Some players get “Hot,” and some players get “Not.” That’s just the way it is. The 2011 season is three weeks in right now, and already we have some guys who are on top of their game, and then we have some who simply aren’t. Check out the list below to see which players are helping (or hurting) their teams thus far for the 2011 fantasy baseball season.
Fantasy Baseball Who’s Hot Week 3
Jed Lowrie, BOS SS – As a team, the Red Sox have been hot of late. However, nobody has been hotter at the dish than shortstop Jed Lowrie. After two seasons in which he spent time on the DL and suffered from mononucleosis, Lowrie looks ready to make 2011 a big year. Over the past week, Lowrie is hitting an astounding .400 with three home runs, 10 RBIs, and 10 runs. Technically, Lowrie is not the Sox every day starter at shortstop—that duty lies with Marco Scutaro. Nevertheless, if Lowrie is able to keep producing at the plate, the Sox will have no choice but to keep him in their lineup. It’s a great time to pick up Lowrie right now and put him in your lineup…if he is still available.
Ryan Braun, MIL OF – Well, it looks like the Brewers made a good decision in extending Braun’s contract through the 2020 season. Since last week, the Brew Crew’s left fielder has been sizzling. “The Hebrew Hammer” is hitting a ridiculous .500 with two homers, seven ribbies, and seven runs scored in his last five games. If Milwaukee plans on making some serious noise in the NL Central this year, Braun has the ability to take them to the top. Do we really have to discuss his fantasy status? He is one of the best players in the league right now and an obvious fantasy baseball must-start.
Jose Bautista, TOR OF – Is there still a debate about Bautista’s power? If there is, there certainly shouldn’t be. The Blue Jay’s right fielder has been absolutely crushing the ball over the past seven days. The reigning home run leader has delivered the following stat line in his past six games: .478 BA, four blasts, four RBIs, and 10 runs. The solo shots are frustrating for fantasy owners, but once Bautista’s teammates start getting on base in front of him…LOOK OUT! Regardless of his lack of RBIs, there is no question that Bautista should be starting in all fantasy lineups.
Josh Johnson, FLA SP – Filthy. That’s probably the best adjective to describe the Marlins’ ace Josh Johnson. In his past two starts, Johnson has been downright unhittable. Pitching against the Braves and the Pirates, Johnson’s stat sheet looked like this: two wins, three hits, zero earned runs, and 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings of work. Johnson is clearly one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball, so regardless of who he is pitching against, keep this fantasy stud active at all times.
Jose Contreras, PHI RP – One question coming into the 2011 season for the Phightin’ Phils was the backend of their bullpen. With Brad Lidge on the DL to start the year and no definitive replacement on hand, the Phillies decided to give the veteran Jose Contreras a chance. Since being named the closer, Contreras has been great for Philadelphia. He has yet to let up an earned run on the year, and over the past week, Contreras recorded three saves and struck out four in four innings pitched. Look for the 39-year-old right-hander to keep pitching well, and if he is not yet owned in fantasy leagues, try to scoop him up as soon as possible.
Fantasy Baseball Who’s Not Week 3
Adam Dunn, CWS DH – Let’s just hope the appendectomy is the reason for Dunn’s putrid stats over the past week. Since coming back from surgery, the “Big Donkey” has struggled mightily at the plate. In his past six games, Dunn is batting a sorry .083 with zero homers, zero runs, one RBI, and 11 strikeouts. The relationship between Dunn’s recent injury and lack of production is definitely something to keep an eye on; however, the White Sox’s powerful DH has to break out of this slump sooner or later. If need be, sit Dunn until he starts to come around again, but when he starts doing what he does best (dropping bombs), get him back in your fantasy baseball lineup.
Hanley Ramirez, FLA SS – When he is on his game, Han Ram is unquestionably one of the league’s best players. Unfortunately, right now he isn’t even close to playing up to his All-Star potential. For a guy who was taken as one of the top three players in most fantasy drafts, Ramirez’s lack of production is mind-boggling. He has yet to hit a homer on the year, and over the past week he was pitiful at the plate. In his past six games, Ramirez batted a lowly .100 with zero runs, three RBIs, and two stolen bases. It’s nice to see Ramirez swipe a couple of bags when he does get on base, but he desperately needs to break out of this slump to help both the Marlins and his frustrated fantasy owners. Definitely keep him active because his bat will certainly come around one of these days.
Mark Reynolds, BAL 3B – After a hot start, the Orioles are quickly spiraling out of control…and Mark Reynolds is right there to help them do so. The O’s new third baseman is known as a power hitter, but quite frankly, he hasn’t been powerful at all. He only has one home run so far, and over the past week, Reynolds didn’t even come to any games! Alright, so I lied. He did come to the games, but his stats from the past seven days resemble a bunch of goose eggs. Reynolds hasn’t gotten a hit since April 16, and in his past six games, he has hit zero homers, drove in zero runs, stole zero bases, and scored one run. Hopefully his bat will spring to life in the near future, but Reynolds is prone to long slumps like this so benching him right now might not be such a bad idea.
Edwin Jackson, CWS SP – The big bats of the White Sox have been quiet lately, but Edwin Jackson hasn’t done himself any favors either over his last two starts. After starting the year off with a couple of brilliant starts, Jackson was lit up in his last two outing against the Rays and Tigers. In 12.2 IP, Jackson surrendered 23 hits, allowed 11 earned runs, and struck out only six. Additionally, his ERA and WHIP during these poor starts were 7.82 and 2.21 respectively. Jackson has always been somewhat of an enigma: he has the ability to be lights out, but he can also get rocked with the best of them. He is definitely worthy of being owned in fantasy baseball leagues, but start him at your own risk right now.
Joe Nathan, MIN RP – After missing the entire 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery, Joe Nathan definitely wanted to come back strong for the 2011 season and reclaim his spot as one of the game’s top closers. Unfortunately, this season has not started off the way Nathan, or fantasy owners, hoped it would. After blowing two saves in two consecutive games, the Twins decided to relieve Nathan of his closing duties and give the job to Matt Capps instead. To make matters worse, Nathan gave up two hits, walked one, and allowed three earned runs in one inning of work the day after losing his spot as the closer. Pitching in non-save situations really hurts Nathan’s value in fantasy, so let’s just hope he can regain his form and return to closing games for the Twins.
Tags: Adam Dunn, Fantasy Baseball, fantasy baseball hot and cold, fantasy baseball start em sit em, fantasy baseball who's hot who's not, hanley ramirez, Jed Lowrie, joe nathan, Jose Bautista, Jose Contreras, josh johnson, Mark Reynolds, ryan braun