Some players are starting to heat up with the spring season entering full bloom as we get set for the last week of April.
It has been a wacky first month with countless cancellations due to some extremely wintry conditions. As the weather heats up, hopefully some bats will as well.
Adrian Gonzalez: Los Angeles Dodgers
It seems that Gonzalez is starting to reassert himself on the west coast again. Gonzalez is among the league-leaders in batting average (.385) while also tallying two home runs and 15 RBIâ€™s so far in the season. Gonzalez will look to keep it going with match-ups against the Mets (Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner) on the road before coming back home to take on the Brewers (Wily Peralta, Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo).
R.A. Dickey: Toronto Blue Jays
This could be a pivotal two-start week for the reigning NL Cy Young winner. Dickey has been up and down so far, but he’s coming off two solid outings in which he earned W’s while giving up only one run in his last 12.1 innings. Dickey should be safe to trust as long as the weather heats up. This week, Dickey will have a pair of starts on the road against the Orioles and the Yankees.
Mark Reynolds: Cleveland Indians
One of the streakiest sluggers in the games is at it again. Reynolds is now 8-22 with two home runs and five RBIâ€™s in his last seven games. You should ride Reynolds as long as he hot. This week Reynolds and the Indians will have six games on the road against the White Sox (Dylan Axelrod, Jose Quintana and Chris Sale) and the Royals (Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and Wade Davis).
Derek Holland: Texas Rangers
Holland is off to an incredible start and is second in the AL with a 1.64 ERA. This week, Holland will have a pair of starts on the road ( at Los Angeles Angels and at Minnesota). Pick him up if he is available in your league. This might be a week to ride Holland and see what heâ€™s got.
Carlos Gonzalez: Colorado Rockies
Gonzalez is starting to heat up and is coming off a fantastic week. In his last seven games, Gonzalez is 13-28 with one home run, seven RBIâ€™s, nine runs and three stolen bases. Gonzalez will have a full slate of games this week and will square off against the Braves (Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Tim Hudson) at home before heading to Phoenix to take on the Diamondbacks (Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin).
A.J. Burnett: Pittsburgh Pirates
After surprising everybody last year, Burnett is off to yet another impressive start with the Bucs. Last week, Burnett took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and just so happens to be your NL league-leader in strikeouts (35). Two difficult matchups (@Philadelphia and @St. Louis) could tell us a lot about Burnett.
Brandon Crawford: San Francisco Giants
Crawfordâ€™s hot start has all the makings of a statistical outlier. It should be interesting to see if Crawford can keep up this hot start. Many eager fantasy GMs are always looking for hot bats in the middle infield. The career .242 hitter is now sporting an impressive .317/.406/.533 slash line. Crawford and the Giants will square off against the Diamondbacks (Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Ian Kennedy) at home before heading to San Diego (Clayton Richard, Eric Stults and Jason Marquis) to end the week.
Mike Minor: Atlanta Braves
Flying under the radar is the Bravesâ€™ Mike Minor. Whether itâ€™s the fact that he is aÂ fourth starter or because of his pedestrian K-rate, Minor has been undersold. So far all Minor has done is go 2-1 with a microscopic 0.94 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. This should be a key week for Minor, as he is on tap for two difficult starts on the road ( at Colorado and at Detroit).
Lorenzo Cain: Kansas City Royals
Currently streaking in the right direction is the under-appreciated Lorenzo Cain. Cain is making up for lost time after injury problems curtailed his 2012 season. Prior to Sundayâ€™s affair with the Red Sox, Cain was sporting an eye-popping .392/.429/.529 slash line to go with a home run and seven RBIâ€™s. Now that he is healthy, Cain can again be considered an excellent starting option. This week Cain and the Royals will face off against Detroit (Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez) on the road before coming back home to take on the Indians (Scott Kazmir, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson).
Tony Cingrani: Cincinnati Reds
Cingrani will be expected to do a lot more this week after an impressive first start (five innings and only one run allowed with eight strikeouts) and subsequent victory against the Marlins. Cigrani in for his first litmus test now that he has been picked up in most leagues. He’s set for a two-start week this week against the Cubs at home before heading to D.C. to take on the Nationals.