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Draft Strategy

The Greatest League: Week 7 Progress Report

by D.J. Short
Updated On: July 26, 2020, 3:54 pm ET

Week Seven is complete in “The Greatest League,” so it’s time for our latest check-in. For those just joining us, the idea with this league is to take some the best individual fantasy seasons of the rotisserie era (1980-present) to come up with the ultimate fantasy baseball simulation. The league consists of 20 teams with 25-man rosters and the universal designated hitter. The 162-game season is being simmed out on WhatIfSports.com and a winner will be determined by the 5x5 fantasy stats produced in those games.

For reference, here are the results from Week Six. Three games are simmed per day for each team, so we are now 147 games into the season. This is the final week of regular season ball and there’s still much to be decided. We’re going to have a postseason within the actual simulation, but that’s just for bragging rights. Again, the regular season fantasy stats are what this game is about.

Editor’s Note: Unlock our daily, weekly and rest-of-season projections, all-new weekly positional tiers, Lineup Adviser, Trade Analyzer, Player Tracker and much more! Get our in-season tools for as low as $3.99/month!  Learn more!

Week 7 Leaderboard:

Team

Hitting

Pitching

Total

Rudy Gamble

58.5

96

154.5

Brent Hershey

83

65

148

Seth Trachtman

70

72

142

Andy Behrens

78

62

140

D.J. Short

66

68

134

Matthew Pouliot

57.5

74

131.5

Dave Shovein

45.5

82

127.5

Brad Johnson

48.5

70

118.5

Alan Harrison

65.5

49

114.5

Jesse Roche

52.5

57

109.5

Scott Pianowski

69

40

109

Chris Towers

31.5

68

99.5

Christopher Crawford

42

50.5

92.5

Nate Grimm

52.5

35

87.5

Ryan Boyer

48.5

37.5

86

Nick Doran

45.5

26.5

72

Mike Gianella

31.5

35

66.5

Drew Silva

46.5

15

61.5

Patrick Daugherty

42

15

57

Tim McCullough

16

32.5

48.5

 

Risers: Well, look at Seth Trachtman here. He’s a sneaky one. Trachtman’s team was in sixth place last week and eighth place the week before that, but he’s gained eight points in the standings to move into third place going into the final week of play. Trachtman has been lurking in the top-10 for most of the season, but he’s getting hot at just the right time. Does his team have another push left in them or is this as good as it gets? Matthew Pouliot’s team is up five points from last week to move into sixth place, his high-water mark for the year. His team has made a steady climb up the standings. He was 19th through the first week (21 games in) this season. Chris Towers is actually the biggest gainer of the week, picking up 15 points in a late-surge for the top-10. Nate Grimm and Ryan Boyer are doing their best to separate themselves from the bottom of the standings.

Fallers: While Trachtman’s squad is getting hot at just the right team, Dave Shovein’s team is getting cold at exactly the wrong time. After beginning last week in third place, his team lost 15 points and now finds themselves in seventh place going into the final week. A reminder that Shovein was in second place just two weeks ago and appeared to be in command in first place just three weeks ago. His offense just hasn’t cooperated of late. Jesse Roche was actually the biggest faller over the past week, losing 15.5 points to slide into 10th place. He looked to have an outside shot of making the top-three at one point, but it’s likely too late now.  

League Pitching Stats (teams sorted by ERA)

Team

W

SV

SO

WHIP

ERA

Rudy Gamble

99

48

1417

1.24

3.93

Dave Shovein

82

46

1357

1.36

4.47

Andy Behrens

84

38

1202

1.48

5.02

Matthew Pouliot

85

47

1307

1.48

5.03

Brad Johnson

77

32

1431

1.42

5.14

Chris Towers

72

44

1363

1.46

5.16

D.J. Short

84

44

1252

1.40

5.20

Brent Hershey

83

35

1340

1.42

5.27

Seth Trachtman

85

45

1380

1.51

5.28

Jesse Roche

67

37

1427

1.53

5.35

Christopher Crawford

72

39

1311

1.54

5.45

Scott Pianowski

76

24

1327

1.57

5.62

Alan Harrison

71

33

1401

1.51

5.63

Mike Gianella

71

35

1240

1.56

5.65

Nate Grimm

65

24

1290

1.44

5.76

Nick Doran

66

35

1105

1.59

6.12

Tim McCullough

57

32

1421

1.65

6.22

Patrick Daugherty

62

22

1260

1.66

6.51

Ryan Boyer

64

35

1436

1.71

6.53

Drew Silva

48

24

1322

1.84

8.02

 

One day soon I’m going to be able to stop talking about Rudy Gamble’s pitching staff and how it’s blowing everyone away. That day isn’t today. Gamble’s advantage in the pitching categories actually expanded this week. Currently riding an 11-game winning streak within the actual sim, Gamble is 17 points ahead of the nearest competitor in the pitching categories, Dave Shovein. Gamble is in first place in four out of the five pitching categories. He’s the only team with a sub-4.00 ERA. By the way, Shovein is the only other team with an ERA under 5.00. No lead is safe in this sim. Ever.

Towers’ gains over the past week were almost exclusively on the pitching side. He moved up in four out of the five pitching categories, including 4.5 points in wins. His team went 16-5 over the past week in the actual simulation. 2017 Corey Kluber has been his team’s best starter, with a 3.76 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 189 1/3 innings. Towers was aggressive with his selection of Eric Gagne in the draft and it has proven to be a sound investment, as he’s compiled a 1.31 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 62 innings.

One interesting thing about the pitching categories is that there’s a number of top teams who are lagging in strikeouts. Andy Behrens is third from the bottom in the category while I’m fourth from the bottom. It’s really difficult to be good in every facet of the game, especially with the complex nature of this sim, but this is likely going to be the difference-maker when we see the final standings in a few days.  

Individual pitching category leaders:

ERA: Greg Maddux (1995) - 2.79
WHIP: Two-way tie - Greg Maddux (1995) and Pedro Martinez (2000) - 0.93
Strikeouts: Pedro Martinez (2000) - 299
Saves: Billy Wagner (1999) - 33
Wins: Mike Scott (1986) - 20

League Hitting Stats (teams sorted by batting average)

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Brent Hershey

970

222

949

102

0.287

Patrick Daugherty

829

190

811

63

0.285

Andy Behrens

907

191

886

247

0.284

Alan Harrison

913

188

895

130

0.283

Drew Silva

824

171

811

164

0.280

Matthew Pouliot

894

216

878

56

0.280

Scott Pianowski

921

221

897

65

0.279

Dave Shovein

813

189

796

185

0.276

Ryan Boyer

844

188

819

142

0.274

D.J. Short

882

218

859

155

0.272

Nick Doran

836

192

826

90

0.272

Seth Trachtman

916

256

905

67

0.271

Christopher Crawford

815

220

804

114

0.270

Rudy Gamble

861

204

841

175

0.264

Jesse Roche

830

229

811

147

0.264

Brad Johnson

871

189

853

139

0.261

Nate Grimm

837

218

821

158

0.257

Tim McCullough

730

174

710

113

0.256

Mike Gianella

789

230

769

72

0.252

Chris Towers

751

230

735

108

0.248

 

Gamble actually lost some ground in the hitting categories over the past week, but his pitching is so good that it doesn’t really matter. Trachtman’s surge was mostly about his hitting, as he picked up 6.5 points between the different categories. Much like last week, his team leads the league in homers, but he’s now second in RBI and third in runs scored. 2001 Sammy Sosa has been the standout for his offense, amassing 42 home runs, 136 RBI, and 110 runs scored through 147 games. 1996 Gary Sheffield and 2001 Jason Giambi have also passed the 100-run mark.

Matthew Pouliot is also making some noise with his offense. He’s had a bit of a middling group for much of the season, but they gained nine points in the hitting categories over the past week. He’s now top-six in three out of the five categories. 1991 Terry Pendleton has played well in a part-time role (.356 in 71 games), but 1993 John Olerud leads qualified hitters on the club with a .330 batting average and a .426 on-base percentage. It’s worth wondering where Pouliot would be if his team had some sort of speed element. As it stands right now, he’s last in the league with 56 steals. Three players (1980 Willie Wilson, 1994 Kenny Lofton, and 1986 Tim Raines) have more steals than Pouliot’s entire team.

Shovein’s drop in the standings was mostly about his offense, as he lost 12.5 points in the categories. While he held his ground in stolen bases, he slipped everywhere else. It was only three weeks ago where Shovein had the second-best hitting team in the league. Now he’s mostly in the middle of the pack. I should also note that my team lost 5.5 points in the hitting categories over the past week. The lack of power has been the biggest disappointment recently. 2011 Mike Napoli led my team in homers at one point, but he’s gone deep just once in his last 34 games.

Individual offensive category leaders:

Batting average: Todd Helton (2000) - .355
Home runs: Mike Schmidt (1981) - 45
RBI: Albert Belle (1994) - 152
Runs scored: Two-way tie - Larry Walker (1997) and Bryce Harper (2015) - 128
Stolen bases: Tim Raines (1986) - 69

Hitting Line of the Week:

1999 Fernando Tatis - 4-for-4, three homers, one walk, 10 RBI, four runs scored vs. Brent Hershey on 7/2

Pitching Line of the Week:

2002 Curt Schilling - 9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 13 K, 0 BB, WIN vs. Brad Johnson on 7/3

And while the primary objective is to win the league in 5x5 fantasy stats, here’s the current standings of the 162-game season simulation. Yes, Rudy Gamble is running away with this thing.

Greatest League standings
WhatIfSports.com