With four Opening Days behind us (thanks for that, Bud Selig), it’s time for the daily grind of looking at box scores and monitoring trends so we can keep keep ahead of the curve in our leagues. Pouring through box scores can be an time-consuming task, but the good news is that I’m here to the heavy lifting for you.
Each and every day, I’ll be combing over box scores and scouring local beat writers’ reports to make sure you have all the information you need in order to make the right decisions for your fantasy baseball lineup. Make sure you check back at this very spot for Hot/Cold Streaks, Injury News, Closer Updates, Daily Stats, and more so that you can stay one step ahead of the rest of your league.
And of course, don’t forget to play Daily Fantasy Sports at FP911Challenge.com
Before we get to today’s games, let’s take a spin through last night’s box scores to identify the Studs and Duds from Friday, April 6th.
5 Good Nights
Chad Billingsley: 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 11 K’s, W
Jered Weaver: 8 IP, 0 ER, 10 K’s, W
Jake Arrieta: 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 K’s, W
Carlos Pena: 3-5, 1 R, HR, 5 RBI
Nick Markakis: 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Honorable Mention: Evan Longoria, Melky Cabrera, Bruce Chen, Yadier Molina, Ian Kinsler, David Freese, Carlos Beltran, Colby Lewis
5 Bad Nights
Yovani Gallardo: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 K’s
James Shields: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 K’s
Cory Luebke: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 6 K’s
Curtis Granderson: 0-5
Ryan Braun: 0-5
Dishonorable Mention: C.C. Sabathia, Tim Lincecum
Daily Grab Bag
Check back here for daily updates on injuries, closer battles, player news, and anything else that might affect your fantasy baseball team.
- After word came out that Jonathan Broxton would start the season as the Royal’s closer, the zaftig righthander gained more job security without even taking the mound. Aaron Crow (3 ER in 1.1 IP) and Greg Holland (2 ER in .2 IP) each had a bit of a melt-down against the Angles last night to help solidify Broxton’s hold on the closer job.
- Adam Dunn started the 2012 on the right foot by going 1 for 3 with a home run during a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Dunn’s struggles last year have been well-documented, but the White Sox’ slugger is still only 32 years old and has plenty of pop left in his bat. Dunn’s current average of .333 will probably the high-water mark for this season, but he has the potential for 35-40 home runs and is a player to keep an eye on this month.
- After Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves collaborated to lose the Red Sox’ Opening Day matchup to the Detroit Tigers, General Manager Ben Cherington reiterated that the team is “committed to Daniel Bard as a starter right now”. The last two words of that quote didn’t exactly slam the door on the possibility of Bard serving as Boston’s closer, and a couple more bad outings from closer-du-jour, Aceves, could lead to a changing of the guard for the Red Sox.
- This offseason’s top international acquisition, Yoenis Cespedes, continued his assault on Major League pitching with his second home run in three games during last night’s 7-3 loss to the Mariners. Cespedes tends to have trouble hitting the breaking ball, but the early returns are looking good for the A’s on their investment.
- The closer situation for the Chicago White Sox remains in-flux as rumors of a dreaded “closer by committee” were swirling yesterday. The White Sox didn’t have an opportunity for a save during their 3-2 the loss to Rangers last night, but the fact that Addison Reed and Matt Thornton were both used while the team was trailing does not bode well for either pitcher. Reading between the lines here, Hector Santiago and Jesse Crain appear to be the last men standing, but check back here for updates as this situation could change by the day.
A quick look at some of today’s pitchers to start (3 Up), pitchers to sit (3 Down), pitchers to take a flier on if you need a spot-start (Throwing Darts), and batters with advantageous matchups (Today’s Mashers).
1. Cliff Lee at Pittsburgh Pirates
(In his only start against the Pirates last year, Lee struck out 11 in 7.2 innings.)
2. Felix Hernandez at Oakland Athletics
(Hernandez has posted a 2.51 ERA in 64.1 innings against the Athletics over the last three seasons.)
3. Dan Haren vs. Kansas City Royals
(In his last three starts against the Royals, Haren has picked up two wins while only allowing four runs over 21 innings.)
1. Jake Peavy at Texas Rangers
(In two starts against the Rangers last year, Peavy allowed nine runs in nine innings. Combine that with the fact that he’s playing at the launching pad that is The Ballpark at Arlington, and you’re playing with fire by starting Peavy.)
2. Ricky Nolasco at Cincinnati Reds
(Over the past three seasons, Nolasco has posted a dismal 4.78 ERA in road games and has matched that with a 4.73 ERA against the Reds during that timespan.)
3. Matt Garza vs Washington Nationals
(Garza has a 7.90 ERA in three career starts against the Nationals.)
1. Luke Hochevar at Los Angeles Angels
(Hochevar finished the 2011 season strong, posting a 3.49 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 67 innings during his last 10 starts.)
2. R.A. Dickey vs. Atlanta Braves
(The knuckleballer held the Braves to a .190 average in four starts against Atlanta last season.)
2. Chris Capuano at San Diego Padres
(Yes, it was only Spring Training, but Capuano looked stellar this March in posting a 2.75 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.)
1. Delmon Young is 5 for 14 (.357) in his career against today’s starter, Josh Beckett.
2. Nick Swisher is 10 for 22 (.455) in his career against today’s starter, David Price.
3. Colby Rasmus is 7 for 17 (.412) in his career against today’s starter, Ubaldo Jimenez.