Taking a look around the league, here’s a recap of last night’s action and suggestions for your fantasy baseball team.
Mr. Clutch (pitcher) – There were seeds of doubt creeping into the minds of Gio Gonzalez owners, but he may have laid those doubts to rest with his performance against the Reds. Gio Gonzalez went eight innings, giving up one hit, one earned run and two walks, while striking out seven. This outing could not have gone better for the struggling Nationals, Gio Gonzalez and Gio’s owners. Control, which plagued Gio in the past, has been a major issue, as well as being prone to the long ball. Though his only earned run was a home run, I think this outing is a positive sign for him going forward. The buy-low window is closing fast on Gio Gonzalez.
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Mr. Clutch (hitter) – When a big hitter is facing a glorified triple-A team, you should expect big things. David Ortiz delivered against the Astros, going 3-for-4, one home run, two RBIs and three runs. This was Big Papi’s first homer of the season, and I expect big things from this guy this season. Big Papi is already fired up from the tragic events that happened during the Boston Marathon. Throw in a fun-loving, good-clubhouse bunch of guys who are currently in first place and this has all the makings of a monster Big Papi year.
Surprise, surprise! – Gaby Sanchez came out of the woodwork yesterday, going 2-for-4, with one home run, three RBIs and a run scored. In fact, he has been on a Phillies tear, going 4-for-8, with two home runs, four RBIs, and two runs scored. However, the concern for Sanchez is playing time. Until the first base logjam is resolved, Sanchez needs to stay on waivers.
Here comes the heat – Brett Lawrie is finally healthy and may actually live up to the lofty fantasy draft status he has endured the past two seasons. Against the Yankees, he went 2-for-4, with a home run, an RBI and a run scored. Though in very limited at-bats this season due to injury, Lawrie has struggled. Knocking his first home run of the season may change his fortune.
Left out in the breeze – Jeremy Hellickson got rocked Thursday night. In six innings, he gave up five hits, five earned runs and four walks to go along with eight strikeouts. Looking at his advanced stats, this seems to be the pitcher he is going to be. Low WHIP, 4.0+ ERA, with a 7+ K/9. I think the name alone could net you a better player if you do decide to trade him.
Who’s trending? – Lorenzo Cain was a hot name coming into the season but was quickly dropped after his slow start. But he has quickly turned things around and is sporting a .358 batting average. Cain is going to provide little pop and may steal 15-20 bases (career high 16 stolen bases). The batting average is going to drop. He is a classic sell-high guy.
Bench me, please? – This may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Anthony Rizzo. Going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts is not good, especially when the manager is threatening to send you down to the minors. In his last four games, Rizzo is 1-for-19 with 8 strikeouts. Even with six home runs already, I just do not see how he is still 100% owned in most leagues. I guess that is just a testament to how awful first base is this season.
The Streamer – Ervin Santana has looked very sharp so far in the early going. On Friday night, he faces the Indians, who sport a very pedestrian offense. Santana is only owned in 70 percent of leagues and should be a lock to put up solid numbers.