The Latest of our reports from my Dynasty Players Choice league by division. Next week we’ll bring you updates from our all futility league but for now. Division C in the Players Choice League:
AL Division C
2015 Kansas City Royals
After a slow start the Royals not only have 1st place in the AL Division C but the best record in the American league. Can their one run heroics (7-3) in one run games continue to keep them on top?
Heroes: It’s hard to pick one hero on this team but but Kendrys Morales is a great candidate. with his team leading .315 avg. 15 RBI while hitting .364 with runners in scoring position. On the Mound Johnny Cueto is 4-0 with a team leading 43 2/3 innings 2 complete games and a WHIP of only 1.17. While Wade Davis is 4-4 in save chances twice as many k’s as BB and has yet to give up an earned run.
Zeroes: Salvador Perez is a reluctant choice for a zero. His .214 avg is last on the team and 17K’s in 84 AB is a lot but he’s driven in 9 runs (.333 with 2 outs & RISP) and has caught 2 of 7 who have tried to steal off him. However there is no doubt about Starters Danny Duffy (1-3) .398 avg against 8.35 ERA and Jeremy Guthrie (0-2 .410 avg against 12.00 ERA) their seven starts are the reason this team is not a lot farther ahead.
Wildcard: Ben Zobrist was hitting .455 with runners in scoring position and .333 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position with 5 HR in only 13 games before going on the DL. Now that he’s back a team expect the teams -2 Run differential to change dramatically, particularly against opponents with a combined 28-33 record.
Coming attractions: A quick 3 game homestand vs the 2009 Yankees is followed by a six game road trip to opposite ends of the Country against the 1988 A’s in Oakland and then the 2013 Redsox in Boston.
1924 Washington Senators
A just over .500 record might be good enough and even stats might be a big improvement over last seasons epic 4-21 finish to the season but if they expect to do better than fighting for the last playoff spot they will have to surge.
Heroes: Roger Peckinpaugh’s 3 HR is more than all he hit last year. Combine that with a dozen RBI, a dozen walks and the team lead in runs despite batting 6-9th and he’s looking good. Tommy Taylor might be a part time player but he’s hitting .297 and shares the league lead in triples with teammate Sam Rice with 4. On the Mound George Mogridge is 4th League ERA (2.38) 2nd in wins (4) 3rd in avg against (.216) and is the reason why the Senators are only 1 1/2 out.
Zeroes: Curly Ogden has been nothing short of disaster both as a starter and a reliever 0-3 8.27 ERA Seven walks and 4 HR allowed vs only one strikeout. Bucky Harris has scored 13 runs but is batting only .234 with a .237 slugging percentage and with .077 avg when leading off isn’t getting the table set. Not that it would matter for Joe Judge whose slump which started at the end of last season keeping him from 100 RBI’s continues. He has only 5 RBI a .237 avg and an anemic .111 avg with runners in scoring position and is hitless with runners in scoring position with 2 outs.
Wild Card: Walter Johnson has been a workhorse 3rd in inning pitched in the league holding batters to a .217 avg (4th) & a WHIP of 1.18 (6th) in the lead while hitting .364 with 1 HR and 4 RBI’s off the bench but only has a only a 3-3 record thanks to a 3.61 ERA and six homers. Will he settle down or will the use of him on 3 days rest mean an average Johnson.
Coming Attractions: The Senators finish a home stand vs the 2009 Yankees, Fly off to Oakland to face the 1998 A’s for a series before beginning a long 21 game homestand staring against the 2013 Redsox.
2009 New York Yankees
After losing six of their first 8 the Bronx Bombers are only a game under five hundred winning six of their last 8. Are they poised to make their move or are the roadblocks ahead too big?
Heroes: Derek Jeter’s .337 avg coupled with his team lead in hits high RBI & runs scored totals coupled with error less play at short are huge although perhaps not as huge as Mark Teixeira’s league lead in HR and 8th spot in the RBI race. Meanwhile on a Pitching staff that has been avg or worse reliever Alfredo Aceves WHIP of 1.09 and 2.87 ERA is a breath of fresh air.
Zeroes: Mariano Rivera‘s four blown saves vs 3 saves and ERA over 5 (5.52) is a big reason why the Yanks are under .500 but with AM Burnett (2-2 6.39 ERA .310 avg against) Andy Pettitte (0-3 6.67 ERA .339 avg against) and Joba Chamberlain (0-2 7.45 ERA .316 avg against) putting up these kind of numbers over 13 starts it’s a wonder there they are only a game under .500. of course Jorge Posada .130 avg and single HR coupled with 6 bases stolen against and two errors doesn’t help much either.
Wildcards: The Yanks are 7-5 in games outside the division but with an unbalanced schedule that can be fatal, however they are a perfect 2-0 in extras.
Coming Attractions: The Yanks get a chance to climb back in the race with a 12 game road trip that starts with a pair of division rivals ahead of them as it takes them to Washington to face the 1924 Senators and the 1st place 2015 Royals before heading off to Chicago to face the 2005 White Sox and Toronto for the 1993 BlueJays
2002 Anaheim Angles
The Angels are one of two teams still without a full time manager and it shows. With both the worst record in the league and the worst run differential is it a lost season or can the Halos turn it around.
Heroes: David Eckstein’s .327 avg and .412 OB is a big reason why he leads the teams in runs and a .333 avg with runners on isn’t bad either (although those five errors haven’t helped) much. On the pitching side Brendan Donnelly has been spectacular in relief with a 3-0 record and a WHIP of 0.91 in 6 games has been one of the few reasons to cheer.
Zeroes: Oh the Agony of choice on this team for this dishonor but let’s begin with starters Kevin Appier (1-4 8.77 ERA .342 avg against ) and Jon Lackey ( 0-1 8.71 ERA only 10 1/3 innings in 3 starts) who haven’t done the job on the mound, while Ben Molina’s 3 errors behind the plate while batting .171 at it have been disastrous.
Wild Card: The lack of a full time manager makes things harder but not as hard as Left handed pitching. The team is 1-9 against southpaws.
Coming Attractions: A 9 game road trip might just be the thing to get their minds off their troubles. They’ll start in Chicago to face the 2004 White Sox head north to Detroit for the 1968 Tigers and then to Cleveland against the defending AL champs the 1954 Indians.
NL Div C
2016 Chicago Cubs
With a team Tied for the 2nd best record in the league and in first place it would seem like smooth sailing for the Cubs however when despite all this you share 1st with another team it looks like this season is going to be a fight from 1st to last.
Heroes: On a Team that’s only batting .232 Dexter Fowler’s .311 avg 2 HR 11 RBI and four triples (2nd in the league) stands out. But with a team ERA of .263 there are a bunch of candidates, so we’ll name John Lackey (3-0 .182 avg 1.98 ERA) and Jon Lester (2-0 2.10 ERA and 31 K vs 11 walks to start) with Aroldis Chapman (1-0 2 sv 22k vs 3 BB and no runs allowed in 11 1/3 ) leads the way.
Zeroes: the only dark spot in the rotation has been Kyle Hendricks with a 4.15 ERA and a 2-3 Record and a fielding percentage of .667. Javier Baez .191 avg and .242 OB is the worst of a bad lot
Wild Cards Despite the 2nd best record in the league the Cubs OBS of .666 is the 2nd worst. Jake Arrieta has been the teams hard luck loser at 1-4 with a 2.06 ERA but he’s had even harder luck in his two away starts with an 0-2 record despite a 1.72 ERA and 21k vs 5 walks.
Coming Attractions: the Cubs put their incredible ERA to the test in Cincinnati against the 1975 Big Red Machine before coming home to face power hitting 2019 Nationals and then Hank Aaron’s 1957 Braves.
1962 San Francisco Giants
The defending division champs want another chance that the Pennant but despite the 2nd best record in game those pesky Cubs won’t give in and Philly is even in the loss column. Can they make some distance.
Heroes: Willie McCovey has been pounding the ball with a .397 avg 7 HR and 22 RBI’s and Felipe Alou at .375 6 HR and 24 RBI is right behind. While on the mound Juan Marichal (3-1 1.93 ERA in six starts) leads the way.
Zeroes: Don Larson two blown saves in two chances are no accident with hitters batting .320 vs him and and a 9.00 ERA. While Bobby Bolin’s ERA is a full run better (7.85) five HR in 18.1 innings means trouble but so does Jose Pagan .170 avg with but a single dinger
Wild Cards: The Giants have feasted on right handers with a 12-5 record and have really shined in day games at 6-2.
Coming Attractions: It’s a nasty road Trip for the Giants: with three in Philly vs the 2008 Phillies followed by a trip to Brooklyn for the 1955 Dodgers and before finishing back in their old stomping ground of New York against the 1986 Mets.
2008 Philadelphia Phillies
Sitting even in the loss column with both the Giants and Cubs The Phillies just on burst away from heading right to the top.
Heroes: Shane Victorino has been an RBI machine driving in 19 with a .326 avg while also scoring a team leading 14. Closer Brad Lidge has been the warrior with 6 saves in 7 chances, a 1.35 ERA and 17k’s in 13 1/3 innings over 13 games. In 19 games Geoff Jenkins is hitting .418 with 2 homers and 12 RBI’s
Zeroes: Kyle Kendrick only managed 14.2 innings in four starts with a 10.43 ERA and 11 walks vs 5 k’s. Rudy Seanez ERA is almost 5 runs better at 5.82 but he’s 0-3 with a blown save in 13 games of unimpressive relief.
Wild Cards: Ryan Howard is only hitting .152 but with 12 hits but with those 12 hits he’s managed 5 HR and 9 RBI while scoring 13 runs.
Coming Attractions: It’s 3 on the road with the 2005 Astros before heading home with a shot at the 1962 San Francisco Giants before heading on the road again first to face the 1975 Cincinnati Reds and the 2019 Washington Nationals.
2005 Houston Astros
A 9-12 start isn’t a disaster this early in the season but with the three teams ahead all in single digits for losses there are a lot of people to pass to get back in this race.
Heroes: Orlando Palmeiro is hitting .362 over 18 games while Morgan Ensberg has managed five homers and 14 RBI’s and an .885 OPS to lead the team in all three categories. Willy Travers 24 hits leads the team and he has 9 SB to go along with it. Roger Clemens has an 1.88 ERA with three complete games and three wins in six starts.
Zeroes: Andy Pettitte’s 4.66 ERA doesn’t sound bad but on a team with an ERA of 3.03 it’s been good for a 0-4 record thanks to six HR allowed, a full half the amount of the entire staff. Meanwhile Brad Lidge has been the opposite of his Philadelphia twin blowing 2 of 3 save chances with a team worst 4.82 ERA. Brad Ausmus .164 avg is the worst on a bad team of those who qualify.
Wild Cards: The good news is the Astros are holding their opponents to a .219 avg with only 9 HR over 21 games. The bad news is they’re only batting .215 with 9 HR themselves.
Coming Attractions: It’s three games at home vs the 2008 Phillies then it’s on the road to NYC 1st to Brooklyn vs the 1955 Dodgers, and then to Shea for the 1998 Mets then it’s south to Florida for 3 vs the 1997 Marlins