Originally written on Fantasy Baseball Tools  |  Last updated 11/17/14

While the rest of the teams in major league baseball are playing spring training games for another week, the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners kicked off opening day in Japan. Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez is already re-living last season when he failed to get much run support as he took a no-decision in the Mariners 3-1 win over the Athletics.

Fernandez worked eight innings, allowing five hits and one run with six strikeouts. The stars of the day for Mariners were second basemen Dustin Ackley who went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI and Ichiro Suzuki who went 4-for-5 with an RBI while hitting third in the lineup. Given the lack of power on the team, Ichrio has a good shot of leading the team in RBI despite the fact his home run total will be in single digits.

The Athletic’s lineup looks like a mess with Coco Crisp batting third and Yoenis Cespedes hitting seventh in the order. If Oakland is going to insist on hitting Crisp third for much of the season, it will likely reduce his stolen base opportunities if runners are on base ahead of him. Eric Sogard got the start at third base ahead of expected starter Josh Donaldson who has some value since he qualifies at catcher in most leagues.

Pitcher Brandon McCarthy picked up where he left off last season with one run allowed in seven innings and three strikeouts. He isn’t going to rack up a ton of strikeouts or wins, but his ratios should be decent enough to make him worthy of a roster spot in mixed-league formats.

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