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Friday, April 12, 2013

The Weekly Walk-Off

Wild on Sports
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The Weekly Walk-Off
By Wild on Sports MLB Analyst Kyle Kargel

After two weeks of play the MLB season is already off to a fiery start after tempers flared last Thursday in San Diego. Dodgers’ pitcher Zach Grenkie broke his collar bone after sustaining a tackle attempt by Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin after he was hit by a pitch in the shoulder area. Bats are taking shape once again as three players already have six homeruns apiece. Yu Darvish was an out away from a perfect game against the Astros on Apr. 2. Also, who would have thought Mets catcher John Buck would be among the league leaders in homeruns and RBIs after the team’s first nine games. It’s just the start to a wild and wacky season in the MLB as every team is still in it to make the playoffs. Well, almost every team (sorry Miami).

Three Studs of the Week
1. Carl Crawford OF LAD- He’s on a mission to prove his critics wrong and that he still has a lot left in the tank after his failed attempt at playing in Boston. He’s among the league leaders in average and already has six multi-hit games. He should stay on track as the team faces Arizona, LA Dodgers and Baltimore in its next three series.

2. Chris Davis 1B/OF Bal- besides homering in the Orioles first four games he also set a team RBI record of 16 in the team’s first four games. In total he has 19 RBIs in the first nine games, but he should even out in time. Until then, Owners should play him at will. He should still be able to notch 25 homeruns and 90 RBIs this season though.

3. Yu Darvish SP Tex- It’s becoming a lot easier to forget Josh Hamilton with Darvish pitching the way he has in his first two starts. There was a lot of pressure on him in his first season last year with the team, signing a big MLB contract coming from the majors in Japan. Now that the pressure has been lifted a bit he has shined posting a 2-0 record and a 1.98 ERA. His K:BB ratio is one of the best in the majors thus far. Expect Darvish to put up around 15 wins and 170 strikeouts this season.

Three Duds of the Week
1. Giancarlo Stanton OF Mia- Many knew how bad the Marlins would be this season, but expected Stanton to put up the same numbers he did last year. He was supposed to be the teams main source of offense, but that has been far from the case. Unable to post a homerun or RBI in his first 30 at-bats, it’s tough seeing Stanton encounter an absolute turnaround. Judging by the start of the season Stanton should pick it up a bit, but not to the extent of last year.

2. R.A. Dickey SP Tor- Coming off a Cy Young performance last season, it’s hard to see why anyone would have gotten used to the knuckle ball, especially changing leagues from the National League to American League. Dickey has been roughed up so far though already allowing 10 runs in 10 2/3 innings, and posting a 0-2 record for the Blue Jays. He should have no problem posting a .500 record this season, but it might be a struggle to get there if things keep going the way they are for Dickey.

3. Josh Hamilton OF LAA- With an offense built for success it’s hard to see why Hamilton is struggling. Perhaps he has the same April virus that Pujols had a year ago. Pujols didn’t have a homerun the whole month of Apr. last season and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hamilton do the same although expect him to homer before that. He only has four RBIs and only a .200 average over his first 35 at-bats.

Fantasy Sleeper Watch:
1. Evan Gattis C Atl- Although the potential of Gattis is limited by the health of Brian McCann, Gattis looks to be in line for the starts at catcher for the next week at least for the Braves. He’s batting .391 in 23 at-bats this season with three homeruns. For the most part Gattis has been hitting cleanup which provides for extra RBI opportunities as well.

2. Brandon Moss 1B/OF Oak- Moss emerged last season hitting 21 homeruns in 84 games for Oakland, but he still hasn’t caught the eye of most fantasy baseball managers and MLB managers for that matter. Moss struggled out of the gate, but as of the past few games Moss is back in mid-season form batting over .500 in the past week.

3. Jhoulys Chacin SP Col- Though pronouncing his first name might be a tough task, pitching for Chacin has come easy in his first two starts. Although Chacin was likely drafted in your league, he’s still available in some leagues and is number one in the rotation in Colorado. He only has allowed two earned runs in his first 13 1/3 innings pitched. Chacin has the capability to win 15 games, and if Colorado can prove critics wrong by staying out of the bottom of the NL West, some credit will go Chacin’s way.

Match-ups of the Week:
Atlanta and Washington battle in what will likely be an exciting weekend series in Washington D.C. One of these teams will likely win the NL East with the Braves surging with their new and improved offense. Detroit heads back to Oakland in a rematch of last year’s ALDS which will test both teams. Oakland looks to prove that they’re for real after going 8-2 in their first 10 games while the Tigers want to make sure they don’t fall under the .500 mark. With interleague action going on year round, the most exciting interleague series in the next week is the Rangers and Cubs going at it in Wrigley. The Cubs want to stay above water as they have fallen under .500 in their first ten games while the Rangers look to stay hot with their pitching.

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