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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Bryce Harper:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .333.  Harper had an insane spring and so it is no shock he is already on the home run board.  Some have actually said Harper is overrated coming into the season but don't count me among that insane group.  This guy can smash all sorts of offensive numbers if his body cooperates this season.

Adam Lind:  1/1 with his first HR while hitting .1000.  Good old Adam Lind.  My love is unending for this perpetually underrated and underpriced veteran power hitter but he can still give you the cheapest 20 homers in fantasy baseball.

Edinson Volquez:  5 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 0.00.  Yes Volquez is in a good ballpark but his velocity continues to dip and age is an issue.  Not the worst way to use your SP 5 slot though.
Stephen Strasburg:  7 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 2.57.  Only 3 strikeouts here but Strasburg was in total control unlike pretty much his entire spring.  Pitching out of the stretch could hurt his K numbers and this is not an encouraging development on that front.  As always with Strasburg, it is only a matter of time before the trouble begins with his health.  Combine that with the pitching out of the stretch and I don't regret not owning the guy one bit.

Blake Treinen:  scoreless ninth with 2 K's for first save.  Yeah that was impressive.  This could be the start of something sweet here if Treinen can maintain this type of performance.  Maybe Dusty Baker knows what he is doing after all.

Andrew Benintendi:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .250.  Benintendi batted second and boy does he know how to make a splash right out of the gate.  Kid had a monster spring and hit for power throughout.  Hands down the top hitting prospect this season and that includes over you Alex Bregman.

Gerrit Cole:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 9.00.  Cole got roughed up badly in the fifth which ruined his day but he also lacked the pop with just 2 K's.  The dip in K's last season was a red flag to go with the health woes and Cole has not shown explosion with his stuff this spring or in this outing like he did back in 2015.  Still concerned here.

Rick Porcello:  6.1 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 4.26.  Porcello was cruising with six shutout frames until he gave up the three runs in the seventh.  This is the kind of stuff that drives a fantasy baseball owner crazy in that a great outing with splendid ratios was derailed by pushing the envelope.

Daniel Hudson:  struck out 3 in scoreless inning.  Keep an eye on Hudson who is a major threat to Tony Watson if the latter falters like I expect him to when closing games.

Julio Teheran:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 0.00.  If Teheran only made starts against the Mets, he would win every Cy Young from now until he retired.

Noah Syndegaard:  6 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 0.00.  Thor was insanely dominant in this one before a blister got him sent to the showers early.  His next outing has already been pushed back a day to Sunday which means the blister was no small cut.  As anyone who has owned Josh Beckett knows, such a seemingly tiny issue could become a big problem.  On stuff alone though, Syndegaard is the best pitcher in baseball not named Clayton Kershaw.

Jon Gray:  4 IP 6 H 5 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 11.25.  Boy did this one turn nasty at a moment's notice.  Gray was flawless with 7 K's in 4 shutout innings and then couldn't get an out in the fifth as five runs scored.  Tipping pitches?  Has to be something like as this was literally a 180 turn from the first four innings.  Gray is a big sleeper of mine for 2017 fantasy baseball but he needs to reign his stuff in better next time out.

Greg Holland:  scoreless ninth with 1 walk for first save.  Adam Ottavino struck out 3 in the eighth but Holland is the guy like we reported two weeks ago before it became official.

Clayton Kershaw:  7 IP 2 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.29.  Leave it to Kershaw to give up a run in the first and literally nothing the next six innings.  The guy is something else.

Daniel Duffy:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 1.50.  Not liking the 3 walks as that is always the first thing I look at in a Duffy start but he was dominant.  The guy is really on the precipice of being a fantasy baseball ace and he will get there if he keeps those walks under control.

Kevin Gausman:  5.1 IP 5 H 2 ER 4 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.38.  I never have wanted to own Gausman despite the fact he is getting better as a pitcher.  The division is a huge problem and Gausman is simply not electric enough to get by when his stuff is not working like today.  You can have him.

Jason Grilli:  1 ER in 1 IP.  Be careful picking up those backup save guys.  Roberto Osuna is only going to spend the minimum on the DL with his cervical spasm and so Grilli may not be the worth the trouble.

Mark Trumbo:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .400.  My friend from last season was very good to me as the ultimate buy low but I don't own him this year given the jump in ADP for 2017.  Re-signing with Baltimore was key for his fantasy baseball value which is optimal there and another 40-homers is a virtual lock.

Jeanmar Gomez;  2 ER in 1 IP for first save.  Are you shocked?  I mean I talked all spring what a joke it is that Gomez is closing for the Phillies again.  His K/9 was under 7.00 last season and he was horrendous the second half of the year.  Hector Neris pitched the eighth and so he is the must own handcuff.

Freddy Galvis:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .500.  J.P. Crawford not just yet.

Mike Moustakas:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting .250.  Moustakas always comes cheap as the fantasy baseball community hates the average as I do as well.  There is value to be had if he can hit the 20-25 home runs expected but this goes just for AL-only leagues and deeper mixers at best.

Miguel Sano:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .333.  Yes the knock was Sano's only hit of the day.  Expect more of this.

Byron Buxton:  0/5 while hitting .000.  Sigh.

Raul Mondesi:  0/3 while hitting .000.  Mondesi can't hit and he can't steal first base.

Ryan Schmipf:  2/4 with his first HR while hitting .500.  Schmipf has major power but again he is another guy who has an all-or-nothing approach.  I don't have room for these guys outside of being on my bench.

Corey Seager:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .400.  I can't recall seeing many young hitters more impressive than this kid.

Yasmani Grandal:  2/5 with 2 home runs while hitting .400.  I have talked up Grandal for the last few years but even I admit his .230 average is tough to stomach.  But boy that pop is impressive.

Joc Pederson:  1/3 with his first HR while hitting .333.  See Sano, Miguel.

Yu Darvish:  6.1 IP 4 H 4 ER 5 BB 4 K with an ERA of 5.68.  Some memories of the bad Darvish with zero control prior to his Tommy John.  While Darvish is still as good a strikeout artist as there is in baseball, his control is likely to even be worse coming into his first full season after the surgery.  Overall I think he will be fine down the road as long as he stays health but a 1.20-plus WHIP is very likely which is high for someone considered to be a fantasy baseball ace.

Corey Kluber: 5 ER in 6 IP with an ERA of 7.50.  Aces got hit around all over baseball yesterday and Kluber struggling in April is an old story.  Check back in May when he is firing two-hit shutouts again.  The only caveat though is that there has been a TON of innings piled on that arm the last three seasons.

Sam Dyson:  3 ER in .2 IP with an ERA of 40.50.  Only a matter of time before Dyson is back in setup like with Jeanmar Gomez in Philly.  Simply put, guys who don't strike guys out consistently like Dyson and Gomez don't last in the ninth.  Matt Bush is the handcuff despite giving up a home run Monday.

Carlos Gomez:  1/4 with his first HR while hitting leadoff.  Yes please.

Rougned Odor:  2/4 with 2 home runs.  I drooled all over myself watching this kid play last season and now I think I will go into full on convulsions given the excitement he elicits in yours truly.

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/5 with his first HR while hitting .400.  Encarnacion would hit 40 home runs on Mars.

Jose Ramirez:  1/3 with his first HR.  Interested to see how high the home run ceiling goes here after the nice 2016 breakout.  Right now it is 162 per season.

Carlos Correa:  1/2 with his first HR.  Watch Correa go all 25/25/.300 after "disappointing" as a first rounder a year ago.

George Springer:  1/3 with his first HR.  Simply a guy I never own as I see the warts on Springer (shoddy average, selective stealing) that maybe others don't.

Dallas Keuchel:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 0.00.  Basically Keuchel is the pitching version this season of what Mark Trumbo was a year ago as a guy whose I hated previously but with a drastically reduced draft price am willing to see what goes on here.  Keuchel's arm was dead tired last season and then he got hurt (related).  While I don't ever see 200-K, he could be sneaky good for pennies on the dollar.

Felix Hernandez:  2 ER in 6 IP with 6 K before leaving with sore groin.  Already M's saying he will make next start.  There is clear velocity issues here but the 6 K's were nice.  Related to the velocity drop though were the two home runs in much the same way we see from Masahiro Tanaka.

Mike Trout:  2/4 with his first HR.  The Mike Trout-Bryce Harper home run derby is on.

Khris Davis:  3/4 with 2 home runs.  Again referencing Trumbo, with the Orioles slugger's draft price soaring this spring, you could have had this similar slugger around 5 rounds later.

Santiago Casilla:  scoreless ninth for his first save.  Of course Casilla got the save.  I mean why wouldn't he after his brutal spring and coming off a 5-earned run outing?  Why wouldn't he since I picked up Sean Doolittle believing he would and SHOULD be the guy.  I swear these closers really make you want to check into a psych ward.  


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