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Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight 4/7: Rays’ Evan Longoria Goes Deep Again

Thu, Apr 8, 2010

Insiders Tonight

Image courtesy of: Dennis Adair

We’re just three days removed from Opening Day, yet Fantasy Baseball Insiders has already scored four games as part of our journey to watch 162. Wednesday featured the Giants/Astros matchup in Houston…

Game No. 4 – San Francisco Giants vs. Houston Astros

Edgar Renteria was the story of this game, going 5-for-5 with a walk, one run and two RBI. San Francisco’s shortstop is now 8-for-11 on the season. The 34-year-old hasn’t been fantasy-relevant since 2008 when he hit 12 HRs and stole 11 bases while batting .332 in 494 at-bats.

He’s probably already owned in deep leagues, and isn’t worth the add in shallow leagues yet. Keep an eye on Renteria for now.

Aaron Rowand went 4-for-6 with a run scored and two RBI while leading off for the Giants on Wednesday. One of his two outs was a fly ball that chased Hunter Pence to the wall in right field.

Because AT&T Park isn’t as hitter-friendly as Rowand’s former home ballparks (U.S. Cellular Field and Citizens Bank Park), his seasons of 25 HRs are long gone. He is, however, capable of 15 bombs and a .270-.280 average, making him valuable only in deep leagues.

John Bowker went 1-for-4, hitting his first HR of the season, a two-run bomb in the second inning. An impressive spring training helped the 26-year-old Bowker steal the right field job from Nate Schierholtz. Bowker does have some power potential and the ability to hit for average, but is owned in only two percent of Yahoo leagues. Don’t add him just yet.

Matt Cain cruised through the first six innings of the game. He then allowed two singles and a two-run triple before being removed with two outs in the seventh. Only three of the four runs he allowed were earned, and he yielded six hits and no walks; a great sign from a young pitcher who owns a career walk rate of 3.60 percent.

Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee (Houston’s three and four hitters) combined to go 0-for-8 on Wednesday. Pedro Feliz was the only Astro to record two hits. It’s going to be a long summer for the Houston offense.

Brett Myers allowed four runs on 12 hits and one walk in six innings on Wednesday. The 29-year-old flashed a mean curve ball, but his years (or should I say year) of a 3.70 ERA and 200-plus strikeouts are long gone.

Other news from around the league:

HITTERS

Hitter of the day: Vernon Wells (2-for-3, 4 runs, 2 HR, 3 RBI)

Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard all had two hits on Wednesday. Polanco scored three runs, while Utley plated twice. Howard hit the Phillies’ only HR of the game and collected three RBI.

Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond went 2-for-5 with a HR and two RBI in the two hole. The 24-year-old earned a starting spot with an impressive spring, and according to Baseball America, has decent upside given his “average or better tools across the board.”

Josh Willingham went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Keep an eye on the Nats’ left fielder; he’s quietly averaged 22 HRs per season since 2006.

Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a run scored leading off for Colorado. The 24-year-old is now 8-for-15 through the first three games, though he’s 0-for-2 in stolen base attempts.

Troy Tulowitzki went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base.

Miguel Olivo went 1-for-3 with a solo HR. Don’t forget this guy hit 23 bombs in just 390 at-bats last season, second only to Joe Mauer among catchers.

The Dodgers were limited to just five hits as a team on Wednesday night. Shortstop Rafael Furcall walked twice, stole two bases, and scored a run. James Loney went 0-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.

Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Garrett Jones went 1-for-5 with his third HR of the season. He also collected three RBI. Pirates’ cleanup hitter Ryan Doumit went 2-for-5.

Cody Ross went 4-for-5 batting seventh in the Marlins’ lineup Wednesday night. The 29-year-old has hit 46 HRs since 2008, and is a cheap source for power.

John Baker went 3-for-5 with an RBI in his first start behind the plate for the fish.

Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Dan Uggla hit solo HRs on Wednesday night.

No Met recorded more than one hit, and Luis Castillo was the most productive player at the plate, going 0-for-2 with a walk and two RBI.

Brian Roberts went 0-for-5 for the second consecutive day. He’s obviously still rusty due to the limited amount of at-bats he received while nursing a back injury this spring. If you have another option at second base, it would be wise to bench Roberts until he gets going.

Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena went 2-for-4, but Longoria stole the show with his second HR in as many days while collecting three RBI.

Curtis Granderson went 2-for-4 with the go-ahead solo HR in the tenth inning. He also stole his first base of the season.

Every Boston starter (with the exception of Kevin Youkilis and Marco Scutaro) recorded exactly one hit on Wednesday night. David Ortiz drove in the team’s lone run.

Matt Holliday went 2-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base on Wednesday.

Teammate Colby Rasmus went 2-for-2 with two walks, a run and a stolen base. With 20/20 potential, the 24-year-old could be in for a big season.

Orlando Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a HR, three RBI and a stolen base batting second in the Reds’ lineup.

Martin Prado and Alfonso Soriano were the only players to record two hits in Wednesday night’s pitching duel in Atlanta. Brian McCann and Kosuke Fukudome each stole a base, and Chipper Jones went 1-for-4 with the go-ahead two-run HR in the eighth.

Vladimir Guerrero went 2-for-4, while Nelson Cruz collected one hit in three official at-bats. Each slugged a solo HR in the Rangers’ 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays.

Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base leading off for Cleveland.

Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-3 with two runs, two walks, and two steals.

Matt LaPorta, batting sixth for Cleveland, went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

Paul Konerko hit his second HR of the season while collecting one of the White Sox’s two hits. He also recorded three RBI.

Juan Pierre went 0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and two stolen bases.

Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen all went 2-for-5 on Wednesday. Cabrera hit his first HR of the season, and was also caught stealing.

Alberto Callaspo went 1-for-5 with a solo HR batting third in the Royals’ lineup. Teammate Scott Podsednik went 0-for-3 with two walks and two steals.

Scott Hariston went 2-for-4 with a HR and three RBI for the Padres Wednesday night. While the soon-to-be 30-year-old hit 17 HRs in 2008 and 2009, he’s a .253 career hitter and is likely to platoon with  Tony Gwynn in center field.

Kelly Johnson went 3-for-3 with two runs, two HRs, and three RBI while leading off for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is a 15/15 threat this season. Consider Arizona’s second basemen the add of the day.

Justin Upton and Chris Young each had solo blasts for the Diamondbacks.

Jose Lopez went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Playing at the hot corner for the Mariners this season, he will soon add third base to his first and second base eligibility.

Franlin Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with a run, RBI, and stolen base.

Rajai Davis, Mark Ellis, Ryan Sweeney, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Kurt Suzuki, and Travis Buck recorded two hits for the Athletics on Wednesday night. Davis scored twice, hit a solo HR, and stole a base. Kurt Suzuki had added two RBI.

J.J. Hardy and Nick Punto each had two hits batting eighth and ninth, respectively in the Twins’ lineup. Hardy hit a solo HR, while Punto swiped his first base of the season.

Justin Morneau went 1-for-4 with a HR and two RBI.

Hideki Matsui was the lone bright spot for the Angels Wednesday night, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Brandon Wood is now 1-for-12 through the team’s first three games. Expect Maicer Izturis to get a few starts at third base this week.

PITCHERS

Pitcher of the day: Matt Garza (W, 8 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 9 K)

Clayton Kershaw needed 109 pitchers to get through 4 2/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs on five hits and a whopping six walks while fanning four.

Cole Hamels got the win for the Phillies Wednesday night, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks in five innings. He also struck out five. Despite his less than spectacular first outing, expect a bounce back season from Hamels, who owns a career 3.66 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.

Ricky Nolasco pitched 6 2/3 innings against the Mets on Wednesday night, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out five.

Andy Pettitte pitched six strong innings against the Red Sox, allowing just one run on six hits and three walks.

John Lackey was impressive in his Red Sox debut, pitching six shutout innings while allowing just three hits and two walks.

Adam Wainwright pitched seven strong innings against the Reds on Wednesay, allowing two earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six.

Johnny Cueto allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks in six innings against the Cardinals.

Ryan Dempster struck out nine batters in six innings against the Braves, allowing one earned on three hits and two walks.

Jair Jurrjens allowed two runs (none earned) on three hits and two walks in five innings against the Cubs.

Rich Harden needed 90 pitches to get through 3 2/3 innings against Toronto in his Rangers debut. Credit the 28-year-old with the oddest pitching line of the day. Harden allowed three runs (one earned) on one hit and five walks while striking out eight.

Fausto Carmona allowed three runs in six innings, despite allowing just one hit. He did, however, issue six free passes.

Jake Peavy allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in his season debut.

Max Scherzer pitched six scoreless innings against the Royals on Wednesday night, allowing just one hit and two walks, but got the no decision.

Luke Hochevar shutout the Tigers for 7 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and one walk.

Carl Pavano pitched seven strong innings against the Twins Wednesday night, allowing just one run on six hits and no walks while fanning six. Pavano was one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball last season. Expect him to shave a full run off his 2009 5.10 ERA.

RELIEVERS

Trevor Hoffman recorded his second save in as many days, pitching a perfect ninth for the Brewers.

Ryan Madson recorded the last out in the eighth and all three in the ninth to nail down his first save of the season in Brad Lidge’s absence. Lidge is expected back at the end of April.

Marlins’ closer Leo Nunez was charged with a blown save after walking Jason Bay with the bases loaded in the eighth. The run, however, was charged to Jose Veras. Nunez pitched 1 1/3 innings, recorded three walks, and despite blowing the save, earned the win on Ronny Paulino’s pinch-hit RBI single in the tenth.

Tim Wood earned the extra-inning save for Florida, but don’t expect many more from him.

Rafael Soriano earned his first save as the Tampa Bay closer, a day after recording his first win. Despite this, Soriano has been shaky, allowing four hits, one run, and a walk in two innings.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth, but was charged with the loss after allowing a Granderson HR to lead off the tenth.

Mariano Rivera pitched a pefect tenth inning to record his second save in as many days.

Billy Wagner struck out three Cubs in the ninth to record his first save since July 2008.

Jason Frasor picked up the save for Toronto on Wednesday night after blowing his first opportunity on Opening Day.

Chris Perez picked up his first save of the season in place of the injured Kerry Wood.

Joakim Soria blew his first save opportunity of the season, allowing a game-tying two-out HR to Migel Cabrera in the ninth.

Jose Valverde blew the save for Detroit on Wednesday night, allowing a game-tying HR to Callapso in the tenth. Willie Bloomquist then reached third on a Rick Ankiel double and scored the game-winning run on a Scott Sizemore fielding error.

Jon Rauch made for an interesting finish to the Twins/Angels game last night. After recording two quick outs, Rauch allowed a double to Howie Kendrick and an RBI single to Mike Napoli, but retired Brandon Wood on a fielder’s choice to secure his second save of the season.

Check back Thursday night (and all season long) for more Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates!

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