We are now eight weeks into the season, so who’s ready for the current roto category leaders?  A few slight changes between the AL and NL, and trade season coming up could have a major effect on leaders.  So get out your scoop and let’s dig in to the kitty litter box!

Wins

AL – CLE Corey Kluber/NYY Luis Severino (7)

    Favorite in the Group – NYY Luis Severino

This has been the battle recently and both pitchers have tough matchups for their next scheduled starts.  Severino at home seems to be the better option, but this could also be a spot where they both lose, in which case Charlie Morton could join them at 7 wins.

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Charlie Morton

NL – WSH Max Scherzer (7)

Once again, Scherzer dominated his opponent striking out 13 batters in seven innings while throwing 121 pitches.  However, he did walk three and give up two earned runs.  May have found his arch nemesis in Max Muncy who finished 2 for 3 with a home run and both two RBIs.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – PHI Aaron Nola

 

Saves

AL – SEA Edwin Diaz (15)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – BOS Craig Kimbrel

NL – COL Wade Davis (16)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds –  SD Brad Hand

A guy with the name Hand was born to pitch, or at the very least hand model.  I happened to look up a list of funny/ironic baseball names past and present, and decided a lot of the names are too inappropriate to post, even on here!  If you want a good laugh though, I highly recommend looking it up.  He does not give up a lot of hard contact with his sweeping slider and pitches that sink.  Mostly known as a ground ball pitcher at 49% of the time in 2018 compared to just over 46% between 2014-2017.

 

Strikeouts

AL – HOU Gerrit Cole (93)

Although striking out seven and still holding the lead, Cole had his worst outing of the season surrendering two home runs and lasting only five innings.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – BOS Chris Sale 

Met someone on a boat in Italy who said his good friend is a big league pitcher.  That prompted me to ask “who,” imagining it was some random AA or lower schlub.  He calmly said “I don’t know what team he’s on but his name is Chris Sale, we went to high school together.”  My thought, either (A) you’re a liar, or (B) if you ate hot lunch with Chris Sale, you know where he’s at now.  Sheesh!

NL – WSH Max Scherzer (104)

This is turning into a one man race.  Really wish Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw stayed healthy to at least make a contest of it.  Doubt this lead dwindles at all and can probably crown Scherzer 2018 NL strikeout king already.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – ARI Patrick Corbin

You know when you put the floss around a loose tooth that’s just about to fall out, and you tie it to the door knob?  Patrick Corbin is the tooth, and the door is about to shut.

 

ERA

AL – HOU Justin Verlander (1.05)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Gerrit Cole

NL – STL Carlos Martinez (1.62)

Should be noted that Martinez missed his last start with the injury and has not pitched since May 8.  If he misses another start, we can create a 1A and 1B to discuss pitchers not on the DL.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – NYM Jacob deGrom

We can focus on deGrom as the deFacto leader just in case CarMar misses a second consecutive start.  He has been outstanding lately, and particularly in his last start going seven innings with 13 K’s.  His velocity has slowly increased throughout the season, averaging 96+ on the four-seam and 96+ on the sinker in the month of May compared to a mph less on each pitch in April.  I guess the hair was not necessary for his success.

 

WHIP

AL – HOU Justin Verlander (0.71)

Either AL pitching has been extraordinary, or the hitting has been sub par.  There are still nine AL pitchers with a WHIP below 1.00 and three of them are Astros.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – HOU Gerrit Cole

NL – WSH Max Scherzer (0.85)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – ARI Patrick Corbin

Gosh I wish Corbin played football in Dallas so I could call him Corbin Dallas.  So Corbin Dallas struggled a bit in his last start versus the Mets giving up four hits and four walks through 5.1 innings.  At this type of rate, he’ll keep dropping further from the lead.

 

Runs

AL – BOS Mookie Betts (48)

Mookie is still GOATing strong.  He leads the league in WAR at 3.6, wRC+ at 214 with Trout in second at 188, and is first in wOBA at .492.  Not to mention his 10 R lead over his AL opponents.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – LAA Mike Trout

It remains to be seen if even the great Mike Trout can catch Mookie in this category, although I would not count him out yet.

NL – ATL Ozzie Albies (42)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – COL Charlie Blackmon

Charlie “Don’t Bite My Finger” Blackmon has the better wOBA, OBP, and BB%, and plays his home games at Coors compared to Albies.  As good as Albies has been, those factors should allow Blackmon an increased chance of rounding the bases.

 

Homeruns

AL – BOS J.D. Martinez, BOS Mookie Betts (15)

    Favorite in the Group – BOS J.D. Martinez

J. Dong is on an absolute tear as of late.  Frank Thomas on Fox Sports recently described him as “the best hitter in baseball.”  Personally, that’s a topic for another debate, but J.D. had been raking.  He hits for average and power as he’s second in baseball in average exit velocity of 95.4mph.  J.D. is also second in baseball in barrels per plate appearance at 14.8%.  He is top five in AVG and top three in SLG.

    Waiting in the Weeds – BAL Manny Machado

Machado has the pleasure of playing against the White Sox in a four game series and should have plenty of opportunities to keep pace, or even take over as leader of the AL home run race.

NL – WSH Bryce Harper/ATL Ozzie Albies (13)

    Favorite in the Group – WSH Bryce Harper

Harper started off the month of May hot with four home runs in four games.  Since May 4th though, he only has one more home run, and somehow is still tied for the lead with Albies, and a few others breathing down his neck.  If he wants to remain the leader, he’ll have to cut down on the strikeouts and start putting the ball in play.

    Waiting in the Weeds –SD Christian Villanueva

Mashes lefties and has Yahtzee’d off them 9 out of his 12 times.  He gets to see Gio Gonzalez with a chance to add to his HR collection.

 

RBIs

AL – BAL Manny Machado (42)

With trade rumors swirling, Machado is straight ballin’.  His K% is at a career low 13.8 and BABIP at a career high .343.  On top of that, his SLG is over .100 points better than any other year on the Orioles at .652.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – BOS J.D. Martinez

NL – CHC Javier Baez (38)

Baez was ice cold this week, but managed to have a big day on Sunday going 3 for 4 with a HR and a RBI.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – ATL Freddie Freeman

 

Stolen Bases

AL – SEA Dee Gordon (16)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – KC Whit Merrifield

Only change in the SB category is Whit passing up Tim Anderson for 2nd place in the AL.  Anderson has the slight edge in sprint speed this year according to BaseballSavant at 29.4 compared to Whit’s 29.1 ft/sec.  Whit has plenty more opportunities though with .354 OBP compared to Anderson’s .292.

NL – ATL Ender Inciarte (18)

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – WSH Trea Turner 

 

Batting Average

AL – BOS Mookie Betts (.365)

Dropped .003 this week, uh oh!

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – BAL Manny Machado

NL – PHI Odubel Herrera (.344)

No change here as Odubel holds his lead over Markakis.

    Favorite in the Group – N/A

    Waiting in the Weeds – ATL Nick Markakis

 
  1. Richard says:
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    Am I the only one that has no idea what this column is supposed to mean or how to use the information?

  2. Ricky Olshansky

    Ricky Olshansky says:
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    In short, it’s mainly just informational describing who leads each rotisserie category in AL and NL. If there’s a tie in a category, I choose who the favorite is. Waiting in the weeds is who could be next in line to take over a given category.

    You may use the information anyway you choose, but I like to think of it as sort of a season summary for standard rotisserie categories.

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