Fantasy Baseball Rundown: Opening Weekend

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FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani works against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning of a spring training baseball game, in Tempe, Ariz. Ohtani had general managers scrambling this winter with his jump to the major leagues. They weren’t alone. For the folks who write the code that tracks stats for fantasy baseball websites, Ohtani’s two-way talents have caused quite a conundrum. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

We are one week into the MLB season, and it is off to a great start. From Ian Happ homering on the first pitch of the year to Giancarlo Stanton striking out a whopping five times in a single game, there is already so much to talk about. In this article, I take a look at the opening week of the 2018 season through the eyes of a fantasy baseball manager. Below I breakdown the stud of the week, dud of the week, injury fallout and name a couple of possible free agents who could have a good week ahead of them.

Stud of the week: Shohei Ohtani, Starting Pitcher/Designated Hitter, Los Angeles Angels

After a truly dreadful spring, Ohtani had many people thinking that he was going to be a bust. However, one week into the regular season and he already has many of those same people changing their tune. First, he threw a gem of a game against the Oakland Athletics when he picked up his first win of the season. The only blemish on his stat line was the three earned runs that all came off one swing of the bat by Matt Chapman in the second; other than that, he was dominant. Normally, this would not be enough to earn him stud of the week honors, but that is only half the story for Ohtani, who is currently raking at the plate. After going 1-5 in his MLB debut, Ohtani homered in the next two games he played as a DH, first off Josh Tomlin and then off Corey Kluber. Currently hitting .429 with two homers and five RBIs, Ohtani is off to a great start to his MLB career.

Dud of the week: Paul Goldschmidt, First Base, Arizona Diamondbacks

Goldschmidt has had a lousy start to the season, hitting just .059 (1/17) with four runs scored and two RBIs through the first six games of the season for the Diamondbacks. Honestly though, I am not worried in the slightest. Goldschmidt is one of the best first basemen, if not the best, in the entire MLB, so a slow start is nothing more than that. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be back to his MVP caliber self in no time, so Goldschmidt owners just need to be patient; he will come around.

Injury Fallout: Wil Myers, First Base, San Diego Padres

Wil Myers was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday due to right arm irritation, but luckily for Myers owners, he is expected to come off the DL after the minimum 10-day stay. Due to this, he has actually been dropped in four percent of ESPN leagues, so if he is now available in your league, snatch him up immediately. Myers is one of the league’s best players, so the ability to just add him off the waiver wire is one that will end up paying major dividends throughout the course of the season. As for right now, little-owned veteran first basemen Joe Mauer (14.3 percent OWN) and Adrian Gonzalez (5.7 percent OWN) have both had strong starts to their seasons and can fill the gap until Myers returns.

Free Agent Finds: Joakim Soria, Relief Pitcher, Chicago White Sox

It looks like Joakim Soria is locking up the closer role for the White Sox, as he has gone 2/2 on save opportunities so far this season. I am a big believer in stocking up on closers in fantasy baseball, and Soria will most likely get many opportunities throughout the course of the season. Owned in 28.6 percent of leagues, he is pretty readily available. Soria is a solid pickup, especially for teams who have found themselves lacking in the saves category to start the season.

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Trevor Williams throws during the third inning of game one of a baseball doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Trevor Williams, Starting Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates

After coming off a solid rookie campaign in 2017 when he pitched to a 4.07 ERA over 150.1 innings pitched, Williams started his sophomore season off on the right foot. He did not allow a single hit over six innings of work in his first start of the season, albeit with five walks. His next start is on Friday against a Reds team that has already found themselves in the bottom of the NL Central. As it stands right now, Williams is also scheduled to start on Wednesday, April 11, against the Cubs, which is a less favorable matchup. However, the Cubs have been struggling to start the season, so it is definitely possible for Williams to control that game. I expect at least one, possibly two, strong starts from Williams this week. Owned in just 4.4 percent of leagues, he is definitely worth an add.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.

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