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3 years agoCarlos Gonzalez extended his season-long hitting streak to nine games on Friday evening with a double in the eighth inning that brought in two runs. Gonzalez keeps on being asked in interviews why he is doing so well to start the season and he always laughs and says the same thing: "I'm healthy". He was able to do what he wanted this offseason training-wise and with both of his legs under him he is able to focus solely on his play instead of worrying about rehab. We are seeing what a healthy Gonzalez is capable of, hopefully you have a share of the fun because it's not stopping for as long as his body allows.--Nick Mariano - RotoBaller
3 years agoAfter only a handful of games rehabbing in the minor leagues, the Chicago Cubs plan to activate Javier Baez from the DL today. This comes just in time for a three game weekend series against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field. Baez began the season on the disabled list with a left thumb contusion. Plans for his return where momentarily set back after he took a pitch to the helmet, but he finally returned to action on Monday night for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Expect to see him in action at some point this weekend.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoChris Tillman had a rough start against the Rangers tonight, giving up six runs over five innings. Tillman entered the game with an ERA under two, but that will surely increases after tonight's outing. Tillman's success is vital for the Orioles, as their rotation is questionable at best. Despite having a an ERA over five last season, Tillman entered this year as the Opening Day starter and a favorable late round fantasy pickup. After two starts, it's tough to predict what kind of season we'll get out of him.--Mark Powell
3 years agoMark Reynolds started at first base on Friday while usual platoon-mate Ben Paulsen started in left field. Charlie Blackmon hit the DL with turf toe and so Gerardo Parra shifts to centerfield while Carlos Gonzalez stays in right field. Reynolds made the most of the opportunity where he was batting fifth by going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. Reynolds is only hitting .227 on the year but now he should get some consistent playing time (though Brandon Barnes and Ryan Raburn will stick mix in the outfield and force Paulsen back to first occasionally). Reynolds probably still doesn't have mixed league appeal, but NL-only leaguers will want to bump him up considerably.--Nick Mariano - RotoBaller
3 years agoIn the midst of a four game hitless streak, Anthony Rizzo has been forcing the Cubs to look elsewhere for RBI. After knocking in six last Thursday, Rizzo has only managed one RBI in his last six games. With his average spiraling down to .182, his eight strikeouts are tied with Jason Heyward for second most on the team. While he works through this slump, it should be worth noting that he hasn’t lost his patience at the plate. Rizzo has still managed to draw walks in four of the last five games. Fantasy owners should simply allow Rizzo to work through this phase that he’ll surely bust out of.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoGerardo Parra hit a laser beam into the right field seats off of San Francisco's Matt Cain in the fifth inning of the Rockies' win on Friday. Parra also had a single and drew a walk to go 2-for-3 with two runs scored and the RBI on the homer to raise his average to .290 alongside a neat .861 OPS. Parra had been worrying owners a bit by not delivering a home run while many of his Rockies' teammates were blasting souvenirs like crazy. Parra now has a that .290 average with one homer and one steal, which is about right for who Parra is. He appears locked in to the fifth spot in the batting order and should have a nice line with modest contributions in all five categories come the end of the season.--Nick Mariano - RotoBaller
3 years agoAfter two very effective performances to start the year, Chris Tillman had a tough night against the Texas Rangers. In 5.1 innings of work, the righty gave up six earned runs off nine hits and one walk. Tillman only struck out one batter during the game after striking out a total of 10 batters in his previous two outings. Much like last season, it seems that Tillman typically performs better when on his home turf at Camden Yards--a trend fantasy owners should watch out for when deciding whether to start him or not.--Kevin Johnson - RotoBaller
3 years agoJason Heyward has been quietly struggling so far this season. While he had a modest six-game hitting streak going to drown out any worries, his 0-for-5 game tonight officially puts owners on early alert. His eight strikeouts is tied for second most on the club and he’s left multiple runners on base in every game this season except for one. With Dexter Fowler hitting so effectively at the top, Heyward’s failure to further ignite the offense is troubling. Is there a chance Joe Maddon moves him down in the order? That could ultimately turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the 26-year-old outfielder.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoAfter six innings and 88 pitches, Jason Hammel had done enough to secure his first victory of the year tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. Conceding only four hits and no runs, his healthy mix of pitches resulted in seven ground ball outs and seven fly ball outs. He even helped his cause at the plate, doubling home a run in the fifth inning. This is Hammel’s second consecutive start of six innings and less than 90 pitches, an accomplishment that will help him as the season moves on, with the Cubs prepare for a long campaign.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoRemember when we were (sorta) worried about Eric Hosmer's slow start? Yeah. That time is over. He's scorching hot right now at the plate. He went 2-for-4 on Thursday night and drove in two runs. His batting average is .343 and his teammates probably are afraid to touch him lest they get burned. Hosmer hasn't gone deep yet, but he will pretty soon. He's a must-start for the foreseeable future.--Michael Griffin - RotoBaller
3 years agoIan Kennedy pitched very well against Houston on Thursday night. How well? He carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He wound up giving up two hits, one of them a solo homer to Jose Altuve, his third of the season. There's no shame in that, Altuve actually has some pop now, hitting 15 homers last season. Kennedy shut Houston down otherwise, striking out seven. His ERA is 0.66. The true litmus test will be how he fares against Detroit. The way he's pitched so far, it'd be foolish to not ride him as long as you can before he falters.--Michael Griffin - RotoBaller
3 years agoAlthough he has five hits in his first 11 AB, keep in mind that Amarista has a career .229 average in the majors. Amarista is filling in for the injured Yangervis Solarte at 3B and has seen time at SS as well. He may offer the occasional stolen base, but only the deepest of NL leagues should be playing him.--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller
3 years agoAlthough he was outshined by the sensational performance of Vince Velasquez, Pomeranz offered a quality start on the losing end. He struck out eight over six innings, only allowing three hits and two runs. Over two starts, Pomeranz has a nice 1.18 WHIP and is holding hitters to a .189 average. He is gaining value in mixed leagues and is becoming a waiver player worth watching.--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller
3 years agoNathan Eovaldi was cruising through four innings Thursday night, putting up goose egg after goose egg on the boxscore. Then the fifth inning rolled around and he hung a splitter with two men on base to a batter that rarely refuses when something is handed to him. That batter was Josh Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP who was responsible for spoiling what was the closest thing to a much-needed dominant start by a Yankees starting pitcher this season. Eovaldi relinquished another long ball in the following inning, but kept the Bombers in the game, holding one of the league’s best lineups to only four runs. The two home runs allowed bump up Eovaldi’s season total to four in two starts. He will need to keep the ball in the yard to minimize damage, and start posting wins for fantasy lineups.--Demetri - RotoBaller
3 years agoKelly Johnson is playing the utility role across Atlanta's infield and left field as well. Hector Olivera's suspension will mean an increase in time for Johnson, as he has started the last two games. Unfortunately, Johnson has done nearly nothing with his opportunity, hitting .143 across 14 at-bats with only one RBI. Although he may be appealing to deep NL-only owners needing a utility player, don't insert him into your lineup at this point.--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller
3 years agoWith his team trailing by one, Tony Watson surrendered three earned runs, two hits and a walk in the eighth inning. The runs came on a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer. Until Thursday, the Pittsburgh set-up man had not been scored on this season. Watson’s sinker velocity is down 0.8 mph from last year but should increase as the temperature warms up. The left-hander remains an elite holds option and the handcuff to Mark Melancon.--Jason Vigotsky - RotoBaller
3 years agoThe Pittsburgh ace went six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk. Cole, 0-2, struck out six batters and looked much sharper than in his first start. It was a tough luck loss for the right-hander, whom the Pirates removed after only 83 pitches. Still looking for his first win, Cole will be in San Diego to take on the Padres Tuesday.--Jason Vigotsky - RotoBaller
3 years agoHe isn't drop-worthy yet, but if Teheran and the Braves continue this way, there will be little justification for starting him. In another start against Washington, Teheran was tagged for six ER in seven innings. He isn't walking too many batters (eight in 17 IP) but the hits he has given up are resulting in too many runs scored. Consider benching Teheran until he shows signs of improvement.--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller
3 years agoTroy Tulowitzki took Nathan Eovaldi deep Thursday night for his second long ball of the season. His home run came in the sixth, an inning after Josh Donaldson gave the Blue Jays the lead with his three-run blast. Tulowitzki has been struggling, tallying only four hits in 32 at-bats prior to tonight’s game so his homer was definitely a relief. Tulo’s season average still lingers around .125 and will need to get going to start reaching value. Despite the poor start, there’s no need to bench Tulo. He’s as dangerous as anyone at the plate when he finds his groove.--Demetri - RotoBaller
3 years agoInducing ground balls was a trend for Blue Jays pitchers Thursday night as Roberto Osuna earned his fourth save. Osuna retired the side 1-2-3 in the ninth inning, all three outs coming via the grounder. After winning the closer job over Drew Storen during spring training, Osuna has backed up Toronto’s decision and has been lights out. He hasn’t surrendered a run in five appearances this season and is really beginning to compliment an already really dangerous ball club. Osuna is an everyday closer for fantasy.--Demetri - RotoBaller
3 years agoMarcus Stroman induced 17 ground balls against the Yankees Thursday night, picking up his second win of the season. Stroman bounced back nicely after getting bounced around by the Boston Red Sox in his last start, throwing eight frames of two run ball in the rubber game of the series. The two runs were allowed on a fielders choice and a wild pitch so Stroman was nearly untouchable. Taking over duties as the ace of the Blue Jays rotation, Stroman pitched like an ace and displayed how dangerous he can be for fantasy lineups.--Demetri - RotoBaller
3 years agoJosh Donaldson crushed a Nathan Eovaldi 1-0 pitch in the fifth inning of tonight's game for his fifth home run of the young 2016 campaign. Donaldson finished the night with two hits and three RBI’s and has picked up a hit in all 10 of Toronto’s games this season. The reigning AL MVP continues to defend his title and will see plenty of RBI opportunities on a nightly basis, despite batting in the two hole. The Blue Jays, 1-9, are dangerous and are capable of setting the table for Donaldson. Look for Donaldson to extend his hit streak and keep the production going when the Jays visit Fenway this weekend.--Demetri - RotoBaller
3 years agoThe presumptive closer for the Braves this year, Vizcaino is pitching well and primed to earn saves... if the Braves ever manage to win a game, that is. Vizcaino has only made three appearances this season because he is being saved for high leverage situations. Hold onto him and keep in mind that closers on bad teams often put up good save totals because most of their wins often come in one-run situations. Remain patient for now.--Pierre Camus - RotoBaller
3 years agoErvin Santana has tossed 15 strong innings through three starts to begin the season — his first start was cut short due to a rain delay — but has nothing to show for it. The Twins' Opening Day starter took the loss on Thursday to fall to 0-1, despite allowing just three earned runs on seven hits and one walk with six strikeouts over seven innings pitched. He holds a 3.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with 16 strikeouts over those 15 innings. Santana should continue to be a safe bet for solid outings, but his fantasy value will depend on whether or not the Twins can provide him with any run support.--Harris Yudin - RotoBaller
3 years agoByron Buxton left the game against the White Sox on Thursday after being hit in the hand with a pitch from Mat Latos. However, he did remain in the game long enough to steal second base— his first stolen base of the season. The X-rays came back negative and Buxton is considered day-to-day. Buxton hasn’t performed at a very high level thus far — .167/.167/.250 with one run and one run batted in over 24 at-bats — but fantasy owners who are willing to be patient can rest assured that he will not miss significant time with a hand injury.--Harris Yudin - RotoBaller
3 years agoChris Archer’s 2015 campaign hit a snag in September — 20 ER in 31 IP over six starts to end the season — and he has yet to get back on track in 2016. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched in Thursday's loss to the Indians. Through three starts, Archer holds a 5.87 ERA and 1.96 WHIP over 15.1 IP, although he does have 23 strikeouts. Fantasy owners should obviously not consider dropping him, but it may not be a horrible idea to bench him in points league, just until he shows he can limit his baserunners.--Harris Yudin - RotoBaller
3 years agoIn his first start of the season, Ross Stripling went over seven innings without giving a hit before being pulled in favor of the bullpen due to pitch count. In his second start of the year, Stripling will try to replicate that magic, and really cement himself in the Dodgers' rotation. Some fantasy owners jumped the gun to pick up Stripling after his historic first start, but I'd recommend holding off until tomorrow. If the rookie can back up his word with another strong start, he's certainly worth a spot in any fantasy rotation. Stripling's value is rising.--Mark Powell
3 years agoIn his first start of the year, 31-year-old Chris Heisey didn’t do much, but that’s been the production from Washington’s leadoff spot as of late. With Michael Taylor being given the day off, Heisey had four at-bats, picking up one hit and scoring a run. Despite Taylor’s offensive struggles this season, Heisey remains a bonafide bench player for the foreseeable future. Barring any further injuries, this will remain the reality for the rest of the year.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoBryce Harper reached another career milestone this afternoon in a win against the Atlanta Braves. Stepping up to the plate in the third inning with his team down a run, his blast to left field went for a grand slam, putting the Nationals ahead for good. Harper became the eighth-fastest player to reach one hundred homers. Although he would go hitless the rest of the way, the damage was clearly done as his shot earned him a curtain call from the Washington faithful. Everything appears to be going just as planned for the 23-year-old, meaning his fantasy owners can remain giddy over what may be in store the rest of the way.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller
3 years agoDespite allowing the leadoff man to reach base in each of the first three innings, Stephen Strasburg emerged victorious today in Washington. Starting a day late after an illness prevented him from pitching yesterday, the right-hander threw seven innings and two-thirds, giving up just two runs and striking out seven. It was a great sign for the Nationals, who were worried that Strasburg might not be able to pitch today as well. His next start is scheduled for Tuesday night in Miami. This is great news for Strasburg's owners, as his upcoming two-start week remains intact.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBaller