Pitcher List Staff League Review: Week 11

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.

 

Legacy League

 

Best Performance: ManBearPuig (Rick Graham)

Sometimes our opponent goes out and puts up a performance that questions why we even trotted out a lineup that week. As Jonathan Metzelaar, Rick’s Week 11 opponent said in our discord channel, “I’m playing this week under protest because Rick’s offense is just unfair.” And so it was, as Rick’s squad posted 16 HRs and 54 RBI to go along with his .285 AVG. The power barrage was led by Hunter Renfroe‘s 5 big flies and 8 RBI, which tied with two others for second among Rick’s hitters with Josh Bell and David Dahl, while Robinson Chirinos and Eduardo Escobar had 9!

And it wasn’t just his offense, either. Over 67 innings, Rick’s pitching staff struck out 87 to the tune of a 2.96 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. It certainly helps to have Hyun-Jin Ryu these days. Rick 7-3-1) jumps up to second with the victory and matches up with 12th place Bogaey On Your Tail (Alex Fast) in Week 12.

Closest Matchup: Max Posner’s Team (Max Posner) vs. Chapman & The Hosk (Myles Nelson)

This one easily could’ve been Kyle Bishop vs. Ian Post, and that one would’ve been particularly interesting because it was a first vs. second place matchup. But the closest matchup this past week was in face Max and Myles, because it truly came down to the wire and the two had more closely contested categories.

Entering Sunday with a deficit, Myles managed to tie things up with a steal by Mookie Betts, but Max would counter, as Andrew Miller stole a relief win, regaining Max’s 5-4 lead. Myles hoped and prayed for an Anthony Rizzo steal in the nightcap but would leave disappointed, as his team was handed a narrow defeat. Myles’s squad tried to grab the W with a .438 batting average on Sunday, raising his overall line to .290, but Max matched Myles’ .438, raising his line to a whopping .319.

Better days lie ahead for Myles, who drops to ninth place, but maybe not this week as he takes on first place Ian Post. Max remains in 11th and will do business with myself, Who’s Your Vladdy, in Week 12.

— Dave Cherman

Prodigy League

 

Best Performance: Astudillo Ghibli (Ben Pernick) vs. Oh Say Can Yusei (Andy Patton): 9-1

Every single matchup in the Prodigy League finished either 5-5 or 6-4, except mine. I’d like to defend myself by saying this matchup was 6-4 throughout most of the week, but if I’m being honest with myself, I got crunched by Ben’s team. Ben ran Trea Turner, Hunter Renfroe and Anthony Rendon‘s hot weeks all over me, and while neither team pitched exceptionally well, my team’s 5.28 ERA and 1.46 WHIP just isn’t going to cut it. Thanks a lot, Tyler Mahle, Griffin Canning, Zach Plesac and Mitch Keller. On to next week, where I try to get myself out of the cellar.

Closest Matchup: Honestly, all of them. It was a wild week. We had two 5-5 ties, one 5-4 victory and two 6-4 victories, keeping the standings looking very similar across the board. The closest was probably our leader Troy Klauder’s narrow 5-4 victory over Andrew Gould’s team. Troy’s team narrowly won in runs (45-44) and steals (4-2) while just losing in home runs (16-14) and strikeouts (53-52) and tying in wins with three apiece. What a battle.

Weirdest stat:

Jeff’s Majestic Team actually won in strikeouts, 33-23 over Adam’s team, but he didn’t have enough innings to qualify for any of the pitching categories, and ended up tying 5-5. His team had 33 strikeouts in 25.1 innings, compared to Adam’s 23 in 32.2, but the disqualification led to a 5-5 tie. Bummer.

Biggest Waiver Wire Add: Anibal Sanchez

Although Ben’s team crushed me 9-1, his addition of Anibal Sanchez still had a big impact on the outcome. Sanchez tossed six innings of two-run ball to earn the win in his one start last week, a big outing that helped Ben sweep the pitching categories.

– Andy Patton

 

Futures League

 

Best Performance: Jake Bridges (Valley of the Dahls) def. Alex Drennan (Bomb Voyage) 5-3

In a week that saw record-breaking home run totals, Valley of the Dahls easily had the best pitching performance, riding Zack Eflin, Cole Hamels and Jacob deGrom to a 3.11 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 4 wins. Ozzie Albies, Yordan Alvarez, Rafael Devers and Yasmani Grandal also helped Jake’s squad to an insane .348 average, and a less insane (for this week anyway) 16 HR with 50 RBIs.

Closest Matchup: Dave Fisher (Not Dan) def. Paul Ghiglieri (Paul’s Busty Posers), 6-4

The battle for first place lived up to its billing in Week 11, with Not Dan coming away with the win, behind an insane 19 homers (yes, he had Charlie Blackmon on his squad) and seven saves (thank you Will Smith). WHIP was as close as it gets, with both teams at 1.26 but Not Dan getting the edge in the thousandth decimal spot. Average was also close (.313-.308), as was runs (52-49).

Weirdest Team Stat: 1.26 WHIP, Not Dan & Paul’s Busty Posers

Despite both teams having a 1.26 WHIP, their ERA was in stark contrast (5.09-3.71), with Not Dan coming out ahead. Combine that with the Posers killing it in K-rate (10.9 to 6.9) and this pitching matchup was a real head-scratcher.

Biggest Performance-Enhancing Wire Add: Adam Eaton & Scott Kingery, Not Dan

Usually I pick just one transaction, but Dave Fisher’s pickups of Eaton and Kingery earned him the victory as the pair hit .375 an .400 respectively to help him take average and the week, 6-4.

– Travis Sherer

 

PL-League-1

 

Any person who ever plays fantasy baseball must learn the harsh lessons that such an endeavor eventually teaches: Fantasy baseball is hard. Pitchers are evil. Trust in the model.

The first was clearly demonstrated this week by Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze), who despite dominating for almost all of the season and sitting in first place, both in record and metrics, got shellacked by the formerly last place Mikey’s Team 8-1-1. The second is just known, because of the high variability of pitching performances in a given week. The third was demonstrated by the Dudas (Stephen Dudas) and Maryland Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes) matchup, who regressed to the mean harder than a fast starting 35-year-old utility infielder with a .450 BAbip.

Best Performance: This can’t go to anyone other than Mikey. Facing a likely crushing defeat, with an expected pRec of 0-10 against Z.Eflin, Mikey came to play. A .577 xW% and .599 zW% is a pretty solid showing for a week, but considering the team’s .195 and .196 on the season, respectively, that’s a miracle. Mikey was already coming off a season-best performance last week with numbers just over .500, then kicked it up a notch with a season best 42 R (+8 over previous best), 31 RBI (+2), 13 HR (+1), 6 SB (tied), and .299 AVG (+.011).

The pitching was solid, too. All told it was an 8.09 zHit for the week and 2.81 zPitch, giving Mikey only the second 10+ zTotal (compared to the team’s yearly averages) week on the season. That’s why they play the games!

Strongest Category: Alex’s Team (Alex Isherwood) with a 2.07 zRBI from 57 RBI.

Weakest Category: Nicholas’s Team (Nick Gerli) with a -2.40 zR from 22 R.

Closest and Best Matchups:

Technically, the best matchup was the tilt between Hedenson’s Team (Hunter Denson) and Alex’s Team, with a combined .567 zW%. However, let’s go back to the third point from above about the model. All season long, Dudas was sitting at the top of the league in actual record while the metrics positioned the team closer to ninth place. The reverse was true for the Wolfdogs, who have struggled to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot despite metrics indicating a clear top-six team.

A lot of this can be due to scheduling or simply highly variable performances. The latter is a serious issue for the Dogs, as they rely almost exclusively on pitching (don’t do this … ever). Dudas meanwhile had avoided the very strong Z.Eflin until the upcoming week (at which point every team will have played every team once) and teams simply had bad weeks against Dudas, averaging a -1.21 zTotal compared to each team’s average.

However, the truth about baseball and the models that examine it is that given a large-enough sample size, things will start to shake out. That happened in Week 11 with a 7-2-1 win for the Wolfdogs, accelerating the Dudas’ slide (.414 xW%, .401 zW%, .415 pW%) and pulling the Dogs back into contention (.523 xW%, .531 zW%, .545 pW%).

Sometimes a manager might look at their team and see a disappointing record and make a panic trade; sometimes an inflated record can lead to standing pat. But always remember to look beyond the record in a head to head league, because the concept of “true talent level” applies in fantasy baseball just as much as MLB.

Statistical Oddities:

The six playoff position teams had a combined .467 aW% this week, while the six non-playoff teams had a .533. Go figure.

 

– Ryan Fickes

 

PL-League-2

 

Best Performance: DeJong and DeRestless (Nathan Mills)

A very strong week by DeJong and DeRestless (Nathan Mills) vaulted him into first place, surpassing Austin (Gretencord)’s Team, which had occupied PL2’s top spot virtually all year. Nathan posted an 8-2 win over Yu Snell My Bum (John Hale) by putting up 80 R/RBI, 15 home runs, eight steals and batting .292.

His pitchers were also very good, as the team’s ERA was 3.10 for the week to go along with a 1.17 WHIP, four wins, three saves and 62 Ks. Interestingly, Nathan was a couple more strikeouts from a 9-1 victory as John edged him out by one in that category.

Closest Matchup:This was a pretty tight week overall in PL2 with a 5-5 tie, two 6-4 wins and a 5-4-1 matchup, but Ol’ Dirty Bastardo (Adam Lawler) and MonStarz (Kyle Monson) earn the nod for closest matchup. Four categories in their matchup were won by just one point. Home runs, wins, steals and saves could all have changed the landscape of this matchup with just a slightly more favorable week. Outside of those, WHIP and ERA were both very close, too. Adam won WHIP 1.29 to 1.32, while Kyle took ERA 3.72 to 3.84. This matchup could easily have been 10-0 either way.

 

– Jordan Larimore

 

The Bottom of the Barrel

 

Best Performance: Rich’s Team (Rich Holman)

For any given week, there are 120 rotisserie points that can be earned. In Week 11, Rich earned 96 roto points for the week, which is the league’s new gold standard. In a week where there were more teams with a .300 batting average than not (as compared to most weeks where one to four teams hit that mark), Rich’s .310 was only good for fifth place.

However, Rich’s team managed to churn out 52 R and 14 HR on those 78 hits. Buoyed by 6 SB and 35 RBI (which was the only tie in a near-flawless week), Rich’s team managed to convert the hits into other categories. Since so many teams saw an uptick in batting this week, Rich’s pedestrian 3.35 ERA and 1.20 WHIP were good for second and third place, respectively.

Closest Matchup: Kramerica Industries (Erik Smith) vs. Tinseltown Monarchs (Jessica)

Erik came out ahead in the actual matchup (5-3), but these two teams played each other very close when compared to all of the other teams in the league (74 – 75 in roto points). Jessica’s team continues to out-pitch the rest of us, putting up a stellar 2.45 ERA and 1.03 WHIP on the week, which paired nicely with a .341 batting average. Erik made the most of his 74 hits by scoring 45 R and adding 49 RBI. In identical innings pitched, Erik got 2 more wins (4-2) than Jessica and 6 more Ks (56 to 50), which was the difference-maker in the matchup.

– David Fenko

Featured image by Nathan Mills

Jordan Larimore

I'm a local news reporter and former sports reporter at a The Joplin Globe. Pinch hitter at birdsontheblack.com. I still have nightmares about Travis Ishikawa. Yes, I'm a Cardinals fan. I'm sorry about most of the rest of them.

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