Thor Brought the Hammer in Week One

noah-syndergaardTo the ancient Norse, Thor was the god of sky and thunder. His deadly weapon was Mjollnir, a hammer associated with thunder and lightning.

In Major League Baseball, Noah Syndergaard is nicknamed Thor and his deadly weapons are a 98 MPH sinking fastball, a wipeout slider, and a hard changeup. All three were wielded in devastating fashion in Week 1, as Syndergaard finished as the league’s top-rated player.

The question is whether or not rookie GM Jen Valdivia can surround Syndergaard with enough talent to make Las Estellas Rojas a playoff contender. The team appears to have the best player in fantasy baseball, but even the best player can’t win without help.

What will the second week bring in fantasy baseball? Here’s a preview of each series in our league.

Stadium Mustard vs Warning Track Power

Pitching

Stadium Mustard: Julio Teheran and James Paxton helped Stadium Mustard finish second in ERA and third in WHIP during the season’s opening week. Teheran earned a pair of quality starts, tossing 13 innings without giving up a run. Paxton pitched six scoreless innings and had a 0.50 WHIP. Wade Davis led the bullpen with a pair of net saves/holds. Projected Game Scores: Julio Teheran (56 vs SD), James Paxton (54 vs HOU, 57 vs TEX), Matt Shoemaker (55 @KC), Adam Conley (51 vs NYM), Jaime Garcia (55 @ MIA), Mike Fiers (54 @SEA).

Warning Track Power: The team finished third in Innings Pitched, fifth in ERA, and fifth in WHIP to open the season. Greg Holland anchored the bullpen, pitching four innings, earning four net saves/holds while posting a 13.5 K/9. Holland ended the week ranked seventh in the league’s player rankings. Chris Sale tossed seven scoreless innings to earn a quality start and is clearly the team ace. He’ll make two starts this week as will Tyler Chatwood, who finished his lone start last week with a 6.00 ERA. Projected Game Scores: Chris Sale (58 @DET, 64 vs TB), Michael Fulmer (53 vs MIN), Marco Estrada (54 vs BAL), Tyler Chatwood (48 vs SD, 48 @SF), Hisashi Iwakuma (55 vs TEX), Wei-Yen Chen (50 vs NYM).

Hitting

Stadium Mustard: It was a rough opening week at the plate for Stadium Mustard. The team’s .608 OPS was second worst in the league and no team had fewer RBI than Stadium Mustard’s 15. Outfielder Josh Reddick didn’t score or drive in a run all week while Ender Inciarte struck out eight times in 29 plate appearances and finished Week 1 with a .350 OPS. The team did add Gerardo Parra as a free agent. Parra drove in six runs and posted a 1.061 OPS in the first week.

Warning Track Power: The team struggled to drive in runs to open the season, collecting just 20 RBI. Outfielder Josh Donaldson had just two RBI on the week and hurt his calf over the weekend. He’s optimistic he’ll be able to play Tuesday. Outfielder Corey Dickerson led Warning Track Power with four RBI while third baseman Nick Castellanos and Adam Jones each scored five times. Michael Conforto had just eight plate appearances but provided some pop, finishing the week with a 1.333 OPS.

Let’s Play 2 vs The Bulls
Pitching

Let’s Play 2: They led the league in innings pitched but the team’s 5.31 ERA was the league’s second worst and resulted in just three quality starts. Sean Manea and Jose Quintana both made two starts and combined for one quality start. The team’s top-rated pitcher was reliever CJ Edwards, who didn’t give up a run while earning a hold. Projected Game Scores: Corey Kluber (57 vs DET), Jose Quintana (55 @MIN), Kyle Hendricks (64 vs PIT), Sean Manaea (51 vs HOU), Jake Odorizzi (51 @BOS), Robbie Ray (54 @SF), Shelby Miller (49 @SF).

The Bulls: The Bulls held their own on the mound in Week 1, pitching 59.1 innings with a respectable 3.49 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. The only blemish was a pair of blown saves by Xavier Hernandez and Jim Johnson. GM Carolyn Greene added Cincinnati pitcher Amir Garrett in free agency. Garrett pitched six scoreless innings to earn a quality start in his Week 1 debut. Gio Gonzalez also pitched six scoreless innings to earn a quality start. Projected Game Scores: Stephen Strasburg (66 vs PHI), Kenta Maeda (58 vs ARI), Alex Cobb (47 @BOS), Jon Gray (54 @SF), Gio Gonzalez (55 vs STL, 56 vs PHI), Andrew Triggs (54 @KC), Jason Hammel (51 vs OAK).

Hitting

Let’s Play 2: Kris Bryant and Brett Gardner had five stolen bases between them as the team finished Week 1 tied for the league lead in net stolen bases with seven. Shortstop Corey Seager was the team’s top-ranked player in Week 1. He drove in a team-high seven runs, scored four times, had a team-high 29 plate appearances and finished with a 0.994 OPS.

The Bulls: Outfielder Khris Davis was a one-man wrecking crew for the Bulls last week. He scored a team-high six runs, drove in four and had a 1.213 OPS. Unfortunately, he was largely working alone. The Bulls finished Week 1 with a league-low 188 plate appearances and just 20 runs scored. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is off to a rough start, striking out seven times in 27 plate appearances and posting a 0.442 OPS in Week 1.

Land Shark vs Marin Menehunes

Pitching

Land Shark: It was a nice debut for the Land Shark bullpen, with Brad Brach leading the way. Brach earned three net saves/holds with four scoreless innings. He finished with an 11.25 K/9. The team ERA of 3.13 was sixth best in the league while the 1.12 WHIP was sixth best. The starting rotation earned just a pair of quality starts, with Jerad Eickhoff going 6.2 innings with a 2.7 ERA and 0.9 WHIP. Projected Game Scores: Felix Hernandez (55 vs TEX), Steven Matz (DL), Garrett Richards (DL), Jerad Eickhoff (53 vs NYM, 51 @WSH), Tyler Glasnow (49 vs CIN, 51 @CHC), Jeremy Hellickson (47 @WSH), Tyler Anderson (51 @SF).

Marin Menehunes: The team ERA of 4.35 was nothing to write home about but the starting staff earned five quality starts while the relievers failed to earn a save or a hold. Ivan Nova pitched six scoreless innings to earn a quality start and finish the week as the team’s top-ranked pitcher. Rick Porcello walked a tightrope to earn a pair of quality starts. He pitched 12.1 innings with a 4.36 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Projected Game Scores: Max Scherzer (69 vs STL), Rick Porcello (54 vs TB), Jordan Zimmermann (46 vs MIN), Tyson Ross (DL), Sonny Gray (DL), Junior Guerra (DL), Ivan Nova (51 vs CIN), Trevor Bauer (48 vs DET), Josh Tomlin (48 vs CWS).

Hitting

Land Shark: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, shortstop Francisco Lindor, and outfielders Adam Eaton and Matt Kemp are raking. Goldschmidt finished Week 1 as the league’s fourth-rated player. He led the team with eight runs scored, had two net stolen bases, and posted a 1.171 OPS. Lindor led Land Shark with seven RBI and was second with 29 plate appearances. Kemp had a team-high 1.654 OPS and drove in four runs.

Marin Menehunes: The defending league champs were solid at the plate to open the season. They finished third in runs scored, tied for fourth in RBI, fifth in OPS and tied for third in net stolen bases. First baseman Wil Myers led the team with 30 plate appearances and six runs scored. Outfielders Joc Pederson and Marcell Ozuna each had six RBI. Catcher Jason Castro was the team MVP in Week 1. He posted a 1.165 OPS with five RBI and five runs scored while striking out just once in 20 plate appearances.

High Cheese vs Home Run 101

Pitching

High Cheese: GM Matt Patchell had a big week on the mound. Starter Brandon Finnegan pitched seven scoreless innings to earn a quality tart while the team landed Kendall Graveman in free agency. Finnegan finished the week ranked 10th overall while Graveman finished 21st in the final player rankings for Week 1. The team led the league with seven quality starts and was fourth with 64 innings pitched. They also finished second in WHIP. Projected Game Scores: Jon Lester (58 vs LAD, 66 vs PIT), Gerrit Cole (56 @CHC), Aaron Sanchez (53 vs BAL), Marcus Stroman (56 vs MIL), Bartolo Colon (53 @MIA), Brandon Finnegan (55 @PIT, 53 vs MIL), Kendall Graveman (47 vs HOU).

Home Run 101: It was not a great week on the mound for Home Run 101. They pitched 46.1 innings with a 4.86 ERA with just two quality starts and one net save/hold. Reliever Cam Bedrosian finished as the team’s top-rated player by tossing 2.2 scoreless innings to earn a pair of holds. That was neutralized by Mychal Givens and David Phelps, who combined for three blown saves. John Lackey and Johnny Cueto earned the team’s quality starts. Projected Game Scores: Johnny Cueto (57 vs COL), Rich Hill (64 vs ARI), Jon Lackey (55 vs LAD), Tyler Skaggs (55 vs TEX, 53 @KC).

Hitting

High Cheese: First baseman Mark Reynolds drove in a team-high eight runs in the season’s first week and posted a 1.200 OPS. High Cheese finished third in runs scored and sixth in RBI. Veterans Jay Bruce and Evan Longoria each scored five times while Kendrys Morales drove home six runs. Shortstop Trevor Story is off to a slow start, striking out 11 times in his first 28 plate appearances.

Home Run 101: The team struggled to find the big hit in the season’s first week, driving in just 20 runs and posting a paltry 0.667 OPS. Shortstop Jose Altuve led the team with 31 plate appearances but failed to score or drive in a run. First baseman Mike Napoli struck out 11 times in 25 plate appearances while Jonathan Lucroy finished the week with a 0.266 OPS. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and third baseman Mike Moustakas led the team in OPS and both scored four runs.

Hapamon vs JetSetters

Pitching

Hapamon: It should come as no surprise that Clayton Kershaw was the team’s top-rated pitcher in Week 1. He tossed 13 innings with a 3.46 ERA and 0.769 WHIP to earn a quality start. Relievers Joaquin Benoit and Fernando Rodney each earned a pair of net saves/holds without giving up a run. Starting pitcher Matt Boyd was shelled in his lone start while closer Sam Dyson blew a save which is why the team’s ERA finished at 4.08. Projected Game Scores: Clayton Kershaw (76 vs ARI), Yu Darvish (61 @LAA), Jameson Taillon (52 vs CIN, 55 @CHC), Joe Ross (NA), Adam Wainwright (46 @WSH, 47 @NYY), Matt Boyd (45 vs MIN, 46 @CLE), Mike Leake (46 @WSH), Matt Andriese (48 @NYY).

JetSetters: The JetSetters finished second in innings pitched, fourth in ERA and second in net saves/holds with nine. The starters also combined to earn six quality starts. Ervin Santana pitched 13 innings, earning a pair of quality starts with a 0.69 ERA and 0.61 WHIP. Danny Duffy also earned two quality starts with a 2.07 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Alex Colome and Ryan Madson both earned a pair of saves/holds without giving up a run. Projected Game Scores: Danny Duffy (55 vs LAA), Cole Hamels (58 @LAA, 61 @SEA), Zack Greinke (53 @LAD), Ian Kennedy (52 vs OAK, 53 vs LAA), Ervin Santana (49 vs CWS), Hyun-Jin Ryu (52 @CHC), Robert Gsellman (57 @MIA).
Hitting

Hapamon: Despite finishing last in the league with a .596 OPS, the team cobbled together some runs. Outfielders Kole Calhoun and Christian Yelich each scored five times. Calhoun was the team’s top-rated player last week, posting a .933 OPS in 30 plate appearances. Outfielders Mark Trumbo and Charlie Blackmon each drove in five runs while Blackmon led the team with 31 plate appearances.

JetSetters: the JetSetters led the league in RBI as outfielder George Springer and catcher JT Realmuto combined to drive in 14 of the team’s 42. Realmuto was the team MVP, finishing eighth in the league’s player rankings and leading the team with six runs scored and a 1.450 OPS. He also struck out just once in 24 plate appearances. GM David Kahn also added free agent shortstop Chris Owings to the team. Owings finished last week ranked ninth overall.

Buster Hugs vs Lower Haighters

Pitching

Buster Hugs: The team had the worst ERA in the league last week, 6.07, and tied for the third worst WHIP. Despite the scuffles, the staff earned four quality starts and six net saves/holds. Dylan Bundy pitched seven dominating innings in his quality start, finishing with a 10.28 K/9. J.A. Happ also earned a quality start with an impressive 11.57 K/9. Relievers Ryan Buchter and Blake Treinen each earned two saves. Projected Game Scores: Madison Bumgarner (62 vs COL), Masahiro Tanaka (57 vs TB), J.A. Happ (57 vs MIL, 51 vs BAL), Jharel Cotton (54 @KC, 52 vs HOU), Michael Wacha (48 vs NYY), Dylan Bundy (52 @BOS, 54 @TOR).

Lower Haighters: Blown saves and inconsistency marked the first week on the mound for the Lower Haighters. Ace Jake Arrieta was very good, tossing 13 innings with a 2.07 ERA and 0.84 WHIP to earn a pair of quality starts. He ended the week as the league’s sixth-rated player. Kevin Gausman was very bad, pitching 10 innings in two starts and finishing the week with a 5.40 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. Hector Neris was the team’s lone consistent reliever, earning a pair of holds. Projected Game Scores: Kevin Gausman (54 @TOR), Jake Arrieta (69 vs PIT), Lance McCullers (58 @OAK), Drew Pomeranz (54 vs BAL, 57 vs TB) Charlie Morton (52 @SEA, 51 @OAK).

Hitting

Buster Hugs: The team led the league in plate appearances last week, collecting 295. That’s a lot of opportunities. Buster Hugs finished second in runs scored and fourth in RBI but also led the league in strikeouts. First baseman Brandon Belt was the team’s best hitter, going 7-for-25 with a team-high seven RBI and a1.157 OPS. Jean Segura and Marcus Semien provided speed on the bases, totaling six net stolen bases between them.

Lower Haighters: No team scored more runs in Week 1 than the 44 that crossed the plate for the Lower Haighters. Third baseman Jake Lamb and outfielder Mitch Haniger each scored eight runs to lead the team. Yangervis Solarte collected 10 hits while catcher Salvador Perez finished the week with a team-high 1.112 OPS. The Lower Haighters were the only team to finish Week 1 with negative net stolen bases.

Bacon at Mile 11 vs Las Estellas Rojas

Pitching

Bacon at Mile 11: A 5.04 ERA and 1.45 WHIP isn’t exactly stellar work but the staff did earn three quality starts and five net saves/holds to start the season. Ken Giles and Daniel Hudson combined for four net saves/holds though Giles finished the week with a 6.00 ERA. Chris Archer earned a quality start and finished as the team’s leading pitcher, finishing the week ranked 149th. Projected Game Scores: Chris Archer (59 @ BOS), Danny Salazar (56 vs CWS), Aaron Nola (51 @WSH), Michael Pineda (54 vs TB, 54 vs STL), Zack Wheeler (52 @PHI), Taijuan Walker (52 @SF, 49 @LAD).

Las Estellas Rojas: Thor brought his thunder hammer to open the season. Noah Syndergaard finished as the week’s top-rated player in the league. He pitched 13 innings to earn a pair of quality starts with a 0.60 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with an 11.07 K/9. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a lot of help. Rojas finished the week with a 4.98 ERA and Syndergaard had the only two quality starts tallied by the team. Francisco Liriano was particularly putrid, recording one out before walking off the mound in shame with a 135.00 ERA. Pedro Strop and Brandon Kintzler combined for six net saves/holds to bolster the bullpen. Projected Game Scores: Noah Syndergaard (68 @MIA), Francisco Liriano (53 vs BAL), Matt Moore (53 vs ARI, 52 vs COL), Eduardo Rodriguez (57 vs PIT), Dan Straily (55 vs ATL, 49 vs NYM).

Hitting

Bacon at Mile 11: Outfielder Nomar Mazara paced a red-hot offense to open the season. The team finished second in OPS and third in RBI despite having just 252 plate appearances. Mazara led the team with nine RBI and a 1.211 OPS. He tied third baseman Nolan Arenado for the team lead in runs scored with six. Mazara finished as the league’s fifth-rated player. Mazara, Arenado, and outfielders Manuel Margot and Mike Trout all ended Week 1 ranked in the league’s Top 50.

Las Estellas Rojas: Third baseman Miguel Sano carried the offense in the season’s first week. He had a team-high seven runs scored, eight RBI and a 1.308 OPS. Las Estallas Rojas finished 14th in OPS and tied for last in runs scored. First baseman Miguel Cabrera had a rough opening week, striking out eight times in 21 plate appearances while failing to score or drive in a run. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen struck out seven times in 22 plate appearances and finished with a 0.377 OPS.

A-Rod’s Mirrors vs Midtown Marsupials

Pitching

A-Rod’s Mirrors: Dallas Keuchel was one of the best players in the game last week. He ranked third in the final player rankings after tossing 14 innings with a 0.64 ERA and 0.50 WHIP to earn two quality starts. Keuchel was a big reason the team led the league in ERA and WHIP. Justin Verlander, who has two starts this week, was also solid, pitching 6.1 innings with a 2.84 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. GM Sean McKenna added reliever Felipe Rivero, who earned a pair of holds last week while closer Craig Kimbrel had two saves. Projected Game Scores: Justin Verlander (59 vs BOS, 55 @CLE), Carlos Carrasco (58 vs CWS, 55 vs DET), Dallas Keuchel (58 @OAK), Tanner Roark (54 vs PHI), Edinson Volquez (48 vs NYM), Ricky Nolasco (52 vs TEX), CC Sabathia (52 vs STL).

Midtown Marsupials: The Marsupials led the league in K/9 in Week 1 and finished with a solid 3.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Chris Devenski was the team’s highest-rated player, finishing 17th overall, after he tossed eight innings with a 1.125 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, and a 15.75 K/9. Reliever Tony Watson tossed three scoreless innings to earn a pair of holds/saves. Projected Game Scores: Jacob deGrom (64 @PHI, 66 @MIA), Carlos Martinez (55 @NYY), Matt Harvey (56 @PHI, 58 @MIA), Vincent Velasquez (54 vs NYM), Jeff Samardzija (53 vs ARI, 51 vs COL), Mike Foltynewicz (53 vs SD), Alex Reyes (DL).
Hitting

A-Rod’s Mirrors: Shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Bryce Harper tied for the team lead with five runs scored while first baseman Albert Pujols and Travis Shaw each drove in six runs. Russell was the only hitter to finish the week ranked in the league’s Top 50, finishing 49th. The Mirrors finished third in strikeouts with just 46. Russell struck out once in 24 plate appearances while Pujols struck out just three times in 30 attempts.

Midtown Marsupials: The Marsupials lacked opportunity in Week 1, finishing with just 195 plate appearances, second fewest in the league. They were tied for the league lead in net stolen bases and had a strong 0.814 OPS. They just needed more chances. Outfielder Yasiel Puig and second baseman Daniel Murphy both finished the week ranked in the Top 25 overall. Puig had a team-high five RBI and finished second behind Murphy with a 1.163 OPS. Murphy drove in four runs, scored five times, and had a team-high 1.220 OPS. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts had just nine plate appearances in the opening week.

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