For some, this past week of baseball proved to be a downer as several significant players fell victim to the injury bug; closer Brian Wilson was likely lost for the season while players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Drew Storen and Michael Morse will be lost for significant chunks of the year.
We must press on, though, and this week represents new opportunities.
So, letâ€™s look at some key players to look at as we enter our second full week of baseball.
Chris Young: Arizona Diamondbacks
Young has come out of the gate blistering hot. Young, who has never fully delivered on his immense talent, finally seems to be living up to his promise. Young now sports a .345 batting average to go with three home runs and eight RBIâ€™s. Young and the Diamondbacks will host the soft-tossing Pirates staff before ending the week at home vs. the Braves.
Andre Ethier: Los Angeles Dodgers
Itâ€™s not all about Matt Kemp in La La Land (although his start is other-worldly) right now, as Ethier has brought the lumber too. Ethier is batting .303 with three home runs while also driving in a whopping 14 RBIâ€™s (good for second in the league, only trailing the aforementioned Kemp). Although Ethier and the Dodgers will face Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo to start the week, they will end their week facing Randy Wolf, J.A. Happ, Kyle Weiland and Wandy Rodriguez, so it could be another solid week for Ethier.
David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox
While the Red Sox have had an up and down week and a half thus far, Ortiz is sure doing his part to keep the Red Sox afloat. Ortiz currently owns a Â .444 batting average and has slugged a home run while also driving in nine runs. The Red Sox schedule features a seven game slate starting with a Patriots Dayâ€™s morning contest with the Rays (vs. James Shields) before hosting two marquee lineups with the Rangers and the Yankees coming to town.
Josh Willingham: Minnesota Twins
Where did this production come from? Willingham has â€œhammeredâ€ his way into the minds of fantasy owners with many either picking him up or setting to activate him after the week he just had. Willingham has bopped four home runs thus far and is 12-27 on the season. Although the Twins face two difficult teams on the road(@NYY, @TB), Willingham seems to be in the zone and should be counted on in most leagues with the way he has swung the ball.
Chad Billingsley: Los Angeles Dodgers
Also making good on a lot of potential this year has been Billingsley. Billingsley has been stellar thus far, as heâ€™s won two games while pitching 14.1 innings and allowing only one run on just eight hits and one walk. Billingsley has also been good for 15 strikeouts. Billingsley will have two starts in the week with one against Gallardo and the Brewers before facing the meager Astros, who will likely throw Wandy Rodriguez to the mound.
Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals
Living up the advanced hype so far, Strasburg has brought the goods as advertised.Â Strasburg is currently third in the NL with a microscopic 0.69 ERA Â while also striking out 14 batters in 13 innings. Strasburg will also have two starts this week and will face the light-hitting Houston Astros on Monday before finishing the week with a matchup against the Miami Marlins, with both contests being at home.
Matt Harrison: Texas Rangers
Many called Harrisonâ€™s season last year a fluke and all he has done is go out and done even better. Harrison has two wins thus far and has limited opponents to just one run in 14 innings on 11 hits and four walks. While he doesnâ€™t strike out a ton of batters, Harrison is deceptive and grinds his way to victories. Harrison will have a challenge this week in facing the Tigers on Thursday, so weâ€™ll get to see if he can keep this up against a legitimate power-hitting lineup.
Colby Lewis: Texas Rangers
As you can see, the Rangers have hardly missed a beat by losing C.J. Wilson with Lewis also stepping up his game to start the season. Lewis is 1-0 on the season with a miniscule 1.42 ERA while also striking out 15 batters and only allowing one walk in 12.2 innings. Lewis will make two starts this week, but will be assigned a difficult task by having to face both the Red Sox and the Tigers on the road. If Lewis can make it through this week, his value will get a significant bump.
Paul Konerko: Chicago White Sox
Konerko is right back at it and is scorching to start off the season. Konerko is 11-27 with one home run and seven RBIâ€™s. Konerko and the White Sox will have a relatively easy schedule as they will take on the Orioles at home before traveling to Seattle to end the week. Konerko could be in line for a big week as he faces a no-so intimidating cast of characters that include Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Wie-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Kevin Millwood. All notable White Sox players are worth a look with that slate.
Ian Kinsler: Texas Rangers
After recently signing a lucrative deal, Kinsler did not rest on his laurels while having a fantastic week. Kinsler is now hitting .297 while also slamming four home runs, driving in seven runs and scoring an AL-leading 10 runs. If he can stay healthy while hitting at the top of that lineup, Kinsler could be in a for a career year. This week Kinsler will be challenged going up against the Red Sox and the Tigers while facing the likes of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander and the red-hot Rick Porcello.
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