Perhaps the chill in the air will subside now thatÂ the calendar has turned to May. With the corresponding weather heating up, maybe some bats will as well.
This weekâ€™s players to watch will spotlight some hot players mixed in with some solid two-start pitchers as well as a reliable veteran to set to come off the DL.
Starling Marte: Pittsburgh Pirates
Marte has been sizzling over the last few weeks and is starting to become the overall threat many touts and scouts envisioned he would be.
Marte is 10 for his last 29 with four home runs and eight RBIâ€™s. Marte also leads the NL in stolen bases (10-tied with Juan Pierre) and is sixth in batting average (.328).
While his BABIP (.412) is too high to sustain, Marte has the skills necessary to be an elite fantasy producer. Marte will look to keep it going with two matchups against the Mariners (Aaron Harang and Felix Hernandez) at home before ending the week in New York against the Mets (Dillon Gee, Shaun Marcum, Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey).
Madison Bumgarner: San Francisco Giants
Thus far on the season Bumgarner has been the best pitcher on the pitching-rich Giantsâ€™ squad.
Bumgarner is second in the NL in ERA (1.55) and third in WHIP (0.84). Perhaps this is the year Bumgarner puts it all together and challenges for a Cy Young award.
Bumgarner should fare well this week with two home starts against the Phillies and the Braves.
Carlos Gomez: Milwaukee Brewers
There is probably no hotter hitter in baseball right now than Gomez.
Gomez is 8-26 in his last seven games with three home runs, five RBIâ€™s and five stolen bases. Gomez is now tops in the NL in batting average (.373) and OPS (1.070). While it may be hard for him to keep up this pace, Gomez has become a must-start option nonetheless.
This week Gomez and the Brewers will only be in line for five games with the first two against Texas (Justin Grimm and Derek Holland) at home before heading to Cincinnati (Tony Cingrani, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo) to end the week.
Clay Buchholz: Boston Red Sox
After a disappointing 2012 campaign, Buchholz has been phenomenal out of the gate. Whether that is due to doctoring the baseball or not, the results are still there.
Buchholz is tops in the AL in wins (six) and ERA (1.01). With two solid starts at home (vs. Minnesota and Toronto), Buchholz is a must-watch pitcher this week.
David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox
All Ortiz has done is hit with authority ever since he came off the DL.
Ortiz is batting a blistering .440 with four home runs and 17 RBIâ€™s in only 11 games played. Ortiz is already in mid-season form, so ride with â€œBig Papiâ€ as long as you can.
This week Ortiz will have a full slate of games at home against Minnesota (Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Pedro Hernandez and Kevin Correia) and Toronto (Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle and J.A. Happ).
Andrew Cashner: San Diego Padres
Cashner, a converted relief pitcher, is getting his chance to start again and the results so far have been solid if unspectacular.
In three starts this year, Cashner has only pitched 14 innings and has not lasted past the fourth inning in two of those starts. However, Cashner is just starting to stretch himself out. Cashner’s great strikeout potential has made him a hot commodity off the waiver wire.
This could be a good week to trust Cashner as heâ€™s set for two winnable games when he goes up against the Marlins at home before facing off against Tampa Bay on the road.
Brian McCann: Atlanta Braves
It should be interesting to see how Fredi Gonzalez manages the playing time of McCann once he is set to be activated off the DL on Monday.
With Evan Gattis off to a great start (although mired in a slump at the moment), will McCann resume his duties at catcher full time? Chances are Gonzalez will mix and match. He’ll put Gattis in the outfield and sometimes at first base while McCann gets at-bats at-bats at catcher.
Ideally, fantasy GMs would like to see McCann get a few at-bats before putting him back in their lineup. This would be a good time to monitor how McCann does in his first week back. This week McCann and the Braves will play in seven games on the road while taking on Cincinnati (Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake) and San Francisco (Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum).
Nick Tepesch: Texas Rangers
Tepesch has opened a few eyes in his rookie season. After starting the season 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, Tepesch has been a popular pickup off the waiver wire.
If there was a week to ride the talented rookie, this would be it. Tepesch is line for two good matchups with starts on the road against the Cubs and the Astros.
Torii Hunter: Detroit Tigers
Hunter has proven to be an ageless wonder at 37 and is the midst of a tremendous start with Detroit.
Hunter is third in the AL in batting average (.361) while chipping in with a home run, nine doubles and 16 RBIâ€™s. Â Hunter has to remain in lineups while he is this hot.
This week, though, the Tigers have only five games on the docket. First is a two game set with the Nationals (Jordan Zimmerman and Dan Haren) on the road before ending the week at home with the Indians (Corey Kluber, Ubaldo Jimenez and Zach McAllister).
Tim Lincecum: San Francisco Giants
Lincecum has only been so-so thus far this season while sporting a pedestrian 4.41 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Lincecum, though, is still doing a good job of racking up the strikeouts with 38 in 34.7 innings pitched.
That all said, it’s still wise to roll the dice with Lincecum this week. Like Bumgarner, heâ€™ll have two home starts against Philadelphia and Atlanta.
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