And we're off! The Renegade Reporter League kicked off their second season last week. There were five intradivision matchups, a playoff rematch, and exciting debuts by newly owned teams. Overall, the Bid McPhee division fared the best, with four teams picking up wins in interdivision play. The Ray Lankford division, in contrast, saw only one winner--and that was the intradivision matchup. Let's take a look at a few of last week's matchups.
WHATS A SABRE defeated I always get to 3rd 789 to 756
This was a matchup between the reigning champion and the team that had the best draft position this year. It was a close matchup. IAGT3 led on offense 428-373, topping the sabres by nearly 100 points thanks to a strong power game (16 HR's), and were led by Ryan Braun's 98 point performance. But the sabre's pitching was strong, as usual, and they led that side of the diamond by ~85 points. Tim Lincecum led a team-wide effort with 81 points, but all but one pitcher on his staff--including Ivan Freaking Nova--posted 40+ points over the scoring period.
Interestingly, more than half of the margin of victory wrests with Clay Buchholz, who posted a miserable -20 points in his first start and 0 points in his second start during the period. If he instead posts just +20 points--not much for two starts--this series has a different outcome. As it is, though, the SABREs are at the top of the division standings once again!
Basement Dwellers defeated Tied for First 743-618
In a rematch of the semi-finals last season, these two former division rivals kicked off the season against one another for the second straight year. Unfortunately, while the Basement Dwellers did post a marginally above-average week, this contest largely came down to what happened over the first several days: namely, Tied for First's top pitching trio of Ubaldo Jimenez, Francisco Liriano, and Max Scherzer posted combined negative points over the first weekend. Shortly afterwards, Ubaldo went on the DL, and then Manny Ramirez got caught taking PED's and retired from baseball. It was a bad way to start the year for last year's second-place team.
For their part, the Basement Dwellers received a nice debut performance from Jered Weaver (117 pts across three starts) as well as excellent hitting from Logan Morrison (83 pts) and Shane Victorino (73 pts) to overcome losses to Mike Stanton and J.J. Hardy to post a good-but-not-great opening performance. But, a win's a win!
1/2-Game lead, last year's regular season points and win leader, picked up where they left off, netting 838 points that were spread evenly between hitting and pitching. Miguel Cabrera had a fine debut (92 pts), as did Edwin Jackson (82 pts), but what stands out to me is what happened with his relievers: Huston Street and Joel Hanrahan posted 70+ points apiece, thanks to four saves each! It's pretty rare to see those kind of point totals from true relievers, and has me stressing that I didn't get a closer...
A Tough Luck Loss
The Low Leverage LOOGYs defeated the Sabremorticians 827-801 last week. This is notable because these were also the second- and third-highest point totals of the week. We had a few cases like this last year, but when you post the third-highest point total in a week, you will win more often than not. Condolences to Madville for a tough loss! FWIW, as I write this, at least the Sabremorticians leads Xpert Xpress in week 2 by a narrow margin.
Matchups to watch in week 2
The most interesting matchup may be WHATS A SABRE vs. 1/2-Game Lead. The SABREs are the reigning champions, but 1/2-Game lead dominated last year during the regular season, with easily the highest point and win totals. This is the only time these two titans will face one another during the regular season, so I expect the gloves to come off!
Also interesting is Low Leverage LOOGYs vs. Puncher's Chance. Both teams are new to our league this year, having moved over from last year's Beyond the Boxscore League at CBS. Now they face off in an intradivision matchup. Puncher's Chance had a rough first scoring period, and now looks to rebound against the team that posted the second-best point totals last week. It could be a tough assignment, but if he's going to win his division, he'll have to beat the LOOGYs!