All the injuries.
Bryce Harper (duh), Chris Davis (boo), Ryan Braun (meh) and Shin-S00 Choo are all banged up, leaving gaping holes in fantasy lineups everywhere. These are top tier fantasy players that are sidelined, forcing fantasy owners to find replacements for the time being. Not to mention a handful of other players that are also hurt, and when you consider that Week 5 sees the fewest games thus far in 2014, things can get very tricky for fantasy owners this week.
Let’s get to the hitters to keep an eye on.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (@ARI, vs NYM) - The Rockies are going to tear the cover off the baseball this week, seeing four games at home against the Mets, but even their three-game trip in Arizona is favorable. The Diamondbacks probably have the worst rotation in baseball right now, allowing six runs per game on the year, the most in baseball. Arizona also surrenders the second-most home runs on the season (30), while coughing up 1.20 per game. The Rockies, meanwhile, rank second in home runs thus far with 32. Arenado, meanwhile, has some nice 20-home run potential, having already launched four this season, He is also getting under the ball about six percent more often this year than in 2013. Arizona’s starter Wade Miley has coughed up five homers this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a nice power surge from the Rockies’ third baseman in Week 5.
Eric Young Jr., New York Mets (@PHI, @COL) - The Mets are a putrid offense, but possess the two best possible matchups for hitters in all of fantasy this week. They will play in the two most hitter friendly ballparks in Philadelphia and Colorado, and while Young isn’t exactly known for his power, he has been very relevant in fantasy, thanks to his totals in steals and runs. He ranks second in the National League in both categories, scoring 20 runs and stealing 12 bags. Batting just .216, Young hasn’t contributed with his bat, but now is his best chance. Young used to play for the Rockies, so that revenge factor is there. It also helps that he is a career .298 hitter in 177 games at Coors Field. Meanwhile, opponents against the Rockies are scoring 4.58 runs per game, the 9th-most in baseball.
Josmil Pinto, Minnesota Twins (vs LAD, vs BAL) - Pinto has been seeing everyday at-bats with Josh Willingham and others on the disabled list, and has been extremely productive. He now has five home runs on the season, and that’s great in itself, but the guy is Billy Beane’s dream. He gets on base so often, sporting an OBP of .405 and is on pace for well over 100 walks, walking 17 times in 61 plate appearances. If you are in an OBP league, especially with certain injuries to catchers such as Devin Mesoraco of the Reds, Pinto needs to be owned, and could be in line for another solid week with six home games on tap. Baltimore doesn’t have terrific pitching, and are currently walking 3.14 batters per nine, the 10th-most in baseball. Give Pinto a look.