Chase Utley exacts his own revenge
We all saw the brutal slide into second base by Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley in the playoffs last season, a slide the broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. It was a terrible slide and it was just a matter of time before the Mets took care of business, in baseball terms, on Utley for breaking Tejada's leg. It didn't happen in the first series between the two teams in Los Angeles, and I thought the Mets would wait till Sunday's game, but instead, Noah Syndergaard took matters in his own hands by throwing behind Utley in his second at bat last night. He, and manager Terry Collins, were tossed, as a result.
Then, Utley retaliated for being thrown at by hitting not one, but two home runs, with the second coming with the bases juiced in the Dodgers eventual 9-1 win. He broke open a close game with his seventh inning grand slam.
Utley finished the game going 2-5 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI, a night after he went 1-2 with a double, 2 walks and 4 RBI, so he has driven in 9 runs in the series. The big weekend has raised his slash line to .296-.386-.453 with 4 home runs, 29 runs scored and 19 RBI. He was probably an afterthought on draft day, and is owned in just over 20% of ESPN leagues at the moment, so if you need to replace a struggling second baseman, or Rougned Odor who is serving his suspension, there are worse options than Utley.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish made his 2016 debut after missing 2015 due to Tommy John surgery. He looked like has didn't miss a beat, as he limited the Pirates to one run on 3 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in the Rangers 5-2 win. Dervish has the talent to be a top 20 starter the rest of the way, assuming he can pitch like he did prior to his injury. In 2014, he struck out 11 batters per nine, while walking just over three batters per nine. He is still available in 10% of ESPN leagues at the moment, so drop your fifth or sixth starter, or closer in waiting, and grab Darvish now.
Astros starter, and reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Dallas Keuchel has been the subject of many questions I receive on Twitter due to him under-performing expectations this season. Keuchel has struggled all season, but turned in a solid effort last night, limiting the Angels to 2 runs on 3 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Astros 4-2 win over the Angels. Keuchel gave up solo home runs to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but stifled the Angels lineup otherwise. The win moved his record to 3-6 with a 5.58 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 1.47 WHIP and a 58-26 strikeout to walk rate in 69.1 innings. He now has quality starts in three of his last five starts, so if he can manage to minimize the disaster starts going forward, we could see Keuchel return to the starter we thought we were buying on draft day.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was the recipient of plenty of love from the fantasy industry in the offseason, and was drafted in the first round in many drafts as well, but he has been a bit of a disappointment to date. After going 0-4 with an RBI in yesterday's win, Correa saw his slash line drop to .241-.329-.393 with 7 home runs, 22 runs scored, 22 RBI and 8 stolen bases with a 54-23 strikeout to walk rate in his 216 plate appearances. After hitting .271-.374-.435 in April, Correa is hitting just .217-.291-.358 with 31 strikeouts in 116 plate appearances in May. He is still on pace to hit 23 home runs and steal 26 bases, so there is no reason to panic.
The Athletics traded for outfielder Khris Davis in the offseason, as they had a need for more power in their lineup, and that is exactly what Davis has provided thus far in 2016. Yesterday, he went 2-5 with a home run and 3 RBI in the A's 12-3 win over the Tigers. Davis is now hitting .237-.267-.520 with 14 home runs, 21 runs scored and 34 RBI in his 182 plate appearances. He ranks third in the American League in home runs and 10th in RBI, but with all that power comes a high whiff rate and zero plate discipline, as he has walked just five times this season. He is on pace for 45 home runs and 159 strikeouts. He is a case of taking the good with the bad.
Giants catcher Buster Posey was the unanimous choice as the top fantasy catcher coming into the season, but he is underperforming expectations to a degree. On Saturday, Posey took advantage of hitting in Coors Field, going 2-5 with two three-run homers in the Giants come-from-behind 10-6 win over the Rockies. Posey is now hitting .268-.328-.470 with 7 home runs, 25 runs scored and 24 RBI. He is on pace for 22 home runs, 79 runs scored and 76 RBI, which is great for most catchers, except for Posey. He is making more hard contact this season, and his .268 batting average of balls in play indicates that his batting average should rise from here, and with that we should see his counting stats follow suit.
If you are looking for power in the outfield, look no further than Reds outfielder Adam Duvall. Yesterday, he went 2-5 with a home run and 4 RBI in the Reds 7-6 win over the Brewers. Duvall has been on a home run tear of late, hitting four home runs in his last six games. Duvall is now hitting a respectable .265-.297-.578 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles, 21 runs scored and 26 RBI in 153 plate appearances. Like Davis above, he strikes out quite a bit and rarely takes a walk, but his .578 slugging percentage ranks 11th in the game, and his .313 ISO rankings third in the game right now.
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