Fantasy Baseball 2012: How Opening Weekend Affected Player Value
MLB season is now officially underway, which means fantasy baseball is also in full-effect. Fantasy baseball is a game of streaks and slumps, which you must follow and adjust your team to accordingly. Though it is still very early in the season, there are several players who have already begun to rise and fall in the rankings.
First let's take a look at who's stock is rising so far:
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland A's
The A's may have struck gold by signing the 26-year-old Cuban defector to a 4-year, $36 million contract. Cespedes has proven he can hit while playing in the Cuban leagues—a reputation that has translated into MLB so far. In his first game, he managed to hit a double against one of the best pitchers in the league in Felix Hernandez, and followed that up in his next game with a two-run homer. He has since added two more dingers and seven RBI in just 13 at-bats, and is on pace for a monster season.
Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Often overshadowed by his elite teammate Clayton Kershaw, Billingsley is still quietly a great pitcher. In his first start this season, he was outright dominant. He pitched 8.1 innings, surrendering only three hits, a walk and no runs. Billingsley also struck out 11 in his first victory of the year. If he keeps this up, he could be a very nice addition to your fantasy pitching staff.
Is Yoenis Cespedes the real deal?
Even though there have only been a few games played, there are players who seem to be struggling early on in the season:
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox
Ellsbury started the season as an arguably top-10 fantasy player, due to his hitting abilities as well as his speed on the base paths. However, he has displayed neither of those so far this season, and his play has mirrored the 0-3 start for the Red Sox. Ellsbury is just 2-for-13 with one RBI and no stolen bases to start the season. He'll have to get back to his stellar play from last season in order for fantasy owners to keep playing him in their lineups.
Coming off of a 17-10, 3.52 ERA campaign, Milwaukee's No. 2 starter came into the season with high expectations. However, his first start didn't go as well as the Brewers would have hoped. He went just 3.2 innings giving up six runs on seven hits and while walking five batters. Unless Gallardo turns this around with a solid start in his next outing, fantasy owners may be looking elsewhere for starting pitching.
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