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Fantasy Baseball Final: April 21, 2016

This is one of those fun nights to do a recap. Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter in nine starts. It the quickest turnaround between no-hitters since Johnny Vandermeer had back to back no-hitters. We can safely assume that record will never be broken in our lifetimes. We can also safely go with Arrieta’s performance as the story of the night, but there is a lot more going on in the game.

The Week in Review 

As we approach the end of the month, teams are beginning to settle in where we expect them to be. The Chicago Cubs are beginning to dominate the National League Central. They moved to 12-4 on the season with their dominating victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Additionally, the Washington Nationals have also run to the top of the division in the National League East. Bryce Harper has been the story for that team. Coming into Thursday’s action, he had seven home runs and 21 RBI on the season.

In the American League, the combination of Chris Sale and Mat Latos have led the White Sox to first place in the AL Central. The two have combined to go 7-0 with an ERA a shade over 1.00. Latos is the biggest surprise as he went undrafted in most leagues, but he is probably one of the most added players in the fantasy game early on. The Rangers brought up phenom Nomar Mazara a little over a week ago to take the place of the injured Shin-Soo Choo. All he’s done is hit over .300 in his first ten games to perhaps grab a stranglehold on the right field job.

If you read anything 

The aforementioned Arrieta moved to 4-0 on the season with an 0.87 ERA. What was funny (or scary) is that he didn’t have his best stuff. He struggled through the early innings and ended with four walks on the evening. If you count his starts dating back to last August 1st, his run has been absolutely ridiculous. Clayton Kershaw is probably still the best overall pitcher in the National League, but Arrieta has been even better over the last half season of baseball.

We Kind of Expected 

The Royals continue their dominance of the American League as they seem to be marching their way to another playoff berth. Edinson Volquez moved to 3-0 on the season and the bullpen shut it down behind him yet again. Offensively, the Royals weren’t brilliant (scoring four runs) but combined some power (Mike Moustakas home run number five) with a couple of stolen bases. The Royals are now 10-5 on the season.

We Didn’t Expect

Dallas Keuchel has two horrific outings in a row in Arlington. He gave up six runs in six innings to lose another game on the road. We noted how he was 15-0 last year at home. That meant he was 5-8 on the road. He is now 1-2 on the road this season and he has a 3.71 ERA overall. That isn’t terrible, but it is disappointing for the defending Cy Young Award winner. More surprisingly, the Houston Astros now have the worst record in the American League. Perhaps they missed having those top five draft picks and wanted to go back to adding more talent in the farm system.

Save Opportunities

  • Shawn Tolleson (Converted #6)
  • Kenley Jansen (Converted #7)
  • Steve Cishek (Converted #3)
  • Alex Colome (Converted #3)
  • Huston Street (Converted #4)
  • Ryan Madson (Converted #6)
  • Zach Britton (Converted #4)

Significant Injury News

  • The Rangers may be in first place, but they have already had some significant bullpen issues and that may be increasing with the news that Keone Kela will be having surgery on his elbow. He will have bone spurs removed and should miss up to three months.
  • San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder. He has already been on the disabled list for more than two weeks, so he clearly will be missing more time.
  • Mets starter Jacob DeGrom threw 71 pitches in a simulated game back on April 19th. He will be rejoining the club on Sunday and should be inserted back into the rotation at that time.
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