04.09.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes

A full slate of great games on the second Saturday of the season including a Doubleheader in Baltimore and a suspended game in San Diego. Kudos to the schedule makers for all the great divisional rivalries right off the bat – none better than Yankees-Red Sox which always has a playoff atmosphere and tons of fantasy implications. The Red Sox were desperate to build on Friday’s first win, but it was not to be as the Yanks prevailed 9-4. Not to be outdone, the Phillies hot bats picked right back up after Friday’s loss to crush their chief rival Braves 10-2. The Rangers were blanked in the opener by the O’s but then turned around and spanked them in the night cap 13-1. And then we had A’s at Twins – wow, what a slug fest as the A’s prevail 1-0 behind Gio. Neither of these teams can hit their way out of a wet paper bag. The Rays nightmare April continues as they dropped to 1-7 reminiscent of their pre-2008 dominance. The Giants Miguel Tejada walked off on the Cardinals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win.

On the injury front – Matt Holiday will return to the Cardinals lineup Sunday as fantasy owners rejoice. Hopefully they aren’t rushing him back, if you have a deep bench I’d wait and see what he does Sunday before slotting him in. J.J. Hardy left the nightcap of the DH with a strained oblique and is likely heading to the DL. Cody Ross is cleared to intensify his rehab – who cares though, really? Zach Greinke could return before May, now that’s good news for fantasy owners who either kept Greinke or took him in early rounds dreaming of what he will do to NL lineups.

Zach Britton – 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3:2… Britton was very impressive in his 2nd MLB start shutting out and cooling off the high powered Rangers offense, the first SP to do so this young season. I think we can safely add Britton’s name to the Waiver wire gems. I’ve stashed him on my bench but was hesitant to start him today, but he’ll definitely be in my lineup in 5 days.

Mark Reynolds – 2/6, HR, 3 RBI, BB (total for DH)… Reynolds had his second straight 3 rbi game and hit his first HR in game 1 of the DH. Nick Markakis also hit his first HR in game 1.

Dustin Pedroia – 3/4, R, 2 RBI, BB… Pedroia had his second straight solid game with 3 doubles in the loss. He is now batting .355

Carl Crawford – 1/5 and Jacoby Ellsbury 1/4, R, RBI … continue to scuffle in the early going.

Mark Teixera – 0/5 … has remembered it’s April and saw his average dip to .200 as he is hitless in his last 15 ABs since his 1st inning HR Tuesday.

Russell Martin – 2/4, 2HR, 2 R, 4 RBI… His best game yet as a Yankee hitting homers 2 and 3. Still only 56% owned in Yahoo leagues – Martin should be picked up in all formats hitting in this Yankee lineup.

Brett Gardner – 0/5 … after his best game of the season, he had his worst – thanks for jinxing him yesterday Mike! His average dipped to .192.

Clay Buchholz – 3.2IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3:2… The warnings of regression were everywhere and we’re already seeing it as Buccholz struggled for the 2nd straight start. If you own Buchholz in, say, a public league where you’re facing less informed managers you should be trying to sell him now at 2010 value while you can.

Shane Victorino – 4/5, 2R, RBI, SB… Victorino is on a tear with his 4th straight multi-hit game upping his average to .375 and also stealing a base for the second straight day. Victorino and Jimmy Rollins have really found a groove batting 1st and 3rd respectively for Charlie Manuel.

Carlos Ruiz – 2/2, 2 R, GS, 5 RBI… Chooch was the offensive star for the Phillies and he didn’t even start as he hit his first career Salami and then adding an RBI double. I said Chooch is one of the most under rated players in MLB and I still believe this.

Carlos Beltran – 2/4, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI… Welcome to the 2011 season Mr. Beltran. He probably went undrafted in some shallower leagues so might not be a bad idea to pick him up and see what he’s got left in the tank.

Prince Fielder – 3/4, 4 RBI… Prince is locked in as he absolutely smoked 3 balls for doubles. As the weather warms up some of these doubles, especially the last one he hit, are going to start finding the seats.

Chris Narveson – 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1:9… Narveson has now pitched 13 innings with nary a run allowed and 14 Ks to boot. I will admit – Narveson was no where near my radar (had him at #98 SP) going into the season but he is definitely someone to watch as he should be available in most leagues (6% owned in Yahoo).

Gio Gonzalez – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2:4… Gonzalez is now 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA. But before you go crazy – I’m a little concerned about some of his peripherals and he has faced two less than stellar offenses. He walks a ton of guys and had a pretty low BABIP last year. Might not be a bad idea to dangle him and see what you can get.

The Rangers – Hamilton, Beltre (HR – his 2nd), Young, Cruz (HR – 5th), and Napoli (HR – 3rd) broke out the big sticks on the Orioles in the 2nd game of their double header.

Carlos Gonzalez – 3/4, R, RBI… Bounced back from his heinous 0/7 with 3 hits to get back to .333 in the early going but he’s still looking for his first HR and hasn’t stolen a base since opening day.

Billy Butler – 2/3, R, BB… Butler has 4 straight multi hit games and 5/6 and a 7 game hit streak, so yeah, he’s off to a good start. I said I loved him this year and now I really wish I hadn’t let him slip past me in our draft.

Howie Kendrick – 2/6, R, HR, RBI… Kendrick continues his torrid start with another multi-hit night. He’s hit in every game and hit his 4th HR tonight, too bad they’ve all be solo jobs. Kendrick’s ADP was around 183 so chances are you got him late in your draft as a 2B2 or maybe you even plucked him off waivers – enjoy the ride for April which is historically his second best month.

Andre Ethier – 3/5, R, HR, 2 RBI… Ethier has quietly put together a nice week and tonight he hit his 1st HR.

Matt Kemp – 3/5, R, 3 SB… Yeah Mike looks like you have the upper hand so far in our Kemp – Holiday trade, but we have a lot of season to go.

Back to you Mike, hope I did you proud.

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