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Fantasy Baseball Opener: A.J. Puk, Abner Uribe, Cristian Javier (3/30)

Fantasy Baseball Opener: A.J. Puk, Abner Uribe, Cristian Javier (3/30)

Greetings, friends. Welcome back to those of you who followed along with the Fantasy Baseball Opener last season. For those of you who are new here, this is where we hang out and talk about what happened in baseball the night before.

Every morning (or most mornings), I’ll be with you to recap the previous day of baseball and talk about what stood out to me. We’ll find fun stats. We’ll discuss some top performances. We’ll lament some injuries. We’ll touch on any noteworthy news and updates. We’ll take a peek at the day ahead. We’ll start way too many consecutive sentences with the word “we’ll.” And we’ll have a few laughs along the way.

Also, be sure to check out our NEW SHOW on the FantasyPros Baseball Podcast feed. The Cycle, featuring Ryan Wormeli and yours truly (along with other recurring analysts like Kelly Kirby and Chris Welsh), is a new weekly fantasy baseball show to complement the daily Leading Off offering. We’re stoked about it, and we hope you are, too. Give it a listen, let us know what you think, and leave us a review on Spotify, Apple or wherever you listen to such things.

Have questions or just want to talk baseball? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher with questions or feedback anytime. Or even better, join the FantasyPros Discord!

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Fantasy Baseball News & Notes

Royce Lewis was placed on the injured list Saturday morning. Lewis appeared in just 58 games in 2023 after starting the season late due to recovery from a torn ACL, then missed close to two months with an oblique injury and finished the season on the shelf with a hamstring injury before returning for the playoffs. He looks the part of a young superstar when he’s on the field, but his injury history is getting long and concerning for a player who doesn’t turn 25 for a few months.

Abner Uribe got the save for the Brewers in their opening day matchup against the Mets. Protecting a late 3-1 lead, Trevor Megill pitched the 7th, Joel Payamps pitched the 8th, and Uribe got the 9th. Does this mean Uribe is the closer with Devin Williams sidelined? Not necessarily. But it isn’t ideal for people like me who spend a significant amount of FAAB on Payamps chasing saves. The common consensus seems to be this is a committee situation, but if Uribe gets off to a hot start and gets most of the early opportunities, he could keep the job.

Matt Chapman, Teoscar Hernandez, J.D. Davis and Fernando Tatis Jr. all went deep twice on Friday. For Hernandez and Tatis, it’s basically studs being studs. For Chapman and Davis, it’s a different story. It feels like he’s been around forever, but Chapman is only 30 years old. He hit 17 HR in 140 games last season with the Blue Jays, but he hit 27 HR in both 2021 and 2022. If he can stay healthy with the Giants, could he provide a sneaky 25 HR for fantasy managers who got a deal on him in drafts? And can he keep that average closer to the .240 he posted in 2023 and not the .210 and .229 numbers he posted the previous two years? That might be too much to ask. But maybe…

For J.D. Davis, he was released by the Giants a couple of weeks ago and now finds himself hitting in the middle of the A’s lineup. Last year with the Giants, he batted .248 with 18 HR in 144 games but did post some intriguing batted ball numbers. He’s an intriguing option for managers in deeper leagues or managers needing a stopgap at a corner infield spot.

Sean Murphy left early on Friday, and the Braves are placing him on the IL with an oblique injury.

Aaron Civale debuted with the Rays and looked pretty, pretty good. Final line: 6 IP, 6 K, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB and a win. I talked about Civale on the latest episode of The Cycle as someone I’m high on this year. I see a lot of similarities to 2023 Zach Eflin, who had a breakout year in his first season with the Rays.

A.J. Puk had a ROUGH night. 2 IP, 1 K, 4 Er, 3 H, 6 BB. SIX walks. I have a bunch of shares of Puk this year because the price was cheap and I was hoping for one of two things: I get 100 innings of sub-4.00 ERA with 140+ strikeout upside, OR Puk moves back to the bullpen and ends up as the closer for Miami. Well, we aren’t off to a good start. I’m not ready to drop him after one bad start, but I’m not going to have a very long leash if he continues to struggle with his control. My best guess is he still ends up in the bullpen at some point this season, at which point he’ll have the opportunity to work his way up the ladder for save opportunities. Not many fantasy managers can afford to wait for that to develop, though.

Cristian Javier is so back, baby. Ok, we can’t get too excited just yet. But I wrote up Javier a few weeks ago as someone I was buying low in drafts because I believe in the bounceback this year. So far, so good. 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 1 BB in a no-decision as the Houston bullpen imploded.

Mookie Betts homered again and now has three HRs in four games to go with an early .571 AVG. Arguably the best all-round player in baseball is eligible at 2B, SS, and OF for fantasy managers. What’s not to love?

George Kirby dominated the Red Sox in his 2024 debut. I don’t have many shares this season because Kirby was EXPENSIVE in drafts. But through one start, it would be hard to look better than he did: 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 8 K, 2 BB.

Nick Pivetta struck out 10 Mariners in his season debut. He got stuck with a tough luck loss as the Red Sox went down 1-0, but he tossed six strong innings with those 10 Ks, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB.

Bobby Miller struck out 11 over six scoreless innings in a win over the Cardinals. After an impressive debut season in 2023, Miller is going to be a league winner if he takes another step forward in 2024.

Fun!

So, about sending Jackson Holliday down to the minors…

Rub Some Dirt On It (Injuries)

More From the News Desk

Studs and Duds

Here are some of the best and worst performances from yesterday.

Studs (Hitters)

PLAYER AB H R HR RBI SB AVG BB K ROST%
Matt Chapman (SF – 3B ) 5 3 3 2 5 0 .600 0 0 42%
Teoscar Hernandez (LAD – RF,DH ) 3 2 2 2 4 0 .667 0 1 83%
J.D. Davis (OAK – 1B,3B ) 4 2 2 2 2 0 .500 0 1 2%
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD – RF ) 4 2 2 2 2 0 .500 0 1 99%
Brandon Lowe (TB – 2B ) 5 2 1 1 4 0 .400 0 2 23%
Andres Gimenez (CLE – 2B ) 3 3 2 0 2 0 1.000 2 0 82%
Jose Siri (TB – CF ) 4 1 1 0 0 2 .250 0 1 18%
Christian Yelich (MIL – LF,DH ) 4 3 1 1 1 0 .750 0 1 96%
Alek Thomas (ARI – CF ) 4 1 1 1 3 0 .250 0 1 4%
Matt Olson (ATL – 1B ) 5 3 1 0 3 0 .600 0 1 99%

Studs (Pitchers)

PLAYER IP K W QS SV ERA WHIP ER H BB HR L ROST%
Bobby Miller (LAD – SP ) 6 11 1 1 0 0.00 0.50 0 2 1 0 0 96%
George Kirby (SEA – SP ) 6 8 1 1 0 0.00 0.60 0 2 2 0 0 99%
Freddy Peralta (MIL – SP ) 6 8 1 1 0 1.50 0.33 1 1 1 1 0 99%
Merrill Kelly (ARI – SP ) 6 8 1 1 0 1.35 0.45 1 3 0 1 0 94%
Aaron Civale (TB – SP ) 6 6 1 1 0 1.50 0.83 1 4 1 1 0 48%
Nick Pivetta (BOS – SP,RP ) 6 10 0 1 0 1.50 0.50 1 3 0 1 1 88%
Kyle Harrison (SF – SP ) 6 5 1 1 0 3.00 1.00 2 6 0 2 0 68%
Cristian Javier (HOU – SP ) 6 6 0 1 0 0.00 0.83 0 4 1 0 0 89%
Zack Wheeler (PHI – SP ) 6 5 0 1 0 0.00 0.83 0 5 0 0 0 99%
Josh Fleming (PIT – SP,RP ) 3 3 0 0 1 3.00 1.00 1 2 1 0 0 0%
Andres Munoz (SEA – RP ) 1.1 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 93%
Spencer Strider (ATL – SP ) 5 8 0 0 0 3.60 1.00 2 3 2 1 0 99%

Duds (Hitters)

PLAYER AB H R HR RBI SB AVG BB K ROST%
Aaron Judge (NYY – CF,RF,DH ) 5 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 1 99%
Marcell Ozuna (ATL – LF,DH ) 5 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 2 93%
Victor Scott (STL – CF,OF ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 3 28%
Lawrence Butler (OAK – CF ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1%
Alec Burleson (STL – 1B,LF,RF,DH ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 1 1%
Isaac Paredes (TB – 1B,2B,3B ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 2 87%
JJ Bleday (OAK – LF,CF,RF ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 1 1%
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA – CF ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 3 84%
Abraham Toro (OAK – 1B,2B,3B ) 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0%

Duds (Pitchers)

PLAYER IP K W QS SV ERA WHIP ER H BB HR L ROST%
A.J. Puk (MIA – RP ) 2 1 0 0 0 18 4.5 4 3 6 0 1 55%
Michael Grove (LAD – SP,RP ) 1 1 0 0 0 27.00 4.00 3 3 1 0 0 1%
Cal Quantrill (COL – SP ) 5 1 0 0 0 9.00 2.00 5 9 1 2 1 1%
Jake Bird (COL – RP ) 2 0 0 0 0 9.00 2.50 2 4 1 1 0 0%
Stephen Kolek (SD – SP,RP ) 1 1 0 0 0 18.00 3.00 2 3 0 0 0 0%
Jose Alvarado (PHI – RP ) 0 1 0 0 0 67.50 7.50 5 3 2 0 1 76%

2024 Fantasy Baseball Closers Depth Charts Handcuffs

Arm Barn Report

Here is every player who recorded a save yesterday:

Fantasy Baseball Trade & Waiver Wire Advice


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