Danny Valencia went 3-for-4 and hit a two-run homer in the first inning to lead the Athletics over the Angels 7-3 on Saturday.
Valencia has quietly put up a fantastic .333/.381/.552 slash line with 11 home runs in 201 at-bats. He has played well in limited time in recent years, registering an .888 OPS in 2013 and an .864 OPS last year. So there is good reason to believe the 32-year-old veteran can continue to help fantasy teams all season long. He delivers a nice mix of power and average. The reason he has rarely been an everyday player throughout his career is because he has large platoon splits, being much more deadly versus left-handed pitching.
Dillon Overton earned the first win of his career during an Athletics victory over the Angels, yielding three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
He didn't quite reach the threshold for a quality start in his major league debut, coming one out shy of the six innings required. Overton struck out three batters and walked two. All three of the runs he allowed came on solo homers from Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun. The lefty Overton did not post enticing strikeout totals in the minors but he could have some moderate success in Oakland.
Jhoulys Chacin failed to strike out a batter while walking four, leading to four runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss on Saturday.
His record fell to 3-6. Chacin's 5.64 ERA this year is worse than it ever was when he was pitching for the Rockies in Coors Field. Given that his velocity is up this year and his rate stats are close to his career averages, it is probable that Chacin will manifest some improvement as the season progresses. But even then he will remain on the fringe of being rosterable in mixed leagues.
Coco Crisp finished the day 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and four runs scored on Saturday.
Crisp is rapidly approaching the end of his 15 year career and is not having a good season, but he is still capable of filling the stat sheet on the rare occasions when he is fully healthy. Today he reached base four times and his teammates drove him home each time.
Mike Trout finished Saturday's game 3-for-5 and hit his 15th home run of the season.
Trout now has 50 RBI and 50 runs scored. He has the lowest strikeout rate of his career and now has 47 walks to go with his 60 strikeouts. He has 154 career home runs and is only 24 years old. His .308/.408/.540 slash line is very close to his career average.
Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 with a solo home run as the Angels lost to the Athletics on Saturday.
The home run was his 10th of the season. He will have to pick up the pace a bit if he hopes to match the 26 home runs he hit last year. His home run power may be down a little but most of his other stats are better this year than last. Calhoun's .292 batting average with 44 runs and 40 RBI make him an underrated fantasy commodity.
Nate Karns surrendered four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings, leading the Mariners to a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday.
He did not pitch very well but snared a win anyway. The big blow was a 5th-inning, three-run home run by Aledmys Diaz that ruined what had been a very effective outing up to that point. The poor game boosts Karns' ERA up to 4.56 on the season. He strikes out a lot of batters (9.33 K/9) but spoils that by walking too many (4.22 BB/9). He will face the Orioles in his next start on Friday in Seattle.
Mike Leake lasted only 3 1/3 innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in an interleague loss to the Mariners on Saturday.
Leake registered only one strikeout to go with two walks. All nine hits he allowed were singles but the Mariners bunched them together to good effect. He falls to 5-5 with a 4.25 ERA. Throughout his career Leake has been a consistent, reliable, league-average pitcher in terms of ERA (career 3.89 ERA) with a low strikeout rate (6.05 K/9 career). That has good value in deep fantasy leagues but leaves his owners looking for a better option in standard mixed leagues.