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The Ding Dong Challenge: Mike Trout, Aaron Judge off to a great start

I should have picked Mookie Betts. Damnit.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Ding Dong Challenge, a game were we try and correctly predict who will hit the most home runs in a given week, keep score throughout the entire season and win a free, awesome t-shirt. Here’s last week’s report card and this week’s list of “elites”. If you want to play, just pick one player from the “elites” and two players from the “everyone else” category (which is just everyone who’s not elite), then list your team in the comments. The sooner you create your team, the better as you only get the homers from when your team is posted till the end of the week.

Week 1 report card

Name Week 1 Total Elite Everyone Else 1 Everyone Else 2 Total Ding Dongs
Name Week 1 Total Elite Everyone Else 1 Everyone Else 2 Total Ding Dongs
Salti Cracker 6 Mike Trout (3) Giancarlo Stanton (1) Aaron Judge (2) 6
Mark Abell 3 Joey Gallo (1) Edwin Encarnación (1) Nicholas Castellanos (1) 3
Pete Rogers 1 Bryce Harper (0) J.D. Martinez (1) Kris Bryant (0) 1

Salti Cracker started the challenge with the best strategy: pick the best home run hitters and trust that they will get you dingers. And they did. Stanton is still struggling to go yard but both Trout and Judge were wildly productive this week. Lucky for Salti, Trout knocked all three of his homers later in the week so they call counted to his team. He missed out on one Judge homer early in the week. Good start from Mark too who got production from all three of his picks (he missed out on an early Gallo homer).

Meanwhile the dumb “you don’t get points for homers hit on days before you make your team” rule that I created really effed me over last week as Harper’s only homer came on Monday, before I’d even created this game. This game sucks.

Actually, what really upsets me is that I picked J.D. Martinez instead of Mookie Betts as my honorary Red Sox member. I quite literally spent twenty minutes debating between which one to pick and of course I get ONE home run from J.D. instead of the FOUR DINGERS that Mookie hit last week. Just my luck.

Just for fun, here’s what the perfect lineup from last week could’ve looked like:

Elite: Javier Baez (3)
Everyone Else 1: Manny Machado (5)
Everyone Else 2: Mookie Betts (4)

On to Week 2!

Week 2 Elites

Name Team G PA HR ISO
Name Team G PA HR ISO
Javier Baez Cubs 19 80 7 0.444
Christian Villanueva Padres 19 72 7 0.419
Didi Gregorius Yankees 20 86 6 0.409
Charlie Blackmon Rockies 18 79 8 0.391
Mike Trout Angels 22 101 9 0.376
Mookie Betts Red Sox 19 85 6 0.366
Bryce Harper Nationals 22 100 8 0.362
Mitch Haniger Mariners 20 82 7 0.357
Manny Machado Orioles 22 99 8 0.356
A.J. Pollock Diamondbacks 20 82 5 0.338
Ozzie Albies Braves 20 93 6 0.337
Paul DeJong Cardinals 21 83 7 0.312
Max Kepler Twins 16 60 4 0.308
Josh Reddick Astros 19 76 6 0.297
Mike Moustakas Royals 20 88 6 0.294
Matt Davidson White Sox 16 71 5 0.293
Jose Ramirez Indians 19 85 7 0.292
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 21 91 4 0.292
Rhys Hoskins Phillies 21 87 4 0.292
Brandon Belt Giants 17 70 5 0.288
Aaron Judge Yankees 20 93 6 0.284
Joey Gallo Rangers 23 95 7 0.279
Yadier Molina Cardinals 20 81 6 0.276
Khris Davis Athletics 22 101 6 0.27
Yangervis Solarte Blue Jays 19 83 5 0.265

Anyone not on this list is an Everyone Else. Reminder: you pick one Elite and two Everyone Else each week so choose wisely! Leave your team in the comments if you want to play this week (and feel free to leave your twitter handle as we’ll give a shoutout each week to the previous week’s winner).