This is one of the biggest early weeks of the season. Winning this week feels like two (it really isn’t) as 4-2 looks so much better than 3-3 and 3-3 looks a lot better than 2-4. In the grand scheme of things, I just look at wins (and ties) and avoid the thought of two over .500 or two under .500. Since every team is always on the same amount of games, it is much simpler to just look at the wins.
In looking over the CCO Leagues and the standings, seven is the number, as in seven teams over .500 in the CCO League and the CCO Auction Keeper League. The CCO Fans League is the only one with all eight playoff teams over .500. That means all teams with a win in the two leagues (with just 7 over .500) are no more than two games out (no big deal), and just four teams in the CCO Fans league are three or more games back (the point that can be hard to come back from in a competitive league). We also have two teams that still don’t have a loss, and that is in the CCO Auction Keeper League, BigJon’s Clubber Lang’s who is 6-0 and Oregon Coastal Cubbies who is 5-0-1. Yet that is the league that Chris Kulawik’s Crushers is running away with the points lead, yet has a loss and is in third place for the league.
Hopefully this is the last week I am tight on time, but I did read some good articles that I wanted to pass along this week.
We are always looking for what’s next, so who is next in line to take over a closer role. Prospects are where it is the most fun to guess which one will be called up and which one will help your fantasy team, so the question is which Pirates prospect starting pitcher gets the call first. Time for Taillon? Once a prospect gets the call, how will they be used? Gary Sanchez, Steven Moya get the call.
What happens when a player past his prime figures it out? Does that make Steve Wright a must-own pitcher with top-50 upside.
This is an ESPN Insider article, but just have to laugh when I think of how people loved the Yankees style of building a team and hated on how Theo Epstein was building the Cubs. Yankees need to become sellers, retool for 2017, and here’s how. I know some don’t like Jim Bowden (some don’t like everyone that writes thoughts and opinions), but he is right on this one. He says to trade away all three closers they stock piled, trade Carlos Beltran, swap Jacoby Ellsbury for another bad contract, change course on Michael Pineda or trade him, just walk away from Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley and tank the rest of the year. Then he says to go out and spend big next off-season. Now next off-season is not a great free agent crop, but adding Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes, Kenley Jansen and Joe Smith would help this team for sure. He then adds in trading for Jose Fernandez or Sonny Gray. How about this, the Yankees can have Gray, we can get Fernandez.
Here is the ESPN Player Rater that does use just the stats from this season. It is based on the ESPN standard league point system. And going forward rankings from Week 6. In the rankings they discuss the limited amount of good hitting catchers as most teams have gone back to valuing defense over offense at catcher. Welington Castillo has moved up to the sixth fantasy catcher as a bat first catcher and to quote “I do think that the hitter-friendly ballpark has helped.” Sometimes I think some people think I make up the thoughts I have, yet stats usually back up what I say, here I have an “expert” backing up my thought.
MLB Best of Last Week
Each week we will review the best performances of the week in all of MLB.
- Jackie Bradley Jr.: 48 pts (3 HR, 2 2B, 15 RBI, 5 R)
- Adam Jones: 47 pts (4 HR, 2 2B, 9 RBI, 9 R)
- Travis Shaw: 46 pts (2 HR, 5 2B, 9 RBI, 9 R, SB)
- Todd Frazier: 44 pts (4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R)
- Xander Bogaerts: 43 pts (2 HR, 3 2B, 8 RBI, 9 R)
- Mookie Betts: 43 pts (2 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 10 RBI, 9 R, SB)
Anyone notice a theme on this list? One more hint, Hanley Ramirez was eighth this week as well. Four of the top six (five of the top eight) were Boston Red Sox players. Boston had a 6-1 week and scored 73 runs on the week. A week of home cooking in their hitter friendly environment led to a huge week for Red Sox hitters. Just hope you didn’t start pitchers against this team. Adam Jones snuck into the leader board and as an Adam Jones owner, it was much needed. A not so good start to the season for him for sure, but this week hopefully gets him going and allows his numbers to start to find their normal level.
Top Two Start Pitchers
- Jose Fernandez: 59 pts (2 GS, 14 IP, 22 K, 2 W)
- Rubby De La Rosa: 48 pts (2 GS, 14 IP, 13 K, W)
- Mike Leake: 45 pts (2 GS, 14 IP, 8 K, 2 W)
- Trevor Bauer: 44 pts (2 GS, 13.2 IP, 15 K, W)
- Jon Lester: 41 pts (2 GS, 12.2 IP, 13 K, W)
Talk of what Jose Fernandez would bring back in a trade is always fun talk, but watching this guy pitch is more fun. 22 strikeouts in 14 innings this week, add in winning both games and you have a huge 59 point week, running away with the best score this week. I am surprised too Rubby De La Rosa made the list this week as he had one start in Colorado and the other in hitter friendly Arizona, yet he had his higher point total in Colorado. Mike Leake was terrible out of the gate for the Cardinals, but had a good showing on the road for both starts, picking up two wins. Trevor Bauer got back in the rotation with Carlos Carrasco’s injury, but if he keeps pitching like this, he may get to keep his spot upon Carrasco’s return. Finally, Jon Lester took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Sunday only to get the loss, yet that start put up 24 points versus 17 in getting the W earlier in the week.
Top One Start Pitchers
- Max Scherzer: 43 pts (1 GS, 9 IP, 20 K, W)
- Clayton Kershaw: 42 pts (1 GS, 9 IP, 13 K, W)
- Matt Andriese: 36 pts (1 GS, 9 IP, 5 K, W)
- Gerrit Cole: 34 pts (1 GS, 8 IP, 7 K, W)
- R.A. Dickey: 32 pts (1 GS, 8 IP, 6 K, W)
TWENTY STRIKEOUTS!!! Fantasy Gold! Max Scherzer put up a number that anyone who follows baseball knows what it means. 20. It was fun to watch along and partly rooting for him not to match or beat Kerry Wood, but also wanting all the points I could get on my teams I drafted him. Clayton Kershaw was only one point behind him as he put up 42 points. Kershaw keeps putting up big point totals and leads all pitchers with 227 points (second: Chris Sale 212; third: Jake Arrieta 203). Matt Andriese has had two starts now and is averaging 28.5 pts per game in those starts. Gerrit Cole pitched a very good game against the BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL and R.A. Dickey had his best start of the year, by a lot.
- Jake McGee: 34 pts (4 IP, 4 K, 4 Saves)
- Joe Smith: 29 pts (4 IP, 5 K, 2 Saves)
- Aroldis Chapman: 27 pts (4 IP, 5 K, 3 Saves)
- Zach Britton: 25 pts (3 IP, 1 K, 3 Saves)
- Fernando Rodney: 24 pts (4 IP, 4 K, 2 Saves)
He’s back! Aroldis Chapman’s suspension is over and he took over his new job as the Yankees’ closer. He pitched in four games and picked up three saves, good way to get back going. But it wasn’t enough to lead the week as Jake McGee recorded four saves. One has to wonder if the Cubs should have kept Fernando Rodney around, but he wanted to close somewhere and found a home in San Diego.
Chicago Cubs Batters
- Addison Russell: 32 pts (2 HR, 3B, 2 2B, 9 RBI, 4 R)
- Ben Zobrist: 26 pts (2B, 3 RBI, 7 R)
- Anthony Rizzo: 22 pts (HR, 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R)
- Jason Heyward: 19 pts (5 R, SB)
- Kris Bryant: 18 pts (HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R)
- Dexter Fowler: 16 pts (2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R)
- David Ross: 14 pts (HR, 4 RBI, 2 R)
- Javier Baez: 6 pts (2B, R)
- Jorge Soler: 5 pts (2B, R)
- Tim Federowicz: 3 pts (2B, RBI)
- Miguel Montero: 1 pt (R)
- Tommy La Stella: 1 pt
The bats came down from their huge week last week and scored 30 runs in six games, but could of used a couple of those runs moved to different games as the Cubs went 3-3 on the week. One thing for sure, if Addison Russell becomes another elite bat for his position (or just an elite bat) this lineup is going to set some records. Ben Zobrist stayed hot just without all the extra base hits and Anthony Rizzo had another 20+ point week. Jayson Heyward hit .348/.464 on the week, the only problem … all of his hits were singles. I have no doubt Heyward will get it going as he is a slow starter and heats up a little in May and then is a productive hitter the rest of the way.
Chicago Cubs Pitchers
- Jon Lester: 41 pts (2 GS, 12.2 IP, 13 K, W)
- Jake Arrieta: 32 pts (1 GS, 8 IP, 11 K, W)
- John Lackey: 27 pts (1GS, 8 IP, 7 K)
- Jason Hammel: 22 pts (1 GS, 6.2 IP, 8 K, W)
- Kyle Hendricks: 18 pts (1 GS, 6.2 IP, 8 K)
If I was looking at just this pitching info, I would have said we won four or five games this week, not three. Jon Lester was one of the top guys this week with 41 points, but Jake Arrieta put up a good outing with 32 points, while not having his best stuff (how scary is that??). John Lackey is just what this team needed and his outing this week was a good example. He gave up one run early on a HR (“you better f***ing run!” ) to some guy who doesn’t hit many home runs, then used that to go eight strong innings, giving up just that one run. He still took the loss, but that is the competitiveness that was needed for this rotation. Jason Hammel had another good outing and Kyle Hendricks pitched better than his results.
- Hector Rondon: 10 pts (2 IP, 4 K, 1 Save)
- Travis Wood: 2 pts (0.2 IP)
- Clayton Richard: 1 pt (1 IP)
- Trevor Cahill: 1 pt (2.2 IP, 2 K)
- Adam Warren: 0 pts (1.1 IP, K)
- Neil Ramirez: 0 pts (1.1 IP, 2 K)
- Justin Grimm: -2 pts (1.2 IP, 3 K)
- Pedro Strop: -7 pts (1.1 IP, K)
Not a good week for the bullpen and helps explain why we only went 3-3 on the week. A net total of five points on the week is just not bad, but awful. The whole bullpen is pretty much to blame and if not for one save, the bullpen would have been zero for the week. As Joe Maddon preaches … enough lamenting last week time to focus on the next game.
CCO Fantasy Leagues
The leagues are off and running. This year with three leagues it will be harder for me to watch all teams to see if someone isn’t playing. If you see a team that didn’t make any moves all week during your match-up, let me know. Sometimes teams just need a reminder or life happens and they can no longer keep up with a team. On the other side of that, if you would like to take over a team to get your foot in the door to these leagues, send Neil an email to forward to me or comment below. There are always openings as the season goes in leagues of this size.
CCO Leagues Trades
There were some big names on the move this week in the CCO leagues. Michael Brantley, Sonny Gray, Manny Machado, Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday all got new homes.
CCO Fans Trades Last Week
• Mac Daddy traded Evan Gattis to Woody’s Way for Jeremy Hazelbaker and Tommy La Stella.
CCO Trades Last Week
• Kentucky Ripsnorters traded Matt Wieters to Team Theo for Chris Carter.
CCO Auction Keeper Trades Last Week
• Woody’s Way traded Ben Revere and Yunel Escobar to The Calicubs for Dallas Keuchel.
Scoreboards and Standings
- CCO Scoreboard
- CCO Fans Scoreboard
- CCO Auction Keeper Scoreboard
- CCO Standings
- CCO Fans Standings
- CCO Auction Keeper Standings