Jordan Zimmerman (SP-DET)
Zimmerman tossed 7 innings of 1 hit ball for the Tigers striking out 4. Zimmerman was perfect through 6 and 2/3 until Toeoscar Hernandez put one back up the middle that was ruled an infield single, as Josh Harrison fired wildly to first base. Zimmerman has never been a super hard thrower or strikeout pitcher, as that held true today as he got 11 outs via fly ball to go along with the 4 strikeouts. It an encouraging start for Zimmerman, albeit vs a weak Toronto lineup as he has generally struggled since coming to the Tigers in 2016 posting an ugly 5.34 ERA in 396 innings - compared to the 3.32 mark he put up during his first 7 seasons with the Nationals. Despite posting a 7.61 K/9 in 2018, his highest since 2014, Zimmerman overall has seen a decrease in K rate (7.4 K/9 to 6.4 K/9 and increase in walks (1.8 BB/9 to 2.2 BB/9) since his move to the AL. This could be expected with the move to a league featuring a DH - but more alarming is his steadily increasing HR rate over the past 4 seasons. Following a 2014 season that saw a Top-5 CY Young finish in which he only surrendered 14 home runs his HR allowed has grown every year, eventually ballooning to 1.9 HR/9 last season. The opening day outing is nice but be wary of his recent propensity for the long ball.
Jose Berrios (SP-MIN)
Berrios shut down the Cleveland offense tossing 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just 2 hits while striking out 10. If it wasn't already known Berrios has cemented himself as the Minnesota Ace as he enters his third full season. His first full season in 2018 featured mostly positive results as he pitched to a 3.90 FIP, 1.14 WHIP and struck out batters at a clip of 9.5 K/9 thanks to a career high 11.5% Swinging Strike rate. The Twins allowed him to pitch deeper into games last year, as he threw 192 innings, including 2 complete games. Control has always been a bit of an issue as he has hit 13 batters each of the past 2 seasons; but has seen his BB/9 decline in each of his 3 professional seasons - a number trending in the right direction in 2019 already with his 0 walks. Look for Berrios to have a break through 2019 and possibly vault himself into the upper echelon of starters around the league.
Christin Stewart (OF-DET)
Stewart went 1-4 with the game winning home run in the 10th inning for the Tigers. It was redemption for Stewart, who struck out 2 times in his first 3 at bats and put up a respectable .267/.375/.417 line in 72 plate appearances with the Tigers last year. Stewart should see steady at bats for Detroit in 2019 and has a good minor league track record of both plate discipline and the ability to hit the ball hard evidence by his 13.9% BB rate last year and a walk rate of 10%+ in his stops at high levels in the minors. In addition, he sported a 16.4% soft hit rate last year and always seems to put good pop on the ball when he makes contact. Stewart has hit 20 + home runs in each of his past three minor league seasons - and there's no reason to think he won't be able to do that at the big-league level this year. One thing of note - he did have a rough 2:23 BB:K ratio during the spring while producing 6 extra base its in 60 plate appearances.
Trey Mancini (DH-BAL)
Mancini went 3 for 4 Thursday with a double, RBI and run scored in the Orioles opener. Mancini slotted in cleanup as he should be many more times this season as he is one of the more "accomplished" hitters the Orioles have. Mancini has played 147+ games each of the past 2 seasons for the Orioles, mashing exactly 24 home runs each year. Across the board Mancini posted very similar underlying metrics in 2017 and 2018 the only major difference was an almost 70-point drop in babip - but he still posted a solid .174 ISO. Mancini is a bit of a free swinger over his career (6.2% BB rate and 24.1% K rate) but the hot start is a nice follow-up to the second half of the 2018 season where he hit .276. Until we get deeper into the season, Mancini is one of the only Orioles hitter's worth starting in fantasy.
Tim Beckham (SS-SEA)
Beckham went 2 for 5 Thursday with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs. Stretching back to the opening series in Japan Beckham has mashed to open the season going 7 for 12 with 3 HRs, 5 RBIs and 6 runs scored. The former first overall pick of the 2008 draft Beckham most recently put together a career 2017 season that saw him post a .782 OPS with 22 home runs. 2018 was a different story as he struggled to a .230 batting average and a drastic year over year drop in his hard-hit % (39% to 30%). While the early returns have been encouraging this year through 3 games though its best not to get overexcited until Beckham can string together a few solid weeks especially considering it took him 7+ years to reach the big leagues and stay on a regular basis and he doesn't offer enough in either the power (49 career home runs) or speed department (12 career steals) to offset his career .254/.307/.429 line and slightly below average 98 wrc+.
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