Let me ask you a question: if you are on bye week, do you still set your lineup? I did not each day, in fact, most of the week, I did not even look at my team. Then I had a horrible realization: my guys were still playing actual baseball. What if someone got hurt? What if I had someone on the DL and missed out on picking up someone to replace him? By Thursday, I started checking my team each day.
As you can see, Jason defeated Sean, in what was not a very close matchup. Jason had some fantastic hitting, led by Avisail Garcia and Francisco Lindor. Not much you can do if you are Sean when the opposing team batting average is .335 for the week. That said, Sean’s biggest strength has been his pitching and it let him down this week. Not a good time for Scherzer & Paxton to have terrible starts, which helped balloon that ERA/WHIP. Any other week and he probably owns those stats.
On the other side, Offord beat Ryan. The score looks worse than it was though. Ryan started slow and was in the hole, but dug himself out pretty quickly. He dominated the Runs, HRs, RBIs, and was only one steal away from a tie there. Offord had a pretty big lead in the AVG/OBP category, so much that it was almost impossible for Ryan to catch those rate stats (without some incredible hitting). Their pitching was very close. In fact, Ryan pointed out that if Sonny Gray has a good start on Sunday, the entire score could have been different. Not sure how true that is…which means we are going to try and figure it out.
Going into Sunday, Offord was behind in strikeouts, 51 to 70. They both had 6 wins. If Sonny Gray does not pitch, Ryan’s ERA is 2.62, which is still not enough to defeat Offord, BUT…if Gray pitches 7 innings of shutout baseball, Ryan’s team ERA would drop to 2.42, which would have won that category. In that situation, he probably also wins WHIP, and they tie in wins, which means that Ryan is correct, Sonny Gray cost him this game. Or maybe the fact that Ryan chose the wrong Gray brother…Offord had Jon Gray, who picked up a win and 17 Ks in two starts with a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Don’t blame Sonny, blame yourself for not believing in a different shade of Gray (eek, next thing you know I will be writing for ESPN with jokes that bad).
Because I never remember to change the settings to reseed, that means I get to face Jason, while Gideon takes on Offord. I have defeated Jason twice this year, 6-5 & 8-3. Gideon and Offord split their two matches. Gideon won the first 7-5, while Offord took the second matchup 7-4. Who is the difference maker for each team? For Jason it is Kris Bryant. I know, he has Paul Goldschmidt, who will probably win the NL MVP (or at least be in the top three), but Goldschmidt is very consistent. He will hit over .300 all week, have a few HRs, and do his thing. Bryant is the kind of hitter who can erupt for a .476 AVG, with like four or five HRs. Especially this last few weeks of the season, with the Cubs playing pretty well. I would not be shocked if Bryant defeats me.
For me, it is obviously Jose Altuve. He is insane. He can hit .600 for a week (he has done it before). He can have a week where he steals five bases OR maybe he hits a bunch of home runs. He can defeat a teams hitters on his own. I would say for Gideon, the guy that could really change things in the span of the week is Corey Seager. Look, the Dodgers just went through a rough patch, but they won three in a row and now they play the Phillies and then the Giants. Seager could have a monster week. If he does come alive during this week, Offord could be in trouble.
Speaking of Offord, his team is pretty stacked. I mean, he has Votto and that guy will definitely be the one who things hinge the most, but I would say that his matchup with Gideon could hinge on the back of Marcus Stroman. Pretty crazy, right? Stroman has two starts this week, against the Royals and Yankees. If he picks up two wins there, that could be huge for Offord. Or he could blow up and cost him the week.
I am going to take Offord as the winner this week in a close one…6-5.
Good luck gentleman!