Fantasy Players of the Week
AL Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero, DH, Rangers (.381, 4 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB) - Vlad is looking more and more like one of the best picks of our draft. He's forcing you to play him, even though he only qualifies at Utility.
NL Hitter: Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers (.379, 12 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB) - I hate giving my players of the week awards to the top Yahoo-rated guy from each league, but 12 runs and 8 RBI is just too much to ignore. Take note, though, of Carlos Ruiz, C, Phillies, who hit .632 with a pair of homers last week. Not bad from a catcher who's owned in only 15% of leagues.
AL Pitcher: Dallas Braden, SP, Athletics (1-0, 6 Ks, 0.00/0.00) - Jon Lester went 2-0 with 12 Ks and great averages, but perfect is perfect.
NL Pitcher: Tyler Clippard, RP, Nationals (3-0, 6 Ks, 1.59/1.41)/Matt Capps, RP, Nationals (0-1, 3 SVs, 2 Ks, 1.93/0.43) - Clippard probably gets the nod, but I wanted to cite both players. The Nationals' bullpen has historically been a disaster, so the fact that it's performing at such a high level was, I thought, notable.
Reach for the Rolaids
- Clippard is available in 40% of leagues, and with 6 wins and over 1 K/IP, he's worth throwing in your lineup. The wins may not endure, but he's getting the chance to pitch in tight games, and he's pitching well.
- Bobby Jenks is getting a few days off as the closer, which means if Matt Thornton is available, you must pick him up. And if J.J. Putz is available, you should consider picking him up, too.
- Jose Contreras (yes, he's still in baseball) is in line to pick up a few save opportunities while Ryan Madson is on the DL and Brad Lidge is getting over elbow pain. With as horrible as Madson and Lidge have been in attempting to close games over the past year, don't you think you should do your part to put Contreras on more than 7% of rosters?
- Octavio Dotel has proven himself more and more hittable as his career has progressed (he's 36 now), and he's been just terrible this year. Don't be surprised if Evan Meek starts stealing save opportunities from Dotel. And if he does well, don't be surprised if Meek takes the job altogether.
Joe Mandi likes to complain that David Aardsma (one of my closers) has it in for Doug Fister (one of his starters). I figured he was just being emotional, but...
In 4 games in relief of Fister, Aardsma is 0-2 with one save, two blown saves. He has two strikeouts in four innings. And his ERA in those games is 11.25, with a WHIP of 3.00.
In his 8 other games, Aardsma is 0-0 with seven saves and zero blown saves. He has nine strikeouts in eight innings. His ERA is 0.00, and his WHIP is 0.25.
Maybe Joe Mandi's on to something, maybe not...but I'm strongly considering putting Aardsma on my bench for Fister's next start.