Fantasy Baseball Final: May 28, 2015
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We had a fairly light schedule today on this final Thursday in May, but a packed slate of west coast games played later on in the evening. Action got under way this afternoon in Baltimore in the first game of a doubleheader between the Orioles and White Sox. The White Sox sent ace Chris Sale to the mound combat the O’s young righty Tyler Wilson making his first career start.
While Wilson scattered just five hits and two runs over his six innings of work, he ended up getting saddled with the loss. Sale dazzled for 7 ⅔ innings, giving up no runs and striking out 12 along the way (surprisingly enough, K-machine Chris Davis was the only starter for the Orioles that Sale didn’t strike out). Back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning from Melky Cabrera and Adam Laroche gave the Sox and an early 2-0 lead, and catcher Tyler Flower’s RBI in the ninth prevented any serious damage from a late two-run homer from Crush Davis.
The Orioles salvaged a split by winning game two but Sale was the story today. He was dominant yet again, and after a rough start to the 2015 season, it appears he is back to being one of the game’s elite starting pitchers.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING…
Josh Hamilton took the field in Arlington tonight wearing a Texas Rangers uniform for the first time since 2012. Hamilton received an ovation from the Ranger faithful, and proceeded to lace a double into the corner in right field. He entered the night with just one hit in his first 12 at-bats since returning to the MLB and has looked lost at the plate at times; but that’s to be expected considering the circumstances. Whether Hamilton can return to anywhere close the player he was his first time around in Texas is yet to be seen, but he has stated that he is confident he can return to All-Star form. I buy into the confidence with Hamilton. Will he live up to the career numbers of .291/.351/.518? Probably not, but even at his worst with the Angels, he was still 10 points above league average in terms of OPS.
JUST AS WE EXPECTED…
The reigning AL Cy Young Corey Kluber has been nasty in his last four starts including tonight and is striking guys out at an incredible rate. Kluber entered tonight leading the American League with 83 strikeouts and has 27 in his previous three starts alone. Kluber gave up three runs today, but added another 13 strikeouts to his total. His ERA ballooned up 5.04 for a brief point in the season, but he has knocked it back down to 3.47 and is striking out a staggering 10.72 batters per start. Today’s win marks the fourth in a row for Kluber, and this current streak he is on has prevented any extensive losing streaks for the Indians as they look to climb out of the basement of AL Central.
WHAT WE DIDN’T EXPECT…
Any time C.C. Sabathia pitches well this season it is bound to be a bit surprising. Sabathia has had a few abysmal starts this season and appears to be on thin ice with Yankee fans. Sabathia is clearly on the tail end of his career, but he still provides value if he can pitch the way he did today. Sabathia shut out the Oakland A’s for the first four innings before beginning to waiver, giving up a solo home run to Billy Burns in the fifth and a two-run shot to Brett Lawrie in the sixth before departing. Nevertheless, Sabathia struck out four in what turned out to be a quality start and no decision. C.C. is owned in just 26.3% of ESPN leagues and might be a decent pitcher to take a flyer on. If you look at his last start against Texas as an outlier, Sabathia has actually strung together a decent handful of starts, and with the Yankee offense, he can put himself in a lot of positions to win some games.
–Jake Petricka (1)
–Zach Britton (13)
The St. Louis Cardinals found out Wednesday afternoon that they would be without first baseman Matt Adams for three to four months with torn quadriceps. Adams left Tuesday night’s game against Arizona after hobbling into second base in the fifth inning on a double. Though it was initially believed to be a strain, Adams was in a noticeable amount of pain and came out of the game immediately. It appears surgery is imminent, and the Cardinals will need to think of a more long-term replacement if it turns out Adams cannot return to the field this season. Mark Reynolds will take on first base duties in the interim, but with a career batting average of just .230, expect the Cardinals to make a move for an everyday first baseman. In fact, there are three National League teams seemingly out of contention that are all a viable trade partner for the Cards. Options include the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, Rockies’ Justin Morneau, and Brewers’ Adam Lind.
RUMORS & TRANSACTIONS
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves struck a deal Wednesday in which the two clubs essentially swapped third basemen. After signing Alberto Callaspo this offseason, the Braves sent him and pitchers Juan Jaime, Ian Thomas, and Eric Stults to LA in exchange for Juan Uribe and right-hander Chris Withrow. The deal isn’t a huge shake up for either team, but it’s decent enough for both clubs. The move allows the Braves to dump some salary, without completely throwing in the towel on the 2015 season. The addition of Uribe also improves the team now, helping as they attempt to stay somewhat competitive while they await their new stadium in 2017. Callaspo seems like a temporary option in LA. He has been a bit of a super-utility man in the past, and the Dodgers do have a few young position players waiting in the wings. Adding two lefties and a righty will definitely help add some depth to their pitching as they look to make a deep playoff run this year.