They say money can’t buy happiness and “The Simpsons” once spoke of “The Trouble with Trillions.” The trillion dollar bill episode aired 16 years ago today. My favorite line of “give what back?” still makes me laugh.
Dee Gordon’s fast start
With seven hits and two walks in 21 plate appearances this season, Gordon is making himself an interesting play in mixed leagues. After last night’s pair of steals he is now up to three on the season and is yet to be caught. These batting rate stats won’t last forever and they don’t need to as his fantasy strength has always been his legs. Gordon is available to grab in 70% of ESPN leagues, 60% of Yahoo! formats and over 45% of CBS leagues.
Welcome back, Matt Kemp
Yesterday the Los Angeles Dodgers welcomed back center fielder Matt Kemp from the 15-day disabled list. The club did not anticipate him to start, however after Yasiel Puig was 20 minutes late arriving to the park, the club benched him and started Kemp. Despite the unexpected start, Kemp was able to reach base via a walk and a double. Kemp may be eased into a full time role so daily leagues take note of the lineup card, but he should be started in weekly leagues. The various projection systems have Kemp somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 home runs, double digit steals and a .270+ batting average. Our very own Jack Weiland has Kemp in his third tier of the National League outfield tiered rankings and that sound about right given his injury risk.
A hamstring strain for Mark Teixeira
While tracking down a foul ball in the second inning, Teixeira seemed to run gingerly and left the game after making the catch. It’s been reported as a hamstring strain, though the severity and grade of the strain is yet to be known. The strain is in his right hamstring, one that hampered him back in the 2010 ALCS, and if similar — keyword “if” — then that injury was listed as a six to eight week recovery time frame. We’re all awaiting further details and hope for the best for Tex. Prior to this hamstring strain Teixeira was already battling lingering wrist pain so now the injuries are beginning to mount. He isn’t in danger of losing all fantasy relevance, but he is sliding down the pre-season consensus first base rankings.
Thoughts on Masahiro Tanaka’s debut
After spotting the Toronto Blue Jays three runs in the first two innings, Tanaka settle in and spun five straight scoreless frames. He mixed in his slider and curveball effectively and got 18 of 27 first pitch strikes. With his fastball showing good life as well as showing good command of his breaking stuff and splitter, he was able to generate 13 swinging strikes and eight K’s. The bottom line: he looked good and I wouldn’t worry about him.
The Daily Five
Staring Pitcher: Felix Hernandez — $11,400
King Felix in a spacious park. The A’s are capable of scoring runs in bunches with the long ball, but King Felix doesn’t usually serve up many gopherballs.
Starting Pitcher: Johnny Cueto — $8,700
Cueto is throwing in a park that should help contain some fly balls from leaving the park. I still like his stuff and the Mets struck out 22.3% of their plate appearance against right-handed starters last year, the fourth highest mark in baseball.
Infielder: Chris Davis — $4,500
A fly ball hitter facing a worm burner in Rick Porcello, plus the platoon advantage in Davis’ favor? I love Davis to send one 450 feet today. Andrew Koo of BaseballProspectus wrote a fantastic article about “the other platoon advantage.” It’s a sub-only piece, but it is well worth it.
Other Hitter: Jason Kipnis — $4,600
He just got paid on a six year, $52.5 million extension so let’s hope that both Cleveland and fantasy owners get the most for their money here.
Remaining Budget: $17,200 on five players
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