Dynasty League Review—Making a Run

This week Jamie keeps on winnin' in his Dynasty league and convinces himself to push for the playoffs. WILL HE OR WON'T HE!?

Here at Pitcher List, we thought it would be fun to give the readers a look into the dynasty leagues of Pitcher List staff members. Two weeks ago I discussed Reynaldo Lopez, superstar studs and trades. This week, I talk about Trent Grisham, how important pitching is and THE TRADE DEADLINE SHENANIGANS. Just as a point of reference, I go over free keepers and our MiLB system in my first dynasty post if you are unsure what some of the terms mean.

Week 16

Slack TL;DR

My team is ??? at the moment. I was the top team again this week, with stellar performances from my offense (my offense scored 240 points, which was more than half the teams in the league for TOTAL points). My pitching was alright this week, but when you’re offense is as good as mine, that’s all you need it to be. Trade pickup Danny Santana helped fill the void I have had at 1B this year, scoring 33 points with two doubles, two triples and two home runs (he likes to be consistent). The plate discipline is awful (tied for the 5th worst BB% in the MLB min. 300 PA), but it seems like he has made some changes to his swing and has become more of a power hitter than previous years. You can plug him almost anywhere in your lineup and he’s deserving of more love. Don’t be surprised if he ends up going through a slump, but for someone who was a complete afterthought at the beginning of the year, you’ll take it.
So JD Martinez is good huh? It’s possible that all he needed was the all-star break to help him rest a bit, as he’s been on a tear since coming back. Immediately after the break he was still somewhat mediocre but has turned it on since July 20th, slashing .381/.466/.714 with 5 home runs, giving owners the hope he can have a stellar 2nd half. He’s whiffing less this year, dropped his groundball rate but has the worst barrel rate since joining the league, so who knows.
So while almost all of my team was good, one player was not. Jeremy Jeffress has been bad. Real bad. I keep giving him chances after what he was able to do last year, but it doesn’t seem like this is his year. The Brewers have given him multiple chances to be the main setup guy. Since July 1st, however, he’s got a 7.24 ERA with only a 16.7% strikeout rate. His FIP is a somewhat palpable 4.60 but that’s not great. I’ve learned from him this year that relievers are dumb, and investing a high draft pick in one is almost always a bad idea.

Lastly, what more do I say about my fantastic Indians duo? They combined this week for 90.5 points, thanks to a .394 average with 6 home runs and a 4:2 BB:K ratio. Jose Ramirez seems to be back, even with his slow August start. He’s become uber-aggressive at the plate, only walking four times all of August, though this could hinder him in the future.

I did not make any trades this week cause I am prepping for all of the deadline moves!

Favourite Trade Other Than Mine

The favourite not mine trade this week is a rare case of it making a lot of sense for both teams. One team, destined for the playoffs, needed some depth, while the other one, gets the best player in the deal.

Giants Trade Rockies Trade
1B Jose Abreu RP Taylor Rogers
RP Nathan Eovaldi SP Mike Minor

Now, I know what you’re all thinking. “But Jamie, Jose Abreu is probably the best player in this deal by far”. I agree. Though what most of you don’t know is the Giants own 45 first baseman. Justin Smoak, Albert Pujols, Brandon Belt, Carlos Santana are all on this team. He must know what he’s doing, as his team is 24-10. He needed two pitchers to help him for a playoff push, as his pitching depth is probably the weakest of his squad.

Taylor Rogers is an elite relief ace and probably the best option for the Twins to close, even with their new bullpen additions.

Mike Minor is performing over his head (3.06 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 85% LOB rate) but has increased his strikeout rate, turning himself into a pretty stellar fantasy option.

The Rockies, on the other hand, are looking towards 2020 and Abreu probably holds the most value of these players as keepers. On the surface, his numbers aren’t great, but he’s got the best hard-hit percentage of his career. He seems to be a pretty decent buy-low in redraft leagues, but in Dynasty I do have to wonder what free agency will bring for him.

Nathan Eovaldi is an interesting flyer as a reliever/fireman/maybe starter option for 2020, as he could be valuable in a multi-inning role. He just needs to stay healthy.

Favorite Waiver Wire Add: Mike Tauchman, Tampa Bay Rays

How the HELL do the Yankees keep churning out waiver fodder options into reliable depth/starters!? Mike Tauchman was essentially ditched by the Rockies and scooped up by the Yankees. With the Yankees consistently being hurt this year, Tauchman has been thrust into playing time. He’s succeeded so far, with a 137 wRC+ and just had a two-homer game. He may run into playing time issues once players become healthy, but if this year has proven anything for the Yankees, it’s that everyone will be hurt at some point. Humble brag alert: I had picked Tauchman up three separate times this year. FANTASTIC.

Record: 17-15

Week 17

Slack TL;DR


WHAT A WILD DEADLINE! Zach Greinke is an Astro! Aaron Sanchez is an Astro! Marcus Stroman is a Met (ugh)! That’s all I took away from this deadline, as this effects Marcus Stroman (obviously) and Jose Urquidy, who suddenly doesn’t have a rotation spot. Marcus Stroman moves to a neutral situation, as the park is a decent pitchers park and he should get more wins. Unfortunately, the Mets have one of the worst infields in MLB and Stroman, a pitcher that heavily relies on groundballs will more than likely suffer because of it. In terms of the Sanchez trade, the Astro’s will more than likely fix him and make him an ace. Urquidy was quite poor in his final start in the majors, giving up 8 hits and 6 runs in 4 IP. He will more than likely be their next up option if anyone gets hurt.

My team this week also went 2-0, this week however in not so dominant fashion. Jose Altuve continues to be hot since the all-star break, posting the 2nd best wRC+ of 2nd baseman during that time frame. He’s been fairly lucky, however, as he’s sporting a 50% groundball rate and 38.2% hard-contact rate. He plays in the perfect park for him and with 2nd base being fairly mediocre, I’ll continue to run out one of the best options at the position.

Noah Syndergaard is fully back baby, and boy am I glad I moved Rich Hill, Travis Shaw and Matt Manning for him! This week he had two starts and excelled, only having a WHIP of 0.71 and striking out 14 in 14.1 IP. Slider usage is still up around 20%, and as long as that’s around that mark, he should be a fantasy ace.

IT’S TRENT GRISHAM TIME! To cap off an amazing week for Grisham, in which he went 5-5 in a AAA game hitting the cycle with TWO home runs, he was called up to the Brewers and has a chance to get steady playing time. In AAA he was slashing an absurd .381/.471/.776 with more walks than strikeouts. The Brewers are going to try Ryan Braun back at 1st to see if he can play there for Grisham to be in the outfield. I’ve stashed Grisham in a roster spot for the better part of two months, and I finally get to see what he’s about.

A quick note on Reynaldo Lopez – while his stats during these two periods weren’t amazing, he’s still showcasing increased velocity from earlier in the year, and that still has me buying anywhere I can.

This week I really started to realize how important good relievers are. I started Buck Farmer, Jake Diekman, Adam Morgan and Jeremy Jeffress, and while it didn’t really hurt me as bad as it could have, it’s a dangerous game to play (-11 points from Morgan and Jeffress). With Felix Pena out for the year with an ACL tear my staff is becoming decimated, and in future years I will have to make sure I have better reliever depth rather than relying on waiver wire options.

Again no trades this week, but with the league’s deadline next Friday I will be sure to have made a ton of moves.

Favourite Trade Other Than Mine

My favourite trade that wasn’t mine this week was for a player I was in discussions about before the trade happened.

Marlins Trade Padres Trade
SP Aaron Sanchez MiLB Shed Long
FK1 Lewis Brinson

I love this deal for the Padres, as I think the Astros will unlock a lot of potential for Aaron Sanchez. With Toronto, he would throw his sinker way too much, and instead, an easy fix will be throwing his four-seamer high and using his curve low in the zone. He’s got a year of control after this one so he will be a decent option for the Astros for the next year and a half.

Lewis Brinson has had his struggles in MLB this year thanks in part to an awful 2.2% walk rate, but his AAA rate of 9.9% shows some potential for average plate discipline. The 5 tool star many scouts saw seems to be gone, but he could still be a useful 20-20 guy that doesn’t kill your average.

Shed Long is an interesting player that I don’t really foresee being a major fantasy contributor. With the Mariners full-on rebuilding, he should get a chance to play every day when he’s healthy, and close MiLB players do have value in our league.

Favorite Waiver Wire Add: Aristides Aquino, Houston Astros

Houston Astros get another favorite of mine. With Yasiel Puig being traded to the Indians, an outfield spot opened up. Jesse Winker’s Players Weekend nickname is Bird and it’s probably because the Reds NEED TO LET HIM SPREAD HIS WINGS AND FLY! Unfortunately, with Aquino in the mix, it will be harder for Winker to get steady playing time. A swing change for Acquino helped unlock his potential, as he’s hit 28 home runs in 323 PA, good for a .636 slug. While strikeouts have been an issue for him in the past, he kept his rate from AA to AAA at 25% and shouldn’t affect him too majorly. Playing time will be harder for him, but he’s earned the right to be in the majors.

Dynasty Questions

To end my dynasty review articles from now on, I will be answering questions related to dynasty! If you have any for the future feel free to comment or ask me on Twitter or even on Reddit! This week, I got a question on Reddit from /u/Poseidon312 about pitchers.

My team fell out of contention early this year due to a combo of injuries and, well, not having good players. I decided to go into full rebuild mode and trade a bunch of Top tier pitchers, for younger hitters with good potential. I need help rebuilding a pitching staff, with a focus on next year and beyond, so :

who are pitchers that could have a bounce back year, make the next step next year, or would be worthy of an IR stash?

10 team league, Full dynasty (keep all players), Pitching categories: ERA, Ks, IP, W, QS, WHIP, Saves

My staff: SP (start 5 each week): Canning, Turnbull, Musgrove, Lynn, Fiers, John Means, Teheran, Keller

Also: I know Montas got suspended for PED use but what is your outlook for him moving forward? Is he worth a stash?

I ADORE Montas heading into next year. If your deadline hasn’t passed yet I’d be looking to acquire him on the cheap. I know people have concerns about the PED suspension and all, but PEDs can’t teach a pitcher a splitter that had a 21.7 swinging strike percentage on it. Of your pitchers, the only ones I truly like are Canning, and it’s taken a while, but I’m finally believing in Lance Lynn. I would PROBABLY be looking to move Lynn still as I don’t fully trust the profile going into 2020, but those two I believe the most. Canning is someone I actually foresee taking the next step in 2020, as he has 3 pitches that get swinging strikes at an above-average rate (slider, curveball and changeup) despite his meh strikeout rate this year.

Bounceback Options – Carlos Carrasco if he can make a full recovery from Leukemia seems to be as good a buy low for 2020 as anyone. Sean Manaea has started a rehab assignment in AAA for his shoulder surgery and should be fairly cheap. While he was shut down from his rehab this week for side soreness, according to Bob Melvin his command and velocity were great and that’s a good sign the shoulder won’t be an issue for him.

Breakout Options – Aaron Sanchez like I mentioned above is who I consider one of the best pitchers to gamble on for 2020. A full off-season of Astro tinkering could turn him into an ace. 2020 might finally be year Anthony DeScalfani finally breaks out. He’s had his strikeout rate climb the last three healthy seasons from 20.7% to 22.3% to 24.9% this year and should be cheap enough to acquire without giving up too many assets.

Injury Options – Take a gander at Lance McCullers, as when he’s healthy he had elite strikeout stuff, albeit with walk and injury issues. Luis Severino may not start this year, and that should make him a great buy for 2020. While his owner has probably held him too long and won’t want to move him cheap, I think he’s worth purchasing at even 80% of his cost.

Hope this helps and if you need any more help feel free to message me on Reddit! I’m always glad to help!

(Photo by Bennett Cohen/Icon Sportswire)

Jamie Sayer

Dynasty and prospect extraordinaire, Jamie loves writing about prospects of all ages. A Diehard Bluejays, Leafs and Raptors fan, Jamie can be reached on Twitter at @JamieSayerPL and on Reddit /u/jamiesayer.

5 responses to “Dynasty League Review—Making a Run”

  1. King Donko of Punchstania says:

    “Noah Syndergaard is fully back baby, and boy am I glad I moved Rich Hill, Travis Shaw and Matt Manning for him!”

    That’s brutal. How does that owner possibly compete in your league?

    • Jamie Sayer says:

      To be fair on his part, Shaw was struggling but a lot of the peripherals didn’t look awful. Rich Hill wasn’t dead at that point, and Thor looked LOST. Prospects tend to be overvalued as well, and Manning is closer than I would normally like to have traded away. But yes that deal turned out swimmingly for me haha!

  2. Jakesteens says:

    Hey, reds fan here claiming Aquino as ours and not an Astro (looks like a typo). Def agree tho that I’m excited to see him play, he’s hitting the ball very hard so far

    • Jamie Sayer says:

      Hey Thanks Jakesteens! It’s actually the Astro’s in my league that claimed him! I should have specified that better. The hype is worth it as I’m sure you’ve seen haha

  3. carding says:

    Very ɡo᧐d article. I will be going through some of these issuеѕ as well..

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