This marks the second week a group of 2014 leaders are added to the player selections. Some early surgers are included with as many returning “favorites”. Through barely more than a month small sample sizes abound. Notes on all the newcomers indicate the expected stability of the early numbers.
Top Batters vs. RHP
Adam Lind: 5/13 vs. Danny Salazar, 5/14 vs. Justin Masterson, 5/15 vs. Corey Kluber, 5/18 @ Colby Lewis
**His back has healed up and there are some appealing matchups this week.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: 5/12 @ Dan Haren, 5/13 @ Josh Beckett, 5/15 @ Matt Cain, 5/16 @ Tim Hudson, 5/17 @ Tim Lincecum, 5/18 @ Ryan Vogelsong
Adam LaRoche: 5/12 @ Josh Collmenter, 5/13 @ Bronson Arroyo, 5/14 @ Brandon McCarthy, 5/17 vs. Bartolo Colon, 5/18 vs. Zack Wheeler
**In the midst of a bounceback year his wOBA is .085 higher than his 2013 mark. Helping that is a .421 average vs. RHP with a 0.94 BB/K backing it up. With a solid run of matchups he is the Pick of the Week.
Matt Joyce: 5/12 @ Felix Hernandez, 5/13 @ Hisashi Iwakuma, 5/14 @ Brandon Maurer, 5/16 @ Jered Weaver
Dayan Viciedo: 5/12 @ Jesse Chavez, 5/16 @ Collin McHugh, 5/17 @ Jarred Cosart, 5/18 @ Brad Peacock
**Doubtful he lasts on this list. For one thing he hits from the right side. 0.35 BB/K, .391 BABIP. The numbers point to overall hitting improvement, but not to gaining power.
Brandon Moss: 5/13 vs. Scott Carroll, 5/14 vs. Andre Rienzo, 5/16 @ Zach McAllister, 5/17 @ Josh Tomlin, 5/18 @ Danny Salazar
Christian Yelich: 5/12 @ Dan Haren, 5/13 @ Josh Beckett, 5/15 @ Matt Cain, 5/16 @ Tim Hudson, 5/17 @ Tim Lincecum, 5/18 @ Ryan Vogelsong
Andre Ethier: 5/12 vs. Tom Koehler, 5/13 vs. Jacob Turner, 5/14 vs. Jose Fernandez, 5/17 @ Josh Collmenter, 5/18 @ Bronson Arroyo
**Mattingly’s latest statements anoint Kemp and Puig as everyday starters, squeezing Ethier’s playing time. Check daily lineups before using.
Top Batters vs. LHP
Scott Van Slyke: 5/16 @ Wade Miley
**Based on the news for Ethier, Van Slyke’s playing time is also in jeopardy
Brandon Crawford: 5/13 vs. Mike Minor
**Another dubious inclusion. He has a .448 BABIP but only 15.6% line drive rate. On the positive side he is not hitting popups and sports a 0.86 BB/K.
Xander Bogaerts: 5/17 vs. Robbie Ray
Marlon Byrd: None
**Still not a fan, but must acknowledge his 187 wRC+ vs. RHP. It comes on the back of a .455 BABIP and 0.38 BB/K.
Mike Olt: 5/12 @ Tyler Lyons
**Impressively he is getting his production with a .118 BABIP. His ISO against lefties is .429.
Norichika Aoki: 5/13 vs. Jorge de la Rosa, 5/14 vs. Franklin Morales
**Another same side overachiever, his splits show a .407 BABIP and 1.00 BB/K. His power and speed numbers are declining across the board making him a less desirable fantasy asset.
Alfonso Soriano: 5/17 vs. Wandy Rodriguez
Cody Ross: 5/17 vs. Clayton Kershaw
**This does not represent a good opportunity
Jed Lowrie: 5/12 vs. John Danks
Nick Swisher: 5/15 @ J.A. Happ, 5/17 @ Scott Kazmir