Pitcher List Staff League Review: Week 14

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

 

Week 14 carries with it a shake-up in the standings, but things remain as tight as ever. ManBearPuig (Rick Graham) and Gallo’s Cole (Kyle Bishop) distance themselves slightly from Ian Post, who dropped his second consecutive matchup. Ian’s team has been suffering a major power outage, with just 8 homers over the last two weeks combined. While there’s a little separation at the top, the bottom of the league is as tight as ever—6th, 7th, and 8th are all tied, with 9th and 10th a half game and a game behind, respectively.

Best Performance: Choo-Choo to Buxtown (Max Posner)

Much love to Rick Graham and his first place 8-2 win, but had they played head to head, Max Posner would’ve claimed the W. His team produced a very balanced performance, featuring 3 HRs from Christian Vazquez and Josh Donaldson and big starts from Andrew Cashner and James Paxton, plus two wins and a save from Sean Doolittle. We will find out which of these two are actually superior as Max faces off with Rick in Week 15.

Closest Matchup: After winning the best performance a week ago, my team Who’s Your Vladdy won the closest matchup of the week against none other than How Manny More Times (Nick Pollack). This matchup came down to the wire on Sunday and traded hands a few times. By the end of things, I took away a 5-4 victory, edging Nick in steals (3-2), saves (3-2), and WHIP (1.39 to 1.42). Nick made things closer than they otherwise would’ve been by edging me out in Ks (49 to 48), RBI (31 to 30) and ERA (4.40 to 4.58). In Week 15, my squad will take on 2nd place Kyle Bishop, while Nick will take on 5th place Austin Bristow II.

 

— Dave Cherman

Prodigy League

 

Biggest victory: Acuña Moncada (Austin) over Hurling Archer (Stephen) 9-0

Last week saw our first 10-0 shutout of the season, but the losing team was disqualified from all the pitching categories for not throwing enough innings. That was not the case this week, as Austin’s team just absolutely dominated Stephen’s squad in every facet of the game.

They tied with four steals apiece, but Austin’s 12 home runs, 33 RBI and .309 average were too much on the offensive side, while his ridiculously good 1.95 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 50.2 innings was nearly unstoppable. He has a pair of Rays, Charlie Morton and Blake Snellto thank for that. Austin climbed into sixth place with the sweep, bumping Stephen into fourth.

Closest Matchup: Troy Klauder (Troy) vs. Statcast Darlings (Michael) 4-3

Troy and Michael are in first and third, respectively, so it’s no surprise their teams were locked in a tightly contested battle. Runs, home runs and RBI all finished exactly tied—something you don’t see every day. Michael had commanding victories in saves (6-0) and strikeouts (64-46) while narrowly escaping with steals (5-3).

However, Troy’s dominating pitching continued, as he took victories in wins (6-3), ERA (1.36) and WHIP (0.80). A small win in batting average (.310 – .293) was enough to carry him to victory and keep him in first place.

Biggest Waiver Wire Add: Joc Pederson (Andrew Gould)

So Pederson hit .100 with one RBI for Andrew after he picked him up last week, but guess what? He won the RBI category by one, 23-22, and only won his overall matchup 6-4, making that one RBI from Pederson crucial to his victory.

In a week where most of the waiver wire adds didn’t help at all, Pederson gets the nod for his small, but meaningful, contribution to Andrew’s squad.

 

– Andy Patton

 

Futures League

 

Best Performance: Dave Fisher (Not Dan) def. Rob (Inglourious Baezterd), 9-0

It’d be hard to win 9-0 and not earn the top performance. This could have been a clean sweep, as the only category in doubt was Wins (3-3).

Still, Dan might have had the best overall offensive performance, led by Mike Trout (6 HR, 10 RBI) and the Guppies, Matt Olson and Josh Donaldson (3 HR apiece), to the tune of 16 dingers and a .289 average. Dave’s pitching was equally as dominating, with a 2.70 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and seven Saves. Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Luis Castillo together allowed just one earned run for Dave.

Closest Matchup: Travis Sherer (Coffee’s for Closers) def. Alex Drennan (Bomb Voyage), 5-4

To be honest, there really wasn’t a close matchup this week. A few teams came very close in certain categories, but none would have changed the outcome of a win or loss for the week. Most were like this matchup, with one category in play. In this case it was Saves (1-1).

Weirdest Team Stat: Dan Richards (Yu Can’t Judge)

It literally doesn’t get any closer than this. Dan beat one of the other Dans (Dan McNamara—we have three Dans in this league) in both Average and ERA by .01. One fewer hit and Dan wouldn’t have taken BA .281-.280 and one less out recorded by a pitcher and he wouldn’t have taken ERA 4.39-4.40.

Biggest Performance-Enhancing Wire Add: Michael Pineda

On Sunday, Dan Richards picked up Pineda and rode his 6 innings of one-run ball to edge Dan out in ERA (see above). Pineda’s 9 Ks also helped him put that category out of reach.

– Travis Sherer

 

PL-League-1

 

The Top Four teams remained the same, despite a slight stumble from Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright), as they dropped their matchup with the Maryland Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes) 4 – 6. Stephen Dudas’s Team (Stephen Dudas) has officially fallen out of playoff position after tying Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore), while Hedenson’s Team (Hunter Denson) took down Nicholas’s Team (Nick Gerli) by 7 – 3.

Best Performance

Mikey’s Team (Michael Ajeto) continues improving significantly on their earlier performances, posting a 4.18 zTotal compared to their average week. However, in terms of the league average for the week, it was Mostly Nats with a 7.39 zTotal taking the week’s top position, strong across the board with a 3.68 zHit and 3.71 zPitch. Led Z.Eflin had a typically strong week at 5.24 zTotal.

Strongest Category: Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze) with a 2.22 zERA from 8 W.

Weakest Category: Beliebers (Ben Hizer) with a -1.92 zAVG from a .223 AVG.

Best Matchup

Mostly Nats and Maryland Wolfdogs had an extremely tough battle to the tune of a combined .732 xW% and .702 zW%. The Nats were supported by a strong hitting performance with 34 R, 40 RBI, 10 HR, 4 SB and a .280 AVG responsible for their four team wins on the week. Unfortunately for Charlie, the Wolfdogs have resolved some of their hitting woes and managed 12 HR to steal that category. On the pitching side, the Nats would’ve done very well against most other teams with 4 W, 3 SV, 64 K, a 2.34 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Pitching is where the Wolfdogs shine though, and they posted 5 W, 4 SV and 65 K—taking each of those categories by 1—along with a 2.02 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, giving the Wolfdogs a 4 – 0 record in tossups against the Nats.

Statistical Oddities

It’s not so much a statistical oddity, but Massive Deverstation (Ben Ruppert) did… not have a good week. Admittedly, bad things typically happen to a team’s record when playing Led Z.Eflin and Ben’s 2 – 7 – 1 record on the week reflects that. Even considering that, posting a -8.02 zTotal compared to the team’s average on the year is not good. 28 R, a .228 AVG, 0 W, 5.56 ERA and 1.41 WHIP simply won’t cut it most of the time, even if Deverstation did take WHIP on the week thanks to Z.Eflin posting a 1.45.

– Ryan Fickes

 

PL-League-2

 

Best performance: Choosing someone for this honor in the kinds of weeks PL2 had in Week 14 always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The truth is that there just wasn’t a performance in the league where a manager’s team put up great (or even good) numbers both on offense and in pitching. All the teams with strong showings on one side of the ledger were underwhelming on the other.

So, given that, we’ll default to best result, essentially, where it becomes much more clear-cut. Austin’s Team (Austin Gretencord) extended its first-place lead with a 9-1 victory over Rhys Lightning (John Wallace) that, in another week, could have looked vastly different. Austin took every offensive category but steals by putting up 32 runs, 34 RBI, 20 home runs and a .278 batting average. Nothing just bad, but nothing really outstanding, either. And it’s more of the same on the mound, where Austin’s pitchers posted four wins, two saves, a 3.88 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Here’s one standout number for Austin’s Team this week: 71 Ks!

Closest Matchup: Despite Austin’s big win and an 8-2 victory by Yu Snell My Bum? (John Hale) over Madison’s Wild Ride (Jamie Sayer), this was overall a tight week in PL2. Two matchups tied (5-5 and 4-4-2) and the other two ended 6-4 and 5-4-1. The closest in terms of actual categories, though, has to be that 6-4 one won by Holland Otts (Clay Cotton) over MonStarz (Kyle Monson). Monson took batting average by a mere .004 points, .276 to .272, but wasn’t as fortunate in Saves or HR, both of which Clay won by just one. Clay also took RBI by a relatively small margin, 32-36.

Biggest waiver pickup: Aaron Raised a Cain (Daniel Port) snagged Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kevin Newman on Monday, who went on to hit .667 with two runs scored, four RBI, a homer and a steal for the week.

– Jordan Larimore

 

The Bottom of the Barrel

 

Best Performance: Escaff (Eric Schaff)

Each week, I’ve been judging the performance of the teams in the Bottom of the Barrel league through the lens of rotisserie points earned during the week. A team can score a maximum of 120 points (12 points per category over 10 categories), which provides the context for Eric’s Week 14 victory. In the tightest week in league history, Eric took the weekly crown with 73 roto points for the week. For the week, the range of roto points is 31, while the mean (61.25), median (64) and mode (69) are all in the 60’s. In other words, this week was an 11-team free-for-all for best performance. Fittingly, Eric took the crown playing with one less roster spot than the rest of the league, choosing to start Tyler Skaggs in memorial.

Closest Performance: Eschaff (Eric Schaff) vs. North Correa (Kyle Frank)

Eric and Kyle finished the week tied at 5, which was backed up by their performance when compared to the league as a whole. Eric took 4 batting categories, though R and RBI were by one a piece. Kyle handily won 4 pitching categories, being narrowly edged out on WHIP by Eric (1.16 to 1.11). Stephen Strasburg and David Price led the charge for Kyle, amassing 27 K’s, 3 W and stellar ratios. On the offensive side of the ball, Whit Merrifield and Jean Segura were on the base paths all week, accumulating 4 SB between them while batting north of .340.

 

– David Fenko

(Graphic by Nathan Mills/ @NathanMillsPL)

Andy Patton

Andy is the GIF Manager here at PitcherList. He manages the Nastiest Pitches articles while also contributing a weekly article on Deep League Adds and 'The Rotation', an Anti-List post about music and baseball. Beat writer for the Seattle Seahawks (SeahawksWire) as well as a contributor at Prospects1500 and Rotoballer. Diehard Tigers fan and Gonzaga graduate.

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