Aaaand we’re back. Aaand John Means is an Ace now. Wait–rewind. Means stifled the Boston bats and spoiled their home opener Friday afternoon, allowing just a single base runner (one hit) in seven innings of work and striking out five to notch his first win of the season. I know exactly what you’re thinking outdated Fry meme–not sure if Red Sox are this bad or John Means is this good. Well, as bad as the Sawx looked, Means probably pitched one of his best games in ever. He commanded the zone with 65 of his 95 pitches thrown for strikes, and generated 14 swings-and-misses, eight with changeup alone, which can be an especially nasty pitch when he’s got it working, paired with his 4-seamer. After an awful start to 2020, Means finished strong in September with a 1.52 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 23.2 IP averaging around 94 mph on his fastball, up about 2 mph from 2019. Grey told you to BUY, gushing about his xBA and saying “if he can keep those gains, velocity increases, and stop handing out more gopher balls than a veterinarian with weird party favors, John Means could be a top 25 starter while costing nowhere near that price.” And that’s me quoting Grey! Look, I understand the hesitation owning Orioles pitchers, and Means HR/9 doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. In fact, when I drafted Means on draft day I got a audible “HA!” for the pick. But we’ll see who’s laughing in September. Sure things aren’t getting any easier for the homer-prone lefty as he travels to New York next week to take on the Yankees, but Means is owned in less than 50% of leagues and has got some major breakout potential. I think he’s worth a flier at that price wherever he’s available. Means means business! That’s two “means”, and that means something? Who else is confused? Where else you going to get an Ace after draft day. Now your chance! I means it!
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Nathan Eovaldi – 5.1 IP, 4 hits, ER, BB, 4 K. Nasty Nate looked every bit the Ace Boston needed him to look but the Sawx bullpen blew things open as soon as he left. Grey told you to BUY and EVO remains one of my favorite sleepers for 2021 if he can stay healthy. EVO’s got some real stinky cheese, and with the right olive oil we’re already halfway to a pretty classy charcuterie board. Get this man some hard salami!
Cesar Valdez – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (1). Tanner Scott was viewed by many to be the heir apparent to the O’s closer gig but it was Cesar Valdez who got the call in the ninth. Scott, the lefty, was used to face Rafael Devers so I wouldn’t look too much into this move. Don’t drop your Tanner Scotts just yet, but Cesar could be speculative add.
Ryan Mountcastle – 1-for-4, 2 RBI. On a cold April afternoon in Boston, topping out at 40 degrees, neither side got much going offensively, but Mountcastle’s double proved the difference maker and doode looks like a certified stud in the making, CSITM. This kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!
Austin Meadows – 1-for-3, HR (2). That’s two homers in two days, folks! I don’t have to tell you what happens to those numbers if you extrapolate them! Early season projections are so ez. As for Meadows, he’s on his way to being a 160 HR hitter.
Manuel Margot – 2-for-4, HR (1). Speaking of Margot…ya’ll see that new Suicide Squad trailer? Concept kind of reminds me of this 2021 Red Sox pitching staff, no one wants these guys and if they try to leave we’ll blow their heads off. Unfortunately, the Sawx don’t have Margot Robbie to make it all a little more palatable.
Diego Castillo – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (2). Do you know how many Rays pitchers had saves last year? 12. That’s right. 12 as in the same number of the greatest quarterback of all time (Andrew Luck, obviously). 12 as in the same number of times I’ve watched that Suicide Squad trailer. So will Kevin Cash go with Diego Castillo as his closer next opportunity? I don’t know, the closer might be King Shark tomorrow but Diego needs to be owned right now regardless!
Anthony Bass – 1.0 IP, 4 hits, 4 ER, BS. Gave up a 2-run HR to Joey Wendle in the 9th. I own Bass basically everywhere because you know how I love my Fish and my bargain-basement closers. Anthony is the Marlins closer although I’ll doubt you’ll find that written down anywhere official. Still if r/wallstreetbets has taught me anything you gotta hold a player until you are thousands of dollars in debt. Hold until your wife leaves you. Hold until the gorillas get all your money. Hold the line! Diamond hands, baby!
Pablo Lopez – 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB. 4 K. What is it about these Marlins pitchers, I just can’t help myself. I literally own like three Florida starters in every league, not including Lil Wayne. I would be concerned if I wasn’t so excited. Marlins beisbol, ya’ll! Get Hooked!
Ryan Yarbrough – 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 3 K. Yarbrough is supposedly moving away from his hybrid role to become a full time starter but his 65 pitch outing tells a different story. Let him pitch, Cash!
Ryan McMahon – 2-for-4, HR (1). Blackmon, Nunez and Hillard also homered. After not starting the opener McMahon made his case to Bud Black why he should be an every day player Friday, but unfortunately it was at the expense of another Razzball favorite Garrett Hampson. Dude’s got power and is worth a flier as long as he can remain a fixture in this line up.
Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 2 HRs. Bauer was six almost perfect innings into his Dodgers career before Charlie Blackmon ruined his day with a two-run bomb in the seventh. I’m sure Blackmon will hear all about it on twitter today. Should have kept both eyes open, Trev. Next time.
David Price – 1.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 2 HR. A less than ideal debut for Price who surrendered two homers upon relieving Bauer, but settled down shortly after. I know the Dodgers don’t care about money but it’s worth mentioning just how much David is being paid to be a bullpen arm that pitches like dookie. I’m sure he’ll be better, but the Price is still seems high.
Justin Turner – 3-for-5, run, 3 RBI. Turner did his best to make amends for his base runner gaffe on Thursday which was one of the strangest/dumbest things I’ve seen in baseball in a while. A home run is a home run, no? I always thought the “rounding of the bases” was more of a formality when a player goes yard but Thursday’s game proved me wrong. This is why baseball is losing fans.
Corey Seager – 3-for-5, 3 runs, RBI. Seager, like everyone else in this LA lineup, had three hits Friday, Will Smith also added 3 hits and Mookie Betts was 2-for-5 with 2 runs as the Dodgers scored 11 on 16 hits. Hmm. Something tells me this team is going to be pretty good. Also, I miss you Mookie.
Jesus Luzardo – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 5 ER, BB, 8 K. A tough first assignment for Jesus, but he will rise again! Possible this weekend even!
Alex Bregman – 2-for-4, 3-run HR (2). With good reason, everyone seemed to be avoiding the cheating Astros on draft day because its hard to tell if they’re actually all studs or they’re just cheating cheaters who cheat. From the looks of it, they don’t need to bang on trash cans to be good. I bet it helps an awful lot though!
Jose Altuve – 3-for-3, 4 runs. Yuli Gurriel was 3-for-3 with a HR (1). Somebody check their bats! What’s on his hand? Is that an earpiece? What’s that loud noise? They’re doing it again! Oh no, that’s just Jesus Luzardo banging his head against the wall. False alarm.
Yusei Kikuchi – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, BB, 10 K. Lisa Loeb’s favorite player (she’s a huge Ms fan) looked great out the gate until Longoria took him deep in the 6th. The 10 strikeouts makes me want sing an Olivia Rodrigo type power ballad. I’m overcome with emotion–that bridge though! Kikuchi’s available in about 70% of leagues and should be a top-priority add this week or those in need of starting pitching.
Johnny Cueto – 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. All things considered, he could have looked a lot worse. Pick him up if you hate yourself.
Jake McGee – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV(1). Closer-gate. Definitely didn’t miss this. Jake McGee seems to be the clear cut ninth inning guy for the Giants and is criminally underowned in most leagues. Pick him up already!
Evan Longoria – 2-for-3, HR (2), 3 RBI. Buster Posey also homered. The 2010 All Stars called–they want their players back. Posey is the #1 rated catcher through the first two days of the season after taking all of 2020 off. I’m not telling you not to pick him up. But I know you like catchers.
Blake Snell – 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 8 K. Dominant through the four innings he’ll pitch every outing. I thought we were passed this since Tampa is behind us! Can you win a Cy Young with under 10 wins, because that’s what we might be looking at here. Hey, Felix Hernandez did it! deGrom did it!
Ketel Marte – 2-for-5, HR (1). He’s the #1 rated second baseman through the first two games but tbh (<–super popular acronym rn (<–also very popular acronym yk (<–triple nested acronym just for fun))) I can’t name another second baseman off the top of my head. Hmm. Give me a minute–uhh, Joe Morgan?
Eric Hosmer – 3-for-3, HR (2), 3 RBI. Hey the 2010 All Stars called–oh, I already said that. Still a bit rusty, give me another weekend. Hosmer is ripe to benefit off the Padres careless spending. Mark my words, the MVPs of this team will be Hosmer and Myers. Tatis is washed I tells ya!
Shohei Ohtani – 1-for-5, HR (1), 2 RBI. I commissioned Cuba Gooding, Jr., aka Rod Tidwell, aka O.J. to help with this blurb via zoom. Are you ready, Jerry? Sho. Hei. Oh. Tani. Say it with me, Jerry! “SHO-HEI OHTANNNNI!!!!”
Albert Pujols – 1-for-3, HR (1). 663rd career home run and don’t think it didn’t mean anything that he did it in front of Tony La Russa, who Alby has likely out-aged at this point. I love to see this as a beisbol fan but I’d love to see Jared Walsh play more as a fantasy baseball fan.
Andrew Heaney – 3.0 IP, 5 hits 7 ER. Looked fantastic through the first two innings but unfortunately starters need to pitch a minimum of five quality innings per start and he most certainly did not do this.
Jose Abreu – 2-for-4, Grand Slam HR (1). I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect over 180 RBIs from Jose this year. This line up has more monsters than King Kong vs. Godzilla. I won’t spoil the surprise reveal in case you have yet to watch the movie but–there might be more monsters than the titles suggests…
Michael Kopech – 2.0 IP, 3 K, BB. The prize from the Chris Sale trade opted out of 2020 but throws 110 mph or something like that. He could become a valuable bullpen weapon for La Russa or could ultimately start once Dylan Cease burns us all. Regardless, I’m watching him closer than the final episode of Q: Into the Storm. Who do you guys think Q is? The weirdo hacker with no friends, or the idiot red neck who verbally abuses his wife? Let the conspiring commence!
Yermin Mercedes – 5-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI. Sweet sassy molassy! I’m more of a beamer guy myself but just wow! The first player to get five hits in their first career start since some dead guy you’ve never heard of in the 30s idk google it. And that’s a fact! OWN ALL THE WHITE SOX you can seems to be a good strategy going into 2021 and Yermin is no exception. He had a .968 OPS in the minors in 2019 and his catcher eligibility in ESPN leagues makes him instantly worth a flier. Live fast, die rich. You only YOLO once. Benz, baby. I don’t know who your catcher is but I’d probably rather have a Mercedes.
Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!