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Dan Dobish

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Shohei Show

Thursday, April 5, 2018


It was a busy Wednesday in Major League Baseball, and we're starting to see pitchers making their second turns in the rotation. Some were unable to make adjustments, others looked night and day from their initial outing. The offense is starting to post some big numbers, too, and one rookie in Southern California is living up to his immense hype. There are also plenty of players who are once again proving that spring training statistics, good and bad, can mostly be ignored for veterans. The same can be said for that aforementioned rookie, who appeared to be struggling in Cactus League games. Does anyone remember that anymore? Let's get started!

 

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Monday's Fantasy Five

 

Shohei Ohtani struggled at times during the spring training slate and it appeared perhaps he would have a much longer than anticipated learning curve as he acclimates from Asia to North America. Nah. He's good. Consider the acclimation completed. He had a three-run rocket off of Josh Tomlin in Tuesday's game for his first homer in front of the home fans in his first at-bat at the Big A. Tomlin's stuff was off all night, though, so was it really that impressive? Ohtani would surely wilt in Wednesday's game against two-time American League Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber, right? Nope. Ohtani was at it again, swatting a two-run homer in the fifth inning for his second clout in as many days. He has been everything as advertised so far, and the two-way budding superstar will toe the slab Sunday afternoon against the Athletics.

 

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The second-biggest fantasy item of Wednesday's slate was what everyone who hates the Evil Empire, a.k.a. the New York Yankees, had feared. Aaron Judge. Gary Sanchez. Giancarlo Stanton. It was predicted this would be a modern-day murderer's row. Until Wednesday it was only Stanton who had been able to deposit souvenirs into the cheap seats. Against the Rays, the Big Three each took their turns with homering for a combined 1,246 feet of long ball deliciousness. It's obvious that each player is not only owned 100 percent across the board, and the only fantasy question is who will end up with the most bombs when the dust clears in September.

 

The Minnesota Twins are off to a 3-2 start in the American League Central, and it's their offensive studs who are stepping up and making it happen. Brian Dozier is already up to four home runs, all of the solo variety though, while he hits a cool .318 at the top of the lineup. He and Eduardo Escobar have shot out of the gate to start the season. Escobar didn't leave the yard, but he did match Dozier in total bases with a pair of doubles, a run scored and a steak to five him five RBI on the season. Miguel Sano joined the party with a 3-for-5 night with a double, two runs scored and two RBI. It isn't quite that Big Three wearing pinstripes, but the triumvirate calling Target Field home are looking mighty fine.

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks were 0-4 in Patrick Corbin's past four home starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and 0-5 in his past five outings overall against Dodger Blue. It's a good thing the southpaw can care less about trends. He bested Alex Wood in a southpaw double-dip, allowing just one hit with one walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out 12 in the 98-pitch quality start. Corbin has fired out to a 2-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against division rivals from Colorado and L.A. It makes sense, as he was 9-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 17 home starts last season. It will be interesting to see if Corbin can make the proper adjustments on the road. He was a dismal 5-9 with a 5.09 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance away from home. We'll get a better idea if Corbin is for real next Tuesday in San Francisco, although the way their offense is going it might not be a true test.

 

Not all Fantasy Five performances are necessarily the good ones. The Fantasy Five is for the most notable stat lines of the night, and Felix Hernandez certainly had one. He was clubbed for eight earned runs, six hits and five walks in just four innings in a loss against those aforementioned limp bats in San Francisco. The Giants found their offense against the fireballer, who was unable to carry over the momentum from his positive showing in the opener against the Cleveland Indians. King Felix struggled with his control all day, throwing just 48 of his 87 pitches for strikes while serving up three homers, including a three-run shot to Pablo Sandoval.

 

Fantasy Game of the Night

 

The Colorado Rockies fired out of the box with five runs in the first two innings at Petco Park and that was enough to support Jon Gray. All of the pitches in his arsenal were working, as he yielded just three singles and a double over seven scoreless innings with no walks and seven strikeouts in a 93-pitch quality start. Gray displayed much better control, chopping down his walks from three to zero after his first shaky outing in Arizona on March 29. Nolan Arenado ended up going 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI and two walks, giving him five RBI on the season. He will turn 27 years old on April 16 and is just entering the sweet spot of his career. Arenado has already accomplished so much, but he is just scratching the surface. Ian Desmond added two more RBI to give him seven on the early season, as he looks to make up for lost time. Last season did go according to plan, as his year was delayed greatly by a fractured left hand, and he also suffered a rather severe calf injury late in the summer. He has two or more RBI in three of his past four games as he gives the fantasy people what they want. A few years ago Trevor Story was the big story, but he has been slow out of the gates this year. He picked up his first two RBI of the season Wednesday, and hopefully that will get him on track.

 

Clayton Richard is scheduled for just three starts in the month of April, and if his next outing goes anything like it did on Wednesday it could be his last for a while. He coughed up five earned runs, eight hits and three walks over five innings, throwing 60 of his 99 pitches for strikes. On a positive note, he at least salvaged the stat line with six strikeouts, but you should know better than to start him against the Rockies. After Wednesday's outburst, the trio of Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu are hitting a combined .460 against him in their career. Needless to say, it's advised to avoid Richard for the rematch on Monday at Coors Field against Gray, and it is also advised to build a DFS stack with Rockies against Richard, including the three mentioned above. Manuel Margot was getting a mental day off after going 2-for-20 (.100) so far this season, so Cory Spangenberg made his first start in left field. Fantasy owners won't confuse him for former San Diego big bats like Tony Gwynn, Gary Sheffield or Greg Vaughn, but they will like him for his versatility, as he can play several positions and will be eligible all over. Carlos Asuaje won the starting second baseman job over Spangenberg, and he collected two more hits to match his friendly rival. The team's only RBI came off the bat of pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe, as he delivered a scoring single.

 

American League Quick Hits: Luis Severino had it going on, allowing two earned runs, five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings to quiet the bats of the visiting Rays. … Jonathan Schoop collected three more hits to raise his average to .308 through one week. Chris Davis isn't having the same kind of success, as he struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance and is now just 1-for-21 (.048) with three walks and six strikeouts, including a golden sombrero on Tuesday in Houston. … For the defending champs, Josh Reddick collected three more hits to push his average up to .353 (6-for-17), including two homers and six RBI. … Dallas Keuchel was so-so in his first start in front of the home folks, allowing two runs - one earned - and five hits with four walks over five innings in a no-decision. Fantasy owners shouldn't wring their hands too much, as you know he'll start ticking off wins left and right, especially with this lineup backing him up. … Zack Cozart won the first-name battle in the 13th inning with Zach McAllister, taking the Cleveland reliever deep for the game-winning shot. … Sean Manaea was outstanding again, allowing just one earned run across eight innings against the Rangers to improve to 1-1 while lowering his ERA to a microscopic 1.15.

 

National League Quick Hits: Preston Tucker launched a surprising three-run homer off of Max Scherzer, setting the tone in Atlanta's surprising win as huge underdogs at home. It was Tucker's second big fly of the season. … Scherzer was knocked around for five runs - two earned - and six hits over five innings, needing 110 pitches just to make it through five frames. He did post seven strikeouts and he added an RBI, but his counterpart was better than him even in that department. … Mike Foltynewicz outpitched his counterpart, and he also had two RBI. The Atlanta started scattered four hits with one run and two walks allowed over 5 1/3 innings while striking out eight Nats. … Yoenis Cespedes swatted a homer and he is now up to six RBI on the young season. … In the closer's department, both Jeurys Familia of the Mets and Wade Davis of the Rockies are in the clubhouse with three saves apiece, as their fantasy owners are pleased with the early returns. … Brad Boxberger is also getting it done in Arizona so far, securing his second save of the season. … Carlos Martinez was lights out for the Redbirds, coming within two outs of the first complete game of the season. Fantasy owners will have to settle for 8 1/3 scoreless innings with four hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts in Milwaukee. … On the other side, Jhoulys Chacin struggled again, coughing up six runs - three earned - and seven hits with two walks over 5 2/3 innings to slip to 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA through two outings.

 




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