Three Hours of Baseball – Opening Day

I’ve been considering this article’s concept for a while and am going to try it out for a couple of weeks and see if it is useful. I’ll spend three hours catching an hour of three different games and writing my thoughts and diving into deeper into areas of fantasy interest. Here is take #1 and let me know your thoughts.

Orioles at Yankees

  • It was an easy choice for taking this game. Scherzer versus deGrom sounded like a 1-0 game with the Mets bullpen letting deGrom down (I was close but wrong).
  • The top of the Orioles lineup could steal a few bases nothing to play for and Cedric Mullins, Dwight Smith Jr., and Jonathan Villar as those first three. I had to examine Smith and determined why I didn’t know more about him. He’s kind of boring with a projection near 10 homers, 10 steals, and a .240 average. Maybe it will be just Mullins and Villar stealing bases.
  • Like it’s going to matter but Andrew Cashner’s velocity was up a tick.
  • Luke Voit with a bomb (113 mph) to straightaway center. His power is legit and needs to be in the Yankees lineup every day.
  • Additionally, Luke Voit possesses some 80-grade hair.

Cardinals at Brewers

  • Jhoulys Chacin threw the kitchen sink with a fastball averaging 90 mph. His slider is devastating but the rest of the pitches are blah at best. I could see him dominate some teams while teams own him. Or it could be from inning-to-inning like this game. He rolled through the first batters he faced and then gave up double dongs to Wong and Bader.
  • Miles Mikolas’s fastball may be a down a tick compared to last season but his breaking balls were great.

  • Announcers mentioning 125 games for Braun.
  • Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader with a couple of no doubt homers against Chacin in the second.
  • Miller Park is a launching pad. Four home runs in the first three innings.

Braves at Phillies

  • Aaron Nola throwing 95 mph in the first inning after averaging 92.3 mph last season. Historically, he has never been around 95 mph at all but here is his swinging-strike rate at other velocities. Congrats to all those who drafted him this offseason.

MPH: SwStr%
91: 4.5%
92: 5.1%
93: 8.1:
94: 11.7%

  • Julio Tehran is pitching out of the stretch with a 92-mph fastball which is up for him. His breaking stuff is still his bread-and-butter and he was effective. He might be a useful streamer instead of a steaming pile of ….
  • Ronald Acuna showed off his legs in the second inning with a stolen base and scoring from second on a shallow single.
  • This game was about as boring as it gets but that happens when there is a pitching duel.

We hoped you liked reading Three Hours of Baseball – Opening Day by Jeff Zimmerman!

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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Nola gave up 5 walks in 6 IPs today. I noticed he was walking more in ST this year too. Given his pinpoint control in the past, I can’t help but wonder if he is selling out for velocity.


Baseball Savant shows Nola throwing 52 four-seamers today with an average velocity of … 92.3 mph. So, that might not be it.