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 pitcher:
Clayton Richard - He’s by no means a dominant opponent, but anybody who gets to face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco for one start and the Oakland Athletics for another is worthy of a spot start. Richard hasn’t been dominant this season, but against these offences he won’t need to be.
Three batters on absolute fire:
Mike Trout – The rookie phenom has been one of the best players in the game since he was called up by the Los Angeles Angels. This week was no exception, as the #1 rated Fantasy Baseball player over the past 7 days hit 520 with 5 RBI, 4 steals and 8 runs scored. Not a bad week for Trout.
Jose Bautista – His overall batting line isn’t very impressive, but it’s worth pointing out he’s got a 965 OPS since May 1st. This week 4 of his 6 hits were home runs, allowing him to drive in 10 while hitting 286. I think it’s safe to say the home run king is back, as he’s now tied for fourth in the majors with 17 home runs.
Michael Bourn – What’s gotten into Bourn lately? Coming into this season he had 13 home runs, with a previous career high of 5 in 138 games. This season he’s already hit 6, and he’s only played in 59 games. Bourn is a key reason that the Atlanta Braves are in the playoff chase, and he’s one of the best players in Fantasy Baseball. This week he hit 481 with 2 steals, a homer and 4 RBI.
Three batters who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn:
David Ortiz – He’s having a phenomenal season, but this was a very forgettable week for Ortiz. He’s just 2 for his last 21 and managed to score 2 runs. If you’re looking for a reason why the Boston Red Sox struggled to win games over the past week, look no further than the lack of production from Big Papi.
Kevin Youkilis – Another Boston slugger who couldn’t contribute, Youk was not remotely helpful for Fantasy Baseball over the past week. A 136 average and an RBI is better than what Ortiz contributed, so there’s that.
Justin Smoak – Smoak also went 2/21 this week, and it’s getting to a point where we have to ask ourselves if he’ll ever turn into the dominant hitter scouts believed he’d develop into. I wouldn’t bet on it, so unless you’re in a really deep league you should get rid of Smoak ASAP.
Three pitchers you don’t want to mess with:
Andy Pettite – It’s hard to believe that after a year away from baseball, Pettite is having one of the best seasons of his career. Last week he threw a 7 inning gem where he struck out 10. It’s unbelievable how well he’s pitching, and it’s a big reason why the New York Yankees have surged to within half a game of the division leading Tampa Bay Rays.
Clay Buchholz – Has he finally turned the corner? That’s 3 dominant starts in a row for Buchholz, and his last one was an absolute gem. A complete game shut out is exactly what the Boston Red Sox needed, and it might be too late to buy low on Buchholz for Fantasy Baseball owners.
Three pitchers tossing batting practice:
Jeff Francis – Not the debut that Francis was hoping for. In his first start this season Francis went 3 1/3, allowing 8 runs on 10 hits. Francis hasn’t been a good option for Fantasy Baseball for a few season now, and unless he’s facing the San Diego Padres it’s probably best to let someone else take him.
Yu Darvish – He’s been getting hit harder over his past few starts, and his last start out might have been his worst. Darvish allowed 6 runs to the Oakland Athletics, who have one of the worst lineups in the game. Doesn’t help when you walk 6 batters and allow a home run in an extreme pitchers park either.
James Shields – He may be a dominant pitcher at the top of the rotation, but an ace he is not. Shields allowed 5 runs on 7 hits against the Yankees in his last start, his second straight outing allowing 5 or more runs.
Matchup of the week:
This could be a preview for the World Series, as two of the best teams in the game faceoff later in the week.