Here at FBS, we’ve done the hard work for you. With just about a month left in the 2010 fantasy baseball season, here are a list of guys that should be in your lineup and may very well push your team atop the league.
1.Brett Gardner, OF NYY: .284 AVG, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 83 R, 39 SB
One look at Gardner’s season stats and it’s easy to see what makes him most valuable in fantasy leagues. Obviously, speed is Gardner’s biggest asset but he offers a little bit more than fellow speedsters Michael Bourn & Juan Pierre. Gardner has a superb eye at the plate and has been a walk machine of late. He has the potential to score a ton of runs batting in the potent Yankees lineup and looks like a legitimate option for those who are looking to add speed.
2.Ryan Raburn, OF DET: .258 AVG, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 39 R, 2 SB
Raburn has really taken advantage of his opportunity to play everyday since the All-Star break as evidenced by his numbers. With 16 homers in 261 ABs last season, the power potential has always been there but it’s nice to see Raburn is more than just a flash in the pan. One of the game’s hottest hitters right now, RR is batting .346 with eight bombs over his last 20 games. He should be active in all fantasy lineups heading into the playoff period.
3.Jason Heyward, OF ATL: .281 AVG, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 74 R, 9 SB
After missing time earlier in the season due to an injury, Heyward has really come back with a purpose. He’s really picked up his level of play of late and been a monster fantasy contributor for his owners. Over his last 11 games, all the rookie has done is bat .533 (24 for 45) with four taters, four doubles, and 12 RBI. It’s easy to see why both the Braves and owners are so excited about the kid’s long-term outlook.
4.Paul Konerko, 1B CHW: .319 AVG, 33 HR, 98 RBI, 77 R, 0 SB
While he’s certainly not Miguel Cabrera, Konerko is doing his best imitation of the young slugger at age 34. Currently enjoying his best campaign since ’07, Konerko has provided incredible value for those that scooped him up once the top-tier options were off of the board. Most likely drafted at the back end drafts, the veteran has shown he’s got plenty left in the tank. Consider him a must-start in all formats as he’s raised his average from .300 to .319 over the last two weeks.
5.Freddy Sanchez, 2B SF: .288 AVG, 3 HR, 35 RBI, 45 R, 2 SB
Ever since he came over from the Pirates, Sanchez has had a tough time staying on the field due to a plethora of injuries. Now that it seems he’s fully healthy, Sanchez has been hitting everything in his sight. The scrappy 2B had an unbelievable August, batting .356 with two homers, seven RBI, and 13 runs scored. He’s putting together a very solid final stretch of the season and could be useful to those looking for a stopgap at the position.
1.Gio Gonzalez, SP OAK: 13-8, 3.12 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 144 K
Gonzalez’s biggest foe has never been opposing hitters but rather his ability to control the ball. He’s been flat out dealing for the majority of the season and those who took a flier on him in the latter rounds have been greatly rewarded. He’s won three straight outings and has allowed just two ER over that span of time. With a matchup next week against a pathetic Mariners offense, Gonzalez makes for a fantastic play in any fantasy baseball format.
2.Cole Hamels, SP PHI: 9-10, 3.18 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 183 K
Frankly, the fact that Hamels has just nine victories is an injustice to the season that he’s having. The lanky lefty has been dominant over his last 22 IP, allowing just two ER and picking up two victories. With a divisional matchup against the Marlins on the horizon, Hamels looks like an excellent play as owners gear up for the fantasy playoff push.
3.Ubaldo Jimenez, SP COL: 17-6, 2.69 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 170 K
Despite cooling off from his historic start to the season, Jimenez has been one of the best and most consistent fantasy baseball starting pitchers this season. The hard-throwing Jimenez has really had a tough streak of luck lately, as he’s 0-4 over his last five starts even though his ERA sits at just 2.92 over that span of time. Ubaldo will look to become the Rockies first 18-game winner in club history this week in one of his two starts.
4.Francisco Liriano, SP MIN: 12-7, 3.27 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 178 K
After pitching in the Dominican winter league during the offseason, Liriano has re-invented himself on the mound and is showing why he was once considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He’s asserted himself as the ace of the Twins staff and is rewarding those that gambled on him. Pegged by many as a popular fantasy sleeper heading into the season, Liriano is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. He’ll make at least one start this week (and possibly a second) against an anemic Kansas City offense.
5.Jhoulys Chacin, SP COL: 7-9, 3.69 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 112 K
Chacin has been one of the most pleasant surprises this season for fantasy teams. After coming up early in the year to fill the spot of the injured Jorge De La Rosa, Chacin has really impressed many at the major league level with his stuff. Despite coming off of a tough outing against the potent Phillies offense, fantasy owners should ride the 22-year old for production this week. He’s lined up for two starts with the latter coming against the D-Backs who he dominated on August 22nd, racking up nine strikeouts and the win.