MLB Game Day Recap Day 32: Sunday Funday

May 2, 2021
Photo courtesy of @phx_nolagirl

It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 32 which means it’s time to talk about Sunday Funday. Sunday baseball is the only day of the week that actually lives up to its name. We get baseball during the day, and it’s absolutely lovely. The NFL has a stranglehold on making Sunday all about relaxation and watching a sport. This is what Sunday Funday was before “Sunday Funday” was even a term. Baseball was the original creator of this mindset because baseball was the original sport. Unfortunately, we all have to work, and that means the vast majority of us are unavailable for leisure activities during the day. Thus, night baseball and night sports have become the norm. Sunday reminds us sports are to be played at leisure for those on leisure. Having the baseball version of Sunday Funday for 25 straight Sundays is nothing to scoff at. It’s gorgeous.

Climbing Up

It’s been a few years since AJ Pollock was a universally rostered player. Today, every manager wished they had rostered Pollock. Two dingers, two runs, and eight RBIs is generally a top-tier week; Pollock did it in one day. Since missing two straight games against Cincinnati, AJ has been on a tear. He is hitting 7 for 21 with five runs, three homers, ten RBIs, and a stolen base in those five games. Yes, today’s game is going to skew all stats that include it, but make no mistake about it, Pollock is putting up numbers while playing daily on one of the best offenses in baseball. This is the type of player that wins leagues because no one finds him very attractive, but he does everything necessary in order to help you win. Get him on your roster before someone else does.

Letdown

Trevor Williams got the spot start in my main head-to-head league today. While I knew I was playing with fire starting him in Cincinnati, there was hope that he could earn some K’s which was my major need. Well, Williams got two K’s but gave up six runs across 2.2 innings. Exiting the start with a 3.75 WHIP this is a stark reminder to never chase stats. Williams is an adequate enough pitcher, but he does not succeed when faced with a bad matchup. That’s okay, but managers should do what they can do not have to add this type of pitcher on Sunday. Maybe this is just a note to self, but be better at predicting future numbers so you don’t have to start anyone in desperation. This is the type of result that you get when you are desperate. This was no Sunday Funday.

Who’s Hot

Byron Buxton is finally here. The former number one overall prospect in baseball, Buxton’s first six seasons had the accurate feel of lost production. Byron has the talent to be not only the fastest baseball player, or the best defensive baseball player, but a top-hitting power hitter in all of baseball. 2021 seems to be the year where all three of these things come together. Buxton went 2 for 5 with a run scored and RBI today and entering today’s contest he had scored six runs, hit two dingers, drove in four runs, and stole two bases all while hitting .458 in the past week. This is what a superstar and MVP candidate does. This is what Byron Buxton is. If there is a manager in your league who still values Byron as a top 50 talent and not as a top 10 talent, make the trade. Buxton is here.

Who’s Not

The Dodgers bludgeoned the Brewers today 16-4. Everyone in the starting lineup reached base twice outside of Mookie Betts. The problem? Max Muncy was in the starting lineup. He received a much-needed day of rest on Sunday after going 1 for 20 this past week. He did earn his walks which resulted in three runs scored, but no other counting stats and a .050 average mean it’s an awful week. The Dodgers are extremely deep everywhere, so they can afford to rest Muncy while he gets a day to reset. It’s not a good week, but rest assured that you will still get your low average, high OBP, and power season from Max Muncy. He just belongs on your bench until he gets straightened out.

The Emilio Bonifacio Award

Matt Beaty was the one who started over Max Muncy, and boy oh boy did he reward Dave Roberts and the Dodgers. The utility man who qualifies at 1B, 3B, and OF had your classic 4 for 6 game with three runs scored, one big fly, and seven RBIs. A classic Bonifacio winner as a utility player who does not play daily, Beaty is a player to keep an eye on in all formats. Edwin Rios has struggled mightily and should there be an injury on the infield in Los Angeles, it very well could be Beaty who gains the most playing time. Often forgotten on the best team in baseball, Beaty could become a league winner if the injury bug hits in LA. Keep him on your radar in shallow leagues and on your roster in deep leagues.

The James Shields Award

Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Carlos Martinez, Jose Urena and Jose Urias all went 6.0+ in their games today. With the exclusion of Julio Urias, this entire lineup could easily be transposed to a list of 2017 James Shields award winners. Max Scherzer dug deep into the tank and got himself a CG narrowly missing the SO after allowing a solo homer to Isan Diaz in the ninth. Corey Kluber now has back-to-back starts going past the sixth inning after having only two in 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined. Carlos Martinez has allowed two runs across his past three starts including eight scoreless tonight. Suddenly back, both Martinez and Kluber belong on rosters until the show managers otherwise. Urena now has gone 7.0 innings in four straight starts while allowing two runs or less. That’s a sustained stretch of success for the Tigers pitcher. Add him. (?)

The Brad Lidge Award

Daniel Bard blew up tonight. Four hits, four earned runs, one walk, one out. This is absolutely not the type of Daniel Bard the Rockies want to see. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, they can’t just cut ties immediately with Bard. The closer world is so shallow that anyone tied to the ninth inning needs to be rostered, even if they’re pitching like this. It may be wise to send Bard to the bench if, or until he gets himself righted. These outings can happen, but when they happen to a pitcher with Bard’s history, pay close attention.

Conclusion

The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Baseball should be played during the day. With how modern society and its influencing forces work, we only get day baseball once per week. Sure there are occasional Wednesday where the majority of teams have a getaway day, but only one day is “Day Baseball”. That’s Sunday Funday. Kicking back and enjoying a ball game while still having the evening to do what you want is sorely needed. Baseball is often looking to try to speed the game up, but why not just change the game time? If we had more day baseball, it would be better for everyone. It would make night baseball rarer, and it would make the day better. Give me more day baseball!

Goodnight.