Well, we aren’t quite done with Week 1 yet, but it’s not too early to take a look at how our wacky leagues are starting to shape up! All three leagues are already getting pretty interesting, whether it be Grand Theft Baseball, where teams are worrying about who they could be losing at the end of the week, Beat the Waiver Wire, where I have absolutely no clue how I’m going to scrape out wins in April, or WorstBall, where none of us know what we are doing.
In case you guys missed it, last week I introduced these three leagues and what exactly they entail. Each week I’ll be taking you all with us along this journey, sharing not just how the leagues are going, but also our thoughts, our strategies, and even our fears.
I’m not really sure if any of us knew what we were in for with this league. I mean, on Opening Day, people were going nuts about Jordan Zimmermann’s revival and his perfect game through seven innings. We were cursing his name as he was drafted in the second round to be the deuce (like an ace, but you know, not good) of Donny Moskovits’ pitching staff.
Today, Sonny Gray was dropped in 5,272 leagues across Yahoo, the most dropped player of the day. He was picked up today in our league. WorstBall.
No one used more curse words this weekend than the Zack Greinke, Chris Sale, or Manny Machado owners. They are the 2nd, 4th, and 20th ranked players. WorstBall.
“I shouldn’t have dropped Rick Porcello” and “Never stream a pitcher against the Blue Jays or Tigers” were real things that were said in our group chat. WorstBall.
So as it stands right now, if Week 1 had ended yesterday, the “best” team of the week would have been Ben Palmer’s team, You May Be Wright. His team scored a total of 125 points in just 4 days, featuring excellent performances from:
Zack Godley: 41.33 points (7 earned runs, 2 home runs, 1 hit batter, and a loss)
Mike Minor: 29.67 points (6 earned runs, 1 home run, 1 hit batter, and a loss)
Yolmer Sanchez: 23 points (1 hit in 12 at-bats, 3 strikeouts, 1 error, no walks)
Richie Martin: 18.5 points (1 hit in 10 at-bats, 4 strikeouts)
Each week, we’ll be giving out awards for our Hitter of the Week, Pitcher of the Week, the Golden Nugget (the player that performed well while in someone’s lineup) and the Wasted Player of the Week (the worst player that was unfortunately not on a team). These are unofficial awards as we aren’t done with Week 1, but here are the current projected winners of each award:
Hitter of the Week – Brian Anderson, Giolite Them Up: 37 points (1 single in 15 at-bats, 6 strikeouts, 1 GIDP)
Pitcher of the Week – Zack Godley, You May Be Wright
Golden Nugget – Matt Shoemaker, Snapes on a Plane: -24 points (7-inning shutout, 7 strikeouts, 2 hits, got the win)
Wasted Player of the Week – Michael Koch: 56 points (5 innings, 8 earned runs, 4 home runs, 2 hit batters)
As for me, I’m locked in a tight battle with Cashner’s Engels, who got one of the best performances of the season so far from Andrew Cashner (34 points on Opening Day as he got lit up against the Yankees). I’ve had a few duds (Marcus Stroman, Jay Bruce), but I came roaring back on Sunday thanks to strong performances from Cole Hamels and Luke Weaver. This week, I’ll be starting Tucker Barnhart, C.J. Cron, Amed Rosario (one of my best hitters so far with 23.5 points), Kole Calhoun, Jay Bruce, and Jake Lamb. For pitchers, I really like the matchups I have as Dylan Bundy faces the Yankees, Drew Pomeranz has the Dodgers, Hamels visits the Brewers, Jon Gray will be in Los Angeles if he’s healthy enough to pitch (added bonus of him trying to pitch through injury!), Weaver gets the Red Sox, and Aaron Brooks, who might be a two-start pitcher against the last two World Champions, the Red Sox and the Astros. If you have any of these pitchers on your roster, you might want to reconsider starting them yourself.
By the way, if you like WorstBall and want more, follow us on Twitter for daily “highlights” and fun facts.
Beat the Waiver Wire
In case you missed it, I’ll give a quick intro to this league. This is a pretty standard fantasy baseball league. It’s a 10-team league, with 27 players per roster (for 270 rostered players, about the size of your standard 12-team league). The only thing special about this league is that I didn’t draft a single useful player. None whatsoever. My roster on draft day featured Salvador Perez (out for the year), Shohei Ohtani the pitcher (also out for the year), and a bunch of guys labeled as Not Active who were ranked in the 1000s on Yahoo. Basically, I put myself at a severe disadvantage to see if it’s possible to win a fantasy baseball league without drafting well. As they say, championships aren’t won on draft day.
I do feel like I can pull this off, or at the very least, make the playoffs, which just requires me to finish in the top six by the end of the regular season (sometime in September). What I didn’t account for is just how bad my team would be to start the year, as well as how acquisition limits would affect me. I did up the limit to 10 per week to give me some wiggle room, but that means I can only pick up 10 useful players before the acquisition limit reset on April 8th. So I was left with a few choices to make after the draft concluded. Should I use all 10 adds right away, and try and get some semblance of a roster by Opening Day, or should I save a few for some of the early break-out players, or in case someone good gets dropped among all the early hype? Should I wait until waivers clear to start picking up players so I can preserve my waiver status, or should I make sure I get the best players possible right away?
I decided to just use my waiver priority and make sure I got the players I wanted. However, I was only going to use half of my adds, as I felt confident that I’d be able to find players throughout the first week that were better than what was on the wire anyway. If not, that’s no problem, because I’ll make sure to use all my acquisitions by the last day of the week, and I’ll be in no worse of a position than if I had done that right away. That strategy paid off, as one of my fellow owners dropped Mallex Smith, with news of his elbow injury worrying them about an extended IL stint. Luckily for me, he was healthy by opening day, and I had my starting outfielder.
As of today, here’s how my roster looks. The Ramon Laureano and Pedro Strop additions haven’t worked out so well yet, but I have faith that both of them can turn it around.
Grand Theft Baseball
There’s not too much excitement to write about for Grand Theft Baseball yet, as the real fun happens after the matchup is over. Once the matchup is decided, the loser must make it known which players he’s not going to be protecting, and the winner gets to pick a player to take for his team. In this first week, each losing team must make five players available for their opponent to take.
As of Monday, Pink Phamter, led by David Fenko, seems like the team most likely to lose as they are currently sitting on a 9-0 deficit. We’ve only played four of the 11 days in this matchup, so anything can happen, but this is quite the hole he’s dug for himself. If I were running his team, and he did indeed lose the week, I would make Jose Martinez, Jonathan Schoop, Jesus Luzardo, Godley, and either Caleb Smith or Cesar Hernandez available at the end of the week. Of course, I’d try and replace Luzardo and Godley with players who are more likely to perform well and hopefully help turn this week around, but if he makes no moves, those are the five players I’d make available to my opponent. It’s not the most robust list yet, but as the season goes on, we’ll ramp up the number of players available, including a free-for-all once we get to the playoffs.
Edit: I’ve had a few people ask so here are the rules we are using for Grand Theft Baseball. One thing to keep in mind for this is that we use FAAB with continuous waivers, with bids processing Tuesday through Sunday. We do not process any claims on Monday to keep things simple as that is the day that we process the thefts. As our own Dave Cherman said, “Monday is parlay day. There is honor in parlay.”
1. You must announce your unprotected list by Sunday night, 5pm PST. Even if you think you are going to win the week, it doesn’t matter, you still must announce your list by then.
2. You will make your list known by submitting it to our Discord channel (note: any group chat will suffice here) and clearly title it “(Your Name)’s Unprotected List” so that it is easy for your opponent to find in the channel.
3. Winners, you must announce who you are taking from your opponent by Monday at 5pm PST. You must also announce who you are dropping when you announce who you are taking. Do that by direct messaging me on Discord.
4. Use the following schedule to determine how many players must be unprotected:
Weeks 1-3: 5 players
Weeks 4-6: 7 players
Weeks 7-9: 9 players
Week 10: 10 players
Week 11: 11 players
Week 12: 12 players
And so on through the end of the regular season which is week 21.
Playoffs: Everyone on your roster is unprotected.
5. Players on your DL do count as being on the roster.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)
I would like to apply to the GTB league. Where do I sign up?
Hey Chip! Thanks for the interest! Unfortunately I’m only going to be running one of these leagues for this year so we won’t be opening up anymore. If everything goes well this year, the plan is to do multiple of these next year so I can open up some to our readers!
If you want, I can send you the theft rules we’ll be using this season, so that you can use them if you are able to do your own GTB league. Let me know if you do, I’d love to follow along!
I’d also love the GTB rules
I added the rules at the bottom of the article! Let me know if you have any questions.