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.
The trade deadline came and went with zero activity- all teams apparently OK with their current roster construction. Well, except for Jonathan Metzelaar and his 180 moves on the season. With no exciting transactions, we’ll cover relegation watch after discussing some standout matchups from this past week.
Best Performance: Bogaey on Your Tail (Alex Fast) def. Troy & Amed in the AM (Austin Bristow II), 8-2
BY GOD! IS THAT ALEX FAST’S MUSIC??? After starting 1-14, Pitcher List’s Head of Operations has won 3 out of 4, putting together his best effort of the season in the dominating victory. When asked about the defeat, Austin had this to say “One game away from clinching a playoff spot, going up against a 3-15 team, I felt fairly confident. Fast came out and had, what I had to imagine, was his best week of the year. Brutal, but I gotta give him props.” Meanwhile, Alex said “I DID IT!” And he did. 18 HRs. 5 SBs. A .391 AVG. Oh and a 2.13 ERA over 42.1 IP. Damn son. It’s too late for Alex to avoid relegation but he is having a great time playing spoiler.
Alex wasn’t the only team near the bottom to win. 10th place Who’s Your Vladdy (Dave) edged out his podcast partner and current 2nd place Jonathan Metzelaar and 11th place Max Posner knocked off then 5th place Ian Post. It was a week for the losers of the league, who stood over the rest like this:
Closest Matchup: Chapman & the Hosk (Myles Nelson) vs. ManBearPuig (Rick Graham), 4-4
Myles didn’t continue the trend of the lower tier teams winning, but he at least avoided losing! Rick edged out Myles in a couple categories, taking HRs (12-11), Ks (61-59), and WHIP (1.23-1.31) Their matchup truly came down to the wire- each posted 2 HRs on Sunday and Myles recorded 7 RBI to Rick’s 4 to tie the score. One more either way and we’d have had a winner.
Relegation Watch: In other news, Kyle Bishop’s squad has lost 4 straight, dropping him all the way to 3rd place… When asked Kyle said “fml”. Very true, Kyle. Very true. But we must get to relegation. In two weeks, three teams will be relegated to the Prodigy League. Who will they be? Well, Alex Fast is assured one of those spots, sitting too far out to get to 9th. Max Posner sits in 11th just one game from 9th place, and in 10th, currently in relegation territory is our own Nick Pollack. WHAAAAAAT. Yes. Nick, our reigning champ from last year, is on the verge of relegation. On the plus side, he sits just a half game behind Myles in 9th and a full game behind myself in 8th. Ben Palmer is a game and a half ahead of 10th and should avoid entering the relegation discussion over the next two weeks.
— Dave Cherman
Best Performance: Oh Say Can Yusei (Andy) vs. Acuna Moncada (Austin) 9-1
We had a 9-1 victory and three 8-1 victories in a lopsided week in the prodigy league, but I have to toot my own horn with my 9-1 win this week, especially since wins have been hard to come by for me this season. Outstanding weeks from Bryce Harper, Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier, Oscar Mercado and Corey Seager helped me sweep the hitting categories, and strong pitching from Griffin Canning and Clayton Kershaw helped on the bump. I’m still in relegation territory, but inching ever closer to making my way out.
Closest Matchup: Jeff’s Majestic team vs. Troy Klauder: 5-3
This was the only close matchup in the prodigy league last week, but boy was it a doozy. Jeff ended up winning 5-3, but his margin in each category was razor thin. He won runs by six, home runs by just one and WHIP by .04. The two tied in both steals and wins, and Troy had narrow victories in batting average (0.11) strikeouts (42-38) and RBI (34-29). Cody Bellinger single-handedly won this thing for Jeff, with four home runs, six runs scored and a steal.
Biggest waiver wire add: Aristides Aquino, Acuna Moncada
This was an easy one. Aquino got added August 13, and proceeded to hit three home runs with six RBI and four runs scored the rest of the week. Austin got a great pickup, but he had him benched for most of the week which didn’t help him much in the standings. It can’t hurt for the rest of the season however, especially if Aquino comes anywhere close to repeating this pace.
– Andy Patton
Very little clarity came from Week 19 in the Futures League. The last two playoff spots are still up in the air, with six teams all within 5.5 games. It’s more than likely going to come down to the final week before any of those last spots are decided.
Best Performance: Dan Wist (Juanderkinds) def. Dan Mcnamara (AMC’s Breaking Bats), 8-2 One could argue that Dan W got outhit in his Week 19 matchup, but his overall performance was stellar. Sweeping the pitching categories, Dan W rode Justin Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, Joey Lucchesi , and Yu Darvish to 72 innings of 3.25 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5 wins, and 80 Ks. Dan M took average, hitting an insane .356, but Dan W won Runs (42), homers (17) and RBIs (46) behind four homers apiece from Jose Ramirez and Juan Soto.
Closest Matchup: This was not a week of close matchups. Not a single ERA was one by less than one full run, and most of the pitching and hitting matchups were finished by Saturday. The easy route would be to say Dave Fisher (Not Dan) and Scott Chu (Big League Chu) who tied 5-5, but nothing was very close.
– Travis Sherer
Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore) became the second team to clinch a playoff spot with Massive Deverstation (Ben Ruppert) and Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright) all but certain to clinch in the coming week. We may also being seeing the long marathon of the season taking a toll on some managers as Nicholas’s Team (Nick Gerli) missed the minimum IP and Maryland Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes) missed a key start from Zack Greinke and putting Eloy Jimenez back into the lineup, which would’ve turned a narrow 5 – 4 – 1 win over the Beliebers (Ben Hizer) into a stronger 6 – 3 – 1 showing.
Best Performance: Prognosis Negative took advantage of Led Z.Eflin’s (Max Freeze) continuing woes – two of the past three weeks have been the worst of his season – to post a week best 8- 1- 1 record, backed up by a very strong .670 zW% and .673 xW%. However, playoff hopeful The Ice Horse Train (Justin Paradis) put up a week best .678 zW% and .723 xW% to post a 7 – 3 – 0 record against rival Stephen Dudas’s Team (Stephen Dudas), pulling within ½ game of the final playoff position. .
Best Matchup: Mostly Nats and Hedenson’s Team (Hunter Denson) posted a combined .552 zW%, second behind the Dudas and Ice Horse matchup, with the Nats taking the 6-4 -0 win. The teams split the four tossup categories with the Nats taking RBI 46 to 45 and W 4 to 3 while Hedenson took HR 20 to 19 and AVG .302 to .300.
Statistical Oddities: Offense was up pretty much across the board in MLB last week and it showed in fantasy baseball. 8 / 12 teams posted a positive zTotal for the week compared to their average for the year with the same number posting a positive zTotal compared to the league average for the season. For comparison, Week 17 saw an average of 32 R and 30 RBI per team while Week 19 put out 40 R and 40 RBI.
– Ryan Fickes
Best performance: You don’t go 9-1 and not win Best Performance. Usually. Anyway, Ol’ Dirty Bastardo (Adam Lawler) didn’t have as dominant a week as the final score looks like, but he’s making his case for promotion in 2020 regardless. The victory over Aaron Raised a Cain (Daniel Port) brought Adam to fourth place, just a half-game away from the top three and that sweet promotion. Adam ceded only Ks in this matchup as Daniel took the category 47-41.
Closest Matchup: The matchup of mid-tier PL2 teams, Yu Snell My Bum (John Hale) and Holland Otts (Clay Cotton), locked in at 5-5, sort of epitomizing the middle part of the league for much of the year. There is only a 10 game difference between third place and ninth, and the spread has been even thinner than that at times. Anyway, the rate categories weren’t particularly close in this matchup, but every counting stat was within five points of flipping between John and Clay this week.
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Best Performance: Donny’s Dandy Team (Donny Moskovits), 94 Roto Points
Donny had four, that’s right, four batters with averages over .400 this week (James McCann, Eric Hosmer, Amed Rosario, and Tim Anderson) which led to a .345 AVG for the week (and the counting stats to match). Even when he had a batter with a sub-.200 AVG, that batter was Aristedes Aquino, who belted 4 HR, with 5 R and 8 RBI, which goes a long way towards covering for a .192 AVG. Add in gems by Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, and Griffin Canning, and you end up with one of the best weeks of the season by any team in the Bottom of the Barrel league.
Closest Matchup: New Word Odor (Colin Ward) vs Donny’s Dandy Team (Donny Moskovits), 3 – 7, 88 Roto vs 94 Roto
Donny set the bar this week and handily beat Colin; However, Colin would have beaten any other team in the league, so chalk it up to the two best teams fighting each other to the end. From Colin’s end, Josh Donaldson put up a .476 AVG, 6 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI line to help the New World Odor cause. Sadly enough, the two holes in Colin’s lineup (one caused by the loss of Tatis), likely led to the loss. On the rubber, Jon Gray, Aaron Nola, Masahiro Tanaka, and Ryan Yarbough all through gems in the losing effort.
– David Fenko
(Graphic by Nathan Mills/ @NathanMillsPL)