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Baseball Daily Dose

De(Grom)ja Vu

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: April 11, 2021, 10:09 am ET


There is no rooting interest here at NBC Sports Edge - at least not in our analysis, anyway - but it’s fair to say that every single writer on this website shook their heads when they saw what Jacob deGrom did - and didn’t - do on Saturday afternoon.

Despite throwing eight innings and striking out 14 hitters while allowing just one run, deGrom was charged with a loss in what ended up being a 3-0 victory for the Marlins.

It’s just another in a career that has seen sensational start after sensational start on Saturday; but unfortunately for deGrom, fans of the Mets, the actual Mets and fantasy managers, it doesn’t end with a win in his column. And also unfortunately for all of the parties above, this has become an all too common occurrence. It’s happened in both of the two-time Cy Young Award winners' appearances this year, as the 32-year-old threw six shutout innings and didn’t qualify for a decision in his first start of the year against the Phillies. 

And for those who think that this isn't a common occurrence and this is being overplayed? Think again. According to Ryan Spaeder, deGrom has made 78 starts over the last four years. In wins, he has an ERA of 1.11. In losses, that mark jumps up to 3.80, and in no-decisions, it’s 1.76. Simply put, deGrom has been dominant and still is one of the best fantasy pitchers of the last 20 years, but just imagine how impressive he could be with some better luck.

Give credit to Trevor Rogers -- more on him in just a second -- for his dominance against the Mets on Saturday. Give credit to Jazz Chisholm for the solo homer that turned this from a no-decision into a loss. But if you have Jacob deGrom on your fantasy roster, you’re allowed to be a little upset about what’s happened in these first two starts.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Trevor Rogers  -- 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO against New York (NL).

Rogers has a lot to do with why fantasy managers are bemoaning another impressive deGrom start that ends without a win. He allowed just three hits, and escaped the only true jam he had in the contest. We’ll talk more about Rogers in a second. Again. 

Aaron Civale -- 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER,0 BB, 6 SO against Detroit.

Civale allowed just three hits in the contest, and went unblemished in allowing runs until he allowed a solo homer to Robbie Grossman. While he doesn’t have the swing-and-miss stuff of some other Cleveland hurlers we’ve seen in the past few years and was just so-so with a 4.74 ERA in the truncated 2020 season, he also posted a 69/16 K/BB ratio, and the metrics suggest there was some bad luck in those dozen starts, as well. An ace? Far from it, but Civale has a good chance to be a solid fantasy option in 2021 and beyond. 

Mitch Keller -- 5 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO against Chicago (NL)

It looked like this was going to be a rough start for Keller, but he rebounded nicely and held the Cubs’ lineup to just a run. The former top prospect has tantalized with his stuff at times, but consistency has been nonexistent, unless you count inconsistency as consistency. Keller is still a better long-term bet, but the stuff is absolutely there for him to be a helper in 2021 as well.

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Hitters with an EDGE

Keston Hiura -- 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI against St. Louis

Now that’s more like it. Hiura got off to an awful start to the 2021 campaign after a mediocre -- at best -- 2020 season. He appeared to take some frustration out on the St. Louis pitching on Thursday; clobbering a two-run homer and adding a two-bagger. It’s been a frustrating year-plus for fantasy managers, but it’s just nice to be reminded why so many -- including this writer -- were so high on Hiura not long ago. 

Jordan Luplow -- 2-for-5, HR, 5 RBI against Detroit

Luplow clobbered a Tarik Skubal offering for a three-run homer in the fourth, and he doubled two more runs home in the sixth. Luplow has shown a propensity for hitting left-handed pitching in his (somewhat) brief time in the majors, and he has a 1.144 OPS in his four appearances so far in 2021. Luplow is definitely a name to keep an eye on when he’s in the lineup against left-handed pitching in DFS formats.

Priority Pickup 

Trevor Rogers -- Available in 45 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues

No, it’s not an overreaction based on one start. Rogers has serious swing-and-miss stuff, and struck out six in his first start of the season over four innings as well. The fact of the matter is that there just aren’t many hurlers who are capable of having these kinds of starts that are on the waiver wire, and as you can see by that number above, Rogers is one in a significant portion of leagues. Even if you have to take the bitter with the better, it’s better to have someone of his talent on the bench then it is to see him beat your fantasy club. 

Closing Time 

It was Yimi Garcia who came in for the save of Saturday’s win over the Marlins, and not Anthony Bass. Garcia had no issues, throwing 8-of-11 pitches for strikes and finishing off the save with ease. Marlins manager Don Mattingly did say that Richard Bleier could also be in line for save chances depending on matchups, but Garcia is the Miami reliever to roster right now. 

Rafael Montero came in to possibly pick up a six-out save against the Twins. He did not. The former Rangers closer allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth to blow his second save of the season. Eventually, Keynan Middleton came in to close out the game and give the Mariners a 4-3 win. Montero is still the most likely closing option for Seattle, but Middleton and Kendall Graveman are both options as well. Not ideal. 

Jake McGee, Will Smith and Matt Andriese also picked up saves -- the latter after Matt Barnes pitched the ninth and was given a win. 

Sunday’s Matchup of the Day 

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs. Max Scherzer (WSH)

Come on. Even if they’re a slight notch down from where they were a few years ago, these are still two of the best pitchers fans of baseball have seen over this century, and this should be another good one on Sunday. Fun. 

American League Quick Hits: Trey Mancini hit his first homer of the 2021 season against the Red Sox in an extra-innings loss … Red Sox placed J.D. Martinez on the COVID-19 related injured list. Michael Chavis was called up in a corresponding roster move … Yankees optioned RHP Domingo German to their alternate training site … Blue Jays placed OF Lourdes Gurriel on the COVID-19 injured list with vaccine side effects. Rays placed RHP Chris Archer on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain and recalled RHP Brent Honeywell from their alternate training site. Honeywell will start Sunday’s game against the Yankees as an opener ... Angels placed OF Dexter Fowler on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left knee … Randy Arozarena launched a solo homer and matched a career-high with three hits on Saturday, leading the Rays to a 4-0 victory over the Yankees.

National League Quick Hits: Padres manager Jayce Tinger said Saturday that Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder) could be activated from the 10-day injured list when first eligible on Friday if he continues to progress in his recovery …  Bryce Harper went 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored on Saturday in a loss to the Braves … Brusdar Graterol (arm) threw a 15-pitch simulated game on Saturday … Sonny Gray (back) was able to throw a successful simulated game on Saturday.  He could be back before the end of next week according to Reds manager David Bell … Avisail Garcia went 2-for-5 with a home run, double, walk, and five RBI in Saturday's win vs the Cardinals … Mookie Betts (back) remains out of the Dodgers' lineup on Saturday against the Nationals … Zac Gallen (forearm) is a possibility to start on Tuesday against the Athletics … Diamondbacks activated INF Nick Ahmed from the 10-day injured list … Padres activated RHP Austin Adams from the 10-day injured list.

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports EDGE and also appears on the Circling the Bases Podcast.