Marcus Stroman came up big in the UDL championship throwing for 11 2/3 innings over two starts and only giving up two earned runs - allowing The Emporium to keep the slight edge in ERA and ultimately the matchup. Seven of those innings came at the infamous Coors field where Stroman shut out the Rockies while on the mound. It may have been a risky play for The Emporium to start a pitcher at Coors in the championship, but it paid off big time.
Our new reigning champion made a single trade this year, giving away Manny Machado and J.D. Davis in exchange for José Ramírez. The trade was accepted on June 11th. From that date through the championship, here are their stats:
Manny Machado: .258/.333/.486 with 49 runs, 20 home runs, 49 RBI, and 4 stolen bases
J.D. Davis: .329/.388/.557 with 43 runs, 14 home runs, 35 RBI, and 3 stolen bases
José Ramírez: .304/.352/.624 with 42 runs, 16 home runs, 54 RBI, and 8 stolen bases
JoRam definitely turned his season around at some point after this trade happened, but how much did it help The Emporium? Ramírez wasn't even around for the playoffs. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say - honestly I thought I would find something more significant in The Emporium's favor here. 😆
Back2Back Jax led the league in Runs, Home Runs, and RBI thanks largely to studs like Anthony Rendon, Eugenio Suarez, Edwin Encarancion, Xander Bogaerts, and Trey Mancini just to name a few.
This was a tough one to choose, but The Gamblers got great seasons out of Cincinatti with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. Matt Boyd and Joe Musgrove were also quite impressive at times. A midseason trade acquisition of Noah Syndergaard and having Mike Clevinger to begin the year didn't hurt either as The Gamblers stacked up the strikeouts. I guess we can tell Nick you're still allowed to write for Pitcher List after all.
Big League Chu led the league in saves + holds in large part to outstanding years from Kirby Yates and Josh Hader. Imagine if Blake Treinen was anywhere close to what he was in 2018.
This was a close one. Bringers of W.A.R. has the league leader in steals and the best player in baseball in their outfield. Jason Heyward had moments and Charlie Blackmon is still a stud. The fact that they didn't join the team until later in the year is what I used as the tiebreaker. Preston Perennials has some serious size and oomph in the outfield with Jorge Soler and the Franimal. Bryan Reynolds might win Rookie of the Year in a non-juiced ball era. Victor Robles racked up counting stats as well. I already made an odd judgement about late season trades, so I will only briefly mention that Brandon Nimmo makes a nice addition to a solid outfield that is quite balanced in aggregate.
There's some stacked infields out there, but the award goes to Team !Ponche!. Freddie Freeman and Noland Arenado at the corners isn't fair to begin with. Then add the wild breakout of Ketel Marte along with the solid Cardinals middle infield of Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong and they're stacked. All of that is without mentioning infield-eligible Cody Bellinger and Jose Abreu. Wow.
Thanks everyone for a great year!