Beat the Waiver Wire
After two long, horrendous weeks without even a full active lineup, I can finally field every starting spot on my team. Well, except catcher, but that’s not much of a loss. It feels good. It doesn’t feel great, because you know, my best hitter is Mallex Smith and my best pitcher is Jake Arrieta, but it’s a start. Some of my better pickups this week included Jeremy Jeffress, Jesse Winker, Daniel Vogelbach, and stashing Jesus Luzardo. Luzardo is still at least three weeks away, but he’s the best chance I have at acquiring an ace-level talent without trading, and I’m willing to sit on him for a bit. I also snagged a couple of intriguing pitchers in Jeff Samardzija and Merrill Kelly, both of whom have top-30 upside without the hype other pitchers have been getting.
As for my matchup, I didn’t have any new strategy other than to try to win the ratios game. Again, I was hoping to get a high batting average early in the week so I could bench my hitters right away, but that wasn’t meant to be yet again as my team batting average stayed south of .250 all week long. I did manage to “win” ERA and WHIP, which really had more to do with my opponent struggling than my own pitching staff as I posted a horrific 5.17 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. I also somehow tied my opponent in wins, thanks to a last-ditch effort from Carlos Rodon, who beat the Yankees on Sunday to give me the tie in that category.
This week I face the GC Tacos, who are second in the league in HRs and RBI. Luckily for me, they are ninth in batting average at .243, just barely above my own .240 average. They also have a team ERA of 5.43 and WHIP of 1.38, so I have a chance at winning the ratio categories again and maybe getting lucky and stealing saves or stolen bases as well. I’ll need some luck on my side, but I think I’ve got a good shot at winning four categories again this week.
My roster as of April 15th:
We had some absolutely incredible performances in WorstBall this past week. Deuces were coming through for us left and right, and it just made for quite the wild week. Wei-Yin Chen put up 58 points in his total stinker against the Cincinnati Reds last Tuesday, including 44 points in a single inning! Jose Ramirez didn’t like seeing Chris Sale hog all the glory as the biggest disappointment of the year, and decided to become a top WorstBall hitter with a 51-point week, as he went 2-for-26 with six strikeouts, a GIDP, and an error. Ramirez was outshined by Jacob deGrom and his horrific 59-point week. Deuces ruled everything around us.
The Team of the Week for Week 2 was Donny Moskovits‘ Dark Knight Falls, as he was the only team to cross the 300-point threshold with 323.5 points. He was led by monstrous efforts from Starlin Castro and Jordan Zimmerman, who combined for 116 points. His big win really stings for his opponent Nate Watt and his team Coffee’s for Doziers, who had the second-highest point total of any team last week with 267 points. In fact, he has the fifth-highest point total in the league overall at 506 points, yet he sits in 10th place with an 0-2 record. At the bottom of the totem pole, the Worst Team of the Week goes to Kevin Dalby’s Elbow Discomfort for the second week in a row. He was hurt by his pitching staff, as Samardzija, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jose Quintana, and Domingo German all had solid weeks and combined to cost him 84 points. German has now lost him 37 points in two weeks, but it looks like he’s finally learned his lesson and benched him.
Hitter of the Week: Starlin Castro, Dark Knight Falls, 56 points. His stinker of a week featured a 2-for-25 effort at the plate with no XBH, nine strikeouts, a GIDP, an error, and only one run scored.
Pitcher of the Week: Jordan Zimmermann, Dark Knight Falls, 60.33 points. Zimmermann made two starts this week, losing both of them. He gave up four home runs, only struck out five batters, and gave up nine earned runs across 7.1 innings pitched.
Golden Nugget of the Week: The biggest Golden Nugget this week belonged to Quintana, who put up -27 points as the Pirates completely forgot how to hit and allowed him to pitch a 7-inning, four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to go with it. I can’t blame Elbow Discomfort for starting him since I picked him as one of my honorable mentions for Deuce of the Day that day. On the hitting side, the Golden Nugget went to Jason Heyward of Giolite Em Up. He went 5-for-10 last week, with a home run, a stolen base, and four walks to no strikeouts. Tough week for Cubs players it seems.
Wasted Player of the Week: Chen is the winner for pitchers with his aforementioned performance, but I really want to give the award to Kyle Freeland, who sat on Cashner’s Engels bench all week long as he amassed the second-most points of the week with 62. He won his matchup, so benching Freeland didn’t cost him as dearly as it could have, but that had to hurt watching him get wrecked in two consecutive starts. For hitters, the award clearly goes to Jose Ramirez, who is still unowned as none of us expect him to continue to struggle as badly as he did this past week.
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Grand Theft Baseball
“Stealing is wrong and I morally object to it,” said Dave Cherman, who has lost two weeks in a row, and therefore has now had players stolen from him twice in a row. When I asked if he wanted to comment further on how it feels to have players stolen from him twice, he simply responded with:
So Cherman’s not doing too well, and for that matter neither is Daniel Port, who finds himself in the same position as Cherman thus far. On the bright side, I’m the only manager that has won two weeks in a row (I promise I didn’t cheat), and I’m very happy to have added two quality players to my roster now without losing anyone of consequence. Incredibly, we had two ties in Week 2, between Brandon Lundberg and David Fenko as well as Nathan Mills and Hunter Denson. This means that each team gets to steal a player from the other team, which none of the teams seemed all that stoked to do, but this is grand THEFT baseball, and we can’t have matchups without thefts!
Losing Week 2 meant having to leave another five players unprotected, but we’re stepping it up now for Week 3. If you lose in Week 3, you have to leave seven players unprotected for your opponent to steal. This is only going to continue to ramp up, so you certainly don’t want to let a losing streak go too long. Here are the thefts from the Week 2 matchups:
Myles Nelson stole Justin Upton from Port
Austin Perodeau stole Stephen Piscotty from Cherman
Dave Fisher stole Omar Narvaez from Dan Wist
Lundberg stole Kyle Freeland, Fenko stole Aaron Sanchez
Mills stole Byron Buxton, Denson stole Justin Smoak
I wish I had the cojones to try that Waiver Wire gimmick in a public 12-teamer. It sounds really fun, and with the bar for success so low, every won category must feel amazing.
I almost did that for this column at first, but I thought it’d be more interesting to play with other owners who know what’s going on with the league. Would be interesting to see how someone could do in a public league though!