The first day of baseball is in the books. A lot happened, good and bad. But remember, it’s only the first day of the fantasy baseball season.
It’s back. Baseball is back and that means the 2018 fantasy baseball season is underway. The year kicked off right with a first-pitch home run from Cubs second baseman Ian Happ. A couple of hours later, new Bronx Bomber Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs of his own.
Some solid relief pitchers blew saves while others emerged from a crowded bullpen to earn a job. We saw interesting matchups between two starting pitchers, with the underdog coming out on top a majority of the time.
While we expected most of what happened on the first day of baseball, there was a lot that we didn’t expect. It’s important to remember, though, that it was just one day and there are 161 more games to be played. Here are some things to relax about, both good and bad, after Day 1.
Mike Trout went 0-for-6. Based on name value, I think this was the biggest takeaway from a single player on Opening Day. He had a couple of groundouts and flyouts with a strikeout in the 11th inning. His new teammate Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-5.
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Trout will not go 0-for-6 in every game this season. If you own him, do not even amuse trading him away. He will hit .290 with 30-plus home runs and 90 RBI. It wasn’t a good first game, but it can only go up from here.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, DH Matt Davidson hit three home runs in four at-bats as the White Sox routed the Royals 14-7. This will not be the norm for Davidson this season. He hit .220 with 26 home runs and 68 RBI in 118 games last year. While he may hit 25 home runs again, don’t expect anything higher than a .240 batting average.
There are plenty of other power-hitting options on the wire, most of whom will hit better than .250 in the process.
Ty Blach and company outduel Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. After Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija were placed on the DL, Blach was awarding the Opening Day spot. Against the dangerous Dodgers lineup, Blach pitched five shutout innings with three hits, three walks and three strikeouts. The rest of bullpen combined for four shutout innings with three hits, two walks and seven more strikeouts.
Kershaw went six innings with eight hits, two walks, seven strikeouts and the only run of the game. The Dodgers bullpen gave up just two walks with four strikeouts afterward.
This was a good start for Blach and the Giants but they will struggle for most of the season with their ace on the DL. Kershaw earned the quality start but not the win. The only negative was the number of hits he allowed but he did get out of those situations.
Felix Hernandez looks like his old self. This is one that I’m happy about. Hernandez struggled to stay healthy over the last two seasons, making 25 and 16 starts respectively. In his first start, he pitched 5.1 innings, giving up just two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. As long as he can stay healthy, then he should be good enough for an SP3 spot. His ownership percentage is at just 54.7 in ESPN leagues. Hernandez’s next start is on the road against the Giants, a favorable matchup.
There were a few more surprising events that happened on Opening Day. Regardless if they were good or bad to your fantasy team, it’s important to know that it was only one game. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re last in the standings, you don’t need to trade away your whole team. It will get better.