It’s time again for the hump day look-see, a random collection of stats and thoughts to help get you through your fantasy week. The look-see will appear every Wednesday for the remainder of the season. You can make sure you catch each installment by grabbing a free e-mail subscription through feedburner or picking up the RSS feeds on the main page.
Those of you who find yourselves in need of a fantasy pick-me-up in your outfield should wander over to your league page, go to the add player link and search for Juan Rivera. Do it. Do it right now, I'll wait. All set? Good.
Why am I so hastily pushing you in his direction? In his last ten games Rivera is 16-40 (.400) with four home runs, 11 RBIs, six runs scored and has struck out once. That's right, once. Over the last month he's hitting .354 with an OPS of 1.070 and has driven in 22 runs. I'm guessing those numbers are better than at least one of your OF options over that span. T
he best part? If you act quickly he'll be available—he's owned in only 16 percent of Yahoo leagues and 14 percent of ESPN leagues as of this morning.
Ian Stewart is still on a roll in Colorado. If you need some middle-infield assistance, you could do worse. In his last 15 games he's 16-50 (.320) with five home runs, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored. Like Rivera, he's widely available. He's owned in only 32 percent of ESPN leagues and 44 percent of Yahoo leagues. His dual-eligibility at 2B/3B makes him a quality backup option at minimum.
Mark Reynolds hit 28 bombs and drove in 97 runs last year, but scared many owners with his .239 average and record 204 strikeouts. The 2009 version of Reynolds is still a whiff machine with 90 in his first 234 ABs, but he's blasted 17 bombs already and is hitting a sexy .282 with a .944 OPS. If the Ks don't hurt you in your particular league, then you might want to put him on your wish list. You'll most likely have to trade for him as he's owned in 85 percent of Yahoo and 95 percent of ESPN leagues, but his power and eligibility at 1B/3B makes him an attractive target.
Don't look now but Scott Podsednik is making a push for fantasy relevance once again. He's taken a rocky road in and out of baseball following his break-out 2005 campaign and recently re-emerged with his old team, the White Sox.
He's picked up nine steals in 41 games to go with a .309 average and 18 runs scored. He won't give you power, but if you need average and speed support in your outfield he's a free agent option to consider, at least in the short term. He's currently available in just about 90 percent of both ESPN and Yahoo leagues.
Matt Palmer will face off against Tim Lincecum tonight in San Francisco. Combined, the two starters have a 12-1 record. Before you go nutty over Palmer and his 6-0 mark, take a closer look at his other numbers. In 50.1 innings he's struck out 30, walked 20, and holds an ERA of 4.11. Nothing to write home about. He's getting less than 50 percent of his outs on the ground and half of his wins have come against Kansas City, Seattle and San Diego.
Sometimes guys manage to pick up wins with less than impressive peripheral numbers on a consistent basis (see Tim Wakefield), but more often than not those guys fall off quickly. Just something to think about.
Jason Marquis is another unheralded hurler with unexpected success recently. He's 4-0 in the last month with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Like Palmer his K to BB ratio over that time has been mediocre (21:16), but he's kept the ball on the ground (58 percent ground balls on the season) and has seen significant run support lately (30 runs by the Rockies over his last five starts). He's available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues and 67 percent of Yahoo leagues if you want to take a chance on him.
His teammate Jason Hammel also has four wins in the last month, not bad for a guy owned in 1.2 percent of ESPN leagues. In the month of June, he's 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 15 Ks against three walks in 18.1 innings pitched. He's a big SOB at six-foot-six with a power arm and a good curve ball who came over from Tampa Bay earlier this season. I'm keeping an eye on him, you should too.
OK boys and girls, it's time once again for the weekly staple that keeps you all coming back to the Hump Day Look-see - the top 10 hitters and pitchers of the last week. As always the lists below use the rankings from a Yahoo standard 5 x 5 roto league for the last seven days. All stats are accurate as of this morning. Notice there are five players from the Rays and Brewers among the top 10 hitters. Also notice that Albert Pujols was the best hitter in the game over the last seven days. Which makes sense, as he is the best hitter in the game over any number of days.
Top 10 Hitters Of The Last Week:
No 1 - Albert Pujols, STL - .381, 5 HR, 8 RBIs, 7 Runs, 2 SB
No 2 - Alex Rios, TOR - .500, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 Runs, 4 SB
No 3 - Carlos Pena, TB - .391, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 10 Runs
No 4 - Ryan Braun, MIL - .379, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 8 Runs, 2 SB
No 5 - Ben Zobrist, TB - .409, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 10 Runs, 2 SB
No 6 - B.J. Upton, TB - .308, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 Runs, 7 SB
No 7 - Alberto Callaspo, KC - .478, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 6 Runs
No 8 - Corey Hart, MIL - .400, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 7 Runs, 1 SB
No 9 - Torii Hunter, LAA - .389, 4 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 Runs
No 10 - Kung-Fu Panda (aka Pablo Sandoval), SFG - .462, 3 HR, 6 RBIs, 6 Runs
Top 10 Pitchers Of The Last Week:
No 1 - Gil Meche, KC - 2 Wins, 17 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
No 2 - Felix Hernandez, SEA - 2 Wins, 11 Ks, 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
No 3 - Kevin Millwood, TEX - 2 Wins, 7 Ks, 0.61 ERA, 0.82 WHIP
No 4 - Kevin Correia, SD - 1 Win, 9 Ks, 1.93 ERA, 0.43 WHIP
No 5 - Matt Cain, SFG - 1 Win, 9 Ks, 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP
No 6 - Jose Contreras, CWS - 1 Win, 8 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP
No 7 - Dan Haren, ARI - 1 Win, 7 Ks, 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP
No 8 - Cliff Lee, CLE - 1 Win, 6 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP
No 9 - Javier Vazquez, ATL - 0 Wins, 12 Ks, 1.12 ERA, 0.25 WHIP
No 10 - Tim Lincecum, SFG - 1 Win, 8 Ks, 0.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP
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Until next time....
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