insane 2.45 z-score in WHIP. On the flip side, his -2.12 z-score in HR is the worst in the league. Justin Paradis has an extremely strong offense with a projected .772 winning percentage in offensive categories.
To explain further on xW, zW, and vW:
xW% (eXpected Winning Percentage) is effectively roto standings for a head to head league, converted to winning percentage. Each team is ranked in each category and those convert to winning percentages. This is useful for determining how lucky a team has been in its matchups when compared to aW% (Actual Winning Percentage).
zW% (Z-score Winning Percentage) is similar, but instead of using each team’s rank for each category, each team’s z-score for each category is calculated and then a normal distribution is applied. The advantage over xW% is that with xW%, leading another team in a category like R by 1 is the same as leading by 100. zW% calculates the relative strength of each team in each category, so that leading by 100 is much more valuable than leading by 1.
vW% (Variable Winning Percentage) is a “simulation” of each team’s schedule for the entire season. However, because performances are likely to be fairly variable over the course of the season, I award a tie if the two teams would be projected to finish within a certain percentage of each other (typically 5%). This has the effect of regressing projected winning percentages towards .500 and has proven to be the most accurate projection of winning percentage in my long-term keeper league (because we don’t play a balanced schedule the way the 12-team Pitcher List leagues do).
*Projections from Fangraphs Depth Chart
– Ryan Fickes
Best Performance: Ol’ Dirty Bastardo (Adam Lawler)
Adam had an unbelievable week both on offense and on the mound on the way to a dominant 8-2 win over Madison’s Wild Ride (Jamie Sayer). Lawler’s hitters look very balanced as they mashed a league-high 23 home runs and led all teams with 12 stolen bases in the first matchup. He also managed a 3.22 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. The only categories Adam lost were wins and Ks.
Closest Matchup: Otto Van Bettsmarck (Rob D.) vs. Yu Snell My Bum (John Hale)
An extra four days of games weren’t enough to determine a winner between Rob and John as the two played to a 4-4-2 tie. And it wasn’t because both teams had particularly great weeks. Otto won AVG .237 to .229, while Yu took the matchup’s ERA crown with a 3.95 mark. The two tied with 15 home runs and two saves each. Three other categories, R, SB, and W, separated the two by a combined six points (2 R, 3 SB, 1 W).
Weirdest team stat:
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Best Performance: New World Odor (Colin Ward)
Colin went 9-1 in his matchup against Jim Chatterton and the record was well deserved. Aside from punting saves for the week, if we were using roto scoring Colin would have gotten 12 points in all of the offensive categories and 10-12 points in all of the non-save pitching categories. Colin’s team was led by Cody Bellinger and his ridiculous 17 R, 18 RBI, 7 HR, .455 average week and Jose Berrios who logged 21 Ks on the way to a 2.18 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP.
Closest Matchup: Kramerica Industries (Erik Smith) vs. Wacha Flocka Flame (Kyle Frank)
The Bottom of the Barrel league had two ties this week, but the matchup between Erik and Kyle finished 4-4-2, adding two tied categories to a tie. Interestingly enough, each team took 2 offensive categories, 2 pitching categories, and tied on stolen bases and wins.
– David Fenko