Closing Time: Shohei Ohtani goes deep

Shohei Ohtani is making noise with his arm and bat right away (AP Photo).
Shohei Ohtani is making noise with his arm and bat right away (AP Photo).

Indians vs. Angels: Shohei Ohtani went 3-for-4 and immediately became the story of the night with a big three-run homer in the first inning. He’s 4-for-9 on the year and now already owns the team’s hardest hit ball of the season as well as by any pitcher since Statcast started. Steamer entered Tuesday projecting a 116 wRC+ while THE BAT was at just 89, so there’s a wide range of expected outcomes here. Ohtani (Batter), who didn’t have an extra-base hit in spring training, is still available in 80 percent of Yahoo leagues. #ShoTime…Cleveland had two runs on the board after three batters came to the plate but was shutout thereafter, as Garrett Richards settled down and finished with nine strikeouts and just one hit allowed over 5.2 innings. He’s going to have a big season should health cooperate…Andrelton Simmons has followed up last year’s growth at the plate with a great start (.417/.440/.458), and he’s arguably the game’s most valuable defensive player, is 28 years old and is locked up affordably until 2020.

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Rays vs. Yankees: Didi Gregorius went 4-for-4 with a walk, two homers and eight RBI, tying Alex Rodriguez for the franchise-record for the most extra-base hits (seven) over the first five games of a season. His exit velocity numbers last year suggested a repeat in power numbers would be tough, but Gregorius plays in the right park, and it doesn’t get more ideal than hitting fourth (in between righties Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez) in this Yankees lineup like he did Tuesday. I had him too low on my SS board entering the year…Stanton fanned with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, striking out for the fifth time in a game for the first time in his career (resulting in boos). Stanton and Sanchez went a combined 0-for-10, and New York scored 11 runs anyway.

Orioles vs. Astros: Josh Reddick hit two homers, including a grand slam, and also robbed another three-run home run with his glove, so his WPA was in the positive…Carlos Correa reached base in all three plate appearances and hit an inside-the-park homer, so his toe injury appears minor (although he’s set to take Wednesday off). Correa should be treated as a top-10 fantasy commodity.

Cardinals vs. Brewers: Domingo Santana had 45 homers/steals over 525 ABs last year, yet he found himself on the bench for the second game in row. He and Eric Thames are in a legit platoon with only a possible injury likely to bring it to an end…Jedd Gyorko was placed on the DL with a hamstring strain, not that Jose Martinez (who had another three hits) needed another excuse to be in the lineup everyday…Jack Flaherty struck out nine over five innings and deserves to stay in St. Louis’ rotation. He should be owned in more than just a third of leagues, although he had a win blown Tuesday, as the Cardinals bullpen allowed back-to-back homers in the ninth, culminating in Ryan Braun’s walk-off.

Nationals vs. Braves: Bryce Harper homered for the fourth time in three games and has a 1.742 OPS with seven walks and zero strikeouts…Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman is up to 10 walks on the season, which is one more than the Angels have combined…Trea Turner swiped two bags and has seen his BB% triple from last season early on…Any hope for a big bounce back from Julio Teheran has all but evaporated.

Phillies vs. Mets: Matt Harvey got strong results, but his velocity remained down. He’s still wait-and-see.

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks: Clayton Kershaw gave up his second and third homers to a lefty and is 0-2, but his ERA sits at 2.25…Paul Goldschmidt is batting .071, yet Arizona is 4-1…Jake Lamb hit the DL with a shoulder sprain, and it wouldn’t surprise if he’s out for more than the minimum…It’s obviously too soon to tell how the humidor will affect Chase Field, but early returns suggest the fly ball revolution is only growing.

White Sox vs. Blue Jays: Tim Anderson homered, stole two more bases and can’t be stopped…Curtis Granderson had two hits and was in the leadoff spot. He’d have real nice run scoring upside if he stayed there and is owned in just six percent of leagues. Granderson had 21 homers over 345 at-bats against righties last season…Josh Donaldson went deep, and fantasy owners can rest easier knowing his injury only affects him defensively.

Red Sox vs. Marlins: Lewis Brinson went 0-for-6 and is hitting .226/.273/.226 but made this terrific catchCameron Maybin had three hits, stole a base and should continue to get regular starts as long as he’s healthy. There’s 40+ steal potential here, yet he’s available in 90+ percent of leagues…Chris Sale was somewhat unexpectedly pulled after just five innings, but he was approaching 100 pitches, and there were no reports of an injury. He looked plenty strong, although he did get some help from JBJKyle Barraclough pitched another scoreless inning and looks primed to take over the closer’s role after the next Brad Ziegler blow up.

Royals vs. Tigers: Jakob Junis allowed just four base runners with six strikeouts over seven scoreless innings, and while it wasn’t against the league’s toughest lineup, he posted a 2.92 ERA with a 10.9 K/9 in Triple-A last season after showing increased velocity. He also had some impressive starts for KC down the stretch last season and recorded a 20:1 K:BB ratio in spring training before dominating Tuesday. Junis is available in more than 80 percent of leagues.

Giants vs. Mariners: Joe Panik became the first player ever to record his team’s first three runs of a season with solo homers. Evan Longoria ended the streak later with a big fly of his own, snapping a 17 at-bat hitless stretch to open his Giants career…I spent 70% of my FAAB on Hunter Strickland in one of my NFBC leagues, which mostly reflects my pessimism in Mark Melancon pitching again this season.

Rangers vs. A’s: Rougned Odor was caught stealing twice, while Matt Olson recorded the first stolen base of his career…Cole Hamels had 11 strikeouts over five innings and now sports a 15.2 K/9 ratio on the year after a career-low 6.4 last season. More fun with numbers after two starts; Hamels currently has a 5.10 FIP and a 2.27 xFIP. His ERA (3.38) is pretty impressive given his 5.9 BB/9 mark and .353 BABIP…Keone “Krazee-Eyez” Kela recorded his first save of the year.

Rockies vs. Padres: Christian Villanueva swatted three homers, which makes him leader for lowest ownership (1%) by someone to accomplish such a feat…Manuel Margot went 0-for-4 and is hitting .100 on the year, but that’s come with a 3:4 K:BB ratio, so stay patient…Tyson Ross got the win but had an ugly 2:3 K:BB ratio over six innings, while an inept SD bullpen prompted Brad Hand‘sentrance to record his first save of the season.

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