With just a few weeks left until the playoffs begin, which teams are picking up the pace and who is struggling to stay the course?
We begin with the biggest winners of the week, as the Slugs hammered the Sox 11-1. Admittedly this was helped with a sweep of the pitching categories as the Sox failed to meet the 20-inning minimum requirement, but the Slugs were still on course for a healthy win regardless. Donaldson, Carpenter and JD Martinez were the top hitters while Gordon swiped five bases. McHugh won both his starts, Arrieta struck out 13 and Betances had a win and a hold. Morneau and Altuve salvaged average for the Sox.
|Norwich No II||36||6||30||3||.251||.752||3||5||51||3||3.46||1.23||9|
|The Cheddar Chasers||22||6||26||2||.269||.738||2||3||44||4||3.98||1.33||2|
It was a great week for Norwich, who shot up the standings with their 9-2 score against the Chasers. Fiers, Britton and Cobb helped the pitchers take every category bar holds, while Justin Upton, Seager and Freeman had big weeks with the bat. Joe Smith picked up four holds for the Chasers, while Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera helped take average.
I have to tip my cap to the RBIs, who picked up a well-deserved 9-2 win against my Isotopes. LaRoche, Cano and Blackmon led the offense to five out of six categories, falling one RBI short of a sweep. Young and a pair of wins and led the staff in ERA and strikeouts while Will Smith took care of holds. Puig and Utley forced a tie in RBIs, Archer struck out 12 and Soriano had three saves.
The Riverkings got the better of the Bananas 7-4. Both teams will have better weeks with the bats, but Cespedes, Desmond and Santana helped take four offensive categories while Sale made the difference in ERA and WHIP. The Bananas had RBIs and steals from Escobar and Marte while Reed and K-Rod had two saves each and Latos struck out 12.
The Butchers stay top after a very tight 7-5 win against the Knights. Morse batted .643 for the week, Yelich hit .464 and made the difference in runs and steals while Calhoun homered twice. Kimbrel and Holland each had three saves while Clippard had a busy week, collecting four holds. Harper and Gyorko helped the Knights win RBIs, while Gallardo won both his starts, making a big difference in ERA and WHIP, and Minor struck out 14.
|Bits & Bytes||13||3||17||0||.245||.663||2||2||31||0||2.65||0.91||5|
|Beck ‘Nams (GB)||26||1||19||4||.251||.643||2||0||57||4||4.03||1.17||6|
Beck ‘Nams squeezed through 6-5 against Bits & Bytes, with Reyes and Aoki the most influential hitters. The red-hot Kluber had 10 strikeouts, as did Shelby Miller, while Andrew Miller took care of holds. Kendrick helped the RBIs take homers and OPS, while Cishek had two saves and Felix, Kershaw and Hughes won ERA and WHIP for the umpteenth week in a row.
Another matchup, another 6-5. This time it was Jesmond getting the better of Batteries Essential. Perkins and O’Day took care of saves and holds respectively, while Fister’s stingy week was a big factor in claiming ERA and WHIP. Dickerson had a big week, homering three times, scoring six runs and knocking in 11. Billy Hamilton, Stanton and Starlin Castro helped Batteries Essential claim steals, average and OPS, while Koeher led the staff with two wins and 12 strikeouts.
|Angels of Ash Vale||23||8||18||2||.254||.735||2||4||40||0||2.67||1.08||5|
As you can see, 6-5 was a very popular score this week, showing just how competitive this league is. Iron Men’s pitchers took five categories thanks to Smyly, Wheeler, Gausman and Strasburg and the relief duo of Fien and Rodney. Adam Jones led the team with five RBIs. Chris Carter (four homers, nine RBIs) had a monster week for the Angels, while Morales also hit well. Rondon took care of saves in a very good week for the pitching staff, who were perhaps unlucky not to have claimed more categories, particularly with a very good team ERA and WHIP.
The week 20 matchups
Butchers (1st) v Iron Men (11th)
Chasers (2nd) v Batteries Essential (4th)
Norwich (3rd) v RBIs (13th)
Beck ‘Nams (5th) v Jesmond (8th)
Isotopes (6th) v Knights (10th)
Slugs (7th) v Banans (9th)
Riverkings (12th) v Angels (15th)
Sox (14th) v Bits & Bytes (16th)
Finally, if you haven’t yet done so, here’s a chance to help one of your fellow managers. You can vote for Stu’s son to win some ice hockey equipment by casting your vote here.