Tag: Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz Had at Least 7 RBI in a Game with 3 Different Teams

Fact: Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz had seven RBI versus the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. He now has had at least seven RBI in a game with three different teams (Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Mariners).

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Cold Hard Fact for Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fact: After his HR Tuesday, Nelson Cruz became the 5th player in MLB history to homer in 5 straight games twice in one season.

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Cruz Homers in 5 Straight Games for 2nd Time This Season

Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz hit yet another home run in Tuesday’s 10-4 win over the Colorado Rockies, becoming just the fifth player in MLB history to homer in five straight games twice in the same season, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info).

The 35-year-old Cruz, who hit a solo blast off of Rockies reliever Scott Oberg in the seventh inning, joins an impressive list comprised of Chase Utley (2008), Barry Bonds (2001), Frank Thomas (1994) and Harmon Killebrew (1970).

In addition to hitting exactly one homer in each of his last five games, Cruz has 10 over his last 15 contests, as his hot streak predates the home run streak.

He previously homered in five straight games from April 11 to 15, with the streak accounting for six of his 10 home runs during the season’s first month.

Cruz continued the impressive slugging into May, but he then managed just one home run between May 28 and the end of June.

Although he’s done nothing to shed his reputation for streakiness, Cruz has still solidified himself as one of the top right-handed sluggers in baseball, posting a .323/.387/.597 batting line through 106 games, with 31 home runs and 67 RBI.

Making his stats even more impressive, he’s done all this while playing his home games at Safeco Field, which has long been one of MLB’s toughest stadiums for right-handed batters.

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Nelson Cruz Injury: Updates on Mariners Star’s Pelvis and Return

Seattle Mariners slugging outfielder/DH Nelson Cruz left June 22’s game against the Kansas City Royals due to a pelvic injury. He would return to the lineup the following day, the team announced.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon described the injury following Monday’s game, via Andrew Erickson of MLB.com, “I’m not sure how to describe it, but his pelvic bone kind of popped out of place and he had some discomfort.” 

Dustin Ackley replaced Cruz in the seventh inning of Monday’s game. Cruz went 0-for-2 before exiting with what was initially thought to be a hamstring injury prior to McClendon’s clarification.

He recently suffered back spasms that forced him to leave a June 9 game and miss the following tilt against the Cleveland Indians.

Cruz has been atop the American League home run chart for much of the 2015 season, enjoying a successful first year with the Mariners, which are struggling in the AL West. He is currently second in the AL with 19 home runs. For the season, Cruz is hitting .313 and has driven in 44 runs. 

Last season, in his only year with the Baltimore Orioles, Cruz led the league with 40 home runs and was fourth with 108 RBI. The big year helped him pen a four-year, $57 million deal with the Mariners in December 2014.

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Bryce Harper, Nelson Cruz Giving Hope for Old-Fashioned Home Run Race in 2015

The home run is dead. Just don’t tell Bryce Harper and Nelson Cruz.

Each slugger launched a long ball Friday night. Cruz smacked his, a bases-empty blast, in the sixth inning of the Seattle Mariners’ 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Harper, likewise, hit a solo shot as the Washington Nationals bested the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.

Cruz now sits at 17 for the season, and Harper is nipping at his heels with 16. The two have been engaged in a game of dinger tag lately, as Bill Baer of NBC Sports notes:

It’s early, obviously. We’ve seen spring power binges evaporate in the heat of summer before. But right now, the American League’s pre-eminent power hitter is going toe-to-toe with the National League’s main masher, and it’s a spectacle like we haven’t witnessed for years.

The first impulse is to conjure Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and the unbelievable summer of 1998, when they traded blows and both ultimately broke Roger Maris’ single-season record, McGwire with 70 home runs and Sosa with 66.

That, however, was a pure product of the steroid era, as was Barry Bonds’ 2001 assault on McGwire’s newly minted record.

Bonds set the bar at 73, and it might never be cleared. In a way, it was literally the record to end all records, turning a once-hallowed milestone into a video game, a farce, a hollow charade. 

In every season between 1998 and 2006, MLB players combined to hit more than 5,000 home runs, per Baseball Almanac. Since 2006, that’s been accomplished just once.

We’ve entered the post-steroid era, or “post-steroid era” if you’re feeling cynical.

Yes, the shadow of performance-enhancing drugs still hangs over the game. Heck, Cruz himself was suspended 50 games for violating baseball’s steroid policy in 2013.

In a way, though, that underscores how much things have changed. Baseball has a steroid policy, for one thing, and it has some teeth. It may not be strict enough for some, but it’s better than nothing.

Good enough, in fact, that we can watch Harper and even Cruz do what they’re doing and not immediately assume the worst. We can enjoy the majesty of the home run, one of baseball’s crowning individual achievements, without automatically reverting to skepticism.

Maybe you still nurse a grudge against Cruz for his PED past. And maybe you scoff at Harper’s brash personality. Remember when the Nats signed ace Max Scherzer this winter, bolstering an already-stellar staff, and Harper responded with, “Where’s my ring?” per NatsInsider.com‘s Mark Zuckerman. Even for a 22-year-old kid, that was cringe-worthy.

Still, you can’t deny that this has the makings of a gripping storyline. Entering play Saturday, Cruz was on pace to hit 67 home runs and Harper was on pace for 62.

Sure, “on pace” doesn’t mean much in May, with more than four months of potential slumps and injuries left to navigate.

It does raise an interesting question, though: What if one or both players surpass Babe Ruth’s iconic 60 or Maris’ 61? How much meaning will that have, and what, exactly, will it mean? 

In 2013, Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis told ESPN‘s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg he still considered Maris the single-season home run king, because “he was the last guy to do it clean.”

Ironically, Davis was later suspended after testing positive for amphetamines. But his point stands. Among those who want to slap an asterisk next to Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and the rest, 60 and 61 remain the gold standard.

That’s a conversation for another day, if we get there.

For now, crane your necks and look skyward, baseball fans. The home run is back.


All statistics current as of May 22 and courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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Key Takeaways from the Seattle Mariners’ Season So Far

The Seattle Mariners entered the 2015 Major League Baseball season with championship aspirations, but their inconsistent play has them toward the bottom of the American League standings.

Before the season, ESPN’s Buster Olney (h/t SB Nation) predicted that the Mariners would face the Pittsburgh Pirates in this year’s World Series. However, things haven’t gone as planned for Seattle so far in 2015.

The team ended April with an unimpressive 10-12 record. The Mariners began the month of May with a 1-5 record, including a sweep at the hands of the American League West-leading Houston Astros.

The team returned home for a nine-game home stand and seems to be back on the rise. The Mariners have a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, including a sweep of the Oakland Athletics.

After an up-and-down start to the season, here are a few storylines that have taken shape for Seattle so far in 2015.


Pitching has been a glaring weakness instead of strength

The biggest thing that made the Mariners a legit World Series contender this offseason was their elite pitching staff. However, the team’s starting rotation and bullpen have been less than satisfactory so far this season.

Felix Hernandez has proven why he’s one of the best pitchers in the game today, with an impressive 6-1 record and a 2.30 ERA. Hernandez also recently passed Jamie Moyer for the franchise record with 2,115.1 innings pitched. Even the great ones fall, though, as Hernandez struggled with his command early and often in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

The team’s highly touted young pitchers have demonstrated both inexperience and erratic play so far this season. Taijuan Walker, 22, has looked inconsistent this season since allowing just two runs in 27 innings pitched during spring training. James Paxton, 26, has allowed 4.15 runs per nine innings pitched this season after entering 2015 with high hopes.

Last season, the Mariners bullpen was widely considered one of the best in the major leagues, led by All-Star closer Fernando Rodney. This season, the bullpen has squandered many leads late in games, and Rodney hasn’t capitalized on his opportunities. Rodney has recorded an abysmal 5.65 ERA so far this season, including a 5.87 ERA against right-handed batters.

The pitching staff has also suffered key injuries so far this season. Hisashi Iwakuma, one of the best No. 2 pitchers in the league, suffered a right lateral strain on May 12 and is on the team’s disabled list until possibly late June. Relief pitcher Tyler Olson suffered a right knee contusion on May 3 and isn’t due to return until later this month.

On the positive side, the pitching staff struggled early last season before the team’s red-hot performance after the All-Star break. If Seattle hopes to earn its first postseason bid since 2001, its pitching staff will have to turn it around.


Nelson Cruz and J.A Happ worth every penny

The Mariners made arguably the biggest move this offseason in acquiring Cruz as a free agent from the Baltimore Orioles. Cruz has continued his impressive play with a .340 batting average, 15 home runs and 30 RBI so far this season.

Cruz has also demonstrated great clutch hitting this season, with two walk-off hits so far. The Mariners needed an impact bat this offseason, and Cruz has contributed in a variety of situations.

The 34-year-old Cruz also fills a hole the Mariners have attempted many times to fill since former designated hitter Edgar Martinez retired after the 2004 season. Though it is almost inevitable that Cruz’s impressive statistics will drop, there is no doubt he is an early American League MVP candidate.

Starting pitcher J.A Happ has looked like this season’s version of former Mariner pitcher and 2014 American League Comeback Player of the Year Chris Young. Through his first seven starts, Happ has a 3-1 record and has limited big-play opportunities with a .416 ground-ball percentage.

The Mariners acquired Happ through an offseason trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for outfielder Michael Saunders. Considering the fact that Saunders has only played nine games for the Blue Jays this season, it looks like the Mariners got a bargain in Happ.

Happ has been one of the few bright spots on the team’s pitching staff so far this season. Currently slotted in as the team’s No. 5 starter, Happ may move up the rotational ranks if he continues his hot start.

Though Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik’s moves this offseason have so far been viewed as the right ones, don’t be surprised if the team isn’t done making moves before the MLB trade deadline in July.


Robinson Cano looks lost

When the Mariners signed Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal in December 2013, the team hoped he would bring his consistent power to a lineup in need of a big bat. Though Cano’s batting average dating back to the beginning of last season has been impressive, his power is clearly not the same as it once was.

Cano has totaled just 15 home runs and a .403 slugging percentage through 194 career games with the Mariners. Cano has struggled this season with just one home run and a .253 batting average through 37 games.

He also has a career-worst .169 strikeout percentage, his highest since the 2011 season. Cano has also struggled with runners in scoring position, with just 11 RBI to begin the year. During a May 15 interview with 710 ESPN Seattle, via Brent Stecker, Cano spoke about his slow start this season.

“I want to do better than what I’m doing right now,” Cano said during the Danny, Dave and Moore show. “I want to go out there and help the team win every single game.”

What should give Mariners fans confidence is the fact that other perennial All-Stars have struggled around the league this season. Pittsburgh Pirates’ star outfielder Andrew McCutchen is hitting just .233 this season after three consecutive seasons with a batting average of .314 or better.

While Cano hasn’t had the best start to his season, there is almost no question he will turn things around. Cano has been a notorious slow starter over his 11-year career, and it looks like this year will be no different.


Follow Curtis on Twitter: @CalhounCurtis

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Meet Nelson Cruz: The Best Hitter in Baseball Right Now

Prior to this year, Nelson Cruz has been known as strictly a power hitter. He averaged 27 home runs per season from 2009-2013 and then made the most of his one season in Baltimore by leading the league in round-trippers last year.

His game-changing power is what earned him a four-year, $57 million contract last December, but in his first 36 games as a Mariner, he has still shown plenty of power—he leads the MLB with 15 homers—but he is also displaying tremendous skill in other areas at the plate.

First off, it must be noted that opposing pitchers are throwing Cruz fewer good pitches. So far in 2015, he is seeing only 43.9 percent of pitches in the strike zone, which is a career low, but he has adjusted admirably. 

His O-Contact%, which measures the percentage of times a batter makes contact with a pitch out of the strike zone, currently sits at a career-high 63.2 percent. The rest of his hitting metrics are similar to his career average.

So Cruz is seeing fewer pitches in the strike zone so far this season, but he is overcoming that by expanding his zone a bit and finding a way to be productive with pitches out of the strike zone.

That is a testament to the strides he has made in his overall hitting approach. He continues to be among the most feared power hitters in all of baseball, even in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field in Seattle.

As far as the best hitter in baseball right now, it is hard to argue against what Nelly has done to this point.

He leads the MLB with 15 home runs—an achievement that is even more impressive due to the fact that he plays all his home games in Safeco Field—and 30 RBI. He has also maintained a .340 batting average, which is among the best in the game.

Cruz also leads the league in slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, wRC+ and total bases. His .466 wOBA ranks third in the MLB, per FanGraphs.

And it’s not like Cruz is getting lucky with cheap home runs, either. He is making them count, as he is tied with fellow power stalwarts Giancarlo Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion with six no-doubt home runs, according to ESPN Home Run Tracker.

He has been one of the most productive players in clutch situations, too. He has two walk-off hits this year—one off of flamethrower Neftali Feliz and one off of Junichi Tazawa— each one coming with two outs and two strikes, and in games where he had struck out at least twice in that game.

But he’s bound for plenty of regression after this hot start, right?

Not according to his manager, Lloyd McClendon, who believes greener pastures still lie ahead for the 34-year-old Dominican, specifically in the home run column. McClendon said via Mariners Musings of MLB.com:

To be truthful, I don’t think he’s gotten hot to the point where it’s just ridiculous. He’s grinding at-bats out and getting his hits, he’s going the other way. If they make a mistake, he’ll hit it out. But I’ve seen him to the point where he’ll get hot and hit good pitches out of the ballpark and that hasn’t happened yet.

I think home run hitters, when they get hot, they hit home runs in bunches and he hasn’t done that yet. His have been spread out. A few here and a few there. He did have a streak where he hit [six] in five days or something like that, but there’s a big streak in there that hasn’t come out yet.

Cruz is hotter right now than any hitter in the game except maybe Bryce Harper, and if his statistics stay consistent and his manager proves correct, he should easily add another 40-homer season to his resume and may have a shot at American League Most Valuable Player, an award that has been hogged by Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout for the past three years. 

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Can Nelson Cruz Slug His Way to Rare 50 Home Run Plateau in 2015?

In light of Nelson Cruz not only having led Major League Baseball with 40 home runs in 2014 but also having gotten off to a fast start in which he’s already mashed a league-leading eight more this season, could the Seattle Mariners slugger dare to go where so few have gone in recent years?

Could Cruz, who many expected would drop off in the power department now that he has to hit at pitcher friendly Safeco Field half the time, reach 50 homers?

Let’s start with this: With eight home runs in the first 15 games entering play Friday, the 34-year-old Cruz is on pace for—get this—86 long ballsObviously, we know that’s not happening, but it at least provides some context (albeit of the rather ridiculous variety).

Keeping with the context idea, there’s also the simple fact that, as pitching has taken over baseball and power has declined across the game recently, hitting 50 home runs in a season has proved to be both extremely difficult and incredibly rare. How much so?

Well, in MLB history—that is, going back to 1901—there have been 43 50-homer campaigns. Or about one every two-and-a-half years.

Even more context? The big five-oh has been achieved by only 27 different players. So, yes, extremely difficult and incredibly rare.

If we limit the sample to the past decade (2005-14), however, then it’s happened seven times with no repeat performers. In other words, about once every one-and-a-half years.

That at least bodes slightly better for Cruz—or any other power hitter—that 2015 could bring another 50, particularly since Chris Davis was the last to get there with 53 in 2013.

Of course, that no hitter broke the barrier last year has exactly zero impact on improving Cruz’s chances in 2015. It’s not as if the “we’re due” argument applies here.

Remember, Cruz’s career high came in 2014—and even then, he was 10 homers away. And that was when he brought his boomstick to Camden Yards, a notorious launching pad, as a Baltimore Oriole.

Prior to that, Cruz spent eight seasons enjoying the warm weather and homer-happy park in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers play, and he reached 30 homers but once, with 33 in 2009.

This is the first season of Cruz’s decade-long career that he isn’t calling a hitter’s park home. That’s going to make things a lot tougher.

Plus, Safeco Field is not only one of the hardest parks to hit ’em out of, it’s particularly deadly for right-handed hitters, like Cruz.

According to StatCorner—a site that pulls three-year park factor splits for various outcomes, including home runs—Safeco sports a righty home run park factor of 87 (league average is 100). Translation? It’s about 13 percent harder for right-handed swingers to reach the seats at Safeco Field.

That jibes with the revelation that the most balls ever hit over Safeco’s walls by a right-hander since the park opened full time in 2000 is…21, by Richie Sexson in 2005.

What’s more, no other hitter—lefty or righty—has managed even 20 at Safeco in a single season. The most by a righty since ’05? Sexson’s 17 and Adrian Beltre’s 16, both in 2006.

Put a different way, if Cruz is going to have a shot at 50, he’s likely going to have to smash at least 30-32 on the road. Again, we remind you: He has hit more than 30 in a season, total, just twice. 

Another pertinent factor here is how Cruz has fared in his career at Safeco, where he played often while with the AL West-rival Rangers.

Here are Cruz’s stats at Safeco for his career before this season: .234/.309/.440 with nine home runs in 204 plate appearances across 52 games.

And here are his numbers there so far in 2015: .289/.289/.474 with just two of his eight homers in 38 plate appearances over nine games.

Neither of those stat lines—nor any of the other aspects covered above—inspires much, if any, confidence that Cruz can approach 50 homers this year, much less last season’s 40.

Even with an impressive eight-homer head start.


Statistics are accurate through Thursday, April 23, and courtesy of MLB.comBaseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

To talk baseball or fantasy baseball, check in with me on Twitter: @JayCat11.  

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for April 20

Around the country, it’s starting to feel like baseball season as MLB teams begin rounding into form. Daily fantasy players can finally see trends beginning at the plate and on the mound in DraftKings leagues.

Heading into Monday night, owners have to pick through myriad lineups to find the best players in every matchup. Prior to the long slate of games getting underway, here’s a look at the top studs and duds for April 20.



Pitcher: Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians ($7,100)

Looking for a starting pitcher at a low price who produces a lot of strikeouts and doesn’t give up many hits or earned runs? Seems impossible, right? Wrong. Trevor Bauer is all of those things and goes against a familiar lineup on Monday night.

The third overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 MLB draft is now lighting it up for the Cleveland Indians. Bauer Outage got off to a historically great start, as Fox Sports: MLB notes:

In his third start of the season, Bauer faces the most recent team he victimized in the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old pitcher allowed just two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts over six innings. Look for similar numbers against the lowly White Sox and potentially his third win of the season.


First Baseman: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds ($5,200)

This one kind of feels like cheating.

In fantasy baseball, every daily owner wants consistency out of his or her lineup. By placing Joey Votto in said lineup, players will get one of the most solid batters at the plate on any given night.

On Monday, Votto matches up with Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers. Peralta has already had his struggles this season—we’ll get to that later—and Votto has typically fared well against the right-hander. With a .409 on-base percentage against Peralta, Votto will post another solid game on Monday.


Outfielder: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($4,900)

It appears Nelson Cruz is enjoying the Pacific Northwest. The veteran slugger has thrived thus far with the Seattle Mariners to start the season.

Over his last eight games, Cruz has put together several ridiculous stat lines along with his eight home runs. His multihomer game on Sunday gave Cruz the lead in the entire MLB, as Mariners’ play-by-play announcer Gary Hill notes:

Not to mention Cruz will also be facing a rookie pitcher in Asher Wojciechowski. Roll out the welcoming mat for the 26-year-old pitcher before Cruz lifts off again for fantasy owners in his next start.



Pitcher: Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers ($7,000)

The aforementioned Peralta has not been able to build off a strong 2014 season thus far. After winning 17 games last year and boasting a 3.53 ERA, Peralta has been shelled this season. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives an in-depth look at Peralta’s most recent horrid outing:

With the Brewers scuffling at 2-10 to start the year, banking on Peralta doesn’t seem like the best decision. Even against a Reds offense that hasn’t been clicking recently, don’t rely on this starter until he shows consistency on the mound.


Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals ($4,400)

Don’t start Salvador Perez on Monday night. Yes, the same Salvador Perez who has gotten off to a blazing-hot start this season.

During his career, Perez has struggled against Kyle Gibson, the Minnesota Twins starter on Monday. Perez has just one hit over 12 plate appearances against Gibson with four strikeouts and one walk. He may be going through a career year so far, but Perez will cool down against Gibson.


Outfielder: Brandon Moss, Cleveland Indians ($4,700)

Brandon Moss finally seems to have gotten his act together for the Indians, but Monday night will not bring more of the same.

Cleveland’s offseason acquisition is going up against John Danks, a left-handed pitcher. Taking into account his early struggles and the fact that he’s a lefty facing a lefty, stay away from putting Moss in the lineup until he completely settles in with the Indians.

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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for April 7

The second full day of the MLB season doesn’t exactly have the same luster as Opening Day. Half of the franchises are 0-1, while the other half are undefeated. It does mean that daily fantasy owners already have a better perspective on which stars to choose.

DraftKings players won’t be able to identify trends with pitchers, but some hitters are already torching hot. Not every batter will continue those trends, but some will face far less impressive starters. Leading up to Tuesday’s slate, here’s a look at some strategy for Game 2 of 162 for most MLB teams.


Top Players to Target

Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers ($8,800)

Sure, the San Diego Padres are completely retooled with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and others added to the lineup. Going against Zack Greinke, however, could potentially expose some weaknesses in the offense.

Greinke has been phenomenal during his career at Dodger Stadium, as author Joel Luckhaupt notes:

The right-hander faces a reloaded Padres lineup that relies on right-handed batters for strength. If Greinke can keep up his masterful performances at home against San Diego, he’ll be the clear No. 1 starter for daily owners.


First Baseman: Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals ($4,200)

This is one of those predictions we’re not entirely basing on the season opener. Matt Adams went hitless in the first game against the Chicago Cubs, but he is still typically a Cub-crusher.

Facing right-handed hurler Jake Arrieta, Adams was set to get going on Tuesday for daily fantasy owners. In 11 at-bats against Arrieta, Adams has five hits with a double and three RBI. Though he doesn’t have a home run against the Cubs’ No. 2 starter, Adams’ 15 home runs from last year prove he has pop in his bat.

However, the game has been postponed, the Cubs announced on Tuesday.



Second Baseman: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners ($4,200)

He seems like the obvious choice on Tuesday night, so why steer clear of Robinson Cano? Even against a left-hander like C.J. Wilson, Cano has still enjoyed some success against the Angels’ No. 2 starter.

Though he’s never hit one over the wall against Wilson, Cano has been productive against him. After getting a hit and an RBI in the season opener, expect Cano to go off on Tuesday and warrant the high price owners will be paying for him.


Outfielder: Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,900)

Starting off the season with a double and an RBI against the San Diego Padres, Crawford already gave daily owners great value. Now he faces pitcher Tyson Ross, whom he has destroyed in a short sample size during his career.

Crawford won’t always be a great choice with his inconsistencies at the plate, but he’s a great option at a reasonable price for owners on Tuesday. Slot the Dodgers outfielder in a No. 2 or No. 3 spot and look for solid production.


Outfielder: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners ($4,100)

The season got off to a silent start for Nelson Cruz, but he’s ready to break out with his new team. Cruz got off to a torrid pace last April, belting six home runs and 24 RBI with the Baltimore Orioles. He’s bound to reach those levels again soon on the West Coast.

Hitting behind Cano, both batters should see strikes from Wilson. Already having a homer against him with just 10 at-bats and a .314/.407/.569 against left-handed pitchers, there will be plenty of pop from Cruz’s bat.


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