Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.
That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.
This week I want to remind you that everyone has a bad week. In h2h leagues, you aren’t going to win them all (unless you’re Biff), so you need to recognize what is a one week aberration (say like Katy Perry having sweaty breasts) and what predicts a large trend.
David Freese – I’ll be the nine-millionth person to make a Mr. Freeze joke, simply because I believe Batman and Robin to be the quintessential superhero movie. Unlike his gubernatorial counterpart, Freese has been scorching hot lately (.519 AVG, three HRs and 14 RBIs). Sure, this is likely his best seven-day stretch of the season, but he should be owned in most deep leagues. In 112 Major League ABs, he has a .348 average. In the minors, he hit .308 over 1,456 at bats. He is definitely capable of putting up an average that doesn’t kill you. He also gets to hit behind Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus, meaning he should get his share of RBIs. Not a bad combination.
John Buck – Sure “Fear the Deer” swept the country last week, but John Buck took it to a whole new level (.450 AVG, four HRs and eighth RBIs). Once part of a massive deal that included Carlos Beltran, Buck has never lived up to the hype that the high profile trade indicated. He is a career .236 hitter, who hasn’t hit double digit HRs since 2007. Nothing to see here.
Nick Swisher – Swisher was, just seven days ago, in Katy’s doghouse. Now he’s batting clean-up for her All-stars. Still that didn’t stop me from telling people to buy on Nick the Swish (only 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues). Over the last week, he scored eight runs, smacked two HRs, knocked in seven and hit .467. The batting average won’t be this high, but he’ll put up runs, RBIs and HRs week after week. If he’s available, grab him
JD Drew – About the only Red Sox putting up a fight against the mighty Orioles, Drew has hit .435 with three HRs and seven RBIs over the last seven days. May is typically Drew’s best month of the season. For his career he has hit .281 and smacked the second most HRs of his career during May, most likely in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. He’s a good fourth outfielder to have during this stretch, yet is only 34 percent owned.
Scott Hairston – The fighting Hairstons have made a fantasy appearance! Over the last seven days, Scott surged along with the surging Padres. He hit .368 and added two HRs and steals. At this point, we know who Hairston his: a 17 HR, 10 SB, .265 hitter. That’s not worthless; he should be gobbled up in deep and NL-only leagues.
Jon Garland – Garland has a pretty spectacular two-start last seven days (13 IPs, 13 Ks, a 0.69 ERA and 1.08 WHIP). For his career, he’s never posted the type of K-rate we are seeing now (4.7 career versus 5.9 in 2010). Still, maybe he likes pitching in cavernous NL West parks. His k-rate for the Dodgers last year was 6.4. Garland is capable of posting 10 wins, an ERA around 4.00 and a WHIP around 1.35. Will he hit those numbers? Probably not, but he could come close.
Jhoulys Chacin – It’s not often that a youngster strikes Katy’s fancy in his first week in the Bigs. Well Chacin, a big time Rockies prospect, but up a lot of Ks (nine) in just eight innings. He also didn’t allow an earned run, while getting a victory. This K-rate is somewhat to be expected (he struck out 13 in 11 MLB IPs last season – of course he also walked 11). The walk has been a major issue for Chacin, as he has progressed (6.1 BB/9 in AAA). He did bring this number down to a more manageable 4.6 in 2010, but that was in only 21.1 IPs. He’s a good speculative add, but it’ll likely be a real rocky season (pardon the pun).
Chris Volstad – Volstad pitched a complete game, one-run, eight-K affair last week. Sure, it was against the Nationals, but this guy has real potential. Volstad, just 23, was a first round pick in 2005 and has a career 1.36 WHIP with a 5.7 K/9 rate. He might not find himself this year, but he has pitched himself into streaming worthy already.
Mark Buehrle – The best thing I can say about Buehrle is that I was playing against him when he threw his perfect game, yet my opponent had him benched. Last week he had two disastrous starts: 6.94 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and just five Ks in 11.2 IPs. Further, he hasn’t allowed less than four runs in any start except opening day. I wouldn’t be starting him at the moment.
Johan Santana – Santana hurt teams mightily over the last seven days: 9.2 IPs, seven Ks, a 9.31 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. April and May are, historically, Santana’s worst months, so it might get a tad worse over the next 30 days. However, he hasn’t been miserable in 2010 (29 Ks in 34 IPs, a 4.50 ERA and 1.29 WHIP). He is 31, so his days as a fantasy dominator might be nearing conclusion, but he’ll still post useable WHIPs and a good K-rate.
Randy Wolf – Wolf pitched a bit over his ability last year. And he pitched a bit under his ability last week (13 IPs, nine Ks, a 4.15 ERA and 1.77 WHIP). His 2009 1.10 WHIP won’t be happening this year, but he’ll likely end up around 1.35. Last week was just some bad shakes, he’ll still be a slightly above average fantasy starter.
Jose Guillen – To quote the plant Earth, “welcome back Jose Guillen.” Over the last seven days, Guillen has hit .080 with just one RBI. He is clearly not this bad and, also, not as good as he was going. Guillen, if he remains sane/healthy, should hit around .270 with 20 HRs. He’s not bad, he’s just not Hercules.
Adam Lind – Lind started off hot, but left a cold wake the last seven days (one run and a .120 AVG). Not surprisingly he has a .133 BAbip during that span. This is really just a seven day blip on what will be a pretty darn good season.
Dan Uggla – Weeks like this are why I advocated for Uggla to be a potential trade chip. Over the last seven days, he has hit .158. The .295 AVG he has posted so far is a fraud. We know what Uggla is at this point: a 30-HR hitting, .260 batting useful second basemen. If anyone is willing to buy a batting average surge, go ahead and sell. Otherwise, just relax and enjoy his streakiness.
Prince Fielder – Fielder clearly didn’t use Ryan Howard’s mega-contract as incentive to smack the ball around (.130 AVG and one HR over the last seven days). He’s had an abysmal start to the season and people are beginning to wonder if he’s an every other year player. He was great in 2007 and 2009 and slightly above average in 2008. Still, he’s never been a fast starter (career: .271 AVG with his second smallest HR total in March/April). I expect him to pick it up big over the next few weeks.
All stats as of May 4.
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Swisher and Freese make good adds. Keep your eye on Garland, Chacin and Volstad. You are allowed to give up on Mark Buehrle.