By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Another week of baseball in the books means another winners, losers, and waiver wire wonders blog from the fantasy guru. Keep in mind, the stats I show are the players stats for the week, not on the season. Let’s go!
SP—Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim—15 IP, 1 CG, 2 W, 11 K, 5 BB, 10 HA, 2 ER
Weaver has been on fire this season and last week was no different. He won both starts, one being a complete game shutout, and had 11 strikeouts. He is now 7-2 on the year and has an exceptionally low 2.08 ERA through 13 starts. He is a must-start fantasy ace right now and looks to have finally returned to his 11-2 rookie season form from 2006.
SP—Jose Contreras, Chicago White Sox—16 IP, 2 W, 11 K, 3 BB, 3 HA, 0 ER
What a season this has been for Contreras. He started out awful (0-5 in six starts) and was sent to the minors. He finally found his stuff and pitched well in the minors and was brought back to make a spot start in a doubleheader last Monday. He pitched so well in that game they gave him another start on Saturday.
Overall, he pitched 16 innings of shutout ball and had 11 strikeouts to only three walks. He is not worth owning yet, but keep an eye on him to see if he returns to his former All-Star form.
SP—Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants—9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 8 K, 1 BB, 7 HA, 0 ER
This is why Lincecum won the Cy Young last year. He pitched a complete-game shutout on Friday to move his record to 6-1 on the year with 103 strikeouts and a 2.66 ERA. He is an obvious fantasy ace and an obvious must-start in all formats.
RP—Huston Street, Colorado Rockies—4.7 IP, 5 SV, 8 K, 1 BB, 3 HA, 1 ER
The Rockies have been on a roll recently and Street has benefited. He locked down five saves last week, striking out eight and only walking one. He now has 13 saves and has brought his ERA down to a solid 3.00. Not to mention he has only walked eight batters in 27 innings. He is a solid fantasy closer, so start him with full confidence.
RP—Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins—3.7 IP, 4 SV, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER
Nathan was one of the most coveted closers this year in fantasy drafts and he has not disappointed. He had four saves this week, without allowing a run, and now has 15 saves on the year, with a 1.78 ERA. He hasn’t allowed a run since May 15 and looks every bit like the guy you drafted. He is an obvious must-start elite fantasy closer.
SS—Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies—.421 BA, 8 H, 8 R, 2 Doubles, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 8 BB, 3 K, 3 SB, 1 CS
After a poor start to the year, Tulowitzki has caught fire. He had eight hits in 19 At-Bats last week and pulled his average up from .221 to .243. He also drew eight walks last week to just three strikeouts. You can go ahead and activate him again and expect a possible 20-home run, 20-stolen base season.
2B—Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles—.500 BA, 11 H, 5 R, 5 Doubles, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, 3 SB
Didn’t I say not to bench him? After I had Roberts on my loser list last week, he comes back and has 11 hits in 22 At-Bats, with five doubles and three stolen bases. Roberts is an elite second baseman and, as I said last week, in no way should he be benched.
3B—Mark Reynolds,Arizona Diamondbacks—.417 BA, 10 H, 5 R, 5 Doubles, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
Reynolds has been very good this year, landing on my winners list more than once. He has already past his career high in stolen bases and is on pace for 40 home runs. He is also on pace for over 100 RBI’s, which would be a career high also.
Reynolds’ only problem is his strikeouts. He is on pace to break his own strikeout record, which hurts in certain formats, but not in head to head formats. Continue to start him for his power and deal with the loss of points due to the strikeouts.
OF—Willy Taveras, Cincinnati Reds—.000 BA, 0 H, 0 R, 0 Doubles, 0 Triples, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 SB, 1 CS
Talk about a bad week. Zero hits in 22 At-Bats last week makes him 0 for his last 32 and completely useless in all formats. He is usually helpful for his speed, but he can’t use his speed if he’s not on base. Don’t panic and drop him—keep him on your bench due to his potential.
1B—Nick Johnson, Washington Nationals—.227 BA, 5 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K
Johnson started the week slow, but picked it up towards the end. He hasn’t had an RBI since he had three on June 6, but had five hits in his last 14 at-bats. He is not a must start, but he is definitely someone to stash on the bench until he gets hot again.
OF—Matt Holliday, Oakland Athletics—.167 BA, 4 H, 1 R, 1 Double, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 SB, 1 CS
Here is just another case of a bad week. Holliday is an elite fantasy outfielder, and you should not be scared off by one bad week. Continue to start him with confidence.
SP—Chris Young, San Diego Padres—7.3 IP, 2 L, 1 K, 6 BB, 10 HA, 10 ER
Young has now lost four straight decisions and it doesn’t appear he will turn it around anytime soon. He has walked 15 batters in 19 innings and allowed 14 earned runs. Leave him on your bench because he could possibly turn it around.
SP—Dontrelle Willis, Detroit Tigers—8.7 IP, 1 L, 4 K, 13 BB, 11 HA, 9 ER
Willis came out and had two decent starts, but then has been awful since. He has lost four of five decisions and has walked 18 in his last 11 innings. He is not worth owning right now, but keep an eye to see if he does turn it around and becomes the D-Train of old.
Waiver Wire Wonders
RP—Ryan Madson, Philadelphia Phillies—4 IP, 2 SV, 4 K, 0 BB, 3 HA, 0 ER
Madson has performed well since the injury to Brad Lidge and he looks to have control of the closers role until Lidge returns. He is a viable fantasy closer until Lidge returns and is being snatched up very quickly.
He is now owned in 26.2 percent of ESPN leagues, which is up from 4.8 percent last week. Grab him if you need some saves, but watch out for when Lidge returns as he will return to a setup man.
RP—Andrew Bailey, Oakland Athletics—3 IP, 1 L, 1 SV, 3 K, 2 BB, 4 HA, 3 ER
Bailey is now the closer in Oakland and has done a decent job. He has five saves on the year and will pick up some more now that he is the first option. He is available, only being owned in 43.8 percent of ESPN leagues. Go ahead and grab him and enjoy the 20-plus saves.
OF—Cody Ross, Florida Marlins—.407 BA, 11 H, 6 R, 4 Doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Cody was on fire last week. He his four doubles and two home runs, one of them a grand slam. He now has a .270 batting average with 10 home runs on the year and is getting plenty of at-bats. If you need some power in your outfield, go ahead and grab him and enjoy 20-plus home runs.
OF—Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates—.323 BA, 10 H, 6 R, 1 Double, 2 Triples, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 SB
The trade of Nate McLouth made room for the Pirates to bring up their highly touted prospect and he has started off hot. He has been on my waiver wire list for two weeks now and has sixteen hits in his first two weeks.
He is starting everyday in center and has seven RBI and two stolen bases. He is available, only being owned in 24 percent of ESPN leagues (up nearly 10 percent from a week ago), so go ahead and take a chance on him.
That’s all for now sports fans. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.