It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 7, that means it’s time to realize we are only one week into the baseball season. One week! That’s it! Keynan Middleton is making the face we all make when we realize we still aren’t even 5% through this yet. It’s the best feeling and it’s a surreal one. The first week is when there is the most overcorrection. Someone in your fantasy league cut someone too quick, while someone else needs to start making some moves. Baseball is the only sport where one week feels like absolutely no time, and that’s part of its charm. It truly is a marathon, so buckle up as we still have 25 more of these to go until we crown a winner.
Rhys Hoskins hit his first long ball of week one today, taking David Peterson deep early in the 1st. Hoskins has quickly morphed as a fantasy player from an up and coming star into a boring veteran. His mix of elite on base skills with marginal average makes many managers look elsewhere for upside. Hoskins quietly is just 28 and has averaged 36 bombs per 162 games. That’s really good and is the type of average that leads to a career year with MVP numbers. That’s the kind of good that makes me think of a young Jose Abreu. Hoskins is a very quiet buy in pretty much every format right now and I would try and add him before his managers opt to hold him for good.
Marcell Ozuna is 2 for 20 with 0 runs scored, 0 homers, 0 RBIs and 0 stolen bases this season. He went 0-6 during today’s double header. This is a slump. Sure it’s only 20 at bats and could end as soon as tomorrow, but it’s not good. The Braves next series is against the same Phillies staff that cut down Ozuna and the Braves to start the year. Ozuna’s coming off a year where he exceeded expectations leading the league in HRs and RBIs, 2021 might be the year where he fails to meet expectations. It’s hard to find a buyer for a power hitter who has yet to hit an extra base hit, but if you can find a buyer near his ADP, I’d sell.
We are now 6 games into the season and the Cincinnati Reds worst offensive showing was when they beat the Pirates 5-3. 9 position players have OPS+ over 100 with 6 of them being over 190. The team has played some of the weakest pitching staffs in the game and is not going to keep up this blistering pace, but this is the Who’s Hot category and not the Who’s Keeping It Up category. Speaking of keeping it up, Roman is the best… just kidding we don’t have a Roman sponsorship (yet). No one is expecting these Reds to be the best offense in the league, but the NL Central needs someone to step up. The Reds very well might be that team that steps up and takes control. It’s not outlandish to say the Reds look like the team to beat in this wide open division going forward.
Erick Fedde and Max Fried combined for 3.2 innings, 14 hits, 11 runs, 4 walks, 4 K’s and somehow only 1 home run to open up the day portion of a double header today in Washington. These type of starts are always awful, but opening a double header is the definitive worst time to be awful. Fedde dropping a bomb is unfortunate, but not unsurprising. Fried getting sent to the moon is shocking. This was not just an awful start, it was the worst one of Fried’s career. It’s the first time he’s ever allowed 6 runs and that’s not the type of thing you want to see in start #2 on the year. Fedde can live in the “not” category and fantasy owners won’t notice, but Fried entering it is a scary omen. Fried was a top 20 dynasty starter heading into the year, but maybe not after tonight.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Garrett Hampson dropped a gorgeous Bonifacio on us tonight, as the 2B/SS/OF eligible track star stole 3 bases, scored 3 runs, went 2 for 3 with a pair of walks and also drove in a run. Not only is this definitionally the most Bonifacio of Bonifacio’s, this is the Garrett Hampson we’ve seen Garrett Hampson be. For years fantasy managers waited for this type of line from Hampson when he’s tied to playing time, and it looks like it’s finally happening. Given all of his multi-position eligibility and the rarity of consistent base stealers in modern baseball, listen to the experts and add Hampson today if he is still on the waiver wire.
The James Shields Award
Goodness, gracious! Trevor Bauer, Shane Bieber, Luis Castillo, Nathan Eovaldi, Pablo Lopez, Kevin Gausman, Brandon Woodruff, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matthew Boyd, and Antonio Senzatela all recorded 19+ outs today. This could be the first and only time this season where more starters pitch into the 7th than failed to make it through the 5th. Everyone here is an excellent pitcher, yet somehow Antonio Senzatela was the bell of the ball. Look at this swing, sure it’s Madison Bumgarner, but filthy’s filthy. 8 scoreless, 4 hits, and 2 walks in Colorado. Antonio is one of those enigmas who manages to spin gems like tonight but also gives up 7 runs in 3.1 innings the game before. On a night with so many ace performances, shockingly Senzatela is the head of the class. I know he spun this one in Colorado, but streaming Senzatela for every road start might just be extremely savvy.
The Brad Lidge Award
Greg Holland’s blowup wasn’t historic, but he was brought in to get two outs in the highest leverage situation in the game and proceeded to go strikeout, homer, single, single before getting yanked. There’s a whole subset of fantasy players out there who invested in Greg Holland being the one to emerge in the 9th inning for fantasy saves. On one hand, getting the call in the high leverage spot means he is favored in the bullpen hierarchy, on the other hand serving up dingers never helps. This spot didn’t come with a blown save, just a standard loss, but it might as well have. The Royals should continue to run a closer committee much to the chagrin of Holland owners.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Since we are one week into the season, we are starting to get a sense of some trends. Some players look like they might be breaking out. Others look like they might be busts. Overall, it looks like we just need a bigger sample. The thing is, it’s been one week.