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.
Four weeks. That’s all that remains to decide who will be relegated to the Prodigy League. Last year, we lost Ben Pernick and Steve Honovich. This year, after the results of Week 17, we’re on pace to lose Nick Pollack, Max Posner, and Alex Fast. Yes, the two top dogs at Pitcher List are in relegation territory. Code Red. It’s all very tight at the bottom though with three teams only a half game ahead of Nick. Who will get demoted? Only time will tell.
Best Performance: Ian’s Pornogriffey (Ian Post)
A 10-0 shutout will most always get you crowned for Best Performance. Ian’s team utilized a balanced approach and dominated from start to finish, registering 11 HRs, 6 steals, a .271 average, 6 saves, a 12.6 K/9 (we use Ks but this demonstrates the dominance better), and a 1.08 WHIP. Utter domination from the team that held first for so long to start the year. Ian moves to fourth with the win and gets Jay Dunbar in Week 18.
Closest Matchup: How Manny More Times (Nick Pollack) vs ManBearPuig (Rick Graham)
There were a number of close matchups in the league this past week but none closer than this one, which came down to the wire. Entering Sunday night, Nick and Rick (there’s a joke there) were tied 4-4 with only Andrew Benintendi remaining. Nick needed 1 R or 3 RBI to take the win and if you check the box scores, you’ll see Benintendi gave Nick a very cruel 0 R and 2 RBI, leaving him one short in both categories. Nick almost had the win with his pitching staff as well, but only one of his three starters was able to pull out a W, leaving the pair tied in that category as well. With the tie, Nick drops to 10th, as mentioned, ahead of a matchup against Ben Palmer. Rick stays in first leading up to an exciting 1-2 matchup vs. Kyle Bishop.
Jon Metzelaar Transaction Watch: This week was fairly quiet with only six Jonny transactions. I’m going to have the cops send someone to his apartment to see if he’s ok.
— Dave Cherman
Best Performance: Astudillo Ghibli (Ben) vs. Acuna Moncada (Austin): 7-2
We actually had three 7-2-1 victories in the Prodigy League last week, but Ben’s victory over Austin was the most commanding. He rode stellar weeks from Trey Mancini and Anthony Rendon to victories in four out of the five hitting categories, with a 1-1 tie in steals. His pitching staff, anchored by Yu Darvish and Noah Syndergaard, helped him capture big victories in wins and strikeouts. Ben picked up seven points to stay in eighth place, one point ahead of Andrew Gould who also had eight points.
Closest Matchup: Oh Say Can Yusei (Andy) vs. Troy Klauder: 5-4
I won one! It’s been a rough go for me this season, but I managed to edge out our current leader 5-4-1 last week. I had narrow margins of victory in runs (33-30) steals (8-7) batting average (.231-.229) saves (1-0) and ERA (4.03-4.05). We tied in wins (three each) and Troy took the other categories fairly handily, but it came down to a Sunday afternoon steal by Eugenio Suarez for me to narrowly earn the victory.
Biggest Waiver Wire Add: Bo Bichette, SS, Jeff’s Majestic Team
Jeff picked up Bichette just before last week’s matchup, and the rookie infielder managed to hit a cool .368 with two runs, one home run and two RBI for him in his closer than you’d expect 7-2 victory over Hurling Archer (Steven).
– Andy Patton
Best Performance: Dan Fishman (Not Dave) def. Dan (Juanderkinds), 7-3
Team Not Dave had the best all-around performance in Week 17 with big power and stingy pitching. Fueled by Josh Donaldson and Austin Meadows, Dan’s squad powered its way to 14 homers and 39 runs, both wins. As far as pitching went, Luis Castillo, Alex Young, Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke helped sweep the pitching categories with three wins, five saves, 56 Ks, a 2.31 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
Closest Matchup: There weren’t really any close calls this week. Even in the two 5-4-1 results, almost all of the categories were settled before the final day, with the exception of wins or stolen bases. I guess the closest matchup was Jake (Valley of the Dahls) vs. Rob (Inglorious Baezterd), which could have gone either way with a tie in stolen bases (5-5), a semi-close batting average race (.272-.280 in favor of the Baezterds) and wins also favoring the rag tag group, 4-3.
– Travis Sherer
The tiers of the league continued differentiating themselves this week, as the top four teams took care of business and mostly extended their lead over the rest of the league while the middle of the pack wallowed in mediocrity. Probably the most important result of the week sees The Ice Horse Train (Justin Paradis) close the gap in their desperate effort to avoid relegation to just a half-game behind the Maryland Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes).
Overall, the entire league suffered a down week, as teams posted an average -2.33 zTotal compared to their average performances on the season, which makes Air Yordans’ great week even more impressive.
– Ryan Fickes
Best Performance: DeJong and DeRestless (Nathan Mills)
Otto Von Bettsmarck (Rob D.) continued his climb toward the top of PL2, and potentially to promotion as he now sits in third place after a 9-1 victory over The Luzardo King (Kevin Dalby). Rob’s pitchers had a ridiculous week, winning eight games, saving three and striking out 81. None of that was lucky, it appears, as Bettsmarck’s hurlers put up a 2.91 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Rob swept all of those categories and lost only batting average, .313 to .247.
Closest Matchup: Aaron Raised a Cain (Daniel Port) and Madison’s Wild Ride (Jamie Sayer) played to a 5-5 matchup, and five or so categories could easily have flipped with some different fortunes for either player. Most of the luck went Daniel’s way this week as he won HR by two, RBI by four and wins by two. Jamie, though, took R by eight, and saves 2-1.
Strangest statistic: In all my years playing fantasy baseball, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this. At the end of last week, PL2 reached the trade deadline without a single exchange of players having been made. That’s right: not one trade was made in this staff league all year long. Like all of the real-life MLB teams who won’t have the waiver trade period of August, these rosters are more or less what we’ve got the rest of the way.
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Best Performance: New World Odor (Colin Ward)
Rougned Odor is still employed on the team bearing his namesake and in Week 17, he delivered a line of .385 AVG, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 1 SB toward the cause. In a roto setting, Colin had 10 more points than the second place team this week (at 81), yet only won the matchup against Tinseltown Monarchs (Jessica) 6-4. Despite owning Masahiro Tanaka, Colin still got the W on the backs of Jose Berrios and Jeff Samardzija.
Closest Matchup:Donny’s Dandy Team (Donny Moskovits) vs. Ewing Oil (Matt McLaughlin)
A 5-5 matchup that was only separated by 1 rotisserie point is about as close as it has gotten in the Bottom of the Barrel league this year. This matchup was a back and forth affair of two slightly above-average teams for the week. Highlights include Eric Hosmer trying his best to live up to his contract (.462 AVG, 5 R, 2 HR, and 6 RBI) for Donny and Matt’s Rockies having a great week at the plate (Ian Desmond and Ryan McMahon).
– David Fenko
Featured image by Nathan Mills