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Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight 4/26: Marlins’ Josh Johnson Three-Hits Padres, Strikes Out 12

Tue, Apr 27, 2010

Insiders Tonight

Photo: Chris Creamer, Sportslogos.net

After a weekend break, Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight is back with everything you need to know from Monday night’s action. Game No. 18 of 162 featured two of the hardest throwing young arms in the game: Mat Latos and Josh Johnson.

Game No. 18 – San Diego Padres vs. Florida Marlins

Josh Johnson threw a complete game three-hitter against the Padres Monday night, allowing just one run (a sac fly in the eighth) on 117 pitches. The 6-foot-7 right-hander also struck out 12 batters, while issuing just one free pass.

If there were any worries about Johnson’s previous less-than-spectacular starts, he silenced those concerns Monday night. Johnson worked mostly off his fastball, which sat at 94-96 MPH for most of the night. His last pitch of the game, a called third strike to Chase Headley, was clocked at 98 MPH. He also flashed an upper-80′s slider and mixed in the occasional changeup.

At 26-years-old, he remains one of the most valuable young pitchers in fantasy baseball.

22-year-old Mat Latos countered Johnson with an equally explosive mid-90′s fastball, but didn’t yield the same results. Latos was removed after just 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and three walks.

His season ERA ballooned from 3.57 to 6.20. There’s no doubting Latos’ talent, but just like with most young pitchers, he’s likely to be very inconsistent in his first full season at the big league level.

Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a walk, two runs, and his second HR of the season – his first since April 7. The Florida shortstop is now batting .286, and remains the second best player in fantasy baseball.

Dan Uggla went 2-for-5 with two runs, a HR, three RBI and a stolen base. While his .329 batting average won’t last, it’s important to note that since 2006, the Marlins’ second baseman has averaged more HRs (30) per season than any other player at his position, including Chase Utley.

Other news from around the league:


HITTERS

Hitter of the day: Gregg Zaun (4-for-4, BB, 3 R, 5 RBI)

Gregg Zaun’s 4-for-4, three-run, five-RBI day overshadowed Prince Fielder’s three hits and Casey McGehee’s grand slam, as the Brewers pounded the Pirates 17-3.

Despite his monster day, Zaun doesn’t figure to have much value outside of deep leagues this season. McGehee, on the other hand, is well on his way to proving his 2009 season wasn’t a fluke. In 70 at-bats this season, the 27-year-old is batting .329 with five HRs and 18 RBI.

The Boston/Toronto game Monday night featured 25 runs of 34 hits. Eight different players (Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, Adrian Beltre, Adam Lind, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay) recorded three hits. Scutaro led all players with four runs, while Varitek, Overbay and Jose Bautista tallied four RBI.

Marlon Byrd went 3-for-5 with a run and RBI batting cleanup in the Cubs’ lineup for the third time this season. Though he had never hit more than 10 HRs in a season before 2009, the 32-year-old Byrd sports a career .281 average and currently leads Cubs’ regulars with a .355 batting clip. He’s likely to push for 20 HRs and 100 RBI in 2010.

Brandon Inge went 3-for-5 with his first two HRs and three RBI against the Rangers Monday night. After a ridiculous April last season (17 runs, seven HRs, 18 RBI, .319 average in 69 at-bats), Inge has returned to his light-hitting ways. The soon-to-be 33-year-old is now batting .270 with 11 RBI in 74 at-bats this season.

Royals’ cleanup hitter Jose Guillen went 1-for-4 with an RBI Monday night. The soon-to-be 24-year-old is now batting .346, and has 18 RBI through 19 games this season. Though his current pace is obviously unsustainable, Guillen remains capable of pushing 20 HRs and 100 RBI in 2010.

Colby Rasmus went 2-for-3 with a walk and a HR Monday night against the Braves. The 23-year-old center fielder is now batting .315 with 13 runs, six HRs, 11 RBI and three steals in 18 games this season.  The 2005 first-rounder is flashing the talent that makes him one of the most valuable young hitters in keeper and dynasty leagues.

Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a walk, HR, three RBI and a stolen base Monday night. The 24-year-old is likely to gain eligibility at every outfield position at some point this season. After hitting 13 HRs and stealing 16 bases with a .284 average in just 278 at-bats last season, the sky is the limit for the former Arizona farmhand.

PITCHERS

Pitcher of the day: Josh Johnson (W, 9 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 12 K – featured above)

Josh Beckett allowed eight runs on nine hits and three walks in just three innings against the Blue Jays, raising his ERA through five starts to 7.22. While it’s still very early in the season, there is a slight cause for concern. After blanking the Rays in seven innings on April16, Beckett has allowed seven-plus runs in consecutive starts, and owns a 20:13 K:BB ratio through 28 2/3 innings.

Yovani Gallardo turned in another quality start against the Pirates Monday night, allowing two unearned runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. The 24-year-old’s elevated walk rate (3.94 BB/9 career) remains a cause for concern, but the Brewers’ ace has an extremely bright future, and currently owns a 3.41 ERA after five starts.

Kyle Davis shutout the light-hitting Mariners through six innings Monday night, allowing just one hit and three walks. The 26-year-old has now posted a quality start in three of his four outings this season. Despite this, Davies remains a risky option, especially in his next scheduled start on Saturday against the Rays.

Dan Haren allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in eight innings against the Rockies Monday night. He also struck out 10 batters, lowering his ERA to 4.50 through five starts. Despite his early struggles, Haren’s 1.18 WHIP and 38:8 K:BB ratio in 34 innings are signs that a sub-3.50 ERA is soon to follow.

Jered Weaver posted his fifth quality start in as many outings against the Indians Monday night. In six innings, he allowed one run on seven hits and one walk, while striking out seven. The 2004 first-round pick is now 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a 34:6 K:BB ratio in 32 innings this season.

Jonathan Sanchez followed up his back-to-back 10-plus strikeout performances by out-dueling Roy Halladay Monday night. Sanchez did allow five walks and three hits in just five innings, though he yielded just one run and fanned six. The 27-year-old southpaw now owns a 1.85 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 32:14 K:BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings this season.

RELIEVERS

Neftali Feliz took the loss in a non-save situation Monday night against the Tigers. Entering the game tied at six in the top of the ninth, Feliz allowed back-to-back HRs to Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge, raising his season ERA to 4.66. Despite this brutal outing, Frank Francisco has been much worse, leaving the Rangers’ ninth inning duties to Feliz – for now.

Bruce Chen registered the first save of his 13-year-career Monday night against the Mariners, recording just one out in place of Royals’ closer Joakim Soria, who had pitched a total of three innings in the two previous days.

Check back all season for more Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates!

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