Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Final: April 30, 2015

Photo Credit: Matthew D. Britt
Photo Credit: Matthew D. Britt

Welcome to the’s nightly fantasy baseball recap, where you’ll find updates on bullpen usage, lineup construction, injuries, and transactions. No matter the format, we have everything you need to know to help you win your league.

The first month of the 2015 Major League Baseball season wrapped up today with a total of 8 games on the schedule. Action began in St. Louis this afternoon as the Philadelphia Phillies took on the Cardinals for the final game of their four-game series. Although Philadelphia was able to get the victory Monday behind club ace, Cole Hamels, St. Louis reasserted their dominance and took the next three, including a 9-3 win today. Manager Mike Matheny’s new batting order seems to be paying dividends immediately as the Cards have scored a total of 25 runs in their series with the Phillies. Matheny has dropped the struggling Jason Heyward down to 6th hole, hoping to take some of the pressure off of the St. Louis newcomer. In his place towards the top of the lineup are Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter,  hitting 1st and 2nd in the order respectively. Jay may not possess the same kind of upside or raw talent as a Jason Heyward, but gets on base at a .358 clip for his career, which bodes well for the red-hop Matt Carpenter behind him. It’s highly unlikely Carpenter will continue to post an OPS of 1.056 for the rest of the season, but the league leader in doubles will have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs and to make fantasy owners very happy. He picked up 2 more hits today, raising his batting average to an impressive .372 to close out April.


After a 10-0 start at home this year, the Mets dropped their first game of the season at Citi Field to the Washington Nationals. The marquee pitching matchup between Stephan Strasburg and Jacob deGrom fell flat as both pitchers exited the game after just 5 ⅓ innings. Pitch counts became an issue for Strasburg and deGrom who were both just two outs shy of a quality start and sure points for fantasy owners. The Mets have come down to earth a bit after their franchise-record tying 11-game win streak, and have lost back to back series to the Yankees and Marlins. The Mets recent struggles can be attributed to a lack of offense after losing David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud who were both hitting over .300 for the seaon. On the contrary, the Nationals showed just how dangerous of a team they could be in their previous series win against the Braves. Bryce Harper could be poised to have that breakout season fantasy owners have been waiting for, posting a slash line of .274/.432/.521 early on, and showing a far better understanding of the strike zone by leading the National League in walks.


I’ve come to expect excellence out Mike Trout night-in and night-out, and tonight, the reigning American League MVP showed just why he is the best player on the planet. Not only did Trout fill the injured Albert Pujols’ shoes in the 3-hole by going getting on base 4 times, going 3-3, and scoring 2 runs, but also made a phenomenal game-saving catch with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the ninth. Mike Trout is having another MVP-type year, slashing .329/.447/.592, and he is towards the top of the league in every hitting category after 22 games.


It’s quite possible that the two best teams in baseball are in the same division. The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals met for the first time this season on Thursday as the top two teams in baseball. The Royals may have gone into the night a game and a half back, but they flipped that around, and showed just why they lead the American League in batting. Every Kansas City starter collected a hit tonight as they knocked around Alfredo Simon for 9 hits in the first 4 ⅓ innings. Alex Gordon responded to taking Alcides Escobar’s spot at the top of the order by going 2-4 and driving in 2 runs. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer built on their resurgent years as well; Moustakas went 2-5 with a double and RBI, and Hosmer launched his 3rd homer of the year.  The win gives the defending AL Champs the best record in baseball at 15-7, and as a result of tonight’s 14 hits, the Royals now have 6 everyday-players hitting over .300:  Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales, and Salvador Perez.


Huston Street (9)


Albert Pujols left Wednesday night’s game in the 6th inning with some hamstring tightness. The aging first baseman has some noteworthy injuries in recent years including a tough case of Plantar Fasciitis that nearly derailed the future Hall-of-Famer’s career. Pujols was off to a bit of a slow start, only slashing .208/.291/.364 in his first 21 games of the season, but still has a tremendous impact on the Angels’ lineup. The injury forces Mike Scioscia to shuffle his batting order around moving Kole Calhoun from the leadoff spot to cleanup, and Mike Trout from 2nd to the 3 hole. The club will continue to monitor how Albert’s hamstring soreness, and will keep him day-to-day as they hope to avoid putting him on the disabled list.


With the wavering talent of slugger Ryan Howard, the trade of long-time shortstop and fan-favorite Jimmy Rollins, and the loss of pitcher Cliff Lee to a torn left flexor tendon, the Philadelphia Phillies are a far cry from the ballclub that won 5 straight National League Eastern Division Titles and the 2008 World Championship. The remaining core-players from those dominant teams continue to age, and the Phillies find themselves at the bottom of their division with an 8-14 record.The team leads only the Brewers, Rangers, and Indians in wins, and will almost certainly have difficult time crawling out of the basement of the East. It may be time to start thinking of the future in Philadelphia as the team should be looking to deal lefty Cole Hamels in return for some young talent before the Trade Deadline. Both the Red Sox and Cubs are viable trade partners as they each possess some of the deepest farm systems in the league; however, top-prospects such as Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Mookie Betts seem to be off the table. This could change as we get closer to the July deadline, but don’t rule out the Cardinals involvement in these trade talks. After losing ace Adam Wainwright for the year,  St. Louis may prove to be another possible landing spot for Hamels with their well-renowned farm system as well.

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