While the fantasy community was honed in on Josh Johnson’s first start, the Marlins ace was upstaged by Kyle Lohse. The guy you don’t want on any of your fantasy teams went six innings without allowing a hit on Opening Night before Jose Reyes singled to right in the top of the seventh. The only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his team’s opener remains Bob Feller.
What does it mean in fantasy? Very little. Lohse was excellent on the night, giving up just two hits, one run and no walks. However, he only struck out three in 7.1 innings, reminding us not to buy into one start too heavily. He’s useful in NL leagues, but mixers need not bother.
Johnson, on the other hand, tied a career high with 10 hits allowed through six innings while giving up two walks and three runs. He only managed four punchouts, but they’ll come — he had 24 in 22.1 spring innings, so it’s not like his power disappeared or anything.
Other notables on Wednesday’s only real game include Rafael Furcal (3-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB), David Freese (3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI) and Jason Motte (1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, Save).
Bottom of the 9th
Bobby Valentine announced that Alfredo Aceves would be his go-to option for a save opportunity in the opener, going against the grain of expectations that Mark Melancon would in fact close. Part of Aceves’s value is his ability to go more than one inning, so on the surface this seems like a tactical error. That’s not to say Aceves will fail as the closer; in fact, he should be the first guy you add this morning if he’s still available in your league.
With most teams gearing up to start the season today or tomorrow, a bevy of DL moves were officially made. If you have any of the following guys, you can finally place them on the DL and grab a waiver-wire hero: B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Andrew Bailey, Carlos Quentin, Stephen Drew, Ted Lilly, A.J. Burnett, Grady Sizemore and Tim Hudson.
Ray of Light at Short
The Rays announced that Sean Rodriguez would more or less be playing every day, giving fantasy owners an intriguing bench player in mixed leagues. Eligible at 2B, 3B and SS, Rodriguez offers 15/20 upside if he can manage 500 at-bats, though is actual level of play will likely settle below that mark. I placed a waiver claim on him to fill in for Utley … here’s hoping I land him.
The Giants have decided to carry Brandon Belt on their 25-man roster to start the season, and he has the potential to start at first base for the club this season, with Aubrey Huff manning left field. With a regular gig, Belt could mash 25-30 HRs while hitting .240 to .250, which is definitely a profit for a waiver-wire player. He’s a solid CI option in standard 14-hitter mixed leagues at this point, which potential for more.
Coming Up Today
Jon Lester faces Justin Verlander in Detroit at 1:05 ET in the elite pitching matchup of the day. Other Thursday starters include Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and Stephen Strasburg. The Marlins follow up their home loss with a trip to Cincinnati to face the Reds. Joey Votto is expected to play the game with solid-gold bats, a monocle and a top hat.
Stream Team for Friday
Chad Billingsley (47% Y!) gets a shot at Petco Park, where he has a 2.62 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 75.2 career innings. Padre starter Cory Luebke may wind up denying him the win though. Not available? I’d then roll with Jason Vargas (5% Y!), who gets a rematch with an A’s team he held to two hits, two walks and one run in Japan.
Roto Arcade Pro-Am Auction Recap
I was invited to defend my 2011 Yahoo Roto Arcade Pro-Am title and take part in Wednesday’s auction for the 2012 league. Feel free to comment on my team below. It’s 14 teams, 5×5 roto, 1,425 IP max, four bench spots, no DL. Obviously my lineups for the first few days will look a little different than what’s below. You can view our full results here.
|C Matt Wieters||SP James Shields|
|C Rod Barajas||SP Josh Beckett|
|1B Mike Morse||RP Kyle Farnsworth|
|2B Daniel Murphy||RP Addison Reed|
|3B Miguel Cabrera||P Cory Luebke|
|SS Erick Aybar||P Chris Sale|
|CI John Mayberry||P Neftali Feliz|
|MI Ian Desmond||P Colby Lewis|
|OF Matt Kemp||P Jhoulys Chacin|
|OF Giancarlo Stanton|
|OF Nelson Cruz||BN Cliff Pennington|
|OF Eric Thames||BN Scott Baker|
|OF Andres Torres||BN Hector Santiago|
|UT Chris Davis||BN Glen Perkins|
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse and Razzball. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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