I’m pinch-blogging in place of Mark this week for our BaseballGB Fantasy round-up. We have now completed eight weeks of the regular season competition and teams continue to move up and down the rankings.
The appeal of a Head-2-Head competition is already clear to 2009 newcomers like myself. While potentially good weeks can turn bad in an instant, occasionally a depressing start can miraculously evolve into a winning week. And then once that week’s match-up is over, you can start again with a clean slate against another opponent. It makes for a competition that always gives you reason to keep interested.
My reward for taking over the writing duties is to put the Cheddar Chasers at the top of the round-up list. This was a closely fought battle, with Runs, HRs, AVG and OPS being decided by slim margins. The 3-3 tie on Wins came about thanks to A’s reliever Andrew Bailey being credited with a ‘W’ last night against the Rangers (one of those incidents where the reliever gets a ‘W’ after giving up the lead), allowing my Chasers to draw level. Otherwise, last week’s contest would have been a dead-heat.
Things didn’t go quite so well for Joe’s Rio Crande Typos. His offense provided little help, while Miguel Tejada, Alex Rios and Shane Victorino chipped in handsomely for Bonestalkers. Meanwhile Bonestalkers also enjoyed strong performances from all their pitchers, with only Johnny Cueto failing to add a win to their total.
The Gas benefited from great weeks by Brad Hawpe and Nelson Cruz to power their way to a convincing victory. Only Jimmy Rollins’ three stolen bases stopped Tribal Warfare from being swept in the offensive categories, although they also paid the price for Carlos Delgado and Carlos Guillen’s DL stints and another depressing week for David Ortiz. Neither side dazzled in the pitching department, but Tribal Warfare were able to snatch the K and WHIP categories to slightly cushion their defeat.
Mark has been waiting for his Isotopes to spring into life and maybe their season has just started. The Angels’ offense didn’t produce much, but even so they were up against fierce competition thanks to big weeks by Ryan Howard, Curtis Granderson and Mark DeRosa. Being swept on offense always puts you in a big hole, but the Angels can count themselves a little unlucky in the pitching department. Their staff didn’t have a bad week, but the Isotopes were solid and received a big boost thanks to Jon Lester’s 16 K’s.
Thomas’s Borders Bats prevailed in a highly competitive battle with Syracuse Nationals. The Bats enjoyed an excellent offensive week with strong showings by Mark Teixeira, Justin Upton, Ichiro Suzuki and Ryan Theriot. Albert Pujols, Marco Scutaro and Adam Lind all did their bit for the Nationals (fans in Washington will wish that sentence reflected realty rather than fantasy), but they just couldn’t keep up with the pace being set. The Nationals are working with a reliever-strong pitching staff which resulted in an impressive Save totals and low ERA and WHIPs. However, the Bats more than held their own, not least thanks to David Price’s promotion to the Big Leagues.
The Bangers rode a 5-0-1 pitching score to gain a 7-3 victory over the Whos. Jorge De La Rosa and his 18.90 ERA on the week saw him punted from the Whos roster (and renamed as Whore-hay de la Waster by his disgruntled manager), while Adrian Gonzalez’s place is not in question after a stunning week at the plate. It wasn’t enough to make much of a dent in the final score though, with the Bangers still coming out on top in RBIs and AVG to make the difference.
In the final match-up of the week, Russ’s Giants secured a big win by sweeping the offensive categories and then taking three of the pitching categories as well. Justin Verlander led the pitching staff with two wins and thirteen Ks, while Russell Martin, Prince Fielder, Derek Jeter, Carl Crawford and Joe Mauer combined to notch up a strong offensive week. SWAT couldn’t keep up with the Giants, but their week had a positive side with Matt Wieters being called up to the Majors and instantly filling SWAT’s catcher spot.
That last match-up wasn’t just a ‘big win’ for the Giants due to the final score, it also meant that they moved into a tie with SWAT at the top of the league table. My Cheddar Chasers are hanging in there at two games behind, with Borders Bats a further game back and then The Wright Stuff and Josh & Johnny Whos together at five games back.
These would be the six teams to make the playoffs if the competition ended today, but of course there’s still plenty of baseball to be played before then. This coming week is only the ninth of twenty-two during the regular season stage of the fantasy competition. Although Tribal Warfare already have a long way to fight back, all of the other teams have plenty of time to force their way into the playoff reckoning.