We did it, everybody! We survived the second week in Banished to the Pen’s ottoneu league.


Weekly Standings


KerouacNation underwent somewhat of an identity crisis in week two and is now known as the Millville Meterologists (their spelling, not mine…) which means we’re all staring up at the same roster after week 2 as we were after week 1. Millville is led by Max Scherzer, currently the most valuable pitcher in SPoints, and has Matt Moore and Noah Syndergaard waiting in the wings, which could transform this staff into a juggernaut by season’s end.

Eventually, Millville is going to need to slow their roll a bit. One of the features I like about ottoneu’s team lineup page is that it updates your projected games played and innings pitched in real time. Like many fantasy leaugues, ottoneu enforces a “soft cap” on innings, so a starting pitcher who pushes your team’s innings pitched over the 1500 inning limit will still get credit for their performance but any innings pitched in future games will no longer count. We’re still far too early in the season to worry about innings pitched limits, since injuries, spot starts, and other unseen events could change pitchers’ values, but teams like Millville will eventually need to be selective about what pitchers are in the lineup in a given day or they risk burning out their pitching staff long before season’s end and receiving no points from that point forward from their pitching staff.


Millville still has over 1350 innings to go until reaching the cap. There’s still plenty of time to decide who to hold back and who to start regularly.


Best Performer

It was quite a week for Nelson Cruz. While Adrian Gonzalez did enough to hold onto his crown as the most valuable player in the SABR points format, Cruz made up quite a bit of ground. Cruz led the league in HR (6) over the last week and finished second in hits (12) while walking 3 times. I thought Gonzalez had a crazy first week, but Cruz’s 122.2 points surpassed Gonzalez’s 114 points over the first week of play.

On the pitching side of the equation, Max Scherzer lived up to his $37 price tag. Including last Sunday’s performance, he struck out 17 while walking only 2 batters in 14 innings of work during the last scoring period [writer’s note, keep in mind runs and hits allowed don’t matter in the SABR points format]. If he keeps this up, he’s going to make Washington Nationals and Millville Meterologists fans very happy.


The steal of the week belongs to Colonie Cylons, who received 74.7 points from the machine-like Alex Rodriguez. The Cylons plucked the Centaur for only a dollar during the league draft. Paging Dr. Baltar. The Cylons aren’t just loaded with our machine overlords, though, for $1 they also received 34.4 points from “Super” Sam Fuld who increased his value to 68 points on the season, one point more than Anthony Rizzo and just 2 points less than Jose Abreu.


Biggest Disappointments

Ottoneu doesn’t seem to care if you carry a minor league player on your bench or if you assign him to the minor league section of your roster. The effect appears to be cosmetic and to simply help you separate the guys who will score points from the guys who don’t count.  I’m a nerd, so I assigned my $14 Kris Bryant to the minors when the season opened just for the excitement of activating him when he was called up last Friday. As a Cubs fan, the feeling of watching Bryant go 0-4 in his debut while falling 1 strike out short of a golden sombrero was somewhere between embarrassing and “leave work without notice and call to tell them you got violently ill and are headed home” shameful. Thankfully, his 0-4 debut didn’t impact my ottoneu starting lineup because there’s no way I was going to bench some combination of Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Santana, Eric Hosmer, and/or David Ortiz for Bryant’s first game.

Bryant redeemed himself with two solid games to round-out the weekend but former Cub Aramis Ramirez sent his early season numbers into a tailspin and cost North Sound Hounds 9 points this week. Ramirez only cost North Sound Hounds $4 in the inaugural draft, but this past week, he and Devin Mesoraco combined to prevent the Hounds from making up much ground on the league. That’s unfortunate since Steven “With a V” Souza and Stephen “The G is Silent” Vogt each posted break-out weeks for the Hounds.


Transaction Analysis

Transaction of the week likely goes to our beloved commissioner, George Kimmet. Kim Mets picked up Jimmy Nelson for $4, just days after discussing the young Brewers pitcher on the BttP podcast. So far, Nelson has lived up to his quality sleeper status by posting a 28 point start this week to follow with his 44 point start to open the season. Nelson allowed 3 runs in 5 innings to the Pirates but we only care about his IP, strikeouts, and walks in this league. That’s probably a great break for Kim Mets since the Brewers’ defense is usually nothing short of atrocious outside of Jonathan Lucroy’s pitch framing and Gerardo Parra’s outfield heroics.


The Week Ahead

I assume there’s a BttP owner right now with their mouse hovering over the “Start Auction” button on Chris Heston’s player page. Heston ranks 14th among pitchers in the SABR points format at this moment. There isn’t a lot of money left to spend in the league, and there’s a long season ahead of us, so an owner willing to take a risk on Heston’s tiny sample size success could end up with a bargain. On the batting side of the league, Kendrys Morales hopes we notice that he’s accumulated 95 points in just 55 plate appearances. Morales doesn’t have much of a track record for staying healthy or contributing a lot of offense recently. In addition, He can also only slot into a lineup as a first baseman or a utility player, so he’s going to need to continue to show that he can hit for power and take a lot of walks if he’s going to be worth any dollars in this league.


Stats in this article are thanks to Fangraphs.com. Contributions were made to this article by BttP writer George Kimmet.

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