Sunday, February 25, 2018


-San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner got roughed up badly in his first spring outing as he gave up three runs in just 1.2 IP against the Chicago Cubs.  On the positive side, Bumgarner struck out five and really made just one bad pitch in giving up a bomb to Ian Happ.  While there is some concern about the dip in velocity after coming back from shoulder surgery a year ago, Bumgarner seems set to be a top-tier fantasy baseball ace yet again this season.

-Matt Wieters cracked a home run as part of a 2-for-2 day and there is some hope he can have a bounce-back campaign this season for the Washington Nats.  Wieters hit just .225 last season but he is still young enough to post a comeback year if possible.  He really just has two catcher value but could grow into single consideration if he dials back to his early Baltimore days.

-Luis Castillo is one of the most prominent "must have" fantasy baseball pitching sleepers this season and he got his spring off to a nice start by tossing two scoreless frames with one K.  The strikeout stuff is immense here and Castillo could be able to throw a full season since he went up in innings a year ago.  Get on board.

-Last year at this time I was all over Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Snell but maybe I was just a year early.  While Snell struggled badly with control last season and soon found himself back in the minors, he finished strong and seems to have found some rhythm as he got off to a good spring start Sunday.  Snell struck out 4 in two scoreless frames versus the Detroit Tigers and if he can get the control under wraps, there is big potential here.

-Aaron Nola gave up three runs in two innings versus the New York Yankees which is fine by me since I hope this keeps the fantasy baseball draft cost down a bit.  I am in love with Nola and have been for years as you all know and that won't change no matter how rough the spring.

-Gerrit Cole tossed two scoreless innings in his Houston Astros debut Sunday and struck out two.  While you don't like any pitcher moving from the NL to the AL, Cole has good stuff and strong SP 2 potential on the Astros.

-While I have always been leery of Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer through all of his inconsistent seasons, he looked good in 2017 and may finally be ready to unleash the stuff that made him such a lauded power pitching prospect in the first place.  Bauer was dominant on Sunday as he struck out SIX Cincinnati Reds in two IP and entering into his prime, the arrow is pointing upwards here. 

-Austin Hedges is yet another intriguing catcher off to a decent start as he homered Sunday and comes off a 2017 debut where he cracked 18 bombs as a rookie.  The average will be a problem as it is for 80 percent of the catchers out there but Hedges has some remaining upside to improve.

-One of my favorite sleepers for 2018 fantasy baseball is Detroit Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos who homered Sunday and is a good bet for near 30 homers in 2018.  Castellanos really improved as a hitter the second half of 2017 as he hit the baseball harder than ever and also improved his plate approach.  The name elicits a yawn in the fantasy baseball community right now and so that means you may be able to get him for a song. 

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