MLB Game Day Recap Day 31: It’s May

May 1, 2021

It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 31 which means it’s time to talk about May. This paragraph was going to be about the month of May, but then baseball happened. Dustin May decided he owned exclusive rights to ‘May’ and hijacked my idea. Then Trevor May earned the win in the Mets game. So much for this article exclusively being about how we are only one month into a six-month regular season. Time to pivot, just like the Dodgers bullpen today. Time to pivot just like Trevor May’s season stats after his poor performance in his Mets debut. The season is 16.67% over today, that’s it. There are so many more storylines to come, so it’s time for us to take our collective breath and realize they are coming. The season has so much more to reveal. Let’s revel in it and enjoy what’s to come.

Climbing Up

Tyler O’Neill went 2 for 5 with a run scored and two RBIs today. He adds that to his number one overall fantasy ranking this past week. Yes, I said number overall ranking. He has been the most valuable asset across this past week, and yet he’s only rostered in 20% of Yahoo! leagues. Someone is going to see their ownership tag increase in short order. The Cardinals seem to always find gems and Tyler O’Neill has Cardinals gem written all over him. If you’re in need of power and speed and are in a position to sacrifice points in your average, O’Neill is for you.

Letdown

Tristan McKenzie had a crazy start against the White Sox today. Every single out he recorded was via the strikeout. He only allowed one hit. The problem? He also allowed five earned runs and four walks, and he could not manage to record any outs in the second inning. This is modern baseball at its finest (?). Absolutely no balls in play outside of one home run. The fielders never moved and caught a ball, yet the start will likely be seen as a positive WAR and FIP outing. The game has moved to a weird place where contact is so impossible that no one tries to maximize overall contact. Rather, they just maximized exit velocity and try to do as much damage as possible when they do make contact. This start is a letdown, and so is modern baseball.

Who’s Hot

Ronald Acuna Jr. is the best player in fantasy baseball over the past month. This is not surprising, he is amazing at baseball. That’s all.

Who’s Not

Hunter Dozier went 0 for 4 today. He entered the game hitting .134/.205/.269 with one double, one triple, and two home runs. Dozier signed a four-year 25 million dollar extension prior to the start of the season, and good thing for his bank. He has absolutely stunk this year and looked everything like a future 30-year-old non-tender candidate. Instead, he’s locked himself into a roster spot for the next four years. If anyone wonders why players sign these “team friendly” contracts, it’s because they are mutually beneficial to players like Dozier. He just maximized his career earnings with this deal. Luckily not too many of us play in contract leagues, so we can cut Dozier and not have any future implications. That’s my recommendation if it wasn’t already clearly obvious.

The Emilio Bonifacio Award

Jared Walsh went 4 for 4 with two dingers and three runs batted in. Consistently forgotten by too many fantasy analysts [but not me], Walsh has obliterated opposing pitching. Entering tonight with a .329/.398/.549 slash across 23 games, with a lofty 166 OPS+, Walsh is a star. He is not a star in the making, he is not slowly emerging, he is already there. Angels superstars are often undersold as their excellence is just assumed without any additional praise. It’s an extremely lofty comparison calling Walsh mini-Trout, but I’m doing it. Make every trade offer you can to acquire him, you will not regret it.

The James Shields Award

Patrick Corbin, Zack Wheeler, Jose Urquidy, and Danny Duffy all managed to go 7.0 innings today. If you were afraid to cut Patrick Corbin prior to tonight, you might victory lap while also shopping the heck out of him. No one will take the bait. Zack Wheeler allowed four runs but continued to be the workhorse that is so valuable in modern baseball. Urquidy gave his managers the positive side of his variance blanking Tampa Bay with five strikeouts and picking up the win. Danny Duffy has looked like a Cy Young winner through his first five starts. I didn’t say candidate, I said winner. Tonight may have been the worst start of his season, where he went seven strong allowing one run and striking out seven. He also allowed two hits and walked three. I don’t know where this came from, but it looks like it’s staying.

The Brad Lidge Award

Jordan Hicks only gave up one run in 0.2 innings. That is by no means an awful outing, but this is more of a full one-sixth of the season award. Hicks was the presumed closer entering the season as soon as his arm strength was back to full health. Instead, Hicks has a 5.40 ERA and is miles away from the closer’s role with Alex Reyes dominating and Giovany Gallegos as the clear second-best option. Relief pitching is always fickle, but this one hurts. Hicks has the stuff, but he’s just so far away it feels like this is a lost season from a fantasy perspective. His managers are hoping this is not the case, but it’s absolutely trending that way.

Conclusion

The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Baseball is about the big picture. The regular season is twice as long as the next closers North American sport. It’s what makes baseball the best, but it’s also what makes giving hot takes on the sport so wrong. If the season were condensed down into 16 games like the NFL, we are not even complete with the second game of the year. The season is so long that there is plenty of time to improve. I may be correct [see what I did there?] Yet, I know I’m correct. Have patient, it’s a long season. Enjoy it.

Goodnight.