If you came for the St. Louis Last Dance Party, click over here. The rest of your fantasy odds and ends follow, in bulleted fashion.
Potential pickups post-opening day
• Click carefully when you look to add a Megill today — you want Tylor Megill, the Mets starting pitcher, not Trevor Megill, the Twins farmhand.
New York’s righty did a nifty job as the opening-day replacement, throwing five scoreless innings at Washington (three hits, no walks, six strikeouts).
Megill’s ERA was in the mid-4s last year, too high for mixed leagues, but he showed promise in other areas — a solid 9.94 K/9, a reasonable 2.71 BB/9, a steady 1.28 WHIP, and a fastball in the mid-90s.
He struck out seven or more batters in seven of his 18 starts. If nothing else, put him at the top of the preferred streamer list. Maybe you can’t stomach him at Philadelphia next week, but Megill has upside stepping into his age-26 season. He’s rostered in about one-third of Yahoo leagues.
• The Cubs were nice enough to arrange their bullpen for us during a 5-4 victory over Milwaukee. Rowan Wick started the eighth inning with a lead and tried to give it away (two hits, one run). Mychal Givens ended the threat with a strikeout, then veteran David Robertson had a fairly smooth ninth (one hit, one strikeout, 10 strikes on 14 pitches). Everyone smile on the North Side.
Robertson has been a capital-C closer before, collecting 110 saves from 2014-2016. He’s no stranger to Chicago, putting in three years with the White Sox. Tommy John surgery cost him the 2020 season, and you might have missed his brief run with the Rays last year (12 innings, four walks, 16 strikeouts, 4.50 ERA). But he’s healthy now and has the baton at Wrigley, and that’s good enough for us. First-responding save chasers have long made the move, but Robertson can still be grabbed in about two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.
• I understand if you don’t want to look at the Oakland lineup card; it’s like staring at the sun. But I still have a soft spot for Tony Kemp, the team’s leadoff man. He qualifies at both second base and the outfield, and last year he posted a useful .279/.382/.418 slash, with eight homers and eight steals over 131 games. Provided he’s a regular most of the year, Kemp should collect double-digit home runs and steals, with a playable average. Not bad for someone currently just three-percent rostered in Yahoo.
Kemp is primarily a utility man and depth option for my mixed-league rosters, but maybe we can turn this into something fun with Oakland’s opener. Kemp is set to lead off Friday afternoon at Philadelphia (3:05 pm ET), taking his cuts against Aaron Nola. Everyone loves Nola’s stuff, but Philly’s defense is still a mess. The universal DH is now a part of National League life, too. BetMGM is offering Kemp at +155 to score at least one run, and I’ll add that to my afternoon viewing, an appetizer to go with a lot more baseball and a slow stroll down Magnolia Lane.
Shuffling the Yankees infield
• One of my favorite things to do in the early part of the season is grind the lineups, looking to see how the managers (and organizations) truly value their hitters. The Yankees will be a fascinating watch, as their infield has more good players than available slots — at least, while everyone is healthy. For the opener Friday against Boston, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson man the infield, working right to left. Donaldson is slotted first, Rizzo third, LeMahieu fifth, and Kiner-Falefa ninth.
Meanwhile, Gleyber Torres is on the bench.
Torres managers don’t need to panic, of course. A slump or injury to pretty much any of these infielders — or designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton — could turn him into a full-time player again. And the Yankees plan to mix and match with the lineup anyway. It could be annoying for fantasy purposes, but these things have a way of working themselves out. At least we don’t have to watch Torres play shortstop this year, barring a Kiner-Falefa injury. Torres has always been a mediocre defender, and shortstop is the worst place to hide a leaky glove.