Friday, April 25, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Happy Recap - 4/24/08

We have added a new Closer Corner section to the Happy Recap which will take a look at all of the important news regarding closers from the previous day’s play and document all saves.

Bat Of The Night: Magglio Ordonez – 3/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

That’s 37 runs for the Tigers in the last 3 games! Magglio has been hot this week going 6/15 with 3 homers, 7 RBI and 4 runs scored. Mags should emerge as a legitimate MVP candidate this summer and is a must-start outfielder.

Arm Of The Night: Cliff Lee – 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (CG, W)

It is hard for a pitcher to have a better month than Cliff Lee’s April. Seriously, take a look at what this guy has done thus far in surprisingly quiet fashion. Lee is a perfect 4-0 with a ridiculous 0.28 ERA, 0.41 WHIP, 29 K and only 2 walks. Let’s look a little deeper into these numbers shall we. In 31.1 IP Lee has allowed only 1 earned run and a total of 13 batters to reach base while striking out nearly a batter an inning. We must mention that Lee has yet to face a powerful American League offense, doing his damage against Oakland twice, Minnesota and Kansas City. Thus, a drop off is to be expected as the weather warms and competition stiffens. Lee takes the mound Wednesday at home against Seattle and is a must-start right now.

Bottom Line: Francisco Liriano – 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 0 K (L)

Liriano’s rough start continues as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Although he is a risky start right now, Liriano still has great long-term potential especially as we head into the second half of the season. His recent poor outings make him quite possibly the best buy-low candidate in all of fantasy baseball right now. There is no way he is this bad people… remember 2006…

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Donnie Murphy broke out yesterday slugging two homers while Josh Willingham, Chipper Jones and Lance Berkman continue to rake. Tim Lincecum quietly moved to 4-0 and has been dominant in the early season despite receiving little to no pub. He is a future elite fantasy starter, and is quickly making a name for himself.

Bats

Donnie Murphy – 3/5, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Josh Willingham - 3/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Lance Berkman – 3/3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Chipper Jones – 3/3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera – 2/3, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Arms

Tim Lincecum – 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 9 K (W)
Joel Piniero – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (W)
Aaron Cook – 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (W)
Greg Smith – 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (W)
Chris Young – 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K (L)

Bottom Five

AL and NL west batters show up early and often in the Bottom Five today sporting some ugly lines while Dustin McGowan had his first poor outing of the season.

Bats

Mark Reynolds – 0/4, 3 K
Adrian Gonzalez – 0/4, 3 K
Ryan Ludwick – 0/5, 2 K
Josh Hamilton – 0/5, 2 K
Torii Hunter – 0/5, 2 K

Arms

Burke Badenhop – 5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (L)
Brett Tomko – 4 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (L)
Adam Loewen – 2.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (ND)
Dustin McGowan – 4 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 7 BB, 6 K (L)
David Riske – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (ND)

Making A Case...

Felipe Lopez – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Lopez has slowly worked his way back into the Nationals’ lineup and helped his cause mightily with a grand slam and 6 RBI versus the Mets last night. Lopez was a great fantasy option in 2005 and 2006 hitting 34 homers and stealing 59 bases over those two seasons. He hasn’t been the same since a mid-2006 trade that sent him from Cincinnati to Washington and really struggled last year. Lopez is quietly emerging as a sleeper candidate especially for owners looking to add speed. He has the potential to put up .270, 80 R, 10 HR, 20+ SB which makes him a decent option in mixed leagues.

Adam Jones – 3/4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

The centerpiece of the Erik Bedard deal, the highly touted rookie outfielder struggled out of the gate in Baltimore but he has come on a bit of late. He is now up to .270 and has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games. The power production hasn’t come around yet as he has hit only 1 homerun, scored 2 runs and drove in 6 in those 10 games. However, the fact that he is hitting on a consistent basis indicates that the still only 22 year old outfielder might be turning the corner at the Major League level. He is a risky start right now, but keep an eye on Jones going forward as he will get every opportunity to succeed for a rebuilding Baltimore franchise.

Closer Corner

- Newly minted Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, who just regained his closing job from Manny Corpas, locked down his first save of the season yesterday in a 4-2 win against the Cubs. Fuentes should be added in all leagues.

- 2 inning save for Manny Acosta last night in the Braves 7-4 win against Florida. Acosta has a great arm and should serve as the primary setup man once Rafael Soriano returns from the DL on May 1st.

- Jason Isringhausen and George Sherrill locked down save number 8 while K-Rod grabbed the league lead with his 9th save of the season.

- Jose Valverde continues to work his way back from an awful start, locking down his 3rd save of the season.

- Other Saves Yesterday – Brian Wilson (7), Brandon Lyon (6), Brad Lidge (5), Troy Percival (4).

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- Coco Crisp got the start yesterday and stole 2 bases. If Crisp is dealt to a place where he can play everyday, he could become a very viable fantasy option. He simply does not fit in Boston.

- Chad Billingsley allowed 5 earned runs and took the loss last night but not before striking out 12 D’Backs. This guy has a ton of talent and is going to put it all together sooner rather than later.

- Josh Willingham hit his 6th homer of the season last night for the Marlins joining Mike Jacobs and Hanley Ramirez (7 HR a piece) among the league leaders.

- Jayson Werth hit his 4th homerun of the season and has played well in Shane Victorino’s absence. With Victorino returning early next week, Werth will most likely be forced into a platoon with Geoff Jenkins in RF. Give the way Werth has been playing, there is a really good chance he wins the Phils’ RF job outright sooner rather than later.

- That is now 6 stolen bases for Luis Castillo for all of you counting at home!


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