Fantasy Corner: Baseball

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

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Who’s Hot:

Alexei Ramirez, SS (CWS): Ramirez is the hottest player in baseball to start off the season, with a 14-game hitting streak and a walk-off home run. He’s registered a run in 10 of his last 11 games as well as 10 RBI in that span. His power and speed are evident, as he already has three homers and stolen bases.

Freddie Freeman, 1B (ATL): An unsustainable .491 on-base-percentage has made Freeman the early MVP for the Braves. With six multi-hit games over his last 10, Freeman has been the best first baseman in the game through the first three weeks. Freeman also has 12 runs and 10 RBI in the season.

Who’s Not:

Jose Veras, RP (CHC): Veras lost his gig as the Cubs’ closer after giving up earned runs in three of four appearances and blowing his only two save opportunities. I doubt he earns back his spot at the end of the bullpen, as his command issues have contributed to his early struggles (seven BBs in 3.2 IP).

Allen Craig, 1B/OF (STL): Craig, who only has seven hits on the year, has  only one extra-base hit. His .160 slugging percentage ranks next-to-last on the Cardinals squad out of all players that have recorded a hit, and his lack of discipline at the plate is a big reason why he has performed so poorly.

Waiver Wire:

Matt Joyce, OF (TB): This Tampa Bay outfielder has a .463 on-base-percentage and is a pleasant surprise for Rays fans. He’s available in over 75 percent of leagues, and he can supply some pop for your team. His five runs, two home runs, and seven RBI rank third, second, and first respectively in Tampa Bay.

Mark Buehrle, SP (TOR): Buehrle has been unhittable in all three of his starts so far. His 0.86 ERA and .90 WHIP has given him a 3-0 record in Toronto, and his command has been spot-on. He has a 8-1 K-BB ratio so far, and his two earned runs allowed are sure to give fantasy owners confidence in him.

Spot Start:

Aaron Harang, SP (ATL): The Atlanta rotation was supposedly going to do poorly with all of the injuries they suffered, but Harang has helped them allow the least number of runs in MLB. Harang, who has gone at least six innings in each start while giving up no more than one run, is set to face Miami.

Kyle Lohse, SP (MIL): The BrewCrew has the best record in the MLB (10-4), and Lohse is a strong reason why. Their pitching has been excellent, and Lohse’s 21 strikeouts and two wins make him a must-have in all leagues. He is set to pitch against San Diego this week.

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