Fantasy Baseball - Previews And Rankings For Week 2

By Mark Hock

On Friday I began my weekly series taking a look at the week ahead for Fantasy Baseball. Today, I’ll take a more in depth look at which players have performed the best over the past week, who you should avoid, the best games of the week, and some key two week pitchers to stream.

Streaming Pitchers:

Graham Godfrey –  The 27 year old debuted last season, putting up respectable numbers for the Oakland Athletics in 5 starts last season. This week he’ll have two starts, which makes him an intriguing candidate. He’s facing off against the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. Anytime you can get a start against the M’s you have to take it, and he should be able to put up a decent line against the Royals. Godfrey could be a useful pickup for anybody who wants a two start pitcher.

Drew Smyly – I’ve mentioned that Smyly deserves a spot on your fantasy roster, but if you haven’t added him yet, now is your chance. He’s facing the Tampa Bay Rays, and while that’s rarely a good match up, Smyly does have a significant advantage against them. Despite the Rays recent beat down of New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia, Tampa is quite vulnerable to southpaws. Adding Smyly could be a creative way to get some wins, and possibly some strikeouts too.

Three Hitters On Fire During Week 1:

OF Yoenis Cespedes – The Cuban is off to a fantastic start, hitting 308 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in 4 games. One thing to watch out for is that he’s struck out in 7 of his 13 at bats, and has zero walks over that time. This has got a bit of a Chris Shelton vibe too it, and I’d recommend selling high and fast.

3B Chone Figgins – Is he back from the dead? Figgins has been outstanding in his first four games, hitting 412, driving in 4, and stealing a base.

OF Nick Markakis – I guess you can have your Markakis and eat it too. With a 714 batting average, 2 home runs, and 4 RBI he’s destroying anything hit in his direction. The biggest thing plaguing Markakis lately has been the power, so if nothing else it’s nice to see him hit two HR in two games. It could be nothing, or it could mean that Markakis is back as a strong fantasy outfield option. I’d add him and keep a close eye on him.

Three Hitters That Would Like a Reboot For Opening Week:

3B Kevin Youkilis: Those aren’t “yoooooooouuuuu” they’re chanting, it’s “boooooooooo”. Youkilis has been hitless in 8 at bats, striking out in half of them so far. Like the rest of the Boston Red Sox, he can’t wait to get out of Detroit.

C Nick Hundley – Not the way he wanted to start the season off after signing an extension. Hundley is hitless in 3 games, although he has driven in a run and has a 3:2 K:BB rate.

1B James Loney – Does anybody know why the Los Angeles Dodgers still use him at first? It can’t be for his bat, and this year he’s hitless through 8 at bats.

Four Pitchers You Don’t Want To Mess With:

Roy Halladay – It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. Doc shutdown the Pittsburgh Pirates over 8 innings, allowing 2 hits while striking out 5. Hasta la vista, baby.

Chad BillingsleyClayton Kershaw may have won a Cy Young, but Billingsley gets the nod this week. He threw 8+ innings of shutout baseball, striking out 11 in the process.

Justin Masterson – He pitched 8 innings, threw less than 100 pitches, struck out 10, and didn’t allow a run. And yet the Cleveland Indians lost, because Chris Perez blew the save.

Luis Perez – Who pitched 4 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays during their first extra inning affair withCleveland. Despite walking 3 and striking out 3, he managed to bail the Jays out of a tough jam, and ended up with the win.

Three Pitchers Who Couldn’t Find Water If They Fell Into The Ocean:

Josh Beckett – He allowed 5 home runs in one game. Five. And he’s supposed to be the reliable guy in the rotation of question marks.

Dan Haren – He only allowed 2 home runs in one game, so I guess that’s progress. Still, 11 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings doesn’t exactly scream ace, which is exactly what Haren is. But he sure didn’t look like one last night.

Mariano Rivera – Ok, he only threw 1/3 of an inning, but how many times will we ever see the Greatest Closer Of All Time have a 54.00 ERA or a 15.00 WHIP?

Matchup Of The Week:

April 9-11: St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds

Marquee Matchup: Wednesday at 12:35, Jamie Garcia (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

It’s early in the season, but this one has playoff atmosphere written all over it. The Reds need to show the defending champs that they’re capable of rebounding after a poor season, and the Cards need to show they can win without Albert Pujols. Wednesday’s matchup of Cueto and Garcia could be an outstanding pitchers duel.

April 13-15: Los Angeles Angels vs New York Yankees

The rebuilt Angels will face their first major test of the series, facing off against the Yankees. The Angels hold the edge in pitching, but will they be good enough to shutdown the Yankees lineup?

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