2011 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix: Cleveland Rocks, While the Royals Roll


If we here at The Fix possessed the resources of the Elias Sports Bureau, I would give you some clever stat about how often there is only a single one-run game on a day with a full slate of games. As it is, we are not Elias so I will just tell you that yesterday’s Twins-Rays game was the only one-run ballgame of the day, and something tells me that is fairly rare.  Johnny Damon got the best of Jose Mijares with the bases loaded and singled to deliver his second walk-off hit in three days. 

And while we are talking about the Twins-Rays game, allow me to say that Eric Karros is a total blowhard. At one point during the broadcast he went off on a hitter for attempting to call time by holding his hand up to the umpire. The umpire did not see the hitter’s hand and the pitch went for a strike. Karros condescendingly chastised the hitter for not having his hand on the bat, and explained that he always yelled for time, so loud that you could hear him in the upper level. Good for you, Eric Karros. At least you were a blowhard before you got to the broadcast booth. And when I heard Vin Scully calling the Dodgers game a few hours later, I could not help but ask myself why in the hell we need color guys anyway. 

Moving on…

Cleveland won. Again. Their 10-4 record is a big surprise that has come as a result of a bunch of little surprises.  For example, Asdrubal Cabrera is doing a mini-Tulo impression, Matt LaPorta has not been demoted to AAA (yet), and the corpse of Travis Hafner is hitting home runs. And of those in the starting lineup yesterday, their two best players,Carlos Santana and Shin-Soo Choo, have the lowest batting averages. Josh Tomlin and Mitch Talbot are pitching well, and Grady Sizemore might actually play in a major league game sometime soon. Cleveland is just full of surprises.

Kansas City keeps finding ways to win too and are tied for first in the AL Central with Cleveland. The Royals blanked the Mariners 7-0, but to make it even more interesting they did it against Cy-Young winner Felix Hernandez, who clearly hasn't gotten into his groove yet. 

In the notable home runs department, two very under-owned players, Jonny Gomes (54.6% ESPN) and Alex Gonzalez (19.6% ESPN), each knocked two out yesterday. Gomes now has five on the year and is drawing walks like crazy with a .456 OBP, and Gonzalez is a nice source of power at a very shallow position. Mark Teixeira also hit his 5th of the year, which helps to offset his traditionally slow start in the batting average category (.234 so far this year), as did Howie Kendrick. Kendrick has never hit more than ten bombs in a single season, and his HR/FB rate is through the roof, so I am not buying the power. If you happen to have another 2B option on your team, it might not be a terrible idea to see if you can sell high on Kendrick right now.

As far as notable stolen bases go, Andrew McCutchen got his first of the year, Travis Snider stole two to get to five on the year (not buying it), and Juan Pierre was caught stealing for the fifth time in nine tries. I am also not worried about Pierre yet, but it is something to keep an eye on.

Finally, the dominant pitchers of the day. Josh Beckett had the gem of the day with this line: 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 9K, W. It looks like he is back, so I would not be trying to sell high on him if you own him. Jair Jurrjens was also fantastic in his season debut with seven scoreless innings, two hits and one walk allowed, and four strikeouts. Because of the lack of strikeouts I have never been a big Jurrjens guy, but he is available in about half of ESPN leagues for those of you looking to add a pitcher.  

The surprise performance of the day came from the Cardinals’ Kyle McClellan: 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 2 K.  The start itself is not necessarily surprising, but it is when you look at it combined with his other two starts this season.  In all three starts McClellan has gone at least six innings and allowed two earned runs or less. Those in NL-only leagues or deeper mixed leagues (14 teams or more) should add McClellan if he is still available, and those in shallow mixed leagues should consider him as a spot start option. You might want to avoid his next start home to Cincinnati, but after that he gets a sweetheart of a matchup at Houston.

On the field Lenny Dykstra was a wild man. Off the field he was no different. Lenny has had a laundry list of alleged crimes following him around for years. Two days ago Dykstra was charged with allegedly embezzling money from the bankruptcy sale of a house once owned by Wayne Gretzky. To top it off Lenny was arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to buy a stolen car. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted. Oh Lenny, you silly goose, when will you learn?

Not that anyone was actually playing him on their fantasy team, but Barry Zito went down yesterday with a sprained right foot.

Journeyman Freddy Garcia, made his first start for the Yankees and proved he still holds value. Garcia tossed six innings of 2 hit ball over the red hot Rangers. 

Although relatively dominant in his first three starts, Clayton Kershaw got bombed by the Cards and only last 4.2 innings while giving up five runs.

This day in baseball history is a special one for Yankee fans. Not only was it Mickey Mantle's first at bat in 1951, but it was also the legendary Bob Shepard‘s first announced game.

Alex Rodriguez injured himself making a diving play at third base. He left the game later with back stiffness. A-Rod is day to day.

Written by Brett Talley and Evan Marx exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. Brett is a law student in Dallas who gets Coldplay’s “Fix You” stuck in his head every time he writes an article exclusively for thefantasyfix.com.  You can follow him on Twitter @therealTAL.

(April 9, 2009 – Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Fantasy Baseball

Tags: The Fantasy Fix, Fantasy Sports Advice, Fantasy Baseball News, Fantasy Baseball Tips, the Daily Fix, Brett Talley, Evan Marx, Johnny Damon, Eric Karros, Asdrubal Cabrera, Matt LaPorta, Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana, Shin-Soo Choo, Jonny Gomes, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, Andrew McCutchen, Travis Snider, Josh Beckett, Jair Jurrjens, Kyle McClellan, Lenny Dykstra, Barry Zito, Freddy Garcia, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Mickey Mantle, Bob Shepard, Alex Rodriguez      
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