By: James Sargent
Mike Sweeney: Mike Sweeney has been the Mariners’ hottest hitter as of late. Last week he was primarily the DH and batted .421 with two homeruns and eight RBIs. His playing time will likely remain too inconsistent for him to be a great fantasy asset, but this current hot streak could help an owner in a pinch.
Edwin Encarnacion: This is starting to get absurd! Edwin Encarnacion is mashing the ball at will. After coming back from shoulder surgery on May 18, Encarnacion has batted .333 and crushed six homeruns. While he obviously won’t keep this up, he is definitely a pickup if you need a homerun hitting corner infielder for the rest of the way.
Ben Zobrist: Ben Zobrist has finally come alive after a mild first six weeks to the season. Last week he had a seven-game hitting streak, going 14-for-28 with two homeruns, seven RBIs and seven runs. He also added three stolen bases to go along with all of that. The versatile masher is a key player for the unbelievable Rays and will continue to be an intricate part of their lineup.
Dustin Pedroia: A rather odd slump was the case for second baseman Dustin Pedroia last week as that is definitely not the norm for him. He batted .167 and was hitless in 19 at-bats after Sunday’s contest. It will only be a matter of time before the Red Sox spark plug regains momentum and rebounds from this cold spell.
Andrew McCutchen: Andrew McCutchen was in a huge slump last week as he recorded eight hits and only scored two runs. This will be the case for young baseball players, but as with Pedroia, look for McCutchen to get out of the slump soon enough. He’s in the midst of a breakout season, so owners should certainly stick with him.
Rickie Weeks: After a strong April, Rickie Weeks has struggled in May, batting .213 in 89 at-bats this month. Last week certainly did not help, as Rickie tallied just three hits total. The power numbers are still hanging around and his RBIs are very high for him at this point in the season. Weeks is a very streaky player but definitely a keeper on your team.
Justin Verlander: Justin Verlander has been pitching remarkably as of late. Last week he threw a complete game while allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts. He has really brought his ERA down from 9.00 where it was on April 11 to 3.74 at which it stands currently. Verlander was on a four-game winning streak, but the Mariners brought that to rest on Tuesday. Look for the potential Cy Young award winner to bring the heat for the rest of the season.
Josh Johnson: Josh Johnson’s superb start to this season is still thriving and it doesn’t look like many people can stop him. Last week, Johnson threw six scoreless innings to record his fifth victory on the season. His ERA stands at a solid 2.43 and he has been carrying fantasy pitching staffs as of late.
Rafael Soriano: Rafael Soriano continues to lock down games for the Rays. He recorded three saves last week over four days and did not allow a run in any of them. He is a perfect 13 for 13 on the season and has a dazzling 1.40 ERA on the season. With the way the Rays’ offense has been and a perfect closer, can anyone stop this franchise? Ok, well I guess Boston got the best of them the past three days.
Zack Greinke: Zack Greinke’s was hit hard last week as he managed to go three and a third innings after giving up nine hits and seven earned runs. The reigning AL Cy Young award winner is now 1-5 on the season with a 3.57 ERA that has ballooned from a 2.72 ERA due to his start on Sunday. Greinke won’t pick up many wins this season given the lineup that the Royals produce on a daily basis.
Tim Lincecum: The Arizona Diamondbacks lit up Timmy in his one start last week. Lincecum allowed a season-high five runs and five hits in a season-low five innings. He was also out of control out there on the mound as he recorded five walks. Five was just the magic number in that game for Lincecum. With an extra days rest, look for Lincecum to be ready to show everybody why he is baseball’s best pitcher.
Tommy Hanson: Tommy Hanson threw one and two thirds innings while giving up eight hits and eight runs in his one start last week. Excuse or not, Hanson was feeling a little under the weather and this could have been a factor towards his poor outing. Hanson is sure panning out to be a very dominant pitcher and will continue to be a young bright spot along with other Atlanta Braves.