Fantasy Baseball Insiders April 8: Toronto's Vernon Wells Hits Fourth Homer
Another day, another full slate of baseball. Game five of 162 in Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ summer-long journey featured Thursday’s matchup between the Dodgers and Pirates.
Game No. 5—Los Angeles Dodgers-Pittsburgh Pirates
Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp had two hits and two runs on Thursday against the Pirates. Kemp also added two RBI.
Reed Johnson, Ronnie Belliard, and James Loney all had three hits and two runs. Loney knocked in two, while Belliard had a HR and four RBI.
Chad Billingsley needed 107 pitches (66 strikes) to get through 5.1 innings. The 25-year-old surrendered one run on five hits while striking out seven. He did, however, issue four free passes.
Delwyn Young was the lone fantasy contributor for the Pirates on Thursday. Batting sixth, the right fielder went 2-for-2 with two doubles, two walks, a run scored and an RBI.
Other notes from around the league:
Hitter of the day: Miguel Cabrera (4-for-5, 1 run, HR, 4 RBI)
After hitting a game-tying solo HR in the ninth off Joakim Soria last night , Miguel Cabrera followed up on Thursday going 4-for-5 with another HR and four RBI. Oddly enough, Cabrera was caught stealing for the second consecutive game. Miggy is now batting .571 (8-for-14) through the first three games of the season.
Joey Votto and Jonny Gomes each had two hits against the Cardinals. Gomes delivered a walk-off solo shot, his first of the year.
Vernon Wells went 1-for-3 with a solo HR in the ninth inning, his fourth long ball in three games.
Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-4 batting cleanup for Texas. The Rangers’ DH is now 7-for-11 through the team’s first three games.
Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-4 with three runs and a solo HR against the Royals on Thursday. Expect a bounce back season for the Tigers’ No. 3 hitter.
Scott Podsednik went 4-for-5 out of the two hole for Kansas City on Thursday. Don’t expect another 30-steal, .300 campaign for the Royals’ left fielder. The 34-year-old experienced a decent amount of luck last year, posting a BABIP 22 points higher than his career average.
Chone Figgins went 2-for-4 against Oakland on Thursday. Ichiro Suzkui went 0-for-4. Seattle’s one-two punch is 6-for-30 through the first three games.
Rajai Davis, Mark Ellis, and Cliff Pennington each had two hits against the Mariners on Thursday. Daric Barton went 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBI.
Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard all recorded two hits on Thursday against the Nationals. All four are batting over .400 through the first three games. Jayson Werth went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Willie Harris went 1-for-3 with a HR, two RBI and a stolen base batting fifth for the Nats.
Jeff Francoeur went 2-for-4 batting fifth in the Mets’ lineup. Frenchy is 4-for-10 through three games.
Tyler Colvin homered in his first at-bat of the season, starting in left field for the Cubs while Alfonso Soriano got the night off. Marlon Byrd also went yard for the Chicago, his second HR in three games.
Martin Prado went 3-for-4 Thursday night. The Braves’ second baseman is 7-for-11 after the first series of the season.
Brian Roberts picked up his first two hits of the season on Thursday. He also walked and stole a base. Teammate Matt Wieters went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Baltimore’s catcher is now 6-for-12 through the first three games.
Jason Bartlett recorded two hits for the Rays Thursday night, as did Evan Longoria . B.J. Upton went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Grady Sizemore went 3-for-6 with three RBI against the White Sox on Thursday.
Hard-hittin’ Carlos Quentin went 1-for-3 with a HR, three RBI and a walk against the Indians.
Jim Thome went 2-for-4 with two runs, a HR and three RBI batting in the six hole for Minnesota. The 39-year-old is owned in just six percent of Yahoo leagues, so there’s a great chance he’s available in yours. The Twins’ DH is a cheap source of power, though it comes at the expense of a poor batting average.
Delmon Young hit a three-run HR in his only at-bat Thursday night. The 24-year-old former phenom now has two jacks, six RBI, and a stolen base in 12 at-bats this season. There’s still hope…
Pitcher of the day: C.J. Wilson (ND, 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)
C.J. Wilson pitched a gem in his first start since 2005. The former Texas closer shutout Toronto for seven innings, scattering five hits. He walked two batters and struck out nine.
The southpaw has proven capable of posting a stellar strikeout rate in the past (84 Ks in 73.2 innings last year as a reliever), though common sense suggests a move to the rotation might make him less effective. Texas pitchers generally shouldn’t be trusted, but Wilson’s debut against Toronto justifies an add in 12-team and higher leagues.
Brad Penny and Bronson Arroyo went head-to-head in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel at the Great American Small Park on Thursday. Penny allowed one run on six hits and two walks in seven innings; Arroyo pitched eight strong, yielding one run on four hits and three walks. Neither pitcher figured into the decision.
Ricky Romero pitched seven strong innings against the Rangers, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks. Despite this, the 25-year-old no longer has the upside Toronto hoped he had when they drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2005.
Dontrelle Willis was surprisingly effective against the Royals on Thursday. In six innings, the 28-year-old allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks. It’s hard not to root for the guy, but Willis’ ridiculously high walk rate makes a return to fantasy stardom unlikely.
Brian Bannister held the Tigers to just one run on six hits in six innings on Thursday. The 29-year-old can be useful given the right matchup, but don’t be fooled. He posted a 0.69 ERA last April, and ended the season at 4.73. Don’t allow him to creep up your fantasy baseball cheat sheet just because of one solid start.
Brett Anderson blanked the Mariners through six innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out four. After posting a 3.48 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with a K/BB ratio of 86:20 in 88 innings after the All-Star Break last season, the 22-year-old became a popular sleeper pick in 2010.
Given his pedigree, and now this start, it may be too late to trade for the southpaw. If you can get him at a decent price, make a move. This guy is going to be studly.
Nate Robertson pitched five innings in his Marlins debut, allowing one run on six hits on his way to a win.
Randy Wells followed up his 2009 breakout season with an impressive 2010 debut, shutting out the Braves in six innings of work. The 27-year-old allowed just six hits and two walks, picking up the Cubs’ first win of the season.
Tommy Hanson allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in 5.1 innings against the Cubs, striking out seven.
Brian Matusz allowed two runs on two hits in five innings in his season debut against the Rays. The 23-year-old walked five and struck out seven.
Justin Masterson held the White Sox to one run in five innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out five.
Gavin Floyd allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in six innings against the Indians on Thursday, fanning seven.
Kevin Slowey allowed one run on seven hits and two walks in 5.1 innings to get the win against the Angels Thursday night.
After blowing the save on Opening Day, Jason Frasor redeemed himself with a save on Wednesday. The Jays’ closer got the opportunity again on Thursday, and the 32-year-old recorded his second save in as many days.
Matt Capps allowed a hit and a walk before closing the door on his first save to beat the Phillies.
Carlos Marmol picked up his first save of the season for the Cubs, though not before allowing a walk and a single.
After blowing the save on Monday, Mike Gonzalez loaded the bases with a one-run lead in the ninth against the Rays on Thursday before nailing down his first save of the season.
Chris Perez pitched a perfect ninth to record the save against the White Sox on Thursday night, his second in as many days. Kerry Wood might be pitching in a middle relief role when (and if) he comes back.
Check back all season long for more Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates!
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDERS
Previous Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates:
- 4/7: Ray’s Evan Longoria Goes Deep Again
- 4/6: Orioles’ Adam Jones, Matt Wieters Homer in Season Debut
- 4/5: Braves’ Jason Heyward Homers in MLB Debut
- 4/4: Curtis Granderson Hits HR in Yankees Debut
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