Welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy trends update.
On my way to completing four miles in 26:40 (my fastest time ever), my ears and legs were propelled by “Hot N Cold.” Still, it remains one of my favorite songs — I simply run faster while this song is playing. Weird, I know, but I’m fast.
These lyrics speak to the very roots of this column, i.e., to ascertain who is hot, who is cold, and to let you, the reading public, know. It also gives me a “viable” excuse to link to pictures of that infectious pop vixen, Katy Perry. But I digress. Let’s move on to things that matter to you, like who’s hot and likely unowned:
Scott Podsednik – Podsednik hit .323 and posted a .417 OBP last week, which led to four stolen bases. In 2006, the last season where Podsednik got real at bats – also with Chicago – he stole 40 bases. Even if his OBP settles around .330, a 40 SB season might not be out of reach.
Lyle Overbay – Overbay has a 15 game winning streak, and in the last week batted .455 with a .571 OBP. He added two HRs last week, which you should take as a bonus. Still, if you can ride these kinds of hot streaks and get real production out of your corner infield spot, go for it. It’s unlikely he’ll have the staying power that someone like Podsednik should have with the SB category, but while Overbay’s out and batting in a potent offense, he could provide a lot of RBIs.
Clint Barmes – Barmes has been on a tear lately – last week, he hit .483 and posted a .515 OBP. He also managed 10 RBIs, which is largely an anomaly. Still, if Barmes can secure real at bats – and he has played in ever game over the last few weeks – he can add some decent power, runs and SBs from your second, short or third base positions. He is a nice add for those reeling from the Asdrubal Cabrera DL stint.
Andrew McCutchen – McCutchen hit .379 in his first real week as a big leaguer. He also added five runs and five RBIs. He was a huge prospect and in three AAA season, batting .291 with a .367 OBP and 48 SBs in 200 games. He could be a sneaky source of steals. Still, I’d rather have Podsednik at this point.
Nolan Reimold – Reimold is doing his best to stay in the majors. Last week, he posted a .385 AVE and a .429 OBP. He added two HRs and five RBIs. If he can get consistent playing time, he’ll be bale to provide some decent power numbers in a surprisingly potent Orioles lineup.
Jeff Niemann – Niemann has been putting together some solid starts lately. Last week, he pitched a complete game with nine Ks, one walk, and two hits. Not bad at all – in his previous three starts he totaled 17 IPs, six runs, 19 walks and hits, and 12 Ks. Niemann is a speculative add in 12-team leagues, though definitely someone you should keep an eye on. He was also a first round draft pick in 2004, so at some point someone thought highly of him (or at least thought he was signable).
Ubaldo Jimenez – Ubaldo is my kind of pitcher: cool name, great K potential, varying WHIP from day-to-day – I kid. Last week, Ubaldo was all good, striking out nine batters in eight innings, while posting a 2.25 ERA and a 0.53 WHIP. Not surprisingly, Ubaldo has pitched far better on the road than at home. This makes him a good add and definite start when he is on the road.
Gavin Floyd – Last week, I wrote:
Left for dead a few weeks ago, Floyd struck out 16 batters in 15 IPs, while posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. His success did come against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics – not the strongest lineups in the bigs. So, tread lightly. That said, Floyd could be inching his way toward serviceable. At the very least, he has certainly proved that he can be a match-ups type starter.
In his latest start, Floyd struck out seven batters in 6.1 IPs, while posting a 1.35 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. You should add him. Now.
THE FLIP SIDE (the supposed good guys who are stinking up the joint)
Time to move on to those cold salamanders that are likely owned in your league, yet have sucked lately. These are the players who have been ice cold, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright.
Chris Young (the pitcher) – Young didn’t have an ideal two-start week: 6.55 ERA, and just four Ks in 11 IPs. Still, he posted a 1.36 WHIP. He pitched worse on the road, while pitching decently at home. Young remains a good home start option and a tenuous, at best, road option.
Mark Buehrle – Buehrle made his two-start owners angry last week by posting a 5.65 ERA and just eight Ks. Still, his WHIP was 1.12 and he was pitching on the road twice. I’d give Buehrle a mulligan, he’s earned it.
Russell Martin – It’s been a bad year for Martin so far. Last week was no better. He hit .176 with no runs or RBIs. On the year, he doesn’t have any HRs, but he has stolen seven bases. You need to give him a little more rope, but I’d be tightening the leash. If you can get $0.75 on the dollar, I’d move Martin and make him someone else’s problem.
Nick Markakis – It’s an all Orioles edition (if only more of them were in the hot part). Markakis was horrible last week, totaling no runs or RBIs batting just .211, and posting a .250 OBP. Mama said there will be weeks like this, but what about months? His last month OBP is .248 and he has only managed one HR. Markakis has been a bad May player historically. While he doesn’t put up a lot of power, he does post good averages in June and July. If you stuck with Markakis throughout May, now would be a poor time to trade him,
Aubrey Huff – Huff had a tough week. He scored only one run and that’s it for his counting stats. He managed to post a .313 AVE and OBP – so it wasn’t a total waste. Over the last month, he’s been a bit worse, hitting just .255 while adding only two HRs. Huff has never been a good May player (just a .253 hitter for the month), but really picks it up in June and July. If you trade or drop him now, you’re going to miss out on a good average and power resurgence.
Carlos Pena – Pena’s week was abysmal for his batting average (.167) though his OBP was not nearly as bad (.375). So, he isn’t seeing the ball wrong. He should start adding some HRs once he starts seeing pitches he likes. Pena is just a streaky player, so you should expect weeks like these.
All stats are as of June 9.