Archive for Around the Majors

10 Important Stories From 04/20/17 Box Scores: Souza’s “Breakout”, McCullers Impresses & More

by Ray Kuhn

Thursday began with a pitching duel in Toronto, and there was limited offense throughout the day. Oakland closed out the night by scoring nine runs, and that was the high point for the day as James Paxton showed he is mortal (five earned runs in 4.1 innings). And if anyone was surprised, Eric Thames went deep once again. This time it came off Carlos Martinez as some of Thames’ early home runs have been courtesy of pitchers with less than ideal resumes.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of the 11 game slate.

1) Can You Top This…

With no disrespect to Marco Estrada, he never had a chance on Thursday. The Blue Jays right-hander did end with a no decision, and it’s hard to find fault, but facing Chris Sale while backed by a less than ideal offense, that was missing Josh Donaldson, is not going to be a recipe for success. Estrada pitched six shutout innings while limiting Boston to just three hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts. Despite how things might appear on the surface, Estrada continues to be a solid pitcher who is a showing he can be a fantasy asset. Across the field though, Chris Sale is putting an end to any thoughts that he needed an adjustment period to acclimate himself to Boston, a new team, or the AL East. Sale turned in eight shutout innings of work in which he struck out 13 batters and allowed just four hits and one walk. Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/19/17 Box Scores: Keuchel’s Revival, Is Haniger For Real & More

by Ray Kuhn

Based on some of the pitchers who were taking the mound on Wednesday, some legitimate offensive outbursts were expected. Instead, the offense we saw, in some cases was lacking to put it mildly. If you expected the Red Sox, Reds, or Diamondbacks to be shut out, then more power to you. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from a busy Wednesday around baseball:

1) Is Dexter Fowler Busting Out…

Fowler is a known entity who has had consistent success in his career thus far. The Cardinals are sticking with their free agent addition at the top of the order, but before yesterday he really wasn’t giving them a reason for doing so. However, Fowler ruined an otherwise strong outing from Gerrit Cole (eight strikeouts in six innings on six hits and two walks) and was responsible for both of St. Louis’ runs. Fowler rewarded owners who either bought low or did not give up on him as he went deep twice for his first home runs and RBI of the season. The outfielder also added a single to raise his average to .183 on the season. On the other side of the field, Josh Bell went deep for the first time this season, and is another player fantasy owners might want to think twice about giving up on. The fact that he is batting second in the order does play a factor here as well. Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/18/17 Box Scores: Duvall A Must Buy, Severino Reaching Potential & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

On the day Buster Posey (3-5) returned, there were some noteworthy poor pitching performances.  It was a rough outing for Marcus Stroman, who allowed 6 ER on 11 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 4.2 IP against the Red Sox.  Kevin Gausman took one on the chin as well, getting pummeled for 8 ER on 8 H and 3 BB over 2.2 IP at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds.  The implosion of Jimmy Nelson, who has gained some hype, shouldn’t come as a surprise as he allowed 7 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 5.1 IP.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Has Luis Severino finally turned the corner…
Unfortunately for him he made two mistakes (home runs to Leurys Garcia & Avisail Garcia, who had the biggest blow going 1-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R) and Miguel Gonzalez did not (8.1 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K).  Still Severino finished the day going 8.0 innings allowing 4 R (3 earned) on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 10.  We do have to keep in mind that the White Sox have been one of the least explosive offenses this season, so next week (Red Sox, Orioles) will be far more telling.  Still he generated 17 swinging strikes and 10 groundballs, showing off a skill set that can thrive anywhere against any offense.  He now has 21 K over his past two starts, which obviously is going to open some eyes.  He needs to start keeping the ball in the ballpark (4 HR allowed), something that has hurt him in the past (1.36 HR/9 in the Majors entering the day).  If he does that the sky is truly the limit.  Either way, with the way he’s pitching he’s a must own in all formats to find out if he can put it all together. Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/17/17 Box Scores: Selling High On Mazara, Benintendi’s Breakout & More

by Ray Kuhn

The Red Sox got things going nice and early in the morning on Monday, and then we had to wait until the evening for the rest of yesterday’s action. Entering the night, it looked like there was the potential for some ugly pitching performances, and therefore lots of offense, based on the slate; but the most runs scored on the night was seven (by the Yankees and Rangers). Let’s take a look at some of the performances from the day around the major leagues:

1) No Sophomore Slump, Yet, in Boston…

By no means do I think Andrew Benintendi will actually succumb to a sophomore slump, but it has to be something at least in the back of your mind. He didn’t have a true freshman campaign last season after his promotion, but at some point, young hitters have to go through some kind of adjustment phase. It is still early in the 2017 season, but Benintendi certainly looks comfortable batting second for Boston. The fact that it is between Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts also cannot hurt. With Jackie Bradley Jr currently on the disabled list, Benintendi has slid over to center field without an issue. On Monday he went 3 for 4 with two RBI to raise his average to .314 and to bring his season total to nine RBI. In time, the home runs will come, he currently has one, but I wouldn’t be concerned as he knows how to hit. Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/16/17 Box Scores: Selling High On Bundy, Buying Taillon’s Start & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Trey Mancini slugged 2 HR for the second time in his past three games, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  If he keeps this up the Orioles are going to be forced to find AB for him on a daily basis (he was at 1B yesterday).  Eric Thames went deep for the fourth straight game, finishing 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  Bryce Harper had a monster day himself, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R (including a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth).  Greg Bird broke out of his slump (3-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), though we will talk about him later today.  What else happened on the field we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Dylan Bundy stars against the Blue Jays…
Bundy was the latest pitcher to stymy Toronto, tossing 6.0 shutout innings while allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6.  It’s the second time he’s beat the Blue Jays this season and has allowed 3 ER or fewer in all three of his starts (the other came in Boston).  He now owns a 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP on the season, though home runs could ultimately become an issue (especially pitching in Baltimore).  It’ll be something to watch moving forward, especially since he allowed 18 HR over 109.2 IP last season and he’s fly ball prone in the early going.  It’s a great start for a name owners have been waiting for, but don’t be shy to sell high. Read more

10 Important Stories From 04/15/17 Box Scores: Selling High On Puig, Struggles For Glasnow & Manaea & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The biggest stories from yesterday center around injuries, with names like Jake Odorizzi, Marcus Semien, Logan Forsyth and Gregory Polanco all been forced to be scratched or pulled yesterday (and Odorizzi has already landed on the DL).  Of course the news didn’t stop there.  Ervin Santana silenced the White Sox by throwing a complete game 1 H shutout, walking 1 and striking out 8.  Justin Verlander struggled, allowing 9 ER on 11 H over 4.0 IP against the Indians.  Jacob deGrom continues to look like his old self, allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 13, against the Marlins though he had to settle for a no decision.  What else happened that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) An ineffectively wild day for Carlos Martinez…
The final line shouldn’t have been quite as bad as it was, as the Cardinals inexplicably brought a wild Carlos Martinez back out for the sixth.  He did strikeout 11, though he ultimately allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 8 BB over 5.1 IP against the Yankees.  While he had walked just 1 batter in his first two starts, he was coming off a game where he hit 2 batters and allowed 5 ER over 5.0 IP.  His control has generally not been pinpoint (3.23 BB/9 last season), but this is obviously extreme.  At least he was still generating strikeouts and managed to limit the runs allowed.  This isn’t a red flag, at least not yet, and we’d expect a rebound in his next outing. Read more