2013 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: April 15, 2013
Happy Tax Day everyone! Make sure you get those taxes filed today. And good luck to everyone running in the Boston Marathon. And because it’s Marathon Monday that means the Boston Red Sox will be playing at 11:05am. Get those lineups set early…speaking of Boston…
Boston 5 Tampa Bay 0
Who is this Clay Buchholz and what have you done with pitcher formerly known as Clay Buchholz? Buchholz carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Rays and threw eight shutout innings overall with 11 strikeouts. He’s got a 0.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through his first three starts. Clearly, he won’t pitch like this all season long. However, he looks to be back to form and could we see a year like 2010 where he finished with a 2.33 ERA over 173 2/3 innings with a 1.203 WHIP? I think he’s going to be a lot closer to mid-three ERA of 2011 than the mid-four ERA he had last season. If an owner in you league doesn’t think he’s legit, feel free to take him off his hands.
David Ortiz is due back from the DL on Friday April 19. I assume that Spring Training star Jackie Bradley, Jr will head back to AAA for a bit more seasoning. He showed he can play major league caliber defense, but needs a bit more work in the minors with the bat. He will be back this season.
Alex Cobb pitched relatively well in the loss and is off to a great start after being a sleeper who tended to get over drafted as Opening Day approached. He pitches in an extremely pitcher-friendly home environment so he’s going to continue to be a viable mixed league starter.
Arizona 1 Los Angeles Dodgers 0
In a tidy two hours and 26 minutes, the Diamondbacks snuck past the Dodgers on Sunday. But, all wasn’t lost for the Dodgers. Josh Beckett threw a complete game six hitter giving up the winning run in the ninth on a base hit to Paul Goldschmidt. Beckett looked a lot better as he struck out nine of his 8 1/3 innings. He’s never going to be a front of the rotation ace again, but he should be able to reinvent himself as an inning eating third or fourth starter.
Fellow starter Trevor Cahill was efficient over 7 1/3 innings throwing just 93 pitches giving up six hits and striking out four. He’s going to continue to be a solid starter just below the top tier of aces in all leagues. J.J. Putz picked up the win in relief.
Atlanta 9 Washington 0
The Braves sweep of the Nationals comes as a surprise to everyone but this writer. The Nats are not the best team in the NL East and the Braves went to DC and proved it. I picked the Braves as my division winner (and NL representative in the World Series) this season and there isn’t anything I’ve seen so far to make me think otherwise.
Paul Maholm continues his reinvention in Atlanta as a high strikeout pitcher. Since his move to Atlanta he’s striking out nearly a batter an inning. And with that offense behind him, he’s a real threat to win 20 games.
As my colleague at District Sports Page Dave Nichols said, the Nats needed a stopper today. Gio was the opposite today. Gio is not an ace. The Nats are going to rebound this week as they get the Marlins, but they have some work to do to be the best team in the NL East, let alone Worl Series champs.
New York 3 Baltimore 0
Hiroki Kuroda shut down the Orioles on Sunday night throwing 113 pitches, striking out five (including Chris Davis three times), walking none and giving up only five hits. He’s going to have to be the rock (again) in the middle of that rotation for the Yankees. His win total will probably be down as the Yankees don’t have the offense of prior seasons.
Some quick hits from around the rest of the league:
Kyuji Fujikawa went to the DL just after my closer piece posted. It looks like Shawn Camp and James Russell will be the plays in the bullpen based on matchups. Camp got the chance on Sunday and imploded. I assume Russell gets the next chance. Invest lightly in either as neither of them have closer-worthy skills.
The Cardinals bullpen is a full blown mess as well now. Mitchell Boggs blew another save and setup man Trevor Rosenthal gave up two runs on a Ryan Braun home run. At this point, I think the Cardinals have to make a change, but I’m not sure where they go. I think it might be Edward Mujica to get the next shot. Boggs certainly doesn’t look like the answer right now.
A couple of slow-starting Angels look to be heating up. Mike Trout picked up a couple of hits Saturday night and then hit his first HR of the season along with stealing his second base and scoring three runs. Don’t worry. He’ll be leading your fantasy team soon enough. Josh Hamilton hit his first two home runs this weekend and could be on the verge of locking in and carrying your team for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, for Angels’ fans, these two help push the offense forward as the Angels try to sort out their pitching staff.
Chase Headley may return from the DL this week; perhaps as early as Tuesday. He says he can hit without pain, but has some issues fielding. I’d put him back in your lineup as soon as you can.
Roy Halladay pitched eight innings against the Miami Marlins sans Giancarlo Stanton. That is, Halladay looked good against a AAA lineup. If someone in your league believes this is a stepping stone for success, deal Halladay immediately. He can’t face the Marlins every time out. And he’s not a pitcher who can succeed against major league talent on a regular basis right now. It was his 200th major league win, so he’s got that going for him….which is nice.
Johny Cueto is heading to the DL for the Cincinnati Reds and prospect Tony Cingrani is heading up to take his place and make his major league debut. Cingrani is a must grab in deeper leagues and is certainly worth monitoring in shallower leagues.
DraftKings.com Team of the Day:
I picked up another couple of small wins this week at DraftKings. I’m trying a version of a strategy I’ve seen win a great deal in the past. I’m going to go after a number of playres on one team since they all have solid career stats against the starting pitcher – the Phillies against Bronson Arroyo. Today, we are going with MLB $1K Moon Shot [$1,000 Guaranteed] for just a $2 entry. Don’t forget to claim your deposit bonus!
Rotoinfo.com provides excellent updates as lineups roll in.
Chad Billingsley | P | Padres | $7,800 – Billingsley has a ridiculous career record at Petco and against this collection of Padres. He should easily pick up the win with solid numbers all around.
Jordan Zimmermann | P | Nationals | $8,800 – For my second starter, I’m going to go with the guy facing the Marlins especially with Giancarlo Stanton likely out or at least not 100%.
Chase Utley | 2B | Phillies | $4,600 – Utley is healthy and that was the big worry heading into the season. He also has a solid record against Arroyo with a career 1.044 OPS in 13 ABs.
Maicer Izturis | 3B | Blue Jays | $3,500 – I considering Michael Young here (and could make it work by switching to Tommy Milone for one of my pitchers. That said, Izturis has a solid matchup against Gavin Floyd and has eight hits over 24 ABs in his career.
Jimmy Rollins | SS | Phillies | $4,500 – Hey, another Phillie. Two HRs and a 1.304 OPS over 13 ABs against Arroyo.
Melky Cabrera | OF | Blue Jays | $4,500 – Another matchup play as Cabrera has hit well against Gavin Floyd (who has a 7.00 ERA in his career at Rogers Centre).
Lucas Duda | OF | Mets | $3,700 – A pure hunch play as we need to go cheap. He’s playing in Colorado has had some success there (including a home run).
Domonic Brown | OF | Phillies | $3,600– And we will close with a Phillie. Brown has faced Arroyo once and does have a home run off of him.