It’s MLB Game Day Recap Day 4, so that means it’s that time of the season. The time of the season where Shohei Ohtani pitches. Since his arrival in 2018, the game Shohei Ohtani pitches is must watch TV. Today, we also saw Ohtani hit for the first time when he was also starting and that worked out well. Pundits continually put the pressure on Mike Trout to be the face of baseball, when the true face of baseball is someone else on the same team. No one else in baseball, zero people, can do what Shohei can. He’s the perfect marketing candidate for a machine that wants to market to America’s youth. The only issue with Ohtani? He gets hurt too much. Every 6 days the only dual player in baseball, and it’s a must watch game every time. Please just stay healthy for a full season, okay?
Gavin Lux has started all three games this season going 6 for 16 including 1 for 3 with RBI tonight. That makes Lux the #7 overall 2B this season. Given that he was a former Top 5 overall prospect less that two years ago while being tied to a starting job on the best team in baseball, that makes him a valuable commodity. If only someone could have sensed this and predicted this meteoric rise. Fantasy mangers avoided Lux simply because they were afraid of the risk. They were afraid of drafting Lux only see failure two years in a row. This risk aversion by some is what wins leagues for others. When it comes to fantasy baseball, late round risk buying is a good thing because that’s where you want variance. Lux is providing the high end variance today and giving you the rewards of a well timed investment.
Austin Gomber sure looked like absolute garbage today. It truly takes a special kind of garbage to allow one hit and one earned run over 3.0 ininngs, but 7 walks and 2 more unearned runs will do that you. Gomber was “the centerpiece” of the Nolan Arenado trade and I don’t need to tell you it’s not working out. Colorado simply keeps acquiring pitchers who rely on spin rate to be successful, and spin rate isn’t successful in Denver. Gomber will put together some decent starts, however pitching in the NL West won’t provide him with many. Austin is not only a letdown today, pitching in Colorado will lead to subsequent letdowns all season. The expectations aren’t very high, but they’re still too high.
When you’re a Cedric Mullins leadoff hitter who goes 5 for 5 with 3 doubles, 3 runs scored and a stolen base, you’re going to get called hot. Mullins and the entire Orioles offense tore Garrett Richards to shreds as he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks over 2.0 IP. Cedric is always going to be tantalizing to fantasy managers with his blazing speed and buying him before a hot streak kicks off is a savvy move. The Orioles play some weak pitching staffs to start the year @BOS, @NYY then at home vs BOS and SEA before going to TEX for 3. Mullins continuing to put up days like today is not as far fetched as it might seem, and he’s a sneaky short term buy off the waiver wire.
Cavan Biggio is ice cold. Primarily know as an “On Base Guy” Biggio has started the year on a 1 for 12 cold streak. While he should be the 3B for the foreseeable future, one has to wonder how long he will remain atop the lineup. If you can’t hit, you can only get on base so much. Cavan’s multi-positional eligibility could be his savior in fantasy as a super utility player, but if he falls down in the lineup I’m out. Selling him today would get no objections from me.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Luis Arraez is another Swiss army knife, but he’s just one that is performing much better. Today Arraez reached base all 5 times against Adrian Houser and Co. as he continued to be a force atop the Twins lineup. Arraez is the player that you want Cavan Biggio to be, and his ADP came at a much more palatable price. The Bonifacio Award loves going to multi-positional players, so it’s more than happy to tie itself to Luis Arraez. My guess is Arraez finishes the season Top 5 in total Bonifacio’s as he will just continue to hit. It’s not a stretch to call him a modern day Rod Carew, which is truly saying something.
The James Shields Award
Zach Eflin, Julio Urias and Aaron Civale are our winners today. All three went 7.0 IP strong while handing their teams victories, with Eflin being the only one who didn’t see a W next to his name as well. Urias only allowed 4 base runners to Civale and Eflin’s 5, and while Urias and Eflin only allowed a run Civale allowed 3 including two homers Nomar Mazara and Akil Baddoo before settling down the first time through the lineup. It’s not surprising to see Eflin and Civale on this list, but Urias’ name is a bit shocking. The Dodgers are so loaded in the pitching department that anytime one of their young studs goes deep early in the season it’s surprising. Should Urias continue giving length, he could find himself as a Top 10 starter by seasons end.
The Brad Lidge Award
Ryan Helsley went 0.1 innings allowing 2 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs. While that is an awful line, Helsley did manage to avoid giving up a base hit as Tyler Webb allowed a big dong to Tyler Naquin allowing one of Helsley’s inherited runners to score. All in all, this one wasn’t insanely awful. Yet all in all it was still the most awful of the day. Helsley has seen his stock plummet after getting high leverage opportunities in 2019. Rough day for St. Louis in general, but considering how offended they were Nick Castellanos was happy yesterday this one feels karmatic.
My conclusion today is a simplistic one. Watch and enjoy Ohtani. Tell your friends and family about him. Let everyone you know who might enjoy baseball casually that they have to watch. Implore the East coast to stay up late to catch a glimpse. Shohei I’ll leave you with is beautiful image, because it’s the true faces of baseball. That’s it for today’s MLB Game Day Recap.