We are starting a new feature on the Random Musings blog. It will not be very random because it will be a daily entry. We will look at fantasy sports from a daily perspective: the games last night, the games tonight, and the news along the way. As we settle in and find our rhythm, we'll add new features. Please send your feedback in the Comments section below on the day in fantasy, what you like or don't like about the column, and any ideas for new features on the blog.
So, let's get started:
YESTERDAY'S BEST (May 31st)
LF Carlos Gonzalez COL: 3-4, HR (14), 3 RBI (44), 3 R (44), BB, SB (8) (16 pts)
RF Michael Cuddyer COL: 3-4, 3 RBI (35), 2B, 2 R (27), BB (10 pts)
CF Quintin Berry DET: 3-5, RBI (3), 2 R (9), 2 SB (5) (10 pts)
SP Zach Greinke MIL: 6 IP, 9 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (69), QS, W (6-2) (20 pts)
SP Max Scherzer DET: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (78), QS, W (5-3) (14 pts)
RP Phil Coke DET: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (8 pts)
C: Saltalamacchia BOS (7 pts)
1B: Fielder DET (8)
2B: Scutaro COL (8)
3B: Ramirez MIL (9)
SS: Lowrie HOU (4)
OF: Gonzalez COL (16)
SP: Greinke MIL (20)
RP: Coke DET (8)
There were only three games on the slate last night, so we'll spend a little time on each game.
Detroit (24-27) 7, BOSTON (26-25) 3
- SP Max Scherzer (14 pts) pitched and won while doing the bare minimum for the quality start (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). Scherzer won his third straight start and the 15-strikeout performance started him on this run (3-0, 3.93 ERA, 18.1 IP, 17 H, 8 ER). Scherzer has had a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10-to-1 over that span (30 K, 3 BB).
- There were four multi-hit games for the Tigers, led by the relatively unknown OF Quintin Berry (3-for-5, 10 pts), who used his speed (2 SB) to score twice. Berry is only owned in 1% of CBSSports.com leagues, but has 28 fantasy points since his call-up last week (39 AB, .333 AVG). If you need OF help, he is an AL-only option, but his value could rise quickly until the pitchers adjust.
- OF Delmon Young (8 pts) matched Berry with a 3-for-5 night and hit his 4th homer for a little insurance. Young closed with a better May than his April, in more ways than one, hitting .265/.294/.429, 3 HR, 14 RBI in May after a .242/.311/.333 April. But, he needs to show more before he deserves to get into your lineup. Leave him alone for now.
- Boston only managed seven hits, but C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7 pts) was the only multi-hit player on the Sox. "Salty" is up to 10 homers and completed a .308/.345/.628 May with 6 HR and 15 RBI. He is not walking (7 BB, 39 K), but that is just about the only knock on his fantasy record this year. He is on a solid run, homering five times in his last 10 games (13 days) and he is 5-for-11 over his last three games. Get his .910 OPS in your lineup.
- SP Josh Beckett (-5 pts) had pitched better for three starts since getting clocked by Cleveland on May 10th. In three starts before last night, Beckett was 2-0 with only three earned runs allowed in 21.2 IP (1.25 ERA). But, he fell back to earth with four earned runs and 10 hits allowed in seven innings of work, bumping his season ERA up from 4.15 to 4.26.
COLORADO (21-29) 11, Houston (22-29) 5
- SP Bud Norris (-34 pts) was shellacked by the Rockies, as Norris could not get out of the second inning, surrendering nine earned runs on seven hits while only recording five outs. Yes, it was Coors Field, and Carlos Gonzalez took him deep, but he walked three, allowed three singles and three doubles. He had his string of five straight quality starts (4-0, 1.10 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 10 BB, 31 K) snapped in his previous start at Dodger Stadium, but his last two starts have ballooned his season ERA from 3.14 to 4.76. Norris is solid at home (3-0, 1.60 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 33.2 IP), but dreadful away from Minute Maid Park (2-2, 7.80 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 30 IP).
- OF Carlos Gonzalez (16 pts) followed up his sterling three-homer performance with a dinger in his first at-bat off of Norris. He was intentionally walked his next time up, but teams may not use that as a blueprint if OF Michael Cuddyer has nights like he did last night (3-for-4, 3 RBI, 10 pts).
- Despite the blowout loss, Houston were only outhit by the Rockies, 15-14, and the Astros had three-hit games from 2B Jose Altuve (4 pts), who was 8-for-20 in the 4-game set at Coors, and SS Jed Lowrie (4 pts), who capped off a fantastic May (.275/.339/.520, 6 HR, 14 RBI) by hitting safely in 12 of his last 15 games.
- SP Jeremy Guthrie (0 pts) won his first game since coming back from his bicycle injury. He only has two quality starts in eight starts this year and even though he has gotten his share of ground balls (1.07 GO/AO), his numbers are indicative of a guy who pitches to contact in a large field like Coors.
Milwaukee (23-28) 6, LA DODGERS (32-19) 2
- Much has been made of the home/road splits for SP Zach Greinke and, I must admit, I bought into it as well. The Dodgers were without Matt Kemp, but the Brewers did not have the services of Ryan Braun. The Brewers got out to a good lead off SP Chad Billingsley (6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 pts) and Greinke held it. He has pitched well in two of his last three road starts, but he has been a lot better at home (3-0, 1.30 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 34.2 IP). Greinke has been feast-or-famine on the road, mixing in atrocious outings with really good ones.
- 3B Aramis Ramirez was the hitting star with two hits, including his 5th home run. Ramirez is only hitting .246/.318/.436, but his May showed improvement across the board (.274/.364/.484). Ramirez is hot, hitting .351 (13-for-37) with 3 HR and 11 RBI over his last 9 games, hitting in all but one of those games and getting multiple hits in five of those nine contests.
- DH Travis Hafner CLE: He had right knee surgery on Thursday (out 4-6 weeks)
- OF Nick Markakis BAL: He had successful surgery on his hamate bone in his right hand (out 3-4 weeks)
- OF Ryan Braun MIL: He experienced tightness in his right Achilles' tendon (day-to-day)
- SP Jaime Garcia STL: He was scheduled to start tonight at the NY Mets, but he is pushed back because of elbow discomfort. An MRI on the elbow came back negative. (day-to-day)
- 2B Dustin Pedroia BOS: He was not in the lineup again, but he may avoid a trip to the DL and may play through the pain (day-to-day)
- REHAB - OF Desmond Jennings TBY: Started his rehab assignment for Charlotte (Single-A)
- RETURNING - OF Allen Craig STL: His second trip to the DL in the last month is over and Craig is ready to return (left hamstring strain)
The highlight games are the Braves at the Nationals with Mike Minor (2-4, 6.98 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) taking on Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 2.64, 1.10) and the Rangers and Angels meet in Southern California with Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.58, 1.16) visiting Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.81, 1.31). There are aces are on the hill in Queens as Johan Santana (2-2, 2.75, 1.10) hosts Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.45, 1.35) in the Cardinals-Mets game as Carlos Beltran (.294/.394/.594, 15 HR, 42 RBI) makes his triumphant return to New York.
Chris Capuano (7-1, 2.14, 1.00) tries to tie for the Major League lead for wins as the Dodgers take on Colorado in Denver. CC Sabathia (6-2, 3.66, 1.22) has gone six innings in every start this year and faces a Tigers team that sends a pitcher to make his Major League debut tonight in Casey Crosby (NR). The Yankees normally have a tough time against pitchers they have never seen before. Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.25, 1.52) takes his unsustainable WHIP and surprising start to the year against the Twins.
MY PICK 6:
SP Madison Bumgarner SFO (vs CHC) (2011 vs. Cubs: 1-1, 1.93 ERA, 14 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 17 K)
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia BOS (at TOR)
CI Mark Trumbo LAA (vs TEX) (.348/.396/.632, 10 HR, 26 RBI in 43 G this year; .451/.459/.732 at home)
MI Ian Kinsler TEX (at LAA) (2011 vs. Angels: .321/.391/.487, HR, 6 RBI)
OF Giancarlo Stanton MIA (at PHL) (.304/.376/.594 for season, .400 AVG and .900 SLG last 11 games)
RP Fernando Rodney TBY (vs BAL) (unscored upon in 21 of 25 appearances, 16 SV, 1.08 ERA, 0.76 WHIP this year)