With two weeksâ€™ worth of data to digest, we can now more reasonablyÂ begin to accurately assess the value of most everyday hitters. Pitchers on the other hand are still difficult to handicap given that no pitcher has started in any more than three games.
In any event, eventually the contenders should start separating themselves from the pretenders as we move closer to the end of the first month of play.
Here are a few players either trending, streaking or being talked about that you should keep an eye on this week.
Cliff Lee: Philadelphia Phillies
After another quality start on Monday night against the Reds, Cliff Lee has now walked only four batters in his last 114.1 innings which is astonishing to say the least. Lee is off to a stellar start this year after a rocky 2012 season (at least in accumulating wins)Â and will get another start this week when he takes on the Cardinals at home on Saturday.
Jordan Zimmerman: Washington Nationals
Zimmerman is just another Natsâ€™ pitcher off to an awesome start. Zimmerman will look to lock up victory number four when he faces the Mets in Queens this weekend after pitching a complete game against the Marlins on Monday night.
Kris Medlen: Atlanta Braves
After a rough spring, Medlen had a fine outing against the Marlins last Tuesday in which he went seven innings while allowing only three hits and no runs. However, anybody can look good against the Marlins (see Hallady, Roy). With two more starts on tap this week (vs. Kansas City, @Pittsburgh), Medlen can put his owners at ease with a good showing on the mound.
Josh Johnson: Toronto Blue Jays
After a disastrous second start (allowing six earned runs in 1.1 innings), Johnson can quell a lot of fears for his owners if he has a solid week. This is a pivotal year for Johnson as he has to prove he is healthy and can remain a fantasy force north of the border. This week Johnson will have two starts at home against the White Sox and the Yankees.
Homer Bailey: Cincinnati Reds
If Homer Bailey wants to be taken seriously as a formidable fantasy pitcher, he has to start pitching with consistency. After one good start and one ugly start, Bailey will look to make amends this week when he makes two starts at home against the Phillies and the Marlins.
Jean Segura: Milwaukee Brewers
Every fantasy player loves that middle-infielder who can rake at the plate while being an asset on the base paths. So far, Segura has been everything fantasy players hoped for when they drafted him as a sleeper on draft day. Thus far Segura is posting an impressive .416/.461/.611 slash line. While he doesn’t have any stolen bases yet, Segura should be able to swipe enough bags soon enough considering he swiped seven bags in 45 games last year. This week Segura and the Brewers will host the Giants (Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain) and the Cubs (Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Travis Wood).
Chris Johnson: Atlanta Braves
After starting the season 15-37 with one home run and four RBIâ€™s, Johnson has made for a popular waiver-wire pickup. Johnson is at his best when he is facing lefties and this week Johnson will be opposed by the Piratesâ€™ unimposing triumvirate of Jeff Locke, Wandy Rodriguez and Jonathan Sanchez. So the chances of Johnson rolling along appear strong. Johnson will also possibly face off against some other non-impressive righties in Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis and James McDonald.
John Buck: New York Mets
If we are to buy into John Buckâ€™s hype and his National League-leading 19 RBIâ€™s (to go with six home runs), he can gain a lot more believers if he has a solid third week. Sure, he may do well in Coors Field against the likes of Juan Nicasio, Jeff Francis, Jon Garland and Jhoulys ChacinÂ (if they even play the games) but come the end of the week Buck will be up against the likes of the Nationalsâ€™ Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg. So, monitor the series against the Natsâ€™ before plugging him in at catcher every day with confidence.
Dexter Fowler: Colorado Rockies
We finally might be witnessing the breakout year for Fowler we all have been waiting for as he has been maddeningly inconsistency for far too long. This year, whether it is home or away, he has been a godsend. Fowler is sporting an inspiring.297/.388/.723 slash line to go with six home runs, nine RBIâ€™s, 10 runs and one stolen base. This week Fowler and the Rockies will face a light schedule with all games at home against the modest staffs of New York (Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Hefner, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee) and Arizona (Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy).
Prince Fielder: Detroit Tigers
There should be no surprise to see Fielderâ€™s name here. He is one of the gameâ€™s most consistent and trusted sluggers. Fielder is leading the major leagues in batting average (.429) while leading the AL in RBIâ€™s (19- tied with Chris Davis). Fielder will look to keep it going with six home match-ups against Seattle (Aaron Harang, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma) and Los Angeles (Garrett Richards, C.J. Wilson and Joe Blanton)
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