As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
As esteemed Creed frontman Scott Stapp once sang: “Let’s play ball, it’s game day. We want strikeouts, base hits, duhbull plays.”
We should be havin’ a party, ya’ll. It’s the year’s first Two-Startapalooza!!
But yet something feels missing. With Clayton Kershaw out, it’s like Hendrix didn’t make it to Monterey Pop. With Yu Darvish out, it’s like Pearl Jam skipped Lollapalooza ’92. With Patrick Corbin gone for the year, it’s like, well, it’s like the Spin Doctors skipped Woodstock ’94. You get the idea.
Plenty of great double-dippers this week, though, so let’s get to it.
Justin Verlander (KC, BAL); Julio Teheran (@MIL, @WAS); Chris Sale (MIN, @KC); Madison Bumgarner (@ARZ, @LAD); Felix Hernandez (@LAA, @OAK); Adam Wainwright (@CIN, @PIT); David Price (TOR, TEX); Stephen Strasburg (@NYM, ATL); Alex Cobb (TOR, TEX); Andrew Cashner (LAD, @MIA)
Isn’t everyone a Must Start in the first week of the season? Well, not exactly, especially in a week where a few No. 1’s will be scratched due to injury and guys like Brandon McCarthy will get two trips to the bump. Verlander, who cruised through the spring, is as close to a sure thing as anyone with his two home starts against manageable opponents. Strasburg should be off to a nice 2014 with a gimme in the Big Apple and a home date with the jacked-up Braves. And Cash has been money leading up to the season, finally putting those control worries to rest (1 BB in 15 IP). Even though it’s against the Dodgers, I like his home opener in Petco plus the second game against the Fish in Miami.
James Shields (@DET, CWS); Jeff Samardzija (@PIT, PHI); Johnny Cueto (STL, @NYM); Jered Weaver (SEA, @HOU); Jon Lester (@BAL, MIL); Sonny Gray (CLE, SEA); Matt Cain (@ARZ, @LAD); R.A. Dickey (@TB, NYY); Jose Fernandez (COL, SD); Cliff Lee (@TEX, @CHC); Justin Masterson (@OAK, MIN); CC Sabathia (@HOU, @TOR)
It’s a small sample size, but 2014’s fantasy darling, Sonny Gray, was pretty tough in his four starts at the Coliseum last year (3-1, 1.99 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 38 K in 40 IP). I’m not as into Cleveland as everyone else, and I think Seattle stumbles out of the gate, so the Son of Grey should have his way. Lee has quietly become one of the top guys as far as commanding the game with a great K/BB ratio plus GB/FB ratio. But it’s going to be a madhouse in Texas, and I don’t like that trip to the Windy City this early on for the Phightins. He’ll pitch well, but he might not come away with a win this week.
Jorge De La Rosa (@MIA, ARZ); Yovani Gallardo (ATL, @BOS); Ricky Nolasco (@CWS, @CLE); Brett Anderson (@MIA, ARZ); Dillon Gee (WAS, CIN); Scott Kazmir (CLE, SEA); Francisco Liriano (CHC, STL); Erasmo Ramirez (@LAA, @OAK); Chris Tillman (BOS, @DET); Drew Hutchison (@TB, NYY);
The Great Orgasmo blew dudes (heh heh) away in Cactus League play (1.14 ERA; 20 K in 23 IP) and looks like he might finally be set to fulfil the wet dreams of fantasy baseball geeks everywhere. Still, it feels like we’ve been here before only to get the blue balls, which is the only thing keeping him out of the First Tier.
Scheppers, not to be confused with Schweppes beverages or Detlef Schremp or Shemp of “Three Stooges” fame, has been tapped to be the Rangers’ Opening Day starter in place of the nicked up Darvish. And oh by the way it’s Scheppers’ first career start, like ever. I’m actually not as concerned about that as I am his second start in the Trop.
Kirk Gibson played some head games with McCarthy in his last Cactus League start, the kind of stuff that might be outlawed by the United Nations. Could be OK at home against the Giants, but that trip to Coors looks real scary.