The world is quite a different place than it was on October 30, 2019, when the Nationals made the final out in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. COVID-19 dominated the world news and altered the way people participated in sports on amateur and professional levels.
As a Major League Baseball fan, we were fortunate enough that teams eventually restarted their spring training programs, and the league agreed to host a 60 game schedule. Of course, everything looked great on paper but what happened on a field was entirely off the charts. Players opted out, teams had games cancelled, and it was tough to get into a rhythm.
Things worked out, and everyone made the best of an awkward situation. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series for the first time since 1988, so it was only natural that a Dodgers fan would reign supreme in our fantasy league.
It was exciting to know that fantasy baseball was returning. However, we knew the season would be a mess, so we reverted to our New York Yankees strategy, which meant we only employed players from the Bronx in our lineup. Of course, that was a strategy destined to fail and fail it did.
Overall Record and Head to Head Results
In the first section, we will dissect our record.
BD4 finished 28 games under .500 with a 20-48-2 (0.300) record. That earned us last place in our ten-team league. That record also put us 27 games out of first place and 20 games out of a playoff spot. Our 2020 record turned out to be our worse showing since we joined the league in 2017.
BD4 put up zeroes in the score column twice this season. One contest was a 0-10-0 beating at the hands of ItsNotRyanItsRyne and the other 0-9-1 loss to Bad News Bears. Chod’s Team almost shut us out, but we managed to secure one category win. The only matchup we won was the last one of the season, a 7-2-1 victory thanks to DODGE this!
Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers that matter the most.
Here were our weekly averages; 9.9 runs, 3.2 home runs, 10.0 RBIs, 0.68 stolen bases, and 0.249 batting average. In the pitching department, we won 1.0 games, 0.5 saves, 15.3 strikeouts, 4.55 ERA, and 1.26 WHIP.
We were able to win every category, except stolen bases, at least once during the season. Our best categories were wins, ERA, and WHIP, which we won three out of seven times. We secured two wins in runs, RBIs, batting average, saves, and strikeouts. The only category we won once was home runs, which occurred in the season’s final matchup. Although we never collected any points with stolen bases, we did manage two ties.
At the beginning of the season, our pitchers were the only players keeping us in the matchup every week. During the first three weeks, with 15 possible category wins, we locked down eight points before going 1 for 15 in the next three weeks. The week seven matchup was our best outing, where we won four out of five categories.
Batting was our weakness all season and cost us almost every matchup. There was 35 possible category wins available this season, and we only notched a total of seven victories to go along with two ties. If it weren’t for our performance in the final week, we would have only collected four points.
Our best numbers were all over the place. We produced a season-best in runs (42), RBIs (43), and batting average (0.309) in our week three defeat. We belted 17 home runs; only one of two times we could reach double digits. Stolen bases were our worse offensive category, where we stole just three bases on four separate occasions.
From the mound, we notched six victories during our week three matchup. We also tied a season-high with three saves that week. Our best strikeout number (65) came in week seven, along with our lowest ERA (2.63) and WHIP (1.06).
Player Scoring & Roster Moves
You will know that our league had two separate drafts for those of you who followed BD4 from the start. The first one no one participated in because the manager failed to change the date, and the league suspended spring training.
After a league reset, we got a chance to host a live draft, and we went out there selected New York Yankees players. Lucky for us, Luke Voit had a career season, earning the team MVP award. Max Scherzer (Washington) was the pitching MVP, who scored almost 50 points more than his closest competition.
Six of our top offensive players came through the draft, and the other four through the free-agent pool. Three of those four players were former Yankees and were vital cogs to keep us from being shut out every week.
In the pitching department, nine of the top ten were all drafted, with Justus Sheffield (Seattle) being the only free-agent acquisition to rack up the points.
Miguel Andujar ended up as our worse player, playing in three games and collecting zero points. From the mound, poor Jake Arrieta survived only an inning before getting pounded for a 47.25 ERA and a WHIP of 6.75. He was the only hurler not to collect a single point in his lone appearance.We made 21 roster moves, the seventh-most in the league. Two teams made absolutely no roster adjustments during the shortened season, while the leader was Jamie’s Team was 38.
Best & Worse Awards
When you examine our best and worse players, you will see that it was hard to find a groove and stay on a hot streak even in a shortened season. The majority of our hitters and pitchers struggled, and you will see many repeat winners and losers. Voit was the only two-time best player award winner, claiming the crown in weeks four and seven. His numbers were almost identical in those two weeks, but his batting average (0.500) in week four was the best performance from any player in any week. Aaron Judge had great numbers in week one because the opening series covered two weeks of the regular season.
Max Scherzer was the best pitcher on the mound because he was the team’s dominant pitcher for four of the seven weeks. James Paxton won the award twice, and Masahiro Tanaka claimed an award for himself. Scherzer collected the best point total of any pitcher with 21 in week one. He racked up 19 in two of his other wins, and his lowest total was still double digits (12) in week five. Not that he needed any more praise, but the Nationals starter also had the best ERA (1.50) and WHIP (1.00) in week five, which was the week he had his lowest point total.Our worse players put up some God-awful numbers, yet the majority of them were everyday players. If anyone ever questioned why we never won, they have to look at the guys we pencilled in daily.
Judge was the only player to appear on both the best (week one) and worse (week three) player list. Out of the seven players who failed to contribute in the starting lineup, Judge had the best week with four points and a 0.500 average. Only Justin Upton (Los Angeles) managed to eclipse a batting average of 0.200, while everyone else struggled to reach that number or 0.100. When someone was our worse player, they were indeed a pretty bad player the week of their crowning.
If you were the worse pitcher on our team, it took some pretty high numbers to earn those honours. J.A. Happ was the only player to win multiple worse pitcher awards, claiming the crown in the opening two weeks. Despite having some subpar numbers on his stat line, they fail compared to some of his teammates who put up some of the worse numbers in fantasy history.
Jordan Montgomery managed to put up a single-game high of 54.00 ERA to go along with his 9.00 WHIP. He barely beat out his teammate Jake Arrieta (Philadelphia), who managed zero strikeouts in his one appearance, which resulted in an astronomical 47.25 ERA and 6.75 in less than an inning. These two beat out Adam Ottavino, who put up the season’s worse numbers in week four. His one strikeout, 40.50 ERA and 4.50 were the benchmarks that got destroyed in weeks five and six. If anyone saw the silver lining on the losing end, it was Dylan Cease (Chicago) who managed the best worse numbers with just a 3.60 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Every season we discuss the importance of bench numbers and how they could have altered matchup scores. However, when you draft and employ an entire team, there weren’t many opportunities for bench players to impact the matchup.
Throughout the shortened 60 game season, we missed out on a total of 76 at-bats, which equalled just 1.2 appearances a game. Those players managed 15 hits, five runs, one home run, eight RBIs, and a stolen base. Collectively their batting average was 0.197.
It is hard to pick the best week when the sample size was so small. Week two produced the best category numbers, while week seven was a close second. No matter what you pick, none of these weeks would have drastically altered the outcome of any of the seven matchups.
When MLB suspended spring training, we had lost all hope that there would be a season. After a few weeks, baseball came back, and our excitement just wasn’t the same. Of course, we want to win and be competitive in our fantasy league (since we are spending real money on league fees), but with so many uncertainties, we decided to go with the one-team strategy one final time.
The results were as ugly as everyone predicted. Despite selecting players from a winning team, the Yankees finished 33-27, the results on the MLB diamond didn’t transition to the fantasy score column for us.
If you come back and follow us next season, you will see that this exclusive strategy will be one and done. With an entire season at our deposal, returning to the drawing board will allow us to get serious and build a winner for the first time in a long time.