Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: April 8
Brett Talley goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
Pitching Performance of the Day
While Adam Wainwright and Tyson Ross , who haven’t been fantasy relevant since 2015, both had throwback performances on Sunday, Merrill Kelly is getting the highlight spot here today. There’s a decent chance you’ve never heard of Kelly given that he made his major league debut a week ago today. He had a respectable maiden allowing three runs over six innings, but he was much better the second time around as he held Boston to one run over eight innings while striking out nine and walking none.
Kelly was drafted by the Rays in 2010 and progressed as far as Triple-A in 2014, but he’s been pitching in Korea ever since. He excelled there and found some added velocity that he lacked when with the Rays. Arizona signed him as a free agent this offseason, and it’s looking like a savvy move as the 30-year-old rookie has a 12:1 K:BB ration and a 3.52 FIP through two starts. Kelly is owned in only 2.5 percent of ESPN.com leagues and is a name to know, at the very least.
Hitting Performance of the Day
With all due respect to Gary Sánchez and his three-bomb day, we’re going with Daniel Vogelbach here. Vogelbach went 3-for-4 with two home runs and a walk, and his wOBA for the day was actually higher than any hitter who had more than one plate appearance, even higher than Sanchez’s. Here’s a video clip of his second homer of the day, which was impressive, but the bigger takeaway is how jacked the dude is.
Vogelbach has only started five games so far this season, but he now has home runs in three straight appearances. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him earn a bit more playing time, and he is owned in less than one percent of ESPN.com leagues.
Game of the Day
Given that only one game saw a lead change after the sixth inning, it’s pretty easy to pick the best game from Sunday’s action. Houston beat Oakland 9-8 in comeback fashion. Normally, the Astros fan author of this article would have seen the entirety of this game on an overcast Sunday afternoon but for the fact that his wife decided he needed to spend three hours pulling weeds in the backyard. But I digress, here’s the game chart courtesy of Fangraphs.
Over half of the scoring took place in the first two innings with 10 of the 17 total runs on the board as the game went to the third. A Chad Pinder double scored two for Oakland in the first, and Houston responded with five in the bottom half with the highlight being a three-run home run from Aledmys Díaz . A Robbie Grossman two-run homer in the second got Oakland back to within one, and the Astros chased former Astro Mike Fiers in the second when he walked in a run with two outs and the bases loaded. Unfortunately for Oakland, this would not be the last run they walked in with the based loaded.
Oakland took the lead in the sixth with a two-run homer from Josh Phegley , but Houston got things back to level with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Oakland went to Blake Treinen for a five-out save, but he technically blew the save in the eighth allowing a sac fly to score the tying run. He metaphorically blew it in the ninth when he walked in the winning run by throwing four consecutive inside fastballs to Jose Altuve , which were pitches 25-26-27-28 for Treinen.
What to Watch for Today
Atlanta is visiting Colorado this week, so the Coors game unsurprisingly has the highest over/under of the day opening at 10.5 runs. Julio Teheran will face off against Kyle Freeland in that one. The lowest over/under of the day belongs to the San Diego-San Francisco game, and that total is also driven by park factors with the Giants hosting the Pads in their hitter-friendly home park. Eric Lauer will take on Madison Bumgarner , who has 13 strikeouts compared to three walks in his first 13 innings this season.
The premier game of the day is the only nationally televised game as the Yankees and Astros will be featured on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball. The two teams had very similar starts to the season with both teams losing each series they played in the opening week. However, they’ve righted the ship as they each completed a sweep in their weekend series. Justin Verlander will go for Houston against Masahiro Tanaka for the New York.