Loading scores...
Draft Strategy

The Greatest League: Week 1 Progress Report

by D.J. Short
Updated On: May 26, 2020, 1:37 pm ET

Week One of “The Greatest League” simulation is in the books. If you haven’t been following until now, you are forgiven. The idea with this league is to take some of the best individual 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 full context, you can take a look at draft results and full rosters here. This season will run through July 10, right around the time when MLB hopes to have their Opening Day. We're having a ton of fun tinkering with this while we wait. Hopefully you'll find it entertaining as well.

Week 1 leaderboard:

 

Hitting

Pitching

Total

 

Brent Hershey

94

69.5

163.5

 

Dave Shovein

77.5

85

162.5

 

Rudy Gamble

72

89

161

 

Andy Behrens

84

64

148

 

Seth Trachtman

61

76.5

137.5

 

Alan Harrison

77.5

53.5

131

 

D.J. Short

58

62.5

120.5

 

Nate Grimm

51

60

111

 

Ryan Boyer

43.5

64

107.5

 

Chris Towers

68.5

32.5

101

 

Jesse Roche

52.5

44

96.5

 

Nick Doran

39

57

96

 

Christopher Crawford

43

52.5

95.5

 

Brad Johnson

45.5

49

94.5

 

Drew Silva

46.5

36

82.5

 

Mike Gianella

39

41

80

 

Tim McCullough

29.5

34.5

64

 

Scott Pianowski

24

35.5

59.5

 

Matthew Pouliot

13.5

35.5

49

 

Patrick Daugherty

30.5

8.5

39

 

 

Pitching

None of us really knew what to expect at the start of this simulation, but it’s intuitive that most pitchers are going to have a hard time trying to make it through lineups composed of some of the best offensive seasons of the past 40 years. Just how that would translate was the big question. So far, we are finding out that offense is dominating here. Like, really dominating.

Three games are simmed per day for each team, so 21 games were completed by the end of the day Sunday. So far, the league average ERA is 5.71. Super yikes. Rudy Gamble from Razzball has been the notable exception here, leading the league with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Dave Shovein is the only other team with a staff ERA below 4.00.

Gamble invested in pitching more-heavily than anyone else in the draft and it shows. His first-round pick, 2000 Pedro Martinez, has been nearly unhittable so far. He holds a ridiculous 0.90 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and 48/1 K/BB ratio in 30 innings across his first four starts. 2019 Justin Verlander was Shovein's first-round pick, but 2009 Tim Lincecum, 2011 Jered Weaver, and 2019 Jack Flaherty have been his staff's best hurlers to date.

Patrick Daugherty (better known as RotoPat here at Rotoworld) hasn’t been nearly as fortunate, as his staff holds a ghastly 7.26 ERA. Second-round pick 2012 Curt Schilling has allowed 11 homers in just 38 1/3 innings while relievers 2017 Roberto Osuna and 2012 Fernando Rodney have combined to allow 25 runs in just seven innings pitched. Ouch. In all fairness, these lineups are really, really good.

My staff holds a 5.04 ERA (seventh-best in the league) and 1.45 WHIP (sixth-best in the league), mostly led by my first-round pick 2018 Jacob deGrom. He has been worth the investment and then some, posting a 2.78 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 35/9 K/BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings through five starts. Bret Saberhagen (3.00 ERA, 23/4 K/BB ratio in 24 innings) has been fine too, but I’ve mostly been crossing my fingers beyond that.

Editor's Note: If you're on the hunt for rankings, projections, tiers, auction values, mock drafts, strategy and advice on how to dominate your drafts, check out the all-new Rotoworld MLB Draft Guide. Now mobile-optimized with a new look and feel, it's never been easier to take our award-winning advice with you to your drafts for that extra competitive edge! Click here for more!

League Pitching Stats

Team

W

SV

Ks

WHIP

ERA

Rudy Gamble

14

5

208

1.12

3.54

Dave Shovein

14

7

190

1.33

3.99

Nick Doran

12

4

138

1.41

4.52

Seth Trachtman

14

5

193

1.42

4.80

Brad Johnson

10

3

180

1.48

4.90

Andy Behrens

12

5

176

1.36

4.95

D.J. Short

10

6

186

1.45

5.04

Christopher Crawford

10

6

168

1.49

5.44

Ryan Boyer

9

6

207

1.52

5.71

Mike Gianella

12

3

176

1.63

5.80

Jesse Roche

10

3

192

1.55

6.07

Brent Hershey

14

7

190

1.48

6.17

Nate Grimm

12

5

202

1.56

6.26

Alan Harrison

11

5

201

1.63

6.32

Scott Pianowski

8

4

193

1.67

6.53

Drew Silva

7

4

214

1.7

6.55

Chris Towers

8

4

192

1.64

6.64

Matthew Pouliot

8

7

176

1.69

6.68

Tim McCullough

8

5

201

1.73

7.08

Patrick Daugherty

7

1

169

1.72

7.26

 

Offense

Brent Hershey of Baseball HQ has been the clear standout in terms of offense thus far, leading the league in batting average (.315), on-base percentage (.405), OPS (.899), runs scored (174), and RBI (167). He’s done most of that by a wide margin. 2015 Bryce Harper has led the charge for Hershey’s offense, amassing a monster .360/.461/.693 batting line with seven homers and 19 RBI.

Andy Behrens had one of the league's most dynamic offenses through Week One, most notably on the speed front. His team is an amazing 40-for-42 (.950) in stolen base attempts. Nobody else has more than 25 stolen bases. Ichiro Suzuki left the league in the dust in Week One with 13 steals.

One of the strangest things about this simulation thus far has been the struggles of 2018 Mike Trout, also a member of Team RotoPat. Trout is hitting just .169 (12-for-71) with one homer and a .625 OPS through 19 games played. This is even with a three-hit game in the most recent game on Sunday night. I made a joke in our league chat that some lazy sports columnist would likely write that Trout has always played in meaningless games and now he’s choking while playing among the game’s best. We joke about it because there’s really no explanation. Things will surely get better from here. Really, Pat, it will.

My lineup would be lost without 1987 Paul Molitor (.412 batting average, four homers, 1.238 OPS) and 2004 Adrian Beltre (.407 batting average, seven homers, 1.176 OPS). No other regular on my team is hitting higher than .284. The big issue with Molitor is that he only played in 118 games in 1987, so I’m going to have to watch his fatigue. With that in mind, he’s already been rested on four occasions.

League Hitting stats:

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Christopher Crawford

111

33

110

16

0.254

D.J. Short

125

33

120

16

0.275

Dave Shovein

136

30

133

25

0.301

Drew Silva

105

30

104

22

0.275

Mike Gianella

121

33

119

9

0.253

Nate Grimm

129

29

126

14

0.270

Brent Hershey

174

35

167

18

0.315

Jesse Roche

136

25

129

11

0.275

Tim McCullough

104

33

103

12

0.229

Nick Doran

125

29

122

9

0.267

Patrick Daugherty

111

21

110

7

0.287

Matthew Pouliot

95

22

95

10

0.253

Rudy Gamble

144

29

137

18

0.284

Ryan Boyer

114

30

110

17

0.264

Andy Behrens

143

31

138

42

0.287

Scott Pianowski

111

20

110

11

0.256

Seth Trachtman

139

33

138

7

0.271

Brad Johnson

127

24

124

22

0.248

Chris Towers

130

42

128

12

0.277

Alan Harrison

149

25

148

18

0.304

 

Hitting line of the week:

(Tim McCullough) 2009 Albert Pujols - 4-for-4, three homers, seven RBI, four runs scored vs. Alan Harrison on 5/19

Pitching line of the week:

(Rudy Gamble) 2000 Pedro Martinez - 99 pitches, 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 13 K, 0 BB, WIN vs. D.J. Short on 5/22