MLB Roundup & Fantasy Baseball Analysis
Isn’t April baseball a thing of beauty? We see it all in the early weeks of the season; blown saves, walk-offs and extra-inning games. Players like Emilio Bonifacio get nine hits in two games, we see the new challenge system taking hold (and working well might I add), we see aces stink and #3 pitchers dazzle. You gotta love it!
One thing to look for in fantasy leagues this early in the season is opportunity to capitalize on owners’ overreactions. Is Kershaw’s owner stressing his investment? Is Justin Smoak going to hit 60 bombs? Will Emilio Bonifacio win a batting title? So many owners want instant results, but in Roto it doesn’t work that way. You win roto leagues by being patient and making the right moves at the right times. Look for owners willing to make knee jerk moves to build your team for the long haul.
James Paxton was brilliant as he struck out 9 batters over seven innings of two hit ball to defeat the Angels. Justin Smoak continues to sizzle as he was 2-for-5 with his second homer in as many games. Catcher Mike Zunino spanked a three run tater for his first of the season. The Mariners have put up 26 runs through three games.
Scott Kazmir dominated the Indians in game 1 of the first ever Day/Night doubleheader in Oakland. He whiffed 5 while allowing just 3 hits over 7 1/3. My boy Yoenis Cespedes came to life with a 3-for-7 line for both games tallying 2 RBI.
John Axford closed out his second save while Jim Johnson blew his second straight save chance. His leash should be long but with Ryan Cook returning soon the A’s have solid options should his struggles continue. Cody Allen vultured his second win. Jason Kipnis was 0-4 with two SB and 2 runs scored while Michael Brantley drove in 3 runs in the nightcap.
White Sox starter Felipe Paulino pitched well in his Chicago debut striking out 6 over 5.1 innings in a no decision. Adam Dunn homered as the Sox pulled off an 11th inning walk off win. Glen Perkins was erratic and blew his first save opportunity.
Mark Buehrle dominated for 8.2 IP with 11 Ks as the Jays blanked the Rays. One storyline to note is that Sergio Santos was pulled after walking the lone batter he faced in favor or a lefty-lefty matchup leaving the save to Brett Cecil. Jose Bautista popped two long balls in the contest which was all the offense Buehrle needed.
John Lackey got the win with 6 Ks in 6 IP. David Ortiz homered and Mike Napoli drove in 4 runs with a homer and a 2-for-5 night. Nelson Cruz homered off of Lackey for his second on the season. Ubaldo Jimenez was touched up for 4 ER while striking out 6 over 6 IP taking the loss in his Orioles debut.
Dexter Fowler is off to a hot start in Houston with a homer and a triple on Wednesday he’s hitting 4-for-8 on the season with all of his hits being of the extra-base variety. Jarred Cosart earned a win by striking out 3 over 5 IP while walking none with zero earned. Josh Fields earned the save for the now 2-0 Stros.
Aaron Harang…yes Aaron Harang (6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K) and Matt Garza (8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 7 K) both took no hitters into the seventh as the Braves edged the Brewers 1-0 Wednesday. A Chris Johnson solo homer was the only run scored in the game as the starters ruled the day in Milwaukee. Craig Kimbrel saved his second game on the young season with 1 strikeout.
The Pirates won a 16 inning marathon with the Cubs as backup catcher Tony Sanchez hit a walkoff single to win the game 4-3. Anthony Rizzo’s first hit of the season was a 12th inning solo homer. Other than that, this game was a mess. Jose Veras and Jason Grilli both blew saves. Emilio Bonifacio continues to hit as he was 5-for-7 with 2 SB.
Jordan Lyles “earned” a win with 5 poor innings and 4 ER allowed. Giancarlo Stanton smashed a two-run oppo-laser-bomb and drove in 3 RBI but 3 Marlins errors lead to their demise. Stanton has 6 RBI over 3 games. Carlos Gonzalez left the game with dizziness, but it was later reported that he swallowed some chew and was dehydrated….seriously? Yes…seriously. He said he will be fine for Thursday’s game.
Young studs Tony Cingrani (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9 K) and Michael Wacha (6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K) were electric as the Reds topped the Cardinals with a pinch hit walk off single by Lancaster, PA native Chris Heisey. Billy Hamilton is yet to reach base as the Reds leadoff hitter. Silver lining in his 0-for-4 tonight: Only 1 K.
Gio Gonzalez homered and won the game with six solid innings of one run ball. He struck out 6 on the night. Ian Desmond also homered. Chris Young tweaked a hamstring and was forced from the game for NY.
Ryan Howard jacked a two run homer for his first of the year but the Phillies fell to the Rangers. Jonathan Papelbon imploded in a save chance after allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, 3 ER and eventually as bases loaded walk to lose the game. Mitch Moreland doubled and tripled for Texas. Kyle Kendrick pitched well enough to win but was undone by his bullpen.
Dan Haren (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 6 K) started off on the right foot with a W in his Dodger debut. The Dodgers got to Tyson Ross for 3 runs in the first and it would prove to be enough as they were victorious by the score of 5-1. Dee Gordon stole his first base of the season and is 4-for-10 at the dish to start the season. If he continues to hit his speed will be a major fantasy asset.