Hopefully Neftali Feliz helped some of those who were freaking out after his first bad outing on Thursday when he pitched one inning and struck out all three. Feliz is a stud ladies and gentlemen and I believe that he will a starter at some point during the season. Even until that time I think he has fantasy value because of the good number of strikeout numbers that he will get and he should have a great ERA and WHIP as well.
Brett Anderson showed exactly why a lot of people are very high on him going into the season when he pretty much shut down the Mariners. Anderson gave up no runs over six innings, allowed just three hits and struck out four. The Mariners aren't exactly the most powerful team in the league, but the performance was impressive nonetheless. Anderson should be a very effective pitcher this year and I think he is nearly a slam dunk to win 15 games.
Chad Billingsley is looking to make up for his dreadful second half in 2009 and his first start of the year looks like he is pointed in the right direction. Billingsley looked lost after the All-Star Break, but there were no such problems tonight. He gave up just one run over 5.1 innings, walked four and struck out seven. The walks are certainly a concern, which was also his problem last year, but he was able to stay out of trouble. It was against the Pirates, so he is not out of the woods yet, but it was certainly a nice start.
Brad Penny didn't get the decision in his first start as a Cardinal, but he certainly looked like he could be a viable fantasy pitcher this season. Not only does pitching coach Dave Duncan have a reputation of turning guys who struggle into gems, but Penny also looked great at the end of 2009 when he was traded to the Giants. He allowed just one run over seven innings and struck out four. You would like to see the Ks get a little higher, but as an end of the rotation starter, he is fairly valuable.
Bronson Arroyo got off to an even better start, but I am not buying into Arroyo. If you take a look at his career, Arroyo has made a handsome living out of throwing a good game once a month or every six weeks and then being dreadful for the rest of the time. He had one of those gems on Thursday as he allowed just one run over eight innings and struck out six. I urge you not to fall into this trap and let someone else make the ill advised pick up.
Vernon Wells is on an incredible tear to start the year, and I would think that he is already off the waiver wire in any league in which he wasn't drafted. However, if you do have him I would definitely encourage you to try to trade him away and try to take advantage of this tremendous start. Wells hasn't been overly successful in a good number of years, so try to look to see if you can trade him for someone that you have no business getting. Like a Hunter Pence or B.J. Upton type player. Sounds crazy, but I have seen crazier things happen.
C.J.Wilson won the fifth starter job in Texas and in his first start he showed that he earned it. Wilson was magical with no runs over seven innings and struck out nine. Now before you get all excited and go to grab Wilson, hear me out. First, he pitched against the lowly, so temper your excitement. Wilson struck out nine over seven shutout innings and walked just one.
Dontrelle Willis had a great first start of the year, but I am not buying into it. Willis gave up two runs over 6.1 innings and struck out four. Because of his train wreck last couple of seasons, I am going to to need more than one good start against the Royals. Keep an eye on Dontrelle, but he seems a long way from starting opening day competition.
Orioles rookie Brian Matusz had an exciting first start of the season and is looking early like he will be a viable fantasy pitcher right away. He allowed just two runs over five innings, walked five and struck out seven. Matusz is one of the top ranking pitching prospects in all of baseball and I have a lot of confidence in him. He is ready to be a good starter with a decent number of Ks on Friday.
Jeff Niemann was hit in the shoulder with a batted ball on Thursday and was forced to leave that start after just 1.1 innings. The team is saying that he has a bruised shoulder and he is day-to-day. Based on that if I had to guess I would say that Niemann is ready for his next start.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is going on the 15 day DL with back stiffness and as of right now it is not known how long he will be out. Salty is off to a decent start to his fantasy season, but hyped prospect Taylor Teagarden will take over the catching duties at least for the next two weeks. He has had a very good minor league career but has struggled in his rare chances in the majors. Teagarden was 0-4 with two strikeouts on Thursday, but if you have a low end catcher, keep an eye on Teagarden. I'm not saying pick him up now, but just pay attention to him.
Andre Ethier injured his ankle running the bases and was not in the lineup on Thursday. The team is saying that the injury does not appear to be serious, however, don't be surprised if he misses a few days. If you are in a league that allows daily transactions, I would remove Ethier from your lineup until you see him able to play again, but this doesn't sound like something very short term.
Jose Reyes will be returning to the New York Mets lineup on Saturday, so please be sure to make the necessary roster moves on Friday so he will be ready to be back in active duty in time for his game Saturday.
Remember to listen to Fighting Chance Radio on Tuesday night at 9:30 PM EST and Sunday Night at 11 PM EST on The Fantasy Sports Channel or www.blogtalkradio.com/fightingchanceradio.
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