Even if there have been some bumps in the road early on, it’s great to have baseball back on the schedule. Sure, the lack of fans might take some getting used to, but the game itself isn’t all that different, so take it for what it is – an oasis in the relatively barren sports landscape.
Not only does baseball offer something on the sports calendar but it’s a consistently full schedule, leaving a lot of options when you dive in to play props on Monkey Knife Fight.
If we look just at what Trevor Bauer did for Cincinnati last season, it’s not so great. He had a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts and that meant some early departures. But, even with those struggles, he had 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings with the Reds and he probably won’t allow home runs at quite the same rate as he did last season and he did record at least seven strikeouts in 22 of 34 starts overall last season. The real reason to be excited about Bauer’s chances, though, is that he gets to face a Tigers team that had the highest strikeout rate (26.4%) in baseball last season.
Carlos Carrasco LESS THAN 6.5 STRIKEOUTS
Last season was an uneven one for Carrasco – leukemia will do that to you – and he only started a dozen games, striking out seven or more in just five of those games. Even if Carrasco is in better health now, and capable of pitching like he did before 2019, he also faces the Kansas City Royals. While the Royals aren’t the most dangerous lineup, they were a little better than average in strikeout rate (23.1%) last season so maybe this isn’t the game for Carrasco to rack up Ks.
Patrick Corbin MORE THAN 5.5 STRIKEOUTS
An unheralded ace, who just happens to be No. 3 in the Washington Nationals rotation, Corbin has 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings in the past two seasons and recorded at least six strikeouts in 24 of 33 starts last season. He gets to face a Yankees lineup that can be devastating and was a little better than average in terms of strikeout rate (3.0%) last season but has also whiffed 18 times in the first two games of this season.
Zack Greinke MORE THAN 5.5 STRIKEOUTS
Although Greinke’s strikeout rate dropped when he arrived in Houston last season, down to 7.5 K/9 in 10 starts, he still put up at least six strikeouts in five of those 10 starts. Sunday, he faces a Mariners team that had the fourth-highest strikeout rate (25.5%) in baseball in 2019.
J.D. Martinez -0.5 fantasy points vs. Jorge Soler
Not only is Martinez off to a nice start this season, going 5-for-9 with a couple of doubles in the first two games, but he destroys left-handed pitching, with a .997 OPS against southpaws for his career. Baltimore’s Sunday starter, Wade LeBlanc, is a left-handed pitcher. Soler is coming off the best season of his career, by far, and while I might want to exercise some caution when it comes to Carlos Carrasco’s strikeout potential in this specific game, he’s still a bigger threat to Soler than LeBlanc is to Martinez.
George Springer -0.5 fantasy points vs. Aaron Judge
After going 2-for-3 to open the season, Judge was 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss to Washington. While Judge crushes lefties, with a .972 OPS for his career, he’s not facing a run-of-the-mill left-handed pitcher. As noted above, Patrick Corbin has some serious stuff. Springer, on the other hand, matches up against Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi, who had a 5.46 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 2019.
Christian Yelich -0.5 hits + walks vs. DJ LeMahieu
Christian Yelich is one of the best players in the sport, though just 1-for-9 in the first two games of this season and faces Tyler Chatwood and the Cubs. In Chatwood’s career as a starter, he has a 4.36 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, so he’s certainly hittable. LeMahieu, on the other hand, goes against Patrick Corbin and the Nationals, a much more difficult proposition.
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