MLB Game Day Recap Day 19: Off Days

April 20, 2021

It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 19, that means it’s time to talk about off days. Today is the first slate of the season where the majority of teams had the day off. It’s the first day of the season where there’s a clear lack of baseball. Only 1 day game? Only 1 late night West Coast game? Something just feels off when there’s a distinct lack of baseball over the course of the day during the spring and summertime. But, there’s also something that’s right about it feeling so wrong when there isn’t a full slate of baseball. Isn’t that weird? I want to lounge on my porch, iPad in hand, just watchin’ baseball. When it’s not there it’s wrong, but it’s also so right that that’s wrong. It’s baseball season.

Climbing Up

Danny Duffy had gone 6.0 strong innings in each of his three starts this season. He’s averaged just a smidge over 6 K’s per fame while allowing 1 run in those 18.0 innings. There was a time when Duffy was a clear fantasy staple. He was an innings eater who put up solid ratios while striking out batters at an acceptable rate. He was never the star that his prospect hype matched, but he was a very solid rotational piece. Danny looks like he is turning back the clock in 2021 as all signs point towards sustained success. Only one of his three starts have come against the offensively weak AL Central, and that was on the road against Cleveland. If you need innings, Duffy is an excellent add who should not give you many apocalyptic starts.

Letdown

Lucas Giolito did not have a good one. You know it’s a bad start when the ERA is gigantic but also not a clear multiple of 9. An ERA of 63.00 and WHIP of 10.00? Yep, things did not go as planned. Lucas lasted only one full inning allowing 8 runs, 7 earned on 8 hits with 2 walks while striking out 2. This a disastrous inning and should be the worst start of his season. Boston is running hot, but no one expected them to annihilate Gioltio. Look for a rebound outing when he faces Texas in his next start.

Who’s Hot

Tim Anderson has been an absolute machine since returning from the injured list. He’s hitting an even .500 going 9 for 18 in his 4 games back with 5 runs scored, a solo dinger, and 3 stolen bases. That’s insanely good. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but SS is super deep. Anderson is justifiably not a top 10 shortstop, yet he’s still an insanely valuable asset. Whoever rosters Anderson in your league might not properly value him because of his status as a mid-level shortstop. If you can swing a deal for him moving your second or third outfielder, it’d be a wise trade.

Who’s Not

Fernando Tatis Jr. does not look like the guy who was getting taken #1 overall in fantasy drafts. Someone suggested he was getting overdrafted and he certainly looks like it. He’s now 1 for his past 20 since returning from the injured list. Sure he’s scored 2 runs and hit a solo homer while driving in another, but that’s not a good line. Mixing injury with failed production is a cocktail for a year long slump. If he’s on my roster and I don’t play in dynasty, I’m entertaining trades. You want to move him for Harper + Tim Anderson? I’m pulling the trigger. Trout + Jake Cronenworth? Count me it. There will be many managers who refuse to sell because they refuse to admit he isn’t the top asset. Their lost season will be as much on their pride as it is on Tatis Jr.

The Emilio Bonifacio Award

Tommy Edman earns his first Bonifacio of the year far later in the season than I was expecting. A 2 for 5 game with a 2 run dinger during the Cardinals route of the Nationals is what go the job done. In certain leagues, Edman qualifies all over the diamond with 2B/3B/SS/OF eligibility. His mix of speed and power along with multi-positional status makes Edman an easy target for savvy managers. A top piece on a bench who can be plugged in whenever a starter has a day off, Edman is a top tier Bonifacio man and will find his name on this award many times over the season.

The James Shields Award

Joe Musgrove continued is Cy Young level season throwing a casual 7.1 innings against the Brewers allowing 2 earned striking out 13. With Shane Bieber and Jacob deGrom both having their teams not play, Musgrove and the Padres had the best pitcher in baseball in uniform tonight. Even on the nights when he’s “off” he gives you a baker’s dozen of strikeouts with a 2.57 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. That’s fantasy ace status. Nathan Eovaldi also picked up a Shields tonight, but his start was very tail end of Shields career-equse. 6.1 innings, 4 earned, 9 hits, 0 walks, 10 K’s. That’s nice, but also confusing. It’s super rare to see the 6+ start with big K numbers but everything else being ‘meh’. It’s a good homage as the Shields Award honors all aspects of James Shields. Congrats Nathan.

The Brad Lidge Award

Since he holds reliever eligibility in the majority of leagues, Joe Ross will pick up the Lidge award on a night where no closer allowed more than a run. Ross went 4.1 innings and allowed 10 (!) earned runs with 4 homers. Entering tonight he had allowed 0 earned runs across 11.0 innings, including a shutdown performance against tonight’s opponent the Cardinals. This is a good reminder that these starters who start off hot but have clear question marks and guys to avoid when facing a solid team for the second time on the year. Teams adjust, and mid-level pitchers only sometimes adjust back. Proceed with caution moving forward.

Conclusion

The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. There are days off, despite what Red Sox prospect Blaze Jordan thinks in the image below. These days off are absolutely necessary for the players, but they’re also necessary for fans. While it does feel wrong to not have a full slate of games, it’s a needed break for many on a Monday night. I don’t need the break, but I understand why there are days off. Time to reset. Time to come back strong tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Goodnight.