Around The Majors: April 17: Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer go Head to Head and More

by Will Overton

Last night was a fun night of baseball. There were a lot of hitters and pitchers alike who are unowned in a lot of fantasy baseball leagues making an impression and doing big things last night. Several under the radar pitchers in particular posted really strong lines. At the end of the night though it was the big boys stealing the show in a pitchers showdown between Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer.

Here is the rundown of all the night’s action:

  • One of the most potent offenses in baseball so far is the Atlanta Braves. Yesterday Wade Davis completely shut them down. Davis threw seven scoreless innings and struck out seven, walking none. After a bit of a rough first outing Davis has now thrown 12 scoreless innings in his last two starts. Davis finally showed strong strikeout potential last season as a reliever and so far is showing as a starter this season too.
  • So far Seth Smith hasn’t been in much of a platoon and so long as he keeps hitting the ball the way he is he won’t end up in one either. Smith went 3 – 5 from the plate last night hitting in the two spot in the order and scoring one run. Smith is now hitting .447 for the season and still is owned in just 5% of leagues.
  • In a deep league it’s not easy to find pitching on the waiver wire, but Jose Quintana is still under the radar for the most part, owned in only 2% of leagues. Quintana threw 6.2 scoreless innings last night. Quintana struck out seven in the game and now has 17 K’s in 17.2 IP and hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts.
  • It looks like Tyler Flowers is settling in as what you can expect from him. Last night he went 2 – 4 and hit his third HR of the season. The 2 – 4 night only brought his average up to .195 overall still. You can expect him in the lower part of the .200’s in average, but with some decent power that should land him close to or above 20 HR’s.
  • After not looking overly impressive in his first two starts Mike Leake needed last night’s win. Lake pitched seven scoreless and struck out seven, not walking anyone. There was already talk about Tony Cingrani taking Leake’s spot when Johnny Cueto comes back so he has to cement himself in this rotation.
  • It was a bad start to the season for Zack Cozart, but it is getting better. Five games ago Cozart was hitting .114, but he is 9 – 22 his last five games and after he went 3 – 5 last night he has three multi-hit games in there. Cozart also scored three times last night and has scored at least once in seven straight games. Cozart could do big things as the Reds number two hitter and you need to snatch him up before it’s too late, currently he is available in 65% of leagues.
  • Yet another guy went seven scoreless last night in A.J. Burnett for Pittsburgh. Burnett only walked one and struck out eight. So far in four games Burnett has struck out 35 batters in just 24 IP which is an incredible ratio. After struggling to go deep so far it was nice to see him make seven innings in this one.
  • He did get outpitched by Burnett, but Shelby Miller still showed well. Miller went 6 IP allowing 2 ER with 6 H, 1 BB and 6 K. Miller has a 1.96 ERA in three starts and 18 K’s in 18.1 IP. There will be bumps in the road, but I think it’s clear Miller was ready for the MLB.
  • With Wilson Ramos out there is no longer a time share in Washington at catcher as Kurt Suzuki is getting all the AB’s right now. Suzuki went 2 – 3 last night with 2 R, 1 HR and 2 RBI, also getting a triple. Suzuki is 6 – 12 his last four games and is hitting .360. He’s worth owning in at least two catcher formats and deep leagues.
  • There isn’t a whole lot of flash to Ross Detwiler, but he keeps on getting it done. Detwiler allowed one run over seven innings last night and struck out five. He now has allowed just 2 ER over 20 IP in three starts. He doesn’t get a ton of K’s (11 so far), but he’s going to help you out in the ratios enough to be worth owning. Think like Kyle Lohse type of a deal.
  • On back-to-back nights now Kelly Johnson has done deep for Tampa Bay, hitting his third HR of the season last night. Johnson was 2 – 5 in the game to raise his average to .229. The average isn’t impressive, but it should trend upwards slightly as things even out and he’s going to get some decent stats across the board.
  • Making the most of the chance that he has replacing Carlos Quentin, Kyle Blanks had another nice night. Blanks was 2 – 3 last night with a HR and 2 RBI. Blanks is now 5 – 11 in this series with 3 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. If he hits he’ll stick even after Quentin comes back. Blanks has a lot of unfulfilled potential as a hitter and there is legit power upside here so watch close.
  • It was a pitchers dual no-decision in the Seattle vs. Detroit game. Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer posted almost identical lines going 8 IP and allowing one run each while both struck out 12 batters a piece. Felix Hernandez is an ace and a lot people think this is Scherzer’s year where he becomes one, so far so good on that end.

Bullpen News and Notes

  • Save number three of the year for Greg Holland and finally a dominant performance. Prior to yesterday Holland had put at least two runners on base in every appearance this season. Yesterday he came in with a one run lead and struck out the side. His job was in jeopardy and so that was a big game for him.
  • This wasn’t pretty, but Joaquin Benoit collected his first save last night. Benoit came on in the 14th inning with a one run lead. Benoit allowed two hits and was saved by some nice throws by his fielders to get the final out at the plate. It’s his job right now, but it’s not the safest bet in the world.

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