Welcome folks to the Pitcher List staff leagues. This year Pitcher List added a huge number 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 in the bottom three, you move down.
Best Performance: Max Posner’s Team
Despite the fact that Jason Dunbar won 8-2, Max Posner truly had the better week. His hitting was purely dominant: 16 HRs, 46 RBI, with a .246 AVG on top of an elite pitching week to the tune of a 2.25 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in 40 innings. Flat out domination from top to bottom thanks to Freddie Freeman, Gleyber Torres and Frankie Montas. Tough luck for Jay Dunbar, who receives another runner-up in the Best Performance department.
At the end of the week, Max improved to a 2-5 mark. He’ll face off against Ian Post’s Pornogriffey (4-2-1).
Closest Matchup: Chapman & the Hosk (Myles Nelson) vs. Super Rosario Bros. (Jonathan Metzelaar)
Wow, did this one go down to the wire. Myles had a big week thanks to Joe Musgrove, Rich Hill and Mitch Haniger matched by Cody Bellinger, 4 steals from Nick Senzel and domination from Noah Syndergaard and Patrick Corbin. The two traded blows all week, ending with a 5-4 victory for Metzelaar: he took Runs by 2, a tie in RBI and a 0.03 edge in WHIP, while Myles edged Jon out in AVG by .007 and Wins by 2. Very close. So, very close. Myles takes on Rick Graham’s ManBearPuig while Jon takes on Dave Cherman’s Who’s Your Vladdy? The honorable mention here goes to Rick Graham vs Kyle Bishop, as Shane Bieber single-handedly stole the week for Rick edging Ks (68-62) and ERA (3.13 to 3.23).
— Dave Cherman
Best Performance: Statcast Darlings (Michael Haas) over Hurling Archer (Stephen Honovich) 9-1.
Stephen had a rough week on the bump, as his team earned a 5.04 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP thanks to blowups from Jose Berrios and Madison Bumgarner. That, coupled with strong hitting performances from Michael’s squad, led by Christian Yelich and Josh Bell, led to a lopsided 9-1 victory for the fourth-place Darlings.
Closest Matchup: Nate Von Bekken vs. Acuna Moncada (Austin Perodeau) 5-5
Our only tie this week belongs to Nate and Austin, who not only tied 5-5, but they had the same WHIP: 1.11. What was interesting is that Austin’s ERA (2.64) was nearly a full run better than Nate’s (3.51). Runs, wins and saves were all determined by just two, although many of the other categories weren’t particularly close.
Weirdest stat: Once again, Troy Klauder’s pitching absolutely dominated. After posting a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP last week, his team went out and posted a 2.68 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP with 64 strikeouts in just 50.1 innings in Week 8, helping lead him to a 6-4 victory. Outstanding outings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and Shane Bieber did the trick this time, as he makes an early push for pitching rotation of the year.
– Andy Patton
Best Performance: Dave Fisher (Not Dan) 8-1-1 win vs. Colin Charles (Knuckle Curve) Dave Fisher’s squad keeps plugging along. Not Dan’s Week 7 performance is indicative of why the team sits atop the league with a 3.5 game lead. Led by Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and George Springer, Dave’s team hit .295 with 13 bombs, 31 RBIs and 38 Runs—all wins. With Luis Castillo, Joe Musgrove and Clayton Kershaw, they also took wins (6), saves (3), ERA (2.63) and WHIP (0.84). This week could have easily been a sweep, with a 2-2 tie in SB and a K loss by just one (48-47).
Closest Matchup: Dan McNamara (AMC Breaking Bats) vs. Rob Z (Inglourious Baezterd) Two or three matchups this week could have easily flipped, so we’ll go with the 4-4-2 tie. With ties in SB (3-3) and Wins (2-2), and close finishes in BA (.297-.284), Wins and Saves (1-0), this really was anybody’s week in this matchup between these two teams.
Weirdest Team Stat: Michael Augustine (Snell’s Bells) just could not catch a break this week when it came to driving in runs. Despite almost doubling HR output (15-8) and owning a significant lead in BA (.292-.278), the Bells didn’t get hits when they needed them, losing RBI 36-34.
Biggest Performance-Enhancing Wire Add: Austin Riley. We are starting to get to the point in the season where wire adds aren’t making enough of an impact, unless they are streaming pitchers. Riley had such a good debut week, hitting .421 with 2 bombs, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored, that he helped Paul Ghiglieri (Paul’s Buster Posey) fend off Jake Bridges (Valley of the Dahls) in runs and BA to secure a 7-3 win.
– Travis Sherer
One of the immortal questions in life: Is it better to be lucky or good?
Well, for Week 7, Stephen Dudas’s Team opted for lucky. Despite his worst showing of the year, with a -4.11 zTotal when comparing his performance for the week against his performance for the year, along with a .391 xW% and .375 zW%, Dudas managed to put up a 5 – 3 – 2 record thanks to a favorable matchup against Nicholas’s Team (Nick Gerli), who now sits at 19 – 39 – 2 for a .333 aW%. If you’re gonna have a bad week, do it against underperforming teams.
Led Z.Eflin (Max Freeze) tried to play that game as well, also having his worst week of the year with a -4.64 zTotal, but unfortunately his second division opponent, Alex’s Team (Alex Isherwood), put up one of his best showings relative to his team average with a 7.04 zTotal on the back of a very strong offensive performance. What should have been a blowout for Z.Eflin (8 – 0 – 2 pRec) finished with a 4 – 6 – 0 disappointment.
Best Performance: Mostly Nats (Charlie Wright) led the way with a .673 xW% and .702 zW%, right on target with his 7 – 3 – 0 record against the Beliebers for the week (Ben Hizer)—surely a disappointing result for the Beliebers, who’d managed an 11 – 7 – 2 over the last two weeks following a Week 4 0 – 9 – 1 debacle. The Nats were just strong across the board with a 4.50 zHit compared to the league average for the week and 2.61 zPitch, both good enough for 2nd for the week. Despite just a .249 AVG, the Nats knocked the cover off the ball for 40 R, 50 RBI and 15 HR. They also posted quite good pitching ratios with a 2.79 ERA and 1.19 WHIP and led the week with 6 W.
Strongest Category: Mostly Nats with a 2.12 zRBI from 50 RBI.
Weakest Category: Beliebers with a -2.15 zAVG from a .188 AVG.
Best and Closest Matchups: The best and closest matchup was the previously mentioned upset by Alex’s Team over Led Z.Eflin. Even a bad week from Z.Eflin is a good week overall, as his .561 zW% combined with Alex’s .634 zW% for a .597 zW% overall. Alex posted his best offensive showing of the year and managed it in a week where his pitching didn’t collapse. An honorable mention goes to the 6 – 3 – 1 win by J.D.J.T.J.A.J.P. (Justin Paradis) over Mikey’s Team (Michael Ajeto), a matchup which also had three toss-up categories, split evenly at 1 – 1 – 1. The combed zW% of .502 reflects the closeness of the matchup, although the tilt loses some points due to the 10th and 12th place showings by the two teams, respectively, at the moment.
Statistical Oddity: The Maryland Wolfdogs (Ryan Fickes) were 2nd in W (tied), 2nd in SV (tied), 3rd in K, 1st in ERA and 5th in WHIP, good for a league-best 4.41 zPitch for the week, yet finished 3 – 1 – 1 in those categories against Prognosis Negative (Ryan Amore). Considering the Wolfdogs’ offensive (all meanings of the word are appropriate here) outburst of 20 R, 17 RBI, 3 HR, 1 SB and a .240 AVG, they did not sweep pitching categories, which means an overall loss every time. Despite solid overall numbers on the year of a .505 xW%, .519 zW%, and .517 pW%, the Dogs sit at just .458 aW% overall and are as clear of a demonstration as any just how volatile relying so heavily on pitching can be in the fantasy world. W and SV depend on MLB team performance, as well as the luck of two start weeks. K also depends on two start weeks. ERA and WHIP aren’t necessarily tied to getting lucky in starts for the week and don’t rely on MLB team performance, but can be subject to a fair amount of variance due to sample size issues.
– Ryan Fickes
Best Performance: DeJong and DeRestless (Nathan Mills) may not have had an overall outstanding week, but we can’t not recognize a near-perfect week. DeRestless put up an impressive 9-0-1 win over Madison’s Wild Ride (Jamie Sayer). Home runs were Sayer’s only saving grace, as both teams put up 10. Mills’ team scored 41 runs, drove in 34 and batted .273 for the week. It was on the mound that DeRestless really stood out. Four wins, five saves, 78 Ks, a 2.20 ERA and .98 WHIP were all wins for the now second-place team in PL2.
Closest matchup: Aaron Raised a Cain (Daniel Port) and Rhys Lightning (John Wallace) played to a 5-4-1 matchup and five categories that didn’t tie were within two scores of flipping. Daniel took runs 36-34 and stolen bases three to one, while Wallace won home runs 15 to 14, wins 3 to 2 and Ks 44 to 42.
– Jordan Larimore
The Bottom of the Barrel
Best Performance: Rich’s Team (Rich Holman). Domingo German and Chris Sale led the effort for Rich in week 7, combining for 35 strikeouts in 3 starts with a sub-1 WHIP. Alongside a couple of 1st place Minnesota Twins (Rosario and Polanco), Rich’s team put up solid numbers across the board. In back-to-back weeks, Rich’s team saw a .050 swing in batting average, which points to some boom-or-bust in his teams make-up—but at least when he booms he can take claim to being the best team in the league for the week.
Closest Performance: New World Order (Colin Ward) vs. North Corrrea (Kyle Frank) Assuming roto points for the week, Colin and Kyle finished with 61 points a piece, which isn’t just a tie, but a tie at effectively replacement level for the week. Both teams put up 2 SB and 3 W, and they were within a good day of a tie in RBI, HR and K. Rookie Red Sox Michael Chavis put up a 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, and .318 line in order to help move the needle for Kyle, but potential fantasy MVP Cody Bellinger was having none of that for Colin’s team. Neither team pitched particularly well (at least for starters), though Stephen Strasburg and Max Fried put up good performances for underwhelming squads.
– David Fenko