Sun, Apr 11, 2010
Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron
After scoring one game each of the first six days of the 2010 baseball season, Fantasy Baseball Insiders took on an even more impressive task on Saturday. On a day full of exciting matchups, the Insiders scored three games from start to finish, making for the most in-depth update of the young season.
Previous Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates:
- 4/9: Rays’ David Price Beats Yankees In Season Debut
- 4/8: Blue Jays’ Vernon Wells Hits Fourth Homer In Three Games
- 4/7: Ray’s Evan Longoria Goes Deep Again
- 4/6: Orioles’ Adam Jones, Matt Wieters Homer in Season Debut
- 4/5: Braves’ Jason Heyward Homers in MLB Debut
- 4/4: Curtis Granderson Hits HR in Yankees Debut
Game No. 7 – Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds
Kosuke Fukudome went 1-for-4 with a two-run bomb off Reds’ starter Aaron Harang in the fourth inning, his first of the year. The Cubs’ right fielder just missed another homer in the sixth, chasing Jay Bruce to the wall in right field.
Alfonso Soriano went 1-for-3 for the Cubs on Saturday, also blasting his first homer of the season, a fifth inning shot off Harang.
After allowing eight earned runs in 1 1/3 innings on Opening Day, Carlos Zambrano bounced back on Saturday with a strong start. The Cubs’ right-hander got into some early trouble, but didn’t allow a runner past second base after the fourth inning. In seven innings, Big Z yielded three runs on six hits. He also walked two and struck out nine en route to the win.
Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth, flashing his ridiculously good slider to earn his second save of the season.
Brandon Phillips went 1-for-4 with a two-run blast in the third off Zambrano, his first of the season. Despite three consecutive 20/20 seasons, the Reds’ second baseman is a career .264 hitter, and is now batting .158 (3-for-19) through five games.
Aaron Harang rebounded from a disappointing Opening Day start, pitching seven strong innings for the Reds. The soon-to-be 32-year-old allowed three runs on just four hits, walking nine while fanning seven.
Game No. 8 – Boston Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
In a game featuring two American League aces, Josh Beckett outdueled 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Picking up his first win of the season, Beckett pitched seven innings allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out four.
Greinke cruised through the first four innings, but allowed back-to-back solo homers to Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek in the fifth, equalling his fifth inning runs allowed total from all of 2009. Varitek added another solo blast in the ninth.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5 with two runs and a seventh inning RBI double. Dustin Pedroia followed with a sac fly to score Ellsbury, chasing Greinke from the game. Pedroia added a two-run HR in the ninth, finishing 1-for-3 with the HR and three RBI. Kevin Youkilis homered in the eighth en route to a 2-for-5 game.
After collecting four hits in as many at bats last night, Rick Ankiel singled and doubled in his first two at-bats Saturday night. His six at-bat hit streak ended in the sixth, however, as Ankiel popped out to the pitcher. He finished the night 2-for-4 with an RBI, and is batting .400 (8-for-20) through five games.
Game No. 9 – Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants
Jason Heyward stole the show in the night cap, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. The rookie phenom went 3-for-3 with two walks, two singles, a HR, and two RBI, raising his average through five games to .300. The 20-year-old now has two long balls and seven RBI, more than Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Prince Fielder…combined.
Martin Prado continued his hot hitting ways, going 2-for-4 in the two hole for the Braves. One of his outs was a sac bunt which lead to the go-ahead run in the seventh. The first-, second-, and third-base eligible Prado lowered his batting average to a league-leading .600 (12-for-20), and has at least two hits in each game this season.
Aaron Rowand had two hits and an RBI for an otherwise lackluster performance from the Giants. Pablo Sandoval went 1-for-3 with a walk, and also stole his first base of the season.
Derek Lowe issued a career-high seven walks while allowing just one run on four hits in six innings, earning his second win of the season despite a 4.50 ERA.
Other news from around the league:
Hitter of the day: Jason Heyward (3-for-3, 2 BB’s, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI)
Magglio Ordonez went 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run bomb against the Indians on Saturday. Miguel Cabrera also went 1-for-3 with a run scored. After five games, Detroit’s three and four hitters are a combined 19-for-41 (.463) with four homers and 11 RBI.
Jason Kubel went 2-for-3 with a two-run HR against the White Sox on Saturday.
Willie Taveras went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and four RBI on Saturday against the Mets, his first start of 2010. Through six at-bats this season, Taveras already has nearly one-fourth of the RBI total he compiled in 404 at-bats with the Reds last season.
Jeff Francoeur went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored batting fifth for the Mets on Saturday. Frenchy is now batting .444 (8-for-18) with two homers and six RBI through five games.
After missing the first four games of the season with thyroid imbalance, Jose Reyes went 1-for-4 in the Mets’ leadoff spot.
Matt Holliday continued his torrid pace to start the season, going 2-for-4 with a run scored Saturday against the Brew Crew. Teammate Colby Rasmus went 1-for-3 with two runs, a walk, and his second homer of the season. The 23-year-old now leads the majors with eight walks through five games.
Yadier Molina went 1-for-3 with a three-run blast on Saturday, his second of the season. The Cardinals’ backstop has hit .298 in the last two seasons, and is a decent option at catcher in deeper leagues.
Franklin Gutierrez went 3-for-5 with the game-winning RBI in the top half of the ninth against Texas on Saturday. Coming off his 18-HR, 16-steal, .283 breakout season in 2009, the Mariners’ center fielder is getting a chance to bat third against lefties in 2010. The 27-year-old is off to a quick start, batting .435 (10-for-23) through six games this season.
Nelson Cruz homered for the second consecutive day on Saturday, tying him with Vernon Wells for the major league lead with four. The 29-year-old is batting .444 (8-for-18) through five games this season.
Mark Teixeira broke his 0-for-16 slump, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs, and an RBI. Teammate Robinson Cano went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI. Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner each had two hits and a stolen base.
Ryan Howard went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, a HR, and three RBI on Saturday, raising hit batting average to .417 (10-for-24). Through five games, Howard (a typically slow starter) has three HRs and 10 RBI.
Shane Victorino busted out of his 2-for-18 slump on Saturday, collecting two hits in five at-bats, including a homer and three RBI. Through five games, the 4-1 Phillies are averaging 8.2 runs per game.
Jason Michaels went 2-for-5 with a HR and three RBI batting in the leadoff spot for Houston on Saturday. Michaels started in place of center fielder Michael Bourn, who got the day off. Don’t expect Michaels to be fantasy-relevant this season.
Just hours after the Rihanna/Matt Kemp rumor was confirmed, the Dodgers’ center fielder delivered his best game of the young season. Kemp went 2-for-5 with two runs, a HR, and two RBI.
Gaby Sanchez went 2-for-3 with two runs and a three-run HR for the Marlins on Saturday. The 26-year-old is keeping first base warm for Marlins’ No. 2 prospect Logan Morrison, who is likely to be called up at some point this season.
Aki Iwamura busted out of his 3-for-16 slump on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, a HR, and two RBI while leading off for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, and Ronny Cedeno all recorded a steal for the Pirates.
Mark Reynolds went 2-for-4 with a two-run HR in the seventh, chasing Zach Duke from the game in an otherwise fantastic start.
Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley each had three hits for the Padres in a 14 inning marathon with the Rockies Saturday night. Gonzalez delivered the game-winning RBI double nearly four and a half hours into the game. Headley, a member of our 2010 All-Breakout Team, is now batting .429 (9-for-21) through five games.
Brad Hawpe went 3-for-6 with two solo HRs against the Padres Saturday night, raising his average to .353 (6-for-17) through five games.
Kevin Kouzmanoff went went 2-for-4 with a HR and two RBI for the Athletics Saturday night. Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with two RBI for the opposing Angels.
Pitcher of the day: CC Sabathia (W, 7 2/3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K)
CC Sabathia took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Rays on Saturday. Kelly Shoppach spoiled the fun with a two-out single. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi was quick to snag CC from the game afterward, as Sabathia exited allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out five.
Dana Eveland pitched 7 1/3 magnificent innings against Baltimore on Saturday, allowing no runs on five hits and two walks. The 26-year-old southpaw is worth keeping an eye on, but with a 5.54 ERA and 198:142 K:BB ratio in 276 1/3 career innings, Eveland cannot be trusted.
Jeremy Bonderman allowed just one run on one hit and two walks in five innings against an underrated Cleveland lineup on Saturday. The Tigers’ fifth starter and former first-round pick also struck out five.
Scott Baker redeemed himself from a less than spectacular Opening Day start, holding the White Sox to one run one five hits and a walk in seven strong innings on Saturday en route to the win.
Jamie Garcia limited the Brewers to just one run on four hits and three walks in six innings on Saturday. The 23-year-old also struck out five en route to his second career major league win, out-dueling Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo.
St. Louis’ second best prospect according to Baseball America, Garcia features a 12-to-6 curve and an 88-92 mph fastball. The big question surrounding the Cardinals’ fifth starter is his durability, as both his 2007 and 2008 seasons ended prematurely due to elbow soreness, and he missed most of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s worth a look in deep leagues.
Felix Hernandez pitched seven strong against Texas on Saturday, though he didn’t factor into the decision. The 24-year-old allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk while striking out five.
Rangers’ starter Matt Harrison pitched well against the Mariners, allowing just one run on six hits and a walk in six innings. Despite his impressive 2010 debut, the 24-year-old southpaw shouldn’t be trusted, as he owns a 5.76 ERA and 76:54 K:BB ratio in 147 career innings.
Zach Duke pitched seven strong innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks. The 26-year-old lefty is now 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his first two starts. He should be cautiously added in most leagues.
Jered Weaver pitched six innings against the Athletics Saturday night, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk. He also struck out seven while lowering his ERA and WHIP to 3.00 and 1.00 respectively after two starts.
Ryan Perry recorded the four-out save on Saturday in place of Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde, who pitched in each of Detroit’s first four games. There’s no controversy here; after resting his arm on Saturday, Valverede should be available to close Sunday’s game if needed.
Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve a one-run lead against the White Sox on Saturday, nailing down his major league-leading fourth save of the season.
Tyler Clippard struck out seven batters in three innings of relief against the Mets on Saturday. In deep leagues that count holds, Clippard is definitely worth owning. In 60 1/3 innings out of the Nats’ bullpen last season, the 25-year-old struck out 67 batters while posting a 2.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and .172 BAA.
Following Clippard’s spectacular performance, Matt Capps loaded the bases before eventually recording his second save of the season. A two-out line drive off the bat of Rod Barajas brought Mets fans to their feet, but Willie Harris’ diving catch in left ended New York’s hopes.
Frank Francisco blew his second consecutive save opportunity against the Mariners on Saturday - a Texas implosion if you will - allowing three runs on three hits and one walk, while recording just one out.
The Texas closer now has an ERA of 27.00 in his first three appearances this season. If he doesn’t turn things around quickly, Francisco’s 2009 breakout season might not be enough to keep Neftali Feliz from stealing the ninth inning duties from him. This situation is definitely one worth keeping an eye on.
After blowing the save on Opening Day, Jason Frasor has converted on three consecutive save opportunities. His job as Toronto’s closer appears safe for now.
After pitching in back-to-back days Thursday and Friday, Dodgers’ closer Jonathan Broxton was unavailable on Saturday. George Sherrill entered Saturday’s game in place of Broxton, with one out and a two-run lead in the ninth. Sherril hit the first batter he saw, walked the next, then allowed a two-run double and a game-ending sac fly to blow the save against the Marlins.
Octavio Dotel pitched a pefect ninth inning on Saturday against the Diamondbacks, nailing down his first save in three appearances this season. The Pirates’ closer should be a cheap source for 25 saves in 2010, and may even do so with a sub-3.50 ERA.
Brian Roberts missed Saturday’s game after straining an abdominal muscle Friday night. His status for Sunday is unknown. Julio Lugo went 2-for-3 in Roberts’ place on Saturday.
Ryan Zimmerman left Saturday’s game against the Mets early due to a tight hamstring, and is expected to miss a few days.
Aaron Hill missed his third straight game on Saturday with a hamstring injury. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports Hill is “day-to-day.”
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Insiders player projections:
Tags: Aaron Harang, Aaron Hill, Aaron Rowand, Adrian Gonzalez, Aki Iwamura, Alfonso Soriano, Andrew McCutchen, Brad Hawpe, Brandon Phillips, Brian Roberts, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Chase Headley, Dana Eveland, Derek Lowe, Dustin Pedroia, Felix Hernandez, Gaby Sanchez, Garrett Jones, George Sherrill, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jamie Garcia, Jason Frasor, Jason Heyward, Jason Kubel, Jason Michaels, Jason Varitek, Jeff Francoeur, Jered Weaver, Jeremy Bonderman, Jeremy Hermida, Jon Rauch, Jonathan Broxton, Jose Reyes, Jose Valverde, Josh Beckett, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Kevin Youkilis, Kosuke Fukudome, Logan Morrison, Magglio Ordonez, Mark Reynolds, Martin Prado, Matt Capps, Matt Harrison, Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera, Octavio Dotel, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Ankiel, Rihanna, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Howard, Ryan Perry, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Baker, Shane Victorino, Tyler Clippard, Willie Taveras, Zach Duke, Zack Greinke