It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 29 which means it’s time to talk about being a day late. This post is a day late. Unfortunately for my very loyal [and very, very small] contingent of followers, yesterday marks the first date this season that there was not an MLB Game Day Recap. Life got in the way, and not only did I fail to review the date’s 10 MLB games but I also missed giving real-time reactions to my mock draft going up in flames. These things happen with my writing life, and they also happen with your fantasy life. Things happen, lineup adjustments are missed, errors occur, and omissions happen. There are 162 games across even more days, and no one plays at the top of their game each and every day. Remember this the next time you make an error with your fantasy roster.
David Peralta is ranked as the fifth-best player out of all players in the past 14 days in standard leagues. The only players who have outperformed him are Jacob deGrom, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jesse Winker, and Bryce Harper. Those are some really, really good players. These numbers are not typical of what we have seen out of Peralta in the past. Some analysts, including yours truly, felt that Peralta would continue to put up his standard career numbers, very adequate ones but then would meet his demise via trade. Instead, Peralta is putting the baseball world on notice that he might be the guy to go add at the trading deadline. Managers looking for a short-term bat that could turn into a long one, get Peralta on your roster.
Dylan Moore continued his woeful fantasy season again yesterday. He went 0 for 2 with a walk and now is hitting a putrid .108/.244/.215 on the season. Entering the year on the back of a .855 OPS and 138 OPS+ season, Moore looked like he could be every fantasy team’s dream super-utility player. Unfortunately, he’s just been a night more. Looking forward, there is little reason for optimism. Moore struggled throughout his rookie campaign in 2019 and every day it becomes more apparent that Dylan is that guy, and not his extremely producing 2020 self. However, one can still hope he puts together some decent hot streaks. The Mariners have been surprisingly competitive across the first month of the season, so it’s possible Moore will find himself on the bench more often than not moving ahead. He’s a cut candidate, but one to watch on the free agent wire.
Since his return from the injured list one day ago, Kolten Wong has been a man on a mission. The Milwaukee second baseman has 12 hits over that 7 game stretch which includes one game where he did not record an at-bat. A player known for his defensive work, Wong appears to be breaking out of his shell in Milwaukee. Long-time readers know second base is extremely thin in 2021, so a hot streak like this means someone in your league needs to get Wong in their lineup. Roster him during this hot streak, because his rise in production might last throughout the season.
Eugenio Suarez has not recorded a hit over his past 23 at-bats. That means he’s gone hitless over the last full week. A popular pick in late drafts due to his move to shortstop, Suarez has not found the slugging bat he had at the hot corner. He’s put up a disgusting -1.2 bWAR across 23 games this season including his league-leading 38 strikeouts. He’s just been awful. Shortstop is very deep, and while Eugenio has been a streaky player his whole career, this is not the streak we want. He belongs on the bench until further notice. A full series streak of top-end performance is what it would take to let him out of fantasy jail. His upcoming series against the Cubs may help, but he doesn’t belong in any lineups today. Proceed with caution.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Just like David Peralta, Eduardo Escobar has proved doubters wrong this first month. The number four overall fantasy second baseman this season, Escobar once again let loose Thursday. Two runs and an RBI with two hits is the perfect type of fantasy game for someone who always gets the job one. Escobar also owns third base eligibility as well, which makes him a clear Bonifacio qualifier. Consistently forgotten in fantasy circles as a guy who isn’t as good as his numbers suggest, Escobar just keeps putting his doubters on notice. Once his hot streak dies down, managers would be savvy to try and swing a deal for him while the iron is cold. It’s only a matter of time before it warms up again.
The James Shields Award
Trevor Bauer, Dylan Cease, and Yusei Kikuchi were the only starters to pick up a Shields yesterday. Bauer was absolutely dominating, continuing his bid for a repeat Cy Young. He went 8.0 full innings striking out six, but he did pick up the loss. A fourth-inning two-run dinger by Travis Shaw was the only scoring either side saw in the game. Even elite pitchers give up dingers and Bauer is no exception. Cease looked everything like the pitcher many projected him to be in 2021. Three hits, all singles, and nine strikeouts in a complete game, seven-inning shutout against the Tigers. Absolutely dominant in every aspect of the word, managers are hoping this is the start of a season of dominance for Cease. Kikuchi is another candidate for sustained dominance. He managed to avoid the big inning by allowing only one hit and walking two Astros.
The Brad Lidge Award
Cesar Valdez finally looked human for the first time in his career. He allowed one earned run on two walks and a double. An extremely unflashy pitcher who no analytics fan would ever want as a closer, Valdez has simply dominated since 2020. 26.0 innings, 25 strikeouts, and a 1.38 ERA with a 0.846 WHIP are considered dominant by any metric. Consider this outing a speed bump on an otherwise unblemished street. Roster and start Valdez with confidence and simply run him until the well goes dry. Managers might see him as fools gold, so offering a low-ball trade offer after a blown save might be the way to acquire a non-sexy closer at a cheap, cheap price.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Being a day late is happens often in baseball. Sometimes a breakout performance happens after a poor pitcher is on the mound, not before. Other times an elite pitching outing happens after first appearance jitters. Missing out and being a day late is okay, it happens to everyone. Every single person in your league will be a day late on a move at some point, so when you are, don’t fret. Understand this, and also understand this game should be fun. Missing out on someone or something may be disappointing, but it can be remedied the next day. Enjoy the game, and if you need a day’s break, take it.