OK, Good Friday was last week and my headline is invalid. Not so fast, I’m obviously referring to Orthodox Good Friday. Yes, some of us are just a little more Christian than others. The good Fantasy Lord has blessed us with some real mediocre to bottom-barrel saviors this past Good-er (Better?) Friday, and if you’re as desperate for saves as I am for positive feedback you are in luck. First up, Emilio Pagan notched his second save of the season last night, and that makes saves in back-to-back games for former Padre. It was not easy, as he allowed three base runners before getting the job done–but he’s available everywhere and appears to be Rocco Baldelli’s first choice for the ninth, despite everyone else staning over Jhoan Duran and his 150 mph fastball. Next up, Matt Barnes netted his first save of the season with a big out Friday night. Barnes Burner is the preferred closer option in Boston for everyone, the question is whether or not he can still handle the gig. If he can, it’s his job to lose, and he was able to handle it Friday night as he entered the ninth in a one run game with the bases loaded, two outs and a very hot (very sexy) Wander Franco up at bat. Barnesy got Wander (who had homered in two previous at bats) to ground out to close out the game and it was an encouraging outing for Barnes’ save opportunities going forward. If he’s sitting on waivers he’s def worth the add. Meanwhile, on the west coast, Jorge Lopez of the Baltimore Oh NOrioles got his third save of the season and if you don’t know Jorge Lopez yet, get to know his sinker. Yup. Combine that filthy breaking ball with some high, high 90s cheese? Yes please! Lopez looks like he’s got a firm grasp on the closer gig and is available in most leagues. Pitching for the lowly O’s, he may not get as many opportunities as the others but he’s got the best stuff of the bunch. Finally, last and certainly, definitely 100% least, Chris Stratton grabbed his second save last night allowing two hits and striking out Alfonso Rivas. Still unclear if Stratton is sharing the gig with David Bednar, the all around better option, but Bednar’s three holds suggest he may be used earlier, in high leverage situations and for now both should see chances–well, as many chances as the Pirates can produce which could be not many. Nevertheless, hoping there is at least one helpful savior in this bunch that can bless you with saves this very orthodox fantasy weekend.
Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Raimel Tapia – 2-for-4, run, SB (1). Tapia the morning to you! Raimel’s on Tapia the world! Or at the very least on Tapia the Blue Jays line up. He could continue to stay there as long as Teoscar and George Springer are out–and George has a tendency to be out a lot. If you are just joining us here at RB, the top of the Jays is a very valuable place to hit! Grab him!
Jordan Romano – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, 3 K, SV (8). Joey Lucheesi of the Mozarella di Parma Lucheesis throws a huge family party after Easter Mass on Sunday and can you guess who was invited? That’s right–Jordan Romano of the Locatelli Pecorino Romanos and his entire family! Beautiful party! And the food! Fuggedaboutit. “Salud!” Joey said to Jordy as they clinked their glasses of chiante, “To 50 saves!”
Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, BB, 5 K. JV almost had me think he was about to shut down the BJays until Lourdes Lord got to him in the third. Then in the 5th he gave up back-to-back home runs to the only two guys in the Jays line up no one’s rostering, Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer. His 1.89 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and a 20/4 K/BB tell me he’s primed for another run at the ol’ CY this year. Why does it seem Justin is above the Stros’ cheating controversy? Is it because he’s a pitcher and wasn’t involved in stealing signs? Or is it because he’s married to Kate Upton and we know he doesn’t have to cheat at anything in life.
Rafael Devers – 1-for-4, HR (3). Rappy only hits home runs on Fridays now, I guess? For me!? Awwww! He really likes me! I am flattered but only homering on Fridays would put you at about 27 bombs, and we’re going to have to do a little better than that.
Wander Franco – 2-for-5, 2 HR (3). Mmhm. Because maaaaybeeeee, you’re gonna be the one that saaaaves meeeee….Aaaand after alllllllll…you’re my Wander waaaaallllll….
Michael Wacha – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1st win. Wacha wacha, Fozzy B, the Sawx no. 2 starter is Michael and that must be a joke right? What’s funny is he actually looked pretty solid against his old club, but MW gets the Jays next week and I’m not touching that with a 10 foot pole.
Corey Kluber – 5.0 IP, 11 hits, 4 ER, BB, 3 K. 11 hits! Yikes! Who do you think you are? Rihanna? Nine of those were singles, and it was Boston so we’ll give him a pass. He gets a much easier match up versus the Meh-riners next week.
Maikel Franco – 1-for-4, HR (2). BUY. Sometimes it’s a matter of best available, and for a lot of people where third base is a barren wasteland riddled with fire, dust and ash. The very air you breathe a poisonous fume–well, Franco is best available.
Patrick Corbin – 1.2 IP, 7 hits, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3rd L. The horror show continues. That’s 17 runs in just over 13 innings if you are tracking Pat-Co’s descent into obscurity. Corbin, Nick Pivetta or Dallas Keuchel. You must roster one–Choose or Die, Netflix. I choose…die? Was I right!?
Thairo Estrada – 2-for-4, run. BUY. If it wasn’t clear from above you should drop Corbin, and while you’re add it you can add a BUY like Estrada! I’m always scared to recommend Giants, because they don’t play every day. Well, here’s one who basically does, and he’s hitting .308 with 5 runs, 5 RBI a homer and a steal in the past week. That’s like all the categories!
Austin Slater – 2-for-5, HR (1), 3 RBI. Speaking of platooning Giants, Austin (whose middle name does not begin with a “C” but still insists on being nicknamed “AC” thank goodness) only really starts versus lefties, and until that changes I’ma have to pass, Preppy.
Bailey Ober – 5.0 IP, 5 hits, ER, 6 K. As the crowd chanted, “IT’S ALL OBER” Mmm, yes, I love me some Twinkies starters. Bailey Ober is like a poor man’s Joe Ryan, who is a poor man’s Ace. Let’s call him a poverty starter. Well, there’s nothing poor about the way he’s pitched against Boston and Chicago, two good offenses, so he should keep it going versus Detroit next week.
Michael Kopech – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, BB, 7 K. He basically only throws his fastball. Not complaining, just observing. You do you, MK.
Andrew Vaughn – 1-for-3, HR (3) slashing .313/.389/.625 . If La Russa would ever bat him higher than seventh, we might have a bona fide stud on our hands here. But if you move Andrew up you have to move Leury Garcia (1-for-4, 3 Ks) who’s hitting .091 and has walked twice all year, down. And that just may never happen.
Freddy Peralta – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K lowered his ERA to 7.50. He gets the Pirates next week. Oh, weird how he’s going to be fine and not a total bust? Last week was a good time to buy, this week might be your last chance to buy.
Jameson Taillon – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, 5 K, 1st win ERA at 3.07. Of course, he wins the one game I don’t start him. Am I really that scared of the Guardians? Have you seen Steve Kwan’s swing? Also, is Guardians the dumbest name ever? JT gets the Oh-rioles next week and should really be owned in more than a quarter of fantasy leagues at this point.
Michael King – 3.0 IP, 1 hits, 8 K. Aroldis Chapman got the save with 1.0 IP, 1 hit, and 2 Ks but this was King’s Gambit! “It’s just easier if I strike everyone out, Skip!” Sweet sassy molassy! The 18/2 K/BB in just 10.2 IP is crazier than a Johnny Depp/Amber Heard divorce hearing (a grumpy!?), but he’s behind a few other guys for save opps in a stacked Yankee bullpen.
Franmil Reyes – 1-for-4, HR (2). Grey won’t jinx him by counting up to 50 but I will! 48 to go!
Steven Kwan – 2-for-4. ALL HE DOES IS HIT BASEBALLS! Someone get his DNA on ice!
Eli Morgan – 3.0 IP, 1 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Cleveland’s most trusted law firm Eli & Morgan looks like he still needs to be stretched out a bit more, but if he pitches like he did Friday should get plenty more chances as a starter this year. Did you hear that click? That was me adding Eli to my watch list.
Steven Matz – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2nd win. I streamed Matz for his 7 ER debacle versus the Pirates in week one, so of course, he’s been supremely solid with two dubs since I dropped him. He lines up for a revenge game with the Metz next week and I’d avoid but also what do I know!
Hunter Greene – 3.1 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. Velocity was crazy down from his 39 pitches over 100 mph outing last week, which is a tad concerning. Is he quite literally out of gas? Also, I’m not the only one who realizes hunter green is also a color, right? Ooo pretty. Is this like an Elizabeth Wrigley-Field situation? Please explain.
Salvador Perez – 1-for-4, HR (5). Half of his 10 hits this season have gone yard. If you’re going to draft a catcher high, at least draft the one who’s a lock for 35 bombs, I guess.
Julio Rodriguez – 2-for-4, run, 2 RBI. Have a day, Julio! FINALLY! The first multi-hit game of the phenom’s career and it couldn’t have come soon enough. They were big hits, too! Full disclosure, I was getting pretty close you guys, but then Kendrick announced his album and J-Rod is hitting. Things are finally coming up Milhouse! Now if I can just get one of my pitchers to go more than four innings we’re in business.
Jarred Kelenic – 1-for-4, 2 RBI. Multiple RBI games from multiple M’s hot shot prospects, in the same game!? WHAT IS THIS?! Heaven?
Reid Detmers – 5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, BB, 4 K, ERA at 6.57. The ERA is a big Yeesh, but the 1.30 WHIP and 12/4 K/BB in 12.1 IP tell a different story. And in that story I lead my league in ERA and strikeouts, with Detmers as my Ace. His 3.69 xFIP and .294 BABIP say mebbe he’s been unlucky, so let’s hope that’s true.
Bruce Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, 1st win. The 1.20 ERA, 1.13 WHIP ratios are prettier than your momma (who I think is very pretty for the record) and the 16/5 K/BB makes me raise an eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. The next level stats suggest this could be no fluke! Could he be 2022s John Means?! I’ll let you know if he survives his start at Yankee Stadium next week.
Nathaniel Lowe – 2-for-3, HR (1) slashing .412/.455/.529. All it will take is this one ding dong for those ownership numbers to skyrocket. He’ll be owned in over 75% of leagues by the time I finish this…sandwich! Lol gotem. I was writing a sentence but also eating a sandwich that’s how I got you so good. So yeah, he’ll be owned everywhere by the end of the weekend, and as he should be, he’s got an 8 game hitting streak with 5 multi-hit games in that stretch. Grab him before someone else does!
Glenn Otto – 5.0 IP, 2 hits, BB, 5 K. His name is Otto and he likes to get blotto! Ottoman has been killin’ it in AAA, only time will tell if he can carry that success to the bigs, but next week in Houston should be a true test. I’ve got my one good non-astigmatistic eye watching you closer than the finale of Moon Knight. When in doubt MCU, add a crazy CGI animal that will trend on twitter. Works every time!
Jonah Heim – 2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI slashing .381/.458/.714. Heim licked this one! No? I don’t know, sounded OK in my head. He’s hitting well when he plays, which is every third day it seems. He’s also a BUY! Might force Tejas to DH Garver to get Jonah Hex in the line up more. Anyone remember that movie? Who says Megan Fox can’t act? I think she’s very talented.
Mookie Betts – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 HR (2), SB (2), 2 BB. Mookie Best! My flame, my muse! OhmygoodnessImissyousomuch. If you thought for one second your Mookie Betts first round pick was going to be a bust–you don’t deserve him.
Julio Urias – 5.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, 3 BB, 6 K. First start jitters behind, Julio produced a 36% CSW% en route to six punch outs but may never make it to six innings again. No matter, he got 20 wins last year on the same system. He gets a real cherry matchup with the DBacks next week, too.
Nick Martinez – 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 102 pitches. How is it they let Nick Martinez throw over 100 pitches but Yu Darvish and Manaea are pulled at around 80? Is it that he doesn’t care about ruining N-Mart’s arm? Is Nick Martinez the horse starting pitcher I never knew? Either way, he’s got a good match up in Cincinnati next week if you’re feeling dangerous.
Zac Gallen – 5.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, BB, 7 K. Gallen has impressed me in his two starts, holding the Mets to just one run and six base runners in 9.0 IP. Can he shut down a team that’s not the New York Mets? Find out next week as he takes on the Dodgers, and by then we should know if he’s the real deal.
David Peterson – 5.2 IP, 3 hits, ER, BB, 3 K. Life is good when you’re facing the Diamondbacks. He allowed his first run of the year Friday night and finally made it through five innings. He might get the Cards next week if Buck doesn’t decide to skip him. Either way, you should probably decide to skip him.
Trevor Rogers – 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3rd L. After last week’s S-show versus the Phils we needed something encouraging and this start helps. That’s still three straight Ls for T-Ro, and he’s about to pique the interest of some Orioles scouts with a W-L streak like that. B-More scouts be hovering, ya’ll! He gets a much cushier assignment in Washington next week so let’s not ship him to Camden just yet.
Kenley Jansen – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (4). Remember when we thought he was done? Me neither!
Kyle Wright – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, BB, 11 K, 2nd win. Kyle’s got all the wright moves! The Wright Stuff, baby! S/O to NKOTB. Emphasis on the NKKKKKKKKKKKOTB! I told you to grab him last week, and hopefully, you listened, because he’s not longer available in any leagues where living, breathing humans play fantasy beisbol. This is why you don’t draft starters high. You L out L as you lay back and sip your ghost pepper marg with Guy Fieri’s trademark margarita mix and watch your competitors panic over their Freddy Peraltas and their Brandon Woodruffs. Not you. You got your Ace off the trash heap. Plucked from the island of forgotten toys and gently inserted into your fantasy line up on his way to winning you a championship. The Price WAS Wright. ERA at 1.06. Sub-1 WHIP. 26/2 K/BB. Yep. I’ve seen enough. Kyle Wright has arrived, folks, and he’s every bit the fantasy ace as the pitchers your league mates drafted too high. This guy’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!