Fantasy Baseball Final: April 19, 2015
If you read only one thing…
Welcome to the Fantasy Baseball Nightly recap. On Sunday afternoon, Nelson Cruz did what he’s been doing on a seemingly daily basis over the past week for the Seattle Mariner’s offense. Cruz belted another two home runs bringing his season total to eight. The icing on the cake for Cruz and the Mariners’ offense was his walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th off Neftali Feliz to beat the Rangers in a high-scoring 11-10 affair. Cruz’s two home runs were his first two of the season at his new home, pitchers’ paradise Safeco Field. Cruz now has eight home runs in his last eight games and is pretty close to a must own outfielder in daily leagues during this hot streak despite his high price.
Just as we expected…
After two shaky starts, Stephen Strasburg returned to form Sunday afternoon going 7 and a third innings against a weak Phillies offense. Strasburg did not look dominant but fantasy owners were definitely happy to see some positive results after he was unable to get past the sixth inning in his previous two starts against the Red Sox and Mets. While Strasburg struck out seven today, his SwSr (% of strikes that are swung and missed at) may still be cause for concern. Strasburg’s SwSr rate is 3.7% so far this year while his career rate sits at 11%.
Fantasy owners who took a risk on Matt Harvey going into this season coming off of Tommy John surgery are seeing early returns on that risk. While Harvey ran into trouble towards the end of his start, he still came away with the win over the Marlins to complete the four game sweep for the Mets at Citi Field. Harvey now has 24 strikeouts and one walk over three starts this season and is looking like the dominant pitcher we saw in 2013.
After a slow power start, Yoenis Cespedes heated up over the weekend hitting three home runs, including two bombs off of Jose Quintana today in the Tigers’ 9-1 win.
But we didn’t see this coming…
Jon Lester’s start with the Cubs is not what Wrigleyville natives envisioned when the team signed the ace in the offseason. Lester labored through his third straight start in a Cubs uniform after going 5 and a third innings, giving up three runs. Lester took the loss for the first time this season. It’s not time to press the panic button on Lester yet but owners should keep a close eye on him after whispers of “dead arm” surfaced during Spring Training.
On the other side hand, Shane Greene’s start is exactly what the Detroit Tigers were looking for after losing Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the offseason. After the Tigers’ 9-1 win, Greene improved to 3-0 on the season with a 0.39 ERA. Greene was not as impressive Sunday afternoon as he was in his first two outings but was able to successfully battle out of a number of jams and let his defense do the work behind him.
THE REST OF THE DETAILS
-Jason Grilli, ATL (converted 5 of 5)
-Andrew Miller, NYY (converted 4 of 4)
-Drew Storen, WAS (converted 4 of 4)
-Jeurys Familia, NYM (converted 6 of 6)
-Mark Melancon, PIT (converted 2 of 2)
-Joaquin Benoit, SEA (converted 1 of 2)
-Luke Gregerson, HOU (converted 2 of 2)
-Wade Davis, KC (converted 2 of 2)
-Yasiel Puig missed another game with a strained hamstring after returning to the lineup for Saturday’s game.
-Royals placed Greg Holland on the 15-day DL with a pectoral strain. While it is unknown how long Holland will be out, Wade Davis will be taking over the Royals’ closer role for the foreseeable future. Davis should be owned in all mixed leagues.
-After a hot week, Travis d’Arnaud fractured his hand Sunday afternoon and will be out a considerable amount of time. Mets prospect Kevin Plawecki, No. 2 prospect in their organization, will be called up to replace d’Arnaud. Plawecki is a must pick up for d’Arnaud owners and an interesting pick up for all owners to consider at a slim fantasy position.
-Mets LH reliever Jerry Blevins fractured his left forearm in Sunday afternoon’s game.
-San Francisco Giants placed Jake Peavy on the 15-day DL with a back strain.
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
-White Sox are calling up their top pitching prospect Carlos Rodon. Rodon will join the team on Monday and the left-hander is expected to first pitch out of the bullpen. Rodon is an intriguing pick up in shallower leagues and should remain on all owners’ radars if and when he earns a spot in the starting rotation.
-Rays designated relief pitcher Grant Balfour for assignment and selected the contract of pitcher Brandon Gomes.