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Fantasy Baseball Opening Day Observations

Get used to watching Giancarlo Stanton in a home run trout this season (AP).

It’s Opening Day, so let’s go over some observations while attempting not to overreact too much.

Yankees vs. Blue Jays: Giancarlo Stanton wasted no time, hitting two homers, including during his first AB as a Yankee, when he recorded the fastest exit velocity on an opposite field HR in the history of Statcast. Aaron Judge scored 128 runs last year as a rookie when not hitting directly in front of Stanton like he now does. The modern day bash brothers are going to put up absurd numbers this season…Manager John Gibbons claims the injury isn’t serious, but any Josh Donaldson owner has to be panicked watching him unable to throw across the diamond. His shoulder clearly isn’t right…Aledmys Diaz started over Yangervis Solarte.

Cubs vs. Marlins: Ian Happ homered on the very first pitch of the season and is going to be a monster…Kyle Schwarber looked comically bad on defense at times, but the slimmed down version wasted no time going yard…Lewis Brinson hit leadoff, while Cameron Maybin wasn’t in the starting lineup…Jose Urena’s first inning featured two walks and three hit batsmen…This Marlins lineup is really bad.

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White Sox vs. Royals: This was a wild range of emotions for yours truly, as people called me bad names for including Tim Anderson on this busts list, and then he goes out and swats two homers and even takes a walk. Please have mercy I give in to the Tim Anderson crowd. On the other hand, I called Matt Davidson a legit sleeper here, so at least I’ve got that going for me. In all seriousness, Davidson swatted three homers Thursday (becoming the first player since Statcast debuted to hit multiple HRs of at least 114 mph in the same game), bats cleanup and in a park that boosts power for RHB and ranked No. 11 in Brls/PA last season, with the 10 ahead of him a list of the game’s stars. It’s a travesty he’s still owned in just 30 percent of Yahoo leagues (albeit climbing by the minute).

Red Sox vs. Rays: Encouraging start for Xander Bogaerts, who should hit much better this year now healthy…Eduardo Nunez’s home run didn’t go very farC.J. Cron hit cleanup but struck out in all three plate appearances before being pinch hit for…Chris Sale allowed one hit and had nine strikeouts but took a frustrating no decision. I still can’t believe he’s younger than Chris Archer.

Phillies vs. Braves: Odubel Herrera owners have to be frustrated seeing him sit game one against a righty, and Hector Neris owners’ day went from bad to worse, as after new manager Gabe Kapler announced Philly didn’t have a defined closer, he surrendered a three-run, walk-off homer to someone who hit just eight long balls over 593 at bats last year. There isn’t a clear option to grab right now on fantasy wires, as it looks like a committee…I should light this ticket on fireFreddie Freeman is a legit threat to win the MVP this year…Tyler Flowers could be headed to the DL after leaving with oblique soreness.

Angels vs. A’s: Shohei Ohtani started at DH and hit eighth, singling in his first at bat before getting retired in the next four…Matt Olson now has 25 home runs in his last 52 games.

Astros vs. Rangers: Ken Giles allowed the only run of the game for Houston, and he remains someone to keep a close eye on…Cole Hamels’ seven Ks would’ve been his second most in any start last season…The Astros unveiled their four-man outfield…There wasn’t a save opportunity, but Keone Kela was named Texas’ primary closer Thursday. He’s still available in more than half of Yahoo leagues.

Twins vs. Orioles: Byron Buxton not only hit eighth but was also removed for a pinch hitter, which isn’t exactly encouraging given his aggressive ADP. Of course, it’s only one game…Eddie Rosario hit cleanup, stole a base and was robbed of a homer by Craig GentryChris Davis hit leadoff, which would be great news for his fantasy value, but he had a .309 OBP last season, so this experiment will almost certainly be short-lived…Both starters Jake Odorizzi and Dylan Bundy looked sharp, while both closers Brad Brach and Fernando Rodney didn’t. Addison Reed is the fantasy RP to own in Minnesota.

Cardinals vs. Mets: Greg Holland saw his fantasy value rise the most on Opening Day, as his signing with the Cardinals was a best-case scenario for his owners, as he should quickly become closer on an NL team favored to make the playoffs. I moved Holland to No. 13 on my final RP ranks with the morning news, and it probably should’ve been higher…Jose Martinez is another hitter who graded extremely well in the aforementioned “Barrels” stat. Forget it I’m going to overreact. I’m really regretting not having more shares of Martinez right now…Michael Conforto sounds ready to return far sooner than originally expected. If he’s truly 100 percent, his ADP will go down as one of the biggest steals of 2018 no doubt…Noah Syndergaard has already allowed two more homers this year than he did last, but he struck out 10 and reminded a troll about it.

Giants vs. Dodgers: Los Angeles was -300 favorites, which is especially big considering it’s Opening Day. So naturally they lost, as a not sharp Clayton Kershaw even gave up a homer to lefty Joe PanikHunter Strickland is Thursday’s second-biggest fantasy riser, as he successfully converted SF’s save chance and is plenty capable of keeping the job. I have zero confidence Mark Melancon pitches again anytime soon. Sam Dyson can be dropped in all formats…The Giants curiously opened on the road for the ninth year in a row, and here’s Derek Holland doing an interview as Kermit the Frog. You’re welcome.

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