Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Top Eight - League MVP Edition

He's just one half of the Mackerel's superstar shortstop tandem, but his future keeper potential and status as an ex-Rated Rookie for the Sawx boost Hanley Ramirez's value over that of teammate Jimmy Rollins. Not to mention his hot start, which helped propel Mile High to the top of the standings for most of the first third of the season.
Currently in a near dead-heat for 2nd place among shortstops, Hanley is one of only five middle infielders with over 4 points per game. His perfo
rmance during the summer, fronting an inconsistent Marlins lineup, could be the key to a Macks resurgence, or the gateway to a blockbuster trade.

Its not often that a closer enters the MVP conversation. Only Eric Gagne's 2003 campaign for New Haven and Guillermo Hernandez's 1984 season with the Marlow Cracker Kings come to mind. Enter Frankie Cordero. He leads the league in points per week out the pen with 28.5, and had a stretch in late April and early May when he was getting saves every other game.
Adler's Army can attribute at least 2 or 3 wins directly to Cordero's arm. Those 2 or
3 wins could turn into 5 or 6 when Adler acquires Jonathan Papelbon from Speedway sometime in July for Hunter Pence, the rights to Jacoby Ellsbury, and a book from his baseball reading shelf.

After years at the top of draft boards, Jones has fallen in recent years - none more than in the '07 draft, when Baltimore picked him up in the 13th round. And he may still be under the radar, playing in his 57th year in Atlanta, but Chipper's rebirth as a fantasy stud has helped Jon Grashow's Jays claim the top spot in the standings through Week 8.
At nearly 4.5 PPG, Jones trails only A-Rod at the position and is currently the 4th best hitter overall. Baltimore continues to dominate on the mound, so any surprises at the plate alw
ays cause concern for the rest of the league. If Jones can stay healthy, he and Prince Fielder could challenge A-Rod and Ortiz for corner infield supremacy.


Sure, keeping Victor Martinez would have worked out pretty well so far for the 'Wipes. But dumping him in favor of Jake Peavy just prior to Draft Week '07 has turned out to be their biggest victory of the year. After years of benching any and every pitcher without a 2-start week, including perennial ace Roy Halladay, Ryan Friedman has finally found a hoss he can ride every week.
At 25 points per outing, Peavy leads all starters by nearly 3 full points, and is a near-lock to strikeout 8-12 batters per game, making even a non-win a chance for big points. His most valuable contribution however, might be weaning Speedway off of their 2-starter habit, which has netted them exactly 1 playoff appearance in the last 4 years.

The first of two MVP candidates for the Roostas, Reyes is one of many Woosta hitters trying to make up for the disastrous start on the mound. In an emerging pack of young shortstops, Reyes has used his speed and a great lineup to lead the position by nearly a half point per game. In just two short years, Reyes has gone from young bust to surprise keeper to coveted superstar.
If the playoff streak of GM Rich Gallup is to be extended to 19 for 19, Reyes will need to have more performances like Weeks 1, 2 and 3, when he totalled 102 points in just 16 games.

He'd be higher if I thought anyone would vote for him. Lots of home runs early in the season. Kind of slowing down lately. Leads all infielders in points per game. Is a Yankee. Here's a picture - let's move on.

As many of Mile High's old guard have slowed down, Guerrero is having one of his finest seasons to date. Currently sitting at 4.27 PPG, Vlad is second among all outfielders, and was the best hitter for the first place team for much of the early season.
What makes Guerrero even more valuable is how awful the rest of Bielecki's outfield has been. What looked like a juggernaut on paper with two Yankees and a Red Soxck has mostly flopped. Now Michael Cuddyer is Mile High's 2nd best outfielder, and Ken Griffey Jr is their hottest of late. Through it all, the long-time Mack Guerrero has been the consistent force.

Drafted in the same round and Chone Figgins and Stephen Drew, and dumped in favor of Ryan Church during the first week of the season, the fantasy career of Magglio Ordonez appeared to be heading for what we like to call Town Bikeland. 8 weeks later, he's the hottest hitter in the league and the leading candidate for most valuable player.
After not even playing in the first three weeks, Ordonez is still 12th among all outfielders in total points, ahead of Manny Ramirez, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, AND Jack Cust. All this, thanks to a per-game average approaching 6.00 in the middle of a potent Tigers offense. Ordonez might have all the makings of a sell-high candidate but, for now, he's the leader of a surprisingly solid Starwipe lineup and the current frontrunner for MVP.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Adler the Recapler - Week 6

This matchup was only the second-most important thing that Baltimore owner Jon Grashow did last week as he tossed aside years of tradition and grabbed a Yankee. Not just any Yankee but Mariano Rivera. The league was shocked, not because he’s a Yankee, but because he’s been so bad. In the actual matchup, Bob’s LA of Anaheim or California of the USA Squatters put up their 2nd-highest score of the year with 396.7 points. With a league-high for the week of 292 hitting points, Bob was paced by, well, everyone except Mike Piazza, who didn’t play. All other hitters put up double digits. On the mound, Bob was led by Brandon Webb and John Lackey, who continue to be two of the best, albeit underrated, pitchers in ECB.

In Baltimore, Grashow received the worst performance from his team this year with only 330 points (nearly 50 below his previous low score). Although all of his pitchers broke into double digits, there wer few stellar games, as Randy Wolf was the only player to crack 30 points. At the plate, Adam Dunn shone with a co-hitter of the week showing of 37, but there was little else to reward, as only 3 other batters broke 20.

At the beginning of the season, Jeff seemed to fulfill his date with destiny by drafting Mariano Rivera. Well, it was a short date. The kind where something awkward happens and the date ends early, like a half hour in. "I'm sorry, it's just not working out. It's not you, it's me." That's the way Stanley broke the news to Rivera in the locker room. The good news is that Rivera went out with a win, although he didn't contribute much. Stanley's hitters were led by Mike Lowell's surprising 36 points. The pitching was paced by 3 of Stanley's 800 closers, in particular Billy Wagner, Trevor Hoffman, and Takashi Saito.

A week after knocking off ECB powerhouse Woosta, Menace GM Jon Watterson was disappointed with his team's performance, coming up short next to Stanley, (ED NOTE: Ha!) although Watterson had to be pleased with his team's improving offense. He pointed to Gary Matthews Jr, Carlos Lee, and Derek Jeter who all posted 30+ points. Despite the solid hitting, however, Marshall St. was betrayed by C.C. Sabathia, Chris Ray, and Aki Otsuka who all posted subpar performances. When reached for comment, Jon refused to make excuses, except for one: "My team was clearly looking ahead to our rematch with the Pimps."

SPEEDWAY (6) def. WOOSTA (3)
In the battle of former GSC teammates, Ryan T. Friedman's Wipes earned a 6-3 victory. With a strong pitching performance of 185.7 points for the week, Speedway were led by Fausto Carmona and Ted Lilly both posting over 40. With the bats, everyone but Josh "The Natural" Hamilton posted double figures. Hamilton was promptly cut and now resides in Baltimore. Friedman was quoted while signing the release papers as saying, "Cue starwipe...and you're out."

In an uncharacteristic down year (ED NOTE: So far. Don't hurt us.), Rich's Pimps were handed their 3rd-straight loss since stomping Chicago with their league high of 555 points 4 weeks ago. Woosta was led by David Ortiz and Justin Morneau both posting 35 points, and only Ian Kinsler failing to reach double digits. On the mound, the unlikely triumverate of Ian Snell, Chris Young, and Oliver Perez led the way, combining for 102.7 points. When reached for comment on the beaches of Hawaii, Gallup was brief, simply stating, "Go ahead. Write us off. See what happens."

CHICAGO (8) def. MILE HIGH (1)
In the smackdown of the week, Chicago beat down Mile High to the tune of an 8-1 result. Aided by the second-highest hitting performance of the week, Adler's Army posted a season-high 465.5 points. With co-hitter of the week Lance Berkman's 37 points and Gary Sheffield and Russell Martin posting strong weeks, the Army put up 276 at the plate alone. The pitchers received at least 25 points from everyone except Doug Davis for a league high 189.5.

Mile HIgh's Jon Bielecki stated that his team was betrayed by his hitting. And he was right, as the lineup only managed a team-low for '07 with 181 points, although Ken Griffey Jr was the final co-hitter of the week. Particularly putrid were the efforts of Pudge Rodriguez, Derrek Lee, and - ah screw it - the entire infield. On the pitching side, the Macks were saved by Brad Penny's pitcher of the week showing with 58.67 points. JB has failed to write his team off after a second straight losing week (ED NOTE: Probably because he's still in first place), and walked out of the locker room offering the following encouragement: "A little less suck out there next week fellas."

Monday, May 7, 2007

Adler the Recapler - Week 4

In the week that was for week 4 the cream of the crop has started to distance themselves from the rest of the pack. It is a long season though and only time will tell how it unfolds.

Marshall St. @ New Haven
In a battle of teams picked to finish at or near the bottom by a near league consensus Owner Jeff Stanley's Cones emerged with nearly 400 points walking away with a 7-2 victory. With Jose Valverde leading the way, Jeff recieved between 18-36 points from each of his closers and the Cones put up the third highest pitching total of the week. On the hitting side the Cones were led by a resurgent Sammy Sosa who posted 34 points and whose veteran tips helped first round pick Carl Crawford post 33 points. Marshall St was betrayed by his pitching posting a league low total of 81 points. Only Dontrelle Willis was able to post more than 14 points for the week with two solid outings. Watterson's hitting was led by the unlikely trio of Josh Willingham, Rocco Baldelli, and Chad Tracy.

Anaheim @ Mile High
In a battle of the two westernmost teams in ECB, JB's team walked away with a 6-3 victory. JB continues to lead the pack after four weeks with a league best record of 26-10. The Macks were powered by a week-best pitching performance of 195.17 points. With both John Maine and Danny Haren posting over 50 points and Al Reyes putting up an additional 41.5, JB's team distanced itself from Anaheim. With the lumber, the Mackerel were led by Jimmy Rollins' 43 points and supported by Kelly Johnson's 35 and Derrek Lee's 32. Anaheim had the second highest pitching total coming in with 145 points, but it wasn't enough. Led by Aaron Harang's 49.83 and Scott Kazmir's 32.83, Bob was able to give JB his second closest week to date. On the hitting side, Torii Hunter led the way with 33 points followed by Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner.

Chicago @ Baltimore
Chicago was the only away team to win this week emerging with a 6-3 victory. The bats of Chicago finally awoke and broke 300 points for the first time this year, posting a 301. With 10 of 13 players posting over 20 points only Manny Ramirez, Ryan Howard, and Scott Rolen failed to break the 20 point barrier. On the pitching side, closers Coco Cordero and Flash Gordon led the way with 37 and 25 points respectively. Baltimore's bats led the way as Chipper Jones posted a 34 with Edgar Renteria and Baltimore's favorite son Grady Sizemore posting 30s. On the pitching side, Baltimore was led by first round pick Francisco Rodriguez and was hurt by Kip Wells only starting once and posting a -3.

Woosta @ Speedway
In the marquee matchup of the week, Speedway walked away with an 8-1 victory. One week after posting a season high of 555 points, Rich's bats were not nearly as potent. With not one batter breaking 30 points a week after 5 did, Rich's team struggled to keep pace with the 'Wipes. Michael Barrett, Bill Hall, and Nick Markakis all failing to crack double digits certainly didn't help the cause. Rich recieved solid efforts across the board on his pitching staff with the exception of Bob Wickman who merely covers the board... because he's fat. Speedway was led by a week-high of 363 hitting points. With Magglio Ordonez, Chase Utley, and Vernon Wells all breaking 40 points, GM Ryan Friedman's victory was assured before his pitchers took the field. When the pitchers did hurl, everyone - with the exception af Kyle Davies - turned in solid weeks.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Saber Haven - April

BAL .267 .354 .461 .815
4.07 1.33 8.23
CHI .279 .380 .435 .815
3.83 1.28 7.26
LAA .269 .347 .435 .782
3.51 1.32 7.22
MAR .287 .354 .431 .785
5.19 1.39 8.46
MHI .307 .377 .481 .858
3.41 1.21 5.61
NHV .249 .325 .389 .714
2.43 1.05 7.70
SPD .286 .368 .472 .841
3.46 1.30 7.81
WOO .278 .362 .532 .894
4.70 1.53 6.26