After a fragmented week of action when up to 20% of the league were left without fixtures, hopefully most teams will get back in action this week. The Probable Pitcher list is a bit sparse due to the scheduling difficulties, so watch for any aces who turn up on the slate, and now more than ever it’s important to check line-ups not only for player scratches but for entire series being postponed.
The early running has been counter intuitive. I expected the bats to be ready to go whilst the pitchers needed some ramping up, but it’s been the opposite. I’m ready for the bats to start catching up, and I saw a few signs of life over the weekend that suggested a few of the big names are ready to go on a heater. Let’s dig them out.
JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox v TBR
Martinez hasn’t done much at the plate so far, hitting just .222, but he started looking ok to the eye test on Sunday night and a cosmetic change to the line-up order might also benefit him. He gets to hit the Rays this week who have been a bit drab so far this time around. Martinez won’t fear Charlie Morton and is hitting .636 v Ryan Yarborough who takes the hill on Wednesday.
Marcel Ozuna, Atlanta Braves v TOR
Ozuna is one of the players who has got going, hitting .324 with 3 homers. He’s had several multi-hit games so far and is walking at a 17% clip, which tells me he knows what’s going on.
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies v SFG
Blackmon is doing his thing without being spectacular so far. He’s hitting .353, but has only 1 homer and hasn’t been walking. His BABIP is through the floor though, and with a home set against the over-achieving Giants this week Blackmon could really spark into life.
Shin Soo Choo
Ronald Acuna Jr./strong>
Tuesday – German Marquez, Colorado Rockies v SFG
I know it’s Coors Field! Honestly, I know, stop shouting at me. I know. Marquez has pitched beautifully in 2 starts so far, with a 30.4% K rate. His ground ball rate is over 53%, taking some of that Coors Field silliness out of the equation, and he’s been going deeper into games than a lot of other SPs. He draws the Giants on Tuesday, and although they’ve been fairly feisty so far, I think that they are due some regression and Marquez can serve that up here. I know.
Tuesday Pitching Plays
Lance Lynn, Texas @ OAK
Shane Bieber, Cleveland @ CIN
Justin Dunn (contrarian), Seattle v LAA
Wednesday – Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians v CIN
Clev-dog has had a couple of rough starts, struggling early in games, but he’s better than that and hopefully now 3rd time-up he can get into his groove. A discount will come with those rough starts so we’ll buy lower while we can.
Wednesday Pitching Plays
Dallas Keuchel, Chicago White Sox v MIL
Thursday – Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians v CIN
Carrasco had a bit of bother keeping the ball in the yard on Saturday v Minnesota, but the 3 homers weren’t hugely damaging as they were all solo shots. He’s still racking up the K’s and worth playing here.
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners v LAA
Walker was fun to watch in his last start v the A’s. 7 scoreless, 1 hit, 8 K’s. If he doesn’t bounce following that he’ll be great value here.
Thursday Pitching Plays
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies v SFG – I know
Wade Le Blanc, Baltimore Orioles @ MIA
Some teams are hot, others are getting hot, we’ll take a few of each and stack them right up.
1 Colorado Rockies
2 Boston Red Sox
3 New York Yankees
4 Atlanta Braves
5 Minnesota Twins
6 Washington Nationals
7 Baltimore Orioles