One Degree Of Separation: The PL Wacky Leagues Week 6 Recap

Jake Matier makes us all believers, and more.

It’s not all just fun and games over here at Pitcher List, sometimes we all like to really hunker down and focus on only the most serious tests of fantasy skill. Hence, the Wacky Leagues. These leagues are made up of a mix of PL staffers and PL+ members, so if you haven’t already, head on over to the PL+ sign up page and get on the Discord so you can start prepping for the 2021 Wacky Season.

Asher Dratel will be bringing you all of the recaps for the Guillotine Leagues and WorstBall Categories, while Myles Nelson keeps us all up to date on WorstBall Points and the Grand Theft leagues.


The Guillotine Leagues

This week kicked off with what looked like a sure case of Commentator’s Jinx as Rich Holman’s team, who I have complimented weekly, got off to a rough start as Sonny Gray put up a -14 point performance on Tuesday night. But yet again Rich found himself unbothered by the time the weekend rolled around, so I feel comfortable continuing to say: Dang, that dude has a solid team. Other managers in League 1 weren’t so lucky.

Jake Matier forgot to start Zack Greinke on Thursday night, which meant he was 21 points away from safety on Friday rather than potentially only 0.5 points back. He had a 3 pitcher night Friday, though, so maybe Jake could make up the difference! Well, he ended up with a grand total of 5 points combined between Jack Flaherty, Jesús Luzardo, and Dane Dunning. Things were looking grim until a heroic 21 point night from none other than Mike Trout, combined with anAces Gonna Ace outing from Kenta Maeda, and a very solid start from Aaron Civale moved him up to a mere 3 points from safety going into Sunday’s slate. By the time the dust had settled Sunday night, Jake had eked his way to safety, beating out mthurlow by a single point. Given that Jake’s team name is Cleveland Believers, I would hope he celebrated the win by clapping a large cloud of chalk dust into the air in his living room a la Lebron. (Wait do they still like Lebron in Cleveland? I assume they do…)

With Jake’s win comes mthurlow’s loss. And I’m realizing as we get deeper into the season that my mental model of how the weekly wire bids would work out was totally wrong. Each week we’re winnowing the leagues down to the strongest lineups, so instead of big turnover every Monday night we’re seeing much more targeted FAAB usage. In League 1 this week only 3 players got picked up, as the remaining managers are low on money and looking at the upgrade costs to their own rosters. Jake wanted to avoid another nailbiter weekend, picking up Mookie Betts for $47 and setting the high bid mark. Alex Drennan rounded out the other pair of acquisitions, picking up Lance Lynn and Brandon Lowe for $1 each.

Alex remains firmly in command on the FAAB side, with $357 remaining. Austin Bristow II and Michael Ajeto still have the $25 remaining from their first-week spree, and the rest of the league is now staring down their $0 budget to make it to the end.

Donny Moskvits’ team got themselves a whole shout out and even embedded lineup image in last week’s recap, and it turns out I was right to as he cruised to a first-place finish this week, feeling confident enough to even say this on Wednesday:

In League 2, Darrin Ambrose was also betrayed by Sonny’s sudden return to Gray days, and going into Friday’s 20 game slate he and Hunter Denson found themselves fighting over a 2.5 point margin between elimination and safety. Fate didn’t have it in mind for both leagues to come down the wire, though, as in the end, it was Hunter’s team that found itself missing a 4th place finish by over 100 points. A mix of pitching schedules and underwhelming starting performances meant that a 20-point Saturday from Eugenio Suárez was for naught in the end. Although, Darrin’s team also went gangbusters all weekend, to their credit. Such is life in the Guillotine Leagues.

League 2 continues to be the place to go for FAAB action, with 13 bids being placed total. Donny bolstered his already formidable rotation, picking up Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, and Jack Flaherty for $2 each. He also added some thump to his hitters with a $2 pickup of Cody Bellinger. Red-hot Rhys Hoskins went to Myles Nelson’s team as one of the flurry of $0 bids this week, with KingHippo also adding José Berríos, Kyle Tucker, Eugenio Suárez, and Blake Snell.

Donny will continue to be able to dictate the market on Monday night with $2 bids, as he has $90 FAAB remaining compared to $1 for Darrin and $0 for the rest of the managers. Imagine one of those money gun things just full of $2 bills, that’s a fun time.


WorstBall Categories

This week was Mary Ankebruck’s chance to shine, as she won her matchup against Doc Brown 6-2. Mary’s pitching put up a 6.17 ERA and 1.54 WHIP, but found the zone a little too much, with only 2 BBs for the week. Corey W’s offense carried the week, putting up a .254 OBP and a .286 SLG, although that OBP was only .001 better than his opponent Myles Nelson, who beat Corey soundly in strikeouts 38 to 14. There’s a WorstBall offense to be proud of. Corey’s pitching didn’t put up much of a fight though, pitching to a thoroughly respectable 2.91 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with only a single loss between them. Overall, it was another pretty even week, without much of a shakeup in the standings.

Hitter Of The Week: Jorge Alfaro. Myles Nelson’s namesake really stepped up this week, with 11 strikeouts to go with his .167 OBP and .211 SLG. Myles also has Miguel Sanó in his CI slot, so he’s got Ks on lock, even though Sanó usually hits well enough to hurt his offensive ratios. That’s a lot of swing and miss!

Pitcher Of The Week: Jon Lester. Alexander Chase got a 2-start week out of Lester and was “rewarded” with 1 loss, 5 walks, and a 10.38 ERA and 2.19 WHIP over 8.2 IP. The ability to give you those numbers and pitch that many innings in a week is a rare find in this league.

Current WorstBall Categories Standings


-Asher Dratel


WorstBall Points

I don’t think I’ve ever seen league domination quite like this. For the sixth week in a row, Alex Isherwood took home the victory, and did so resoundingly this week. Not only did Isherwood lead the league in points scored (again) with 275 points, but he absolutely massacred poor Adam Howe, who only managed 34 points against him. Isherwood has over 200 points more than the next highest scoring team, and looks frankly unbeatable. I’m very much looking forward to trying to knock him off his throne this week, as I sit one game back at 5-1. I just don’t see how I’ll be able to pull it off, as no one has come close to beating Isherwood yet.

As we enter week 7, this is our final week before the playoffs. Two of us have guaranteed spots, myself and Isherwood, but the last two spots remain up for grabs. There are four teams in the hunt, with Collin Carlone and Joshua Botelho currently slotted in those spots, but Justin Paradis and Trevor Hooth are hot on their tail. Carlone and Botelho are facing off against each other, so there will definitely be one spot up for grabs for the two teams that are currently on the outside looking in. Best of luck (worst of luck?) to everyone in the hunt!

Hitter of the Week: Austin Meadows did not have a good week last week, going 2/23 at the plate with no extra base hits, no RBI, and 12 strikeouts as well. He was a popular breakout candidate this year, but he just hasn’t been able to put it all together.

Pitcher of the Week: This week we had a tie, between Erick Fedde and Matt Harvey, who both scored 58 points. Between the two of them, they accounted for an 0-3 record (across 5 appearances), a 10.29 ERA, 8 home runs allowed, and 6 walks in just 14 innings. Of course, both were in Isherwood’s lineup.

Current WorstBall Points Standings


Grand Theft Baseball

Mike Trout. Lance Lynn.

Those were the two players I chose to protect this week. That was it. If I lost, any of my other players could have been stolen. Kenley Jansen, Zack Greinke, Alex Bregman, JD Martinez, Max Muncy, all headliners that any team would love to snag. But I couldn’t keep any of them safe. I just had to win. Thankfully, mercifully, that’s what I did. And while my opponent had some big names on his squad, I couldn’t resist the allure of one Rhys Hoskins, who looks even more tantalizing in an OBP league. He was slugging like it was 2017 and everything else looked good, so I had to go for the hot hand. Hopefully he can carry me to yet another win, because this week we do not get to protect a single player. If I lose, Trout is gone, and there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Losing this week is no death knell. I mean, last year Dave Cherman lost the matchup right before the playoffs started and had soon-to-be MVP Cody Bellinger taken from him. But that doesn’t make losing this week any easier, as it meant losing players like Josh Hader, Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Marcell Ozuna, Anthony Rendon, Luis Castillo, and Pete Alonso. I can’t imagine losing a player of that caliber this close to the playoffs. For every team still fighting for a playoff spot, winning this week is mandatory, because you do not want to lose your best player at the last minute.

-Myles Nelson

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers. @asherd.bsky.social on Bluesky.

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