Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: April 4
Greg Jewett goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
Picking up where he left off last year, Jacob deGrom not only dominated the Marlins on the road, but he tied Bob Gibson’s consecutive quality start streak at 26 after firing seven shutout innings. deGrom limited Miami to two hits and a walk while striking out 14 moving his scoreless streak to 25 innings in the process. He threw 92 pitches generating 26 swinging strikes (28.2 swinging strike percentage) with nine each by his change and slider. deGrom also produced 15 called strikes punctuating his performance.
Working in deGrom’s shadow on Wednesday, Matt Boyd also recorded 26 swinging strikes against the Yankees in New York. Boyd notched 10 swinging strikes with his four-seam fastball and 13 with his slider. Although the two pitches dominated his repertoire, Boyd also mixed in 11 curves. He did not factor in the decision, but Boyd did fire 6.1 strong innings yielding only five hits, one earned run and three walks with his 13 strikeouts. More pitching capsules, bullpen updates and hitter highlights will ensue in the Round Up.
Starting Pitcher notes: Peralta outduels Castillo
Perhaps the cooler weather in Cincinnati played a part, but Freddy Peralta and Luis Castillo engaged in a terrific pitcher’s duel Wednesday afternoon. Peralta worked eight innings giving up only two hits and striking out 11 en route to his first win of the season. He generated 20 swinging strikes, 15 with his four-seam fastball, and 16 called strikes of his 100 pitches. Of his batted ball outs recorded, Peralta yielded eight fly outs, two infield line drives and three pop-ups. Whether or not Peralta can maintain this over a season with two pitches remains to be seen, but it’s still a noteworthy performance.
Castillo takes the loss but finished seven innings allowing a hit, one earned run and four walks with nine strikeouts. He produced 18 swinging strikes, 11 with his change-up, and 26 called strikes for a whopping 44 between the two statistics of his 107 pitches to lead all pitchers on Wednesday.
In an effort to streamline the information, here’s the other noteworthy performances:
Charlie Morton , Tampa Bay - 88 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 16 called. Morton fired six shutout innings in a no-decision versus the Rockies with six strikeouts.
German Márquez , Colorado - 91 pitches, 15 swinging strikes, 21 called. He held the Rays to three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in a no-decision.
Carlos Rodón , Chicago White Sox - 103 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 21 called. Rodon racked up 14 swinging strikes with his slider alone (13.6 swinging strike percentage) resulting in nine strikeouts on the day over six innings of work. He allowed two hits, one run and zero earned runs with one walk in Cleveland.
Joey Lucchesi , San Diego - 83 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 12 called. Despite only pitching five innings, Lucchesi accrued six strikeouts and his second win of the season.
Matt Shoemaker , Toronto - 92 pitches, 18 swinging strikes, 14 called. If he’s truly healthy, Shoemaker will headline waiver bids this weekend. His split-fingered fastball produced 10 swinging strikes as Shoemaker hurled seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts against one walk.
Jameson Taillon , Pittsburgh - 83 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 18 called. Taillon deserved better than a no-decision, but his bullpen let him down. He held St. Louis to three hits and an earned run with five strikeouts in seven innings.
Mike Minor , Texas - 92 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 20 called. Rebound effort of the day by Minor against Houston at home. He gets his first win holding them to five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Not listed, both Aaron Nola and Corey Kluber struggled in their starts. Nola lasted three innings giving up five hits, six earned runs and two walks with only two strikeouts. This ties the shortest start of his career when he only pitched three innings versus Miami on May 31st, 2017. Kluber pitched 3.1 innings allowing eight hits, six runs (four earned) and three walks with four strikeouts. There will be better days ahead, but not Klubler’s velocities going forward.
Bullpen Updates: Hold on Brasier
Representing one of the many teams to enter the season without a named closer, Boston warned about this. Matt Barnes did record the team’s first save, but entered in the highest leverage situation on Wednesday facing Khris Davis in the bottom of the seventh of a tied game. He then stayed in to pitch a scoreless eighth. After Boston rallied against Fernando Rodney , no surprise, Ryan Brasier threw a clean ninth for his first save of the year. Yes, Barnes will remain above Brasier in the pecking order of the bullpen, but this will continue to happen over the course of the season.
Bullpen Quick Hits:
Both Seranthony Domínguez and David Robertson struggled in a tough loss in Washington. Does this open the door to a Héctor Neris save chance? Owners of Robertson should bench him until he turns the corner.
Sean Doolittle benefited with the walk-off win after pitching a clean ninth. But he’s the only effective arm in his bullpen.
Shane Greene leads the league with four saves after striking out one in a clean outing in New York.
Toronto’s Ken Giles struck out both hitters he faced for his second save.
The good news, Edwin Díaz notched his third save. However, he’s been forced to pitch in four of the six Mets games so far. He cannot keep up this workload all season.
If one owns a Cubs reliever, do not look at last night’s boxscore.
Another scoreless outing for José Leclerc in a non-save appearance.
Save number three for Kenley Jansen with a clean ninth and a strikeout.
Hitter Highlights: Moncada raking
It’s only a week of games, but Yoán Moncada ’s cut down his swinging strikes and improved his contact in the strike zone. He went 2-for-3 on Wednesday with his second home run, scored three runs, drove in two and walked twice. Presently, Moncada owns a 1.422 on-base plus slugging percentage. Teammate José Abreu drove in three runs as well.
Not sure how the Twins can get more at-bats for Willians Astudillo , but here’s hoping they do. He finished with three hits in five at-bats, two runs, a double and an RBI. Mitch Garver also chipped in with three hits, two runs and two RBI.
Whit Merrifield extended his hit streak to 25 games in a loss to Minnesota. He’s slashing .302/.364/.443 in it dating back to September 10th of last year. Alex Gordon hit his first home run and drove in four in the loss. Billy Hamilton stole his first base of the year.
Breaking the snide, Manny Machado launched the first home run of his Padres career, scored two runs, drove in two and walked twice. He also played 2-2-2 in the lottery.
It’s not going to get national attention, but Trey Mancini ’s hitting fly balls over 47 percent of the time so far this year with a hard hit rate above 52 percent. He also hit his third home run of the season in Toronto. For a reference point, Mancini ended last year with a 26.5 fly ball rate. Speculate now before the buy window expires.
Celebrating his new contract, Randal Grichuk crushed two home runs leading the Blue Jays to a win in support of Matt Shoemaker . Grichuk could be a cheap 30 home runs compared to preseason price point.
Brandon Nimmo owners may be concerned. He’s hitting .100 with a .380 on-base plus slugging percentage. He’s also struck out 13 times in his first 20 at-bats. Pete Alonso continues to rake with two more hits, a double and an RBI.
No one wanted a lead-off hitter with improved metrics during the second half of last year. However, Adam Frazier racked up three hits, two of them doubles, an RBI and stole his first base.
Rebound candidate Willson Contreras went 3-for-4 in a loss with his first home run and two RBI.
Batting lead-off versus right-handed pitching, Ozzie Albies recorded a smash and dash with his first home run along with stealing a base.
Another hitter trying to generate a higher launch angle, Nomar Mazara , hit his second home run last night and he’s currently slashing a .300/.417/.700 for Texas. Things which make you go, hmmmm.
Getting a second catcher with upside late in drafts forced Blake Swihart on to a couple of my roster. Swihart hit a 415 foot home run with a 102.5 MPH exit velocity and 27 degree launch angle along with going 3-for-4 last night. Yes please.
Last, but not least, Kiké Hernández went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, his third home run, an RBI and a walk. By the way, the Dodgers offense so far:
Dodgers’ offense so far in 2019— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 4, 2019
.945 OPS (1st in the majors)
18 homers (1st)
.388 OPB (2nd)
0.61 GB/Flyball rate (3rd)
52 strikeouts (20th)
37 walks (1st)
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MLB.com - game notes