There were quite a few stories heading into Saturday's MLB slate but the focus for many was on the game between the Angels and Astros as Justin Verlander was taking the mound for the first time since 2019 while Noah Syndergaard, who has made just two starts since 2019, was starting opposite of him. Both were players were common topics of conversation when it came to fantasy baseball player rankings and their ADPs in fantasy baseball drafts. The injury risk with both may have had some shying away but if tonight was any indication of things to come, those who used draft capital on either starter have to feel better about that investment tonight. While the return of both was great to see, there were some other top performances from Saturday's slate to highlight including one player who is going to be a popular add off the fantasy baseball waiver wire this week so let's get to it!


Fantasy Baseball Highlights


Kyle Gibson Dominates the A's


Listen, we know the A's are not going to be a good squad this season after they traded away the majority of their top-tier talent but I don't think anybody saw this type of performance coming from Kyle Gibson of all people on Saturday. Gibson tossed seven-innings of shutout baseball while allowing just two hits with zero walks and 10 strikeouts. Gibson's strikeout prop total for this start was set at 5.0 and he doubled it. The Phillies acquired Gibson from the Rangers last season after he got off to a hot start to his season but he was dreadful for Philadelphia, posting a 5.09 EREA over 12 appearances (11 starts). Gibson went largely undrafted in fantasy baseball drafts heading into the season which means he is going to likely be a popular add off of fantasy baseball waiver wires this week. 

Noah Syndergaard Gets His First Win Since 2019


Syndergaard made his season debut on Saturday, tossing five-shutout innings while striking out one against the Astros. This was Syndergaard's first win since 2019 after injuries have limited him to just two total starts over the past two seasons. He was lifted after 76-pitches tonight which is somewhat in line with how most starting pitchers have been handled this season but given his history of arm troubles, I am fully expecting the Angels to proceed with caution when it comes to Syndergaard this season. While I'm sure fantasy baseball managers are hopeful to see more strikeouts in the future they should take solace in knowing he was able to hold down an Astros lineup that scored 13 runs off Angel pitching the night before.

Justin Verlander Looks Strong in First Start Since 2020


Since winning the 2019 American League Cy Young Award Justin Verlander had made just one start prior to Saturday's outing and he didn't miss a beat. Though throwing just five innings and 80-pitches, Verlander allowed just one run on three hits while striking out seven. His lone blemish was a home run allowed to Angels first basemen Jared Walsh but otherwise, he looked strong. With this being his first start of the season and the fact that there was a shortened spring training we are seeing many starters getting taken out of games early and that was certainly the case with Verlander today. Those who drafted Verlander in their fantasy baseball drafts this season have to be encouraged by what they saw tonight.

Logan Gilbert Lives Up to the Hype


One of the more popular “sleeper” picks at the pitching position this fantasy baseball draft season was Mariners starter Logan Gilbert. Gilbert was coming off the board around pick 162 in standard league drafts as many fantasy managers were excited for his sophomore season after he flashed as a rookie in 2021. His start against the Twins today likely had many feeling pretty good about their draft-day decision as Gilbert allowed just one run over five innings while striking out seven. He tossed just 85 pitches in this game which would lead me to believe that once we get a few more starts under his belt this year he should be pitching deeper into games. 


20 Home Runs Hit By 20 Different Players

Who doesn't love the long ball? We had 20 home runs hit on Saturday and here is the list;

Fantasy Baseball Closer Report

There were 11 relievers who notched saves on Saturday with the likes of Taylor Rogers and Jordan Romano picking up their second saves of the season. Raisel Iglesias, Aroldis Chapman, Corey Knebel, Andrew Kittredge, Will Smith, Anthony Bender, Diego Castillo, Aaron Bummer and Daniel Bard all picked up their first saves of the year.  Will Smith closed out the game for the Braves after Kenley Jansen struggled on opening day, allowing three runs on three hits. Aaron Bummer grabbed the save for the White Sox after closer Liam Hendriks took the blown save, loss on Friday. Make sure you check out the fantasy baseball closer grid all season long as we update it continually throughout the season. 

Sunday MLB Betting Advice

Make sure to check out our Underdog Fantasy player prop top plays as well as our PrizePicks MLB player prop top plays and take advantage of the deposit bonus offers we have going on with both partners today. Some favorable matchups to look at based on current Vegas odds would be the Phillies against the A's with Philadelphia currently a -200 favorite. The Tampa Bay Rays are -222 favorites over the Orioles. The Atlanta Braves are -200 favorites against the Reds. The Blue Jays are -250 favorites against the Rangers and the Cardinals are -210 favorites against the Pirates. 



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