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June 24, 2013 posted by Dan Stack

2013 Fantasy Baseball: Players to Watch (Week 13)

2013 Fantasy Baseball: Players to Watch (Week 13)
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If you haven’t noticed, the Toronto Blue Jays are hot. After composing a team of stars in the offseason and then stumbling out of the gate, the Blue Birds have come on like gangbusters in June. Toronto has won 11 games in a row and are now back in the thick of things in the AL East.

Not so coincidentally, this week’s “Players to Watch” feature a trio of Blue Jays who should pique the interest of fantasy baseball players.

Pedro Alvarez: Pittsburgh Pirates

Considering he has homered in four straight games, it’s safe to say Alvarez is swinging a hot bat.

With the Pirates in the tick of the playoff hunt, Alvarez has been a boon to their cause by batting .406 in his last eight games to go along with five home runs and 13 RBI’s.

Alvarez and the Pirates will look to continue their hot ways with games at Seattle (Joe Saunders and Felix Hernandez) and home against Milwaukee (Alfredo Figaro, TBA and Kyle Lohse).

Jeff Locke: Pittsburgh Pirates

Also helping the Pirates’ this season has been their stellar pitching—with Locke being at the forefront.

Locke has pitched way above his head. Thus far on the season, Locke is 6-1 with a magnificent 2.01 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Can you buy into Locke?

With two winnable starts (@Seattle, vs. Milwaukee) on the docket this week, Locke could yield more positive results.

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Jose Reyes: Toronto Blue Jays

Although he hasn’t been part of their recent success, Reyes will be welcomed back with open arms this week. His speed and all-around game can be beneficial for a team on the upswing.

Reyes, who spent nearly two months on the sidelines with a severely sprained ankle, will likely be activated before Thursday’s game and will go up against Boston (Jon Lester, TBA, Felix Doubront and Ryan Demptser) for the weekend.

Joaquin Benoit: Detroit Tigers

Largely absent from this column has been the presence of closers getting a write-up. It’s time to change that.

After Jose Valverde’s latest meltdown, Jim Leyland had no choice but to make Benoit his closer (well, at least unofficially).

Benoit has made Leyland’s decision easy, as he has run with the job and has collected two saves and one win in the last week. With a 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 10.5 K/9 ratio, Benoit is a no-brainer grab off the wire.

This week Benoit and the Tigers host the Angels before ending their week in Tampa.

Adam Lind: Toronto Blue Jays

Helping the Blue Jays in their recent run has been the resurgence of Lind.

Sure, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista have helped the Blue Jays’ cause, but that was expected of them. Coming into the year, we didn’t know what to expect out of Lind and not many people gave him a chance on draft day.

Lind, who is 15 for his last 43 with four home runs and 12 RBI’s, is now batting .310 on the year with a hearty .963 OPS.

Lind is back, and with seven games (all on the road) against Tampa Bay (Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and Roberto Hernandez) and Boston (Jon Lester, TBA, Felix Doubront and Ryan Demptser) he’s practically a must-start nowadays.

Esmil Rogers, P, Toronto Blue Jays

Esmil Rogers, P, Toronto Blue Jays

Esmil Rogers: Toronto Blue Jays

Also helping the Blue Jays of late has been the pitching of Esmil Rogers.

After starting out in the bullpen and doing a solid job there, Rogers has been pushed into the rotation and is doing even better. Rogers has won his last two starts while giving up just three earned runs in 13.1 innings pitched. While he has only six strikeouts in his last two starts, Rogers has limited the walks (two) in the process.

With two starts (@Tampa Bay, @Boston) this week, Rogers is worth the roll of the dice.  

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Leonys Martin: Texas Rangers

Running his way onto more fantasy lineups has been the Rangers’ speedster Leonys Martin.

Martin, who has four stolen bases in his last 10 games, is now the Rangers’ main man in center field with Craig Gentry going on the DL. Martin is not all about steals either, as he has gone 12-27 in his last eight games with three doubles and five runs scored.

The Rangers are set for a three game set in the Bronx against the Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes) before coming back home to take on the Reds (Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos).

Eric Stults: San Diego Padres

Another pitcher who is quietly having an effective season is the Padres’ young hurler Eric Stults.

Stults is now 6-5 on the year with a more-than respectable 3.25 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Stults also has 63 strikeouts to just 20 walks.

Stults is another two-start pitcher (vs. Philadelphia, @Miami) who could help fantasy owners this week.

 

Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Jay Bruce: Cincinnati Reds

With Bruce, it’s usually boom or bust during the year, as he is not one for consistency. This is one of those “boom” periods.

Bruce is 16-47 in his last 11 games with 11 extra-base hits (eight home runs) and nine RBI’s. Bruce does his damage in bunches and he should continue his tear this week (granted, it’s only five games) with matchups on the road against the A’s (Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin) and the Rangers (Martin Perez, Nick Tepesch and Yu Darvish)

Yu Darvish: Texas Rangers

Darvish has been the goods thus far and has certainly lived up to all the hype.

After a solid rookie campaign, Darvish is on pace for a Cy Young-type season. Darvish is 7-3 with a 2.84 ERA and a league-leading 137 strikeouts.

His first matchup this week against the Yankees should be a doozy, as he will oppose fellow countryman Hiroki Kuroda in New York. Darvish will then end his week with a home matchup against the Reds.

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My name is Dan Stack and I live in Nyack, New York, which is about 20 miles north of New York City. I am a writer/blogger who is passionate about many things, namely sports. I am also very passionate when it comes to fantasy sports, whether it be baseball, football or basketball. You can find me writing/blogging here at FantasyPros911.com, BleacherReport.com, Mets360.com, GiantsFootballBlog.com and WeAreDePaul.com. I have also been the Managing Editor of my county's weekly newspaper (Rockland County Times). I hold a BA degree in Journalism/Broadcasting from C.W. Post University in Brookville, New York. I have other passion besides sports as I am big in to music, pop culture, dogs and and other fun stuff. I love New York and all that it has to offer. You can often find me writing/blogging, watching TV, attending movies or at a ballgame. E-Mail if you have any questions or comments.
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