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Thursday, April 26, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Justin Verlander:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 0 BB 9 K with an ERA of 1.36.  Verlander is insanely dominant right now and this is the best he has looked since his Cy Young Detroit days.  In fact, you would have to bet Verlander as the early AL Cy Young favorite.  Shocked he is still dealing like this considering how hard he throws and how many innings are under his belt.

Felix Hernandez:  6 IP 7 H 3 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 4.96.  This is about as solid a start as you can expect now from Hernandez which speaks to how eroded his stuff has become after years as a perennial ace.

Mike Zunino:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .200.  Yeah Zunino's average is where it should be.

Yoan Moncada:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .244.  Moncada is showing baby step progress the last two weeks but his K/9 is INSANE at 38.0.

Tyson Ross:  4IP 6 H 4 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.64.  Listen you should never have started Ross in Colorado so you deserve the hit if you did.  With that said, Ross still punched out 7 as he his stuff continues to look very potent like in his pre-TOS days.  Start liberally at home.

Jon Gray:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 5.79.  It was San Diego so already we take this outing with a strong grain of salt.  Gray can punch out batters with the best of them but the patience meter has just about run out here.

Trea Turner:  5/6 with his 10th SB while hitting .267.  That is the first-round Trea Turner we all love.  He is running like a madman and has been a monster out of the leadoff spot in place of Adam Eaton.  The only thing is that Eaton is due back soon which means Dave Martinez has a big decision to make.  The right one is to leave Turner where he is.

Max Scherzer:  6 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 10 K with a 1.62 ERA.  Simply the best.

Jeff Samardzija:  3.2 IP 8 H 6 ER 3 BB 3 K with an ERA of 6.23.  Samardzija is like the opposing of Matt Cain in that he always seems to pitch worse than his advanced peripherals suggest.  A major home run problem seems to just be getting worse so he is the NL version of Masahiro Tanaka which is not a good thing.

Leonys Martin:  2/6 with his third HR while hitting .278 in Game 1.  Martin is leading off for the Tigers and he has developed more power in the last few seasons to go with 15-steal speed.  Definitely worth an add in deeper mixed leagues.

Jeimer Candelario:  3/6 with his 4th HR while hitting .292.  Still just 23, Candelario has shown a smooth swing since the start of the season and should have been owned weeks ago.  There is a chance he is still sitting there on the wire though since he was not an overly buzzy prospect but this development has legs to it.

Nick Castellanos:  4/5 with his 2nd HR while hitting .337. Yeah, the power has been a bit lighter than anticipated to this point but Castellanos has still been swinging a very hot bat.  I was incredibly bullish on Castellanos all spring and fully stand by that assessment.

Francisco Cervelli:  3/4 with his third HR while hitting .292.  With catcher being such a cesspool this season, I am not kidding when I say Cervelli is now a must-start in single-catcher leagues.

Jameson Taillon:  7 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 4.91.  Just like with Luke Weaver, Taillon has gone from dominant to human punching bag seemingly overnight.  This is what happens with young and raw pitchers but the 1.17 WHIP for Taillon shows there is light at the end of the struggling tunnel here.  Don't drop him just yet.

Mookie Betts:  2/5 with 2 home runs (8 for season) while hitting .350.  So ridiculous that Betts went past the 5th overall pick in many fantasy baseball drafts this past March.  All because his average slide a bit due to an unlucky BABIP.  The fantasy baseball community overrates average so much it is crazy since it is such a cut-and-dry number but the same thing was done to Manny Machado and look how that turned out. 

Yangervis Solarte:  1/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .237.  Solarte has been in a bit of a slump but at least the power uptick continues onward. 

Eduardo Rodriguez:  6.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 1 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.63.  Rodriguez is now up to 3 wins already or 3 wins since I said to pick him up.  The strikeouts tend to come and go here for some reason and we all know the challenges of the AL East but Rodriguez has the ability to be a top SP 4.

Steven Matz:  3.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.98.  Just like with Matt Harvey, Mets manager Mickey Callaway is not guaranteeing the next start for Matz.  None of Matz' dwindling fantasy baseball owners should either. 

Michael Wacha:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.62.  Wacha has always been a decent first-half pitcher but his 1.35 WHIP show trouble lying underneath the surface. 

Didi Gregorious:  3/3 with his 9th HR while hitting .372.  Hands down Gregorious is your early leader for 2018 fantasy baseball MVP.

Tyler Austin:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .305.  The Yankees have been big Greg Bird apologists through all his injuries and slumps, so they really need to take the blinders off in order to see terrific job Austin is doing. The numbers should always matter in the end and so when Bird gets back, Austin should not lose his gig if he is still going like this on a per game basis. 

Lance Lynn:  6 ER in 3.2 IP with an ERA of 7.71.  Wow with Lynn and Alex Cobb challenging each other to see who can pitch the worst in all of baseball, let is be a reminder that free agent starters need to have their home set up prior to spring training or else this happens. 

Sonny Gray:  4.2 IP 6 H 3 ER 5 BB 4 K with a 7.71 ERA.  More garbage from Gray who is getting his head beaten in the way he did back in 2016.  Didn't think that slop could be topped but Gray is doing his best to get there. 

Ozzie Albies:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .283.  There are just no word anymore.

Ender Inciarte:  3/5 with 2 steals (9 for season) while hitting .276.  Man I got so many e-mails and tweets asking me whether or not they should dump Inciarte which was kind of crazy.  I have always been among his biggest boosters so I get I may have blinders but this guy can hit .300 in his sleep and now it looks like he wants to go for 40 steals which is a nice cherry on the top of the sundae. 

Joey Votto:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .256.  Yeah, Votto will be hitting .315 around May 15. 

Zack Grienke:  6 IP 9 H 5 ER 1 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.80.  Greinke is pitching quite well despite the ERA as his 1.13 WHIP is very good and he is missing bats at a high rate still.  Yes the velocity decrease is a valid concern but I am not on board that worry train just yet.

Jake Arrieta:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 2 K with an ERA of 1.82.  Arrieta is pitching very well but the approach is a bit different now in that he is trusting his defense more than ever.  That has to do with Arrieta getting older and losing some sizzle on his stuff but otherwise, there should be no complaints here. 

Francisco Lindor:  1/3 with his third HR while hitting .222.  The power per game is down quite a bit from a year ago and the average is ghastly for someone who has been lauded as one of the best pure hitters in baseball.  Come on bro.  Let's get with it. 

Edwin Encarnacion:  2/3 with his 5th HR while hitting .173.  Perhaps Encarnacion senses that his best month (May) is almost upon us. 

Trevor Bauer:  6.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 2.41.  For the 1717924362th time, maybe THIS is the year Bauer's Cy Young-caliber arm rockets to SP 1/2 status.  Off to a nice start there. 

J.T. Realmuto:  2/6 with 2 home runs (4 for season) while hitting .385.  Nice Mike Piazza impersonation going on here.

Yasmani Grandal:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .324.  No one is mentioning it but Grandal is having a superb season which gets even extra credit when it comes at catcher.  Status Report on the way. 

Matt Kemp:  1/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .313.  You really can't find a more dependable OF 3 than this. 

Clayton Kershaw:  5 IP 5 H 3 ER 6 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.84.  6 walks is insane for Kershaw who would go two months with that number.  This is still a superstar arm but Kershaw is showing small signs that his invincibility is not there completely anymore. 




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