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.
It’s time once again for relegation watch! With my loss to Austin Bristow, I drop down to 10th, in a tie with Myles Nelson and Nick Pollack, entering relegation territory along with Max Posner and Alex Fast. Both Nick and Myles are on the verge of dropping into relegation territory, with Ben Palmer only a half game ahead of that. It’s a race away from the bottom and right now myself, Max, and Alex are losing that race. Austin added insult to injury with respect to Alex’s 3-15 season, saying “I would like to request an article. “Bogaey on Your Tail: What Went Wrong: A Case Study” including both colons.” To be fair, Alex has won twice in the last three weeks, but it’s still been a season to forget.
Best Performance: Troy & Amed in the AM (Austin Bristow II)
Where to start. On Tuesday, Austin hit 5 HRs with 12 RBI and a .343 average, then put it away entirely on Wednesday, with 6 HRs, 16 RBI, 2 SBs, and a .424 average. C’mon … why? He had three different hitters hit 3 HRs and two more hit 2 HRs. Add 8 SBs to 18 HRs and 50 RBI and the hitting stats just weren’t close. But he must’ve had a rough pitching week, right? Well, he’s under “Best Performance” so you tell me. Six W on top of a 2.25 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP over 76 IP. 37 Ks from Trevor Bauer, German Marquez, and Ryan Yarbrough.
Jon Metzelaar had a claim to this honor, as he scored a 10-0 victory over Myles Nelson, versus Bristow’s 9-1 win, but had they faced each other head to head, Austin would’ve won 6-4, so he gets the W. Special shout out to Rick Graham and his 8-2 victory over Kyle Bishop.
Closest Matchup: How Manny More Times (Nick Pollack) vs Wig Wam Pham (Ben Palmer)
The Battle of PL OGs went absolutely down to the wire. Let’s start with the final line: 14 HRs to 14 HRs, 34 RBI to 34 RBI, 59-51 in Ks, 3.31 to 3.57 in ERA. It came down to Sunday, with Ben’s team banging out 5 HRs and 11 RBI on Sunday vs Nick’s 1 and 3 to tie both those categories. Shoutout to Hunter Dozier for his 2 HRs on Sunday; they were part of his 4 HR, .455 AVG week. Second only to Aristides Aquino and his 4 HRs.
— Dave Cherman
Best Performance: Acuna Moncada vs. Nate’s Nifty Team, 8-1
Acuna Moncada (Austin) had an absolutely dominant week, hitting a blistering 24 home runs with 53 runs scored, 50 RBI, six stolen bases and a .355 batting average. It’s nearly impossible to top that. Yordan Alvarez, Keston Hiura, Carlos Correa, Fernando Tatis Jr., Nicholas Castellanos and of course Ronald Acuna were an incredible winning combination this week. Austin’s pitching wasn’t great (5.43 ERA) but he still took victories in saves, strikeouts and WHIP, leading to the easy victory and a move up in the standings into fourth place.
Closest Matchup: Oh Say Can Yusei (Andy) vs. Andrew Gould, 6-4
I continue my slow climb out of the cellar with back-to-back narrow victories. The hitting categories were very close in this one, I had a narrow margin of victory in runs (40-34) and home runs (13-11) while Gould took RBI (34-30) steals (3-2) and average (.262-.242). However, my pitching clearly had the upper hand as my team posted a 2.44 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with three wins and 56 strikeouts, thanks to strong outings from Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May and Sandy Alcantara. Still in 11th place, but inching ever closer.
Biggest waiver wire add: Kyle Schwarber
Mike Tauchman didn’t get added until the end of the week, and Aaron Sanchez got added after his no-hitter, so I went with Schwarber, who scored three runs, hit two home runs and had four RBI for Troy Klauder’s team last week, a week he won 6-3 thanks to narrow victories in key hitting categories.
– Andy Patton
We’ve got a tight race, with six teams within five games of earning the last two playoff spots. It is likely this goes all the way down to the wire. So far, teams No Dan (Dave Fisher), Paul’s Busty Posers (Paul Ghiglieri) and Valley of the Dahls (Jake Bridges) are likely owning the first three playoff spots. There are really only two teams out of it. All in all, a very close group from the get-go.
Best Performance: Rob (Inglorious Baezterd) def. Dan McNamera (AMC’s Breaking Bats), 9-0
Probably the closest we’ve had to a 10-0 sweep, how close was Rob? One save. Not just one more save. One save total. Both teams failed to garner a single save. That doesn’t take away from Rob’s dominating performance, fueled by 19 home runs, 49 runs scored, 52 RBI, six stolen bases and a .286 average. Ronald Acuna and Jorge Soler combined for 12 dingers and a .415 AVG to lead the way in Rob’s offensive onslaught. Rob’s pitching put in a solid performance, with five wins, 59 Ks, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP thanks to Ryan Yarbrough (0.68 ERA in 14 IP and 13 Ks), plus scoreless outings from Sonny Gray and Mike Fiers.
Closest Matchup: Dan Richards (Yu Can’t Judge) def. Michael Augustine (Snell’s Bells), 5-4
Three offensive categories were up for grabs in this matchup, with Michael edging out Dan by one run (46-45) and one home run (16-15). Meanwhile Dan took SBs by one (5-4) and both squads finished with three saves.
– Travis Sherer
Despite a mediocre (and unlucky) 4-5-1 record in Week 18, Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze) becomes the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Congratulations to Max for building an absolute juggernaut. Meanwhile, the second tier of teams including Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright), Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore), and Massive Deverstation (Ben Ruppert) have all but clinched as they’ve opened up a 12-13 game lead over the last two playoff positions. The middle of the pack has become mediocre enough that there’s a strong likelihood of a sub-.500 team taking the last playoff position.
Sometimes you have to choose which team had the best performance: the one with the best record for the week or the one with the best underlying performance of the week. This week, no such distinction was required as Mostly Nats steamrolled the Beliebers (Ben Hizer) to the tune of 10-0 while posting an .809 xW% and .797 zW% to pace the league (by wide margins). Charlie’s squad knocked the cover off the ball with 50 R, 39 RBI, 16 HR, and a .324 AVG while going wild on the basepaths with 7 SB. All that damage came against other teams’ pitchers because he also posted 6 W, 3 SV, 82 K, a 2.75 ERA, and a 1.11 WHIP. That’s an incredibly tough line come playoff time.
With mostly blowouts across the board, Air Yordans (Alex Isherwood) taking down Led Z.Eflin by the aforementioned 5-4-1 count provided the most drama of the week. The teams combined for a .605 xW% and .593 zW% as both posted very strong weeks. Air Yordans led the league with 52 R, 52 RBI, and a .354 AVG, easily taking those categories from Z.Eflin. Max avoided a complete disaster with narrow victories in SB at 4 to 3, W at 5 to 3, and SV at 4 to 3.
The Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes) have posted a stronger offensive than pitching week exactly twice this season, in Week 11 and now in Week 18. Things were better in Week 11 as they took a 7-2-1 victory because the pitching supported the offense. This past week didn’t go nearly as well, as the pitching fell to not just below average for the team’s high standards (-2.71 zPitch), but to below average for the league for the week (-0.59 zPitch) and the entire season (-0.06 zPitch).
– Ryan Fickes
Best performance: (Otto Von Bettsmarck) Rob D. is really going for it. After a 9-0-1 blitz in Week 18, he’s now just one game out of first place, behind Austin’s Team (Austin Gretencord). Rob put up a monster week and there was nothing cheap about his victory last week. 99 R/RBI, 18 HR, 9 SB and a .330 AVG made for an offensive week no one was going to be able to compete with, and his pitchers were almost as good. Three wins was the mark that tied, but Rob took saves with 4, Ks with 66 and ERA and WHIP with 2.00 and 1.17 rates, respectively.
Closest matchup: xwOBAchette (Jordan Larimore) and Ol’ Dirty Bastardo (Adam Lawler) played to a 5-5 tie, with a number of categories separated only by a couple of points. Interestingly, we split pitching and hitting categories down the middle, with me taking the pitching matchups. I only took wins by one, and saves by two, though. Meanwhile, Adam won HR by just two, RBI by six and SB by one.
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Best Performance: North Correa (Kyle Frank)
Freddie Freeman and the namesake of Kyle’s team, Carlos Correa, both chipped in 3 HR a piece on the way to 17 HR on the week for Kyle. Both were outdone by Hunter Dozier, who piled up a .367 AVG, 9 R, 4 HR, 7 RBI, and a stolen base. On the rubber, Kyle’s stable of relievers contributed 24 K’s and 7 SV’s, which allowed Kyle to put up some gaudy numbers in both stats. Lately it seems like everything’s coming up North Correa.
Closest Matchup: Jim’s Team (Jim Chatterton) vs. Tinseltown Monarchs (Jessica)
Had Jessica not scored 7 more runs than Jim, this would have been a 5-5 tie, pitching (Jessica) vs. hitting (Jim). Lucky enough for Jessica, her team did score those additional runs, giving her a 6-4 victory on the week. Both players put up 56 roto points for the week. Jim saw solid performances from Jose Ramirez and Kris Bryant to set the bar on offense, while Jessica’s stellar pitching headlined by Walker Buehler and Hyun-Jin Ryu made other teams envious.
– David Fenko