10 Important Stories From 04/13/17 Box Scores: Severino Shines, Nelson’s Breakout Continues & More

by Ray Kuhn

The steady flow of games throughout the day was deceiving, but 22 of the 30 teams were in action on Monday. And then we had the Mets and Marlins who decided to play for 16 innings; although there wasn’t much fantasy production for the second half of that game.

Let’s take a look at some of action from around the league as we we head into the weekend:

1) The Long Ball Was on Display in Detroit…

While we are less than two weeks into the 2017 season, meaning in a lot of cases it is too early to panic, there are a lot of players who vastly under performing their expectations. Two of those players, Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera, went deep for the first time this season on Thursday. They still have a long way to go before fantasy owners can rest easy, but it was at least a step in the right direction for the sluggers who are hitting .182 and .133, respectively. On the other side of the field, Miguel Sano has gotten off to a hot start. Sano hit his third home run of the season yesterday as part of a 1 for 3 day, with two walks. The third baseman is now hitting .310 on the season, and after three RBI on Thursday, he is up to 11 on the season.

2) Another Slugger Gets off the Snide…

Things have not been easy for Andrew McCutchen to start the season, amide rumors of his decline and a move to right field, but he is still a talented player. He went deep for the first time this season on Thursday, and the two run shot triple his RBI total. McCutchen is hitting just .250 on the season, and while he is not the same player he once was, there is still some value there. Just don’t over invest.

3) Brett Anderson Picks up the Win…

It is only two starts, and the Cubs are taking it slow, but Anderson deserves some attention. They aren’t going to push him deep into games, he is their fifth starter and has a history of health issues, but this might be better from a fantasy perspective. Run support and a strong bullpen won’t be an issue and Anderson is in a position to succeed. Against a strong Dodgers lineup on Thursday, Anderson picked up the victory with five innings of shutout baseball allowing three hits and four walks. Anderson lowered his ERA to 0.84 while striking out just two batters. Strikeouts will likely be an issue for Anderson, and he will need to control the walks, but as a spot starter, there is value.

4) Texas Keeps on Rolling…

While they certainly have question marks, we won’t even get into the closer situation, there are some good things going on for the Rangers. Carlos Gomez and Nomar Mazara both hit their third home runs of the season, and Yu Darvish looked as strong as ever. The Rangers gave Darvish plenty of rope, 103 pitches, and he didn’t disappoint. In seven innings of work, he kept the Angels off the scoreboard while limiting them to just five hits and two walks while striking out 10. To some degree, there is always going to be some concern about Darvish’s health, but so far he is answering those questions just fine.

5) A Pitcher’s Duel in Toronto…

Fantasy owners would love to forget Francisco Liriano’s first start of the season, he couldn’t even get out of the first inning, but it is still too soon and too fresh. Despite the fact that he picked up the loss, Liriano was the better pitcher on Thursday. However, the performance was encouraging for both the southpaw and for Kevin Gausman. Liriano allowed two runs in 6.2 innings on five hits and just two walks while striking out 10. The southpaw isn’t, obviously as bad as he looked last week, and Baltimore’s offense also has it’s share of struggles against left-handed pitching. Gausman picked up the victory with six strong innings of one run ball in which he allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three.

6) Another Strong Start for the Brewers…

Entering the day, fantasy owners were expecting an offensive explosion from Milwaukee and Cincinnati. I mean, after all, Jimmy Nelson was facing Bronson Arroyo. The Brewers’ bats delivered to some extent as they scored five runs on Arroyo, most notably home runs from Eric Thames and Ryan Braun. Nelson on the other hand delivered his second straight dominant outing as he looks to find consistency. While picking up his first victory of the season, Nelson allowed just one run (a Joey Votto sacrifice fly) in seven innings of work on five hits. Nelson didn’t walk a batter while striking out five and taking advantage of the NL Central. At the very least, Nelson should be a spot starter moving forward.

7) Is Avisail Garcia Figuring it Out…

It seems like ages ago that we were touting Garcia as a top prospect with loads of potential, but he has fizzled out over the past few seasons. The outfielder is still just 25 years old, and he still has the talent that put him on our radar a few years ago. However, if it weren’t for the rebuilding effort the White Sox are undertaking, Garcia might not be getting a chance this season. But he certainly is making good use of it. Garcia went 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBI on Thursday to bring his season total to eight and his batting average up to .452. This is clearly not a sustainable pace, but Garcia should not be ignored either.

8) Travis d’Arnaud Sends the Mets Home Happy…

The early part of 2017 is clearly an audition for d’Arnaud as the Mets are giving him one more chance to see if he can live up to his potential as a hitter. So far this season, he is doing a good job of doing just that. Thursday’s 16 inning marathon game was an example of what we should be able to expect from d’Arnaud. He got the scoring for the Mets with a bases clearing triple after they fell behind 4-0, and then in the 16th inning (after catching the entire night) he put New York ahead for good with a solo home run. On the night, d’Arnaud was 4-6 as he raised his average to .333 on the season to go along with two home runs and 9 RBI. The body of work is small, but if you are hurting at the catcher position, d’Arnaud shouldn’t be sitting on waivers.

9) The Yankees Can Breathe Easy…

Two players who failed to live up to expectations last season, Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino, were the main reasons why the Yankees were victorious last night. Hicks, who figures to get a lot of playing time in the outfield as a platoon option, went deep twice, and Severino did the rest. After needing 39 pitches to get through the first two innings (he escaped scoreless), the right-hander settled down and pitched seven strong innings for his first victory as a starting pitcher since September of 2015. His lone blemish was a Peter Bourjos home run as Severino allowed two runs on five hits while walking just one batter. For one night, we saw what Severino is truly capable of; but Tampa’s lineup is also not the most imposing. Keep this performance on your radar, but also don’t overreact based on one start.

10) Jason Vargas Dominates Oakland…

That is certainly not a phrase that I expected to appear in today’s article. But Vargas picked up the victory as he lowered his ERA to 0.66 through two starts this season. In 7.2 innings of work, he allowed just four hits and a walk while striking out eight. While Oakland certainly has some powerful bats, they also can be beat and provide a good streaming opportunity for opposing pitchers. Even after his first two starts, I’m not rushing out to grab Vargas in most leagues, but I might be a little more aware of him as a streaming option.

2 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    What are your thoughts on Bird? Hold?

    And is Herrera looking shaky to you? I can still get Iglesias

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