Happy Opening Day, and welcome back to another season of early-morning blogging. My entries will be a bit shorter than in years past, with more gameday information coming in our thrice-weekly Fantasy 15 podcasts (available on iTunes by searching "Fantasy 15") and Adam Meyer's "12 at 12" posts. As usual, you can expect me to post here by 8 a.m. ET on most weekdays.
Who's off today: Rangers, Astros, Orioles, Rays, Indians, Blue Jays
First pitch: There are 1:05 p.m. ET starts in both leagues.
Interleague DH issues: The Angels visit the Reds, so look for OF Peter Bourjos to take a seat in favor of Mark Trumbo.
Streaming starters: As always, we'll pick a daily starter owned in 40 percent or fewer of FOXSports.com leagues. Today, we'll take a shot with Minnesota's Vance Worley (4.5 percent owned) at home versus the Tigers. Tuesday's pick is underrated Oriole Jason Hammel (15.6 percent owned) at Tampa.
We'll keep track of these picks by awarding Fantasy Quality Starts based on the following criteria (with occasional exceptions): Pitching at least five innings, and reaching at least two of 4.00 ERA/1.30 WHIP/4 K/Win. Records for past seasons have been:
- 2009: 103-95 (.520)
- 2010: 103-71 (.592)
- 2011: 108-65 (.624)
- 2012: 108-63 (.632)
On to the news:
- Erik Bedard got last night's save for the Astros. Bedard entered the game in the sixth inning with a 4-2 lead, and stayed in for the duration as the Astros extended their lead to 8-2. He's NOT the closer, so don't grab him off the wire hoping for more saves.
- The Red Sox will start rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. in left field today against the Yankees. Bradley hit nine homers and stole 24 bases between A-ball and Double A last season, and appears to have excellent plate discipline (87 BB in 575 plate appearances), but he's obviously light on advanced experience. Bradley should only be targeted in AL-only leagues at this point, and if he doesn't hit, he could go back to the minors when David Ortiz returns from the DL, hopefully later this month.
- With Nate Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez on the DL due to shoulder injuries, 20-year-old Jose Fernandez has made the Marlins' Opening Day roster and is scheduled to start Sunday against the Mets. Fernandez is considered an elite prospect, but hasn't pitched above A ball. Expecting him to help your fantasy squad now is unwise, and hopefully you won't need to activate him soon in your keeper league.
- Cubs 2B Darwin Barney is probably headed to the DL after suffering a deep cut on his left knee Saturday. The somewhat speedy Brent Lillibridge would start in Barney's absence.
- Here's a list of all 30 probable Opening Day lineups at MLB.com. It'll come in handy.
- In case you missed it, Mets SP Johan Santana will have season-ending shoulder surgery tomorrow. Too bad.
- Patrick Corbin is the Diamondbacks' fifth starter.
- The Braves will employ platoons at third base and catcher, with the latter changing when Brian McCann comes off the DL later this month.
- The Nationals will alternate catchers Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki every other game, with Ramos starting today. Keep a close eye on the box scores if you own either backstop in a daily league.
- The Rockies sent 1B/OF Tyler Colvin to the minors? Booooooo.
- A's SS Hiro Nakajima is on the DL with a hamstring injury.
- Rays DH Luke Scott could miss five weeks with a calf injury.
- Chad Billingsley's DL stay is expected to involve one skipped turn in the rotation, so don't worry too much if you own him. In other Dodger news, Carl Crawford is expected to lead off today against the Giants. Crawford is my early favorite for this season's "We Shouldn't Have Given Up On That Guy So Fast" award.
Speaking of predictions:
- MVPs: Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto (though Bryce Harper is so tempting ...)
- Cy Youngs: Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw. These limbs I'm going out on are crazy, huh?
- Rookies of the Year: Aaron Hicks, Hyun-Jin Ryu
- AL playoff teams: Blue Jays, Tigers, Rangers, Rays (WC), Angels (WC)
- NL playoff teams: Nationals, Reds, Dodgers, Braves (WC), Cardinals (WC)
- World Series: Nats over Tigers
See you back here tomorrow morning.