Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three playeres to pick up this week for your fantasy baseball team.
Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics
In his 2012 debut, Anderson had a strong performance with 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, and the win. This 24 year-old southpaw had a good 2010 as well, going 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.19 WHIP
Andrew Bailey, RP, Red Sox
In only six appearances this season, Bailey has gone 4.1 IP, 1 SV, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP. In his first three years, he has convered 75 of 84 save opportunities. In his career he has a 2.07 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies
In his first start since May 1, Chacin went 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K against the Mets. In his second start on Sunday, he went 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K against the Cubs. He had 11 wins last year with a 3.62 ERA and .231 OPP AVG
Players to watch for
Troy Tulowitzki and Lucas Duda are both returning for their respective teams, so look for them to possibly make an impact if you pick them up for your fantasy team.
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BY ROB SHAW
When former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran joined the Giants, he was a bit slow out of the gate, but by season’s end he hit .323 with a .551 following the trade. He was particularly hot in September, offering a .378 batting average. However, by then the Giants were no longer contenders and Beltran was an impending free agent.
While Beltran put together solid figures last season with 22 home runs and a .300 average, this is not the fantasy sensation of years passed when he could belt 40-plus home runs and swipe 40 bases. Beltran had just four steals last season and his run production was a bit low too with 84 RBI and 78 runs.
At 34 years old, Beltran is limited, but he can still offer some fantasy value. He now joins the Cardinals, which makes it the first time that he’s stepped out of a pitcher’s park for home games since he played with the Astros back in 2004.
Beltran will not replace Pujols in the lineup, but he can be a solid bat who offers 25 home runs, 90 RBI, and a .300 average. Of course, his age and injury-riddled past carry plenty of risk as well.
Last season was a season of collapses for many of the game’s most consistent players. While Hanley Ramirez and Adam Dunn highlight the list, the same can be said about veteran David DeJesus. The long-time outfielder for the Royals struggled in Oakland with the A’s.
DeJesus never was a fantasy star, but he did once score 101 runs in a season, belted 10-plus home runs twice, and hit better than .290 four times in his career. That’s why it was so shocking that he hit .240 in Oakland. The Coliseum certainly played a role, as his batting average dipped to .229 at home. On the other hand, playing on the road did not bring many advantages.
Despite DeJesus’ struggles under Billy Bean’s A’s, Theo Epstein remained interested and acquired him this off-season. Even in his worst career season, DeJesus reached base at a respectable .323 clip. At 32 years old, DeJesus is not going to experience a drastic turnaround, however, he should bounce back to a .280 average with solid run production. He will remain bettter in reality than fantasy.
It is very rare to call a 33-year-old outfielder a sleeper, but that is exactly the case for Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer. Sure, the veteran had some good moments with the Twins, blasting 32 home runs in 2009, driving in 109 RBI in 2006, and even swiping 11 bases last season. However, those figures all came while playing half of his games in a pitcher’s park.
This season Cuddyer will call home to Coors Field, one of the most notorious hitter’s parks in baseball history because of the altitude. Furthermore, he will be joined in the lineup by MVP candidates Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki after spending the last few seasons with injury-prone stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
The scouting report on Cuddyer is not to leave anything over the plate on the first pitch. Cuddyer ranks amongst the game’s best with a .450 average on first pitches. He is also a rare hitter that feasts against off-speed pitches (.310 average with 12 home runs).
Always solid, we expect Cuddyer to be stellar this season.
Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies
The 36-year old first baseman is having a blast from the past with six home runs, 19 RBI, and a .325 average. He has 3 homers in the last four games and now is just two shy of last year’s total of eight home runs.
Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers
This 24-year old backstop is red-hot with a six game hit streak that includes 10 hits, 2 homers, and 9 RBI. He is now hitting .329 on the season. Lasts eason he hit just .256 with four homers, but this is a guy who once hit 20 homers in a season in the Minor Leagues.
Rick Porcello, SP, Tigers
At 22 years old, Porcello already has 27 wins under his belt, and he is currently riding three straight wins. Over his last 5 starts, Porcello has surrendered just 7 earned runs, and while he does not get many strikeouts, he has offered a solid 3.67 ERA.
Fernando Salas/ Mitchell Boggs
The Cardinal’s closer’s gig is back on the market after Eduardo Sanchez blew a few saves. There are two names to know right now. Fernando Salas is a 25-year old hurler who boasts a 1.15 ERA this season with three saves. He gets about a strikeout per inning, and the opposition is hitting .170 off him. Then there is Mitchell Boggs a 27-year old flame-thrower with a 19-4 strikeout to walk ratio this season. He also has three saves, but his ERA is up to 3.66 and he struggled when initially handed the job a few weeks back.
Jorge Posada, C, Yankees
As if a .165 batting average wasn’t enough to keep him humble, Jorge Posada then asked out of the lineup when he was slotted to hit ninth on a nationally televised Saturday game against the Red Sox. He regrets the decision, and he won’t be punished thanks to his tremendous career in pinstripes. However, it does bring greater attention to the Yankees DH slot. If he does not get his average north of .200 by the end of the week, he is bound to lose his job. He already sits against southpaws, as he hasn’t had a hit in 24 at bats against them this season. Posada actually hit .257 against southpaws last year with a .493 slugging percentage, which is higher than what he offered against right-handers, so the fact that he is now getting benched against southpaws looks more like an excuse to take him out of the lineup.