MLB Game Day Recap Day 36: Twilight Baseball

May 6, 2021

It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 36 which means it’s time to talk about twilight baseball. While there certainly is a romance for day baseball, and it’s a romance that yours truly certainly enjoys, modern baseball has been presented in the twilight for long enough that there is comfort in it as well. Baseball is the only sport that covers half the calendar, and it’s the only sport that covers both the dark and the light of the day. Sure, the NFL is played across the entirety of one day, but it’s only one day of the week, not seven. Tonight, there was only one West Coast twilight game, the Rays against the Angels, and the day felt empty. Yes it’s Thursday, May 6th and the majority are not pining for all-day baseball, but it just feels odd without it.

Climbing Up

Giancarlo Stanton hit his third homer in as many days blasting a solo bomb against Lance McCullers Jr. and the Astros. It’s understandable that Stanton saw his fantasy value drop this year as he has become almost a pure DH and in modern baseball, flexibility is highly valued. Stanton’s also already played more games and his more homers this year than he has the past two seasons combined. There are always injury concerns with Stanton, but when he’s on the field and playing, he undoubtingly will hit for power. With the way Yankees can get hot and hit some big flies, Stanton’s value is clearly looking up.

Letdown

Nathan Eovaldi definitely did not do his best work against the Tigers today. Six runs across 4.1 innings is a disappointment against any team, let alone the woeful Tigers. Eovaldi was nickeled and dimed allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out five as only one run scored via an extra-base hit. The former World Series hero, Eovaldi is now very much a guy, albeit a guy in the first place Red Sox rotation. This was a clunker that was streamed in the majority of fantasy leagues, and whenever a clear stream fails it’s always tough.

Who’s Hot

Taijuan Walker allowed only one hit and an unearned run against the Cardinals today. He now has gone 7.0 innings without allowing any runs in two of his past three starts. Always a quality arm, Walker has just needed health in order to produce fantasy success. With a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, Walker looks like he’s an excellent signing in New York. There is a whole lot of fanfare for a healthy deGrom-Syndergaard-Carrasco-Stroman, but if you add Walker in, it gets even better. Taijuan might not keep up these numbers for an entire season but as a career 3.80 ERA pitcher, there is always room on a fantasy roster for that. If he somehow is not on a roster in your league, get him on yours today.

Who’s Not

Hyun-Jin Ryu is the opposite of Taijuan Walker. He allowed four runs across five innings again against the Athletics today. Ryu has put that line up twice in his past three starts and no longer looks like a fantasy ace. By no means is Hyun-Jin a cut candidate, but just is no longer a numero uno piece in a fantasy rotation. Yes, his underlying numbers are completely fine, 3.31 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, but he is trending downward. In active leagues where he can be shopped and still bring back strong value, shop him. He is on my ‘look to trade’ list and moving on from him sooner rather than later will definitely yield value.

The Emilio Bonifacio Award

Marcus Semien has been steadily rising this week as today’s game was the sixth straight that he recorded a hit. Unlike the previous games, this one saw four hits, three runs, and a solo homer. Consistently seen as an afterthought in Toronto’s loaded offense, Semien was still expected to yield fantasy value. This is his first Bonifacio of the season, but I suspect it will not be his last. Almost universally rostered, Semien is a great trade candidate as he has broken out after his slow start. With second base still the wasteland it’s been all season, acquiring Marcus is a smart acquisition.

The James Shields Award

Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, Gerrit Cole, Andrew Heaney, and Brandon Woodruff all picked up a Shields today. Wheeler got the ever-impressive CGSO allowing only three hits across from Brandon Woodruff. Somewhat reminiscent of pitchers from decades ago like James Shields, Wheeler seems to always go deep into games even if he does not always have starts like tonight. Woodruff was impressive for the Brewers striking out 11 in 6.2 innings. Unfortunately, he gave up one of the two runs for the Brewers and picked up the loss. After a rough first start, Woodruff now has allowed 2 or fewer runs in every other start after that. Cole has a “mediocre” Cole start allowing two runs and striking out just four, so barely worth discussing.

The Brad Lidge Award

Chad Green was blown up today against Houston, allowing three runs in 0.1 innings and taking his third loss. Still the owner of a 2.50 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, Green will continue to be a top non-closer option even with this bad outing. Forever a forgotten man in an elite bullpen in New York, Green always provides excellent strikeout numbers with very good ratios. If he is still available on your waiver wire, add him. All this blowup says is he’s unlikely to have another for a long time. Click “add me” today.

Conclusion

The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Twilight baseball is a form of baseball that many of us grew up watching. Even more so, many of us have played plenty of twilight games as more and more youth fields have lights. Having a full day of baseball is one of the most appealing things about the sport. So many people love the NFL because you get to spend a lazy Sunday just watching games. Baseball affords its fans the same ability, just for 100% more of the games. The difference between 16 and 162 is just staggering. The enjoyment from watching baseball all day is also just staggering. Baseball rocks because it’s always there, day, night, or twilight. It’s always available to enjoy, so enjoy it.

Goodnight.