The defending American League West Champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim square of with The Oakland Athetics in game 2 of their series. SP Joe Saunders and the Angels blanked the A’s 3-0 on opening day.
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Here’s a closer fantasy look at the game of the day!
Probable Angels starting pitcher: A healthy Dustin Mosley takes the mound tonight. Moseley was a 2000 1st round draft pick and has yet to live up to potential with an elbow injury in 2007. According to MLB.com he made 10 starts for the Angels last year and has 20 career starts. The big right-hander has developed a two-seam fastball with late movement to go with his offspeed stuff. He was 3-0 with a 3.15 ERA in five Cactus League starts, with 15 strikeouts against only five walks in 20 innings. Moseley was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three games against the Athletics last year and is 1-1 with a 7.57 ERA against the A’s in seven career appearances.
Probable Athletics starting pitcher: 2006 second round pick and 2008 A’s organizational player of the year Trevor Cahill will make his major league debut. Joe Stiglich of the Contra Costas Times wrote that having made the A’s roster out of his first big league camp, Cahill, 21, was eagerly anticipating his debut.
“I forget I’m still watching nine innings today. It feels like I’m going out there to pitch,” he said before Monday’s season opener.
The A’s are confident Cahill and Brett Anderson, who also made the rotation at age 21, are ready for the major league environment.
A’s pitching coach Curt Young said he wants Cahill to think back on Thursday’s exhibition game against the Giants at AT&T Park. Cahill overcame a shaky first inning and turned in a solid five innings, overcoming the nerves of pitching in a big league park.
Who’s hot: After 1 game, nobody for the A’s is hot. Orlando Cabrera had the only extra base hit last night, which was a double. Nobody hit a hr or stole a base for the A’s.
Worth keeping an eye on: C Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki isn’t going to make anyone forget about Mike Piazza or Johnny Bench. What he will do is play almost every day and be a leader in at bats among catchers. .280-50-13-65-2 is pretty decent for a catcher, and he’s likely still on many free agent lists.
Fantasy pitching studs for the Angels: When healthy SP John Lackey, SP Ervin Santana, and SP Kelvim Escobar are NOT elite sp’s. However they are just a notch down and pretty effective. SP Jered Weaver is on the rise and could be the ace of the group this season. The jury is still on Brian Fuentes as the Angels closer, but he should get ton’s of opportunities to prove himself.
Who’s hot: SP Joe Saunders went 6.2 innings giving up 3 hits, 2 bb, and no runs, while striking out 2 in a quality start win for the Angels. In our leagues that was good for 22 points. The bullpen was excellent. RP Jose Arredondo, RP Scott Shields, and Closer Fuentes combined on a 2 1/3 inning performance giving up no hits and no runs while striking out 1. With A hold Arredondo picked up 9 points, Shields with a hold picked up 8 points, and Fuentes with the save picked up 11 points.
Worth keeping an eye on: SP Nick Adenhart. Adenhart could get a lot more starts than most people expected this season due to the injuries in the Angels rotation. Adenhart has been a top prospect for awhile now. 100 innings with a 3.70 era, a 1.45 whip, 75 k’s, and 7-8 wins could be possible.
Fantasy pitching studs for the Athletics: Lets face it, there isn’t a stud in this group – but man, do they have some amazing young talent. SP Justin Duchsherer, SP Dallas Braden, SP Dana Eveland, and SP Sean Gallagher should be ok for the lower-mid-to-back-end of your fantasy rotation. Beyond that you are asking for heartache.
Who’s hot: Braden picked up 10 points in a 6 inning quality start loss. It hardly qualifies as being hot, but since it was the 1st game of the season and he was really a couple pitches away from matching Saunders, it’s a good place for him to start.
Worth keeping an eye on: SP Brett Anderson and SP Trevor Cahill. Anderson and Cahill, Cahill and Anderson. 2 of the brightest pitching prospects. I think we were all surprised to see them this early in their careers, but the A’s deemed it necessary with injuries and the nice spring they had. On our baseballinstinct.com top 100 prospects for 2009, Cahill came in at #9 and Anderson at #13. Expect some early struggles and both to be limited to 160 innings or less, but both could provide some nice numbers for your fantasy team.
Fantasy Players to just stay away from: LAA – Gary Matthews, Jr. It’s over. He’s nothing more than a bench player. He got his payday for his 2006 season with the Rangers and has done nothing since for you to even bother with him – in any size league. A’s – Eric Chavez. He is 31 years old now, but he sure seems to be 61. Over the past 5 seasons, Chavez has missed nearly 1000 ab’s. You just can’t count on him.
WHAT’S NEW: According to STATS: The Angels posted the best record in franchise history last season, 100-62. They also won the AL West title for the second consecutive season and fourth time in the past five seasons.
KEY STAT: According to STATS: The Angels won the season series with Oakland in 2008, going 10-9, despite being outscored 91-72. The teams split 10 games in Anaheim.
CONNECTIONS: A’s SS Orlando Cabrera played for the Angels from 2005 to 2007. A’s OF Matt Holliday and Angels Closer Brian Fuentes were team mates last season in Colorado. Angels OF Bobby Abreu and A’s 1B Jason Giambi were also team mates last season, with the Yankees.
Welcome back baseball! It’s game 2 between the A’s and Angels. Los Angeles took game 1, 3-0. Thanks for checking out Baseballinstinct.com and check back for more game of the day articles.