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Fantasy Baseball – Previews And Rankings For Week 9

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:

Travis Wood – Any pitcher who gets a chance to face the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants is worth a gamble. Wood is a little rusty, having pitched in only two games this season. So he does come with some risk. However, the Padres and the Giants are some of the worst offences in the game, making Wood a solid gamble for Fantasy Baseball owners looking to stream a two start pitcher.

Phil Hughes – He had a rough start to the season, but he’s been much more effective in May. Over his last 5 starts Hughes has gone 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA, striking out 29 and walking 7. Very impressive numbers for the right hander, and given his recent success he could be a good option against the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers.

Three batters on absolute fire:

Albert Pujols – Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Pujols has returned to his status as an elite Fantasy Baseball player, even if just for a week. Over the past 7 days he’s hit 321, with 4 homers, 8 RBI and a stolen base. Could this be the return to form of Pujols?

Giancarlo Stanton – Ever since he’s changed his name to Giancarlo, I always think of Gus Fring from Breaking Bad when someone mentions Stanton. And like Gus, Stanton has been a nightmare that just won’t go away. This week he was the top Fantasy Baseball player according to Yahoo! Sports, hitting 393 with 3 homers, a steal and 10 RBI.

Jose Reyes – He got off to a rough start, but he’s hit 367 over the past week with 5 steals. That’s what Fantasy Baseball owners were hoping for when they drafted him. He’s looked much better as of late, so if you were hoping to buy low you’re running out of time!

Three batters who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn:

Bryan LaHair – I blame Bryan Lutz for LaHair’s poor week, as he recently suggested that LaHair would come back to Earth. What a buzzkill. But seriously, a 133 BA isn’t going to cut it, LaHair.

Mike Napoli – He went 0/8, and missed some time because of an upset stomach. Real legitimate excuse, Mike. It’s called Pepto Bismol.

Alex Gordon – He was fantastic last season, but it’s looking more and more like a career year. Good thing the Kansas City Royals didn’t extend him based on one year. Oh wait, they did? Awkward. But not nearly as awkward as him going 3/23 this week. Seriously, you shouldn’t own him on your Fantasy Baseball team.

Three pitchers you don’t want to mess with:

Adam Wainwright – In what might have been his best start all season, Wainwright went 9 innings, allowing no runs and striking out 9. Not a bad day at the office for one of the best pitchers in the game before his surgery.

Dan Haren – Speaking of best starts all season, Haren threw a complete game shutdown where he struck out 14 batters. People overlook Haren on every pitching staff he’s on, but he’s consistently one of the best pitchers in the game.

CJ Wilson- Haren’s teammate couldn’t outdo him, but the Los Angeles Angels will take an 8 inning gem with a pedestrian 7 strikeouts from their big lefty.

Three pitchers tossing batting practice:

Brandon Morrow – He looked like he turned the corner, and then reminded us why Brandon Morrow is so frustrating to watch. He couldn’t make it out of the first inning, allowing 6 runs on 5 hits. He had more runs allowed than hits. That’s what happens when you walk 3 batters. You’ve got to wonder if Morrow would have been better off trying to pitch left handed – let’s face it, he couldn’t have made things any worse then they already were. Morrow is without a doubt the most frustrating Fantasy Baseball pitcher in the game.

Tim Lincecum – Remember the days when The Freak won back to back Cy Young awards? Because I sure can’t. Linc has now allowed 10 runs over his last 9 2/3 innings. I don’t know how much longer you can hang onto Lincecum.

Jon Lester – Who does he think he is, Brandon Morrow? 4 innings and 7 runs later, Lester was mercifully lifted. The big question for Lester is why did he stop throwing his fantastic cutter, the reason for his dominance?

Matchup of the week:

Baltimore Orioles vs Tampa Bay Rays(June 1-3)

Coming into the season nobody would have circled an Orioles/Rays matchup as one to watch. But these are two of the best teams in baseball, with the winner leading the AL East. It’s also the start of another big test for the Orioles, who are out to prove their early start is no fluke.