It's 1 am and the kids are tucked in and snoozing, as I should be, but visions of nasty off-speed offerings and mashed baseballs are dancing through my head. Naturally my instinct is to write about it. Week one of the fantasy season is coming to a close and there has been no shortage of fantasy relevant news. Closer conundrums, injury woes, instant replay, cold starts and moonshots a plenty; thank you baseball, we've missed you.
Let's start off by tossing out some National League "BOLD predictions/reactions." Because an old fashioned overreaction is better than gettin' no satisfaction.
National League BOLD Predictions
Jose Fernandez will win the NL Cy Young Award. The ridiculously talented Marlins ace is off to a blistering start with a 0.71 ERA and 17K's through his first two starts. His signature curveball, dubbed "the defector", has batters swinging and missing more than a drunk freshman at a frat party. His demeanor on the mound is Nolan Ryan-esque. He's a bulldog with the stuff to back it up.
Carlos Gonzalez will play 140+ games and top Mike Trout in fantasy production. CarGo has all the tools, always has, and with a full season of at bats he will win the NL MVP award. Hitting .368 (7-19) through the first 5 games with 17 total bases and a 1.349 OPS he's primed to explode for a 2010 type campaign where he hit .336 with 34 HR, 117 RBI and 26 SB.
Kris Bryant will be the NL Rookie of the Year. Bryant is marinating nicely in the minors with 2 HR already in 7 AB. He will arrive in Chicago before Javier Baez and hit exactly 20 HR. His ability to drive the ball is incredible and he has a much more complete approach at the plate. With very little blocking his way he could be up very shortly. He definitely deserves a stash in all formats.
What I liked from Week 1:
Giancarlo Stanton is absolutely locked in and the lineup around him is also hitting which will force opposing teams to give him more pitches to hit. The artist formerly known as Mike is leading the Majors in RBI with 11 and looks like a ringer for an immensely productive season.
Johnny Cueto has been terrific over his first two starts. His velocity is back and as his 17 K through 14 IP suggests, he is making hitters miss. Unfortunately the bullpen is in disarray and he has an 0-1 record to show for it thus far. That will turn around once Chapman returns.
Chase Utley suddenly seems to have rediscovered his health. The Phillies veteran second baseman is punching the ball outta the park in the early going and his sweet short stroke [chuckle] is back in action.
Mark Trumbo is enjoying his new uniform as he has absolutley tattooed the baseball in the early going. Already with 4 Trumbombs; he could reach a new career high this season.
Felix Hernandez is still amazing. Leading the MLB in Ks is a great thing to see from King Felix.
Josh Hamilton is continuing his red hot end to 2013 with a scorching start to 2014. He's 9-for-18 with 2 HR through 5 games.
Brandon Belt is doing the damn thing! Finally! Belt has buckled down and jacked 3 bombs already.
Grady Sizemore has finally made his way back into fantasy relevance. This makes me happy. Hopefully he stays healthy.
I love, love, love Jenrry Mejia...and his hair.
What I Didn't like from Week 1:
Clayton Kershaw's lat issue holding him out a month is worrisome. That could be an issue that lingers like a bad Cranberries song.
To stay on the Dodgers...Yasiel Puig's circus act is becoming a distraction no matter what Donnie Baseball says. Having to bench a star in the opening week who has had issues with discipline is bad for business. His boneheaded head-first slide into first base on Saturday shows that his head is somewhere out there lost with that Malaysian flight.
Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder woes are plaguing him yet again. Zimm is off to a great start, but after being pulled Saturday he is scheduled for an MRI this week. Hope it's nothing, but plan for it being something. Snag Danny Espinosa if you have room.
I disliked Aroldis Chapman nearly losing his eye on that come-backer. I know it is part of the game but man...that was scary. At some point they have to do something to protect the pitchers no matter how dumb it looks, a helmet has to help some there.
Jim Johnson blew his first two save chances in convincingly unsettling fashion. Furthermore, he pitched the 8th inning with the A's down by 2 runs on Saturday. Ryan Cook is due back after another rehab start and Sean Doolittle has been very good thus far. A change could be brewing with the Athletics.
Ryan Braun once again is struggling with the same thumb issue which hampered him last season before giving way to the PED suspension. Given his not-so-optimistic comments this week regarding the thumb, it doesn't seem like a rosy path back to fantasy stardom for the Hebrew Hammer in 2014.
3 DFS Picks to Click for Sunday April 6th: Gone Fishin'
SP: Nathan Eovaldi, MIA: I gave you a golden nugget with Jenrry Mejia this week. Eovaldi could spell similar value. Erasmo Ramirez could also be nice versus the swing-happy Athletics. Was that a two-fer? YUP!
OF: Giancarlo Stanton MIA: Stanton is locked in like the Terminator on John Connor. He's going up against Ian Kennedy Sunday, off of whom Stanton boasts a .375 BA and 2 HR in 8 ABs. Yeah, you could say he sees him well. He's worth the price tag no matter the cost.
OF: Charlie Blackmon, COL: Blackmon is sizzling right now hitting .600 (12-for-20) with 6 RBI, 5 Runs and 2 SB. He will come on the cheap and allow you to stack your lineup.
That's all for now...I must sleep or I will be one grumpy Padre in the AM.