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A couple of young pitchers made their season debuts today, and they were both very sharp. In Milwaukee, rookie Manny Parra shut the San Francisco Giants down, as he didn’t give up a hit for five innings. It got a little rockier in the 6th and he gave up two runs, but 5 1/3 innings with 7 Ks in your major league debut is pretty impressive, even if it was against the Giants. Look to add him to your roster if at all possible. Reliever turned starter Dana Eveland was even more impressive. Eveland outdueled the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner C.C. Sabathia in his first start of the season. Eveland went seven innings, giving up just one run and striking out seven. Once a highly rated prospect in the Brewers’ farm system, Eveland is getting his first chance to start with the pitching starved Oakland A’s. If today is any indication, he will be making the most of this opportunity. I am guessing he is owned in a lot of your leagues, but if not, I also recommend trying to find a spot for Eveland.
After an OK (at best) first start, things went a little ugly today for Houston ace Roy Oswalt. Oswalt went 6 2/3 innings, gave up five earned runs, and struck out NOBODY! Oswalt now sits at 0-2 with an ERA of 6.00. It is just two starts, and may not be time to panic yet, but his ERA has been creeping up, and his strikeouts have been heading down so his first two starts aren’t instilling any confidence in his owners. It might be time to sell on Oswalt before it gets uglier.
News Flash: Jake Peavy is NASTY! Even though he was completely dominant last season, there was an ounce of doubt in fantasy owners minds about Mr. Peavy. It was just two years ago where he was 11-14 with a 4.09 ERA, so which is the real Jake Peavy. Well, through two games, the doubt should be gone. Peavy went the distance today giving up just one run and striking out eight. He’s obviously owned in all leagues, and after today, my guess is his price tag is mighty high. If you drafted him, enjoy the ride.
Dontrelle Willis has been dubbed the D-Train since he entered the majors. I am proposing a new nickname for Willis; The BB-Train. After posting 80+ walks in the last two seasons, Dontrelle started the season for the Tigers by walking 7 guys in just five innings, while failing to record a strike out. Willis’ numbers have been deteriorating for a couple of seasons now, and this first start raises some more red flags. The rest of his line looks OK (just one hit, three runs through five innings), but his lack of control will get him in trouble in the American League every time. Try to sell another owner in your league on the fact that he gave up only one hit, and see if you can dump the BB-Train. Expect Daniel Cabrera to have some competition for who walks the most batters this year.
Carlos Beltran continues to rake to start the season. Two more hits on Saturday put his early average at .437 and six of his seven hits are doubles. He is yet to go deep, but after having off-season surgery on both his knees, there was concern about how he would return. So far, so good for one of the more prolific hitters in the National League.
After going 1-11 to start the season Mike Jacobs homered for the second straight day today, going Grand Salami today against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jacobs has always had the power potential, and perhaps this is the year he puts it together. Unless you really have some dead weight on your team, I would wait to add him, but he is a player that I would keep an eye on.
There was no shortage of long balls in Colorado today. Arizona centerfielder Chris Young hit two today, and he now has three homers and two steals through five games. If he could just keep the strikeouts down, and get the average up, he definitely has the potential to be a top 20 outfielder. Future NL ROY Justin Upton went deep again today giving him three on the season already. Like I said yesterday, didn’t think ’08 would be his breakout, but with three more hits today, his time appears to be now. Finally, old ass Todd Helton connected for the second time this season. Helton has a hit in every game this year, and is bringing back memories of his glory days. Don’t fall for it, if you have him, find a trade partner quick. He will still hit for a pretty good average, but his power days are over.
Los Angeles Angels 2B Howie Kendrick continued his hot start to 2008. Kendrick has a hit in every game this season, and although he doesn’t have a ton of power or speed to offer, he should hit for a great average and be decent enough in the other categories to be a top 5-7 option at second. After Saturday, Kendrick has two doubles, a triple, and three RBI, and is hitting .435. Kendrick has been long rumored as a guy who would win multiple batting titles, and so far it looks like he might be ready to start living up to that potential.
Break ‘em Up! No one expected much from the St. Louis Cardinals this season (including me, a die hard Cards fan), but after five games St. Louis sits at 4-1. Similarly, the Orioles are 3-1 after their win over Seattle today. Don’t expect either team to continue this rate of victory.
Three sluggers finally hit their first home runs of the season today. Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, and Justin Morneau all left the yard for the first time today, and although they are off to slow starts, expect all three of them to approach the numbers that they have been putting up recently.
Buy Low: David Ortiz, BOS. After an 0-4 today, Ortiz now sits at 2-22 for the season. Check and see if you can get him from his owner at a discounted rate, Ortiz will turn it around and get back to the numbers we are accustomed to him putting up
Sell High: Todd Helton, COL. He's off to an incredible start, the kind of start he used to get off to in the late 90's. But Helton isn't that player anymore, so if you can find someone who will give you value for him, move him on now, before his power runs out.
As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades, etc) and comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. I guarantee a response within 18 hours.