The Indians and Cubs met in a preseason World Series rematch Monday. Cleveland took the 4-3 victory. Indians pitcher Danny Salazar (SP-29) continued his solid spring by earning a win after pitching 5 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out nine. Salazar is tops in strikeouts this spring with 37, which is encouraging after his injury struggles last season. Before the the All-Star break, Salazar had a 10-3 record and a 2.75 ERA. If he can return to form, he may be undervalued in many fantasy leagues.
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Harper stays hot
Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper hit two home runs Monday in a 6-0 victory over the Mets. The two dingers give Harper a league-leading eight spring training home runs. Harper has been on a tear in the Grapefruit League with .308/.403/.827 slash line. After a tough 2016 (by his standards anyway), it’s good to see that Harper has come on strong. The fact that his BABIP dropped a full 100 points last season (from .369 to .264) is an indicator that last season’s “struggles” were most likely an outlier. Look for Harper to continue his success into the regular season.
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Mets reliever Jeurys Familia’s impending suspension for an alleged domestic violence incident in November is expected to be fewer than the 30 games handed down to Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman last spring. Familia is RP-14 according to the NFBC ADP and had a league-leading 51 saves last year. In the meantime, it appears Addison Reed will be the closer until Familia returns.
Martinez out three weeks
Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez is expected to be out at least three weeks with a mid-foot sprain. Martinez initially suffered the injury on March 18 and underwent a CT scan a week later to determine the extent of the damage. The 29-year-old Martinez is currently about the 17th outfielder coming off the board in fantasy drafts and had a great 2016 hitting .307/.373/.535 with 22 homers.
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Matz to miss start of season
Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz’s (SP-41) lingering elbow issues this spring are going to cost him the start of the 2017 campaign. Matz, who was slotted to be the Mets' fourth starter, does not have any ligament damage, but the 25-year-old’s elbow hasn’t progressed as New York hoped. This is especially troublesome for a staff already dealing with Matt Harvey’s injury issues. For fantasy purposes, pitchers with similar ADPs and who may be available include John Lackey and Oakland’s Sean Manaea. The Mets are currently slated to have Robert Gsellman pitch fourth in the rotation. Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo are available as additional options.