Fantasy Baseball recap: Patrick Corbin fans the Dodgers 

What can we expect from Corbin in 2016? (Brad Mills/USA Today)

Wednesday saw a relatively full slate with 13 games scheduled to take place. In the end, only 12 actually took place after the Tigers Royals game was postponed due to weather. What we did see was a night of action with both good and bad pitching performances. We also saw some interesting hitting performances; Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run in New York one day after being booed for striking out five times and Shohei Ohtani hit his second home run in as many days. However, compared to the rest of the action they are just fantasy footnotes so let’s dive into the fantasy relevant news from Wednesday.

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1. Corbin’s ace night (and a humidor update)

I have been banging the Patrick Corbin is good drum for at least three years now. Every year he flashes and makes me hope I’m right before ultimately disappointing. This season Corbin has flown out of the blocks with two home starts that have shown a lot of promise. His current season stat line reads: 13 IP, eight hits, two walks, 20 strikeouts (?!) with an ERA of 1.38 (two earned runs). Now he has always been better at home than on the road but he has now shut down two good offenses (Rockies and Dodgers) and he seems to have found the ability to strike multiple batters out. Corbin is a guy I am adding in all leagues because the upside is massive. Add in that last night was the first night we saw the roof closed in Arizona and therefore maybe the first true indication of the humidors effects. The combination of a great start and the humidor could make Corbin a top 30 pitcher come seasons end.

2. What is going on in Atlanta?!

In contrast to a park encouraging pitching we have a situation in Atlanta that is becoming extremely noteworthy. So far the Braves have played six games at home and we have seen 75 runs scored, a whopping 12.5 runs per game. Of those 75 runs, 48 have been scored by Atlanta and 27 by the visiting team. Only three times has a team scored three or less runs in a game. It is now reaching a point where you have to double take on starting any pitcher in that park. Last night Max Scherzer was rocked for five runs (only two earned) in just five innings. He did strikeout seven but Scherzer owners had a bumpy ride and likely can expect that any time he pitches in SunTrust park.

It will be interesting to see when Atlanta play in Washington early next week whether the park is the big factor or the Atlanta offense is just on fire (Atlanta are in Colorado to end this week where I expect them to keep raking). The fantasy takeaway here is that you start all of your hitters when they are playing in Atlanta until further notice and you consider sitting your pitchers if they are not true locked down studs.

3. CarMart bounces back

I won’t pretend I wasn’t terrified by Carlos Martinez going into Milwaukee yesterday. CarMart had looked awful in his first start of the season walking six and giving up four earned runs in just 4.1 innings against the Mets. A trip to hitter friendly Miller Park did not seem the ideal situation. However, CarMart was amazing with 10 strikeouts in 8.1 shutout innings. He walked just two and gave up just four hits as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 6-0. Eight walks over 12.2 innings is not ideal but this start now means I am taking the hand off the panic button for the foreseeable future. This start also kills off any chance you had of buying low on Martinez who remains a must start going forward in every start.

4. There’s life in San Francisco!

There is no nice way of phrasing this. The Giants have been atrocious so far in 2018. Joe Panik has been the only bright spot becoming the first hitter to account for a team’s first three runs of the season all by solo home runs. Suddenly though the Giants appear to have come alive. In the seventh innings of Tuesdays games against the Mariners, Evan Longoria became the first non-Joe Panik player to homer. Then last night the Giants offense went gaga hitting four home runs and scoring 10 against Felix Hernandez. Brandon Belt, Gorkys Hernandez, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford all took Hernandez deep. The Giants now finally appear to be coming out of their early season slump thanks to some bad Mariners pitching. It is a situation to monitor closely but Buster Posey, Longoria and co. should all still be in your line-ups regularly. The only real remaining concern among the elite hitters on the team is Andrew McCutchen who is hitting just 0.081 on the season.

On a side note: this is why you cannot ever trust Hernandez in any start anymore and why I will likely not own him at all this season. He pitched great against Cleveland and then blew up against San Francisco. You will never feel confident starting him and there is not enough upside to putyourself through it.

5. Lower end pitching notes

Focusing on lower end pitching we saw interesting performances from Dylan Bundy, Blake Snell and Sean Manaea.

Bundy benefited from some Houston line-up rotation but was really good yesterday (eight strikeouts in six innings, one earned, two walks). He is showing glimpses of his prospect upside and should be owned in all leagues.

Snell was terrible (3.1 IP, five earned, three walks, four hits, five strikeouts) but that was no surprise. The Yankees are built to crush lefties and they have a hitter friendly park. Snell is a great upside option but you have to be smart about where you start him and this was not a place to do it. I am not dropping Snell because he has a ton of upside in the right situations.

Manaea went deep into the game once again (eight innings) but was light on strikeouts (four). He has looked really good and is a must own in deeper leagues (14 team plus). Even in innings cap or k/9 leagues I would add him to see if he picks up on the strikeouts next time out. Not a must start yet but the upside means he should be widely owned.

6. Saves saves saves

In general it was a good night for closers, but there was one interesting note which is potentially negative for a certain closers value

Joakim Soria made it two saves in two appearances with two strikeouts and no hits or walks to close out the Blue Jays

Jeurys Familia is now 3/3 in save opportunities. He has given up one walk or one hit in every outing so far but he has also struck out five and never looked in real danger. There doesn’t appear to be much of a committee for the Mets.

Up by one in the ninth the Houston Astros kept Brad Peacock in the game for his third relief innings. Peacock closed out the game, taking a win not a save. It was interesting they chose not to go to Giles who hasn’t pitched at all in this series. If I’m a Giles owner I’m a little concerned.

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