So it’s like that again, huh? Just the third day of the 2013 MLB season and we’re already staring at a perfect game? Well…..almost. Pretty damn close as Yu Darvish manhandled the Astros lineup and came just one out away from throwing baseball’s 24th perfect game and fourth in less than a full calendar year.
Given everyone’s low expectations of the Astros, it’s hard to differentiate between a masterful pitching performance and just the general ineptitude of a team expected to clear the 100-loss barrier before August is even finished. Though the game was on, I was distracted by the Fantasy Alarm Staff League** auction and incapable of giving my full attention to the near-historic moment. But from what I was able to see, it looked like it was more Darvish than a pitiful Astros lineup. He had excellent command of his pitches with his fastball being consistently clocked in the mid to high 90’s while also throwing mid-90’s cutter and a killer slider as his out-pitch. In a word, he looked…well….perfect.
But it was not meant to be as the always dangerous Marwin Gonzalez (insert sarcastic eye roll) defended his Astros’ pride and knocked the first pitch he saw up the middle, between Darvish’s legs and into center field for Houston’s lone hit of the day. The perfect game was no more. But while maybe that killer points league bonus was gone, fantasy owners can’t deny how great it is to add these stats to your cumulative total. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a standard roto league or a weekly head to head match-up, getting to add 8.2 shutout innings with a WHIP of just 0.12 and 14 strikeouts is huge.
That makes Darvish’s selection as the first Fantasy Beast of the Day for the 2013 season, a big no-brainer. I mean, just look at that pitching line…
|Yu Darvish, TEX||8.2||1||0||0||14||0.00||0.12|
Congratulations, Yu Darvish and to all those fantasy owners who saw the draft day investment as being well worth the price.
As for the rest of the daily fantasy baseball highs and lows…
Thank you, sir. May I have another?
|Michael Morse, OF SEA||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Matt Wieters, C BAL||2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B TEX||2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Hisashi Iwakuma, SP SEA||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 7 K|
|Madison Bumgarner, SP SF||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP, 6 K|
Obviously we’re just two games into the season, but it looks like the AL is agreeing with Michael Morse, who smacked a pair of home runs, one an opposite-field shot and the other to straight-away center. Should this type of performance continue, we’ll be looking at a huge bargain as Morse dropped in a number of leagues when he landed in Seattle. Again, it’s still pretty early, but everyone loves a nice, hot start.
Each year, the power numbers get a little bit better for Matt Wieters, so we’re right on par here with the big Opening Day for the Orioles backstop. We’d sure like to see the batting average come up, given where he gets drafted amongst the rest of the catchers, but building off 23 home runs and 83 RBI would be extremely welcomed.
While Darvish was busy dismissing the Astros’ offense, Ian Kinsler was doing his part to ignite the Rangers’ bats. His infield single helped keep the Rangers’ rally going in which they scored their first run in the third inning and then his two-run homer helped stretch the lead to 3-0 in the seventh. I’ll admit it, though. I’m not the biggest Kinsler fan and failed to take him in any of the leagues in which I play. Two years of a sub-.260 batting average and a significant drop in power that coincides with a reduced walk rate and increased strikeout rate is enough for me to look elsewhere given some of the lesser expensive talent at the position. We’ll see if he can build and maintain some momentum off this or if he’s destined to repeat 2012’s subpar numbers.
The outing from Madison Bumgarner is expected, so I see little reason to rave about it. But, oh baby, how about my guy Hisashi Iwakuma? I’ve been recommending him all spring as solid sleeper – maybe not killer strikeout totals, but fantastic ratios, for sure. I got a little nervous when he started dealing with a dry-skin issue towards the end of spring, but apparently, that is a non-issue right now. He’ll see the White Sox next week in Chicago, and while it’s a tasty hitter’s park, he should have himself another strong outing if he can recapture last season’s ground ball rate.
Need back-up! So much blood!
|Adrian Beltre, 3B TEX||0-5, 2 K. 8 LOB|
|Brett Wallace, 1B HOU||0-3, 3 K|
|Daniel Descalso, 2B STL||0-4, 2 K, 3 LOB|
|Steve Pearce, 1B, BAL||0-4, 2 K, 3 LOB|
|Jake McGee, RP TB||L, BS, 67.50 ERA, 7.50 WHIP, K|
Of course it’s too early to criticize a player for a cold start, but considering I own him in a couple of leagues, I can throw a little disdain for Adrian Beltre’s putrid start to the season. He went 0-for-4 in his first game and then followed it up with an even worse 0-for-5 and left eight guys on base. Blown opportunities here, but hopefully he’ll get it out of his system now and find his power stroke soon enough.
Always been a fan of Jake McGee’s arm. Always. But man if the Orioles didn’t make him look like a chump Tuesday night when they smacked him around to the tune of five runs in less than an inning’s worth of work. Doubtful anyone outside of the deepest AL-only leagues had him in their active lineup, but it was definitely a beating worth noting on a day with a short slate of games.
Just a few added notes from the day…
Though he struck out in three of his four at-bats, Yoenis Cespedes cracked his first home run of the season – a shot to straight-away center, traveling 417 feet. He needs to rein in some of the aggressiveness he’s showing, but not too much. Maybe just enough to kill some of the strikeouts? The Showcase is in for a big year here and there’s no reason to think that at least a 30-20 season isn’t on the horizon.
Both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki went yard for the second consecutive game and are keeping fantasy owners extremely happy. But Tulo owners better not get too cocky here. Sure, you probably got him at a bit of a discounted rate this year, but remember, there’s a reason for that. You can stay optimistic, but keep that contingency plan in place….just in case.
Full slate of games on Wednesday starting up at 2 pm (ET) so make sure those daily lineups are set…
**Be sure to call in to the Fantasy Alarm radio show at 11pm (ET) to ask Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster how they feel about having teams so inferior to mine that it's almost scary.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a vaiety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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