By Ramon Scott, @rsstreams
This is it. The day has finally come. He has arrived in Chicago. And, no, you can’t roster him. At least not today.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (pictured) got the call – on the first of a couple of possible expected dates – to the big club in time for this afternoon’s home game with the Padres. The game will feature two of the more intriguing early season stories in the National League, as the Padres and Cubs are off to decent, exciting starts in a season with quickly-forming expectations.
With the April 17 call-up, Bryant will be unable to accrue a full year of service time with less than 172 days remaining in the season.
Bryant, the slugging phenom out of the University of San Diego, will not be available on FanDuel this afternoon, but he was listed on Friday’s games on DraftKings, where he was initially offered at 4.2k, behind seven other third basemen listed on the slate.
The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez is heading to the disabled list with a hamstring injury. The Blue Jays Jose Reyes left Thursday’s game after just one at-bat after further straining a rib cage muscle. Detroit DH Victor Martinez is still listed as questionable for Friday’s game with a back injury. Evan Longoria left Thursday’s game for Tampa Bay and is questionable tonight against the Yankees at The Trop.
The Boston Red Sox appear to be a popular stack option in tonight’s game against Baltimore’s Ubaldo Jimenez. Almost every Red Sox hitter is in play tonight, including secondary plays David Ortiz and Shane Victorino, should he get the start. Boston players have a combined .333 BA vs. Jimenez.
Other teams at the top of the run-production list for Friday are Washington, Toronto, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels. The Dodgers have a combined .348 BA against Kyle Kendrick.
For Washington, contrarian recommendations include Ian Desmond, who is starting to heat up with a pair of six-plus fantasy games this week, but his salary is still a bit high at 3.9k, and Yunel Escobar, who has hit in eight of ten games so far this season, with three two-hit games.
From Toronto, our secondary catcher is Dioner Navarro should he start tonight against the Braves. He hit safely in four-straight to open the season and comes on the cheap.
Meanwhile, current Cleveland players have a combined .327 team BA lifetime against Mike Pelfrey.
For the Dodgers, Carl Crawford is a secondary pick, after his status has been upgraded to probable following an ankle injury suffered on Wednesday against the Mariners, while from the Angels, shortstop Erick Aybar is a secondary option should he hit leadoff at Houston and Roberto Hernandez tonight, despite his 4-for-21 lifetime mark against the quickly-aging vet.
A couple of secondary pitcher options could including Jason Hammel, who has limited current Padres batters to 18-of-92 career-wise (.196), while the Angels’ Jered Weaver has limited current Astros batters to a .216 (25-for-116) lifetime mark with 28 strikeouts.
PLAYERS TO AVOID
Aramis Ramirez – The Brewers’ third baseman is just 2-for-17 against Pittsburgh LH Locke. He has struggled for the first 10 days of the season, but had a pair of his on Wednesday against the Cards. He went 0-for-4 yesterday, for his fifth hitless game of the season.
Khris Davis – The Milwaukee OF is just 1-for-13 lifetime against Locke.
Jason Kipnis – Jason’s price has decreased since opening day $500, but he still has three two-hit games. He has just one hit in 11 trips, with three strikeouts against the Twins’ Mike Pelfrey.
Jose Altuve – Jose has been the bomb, obviously, this season, but he has a sub-par mark against the Angels’ Weaver, going just 3-for-16 with three Ks.
Torii Hunter – Torii is just 3-for-18 lifetime against CLE star Kluber, including six seven strikeouts.
Brian Dozier – Dozier is another Twin that struggles against Kluber, going 3-for-22 with six Ks.
Billy Hamilton – The Reds’ speedster has just a 1-for-14 lifetime mark against Michael Wacha.
Brandon Phillips – The Reds’ second baseman also hasn’t fared well against Wacha, going 2-for-16 with three strikeouts career-wise.
Jhonny Peralta – Peralta is just 3-for-29 with seven strikeouts against the Reds’ Cueto.
Brandon Belt – Belt is just 2-for-16 lifetime against the Diamondbacks Josh Collmenter.
Gregor Blanco – Blanco has just two hits in 19 trips lifetime against Collmenter, including six strikeouts.
Yasmani Grandal – A.J. Ellis is Kershaw’s personal catcher, so no need to consider Grandal on Friday.