Fantasy Baseball – Previews And Rankings For Week 5

Every Sunday I’ll be giving my preview for the week ahead for Fantasy Baseball. I’ll be taking a 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 start pitchers to stream.

Two Start Pitchers:

Bronson Arroyo - I usually won’t recommend low strikeout pitchers, but Arroyo is off to a great start this season. He’s 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 4 starts, and he’s got a fantastic 15:2 strikeout to walk ratio. This week he’s got matchups against the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates, so Arroyo has a good chance of playing some low scoring games and getting the win.

Patrick Corbin - The left hander will make his major league debut this week, facing off against the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets. The Marlins are the worst team in the National League against southpaws, so this is a pretty favourable matchup for Corbin. Keep in mind that he’s never pitched above AA, so there is some risk here.

Three Hitters On Fire During Week 4:

OF Michael Saunders - This may be Saunders last chance to prove he belongs as a starter. Luckily for him, he’s making the most of his chance. This week Saunders hit 350 with 2 homers, one of which was a grand slam. He’s driven in 9 and even added a stolen base for good measure. Ideally you’d like to see him hit for a better average, but he’s hitting for power and that’s a great sign.

1B/3B Chris Davis - We always knew he could hit for power, but Davis is finally starting to hit for average as well. This week he hit 316 with 3 homers, and 7 RBI. Pretty solid production from a corner infield spot. He still strikes out a ton, so he’ll likely be a very streaky fantasy player. Enjoy the ride now while he’s on fire.

2B Jose Altuve - Altuve  has been one of the biggest surprises this season. He absolutely destroyed opposing pitchers to the tune of a 423 BA, stealing 2 bases, driving in 7, and hitting a home run. It’s very early in the season, but right now he’s got to be considered the favourite for Rookie Of The Year.

Three hitters that were ice cold during Week 4:

1B Albert Pujols - It’s always a shock to see Pujols here, but he’s been struggling in the early part of the 2012 season. He still hasn’t hit a home run this season, and while he’ll break out of a slump at some point the Los Angeles Angels have to be worried about his lack of production. This week Pujols went 3/23, his only contribution being that he scored a run. This has not been a good year for some of the top fantasy picks.

OF Colby Rasmus - He’s a very streaky fantasy player, and this week Rasmus went 3/24. He added a pair of RBI, but that’s about all he did during Week 4. Like Pujols he’s simply too talented to struggle all season, but right now it’s tough to play him in mixed leagues.

SS Erick Aybar - Fresh off a contract extension, Aybar has rewarded the Angels with one of the worst seasons of his career. In an eerie coincidence, he managed to hit 3/23 like Pujols, but managed to contribute in no other categories. Aybar’s a decent source of cheap steals but when he’s not running he needs to be benched.

Three pitchers you don’t want to mess with:

Jake Peavy - 18 innings, 12 strikeouts, a win and an ERA of 0.50. He’s the best pitcher in fantasy baseball right now, and it’s not even close.

Brandon Morrow - He’s cut back on the walks, and the result has been a very dominant Brandon Morrow. This week he threw 12 2/3 innings, striking out 12 and keeping his ERA under 1.

Drew Smyly - Several starters on the Detroit Tigers pitching staff have struggled, but Smyly isn’t one of them. Earlier in the year I recommended you pick him up, and hopefully you listened because he’s had a fantastic start to the season. This week was no exception, as he threw 12 innings, got 14 K’s, earned a win and kept his ERA at 1.50.

Three pitchers that hitters can’t wait to face:

Phillip Humber - One day you throw a perfect game, the next you give up 9 runs in 5 innings. Humber’s still worth starting, but Week 4 was not very kind to Humber.

Matt Harrison - Apparently it is possible to beat the Texas Rangers. Harrison got drilled for 14 hits, and allowed 7 runs in 5 innings. He’s been fantastic otherwise, and you should start him this week.

Ivan Nova - A 10.13 ERA is not what owners expected during week 4. Nova’s on odd pitcher, as he’s got a fantastic strikeout to walk ratio this season (25:5) but has an awful 5.18 ERA. Must be nice pitching for the New York Yankees offence, because despite the poor ERA he’s 3-0 on the season.

Matchup of the week:

Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals (Friday May 4th – Sunday May 6th)

The Phillies have been the best team in the NL East for the past few years, but they’re starting to look old. The Nats are currently leading the East, and it’ll be an interesting matchup of youth vs experience.


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