Aaaand we’re back! I have removed myself from my cryogenic freezing chamber where I now live to avoid COVID just to write this blog post. I’m not often tapped with recapping the first full slate of games of the year and the pressure is on like a covid headache. I’m not Grey. I haven’t been crunching numbers all offseason, I don’t have his big brain or fantasy insights, I haven’t found the Elden Ring, and my mustache is only half as lush but I am good at rambling on and not getting to the point right away. I also watch a lot of beisbol, and I think you’ll agree there was something missing. I’m speaking of course, of the Tildaddy, aka Ronald Acuna Jr., aka Alt-164. My flame! My muse! They expect me to fantasy with you sidelined!? Pfft! I wouldn’t. I couldn’t! But wait–who’s this? Jeremy Pena? Astros rookie shortstop slash phenom slash heartthrob had three hits with his first career home run last night. For the love of enye, I do like his name. Go on. He went hitless in his debut on Thursday but he also faced Shohei Ohtani, who is a pretty good baseball thrower, and the kid has the power speed combo you dreamt about when you were in the cryogenic covid shelter all winter. Grey told you to BUY and get you some of that SS rookie nookie, “‘It’s hard not to imagine Jeremy Peña being a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper, because 550 ABs should be there immediately.’ And that’s me quoting me!” And that’s me quoting Grey, quoting himself. Do you feel incepted yet? Good because I’m getting to the best part, Jeremy PeAlt-164a hit his first career home run last night WHILE his family was being interviewed! Watch the video! Whata moment! #ProudDad Doesn’t that give you all the warms fuzzies? If that doesn’t make want to CODA all over the place you belong in my cryogenic shelter cause you cold, bruh. No Peña, no Gain-ya. I guess. I would add Jeremy Peña wherever I need middle infielder help, but also might take a flier just because anyone getting everyday at bats and making solid contact in this stacked Houston line up is worth an add. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for Peña? Hey, that’s the headline!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:
Sean Manaea – 7.0 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, BB, 7 K, W. More like Sean Mania! Right!? When a guy gets pulled in the 7th with a no-no going and he’s not even at 90 pitches, ugh. This is why people hate analytics. I know, I know they’re not stretched out because they didn’t have a full Spring Training, but damn this is lame. Cy Young would be rolling in his grave if he saw how these pitchers are coddled. So the manager pulls Manaea in the 7th at 80-something pitches, and brings in Tim Hill ( 0.2 IP, 2 hits) who IMMEDIATELY gives up a hit. Oh man, to be a Padres fans. How do you do it? And the best part of the story, is the same thing happened to Yu Darvish on Thursday. Pulled in the 7th with a no-hitter going, enter Tim Hill who instantly blows the game. At least they gave him a second chance. I guess every bullpen needs a “immediately give up a hit guy.” As for Manaea, he’s about to be a star. Ha-cha-cha!
Kyle Tucker – 2-for-5, 2 HR (2), 4 RBI. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman also homered. And it appears the Astros are still pretty dangerous. Too bad they’re all cheating cheaters. S/O to my Houston fans who will no doubt rage me in the comments for for that one. I’m saying your team is awesome, too bad they’ve tainted themselves forever. In all serialousness, they have two potentias MVP candidates to start the year, and the fact that I’m not talking about either Altuve or Bregman is a testament to how stacked this team is.
Josiah Gray – 4.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. The prized prospect in the Trea Turner deal looks a bit raw but that 31% whiff rate makes me happy in ways only watching Mikey Day cut into objects that may or may not be cake can. Spoiler alert: it is cake!
Reid Detmers – 4.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. Honestly, against the Astros this is a pretty encouraging start for Detmers. He gets a much easier assignment in the Rangers next week and I’d add Detmers if he’s out there.
Jurickson Profar – 2-for-3, HR (1). Eric Hosmer was also 3-for-4, with 2 runs. Jeez, does this offense look pretty pathetic without FTJ or what? The Padres are like the team of my 2014 dreams. If you told me back in 2014 while I’m blasting Macklemore from my MP3 player that I could have Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Profar and Hosmer all on the same team, I would have told you to give me my winnings now in bitcoin so I’ll be a billionaire in 2022. But for real, it’s like an early 20-teens all star prospects list. Is San Diego where top prospects go to die? At least it’s sunny there.
Taylor Rogers – 1.0 IP, K, SV. Taylor’s Version of this save makes Jake Gyllenhaal look like an big jerk, but not enough to ruin AmbuLAnce for me. It’s less of a movie and more of a 2 hour Michael Bay car chase. Sign me up!
Merrill Kelly – You had all offseason to get a better no. 1 opening day starter than Merill Kelly, and you do nothing? And I want to hate, hate, hate but that line up is just even worse. I’m no Daulton Varsho stan, but the most exciting thing the DBacks got going for them is a player named Beer who hit a walk off homer yesterday and they don’t even start him today! Damn right I’m upset! Thank god the Phoenix Suns are good enough to distract from what’s happening at Chase Field.
Anthony Santander – 1-for-3, HR (1). Take this home run all the way to the bank! Santander bank!
Wander Franco – 3-for-4. Mhmm. He’s gonna be so good this year. Hope you drafted him! What light through Wander gets on base? It is the beast, and Franco is the sun! Like John C. Reilly in tight pants and a slick combover–it’s Winning Time.
Josh Lowe – 0-for-2, 2 BBs. BUY. Underwhelming debut for the rookie sure, but I dig the two walks! Jackie Bradley, Jr. had two walks in his debut back in 2013, and look at him now! Somehow still on the Red Sox. I’m saying, I see you Josh Lowe. And I recognize that you are not Brandon Lowe or Nathaniel Lowe.
John Means – 4.0 IP, 6 hits, ER, BB, 5 K. Speaking of getting low Lil John Means proved to his haters he’s no fluke. Doode is a bonafide Ace, yes even in Baltimore. Although he’s not nearly as appealing an option now that you had to draft him 10 rounds earlier.
Shane McClanahan – 4.1 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Whether their opening day starter was Archer or Snell or Morton or Glasnow, the result would have been the same. What can I say? The faces are interchangeable year to year, but the Rays are just always good at throwing baseballs.
Andrew Kittredge – 1.0 IP, 1 hits, BB, K. Hmm. Yeah. So, kind of what we all were expecting. Kitty is the best reliever in the pen but that does not make him Cash’s closer. Kittredge pitched the eighth, with Feyereisen and Raley coming on to finish out the game, with Brooks Raley ultimately getting the save. Cash has a whole lot of ideas for his best reliever and probably only some of those ideas involve him closing games. I still think Kittredge is the one to own, but go ahead and take a flier on Raley if you think his one out on opening day make him the closer! You’re a absolute madman Cash!
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-5, HR (1), 4 K. The home run he hit barely went out and he did strikeout four times but I’ll take it over Aaron Judge’s two ichiro singles and a run. You’re going to have to do better than that, Aaron, if you want that Giancarlo “Don’t Call Me Mike” Stanton money.
DJ LeMahieu – 1-for-3, Game tying HR (1) in the 8th, but Josh Donaldson (2-for-6, RBI) was the hero with the game winning single in the 11th. Donalson led off BTW. Yah. Talk about imposing lineups. I like it!
Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-3, 2-run HR (1). H-R-to the Rizzo! Yeah Rizzo’s back, life story told through jacks, people actin’ like he like he feel off track, but the swing and that right field porch? Yeah, I’ll take that. So hopefully you know to draft this bat!
Rafael Devers – 1-for-4, HR (1). Took the first pitch he saw yard. He might be the best pure hitter in baseball but this video really says it all: “I’m happy. They pay me good, I play baseball and I hit homers.” I am also happy. Mostly for the fact that you’re on my team. Pay the man, Red Sox!
Xander Bogaerts – 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI. Awesome-X! He left this game after tweaking his hamstring a bit, but had some clutch hits, some even better cleats, and I think is primed for a huge year. Unfortch, Sawx not gonna pay Xander AND Devers. So you probably go with the 24 year-old.
Nathan Eovaldi – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, BB, 7 K. Both starters looked a little shaky against what is likely to be two of the scariest line ups in the MLB this year. Cole settled in nicely after surrendering three in the first. And EVO’s $17 million/yr contract looks like a bargain compared to Cole’s (4.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, BB, 3 K) who makes almost twice that much a year! Wait you don’t care about payroll this is fantasy baseball site? I don’t know but for some reason it’s all I care about!
Hansel Robles – 1.0 IP, hit, BB, 2 K. Matt Barnes was unavailable with a sore back so Robles got the first shot at high leverage situation and I assume he gets the next until Barnes back? Someone light a match.
Aroldis Chapman – 1.0 IP, 2 K. Threw 12 pitches. In general, the Yankees bullpen looked strong and intimidating. I don’t think Boone was anticipating a 15 pitcher, 4-hour Red Sox Yankees punch fest on opening day. I guess that’s how we know baseball is back.
Garrett Whitlock – 2.1 IP, 2 hits, ER, 4 K. Speaking of pitchers. Boston is carrying 15 pitchers to start the year! That’s like a whole sandlot team. They could literally have a pickup game in the bullpen. As for Whitlock, I can’t tell if Cora’s stretching him out or trusts him the most and he’ll end up being the closer eventually. Either way he looked like the best reliever on the Red Sox. Want to know how much he gets paid?
A.J. Pollock – 3-for-5, run, RBI. He led off! Well if you keep doing that we’re going have to seriously talk about you joining the Lindor Truffles or the Seiya Next Tuesdays.
Andrew Vaughn – 1-for-4, HR (1). BUY. What’s funny is you all, and what I mean by you all is you people when I say you all I mean readers of this site so basically, me. We. All probably owned Vaughn last year and he was meh but not ugh so we don’t own him this year. But now, we can just pick him up off the waivers and that’s all that’s changed is 365 days.
Eric Haase – 1-for-2, HR (1). I can Haase game tying, ninth inning ding dongs? Yes, and you can Haase an outfielder who’s fantasy eligible at catcher! As long as you don’t care if he starts.
Javier Baez – 2-for-5, RBI. Game winning single. Javy time! No one is Boo-az’ing you anymore. Want to hear a terrible sorry that I wouldn’t tell any other audience but you guys, not because you’re special but because it’s so, so boring to regular people. Here goes: on draft day I had to choose between Jonathan India and Javy Baez at second base and I LOVED owning Javy last year, just that boom or bust. The highs and lows. It’s exhilarating to own. Anyways, I ultimately went with India because he was ADP’d ever so slightly higher and I INSTANTLY regretted the decision and felt so guilty and oh I don’t know, Imissyousomuchjavyb.
Lucas Giolito – 4.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. So I guess that story I just told it wasn’t that bad, right? It was about betrayal. Which I think is dark and cool. Hey, speaking of dark and cool–Lucas is those things, and looked just about as dominant as any other pitcher these past two days before he left the game with tightness in his side. Let’s hope its not God or Kang the Conqueror karma’ing me for what I did to Javy?
Liam Hendriks – 1.0 IP 4 hits, 2 ER, 2 K. Big L did just that. Not great from the first closer off the draft board. Glad “you all” definitely don’t own him anywhere. Never should have traded Kimbrel.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 4.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Another four inning gem. Are you seeing the trend? This is what we get with 10 days of spring training. Hope you’re not in a quality start league.
Gregory Soto – 1.0 IP, 1 hits, ER, BB, W. This is why we can’t have nice saves! This is cause we SAGNOF. I’ll take that vulture win though!
Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 4 ER, 7 K, W. I’m just happy he went more than four innings. The win is cake on top of cake.
Frankie Montas – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, BB, 6K. Franke says relax, your team is tanking hard for that deLux Vegas stadium in the desert. No pressure, bro! Really!
Kyle Schwarber – 2-for-4, 2 runs, HR (1), 2 RBI. Didn’t take long for the first Schwarbombs of the season. Absolute Tank. Helps that he’s leading off. What did it take it 6 pitches? The first of many!
Chad Pinder – 2-for-4, HR (1). Seth Brown also hit a 3-run HR (1). I guess someone’s gotta be the heart of this A’s batting order. Pick them if you hate yourself. No seriously. These schmohawks could have value. It doesn’t matter if you hate yourself. *Adam Sandler voice* “This is how I win.”
Gavin Lux – 1-for-3, run, 2 RBI, 2 BB. He was a BUY! I just want to clarify I was using the Bobby Boucher Waterboy voice and not the Uncut Gems New York jeweler voice. The Dodgers line up took a few innings to shake off the rust, but started to look real scurry round the sixth. Lux is looking to bat 9th in the stacked LA batting order, meaning he will bat in front of Mookie Betts. I don’t know if you’re familiar with my previous work, but I think he’s the best baseball player in the world.
Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, W. I mentioned quality starts leagues above, what I didn’t mention above is that Walker B led all starters with 28 QSs in 2021. He only started 33 games! I don’t know if this means he’s lucky or good. Urias only had 13 QSs and 20 wins and he gets all the glory. That sounds more lucky to me?
Craig Kimbrel – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, 2 K, SV (1). Craig Kimbrel interviewed himself about Donald Glover’s interview of himself and he answered himself, “That’s some next level narcissim, Craig. Who’s Donald Glober?”
Kyle Freeland – 3.2 IP, 5 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Russell Wilson threw out the first pitch and he legitimately got more cheers than Freeland or anyone on the Rox. That lineup is “Ew.” And I’m usually all about those Coors bbs. At least you still have Jokic and the Broncos, Denver.
Joe Ryan – 4.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. I own Joe just about everywhere. An Ace in the 12th round? Yes I’m interested. And he comes from the Rays? Welcome home. For a guy who’s all about control the 4 BBs is a little disconcerting, but since no one is pitching over 70 pitches this weekend its tough to really see what I got here yet.
Robbie Ray – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, 4 BB, 5 K, W. 96 pitches! Managers are pulling their starters in the third for sweating–Ray is out here like its Game 7 in April. That’s cause he got PAID. All caps. Or wait–is it no cap? I don’t care. I like it!
Drew Steckenrider – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (1). Is he the closer in Seattle? Paul Sewald looked good in the eighth but it was Steck that got the save. The M’s got a win all! Don’t mess with a good thing if it works! I’d grab Drew wherever he’s available.
Gio Urshela – 1-for-4, HR (1). As Josh Donaldson leads off striking fear into the hearts of starters Gio over here jacking mollys into the Target logo. Bullseye! Seems like a good trade! Also Gio’s available in over half of Yahoo leagues. I’d absolutely take a flier on him!
Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez – 0-for-8, 4 K. Well, that’s not exactly what I wanted to see now is it? Hmm. I own this duo on A LOT of teams and I’m going to sink or swim with their success, I guess. Welp. That’s a bold move Jason Bateman, you sure do play a serious character on Ozark, are you sure that’s going to work for fans of your comedy?
Brandon Belt – 2-for-4, HR (1). Thairo Estrada also homered to bring the game to extra innings. And whata game from Darin Ruf (1-for-3, run, RBI, 2 BB), he was a BUY, but Austin Slater is your obvious hero with his game winning double and steal! I feel like I’ve heard these guys’ names all offseason, right? What!? These guys are stars! Absolute studs! Can’t wait to watch them beat the Dodgers. Don’t ever change Giants.
Joey Bart – 1-for-3, 2 runs, HR (1). Oh, hey an exciting catcher prospect!? In The Bay!? They’ve had one of those before. I’ll take him!
Logan Webb – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, BB, 3 K. Talk about a jump in ADP. I saw Webb going in the 4th round! I like you a lot, Logan, but I guess I don’t like you like that. Maybe people think that Giants magic will turn him into a certified Kevin Gausman? Grey ranked him as the best expensive number two you can draft and that’s a good thing even though it sounds kind of like a bad thing. He looked every bit the part yesterday and I wish I owned him. Maybe just a few rounds later though.
Jazz Chisholm – 2-for-3, HR (1), 2 RBI. *Jazz hands!* Hey! Speaking of Webb, you know I’m gonna get my MCU talk in. Marvel got it right finally when they learned three spidermans is better than one (spoilers, duh). So why not, and here me out, two Oscar Isaacs! Wait, let me finish. And one of them wears a white suit and does moon magic? Also, there’s rude Egyptian gods and Oscar Isaac at his most unhinged doing his best Tom Hardy in Venom impression. Okay-I’m in wh–Hulk cameo rumors?! Oh boy, yes, I’d like to watch that very much. I’d even pay for Paramount Plus.
Sandy Alcantara – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. Grey told you to SELL. Whoa, the dreaded week one sell! Yes, Mr. Overreaction, that means you should drop him immediately–but only if you can’t trade him for pennies on the dollar.
Anthony Bender – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, ER, K, BS. Bender is right. Now we’re all gonna be hung over tomorrow. After surrendering the home run to Estrada he retired the side, but the damage had been done. No telling if him or Anthony Bass get the next save chance. But I do think it will be an Anthony. So there’s that!
Jacob Stallings – 2-for-4, HR (1), 3 RBI. I know ya’ll want catcher recs! That’s why you’re here. This one spent six seasons rotting in Pittsburgh. AND he’s never hit over 10 home runs AND he could play everyday cause the Fish got no one else. Did I sell it?! You’re welcome!
Charlie Morton – 5.1 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, BB, 5 K, W. Last time I saw Morton he left the game 1 of the World Series after fracturing his fibula on a comebacker. He recorded three more outs before leaving the game including striking out Jose Altuve! So basically Charlie broke his leg but went on to record three more outs including a strikeout before his trainers forced him to leave. That’s like legendary badass stuff. I will always respect you for that, Charlie Morton.
Jonathan India – 0-for-5. This one hurts so much more if you were actually listening to my Javy Baez dinner party story. Why is this happening to me?
Matt Olson – 3-for-5. Freddie who? Kreuger? No, I don’t recall that player ever playing for Atlanta.
Travis d’Arnaud – 2-for-4, run, 3 RBI. Here’s another catcher for you. This one is just over 60% owned.
Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (1). Alright that’s got to be my favorite performance by a closer so far this year.
Teoscar Hernandez – 1-for-2, 2 runs, HR (1), 3 RBI. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Bo Bichette had 2 runs and 2 hits and hey guess what the Blue Jays are still really good. If you own any one of this trio on your team you are already in pretty good shape.
Jose Berrios – 0.1 IP, 3 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB. Managed just one out in a disastrous opening day outing for him. Luckily his team managed to dig him out of the his shame hole and somehow win it, but it’s not gonna get much easier than the Rangers, Berrios. Have you seen Boston and New York’s line up? You gotta do WAY better.
Mitch Garver – 2-for-4, HR (1). I read someone’s bold prediction somewhere on some site probably this one because I don’t read the others, but this person I would credit if I could remember where I saw it said Mitch Garver will hit 40 home runs and be the no. 1 fantasy catcher. If you’re out there reading this Mr. Bold Prediction maker DM me and I will credit you when he does.
Danny Jansen – 2-for-3, HR (1), Hit a 2-run walk off homer and WAY TO GO BJAYS! THE COMEBACK! I GOT CHILLS! I think this is their year! They also have the ultimate home field advantage in that we know all their players are vaccinated.
Jon Gray– 4.0 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. When did Jon Gray get on the Rangers? Damn Texas you be spending that Texas money like a Texan. Go big! I always liked Jon Gray but hated that he pitched in Coors Field, so now I just like Jon Gray!
Adolis Garcia – 1-for-3, HR (1). You won’t see this on your fantasy page but this was a game-tying home run. I don’t know that you care but it makes it more exciting for me. So Adolis tailed off at the end of last year as pitchers started to figure him out, but now he’s actually got some protection in that line up so he can see good pitches again. Wouldn’t surprise me to see a return from the guy we saw at the beginning of 2021!
Francisco Lindor – 0-for-1, run. Left game after hit by pitch in the face. This is what the COVID headache feels like. Thankfully Lindo is okay and wanted to stay in the game. He should be back this weekend.
Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, BB, 6 K, W. My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Interesting the guys who just signed massive contracts don’t have to be stretched out as much? They’re just good to go. I’m pretty sure Max was ready to go 9 innings back in February so maybe he’s the exception.
Jeff McNeil – 3-for-4, 2 runs, HR, 2 RBI. The birthday bomb! That’s how you celebrate the dirty thirty. He reached base four times last night and the bday boy now leads MLB with five hits through two games! McNeil was a stud back in 2019 (.318 AV, 23 HR), let’s see if he can recapture some of that pre-pandemic greatness.
Josh Bell – 1-for-3, HR (1), 2 RBI. Ding dong dinger from the J-Bell! He slaaapped this one, too! Speaking of slaps (oh, you knew it was coming, I had to for the clicks!), did you hear the catcher for the Dodgers slapped Chris Rock? I know crazy. But for real, I want to know everyone’s opinion on the Will Smith slap so go ahead and leave that in the comments. There is no one whose thoughts on this incident aren’t relevant to me. No celebrity too small. They got opinions on “The Slap” I gotta hear it and I will click that. Thank goodness baseball is back so I finally have something else to read about again.
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!