May always seems to be a make or break month. It is a time where we are already seeing 30-plus games in the books and it becomes a chance to fish or cut bait with struggling hitters and pitchers. Capitalizing on what we see in both buying and selling scenarios make the moves completed now a key part to winning a title in just a few months.
This week, the focus is on several players that are largely over-performing and should be looked at as potential candidates to unload for others. Outside of some notes here, the bullets will hit on where to focus some buy-low bids as well as our usual segments on those knocking at the door of the top-50 players and those that could be on their way out.
As a point for next week, I finally have the pitching formulas ready to go for a good HVaC update that will look at the guys on the mound best helping and hurting head-to-head owners. Get ready for that! After getting a few requests for it on Twitter, I think the timing will be appropriate.
Check out what you need to know and how the HVaC scores out six weeks into the season. All numbers through games on Monday, May 14th.
- One of the top-10 outfielders right now is Josh Reddick. With nine home runs, four steals, and a .289 average, Reddick out-ranks Curtis Granderson (because of steals and average), Matt Holliday (across the board), and Nelson Cruz (same as Holliday). Reddick has never seen this type of regular playing time and his strikeout rate in Boston could come back to haunt him in Oakland. Great numbers now, so ride the hot streak, but be ready to move.
- The Houston offense has to be seen as an overall black hole for fantasy owners. At times in the early going, we have seen signs of life. With Third Base so thin, Chris Johnson is hanging out inside the top-10 at number eight overall at the position. A betting man could easily see him falling as many as six spots in the not too distant future. Brett Lawrie, Aramis Ramirez, and Alex Rodriguez are all within early striking distance. Either Will Middlebrooks or Kevin Youkilis could see their way ahead of him as well. Johnsonâ€™s four home runs and 20 RBI are solid and he fits a deep league corner spot, but he has an opportunity to disappear just as quickly from the scene.
- It will be curious how Second Base plays out over the next few weeks. Jason Kipnis is certainly playing like a top-five second baseman, but his ability to out-perform the triumvirate of Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, and Ian Kinsler in the long haul is hard to imagine. Power and steals will keep him ahead of the pace, but expect him to fall out of the top spot.
- Sticking at Second Base, the candidate here to watch as the biggest risk is Omar Infante. With the value of this position in runs and RBI to go with average, Infante will quickly fall back. He is not an RBI type of player and has not been in the right type of lineup to score enough runs. That is likely still going to be the case. Sell now.
- Like many, I just do not see Carlos Ruiz continuing at this pace. Why? In 132 games last year, he hit six home runs. He has that many now through 32 games. Ruiz has been a relatively full-time catcher since 2007, playing more than 107 games in every season and never having double-digit home runs. Ruiz will beat many career-best numbers, but thinking he will end the season in this spot is highly unlikely. Consider it fun with small samples.
- I still believe that we will see a rebound out of Brandon Phillips and he is a perfect buy-low candidate. Owners are already getting frustrated with his early performance, but the bulk of the Cincinnati offense has been a disaster. Phillips should see improvement in nearly every category simply based on historical precedent. After finally getting through his hamstring injury, Phillips has the green light to steal. This confidence should help his overall game.
- Similar issues surround Adrian Gonzalez, but his numbers over the last seven days show a .400 average and for May he is hitting .327. The issue largely is that he is not producing home runs. His 20 RBI and 20 runs scored will start to come around as well given the average is showing signs of life. Could be a good time to throw a bid out for him.
- Some moves inside the top-50 this week: Chipper Jones (21), Ryan Doumit (28) Jose Altuve (43), Jesus Montero (45), and Johnson (49).
- Players knocking on the door: Carlos Santana (51), Kyle Seager (57), Andre Ethier (60), Austin Jackson (72), Bryan LaHair (78).