Before we start this, I want to point out that everything we know can end without warning. Nick Adenhart, a 22 year old pitcher from the Anaheim Angels was killed this morning when his car was struck by a van. I obviously don’t know Nick, his friends, his family but want to acknowledge the tradgedy of what took place. No one deserves to pass at the age of 22.
So far in this young season there have some performers who have stood out. Many are people you would expect by their draft position, others are nice surprises. Some we can expect this trend to continue, while others are much less likely to continue with their current performance.
Adam Lind has 2 HR including his 6rbi game against Detroit. He is a kid I expect will continue his current trend, though not at this pace. Two Detroit pitchers, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, have had very similar results. The difference between the two is many owners drafted Verlander as a top 40 pitcher while Porcello in any league but a keeper probably went undrafted. Fantasy Advice: Ride the Lind wave, I feel like he is going to have a very good year; say 20hr 85rbi. Verlander you should dump and get as much as you can from any owner willing to pay for the name. Porcello is a guy strictly for keepers as he plays on a team with an awful bullpen.
Most of the Minnesota pitching staff has been medicore, which is suprising because they were at home against a lowly Mariners offense. Glen Perkins was the one exception going 8IP 1ER. Brandon Morrow finally got his first save of the year after his loss of control in his first appearance. Fantasy Advice: I like all the Minnesota pitchers, mostly for matchups. Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey are all guys I start every week. Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn are decent larger mixed league options for the right match up.
A couple things I want to point out from the Orioles verse Yankees series. An offense of Brian Robers, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff will cause fits for many of the teams in the AL EAST, and this is without Matt Wieters who hasn’t been called up yet. Adam Jones in particular looked good, driving the ball to right center off Sabathia. While CC looked bad, AJ Burnett was able to be quite effective going 51/3 IP with 6 strike outs. The notoriously slow starters Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira both homered. Nick Swisher even got the start and took advantage with a home run of his own. Fantasy Advice: Jump on the Jones bandwagon, I have been since spring training. He will be 20/20 this year. Be patient with CC but Burnett is a guy I never like on my team, deal him after a few good outings and avoid the DL stint.
Tampa Bay pitchers Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir looked great against the Red Sox. With James Shields Tampa has 3 top 30 starting pitchers. Throw in the ever steady Andy Sonnanstine and David Price waiting in the wings; Tampa has the horses to repeat as Division champs. David Ortiz performance thus far is discouraging, even with the very small sample size. The Red Sox and fantasy homers need Big Papi to approach 30hr this year to justify his draft day value. Fantasy Advice: Look for a guy like Garza, you might be able to still get him cheap, you won’t in a couple weeks. If you can get some name recognition from a Big Papi fan, deal the slugger away. It kills me as a sox fan but I think Ortiz is only good for 25hr this year, not worth his draft day price.
Kyle Davies was a source of hype as a sleeper pitcher and he lived up to that bill in his first start. Unfortunately he was matched pitch by pitch by John Danks. Jim Thome was a slugger I targeted late on draft day. I feel Thome is a lock for 30hr with the possibilty of hitting more depending on his health. The Royals pitching with Meche, Grienke and Davies is actually a formidable 1, 2, 3 combination with a closer to slam the door. Fantasy Advice: Danks I like to be a top 35 pitcher by years end and Davies seems like a viable larger mix league option now.
The Cleveland Indians will not win the AL Central. They don’t have the pitching to pull it off. Carl Pavano is their third starter and Cliff Lee will regress from last years stellar performance. Their offense is good, evidence by Grady Sizemores 2 hr game, but not great with lots of guys who strike out. Kevin Millwood looked good in his first outing and has an offense to back him up. Nelson Cruz is on the board with a 2 hr game, he may have finally arrived. Fantasy Advice: Sell sell sell Cliff Lee if you can, while I don’t think is as bad as his first start, I do see a 4 ERA and 12 wins, not what you expect if you draft him as your number 1 pitcher. Kelly Shoppach is the guy behind the plate, check your waiver wire for a 20hr catcher.
It didn’t take long for Brian Fuentes to raise doubts about his ability to close games in the AL. With two great arms in back of him (Jose Arredondo, Scott Shields) he won’t have much of a leash with Mike Scioscia. Oaklands young guns, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, are both in the starting rotation and Brad Ziegler is the closer with Joey Devine out of the picture and in Dr. Andrews office. Fantasy Advice: I’m not sold on Fuentes, if you have a spot on your bench I would grab Arredondo. Stay away from the young Oakland pitchers, though they will have good outings, they will be inconsistent and frustrating.