2016 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Final: May 15th, 2016

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The Rangers were able to exact some revenge against the Toronto Blue Jays today in more ways than one. Texas lost a heated ALDS series in five games last season, which was capped off by Jose Bautista’s bat-flip heard round the world, and the team had lost four of six to Toronto entering the final game of their 2016 season series as well. Texas fell behind 6-3 in the seventh, before answering with a four-run bottom-half of the inning to retake the lead. Ian Desmond delivered the go-ahead three run homer for his fourth RBI on the day, and left the game to the Ranger bullpen to finish it out. The recently called up, 30 year-old rookie Matt Bush entered the game in the 8th inning to face Bautista, and promptly buried a 97-MPH fastball into the slugger’s ribs. Bautista, who often shows an outward and somewhat bitter reaction to pitches too far inside, took issue with the beaning and walked to first base fuming. After Bush was able to get Edwin Encarnacion to fly out, lefty Jake Diekman came in to flip Justin Smoak around to the right side and madness ensued. Smoak grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice, and Bautista started his slide late and hard to try and take out Ranger’s second baseman Rougned Odor. Odor squared up with Bautista, and delivered a punch that made the light in Bautista’s eyes flicker, and left him visibly dazed and barely on his feet. Benches cleared and the brawl bled into centerfield until it was finally broken up by the umpires. Bautista was obviously called out for the late slide, and the Rangers headed back to the dugout to get ready to hit in their half of the eighth. Jesse Chavez reignited tempers by hitting Prince Fielder in the back of the legs with his first pitch, and was immediately tossed from the game. Despite all the craziness, the Rangers were able to hold on and win the rubber match of this emotional three-game series at home. The fierce rivalry that started last postseason between these two ballclubs will have to once again be put on hold until either this post season, or the 2017 regular season; however, Odor’s right hook to Bautista’s jaw will be replayed over and over for the weeks to come.

 

IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING…

The Red Sox offense is among the most potent in all of baseball, and their bats continued to put on a display in today’s 10-9 win over the Houston Astros. Boston has now won seven of their last eight, and have averaged over 10 runs a game in that span. The number 3-7 hitters in the Sox lineup are all hitting over .300 on the year, and their number two batter, Dustin Pedroia is just shy of that mark at .299. The ballclub made up for their uncharacteristic three errors on the day by banging out 14 total hits and going 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Hanley Ramirez collected three hits and an RBI filling in at DH for David Ortiz, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts added three RBIs of his own with his second inning long ball. The biggest offensive star in the Boston lineup in the past month however, has been centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley extended his hitting streak to 21 games today, which is the longest active streak in the majors, and has been hitting over .410 in that span with 26 RBI and a monstrous .810 slugging percentage. Houston got a career high five RBI from Luis Valbuena and a home run from Carlos Correa, but could not out-slug the Red Sox who lead the American League in offensive WAR. With the win, Boston moves into a first place tie with the Baltimore Orioles who had their seven-game win streak snapped today at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.

 

JUST AS WE EXPECTED…

A pair of hard throwing 23 year-old right handers faced off in Washington this afternoon as the Nationals looked to take three of four from their division foes, the Miami Marlins. Joe Ross has been great in his second big league season with the Nats, sporting a 2.29 ERA and impressive 3.1 HR/FB ratio through his first six starts. Jose Fernandez, on the other hand, has looked far more human than in he had previous seasons with a 4-2 record and 3.54 ERA. The Miami ace has only surpassed six innings pitched in one of his seven starts this year, but had been unbeaten against the Nationals in his career with a 4-0 record and 1.05 ERA in seven starts. Fernandez continued his dominance over Washington in today’s outing, throwing seven innings of four-hit ball and working his way around three walks with 11 strikeouts. The only real blemish on Fernandez’s line today was in inside-the-park home run off the bat of Ryan Zimmerman in the fourth inning, which proved to be all of the scoring for Washington on the day. Although Ross rebounded nicely after his five-run loss to the Detroit Tigers, his three earned runs in 5 ⅔ innings today was not enough to help him avoid taking the loss. Giancarlo Stanton got to Ross in his final inning of work by hammering a solo home run to the opposite field. The Marlins added two more runs that same inning to put the game out of reach and salvaged a series split at Nationals Park. Miami has been trying to right the ship after sputtering in the past week or so. The ball club had lost five of their last eight following their streak of 11 wins in 12 chances, and currently find themselves in fourth place in the NL East. On the positive side for the Marlins, Stanton has been heating up lately, and both Marcell Ozuna and Martin Prado have been raking at the plate. The duo is hitting .313 and .380 on the year, respectively, and both contributed to today’s win with hits. Ozuna is in the midst of a 14 game hitting streak with four bombs, 10 RBI, and 14 runs, and Prado striking out in only 6.6% of his at-bats.

 

WHAT WE DIDN’T EXPECT…

After a rocky start to the 2016 season, the New York Yankees were able to win their third straight series to complete a difficult and competative homestand. The Yanks took two of three from the arch-rival Red Sox, three of four from the defending World Series Champion Royals, and two of three from the American League leading Chicago White Sox. The seesaw contest went back-and-forth all day with five lead changes until Chase Headley delivered a pinch-hit RBI double to give the Yankees the lead in the seventh. Neither starting pitcher particularly had great stuff today, but that dangerous Yankee bullpen proved to be the difference with Dellin Betances getting the win, Andrew Miller getting the hold, and Aroldis Chapman getting the save. The New York pen had thrown 15 ⅔ scoreless innings entering the day, including 9 2/3 in this series alone. The three-headed monster of Betances, Miller and Chapman struck out eight in 3 ⅓ innings Saturday, and added another four Ks in today’s contest. Carlos Beltran also cranked his 400th career home run in today’s game, which is good for fourth all-time among switch-hitters and third most for a Puerto Rican born player.

 

SAVE CHANCES

Aroldis Chapman (3)

Ryan Madson (10)

Tony Cingrani (3)

Mark Melancon (11)

Jeremy Jeffress (10)

A.J. Ramos (11)

Craig Kimbrel (10)

Francisco Rodriguez (9)

Sam Dyson (2)

 

 

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