For anyone who may now be following the series, I must say thank you for the support and hope that your fantasy team jumped a couple spots in the standings after my opening week article.
Let's dig right in on what was one of the most exciting weeks in a long time. A couple cycles, a couple no-hit bids, and overall, a great week for some of the league's best and most valuable fantasy assets.
*Stats are from Apr. 13-Apr. 19*
American League Batter of the Week
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas Rangers: .556, 5 Runs, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 SB, 1.600 OPS
Before getting injured towards the end of last season, the Rangers second baseman was one of the favorites to take home the AL MVP award. Apparently Kinsler didn't want this season to end like the last one and found his groove during week two.
From Apr. 13-17, Kinsler had four straight games with two or more hits, but one of those games was clearly more important for the young stud than the others.
On the fifteenth, Kinsler went 6-for-6 with 4 RBI, which included one of the three cycles hit this week. Don't forget, he is also a running threat, which just adds to his fantasy value.
Looking Forward: The Texas Rangers open the week with a three game series against the Blue Jays, and face Roy Halladay in the opening game. Against the three projected starters, Kinsler is 5-for-17, so look for him to maintain the average and hopefully keep sniping the bases.
Honorable Mentions: Kevin Youkilis, Aaron Hill, Brian Roberts
National League Batter of the Week
Ryan Ludwick, OF, St. Louis Cardinals: .417, 4 Runs, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1.315 OPS
From the very start of the season, I had a feeling that Ludwick would fall in some drafts. Due to his poor spring, and many critics saying that it could easily been a fluke year for in 2008 some people got a real bargain when they took him in the middle of the draft.
With a slow start to the week, Ludwick picked it up going 7-for-15 in his series with the Chicago Cubs, and also drove in seven runs. Most impressive however is his hitting streak of 21 games dating back to last season, which is something to keep an eye on.
Looking Forward: The Cards get a home stand with the New York Mets for the first three games of the week. Ludwick will see John Maine for the first time, as well as Oliver Perez and Livan Hernandez for only the second time a piece. Looks like a pretty unpredictable week, but he should be able to keep it up.
American League Pitcher of the Week
Zach Grienke, SP, Kansas City Royals: 14.0 IP, 2-0, 19 K's, 0.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Grienke is on complete fire right now. He has pitched an incredible 20 scoreless innings to open the season, and capped off his week with a stellar outing against Texas tossing a complete game and fanning ten.
Next Scheduled Start: Grienke will take the mound on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. The players on the Tigers current roster have only hit a meager .259 against Grienke. An added note: Those same Detroit players have struck out a whopping 31 times against ZG.
Honorable Mentions: Glen Perkins, AJ Burnett, Gavin Floydd
National League Pitcher of the Week
Doug Davis, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 16.0 IP, 1-1, 11 K's, 1.13 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
I originally had Chad Billingsley in line for this award, but he is currently owned in 99 percent of ESPN Fantasy Leagues, while Davis is owned in a...wait for it...1.9 percent.
Though Davis as you can see lost one of his two starts this past week, he went eight strong innings against the St. Louis Cards and only gave up two earned runs while striking out eight.
Davis' win had roughly the same stat line as his loss, though included the all important 'W'. Going once again an eight strong innings against the Giants, Davis got the runs he needed to get his first of hopefully many wins this season.
Next Scheduled Start: Interestingly enough, Doug Davis takes the hill on Thursday against the team he beat on Sunday, the San Francisco Giants.
Now don't be too quick to toss him in the lineup yet. San Fran has surprisingly hit a combined .346 off David, which is incredibly high. Keep an eye on this start, and if he impresses yet again, make a roster spot.
Waiver Wire Wonders
I will now be putting a little more into this section, because it is what I feel to be a very big part of fantasy play. Anyone can go and add the guy who just hit three home runs while sitting on the free agent list, but sometimes we all need to find this guy BEFORE he does that. Hopefully this helps.
Ricky Romero (SP, TOR): Romero was a top 10 draft pick for the Jays a few years back, and in his first three starts this year, has gone a total of 21 innings with only four earned runs crossing the plate. Romero may not help to much in the K category, his ERA and WHIP are sure to make up for that.
Chris Duncan (1B/OF, StL): Duncan is currently owned in only 40 percent of ESPN Fantasy leagues, why wouldn't you want someone who usually hits after King Albert? Chris is hitting .389 and has improved against lefties this season. After going 5-for-36 against southpaws last year, Duncan has 11 hits already and continues to hit off of them very well.
Nyjer Morgan (OF, Pit): I was very close to including him on last years list, but decided to give it another week to see if he was for real. Well, Morgan earned his way onto the list after hitting .340 thus far in the season.
An extra-base threat as well, Nyjer has wo doubles, and two triples as well. Though not a home-run machine (zero), he makes up for it by giving you stolen bases (three).
What's better than completely random thoughts that offer some twisted form of assistance? You guessed it. Nothing.
- I apologize. Chien-Ming Wang is NOT ok
- Take note that Manuel Corpas has taken over the closer role from Huston Street in Colorado
- Asdrubal Cabrera went 10-for-20 against the Yanks this week, and owned in only seven percent of fantasy league. Plus he's the first guy in MLB history with the name Asdrubal.
- Feel free to drop until they can prove their worth the roster spot: Jordan Schafer (11 K's last week), Carlos Guillen (4-for-21), Brian Giles (.148), Jason Varitek (Only if a better catcher is available, one that preferably will play over 125 games)
- For all the people who drafted Matt Wieters, it has been announced that he will be moving up the majors sooner than what was previously believed. Look for him to land in BAL by the middle of May.
- Keep an eye on Kyle Davies and Clayton Kershaw...Just sayin'
- Ervin Santana, and John Lackey look to rejoin the Angels by mid May. If for some reason either is available, add whenever possible.
- Dontrelle Willisthrew 62 pitches in a recent AAA Lakeland game...And landed 78% for strikes.
- When asked when Daisuke Matsuzakawould return, Francona had the following to say: "I think the medical staff is still kind of sifting through that." Hmmmm....
For those of you who aren't aware, Elijah Dukes was recently suspended for a game, threatened with demotion, and fined $500 by the Washington Nationals. For what? Being a mere five minutes late to the stadium on game day.
Normally, I would think this was a tad harsh, but Manny Acta is trying to get the club on track.
Then it was released that he was late because he was doing charity work FOR the Nationals. He spent the entire morning with the local little league team and ran into traffic. Is this organization a joke or what?
The funniest part? The day before this happened, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman had incorrect jerseys put into their lockers that bore the name "NATINALS" on the front of their jersey. Ironic, huh?
Must Watch Fantasy Game of the Week
On Friday night, Josh Johnson takes the hill for the fourth time for the Marlins, who currently hold the best record in baseball. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard look to hand JJ his second straight loss.
Written by and Created by Travis Rand, Fantasy Baseball Journalist and NYG Community Leader