Fantasy Baseball 2011: Who to Start, Who to Sit in Week 3 of the MLB Season
Week three of this big thing of a season should be another whirlwind tour of the hard-hitting storm called Major League Baseball in the United States, circa 2011.
If you followed my advice from earlier in this series, then pitchers and hitters like Starlin Castro, Lance Berkman, Josh Beckett, Mariano Rivera and Pedro Sandoval panned out for you so far.
I'll keep the hits, WHIPS, RBI, strikeouts, runs, steals, saves and low ERA coming for you all season long. Stay tuned for more secret advice to get your opponents in the flux.
Flex camera one...
Matt Capps: Is He the Closer for the Rest of the Season?
Matt Capps replaced Joe Nathan in the closer role, but the way it went down should be untrustworthy for fantasy owners for the time being.
Nathan could be back in a Minnesota minute. Capps has been erratic, but he's worth a look if you're desperate for saves early in the season.
Chances are, more closers will be available as the season goes along. Sit him—unless you only have one closer on the active roster.
Rickie Weeks: Has He Turned into a Slugger All of Sudden This Season?
Weeks is pounding the ball like it was a sock and he's swinging an aluminum bat. He's been giving the sock to the National League's pitchers all right.
The second baseman is batting .290 with seven RBI and four home runs. Pretty Rickie—that's what they call him—hadn't a steal as of last Sunday.
This week could be the time Weeks breaks out on the bases. Start him until further notice. He's not a slugger, yet.
Ryan Franklin: Is Your Team ERA Suffering Because of His Performance?
Notice how the powerful targets are being hit off the wall against him. Piling on a pitiful pitcher is never right, and I'm not promoting it.
Enough is enough, though. Put the man out of his misery until, and if, he gets it right.
Sit him—on the end of the bench—if you've suffered enough already.
John Buck: Is the Former Blue Jay Drowning in the Water with the Fish?
The catcher from the Blue Jays started off with a big home run for the Marlins. Since then, he's fizzled. He has to get adjusted to a new league.
Give him time. Stick with him. The Buck will stop slumping and start pumping pitches deep.
The Marlins are playing well above .500, and their hitters are formidable. Hitting is contagious, and Buck will come alive.
Kyle McClellan: Does He Continue to Get It in with the Starting Rotation?
McClellan grew up in the immediate St. Louis area, and he's a budding homeboy hero, or hometown.
He's been on point nearly all the time for the Redbirds this season. Hitters have been baffled. He battled Clayton Kershaw last Saturday night in L.A. and won.
Not bad for an Adam Wainwright replacement from the bullpen. Wait...Wainwright is from the bullpen. I'm just saying—start McClellan, or at least pick him up. He'll continue to get it in.
Brett Gardner: He Was Demoted Against the Rangers for a Good Reason
Brett Gardner represented by leading off for the New York Yankees early on in the season, but he's been demoted to the number nine spot.
At least that's where he batted in the last game against the Texas Rangers on last Sunday night in the cozy confines of the Bronx Zoo.
The Bombers pulled out the victory, but Gardner could continue to be demoted—even out of the lineup. Sit him if you know what's up. Now you know.
Mark Reynolds: The Third Baseman Has Caught a Case of a Cold Streak
Reynolds is batting .256, but he's been struggling along with the rest of the middle of the Orioles offense. They'll get it together, but at what point? Experienced owners know not to wait because that point may never come.
Sit Reynolds for now until Baltimore catches fire again. They're slumping now, but Buck Showalter will most likely have them playing some of the best ball in the league before long.
Keep pushing it along and put Reynolds on your bench.
Denard Span: Remember He's Playing in the Frigid North
Span is a career .290 hitter through three major league seasons. He batted .264 last year, expect him to take off—even in the frigid North.
Minnesota won't be frigid this summer, but for now the Twins will be in Baltimore to face the struggling Orioles. He'll catch Cleveland at the end of the week, and they're bound to cool off in frigid Minnesota.
The sun will come out for Span and his .330 average. Start him.
Ian Desmond: Will the Washington National Stand Up and Salute?
Desmond's batting average has been stuck in the valley of the shadow of slump. He's batting around .220, but he has six stolen bases. Don't make me laugh.
Those are the types of statistics that gets one beat down in a severe fashion. In head-to-head competition, why is he even on your roster?
Champions are born with better second basemen in the fantasy baseball world. Mind power.
Billy Butler: He Lacks Power, but His Batting Average Makes Up for It
Butler is a solid smasher for the Kansas City Barbecuers—I mean the kings, I mean the Royals. You get the idea.
He's known for barbecuing baseballs thrown from pitchers with smoke in their eyes. The Kansas City masterpiece is capable of hitting all season long. Start him—utility has his name on it.