Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Knuckleball. This is a Fantasy Knuckleheads exclusive blog that will be updated nightly on the day’s games. I’ll go over important points of the games and the fantasy ramifications of said points. I’ll get you all the big information that you might have missed. I mean, only a knucklehead would sit around watching baseball all day right?
Let's just say it's been a while since Barry Zito has given us a season to remember. in 2002 and 2003 each, he serviced fantasy owners with 220+ innings of great ERA and WHIP with a fair amount of strikeouts. The last two seasons, Zito hasn't really been worth writing home about.
It seems Zito has found the magic that he once had. Now, I know that he only has six innings under his belt and there is a lot of baseball left to play, but you can't ignore such a gem from a guy like Zito. Last year he had a lot of trouble with his command of his fastball. His velocity was down and he looked lost at times on the mound. In the second half of last season, Barry really started to click. In his final 15 starts of 2009, he recorded a 2.83 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 74 K. I think it's obvious he has carried his great second half into this season.
Now that Zito can throw his fastball better, it really sets up his curveball and slider. Here is a fun fact I saw on ESPN: In his Tuesday start, he threw his curve and slider for strikes 82.8% of the time. In 2009, he threw those pitches for strikes 68.4% of the time.
- Brian Wilson recorded a clean second save of the season. I think the fact that he has two saves in the first two games goes to show you how it's alright to own the closers on bad teams. When those bad teams win (and they will), it will probably be close. Perfect situations for closers.
- The Milwaukee Brewers/Colorado Rockies game had a lot of fireworks from a lot of fresh meat. Casey McGahee, Rickie Weeks and Ian Stewart all went yard in this game. Rickie Weeks and Ian Stewart were probably both already owned in your mixed league, but Casey McGahee maybe not. He really impressed last year in his first big league visit. Not only is the power real, he is hitting 5th in their lineup, right behind Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. Those guys are going to be on base so much this year, so you really have to look at McGahee as a candidate to reach 100 RBI.
- Speaking of unowned guys in mixed leagues, all of you should take a hard look at Chase Headley. He could very well be a 20/20 guy this year and he's hitting in the heart of the San Diego lineup. I know the San Diego lineup isn't impressive, but anyone hitting in the middle of any lineup is worth owning...especially if he's hitting well. As an added bonus, he's eligible to play 3B and OF. Guys like that are great to have on the bench because they can fill so many holes in your lineup just in case.
- Even guys like Ian Snell had a great game against the Oakland A's. While Snell isn't a terrible pitcher, I blame Oakland 100% for the success Snell saw today. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Oakland is currently the best matchup for opposing pitchers. If you have a pitcher going against Oakland, you pretty much have to start him. Oakland has no real power threats and Rajai Davis is the only real speed threat they have. That team is going to need to make some big changes, and quickly.
- We all knew that Joe Mauer was healthy, but there were some concerns over Justin Morneau going into the season. He hit a home run tonight, and fantasy owners around the nation collectively sighed in relief. Although, Joe Saunders really served up a nice one for him to hit so I'm not surprised he took it out of the park. Speaking of Minnesota hitters, keep an eye on the former number 1 pick Delmon Young. He has two good games under his belt now, and it won't be long before he is picked up in your league if he keeps it up. He definitely has the talent, he just has to find a way to use it. This may be his year to break-out, so pay attention!
Take some time to post some of your observations on Tuesday's games in the comments below! I'd love to hear what you guys have to say.