April 5, 2010

Knee Jerk Reactions: Opening Day

Well Opening Day has officially ended, and now its time to embark on that 161 game trip to the end of the season. Well, unless you're the Orioles or Rays, that is. But the future and the playoffs seem so far away. So let's reflect on the opening games and see what is the most important info to take away. Oh, and I might talk about that Heyward guy somewhere in there.

Business as Usual:
  • Albert Pujols had an unbelievable line going 4 for 5, with 2 homers, 3 RBIs and a run to match every hit. This would be big news if there weren't commercials proclaiming him as the best hitter in baseball during his games.
  • Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay showed why they were the undisputed top 2 starters off the board. Each went 7 innings and recorded a run. Halladay had 2 more Ks, but Lincecum didn't give up a run. If you had either one of these guys starting in a roto league, you are probably towards the top of your standings right now.
  • Zack Greinke went 6 innings and only allowed one run. Of course, being a Royal prevented him from getting the all important W. It would be interesting to see just what kind of record he could rack up without a terrible bullpen/offense.
 Great Starts:
  • It would be hard to write an opening day blog and leave out the man I so crudely photo-shopped into a Superman costume. Jason Heyward looked very impressive after going 2-4 with 4 RBIs. In addition to his bomb in his first career at-bat, I was scared for Justin Berg on Jay-Hey's single up the middle. He hit it so hard that I was afraid it might just knock the Cubs pitcher's leg right off.
  • Even after an explosive day from "The Machine" the MLB leader in RBIs is Placido Polanco after the first day. If you picked him to give you some cheap, average boosting hits, and some runs, courtesy of the Phillies' stacked lineup, you sure had a nice surprise. There's nothing better than getting a grand slam and 6 RBIs from a late pick, in a single game.
  • Garrett Jones showed his legit power by hitting a dinger to right and left field. Even though the Pirates lineup looked pretty atrocious on paper, they managed to hang a wicked number on Vicente Padilla thanks to Jones. Maybe next year Joe Torre won't start a has been on Opening Day.
  • Despite going 0-3, Chone Figgins had 2 runs and is the league leader, for the time being, with 2 stolen bases. Imagine what he might be able to do if he actually got a hit.
Stumbled out the Gate:
  • The opening night game featured a poor performance from Josh Beckett. While his roto stats were mediocre, the stat that was most alarming was that he had only made the Yankee hitters miss once midway through his start. If Beckett can't miss the hitters' bats it will be a long season of 1 strikeout starts.
  • If anyone thought they were getting a consistent starter in Carlos Zambrano, they were sadly mistaken. Big Z was absolutely shellacked by the Braves, making him the goat of the day. It is days like Zambrano's that scare me from trying streaming in a head to head league.
  • While the three most fantasy relevant Padres (Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Headley and Kyle Blanks) all had homers (even though the last two were completely irrelevant), I still hung my head as a Friar fan. Stephen Drew's inside-the-park homer made me shudder. It was a rocky start, that's for sure.
  • Jason Frasor took the ball in his first save attempt this year and ended up with a loss as well as an astronomical ERA. It would seem that he is instantly on the hot seat, since they have Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs waiting in the wings. If you have Frasor and a bench player you don't mind dropping I'd snatch up Gregg just to be safe.
I hope that all of your season's have gotten off to a good start. If not, then I hope it turns around quick.

Also, if you would like any fantasy advice with lineups, matchups or trades, feel free to comment.