Fantasy Baseball News – May 7, 2022
Merrill Kelly came within one out of pitching a complete game against the Rockies on Friday, finishing with one earned run on seven hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. Kelly continued his superb start to the season with one of the best single-game performances that any pitcher has had this year, especially considering that Colorado’s offense ranks among the best in baseball. Kelly allowed a quick run in the first inning but nothing after that. He was on the brink of wrapping things up after striking out the first two batters of the ninth, but back-to-back singles brought the tying run to the plate and sent Kelly to the showers after 106 pitches (75 strikes). Closer Mark Melancon put out the fire to preserve Kelly’s third win. Kelly still has not allowed a home run yet in 37 innings this year and will carry an NL-best 1.22 ERA into his next outing vs. the light-hitting Marlins at home, where he’ll be a slam-dunk fantasy play.
Byron Buxton propelled the Twins to a 2-1 victory over the A’s on Friday by going 1-for-2 with a solo homer and two walks. Another day, another big fly for Buxton, who smashed his ninth dinger of the year in the fifth inning for what proved to be the eventual winning run. Even more impressively, those nine taters have come in just 18 games, and he has 17 runs and 17 RBIs as well. The two walks were a bit of a surprise, as he’d only walked twice previously all season. Buxton isn’t known for his plate discipline, but that hasn’t stopped him from having success in recent seasons. He’s now on a five-game hitting streak to open May with three home runs this month, giving him a .290 average and a 1.109 OPS overall on the season. As always, the biggest question with Buxton is whether he can stay healthy, but right now the Twins’ leadoff man is off to an MVP-caliber start.
Ronald Acuna Jr. went 1-for-4 with a solo homer vs. the Brewers on Friday. Acuna accounted for one of Atlanta’s three hits and three runs with one swing of the bat in the fourth inning, launching a 450-foot bomb to center field off Eric Lauer. Acuna swung so hard that he fell down after making contact, but thankfully he wasn’t injured doing so. The homer was Acuna’s first in seven games this season since returning from a torn ACL that sidelined him for the second half last year. He’s been understandably rusty, batting just .207 with a .626 OPS, but perhaps this long ball against a hot pitcher can jolt his bat. On the plus side, he’s hit safely in six of seven games thus far, so it’s not like he’s totally out of sorts at the plate. Fantasy managers should continue to be patient with Acuna, as he could be about to get hot.
Luis Garcia dominated the Tigers over seven innings on Friday for the win, allowing just two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. This was easily the best performance of what has been an uneven season for Garcia, which isn’t surprising given that he was at home against Detroit’s punchless lineup. He also did not allow a homer after surrendering five over his previous three starts and improved to 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old is still searching for consistency in the majors after finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year race last year, but he’s in a great spot with a good lineup and bullpen behind him. The key for him will be keeping his home run rate down, as the rest of his peripherals are solid. He’ll have a tougher challenge against the surprisingly strong Twins on the road in his next start during the upcoming week, but he’s still worth starting there based on his upside.
Eric Lauer continued his sensational start to the season with another gem on Friday, limiting the Braves to two runs (one earned) on two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. The only earned run Lauer allowed was a fourth-inning solo shot by Ronald Acuna Jr., which can happen to the best pitcher. It was his fourth straight quality start allowing one earned run or less, improving his record to 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA. He also has a stellar 42:8 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings. While he’s had success against subpar teams such as the Cubs and Pirates this year, he’s also dominated the Braves and Phillies, proving he has what it takes to navigate some of the toughest lineups in baseball. Lauer has emerged as an automatic start and needs to be rostered in all formats. His next start lines up to be against the Cubs at home next week, who struck out 11 times against him as he twirled seven innings of one-run ball. Lauer is a must-start there.
This is just a small sample our daily analysis, join our member area for tools that will help you win your fantasy championship. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3