\**This is my 2020 sim of a 50-team modern league with all MLB and MiLB players assigned to their home state team. The next entry (May sim results) will be posted next Monday, June 1st**\
- Part I (Settings, Rules, Team Intros, Quickstart File)
- Part II (Preseason Predictions)
Notable Performances in April
Before we go team by team, here are some notable individual performances in April:
· Eric Haase (MI), Jedd Gyorko (WV), JaCoby Jones (OK), and Austin Meadows (GA) all had 3-HR games
· Rob Johnson (MT), Cody Bellinger (AZ), Brandon Nimmo (WY), and Trent Grishm (TX) all hit for the cycle
· Ben Revere (KY) had a seven-hit game vs Illinois … 7 other players had 6-hit games
· Alex Bregman (NM) and Denard Span (VA) each had hitting streaks of 21 games
· We had three no-hitters: Chris Stratton (MS vs DE), Gerrit Cole (CA vs AL), Robbie Ray (TN vs VT)
· Walker Buehler (KY) had a league-high 18 strikeouts vs Alaska
You can view the full standings through April here
You can view the power rankings through April here
Now, let’s take a deeper look at how the teams did in April! (Note: I toyed with the idea of doing them in standings order but decided to stick with alphabetical so people could more easily find specific states they wanted to read!)
Also, if you want to know about any specific players, games, stats, etc. feel free to let me know and I will answer them! Alabama-Missouri League Alabama Alabamians (20-7, 6th)
3 of Alabama’s 7 losses were at California, with others coming vs Massachusetts, at Arizona, vs Iowa and vs Arizona. (They actually lost four in a row at one point, as the Iowa loss came right after the sweep vs California.)
Phillip Ervin is tied for 3rd in the league with 9 homers. Tim Anderson also has 9 dingers to go along with a .311 AVG. Corey Kluber has unsurprisingly been their best starter, going 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA. Casey Mize, meanwhile, has an ugly 6.47 ERA in six starts. Craig Kimbrel hasn’t allowed a run in 11.1 innings as closer. Alaska Alaskans (1-24, 24th)
Projected to win 9 games this season, Alaska is going to need to pick up the pace. Their only win came in the “Battle of the Lefthand Corner of U.S. Maps In Schools” at Hawaii on April 21.
.184 team AVG is the 2nd worst in the league behind Arkansas and their 10 HR is tied for the lowest. 14 Jonny Homzas make up the offense, and the left field one leads regulars with a .264 AVG. The first base Homza leads the team with 4 HR. Third base Homza is hitting just .102.
11.57 team ERA is 2nd worst in the league ahead of Maine. Tony Barnette clones make up the rotation, and while one has a 3.09 ERA, the others all have ERAs ranging from 6.00 to 12.00. There are six Daniel Schlereths in the bullpen and all have ERAs over 16.00. Arizona Arizonans (19-6, 5th)
Arizona lost its season opener 5-3 vs Arkansas, 3-2 at Minnesota a few days later, and subsequently lost back-to-back games to both California and Alabama. One of the losses to Alabama was 7-6 in 16 innings thanks to a walkoff homer by some dude named Drew Avans (33 overall).
Scott Kingery (.418) and Eric Sogard (.415) hold the top two spots in the league in hitting, while Sogard is on-basing .510—good for second place behind Aaron Judge. Cody Bellinger has gotten off to a “slow” start with a .311 AVG and 7 HR.
41-overall starter Kyle Lobstein is pitching out of his mind, going 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA (4th in league). 40-overall Dylan File (who?) ranks 3rd in the league in K/BB behind deGrom and Scherzer. Arkansas Arkansans (7-21, 22nd)
7-21 may not seem like a lucky record, but that’s 4 wins over their Pythagorean W-L. They had separate losing streaks of 7 and 8 games, though they did have good wins vs Arizona, Alabama and Georgia.
Hitting a league-worst .179 with 10 HR as a team. Luke Bandy “leads” the team with a .233 AVG, while Torii Hunter Jr. and Grant Koch are the only hitters with multiple HR. Starting pitching has been mediocre to bad, ranging from Drew Smyly (4.54 ERA) to Barrett Astin (9.67) ERA. Setup men Ty Tice and Hunter Wood, as well as closer Tyler Zuber, are all pitching well though. California Californians (21-4, 3rd)
The heavy preseason favorite to win it all, California struggled slightly
more than expected out of the game and sits in third place after a month. Their losses have come vs Indiana, at Arizona, at Illinois and vs Florida, with all coming by 4 runs or fewer. Their biggest win as a 31-1 shellacking at Iowa on April 9—one of six games they scored 20+ runs.
The team’s 1.016 team OPS leads the league. Christian Yelich (.400) and Nolan Arenado (.385) rank near the top of the league in hitting, while Freddie Freeman, Aaron Judge and Joc Pederson are all tied for third in the league with 9 homers each. Freeman is tied with Georgia’s Austin Meadows with a league-leading 38 RBI. Judge leads the league with a .514 OBP. Every starter is hitting at least .320 except Matt Chapman (.229)—it’s almost like he wants Justin Turner or Mike Moustakas to come up from AAA and take his job!
The team is holding opposing hitters to a .186 AVG—best in the league. Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg each have five wins, but neither ranks in the top 8 in league ERA (yet). Cole does lead in strikeouts (72), while fellow starter Lucas Giolito leads the league in K/9 with 16.7. Colorado Coloradans (16-9, 9th)
Colorado began the season losing 4 of 5 and 5 of 11, but they’ve rebounded nicely to a 16-9 record in April. They had a weird schedule glitch with 4 off days from April 26-29, but it helped them be well-rested as they closed out the month with a 14-5 win vs Hawaii.
David Bote has been the best hitter with a .374 AVG and 6 HR, with Chase Headley not far off at .360. Starter David Peterson is 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA, while closer Taylor Rogers has 5 saves and hasn’t allowed an earned run yet. Connecticut Connecticuters (16-9, 10th)
Catcher PJ Higgins leads the team with a .358 AVG, while AJ Pollock is batting .309 with 5 HR. (Basically, all the guys with initials are doing well. Some guy named LJ Mazzilli is hitting .302.) George Springer (65 overall) needs to get it together, as he’s hitting just .213.
Aaron Civale is 3-2 with a rotation-best 2.32 ERA, while Troy Scribner has a 7.27 ERA in five stats. Closer Matt Barnes has 7 saves and hasn’t been scored upon. Matt Harvey has a 3.43 ERA in 21 innings out of the bullpen. Delaware Delawareans (10-15, 16th)
Aside from a 5-game win streak in the middle of the month, it’s been a very rough April for the Fightin’ Bidens. Their biggest win came on April 16 with a 22-1 shellacking vs Alaska. In said win, the Paul Goldschmdit clones combined to knock in 11 runs with 3 homers.
Both Goldschmidts have 5 homers this season, though the DH is hitting .372 and the other is hitting .290. One of the three Joey Wendle clones is currently on an 18-game hit streak. One Chad Kuhl has a 2.63 bullpen ERA and another Chad Kuhl has a 6.14 ERA. (More like Chad UN-Kuhl, am I right?) Florida Floridians (23-5, 4th)
Florida is playing strong, as expected, but they’ve had a couple of bad losses. Two of their five were to California (to be expected), but the other three were to teams currently below .500—Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Kansas.
Tied with GA in team homers (58). Howie Kendrick ranks 5th in the league with a .392 AVG and with with a 1.6 WAR, while leading in hits (47) and runs (38). Anthony Rizzo ranks 4th with a 1.179 OPS and JD Martinez ranks 7th with 30 RBI. Veteran Andrew McCutchen is batting just .260 but leads the league with 27 walks.
Lead the league with 372 strikeouts as a pitching staff. Lance McCullers Jr. leads the league with a 0.89 ERA. Jacob deGrom has started of well also, going 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA and leading the league in innings pitched (45.2). Georgia Georgians (25-3, 1st)
The projected third-place team in the preseason, my home state is off to a great start and leading the league after a month. They won their first 11 games before losing 9-4 against Colorado thanks to the bullpen allowing five runs in the 9th inning. They also lost 8-6 at Kentucky and 5-3 at Arkansas.
Tied with FL in team homers (58) while leading the league in AVG (.338). Austin Meadows and Matt Olson hold the top two spots in the league in homers with 13 and 12, respectively. Olson also leads the league in total bases (92), SLG (.780), OPS (1.240), WAR (1.8), WPA (1.90).
Their 2.56 team ERA leads the league. Starters Zack Wheeler and Brad Keller rank in the top 8 in ERA (1.77 and 1.80, respectively) and both have 5 wins. Surprisingly, fellow starter Reggie McClain (46 overall) is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA and a league-best 0.67 WHIP. He’s also the only player in the league with two shutouts. Closer Will Smith’s 8 saves are tied for the league lead. Hawaii Hawaiians (10-18, 18th)
Hawaii swept Idaho in three games to start the season but promptly lost their next seven games. They won back-to-back games only twice more in April.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa leads the team with a .340 average, but Kolten Won unsurprisingly has been the best hitter with a .311 AVG an 6 HR. Jacob Hannemann is hitting .281 with 5 HR, and Kurt Suzuki is hitting .278.
Rico Garcia has a 2.59 ERA and Jordan Yamamoto a 3.97 ERA in six starts, but they’re the only starters with ERAs under 7.00. Closer Kirby Yates hasn’t allowed a run this season and has a bonkers 19.7 K/9. Idaho Idahoans (5-23, 23rd)
Idao can only get wins vs teams with M on the road, with their five wins coming at Massachusetts, at Minnesota (x2), and at Maine (x2). They started the season 0-10.
An Alex Guerrero clone holds the distinction of the worst average in the league (min. 100 PA) at .097. Of the seven Jackson Cluff clones in the starting lineup, one is hitting .308, another is hitting .291, and the other five are hitting under .200.
Damon Jones clones lead the rotation with ERAs of 3.54 and 4.62, while Zach Penrod is the worst at 0-6 wit ha 14.06 ERA. Closer James Hoyt has a 2.70 ERA, but his setup man James Hoyt has a 9.00 ERA. Illinois Illinoisans (24-4, 2nd)
Illinois lost it’s first game of the season—an 8-7 heartbreaker to Kentucky in 13 innings—but went on to reel of 18 straight wins. They then lost two straight (both to California) and suffered their worst loss to close out the month—13-2 vs Arizona.
Mike Tauchman leads the team with a .381 average, while Mark Payton has knocked in team-best 33 runs. Collin McHugh and Mike Foltynewicz both have 5 wins, but McHugh is the real standout with a 1.43 ERA (5th in league) and 2.0 WAR (leads league). Indiana Indianans (10-15, 15th)
Projected to finish 7th in the league with a 96-61 record, Indiana has been one of the unluckier teams this season with a current Pythagorean win differential of minus-6—worst in the CWBL. They started the season 10-5 before dropping 10 straight to close out the month.
Indiana’s struggles are certainly not on Michael Brosseau, however, as he’s hit .336 with 9 homers and 34 RBI. Kevin Kiermaier is hitting .296 with 4 HR and 7 steals. Pitching-wise, Lance Lynn has a 2.86 ERA but the rest of the starters have struggled—Jeff Samardzija (3.90), Sean Manaea (4.76), Kyle Gibson (5.59), Clayton Richard (6.00). Iowa Iowans (7-18, 21st)
After winning 5 of their first 6 thanks to series against Kansas and Maine, the Iowans went just 2-18 the rest of the way. They had two separate 9-game losing streaks but won their final game of the month vs Idaho.
Dom Thompson-Williams has been their best hitter with a .286 AVG, 7 HR, and 23 RBI. Scott Schebler has 5 HR.
11.03 team ERA is 3rd worst in the league. AJ Puk is 1-3 with a 3.65 ERA, but the bottom three starters are a combined 0-11 with ERAs ranging from 13.00 to 21.00. (Though it doesn’t help when the team has no real catcher.) Closer Tony Watson is unscored upon and is the only reliever with an ERA under 7.00. Kansas Kansans (9-19, 19th)
Kansas swept Idaho from April 20-22 but never won consecutive games otherwise in April. They dropped 10 straight from April 6 to 16, but they broke the streak with a surprising 4-3 victory over Jacob deGrom and Florida.
Jacob Stallings and Connor Kaiser are hitting .329 and .322, respectively, but are the only regulars above .250. Bubba Starling is hitting a disappointing .158. Joey Wentz (3.09 ERA) and John Means (3.29) are pitching well, though the same cannot be said for Blake Treinen, who has a 5.09 ERA as a starter. Kentucky Kentuckians (13-15, 12th)
Kentucky was projected to finish exactly .500 this season and they’re just behind pace through April. They lost 5 of their first 6 and only swept two series in the month (vs Idaho and Arkansas).
Ben Revere leads the team with a .353 AVG, but JT Riddle has actually been their most valuable offensive player with a .324 AVG, 25 RBI, 1.0 WAR, and league-high 13 doubles. Will Smith (.333 AVG, 3 HR) and Adam Duvall (.296 AVG, 5 HR) are also playing well.
Ace Walker Buehler is slightly underperforming with a 3-0 record and 3.03 ERA, but he is third in the league in strikeouts behind Cole and deGrom. #5 starter Lincoln Henzman (21 OVR) has a dismal 1-4 record and 9.28 ERA. Louisiana Louisianans (20-8, 8th)
Louisiana lost two each vs Kentucky, at Massachusetts, and vs Minnesota, with their other losses coming at Colorado and California. Their biggest win was a 20-0 victory over Maine on April 28.
Third baseman Ryan Schimpf leads the league in strikeouts (54), so that’s something! Cole Freeman is batting .342 and is 7/8 in steals, while Austin Nola has been the best overall hitter with a .325 AVG and 7 HR.
41-overall starter Jacob Waguespack has a crazy 1.07 ERA, good for 3rd in the league. Aaron Nola 4-1 with a 2.86 ERA, ranking third in WAR (1.8) behind McHugh and deGrom. Maine Mainers (1-27, 25th)
The projected worst team in the league, Maine lived “up” to their reputation in April. Their only win was a 7-5 victory vs Idaho on April 24.
Ryan McKenna clones hold the top 5 spots on the team in AVG (ranging between .278 and .229). Of the six Treyjn Fletcher clones, the second base starter has the worst WAR (1.9) in baseball.
16.44 team ERA, easily worst in the league. Of the 12 Cody Laweryson pitcher clones, the closer has a 3.60 ERA but the others all have ERAs between 9.31 and 29.53. One of them is the only pitcher in the league with six losses, and they hold the “top” three spots in the league for walks. Maryland Marylanders (11-14, 14th)
Maryland was up and down all month, winning consecutive games only 4 times in April. They lost 4 of 5 to begin the season and 5 of 6 to close out the month.
Somehow, 31-overall catcher Alex Murphy is 3rd in the league with a .402 AVG and tied for 3rd with 11 doubles. Jake Fraley is hitting .306 with 4 HR and 21 RBI. Josh Hader is performing well as a starter despite closer-level stamina, going 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 4 starts. The same cannot be said for Cody Morris, who is 0-4 with an 18.51 ERA. Massachusetts Massachusettsans (13-15, 13th)
Projected to go 84-73, Massachusetts is underperforming so far in 2020. They started the year 3-8 and didn’t win back-to-back games until April 12 and 14.
Patrick Mazeika leads the team in hitting (.303) while Chris Shaw has 7 homers and a .270 AVG. Ace Sean Newcomb has just a 1-2 record to show for his 1.82 ERA, and the rest of the rotation isn’t helping much as three other starters have ERAs over 6.00. Michigan Michiganders (9-19, 20th)
Michigan won back-to-back games just 3 times all month—at Maryland, vs Delaware, and vs Arkansas. Jon Berti is hitting .308 on the season and leads the league with 4 triples. Eric Haase is hitting .292 with a team-high 6 HR. “Ace” Matt Shoemaker is just 1-5 with a 4.62 ERA, while the other four starters have ERAs in the 5.00 range. Closer James Bourque has just one save and a 12.10 ERA. Minnesota Minnesotans (11-17, 17th)
Minnesota rebounded after a 4-15 start, winning 7 of 9 to close out the month.
Outfielder Roman Collins is the only offensive player with a WAR above 0.1, hitting .315 with 5 HR and 22 RBI. Sean “Gates Of” Hjelle has been the best starter, going 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Nick Anderson and Brad Hand have been strong as expected in the bullpen, each having a 1.64 ERA. Mississippi Mississippians (20-8, 7th)
Mississippi has had some respectable losses (vs Missouri, vs Colorado) but some truly baffling ones, including when they lost 3 straight to Minnesota then another to Kansas. They also lost their season opener to Delaware. They finished strong though, with a 34-1 win over Maine to close out April.
Brian Dozier has been the best hitter with a .333 AVG and 7 HR. Corey Dickerson, Mitch Moreland, and Hunter Renfroe are all hitting above .300 and have 20+ RBI as well. Dickerson leads the league with 4 sac flies but I don’t know if that puts him in the MVP conversation yet. Billy Hamilton has scored 24 runs and swiped 7 bags.
Stater Justin Steele ranks 2nd in the league with a 0.92 ERA and leads with a .130 OPP AVG. Ace Brandon Woodruff has just been OK, going 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA. Closer Jonathan Holder has 8 saves to tie for the league lead. Missouri Missourians (15-13, 11th)
Missouri finished April just about .500, though they did finish strong with 8 straight wins after previously losing 5 straight (3 to GA, 2 to CT).
Luke Voit ranks 6th in the league with a .387 AVG to go along with six homers. Logan Morrison and Monte Harrison are tied for the team lead in home runs with seven each. Ace Max Scherzer has had some tough luck so far, going 2-3 despite a 2.13 ERA. Also with a 2-3 record is Jake Arrieta, but that might be considered lucky for him given his 7.18 ERA in six starts.
Montana-Wyoming League Montana Montanans
Montana is unsurprisingly terrible, with their two wins coming against Vermont (32-21 and 34-32). They are riding a league-worst 18-game losing streak.
This roster is a mess, as all the Rob Johnson clones I put on offense are being sorted as pitchers. Who cares. This team is terrible. ERAs range from 8.38 to 31.91. Nebraska Nebraskans (8-20, 20th)
Nebraska had a 4-game win streak from April 9-12, including a sweep of Vermont that featured scores of 29-23, 42-17, and 43-37. (Poor Vermont—don’t you hate when you score 37 and lose?) But that streak wasn’t an indication of things to come for Nebraska, who won just 2 of their last 16 to end April.
Top hitters for Nebraska include Jakson Reetz (.377, 6 HR), clone Alex Gordon (.369, 5 HR), clone Alec Bohm (.339, 6 HR), and other Alec Bohm (.321, 3 HR). Matt Eardensohm has the “best” starters ERA at 9.00. Pat Venditte is the only pitcher on the team with an ERA under 7.00. Nevada Nevadans (19-9, 8th)1
Nevada had won 10 of 11 late in April before dropping 3 of their last 4, including an embarrassing loss to New Hampshire to close out the month.
Kris Bryant is mashing with a .383 AVG, 6 HR, and 48 RBI (2nd in league). Joey Gallo “only” has 9 HR to go along with a .346 AVG. Every starter is hitting at least .290 except…Bryce Harper, who has posted a .262 AVG, 6 HR, and 25 RBI. Brandon Snyder is hitting .294 but is tied for the league high with 47 strikeouts.
Ace Tyler Anderson is 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA, while Mickey Jannis (3.13) and Tyler Wagner (3.38) have done well also. Less so are starters Aaron Blair (9.14) and Joe Wieland (9.59). New Hampshire New Hampshirites (8-17, 19th)
New Hampshire didn’t win back-to-back games outside of a 4-game win streak from April 21-24. Grant Lavigne clone leads the team with a .413 AVG, while Mickey Gasper clone leads with 4 HR and 21 RBI. Two Kevin McGowan clones have ERAs under 6.00, and all six Will Gaddis clones have ERAs between 6.05 and 14.79. New Jersey New Jeseyans (16-9, 9th)
New Jersey has a Pythagorean win differential of minus-6, tied for the worst in the CWBL. A 3-game sweep to North Carolina killed their momentum late in the month, though they did have four off days to recover from it and crushed Wyoming 17-2 to close things out.
Jason Heyward (.377 AVG, 8 HR, 27 RBI) is showing Mike Trout (.371 AVG, 2 HR, 21 RBI) who the real superstar of New Jersey is. The pitching has been great, as the rotation has three guys with under a 3.00 ERA, led by Charlie Morton (4-0 with a 2.06). The highest ERA by a reliever is 2.89, while four of them have sub-2.00 ERAs. Team ERA of 2.43 leads the league. New Mexico New Mexicans (12-16, 16th)
New Mexico won 5 straight from April 14-18, but otherwise had a pretty rough month. They lost the next 6 and 8 of their final 11 in April.
Two Alex Bregmans are giving it their all for New Mexico, with one of them hitting .510 (highest in the CWBL) with 14 doubles, 9 HR and 39 RBI. The other Bregman is hitting .380 with 10 HR and 34 runs. Mitch Garver clones are also doing well with 13 combined HR. Unfortunately, no other hitter is breaking .240 right now.
Starters ERAs range from bad (Trevor Rogers clone at 5.74) to horrendous (Cam Baird at 14.50). Closer Ken Giles has a 2.19 ERA and 6 saves, but he’s not getting much help from clone Ken Giles as setup man (6.89 ERA). New York New Yorkers (17-8, 7th)
Projected as the 4th place team this season, New York has been a bit unlucky with a Pythagorean win differential of -5. They had an up and down (and up again) month, winning 8 of 9 to start, then losing 7 of 10 before winning their last 6.
Lead the league with a .347 team AVG. Tim Locastro is actually leading the team with a .426 AVG but has surprisingly only stolen two bases. Jesse Winker is hitting .415 and on-basing .552 with 6 HR, while Harrison Bader leads the team in WAR at 1.9. Tom Murphy has 11 homers (tied 3rd in league).
Ace Patrick Corbin has really struggled out of the game, posting a 6.49 ERA despite a 3-1 record. The other four starters have ERAs in the 3’s. Closer Dellin Betances has a 9.72 ERA despite his 5 saves and 19.4 K/9. North Carolina North Carolinians (20-5, 1st)
Projected as the 6th team in the league this season, North Carolina is performing above expectations right now as the league leader. They’ve won 14 straight, having not lost since April 11 at Pennsylvania.
Mac Williamson is 5th in the league with a .427 AVG and tied for 6th with 10 HR. Brian Goodwin is hitting .402, while veterans Ryan Zimmerman (.373 AVG, 5 HR), Cameron Maybin (.372 AVG, 5 HR), and Brandon Phillips (.347 AVG, 10 doubles) are proving they’ve still got it. The Seager brothers are actually underperforming right now, with Kyle hitting .316 and Corey hitting .307.
NC has three starters in the top 8 in league ERA—Mackenzie Gore (1.61), Alex Wood (1.70), and Chris Archer (2.25). Wood leads the league in WAR (1.9) and is the only pitcher with multiple shutouts. Madison Bumgarner leads the team with 5 wins despite a 3.92 ERA. Closer Kodi Whitley leads the league with 7 saves despite a 6.75 ERA. North Dakota North Dakotans (8-20, 21st)
Currently the best Dakota team, North Dakota won 4 straight to start the season but lost 12 straight to end April. Of the 14 Andy Youngs on offense, shortstop Young has the best AVG (.360), right field Young has the more HR (11) and RBI (36), and first base Young has the highest WAR (0.9). Ace Matt Strahm has the best ERA at 6.59. Every other pitcher on the roster has an ERA between 6.84 and 24.55. (Also, can I just say that I love how the AI thinks one Ben Strahm clone needs a 105-pitch limit and the other Ben Strahm clone needs no limit? Guess he’s a super clone.) Ohio Ohioans (18-7, 5th)
Ohio lost 3 of 4 to start the season, but rebounded nicely and closed out the month winning 10 of their last 11.
Adam Eaton leads the team with a .386 AVG and 0.7 WAR. Evan White has a .326 AVG and 6 HR, while Andrew Benintendi (.286), Scooter Gennett (.286), and Travis Shaw (.284) are all doing alright. Kyle Schwarber, who rates as the team’s best player, has 6 homers but is hitting just .237.
Despite being the #5 starter, JT Brubaker leads the team with a 1.85 ERA. Matt Wisler (3.67) and Brent Suter (3.82) have also done well, though Chris Bassitt (7.03) has struggled. Bullpen has been strong as five relievers have an ERA under 3.00. Oklahoma Oklahomans (15-13, 13th)
Oklahoma has a Pythagorean win differential of minus-4 and struggled toward the end of the month, losing 5 straight (3 to VA, 2 to TN).
Veteran Matt Kemp leads the team with a .337 AVG, 10 HR, and 33 RBI. JT Realmuto leads in WAR (1.4) and is hitting .323 with 8 HR and 30 RBI. Matt Reynolds (.330 AVG), Ryan Vilade (.324, 5 HR), and Brian Anderson (.320, 8 HR) are also hitting well.
The rotation has been hit and miss, from the good (Andrew Heaney 3.38 ERA, Garrett Richards 3.57) to the bad (Jon Gray 5.74, Michael Fulmer 6.11, Dallas Keuchel 6.51). The bullpen has been strong with five players at 3.00 ERA or lower. Oregon Oregonians (15-13, 14th)
Oregon has done pretty well for a team projected to finish under .500 before the season began. They won 6 of 7 to begin the season but went 5-12 in the 17 games after. However, they did win 4 straight to close out the month.
Jed Lowrie, unsurprisingly, has been the team’s best hitter with a .348 AVG and 7 HR. Brandon Drury isn’t far behind with a .322 AVG and team-high 28 RBI. Youngster Adley Rutschman is holding his own with a .317 AVG and 4 homers.
Anthony Shew “leads” the rotation with a 4.54 ERA, but he does have a shiny 5-1 record to show for it. Three starters have ERAs above 7.00, worst of all Andrew Moore at 10.97. Pennsylvania Pennsylvanians (19-6, 4th)
Another team outperforming their preseason prediction (9th in the league), Pennsylvania won its first 6 games before losing 3 of 4. They then rattled off 8 straight wins but went 4-3 to close out the month.
Ian Happ ranks 4th in the league with a .434 AVG and 2.1 WAR to go along with 9 homers. Nolan Jones (.411 AVG, 6 HR) and Christian Walker (.387 AVG, 5 HR) are also crushing the ball. Two-way player Bendan McKay is hitting .306 with 4 HR on offense and is 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA as a starter. Rhode Island Rhode Islanders (12-17, 17th)
Full disclosure: When I simmed to Opening Day and the preseason predictions came out, it turns out I’d forgotten to fill Rhode Island’s roster with clones. That causes their projected record to be worst in the league (4-152). Turns out, once I fixed their roster, they’re somewhat better and have already tripled that projected win total. They lost 7 of 8 early on but did manage some wins in high-scoring affairs such as 37-13 (vs WY), 21-18 (vs UT), 29-9 (at VT), and 24-12 (at VT). That 37-run win included an 18-run 8th inning!
The hitters I expected to do well—Chris Iannetta clones—actually have some of the lowest averages on the team (.287 and .269). Most hitters are above .300, led by Nick Zammarelli III clones (.353 AVG, 4 HR & .338 AVG, 5 HR).
Pitching has really been an issue for Rhode Island, with a clone of Thomas Pannone (3-1, 3.75) the only starter with an ERA above 6.00. The bullpen is even worse, as CJ Dandeneau “leads” the team with a 5.85 ERA and all other relievers range from 10.90 to 24.08. South Carolina South Carolinians (16-12, 12th)
Four wins behind their Pythagorean record, South Carolina had some trouble both early an late in the month. They lost 5 of 7 at one point early and three straight on both April 20-22 and April 28-30.
Justin Smoak has been a monster (Smoak Monster, for all you LOST fans), hitting .420 with 9 homers and 38 RBI. Whit Merrifield (.398), Bret Gardner (.345), and Andy Burns (.337) are also hitting wall.
Three starters have ERAs in the 3’s, led by Jordan Lyles (3-2, 3.03) and Asher “Normal Spelling” Wojciechowski (2-1, 3.10). Zack Godley has been notably worse, going 2-3 with a 7.62 ERA. Setup men Carl Edwards Jr. and Emilio Pagan, plus closer Chad Green, have combined for a 1.69 ERA in 32 innings. South Dakota South Dakotans (6-19, 22nd)
Easily one of the top two Dakota teams, they didn’t win consecutive games until taking two straight from Wisconsin on April 23-24. Unfortunately, they couldn’t complete the sweep and lost the final game 38-35. (Still an impressive game after being down 21-2 after two innings!)
Left fielder Adam Law, who wasn’t even good enough to be cloned, is leading the team with a .352 AVG and 27 runs. One Dusty Coleman clone is hitting .328, while another leads the team with 7 HR and 21 RBI. Sam Wolff clone actually has a 3.05 ERA—slightly higher than fellow starter Tyler Mitzel’s 34.50 ERA. Bullpen ERAs range from 5.28 to 14.54. Tennessee Tennesseans (22-6, 3rd)
Unless your state begins with an N or O, good luck beating Tennessee. Their six losses have come against North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada (x2), and Oklahoma. They’ve also been a bit unlucky with a Pythagorean win differential of minus-4.
Austin Riley has been a stud with a .407 AVG and 9 HR. Corban Joseph (.402), Tony Kemp (.388), Nick Senzel (.341 AVG, 6 HR), and Caleb Joseph (.337) are all hitting well. Surprisingly, despite the team’s strong performance, their best player—Mookie Betts—is hitting just .275 (lowest of any regular), so there’s some upside here.
Mike Minor and Dakota Hudson hold the top two spots in ERA—0.24 and 1.41, respectively. Minor has been unbelievable, leading the league in WHIP and OPP AVG while allowing one run (a solo HR to NJ’s Todd Frazier) in 37.1 IP. Robbie Ray has also been great, going 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA. He leads the league with 71 strikeouts and joins Alex Wood as the only pitcher in the league with multiple complete games. Texas Texans (18-7, 6th)
The favorite to win the league in the preseason, Texas is off to a slow start in sixth place, though their Pythagorean win differential is minus-4. Their seven losses include two each to Ohio and New York, with the others coming at Oklahoma, vs South Carolina, and at Wisconsin.
Their 76 HR as a team lead the league. Max Muncy is in the early MVP conversation right now with a .422 AVG (7th in the league), 13 HR (2nd), 49 RBI (1st), 1.388 OPS (3rd), and 2.3 WAR (2nd). Trevor Story is hitting .368 with 10 homers, while Josh Bell is hitting .367 with 9 HR and is tied for the league lead in triples (3). Nobody on the team is hitting below .290.
The rotation isn’t pitching an elite level yet, with Noah Syndergaard (3.66 ERA), Clayton Kershaw (4.99), Jameson Taillon (5.93), Chris Paddack (3.34), and Michael Wacha (8.37). Setup man Jordan Hick leads the bullpen with a 1.42 ERA and 17.1 K/9. Utah Utahns (9-19, 18th)
After winning 5 straight early in the season, Utah won only 4 more games after April 9th. They have the lowest team AVG in the league at .255. Clone Brennon Lund lead the team with a .338 AVG, though Dallas Carroll and Payton Henry have a team-high 4 HRs each and Henry leads in WAR (0.4). Ace Brady Lail is 0-3 with a 5.87 ERA and only one reliever (Tanner Banks, 2.01 ERA) has an ERA under 7.00. Vermont Vermonters (4-24, 24th)
Vermont has really struggled, with separate losing streaks of 7, 8, and 8 games. In an incredible win vs Montana on April 8, they were down 34-22 entering the 9th inning before scoring 17 in the final frame to secure a 39-34 victory. Now that’s clutch.
Now this is the team with 14 unretired Daric Bartons, and it’s going pretty well for them. All the starting Bartons are hitting between .309 and .441. First base and DH Bartons have 7 homers each. Pitching is a problem though, as Theo McDowell and Rayne Supple clones have ERAs ranging from 12.35 to 45.00. The pitching is so overworked that 7 Daric Bartons have even pitched…but not well. Team ERA of 25.80 is easily worst in the league. Virginia Virginians (22-6, 2nd)
Just like North Carolina, Virginia is outperforming their preseason prediction and sitting in second place despite a Pythagorean win differential of minus-3. They actually lost the first two games of the season (at NJ) but would put together separate 8- and 9-game win streaks in April.
Andrew Knizner ranks 2nd in the league with a .446 AVG, while Justin Bour is 6th in the league with 10 HR despite a .233 AVG. Brandon Lower is hitting .370 and has 44 RBI—third most in the league. Denard Span (who I probably should’ve put on Maryland) is hitting .417 with 7 HR and is third in the league in hits.
Ace Justin Verlander has been great, going 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA and ranking 2nd in the league with a 1.9 WAR. Fellow starters Alec Bettinger, Daniel Lynch, and Tim Melville are a combined 11-0. Washington Washingtonians (17-11, 10th)
Projected to finish 3rd this season, Washington is behind pace but has a Pythagorean win differential of minus-5. They started off 2-5, then won 13 of 14 before losing 5 of their last 7.
Jake Lamb is hitting .417 on the season while tied for 3rd in homers (11) and 3rd in WAR (2.2). Also hitting well are Michael Brantley (.407), Michael Conforto (.366), and Reese McGuire (.337).
Blake Snell is a strong 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA, but Austin Voth has actually been the best starter (5-0, 2.32). Matthew Boy is solid (3-1, 3.08) while Jon Lester has struggled (2-3, 4.66). West Virginia West Virginians (14-14, 15th)
Projected to lose 104 games, sitting at .500 is pretty solid for West Virginia. One of their wins was a 26-22 victory over Wyoming that saw them score 10 runs in the final two innings. They lost 5 of 6 late in the month until winning their final four games.
Three Jedd Gyorko clones are leading the West Virginians, with the apparently well-rested DHing Gyorko leading the way with a .400 AVG, 15 HR, 42 RBI, and 34 runs. His 15 HR are two more than anyone in the CWBL.
Three Jordan Montgomery clones have ERAs in the 4’s, while Michael Grove clone starters have put up ERAs of 9.70 and 11.78. David Carpenter has a 6.97 ERA as closer and a 5.40 and 5.93 as the two setup men. Wisconsin Wisconsinites (15-10, 11th)
Wisconsin started the season 3-6 but didn’t lose consecutive games for the remainder of the month.
Gavin Lux has unsurprisingly been the star here, batting .352 with 5 homers. Daulton Varsho’s at .339 and 6 homers, while Jarred Kelenic is at .327 with 5 HR and a team-high 24 RBI. Two-way player Jared Walsh has 5 HR but is hitting just .198.
It’s been rough pitching for the Wisconsinites, as Evan Kruczynski is the only start with an ERA under 5.00. Ace Jordan Zimmermann has yet to earn a win, going 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA in six starts. Closer Ben Heller is unscored upon in nine appearances and has a 17.0 K/9. Wyoming Wyomingites (4-24, 23rd)
There isn’t much good to say about Wyoming, whose four hard-fought wins were by scores of 16-10 (at RI), 18-17 (vs WV), 32-18 (vs NH), and 38-35 (at SD).
All seven Brandon Nimmo clones are hitting .286 or better, with left field Brandon Nimmo raking the most (.352 AVG, 10 HR, 36 RBI). Pitching is…a problem, as 12 unretired Jeremy Horst clones have ERAs ranging from 8.18 to 58.91 (that’s 72 earned runs in 11 innings).
Am I upset at a bunch of bugs in the game (like weapon swapping being broken on PC mouse wheels)?
Am I loving nearly every second of playing the game regardless?
Do I think some enemy abilities are OP and borderline broken (seriously, are we gonna talk about enemy technician turrets being full-auto sniper rifles now)?
Has the new difficulty of the game got me more excited than ever and motivated me even more to play and chase better rolls?
Am I sad that a bunch of my favorite builds are completely dead?
Am I sad the loot drops are a bit more stingy?
Am I happy that I actually have a reason to go pick up and check loot?
Am I excited for all the possibilities I see opened up for the Devs to add new talents, new talent combos, new exotics, new weapons, etc. over the course of the first couple seasons?
Do I get a little salty when I see the front page of this sub be almost all negative posts?
Do I think people here have helped identify a bunch of legitimate issues despite the negativity?
Am I actually going to keep up with these "absolutely" shenanigans?
Do I wonder every single day why the devs haven't tried to sell me Wyvern's outfit or even the Black Tusk grenadier mask (seriously how was Wyvern not the first Black Tusk outfit :P)?
Do I spend nights drifting off to sleep about why we can't have K-9 Unit be a legitimate specialization ( I have a whole spec tree mapped out in my mind if anyone else wants a good doggo to follow them into battle instead of another boring old gun)?
Do I think communication from the devs could be improved?
Do I still think it's the best communication from the devs of any game I've played?
Do I wish the devs gave us a way to upgrade our old exotics to 40?
Am I still gonna go grind them all out again?
Am I lying to myself about actually having the time to do that?
...ok, fine. Absolutely.
Have we stepped into a war with the cabal on mars whether we wanted it or not?
Abso- wait, no sorry wrong sub.
OK I'm done. Seriously sub, thanks for pointing out things to the devs even when it seems to me like complaining. And thanks to the community managers and devs for handling all the feedback so well (IMHO). The SotG yesterday made me realize people's perspective playing the game on Challenging w/ 4 man teams has been been vastly different than mine playing solo and in 2 man teams, slowing making our way where I'm just now ready for challenging. If you're on PC and you see ol' JaksonHoward in a safe area, shoot 'er an emote and she might twirl her gun for ya' (BEST EMOTE). Otherwise, watch your doors and corners and keep on keepin' on I guess.
I know we all love the Buffalo and feel sympathetic for all he's gone through (being kidnapped, injuries, etc.). We've all thought that the key to a monster Ramos season was health. Well, he's been healthy all season and he's having the worst season of his career. Go figure.
Ramos has typically been an above average offensive contributor. He put up a WRC+ of 111 in 2011, 103 in 2012, 114 in 2013 and 93 in 2014. Despite an overall below average 2014, his 93 wRC+ was still above average for a catcher.
However, this year, his wRC+ is down to 67. Most here are familiar with wRC+, but for those who aren't, that means he's 33% below league average with the bat. That's a problem. You can maybe live with like 85 from a player, if he's a standout defender. You can never live with 67. And Ramos isn't an elite defender anyway.
Compounding the problem is his injury history. Even if he were to go back to putting up a wRC+ of over 100, there's no guarantee you have it for a full season. And then you're relying on Jose Lobaton, who is a slightly better defender than Ramos, but possibly the most overrated player among Nationals fans in my opinion.
Ramos is also a free agent after next season and the pipeline is pretty bare. You have guys like Pedro Severino, who is considered an elite defender, but he's not much of a bat. Jakson Reetz is a very well regarded and well-rounded, but he's 3-4 years away. So there's no answer currently under team control past 2016. A free agent or trade could fix that.
For my money, I think catcher should be a priority, but I'm not sure where you find one. Catchers who can hit and defend don't grow on trees.
Free Agent Catchers
Wieters is obviously the prize of the class and he's a Boras client, which will surely invite speculation of a match. However, he's had his own extensive injury history. He's about a league average hitter (career 99 wRC+) but he's been valuable because he's a great defender. Other than him, there's nobody. Alex Avila has had a bunch of concussions and he's posting a Ramos-esque 66 wRC+ this year. His dad is also now the GM of the Tigers, so...
There's always the possibility of a trade, but for whom? And at what cost? I do not think Lucroy is available.
Once again. If you haven't watched 2x21 and don't want spoilers, please do not read on.
So we all saw what happened in 2x21 as Klaus made Gia burn herself and cursed Haley. Now we are faced once again with a fight between Klaus and Elijah. (not real fight I hope just screaming and stuff) [pormo 2x22 spoiler] We see them with Rebekah facing Dhalia at the end of the promo for episode 22. But I hardly believe Elijah will forgive him so easily this time (as he usually does)
Do you think we are looking at a family fight for real this time? I really love them as a team, though we hardly see them as such lately. Everyone tries to come up with the best way to keep Hope safe - Elijah is forced to pick side, Klaus is being himself and so he makes his own plan, etc. I ABSOLUTELY loved the way Elijah stood between Jakson and Klaus as he claim to have killed Aiden. How he rushed in and said "Do you wish to die?" to Jakson. Doing everything for Nick over and over again and I can't get enough of them together.
There has only been one time (if I recall correctly) when Elijah truly wanted Klaus dead and that was season 2 (I think) in TVD where he almost ripped his heart during his hybrid transformation. Do you think we're looking at another such situation? I hope they clear it all out. After all let's not forget those simple words - Always and Forever!