Might be time for a new league photo depicting another famous painting. Or the Crush can simply replace “fink” with “haugs”. Random suggestions aside, let’s begin:
This Normandy Landing of a season in a nutshell, no?
Embarrassing but true: Originally I had the embed as a video tweet. It proceeded to loop (for likely a very long time) on my muted computer, and when I finally un-muted to listen to something, I was convinced for an entire minute that the new Jay Electronica song had sampled it. And it sounded kind of hot.
#1 – Team McLovin’ (6-3) @ MLB MVP’s (3-6)
Winner: Team McLovin’ (374 to 245)
MCL Top Scorer: Luis Severino (40)
MVP Top Scorer: Max Scherzer (36)
In what initially looked to be yet another instance of the MVP’s coming close to tasting victory only to have their tongue shoved back in their mouth by the week’s highest-scoring team, McLovin’ just kept on going, putting up big numbers almost every day of the week while the MVP’s cooled off.
It was a great week on all fronts for McLovin’, who were a completely different team than in Week 8.
- Almost a month to the day he vanished into the murky waters of DL-Land, Corey Kluber (30) returned to claim what was rightfully his (which is, uh, good pitching…). Trevor Bauer informed him that the A’s simply do not care about missing baseballs, and thus 10 of them fell to the might of the Klube.
- Drew Pomeranz (24) has thrown a cutter into the mix, and it’s translated to two dominant, 20+ outings in a row. He went deeper in Week 8, gave up only one run, kept the strikeouts high, and walked no one.
- AJ Ramos (27) was a monster, scoring 9 Pts each time he showed his face.
- The patient McLovin’ were also blessed with the return of another name-brand player in Josh Donaldson (29), who wasted no time in trying to catch up to everyone else (4 homers!) and save the Blue Jays’ season. Joe Biagini (18) also put on his cape and flew in to throw everything he had at the Yankees.
- Andrew Triggs (-13) has become Mr. Inconsistency, but looking at his schedule (Goodbye Mariners and Angels, hello AL East and Nationals), it’s not hard to see why.
- Aaron Hicks (27) has only increased his star power since Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury, performing his greatest trick yet with a 4-for-5, 6-RBI night at Toronto.
- Brad Peacock (31) – Dropped by Team McLovin’, this new stud in the Astros rotation dished out a Thames-like whooping to his former NYFBL team. Peacock also benefits from being on the Astros, who bailed him out of his 4-ER hole during his first start of the week by putting up 16 of them.
- If Junior Guerra (20) can lower his walks and pitch just a bit deeper, we may be looking at another unspectacularly solid star in the making.
- Alex Cobb (-20) made even Rick Porcello shudder with his 14-hit shellacking of a start. At least Porcello’s not giving up about as many runs (9, in Cobb’s case) as his hits.
- Jonathan Lucroy (-4) is having a frustrating season, to say the least. To say the most, he could barely hit the ball this week.
- Farewell, Chris Tillman (-15). You’re in a rough division with little room for error. Go join Adam Conley in the pit of players bought for 11 dollars.
#2 – Brooklyn Brawlers (4-5) @ Seventh Street Screwballs (4-5)
Winner: Seventh Street Screwballs (349 to 294)
BRA Top Scorer: Robbie Ray (38)
SSS Top Scorer: Tanner Roark (40)
It was a quieter week for Brawlers hitters *muffles Andrew Benintendi and his 18-Point-Sunday on the bench* as the Screwballs posted nearly even totals in both departments to secure the win. The pitching was plentiful for the Screwballs, who sacrificed a few awful outings for many dominant ones while ordering their Houston Astros fitted on Amazon.
- Roberto Osuna (32) has been an essential part of the Brawlers turning things around. Is he the only 11-dollar-or-more bid to pay off so far? We’ll get our best fact-checkers on the case and hope you forget I asked that question.
- Sean Manaea (28) spit out another diamond, ripping through 9 Indians, and is beginning to jump up and reach for that high ceiling. Let’s hope the tiles don’t bounce around and cave in.
- Marcell Ozuna (24)
- Jose Quintana (Again) (-16)
- JC Ramirez (Welcome to the club) (-11)
- Andrew Benintendi (-2) – He didn’t deserve Sunday. But it was kind of awesome.
- Carlos Correa (39) and Alex Bregman (23) were Godzilla and King Kong. The Brawlers were a helpless Japanese city.
- Fun Fact: The 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla began as King Kong meets Frankenstein until the writer who proposed that stopped taking LSD.
- Matt Holliday (27) – Eat your heart out, Brett Gardner.
- Tanner Roark (40 in two starts) has been on a warpath since his disastrous outing in Pittsburgh.
- Will Adam Wainwright (23) continue his recent resurgence now that he’s owned by another team?
- Our annual Growing Pains Award goes to Amir Garrett (-22), who earned the Kirk Cameron by surrendering 8 runs in 2.2 innings to the Braves.
- Masahiro Tanaka (-8) – Thank you, Oakland Athletics, for providing false hope in Week 8 to fantasy managers everywhere.
- Scott Feldman (-6) passed some Braves pitching tips over to teammate Amir Garrett.
#3 – Web Gems (6-3) @ Jeter’s Wedding Rings (6-3)
Winner: Jeter’s Wedding Rings (294 to 209)
WG Top Scorer: Kole Calhoun (30)
JWR Top Scorer: Ariel Miranda (41)
- Kole Calhoun (30) – It is told that if you are faithful to your Player of the Decade, he shall be faithful to you.
- Chase Anderson (29) followed up his incredible performance against the Diamondbacks with an equally (albeit expectedly) unstoppable outing against the Mets.
- Jason Vargas (27) – Despite a string of starts nowhere near the dominance of his early numbers, Vargas still has an ERA of 2.08 thanks to days like his CG shutout against the Indians.
- Marco Estrada (-14) finally buckled against the Yankees, but he’s put together a fantastic season thus far.
- No one expected Ervin Santana to be a Cy Young candidate in 2017. But less than no one expected Ervin Santana to finally break against the Angels (-14).
- Jake Odorizzi (-9)
- Chris Davis (-1)
- Ariel Miranda (41 in two starts) – He survived Coors and massacred the Rays (who really aren’t bad). The NYFBL nomad may have found his home.
- Ryan Zimmerman (34) reentered fantasy dominance in a huge way this week, with homers and RBIs galore.
- Aaron Judge (29)
- Jordan Montgomery (25 in two starts) has had his bumps in the road so far, but his 6 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays proved his worth with the Yankees and with the Wedding Rings.
- James Paxton (21) didn’t pitch long enough to secure the QS in his first start back from injury, but he did blank a hard-hitting Rockies squad.
- Bryce Harper (2) went (-3) before serving his suspension, and 0-for-2 (with a stolen base, however) upon coming back.
- Jerad Eickhoff (-13) is making April a distant memory, confounding the Wedding Rings by going negative against teams like the Giants and the Mariners.
- Gerrit Cole (-1) – Two consecutive negative starts against the Mets. At least his wife was confirmed beautiful by the Screwballs:
#4 – It’s Not a Bird It’s a Sale! (3-6) @ 18 Wheeler with Large CarGo (5-4)
Winner: 18 Wheeler with Large CarGo (289 to 264)
IBIS Top Scorer: Edinson Volquez (40)
18 Top Scorer: Zack Cozart (34)
Your eyes do not deceive you. Despite a 40-Pt no-hitter from Edinson Volquez, IBIS was roadkill for yet another week. A giant Friday (83) for 18 translated to a dominant weekend and a hurdle over the .500 mark.
- Edinson Volquez (40) – On Yordano Ventura’s birthday and in the stomping grounds of Jose Fernandez, Volquez channeled their spirits into Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack (I mean that in a not-awful and super-cool way) (DBZ jokes, haha sick) and decimated the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Justin Bour (30)
- Trea Turner (25)
- Ian Kennedy (-8)
- Koda Glover (3), in a cruel twist of fate, ended a devastating streak of saves by self-destructing (-14) against the very team who dropped him. His ERA, had that been Koda Glover’s only appearance of the season? 135.00…
- Martin Perez (-10) – In two starts…
- Ender Inciarte (29) just wants to be in 18’s team name again. Work for that love, boy, work for it.
- Ty Blach (29) pulled out the old CG to combat Volquez. Since his forgettable start against the Reds way back when, Blach has had five straight quality starts and four consecutive wins.
- Jimmy Nelson (32) – Since being acquired from the Crush (which, in a way, also happened with Blach), Nelson has fired two double-digit-strikeout gems.
- Manny Machado (6) – 18’s inner monologue: “Reverse jinx, reverse jinx… Oh, wait, I traded him.” Meet Manny, the hot potato of NYFBL.
- Michael Wacha (-5, with another [-4] on the bench) – This trade with the Umpires might not be working out.
- Julio Teheran (10 = 15 + [-5]) – It’s been rough for Teheran owners this season, what with his 5.40 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.
- Fitting with their season of perplexing waiver wire activity, 18 dropped Sam Gaviglio and then had a panic attack, picking him up again for 9(!) dollars. Stop blaming trades and own your weirdness, 18. Wave your freak flag proudly.
#5 – Colorado Crush (6-3) @ Squirtle Sluggas (3-6)
Winner: Squirtle Sluggas (260 to 230)
CC Top Scorer: David Price (34)
SS Top Scorer: Tyler Chatwood (30)
You can’t say the league isn’t competitive. The Sluggas took advantage of the Crush’s unexpected pitching setbacks, keeping the ship steady all week long.
- David Price (34 in two starts) – His first start back was shaking off the rust. His second start was leaving the Orioles shook.
- Daniel Murphy (29)
- Albert Pujols (20) – While he put up solid numbers, Pujols deserves the High for belting out his 600th homer in the form of a grand slam.
- Jacob deGrom (-14) – Remember when the Crush’s deGrom-centered article mysteriously vanished shortly after being posted? *cue Twilight Zone intro*
- Matt Moore (-4) – Writing articles about your players is so far an untested method of removing curses from them, so you’ve been warned. It’ll get you on The Best of FanGraphs though. Stick to the rain dance instead.
- Mike Leake (10 = 8 + 2) – We’re pulling for you.
- Matt Carpenter (2)
- Andrew McCutchen (29) – Yeah, we used a GIF. So?
- Tyler Chatwood (30) – Forget the Road Warrior. His name is now The Decider, having won a matchup for 18 (check your voicemail) against the MVP’s and prevented a dead tie for the Sluggas against the Crush.
- Dan Straily (23) – Now another member of 18’s rebuilt pitching staff, along with some scrub named Madison Bumgarner.
- Nelson Cruz (24)
- David Robertson (-2) – Those surprise (-11) days are always a blast.
- Kyle Hendricks (-1) – Yeah, that’s a (-1) and a donut in two starts. And the worse one was against the Padres.
- Jose Abreu (2)
#6 – The Underrated Umpires (2-7) @ The Humongous Melonheads (6-3)
Winner: The Humongous Melonheads (206 to 198)
UU Top Scorer: Justin Smoak (31)
HM Top Scorer: Jose Altuve (33)
In a post-matchup interview, the Melonheads were shocked (lots of “…”), not expecting to come out on top in the week’s lowest-scoring but closest matchup.
- Justin Smoak (31) – 15 home runs? Oh my.
- Giancarlo Stanton (25)
- CC Sabathia (24) – 4 straight quality starts? He and Waino might’ve found the fountain of youth.
- Derek Holland (-22) – Welp, that finally happened.
- Matt Harvey (-2)
- Jose Altuve (33) – Starlin Castro is still going to beat you for the All-Star Game.
- Mike Foltynewicz (29) – The Melonheads rotation is a merry-go-round each week, presenting a different savior in times of darkness.
- Joe Ross (-11 against Oakland) – Dusty might be sending this young man down once again.
- Michael Pineda (-12) has been more dependable than maybe ever in 2017, so we’ll hope this isn’t a sign of the bill collector coming to town.
- German Marquez (-2) – Not at Coors. Against Padres. *chants of “Jeff Hoffman” fill the field*
That’s it for Week 9. Enjoy yourselves. See you in double digits.
They See Me Rollin. They Hatin.