Dominating Week 9: Brown Does it All

Domonic Brown entered the season as a one-time can’t miss prospect who looked like he just might wind up missing. In parts of 3 seasons for the Phillies, Brown never even reached 200 AB, nor did his batting line warrant a starting job, with a wOBA in the low .300s, and a career best slugging percentage of just .396. This season, however, Brown started to fulfill his promise, and indeed in the past week he’s played better than anybody, hitting .444 with 7 HR, 13 RBI, and even 2 SB. He scored just once when he didn’t homer, but his 8 runs scored still tied for the NL lead, trailing only Chris Davis in week 9. Adding it up, Brown’s week was worth $83.72 in my 5×5 Mixed League, well ahead of Davis’s runner-up $55.36.
Brown’s seasonal numbers are now up to .282, 16 HR, 40 RBI, 27 R, and 2 SB, worth $37.24 in a deeper 4×4 NL League and good for 4th best overall.
Brown’s teammate Cliff Lee was the week’s top pitcher, winning both his starts and posting a 2.30 ERA and a microscopic 0.702 WHIP while striking out 19 in 15.67 innings, earning $53.57 for the third highest mixed league value.
Chris Davis was the top AL player, batting .481 with 4 HR, 10 runs scored, but “only” 6 RBI. That line was worth $50.36 in a deep 5×5, but only $45.11 in the 4×4 format. Runners up were Edwin Encarnacion in 5×5 (.333, 5 HR, 6 R, 9 RBI, $38.39), and Ryan Doumit in 4×4 (.300, 3 HR, 5 R, 11 RBI, $38.95). Jacoby Ellsbury led the AL with 6 SB and hit .500 on the week, but he didn’t hit a homer, scored just 4 runs, and drove in only 2. Jason Giambi had quite an efficient week with 3 HR and 7 RBI in just 9 AB, which gave him $34.84 in 4×4 value.
The AL’s most valuable pitcher on the week was Jarrod Parker, who won twice with a 0.75 WHIP and 1.35 ERA over 13.33 IP, with 11 strikeouts, earning $32.66 in 5×5 and $33.86 in 4×4. Yu Darvish overall pitched almost as well (2.45 ERA and 0.818 WHIP in 14.67 IP), and he led the majors with 20 strikeouts, but he didn’t win either start. Darvish had 14 strikeouts and no walks on Memorial Day against the Diamondbacks, but he gave up a homer and 4 runs overall in a no-decision. Yesterday Darvish threw 7 scoreless innings in Kansas City, leaving with a 1-0 lead, but the bullpen allowed the tying run before the Rangers rallied to win.
Michael Cuddyer (.462, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, $45.61) had the second-best week in the 4×4 NL, but scored just 3 runs, leaving Paul Goldschmidt (.476, 1 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI, 2 SB, $45.31) as the next most valuable player behind Brown in the 5×5 NL.
On the pitching side, Pirates’ middle reliever Bryan Morris pitched 5.33 no-hit innings spread across 4 games, and was credited with 2 relief wins. He did walk a batter, giving him a WHIP of 0.188 on the week, to go with a 0.00 ERA. Those wins, and scoreless innings, gave him a $33.58 RotoValue for the week in 4×4, which isn’t sustainable performance, but if you somehow had him in your weekly head-to-head lineup, your opponent is probably cursing him right about now. And you probably did quite well in the pitching categories! The 5×5 pitching runner-up was Adam Wainwright, whose line is more traditional: 1.176 WHIP, 2.12 ERA, 2 wins, and 15 Ks over 17 IP for a $34.63 RotoValue in 5×5.
As I noted last week with Anibal Sanchez‘s gem, it’s very hard for a one-start pitcher to have the best line of the week, no matter how well he pitches. The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu gave it a shot this week, with a 2-hit shutout win over Anaheim last Tuesday, fanning 7 and yielding no walks for a 0.222 WHIP and (obviously) 0.00 ERA. That was worth $29.67 in 4×4, and $25.57 in 5×5. Comparing Ryu’s line to Morris’s, Ryu did pitch an extra 3.67 IP giving up only 1 baserunner, but Morris got an extra win, and thus had a higher value on the week. But Ryu is clearly the more valuable player overall, as he’s won 6 times with a 2.89 ERA and 1.130 WHIP, fanning 67 in 71.67 innings.