A quarter of way through the MLB season, and some of the National League’s best are proving that they have the most productive bats in the league, while others were sad to see April go. The NL Central hosts a bevy of MVP candidates, while NL East stars are beginning to battle for the division crown early on in the season, and a few stars out west are refusing to quiet down. This is a list of the best hitters in Fantasy Baseball for the National League as of May 15th.
1) Matt Holliday – STL (Last Week: 2)
Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals just keeps on hitting. In his 34 games played this season, Holliday has managed multiple hits 16 times. All of those hits are contributing to his stellar .379 batting average. He is the model of consistency, being held hitless in a game only 5 times, none of which came in consecutive games.
2) Ryan Braun – MIL (LW: 3)
Braun is back at it. All the Milwaukee Brewers needed to bust their slump was a home stand against the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates, a stint in which Braun hit .318 with 2 home runs and an astounding 10 RBIs. The Brewers have lived and died on the production of Braun and Prince Fielder, which is why they took 2 of 3 from the Pads and swept the Bucs.
3) Lance Berkman – STL (LW: 1)
While Berkman is continuing to put up some of the best numbers in the National League, his month of May is off to a slow start. Halfway through the month, Berkman is batting just .179 in May, which has dragged his overall average of .393 down to .347. Berkman has still managed to contribute, however, with 11 RBIs this month.
4) Matt Kemp – LAD (LW: 7)
The player that is still flying under the radar in Los Angeles is Matt Kemp. Kemp has continued to hit, but not quite at the clip he was playing in the beginning of the season. His average is still a respectable .336, but it is dropping steadily as he hits a mediocre .256 in the month of May. As Kemp hits mediocrity, so do the Dodgers, who have dropped 7 of their 12 games this month.
5) Gaby Sanchez – FLA (LW: NR)
One of the more underrated players in fantasy baseball and the National League East is Gaby Sanchez, who has stepped up to become the focal point of the Marlins offense as Hanley Ramirez struggles. Sanchez has seemingly come out of nowhere, hitting .331 with 7 home runs and 25 runs knocked in. He has owned May, hitting nearly .400 and keeping the Fish in the playoff picture.
6) Joey Votto – CIN (LW: 6)
Votto’s bat has cooled down a bit since starting the season off hot. The Reds have won 8 of their 12 games in May, but it is not all because of Votto. He is hitting a respectable .286 this month, but his production and power are down, notching only 6 RBIs and remaining homerless since April 27. Look for Votto to keep up with his streaking Reds.
7) Andre Ethier – LAD (LW: 4)
Hit streak now in the past, Ethier still only has 3 hitless games on the season. In May, however, his average has been declining, but many would love the .295 average he is posting this month. But as the two big bats in the Dodger lineup slow down, so do the Dodgers, so look for Ethier or Kemp to heat up again, or another player to step up.
8) Ryan Howard – PHI (LW: 10)
While his batting average leaves something to be desired for fantasy baseball owners, the production of first baseman Ryan Howard is unmatched. Hitting only .260, Howard is leading the league with 35 RBIs, and will continue to produce from the middle of the Phillies lineup. Do not expect Howard’s average to climb over .300, but look for another 100+ RBI season.
9) Placido Polanco – PHI (LW: 5)
Polanco continues to produce for the Phils, but his production has been falling in May. Polanco has only 11 hits so far this month in 50 at-bats, good for only a .220 average, down from his .398 month of April. Polanco’s OPS in April was .972, a number that has dropped to .523 in May. Polanco could very well rebound, but be wary of his downward trend as the Phillies begin to play stiffer competition.
10) Martin Prado – ATL (LW: NR)
The Atlanta Braves are beginning to make their move, going 10-4 so far in May, thanks largely to the sizzling-hot bat of the left fielder Martin Prado. Last year’s All-Star is hitting .389 this month, belting 4 home runs while knocking in 15 runs, all from the leadoff spot. While the Braves’ pitching staff blanks opponents, look for Prado to put the offense on his shoulders.