There were only 6 games on Monday, and here are some random thoughts:
Orioles starter Jake Arrietta held the Tigers to one run on 6 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in his 6 innings of work. Arrieta will need to get his K rate back to levels we saw in AA and AAA to be considered by fantasy owners.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has started the season hitting .385-.429-.462 after going 2-3 with a walk, run scored and an RBI. He batted 5th against Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who got knocked around for 5 runs on 9 hits and a walk in his 5 innings of work.
Last year, the Brewers couldn't put together a starting rotation, but after trading for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum this offseason, they appeared set to challenge for the NL Central. On Wednesday, they got a great start from Chris Narveson, who hurled 6 shutout innings, giving up 6 baserunners and striking out 5. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, but setup man Takashu Saito gave up 2 HRs in the 8th inning to spoil his excellent outing. The Brewers bullpen, a strength last year, has let them down twice in the early going.
More roundup after the jump:
Braves rookie starter Brandon Beachy pitched 6 solid innings, giving up just one run on 4 hits and a walk, and struck out 7. I was high on Mike Minor before the season started, but Beachy should be picked up in all NL-only leagues after this outing on the road vs a solid Brewers lineup.
Speaking of Braves rookies, rookie closer Craig Kimbrel earned his second save by striking out the side in the 9th innings on Monday. He has struck out 5 of the 6 hitters he has faced in his 2 innings of work so far this season. Manager Fredi Gonzalez has not officially named Kimbrel as his full-time closer, but his actions say otherwise, as he brought Johnny Venters in to face Brewers slugger Prince Fielder in the 8th inning.
I questioned whether Alex Rodriguez could top 30 HRs in 2011 earlier this offseason, but all indications are that he is healthier than he was in 2010. ARod hit his 2nd HR in 4 games on Monday and is now hitting .357-.471-.929. Those of you who predicted another monster season from him this year are looking pretty good in the early going.
Yankees catcher Russell Martin is doing his best to make me look bad so far, as he is hitting .49-.429-714 with 2 SBs so far. I would sell high if he keeps this up.
Looking at the Cardinals lineup on Monday night, why would anyone pitch to Albert Pujols this season. Other than Colby Rasmus and Pujols, no one in the Cardinals lineup is exciting or should scare opposing pitchers.
Rangers oiutfielder Nelson Cruz went 2-3 with his 4th HR of the season. He loves hitting at home huh? Unfortunately all of his HRs have been solo shots, but he is well on his way to 30 HRs, assuming he stays healthy this year. According to SB Nation's Rob Neyer, only two other hitters in the history of baseball have homered in their first 4 games-Willie Mays and Mark McGwire., so Cruz becomes the first AL hitter to accomplish this feat.
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak went 2-4 with an RBI and is hitting .385-.529-.615 in the early going. He is out to prove that the Mariners made the right decision in trading for him last year.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit his 2nd HR of the season in the Pirates 4-3 win over the Cardinals. McCutchen has 20-40 ability and appears to like hitting in the 3-hole in the Buccos lineup. That 2 HRs in 3 games for McCutchen.