Sleepers Slow Out of the Gate: Fantasy Baseball Opening Day

Kip ArneyCorrespondent IApril 7, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 06:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies stands at the plate during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on April 6, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Please remember that this is an article about a single fantasy team. I'm acting as a beat writer for this one team. Got it? Good.

Finally opening day is here. The green grass, the blue skies. Well in most places excluding Boston and Chicago. Every team in the league comes in with high hopes and expectations. Everyone starts with the same record. And then the first pitch is thrown.

The Sleeper offense got off to a slow start today hitting as a team 5 for 28, a .179 average. The pitching wasn't much better.

Yesterday's lone game saw Sleeper catcher Brian McCann hit his first home run of the season off Brett Myers. The hope that this was a sign of things to come was short lived as productive hitters like Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Derrek Lee fell flat on their face out of the shoot.

After McCann's long ball, the only other player to duplicate the power was shortstop Troy Tulowitzki as he took Brandon Webb deep in the 4th inning.

The Roy duo of Oswalt and Halladay were on the hill for Sleeper but they split their decisions. Both went seven strong with two strikeouts and only walking one but thanks to Toronto's offense, Roy Halladay was able to get his first victory of the season.

Oswalt did not have such luck despite his quality start of giving up three earned runs in seven innings of work. The Houston bats didn't tally a run until Oswalt was out of the game.

Sleeper's opponent, Hotlanta, had similar offensive deficiencies. But thanks to a grand slam by fantasy favorite Hanley Ramirez, Hotlanta kept things tight on the first day of this week long battle. Ramirez provided all of Hotlanta's RBI total tonight.

The pitching for Hotlanta came from all over in the both good and bad form. Cy Young contender Johan Santana was strong out of the gate giving up just one run on three hits en route to his first victory of the season.

However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, the Yankees prized off season acquisition, C.C. Sabathia looked anything but what he was paid over the summer. The Baltimore Orioles pounded the lefty six runs in just four and a third innings.

Today was also the first time since July 25, 2005 that Sabathia failed to strike out a single batter.

But the pitching performance of the day should go to Paul Maholm of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Maholm pitched into the seventh inning and gave up only one earned run and one walk which was intentional to Albert Pujols.

Tomorrow, Hotlanta will give the ball to pitcher Josh Johnson as he goes up against the Washington Nationals. Sleeper will counter with Jamie Moyer against Atlanta and the much anticipated return of reigning CY Young winner Tim Lincecum while the Giants host the Milwaukee Brewers.