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Have you made that make or break trade like I told you to do? Have you dropped Andruw Jones yet? Remember how Johnny Cueto was this year’s rookie phenom? The great thing about this game is that it is 6 months long. Any mistakes you made now can easily be corrected by the time the playoffs start. If you find yourself in last place now, DON’T give up hope, there’s still time to make things right. Look for hot streaks, look for the guys who are performing now. Don’t cling on to players who you think will pick it up, put the hot players out there now. So, who exactly is hot?
Kevin Youkilis (1B, 3B), Boston Red Sox: The Greek god of walks didn’t tally too many walks this past week. That didn’t bother owners because Youkilis had 12 hits, 5 HR, and 10 RBI to lead all fantasy players. Youkilis is ranked as the 9th best player in fantasy baseball.
Mike Lowell (3B), Boston Red Sox: Youkilis wasn’t the only hot bat in the Sox lineup. Lowell, not be outdone, collected 13 hits, 3 HR, and 9 RBI. It seems like he is back and making an immediate impact on the offense.
Dan Uggla (2B), Florida Marlins: With 2B being such a shallow position, Uggla is providing a great option. 4 HR and 8 RBI in the past 7 days has shown us that even though Uggla will give you an ugly average, he still provides the power your team needs, and at a premium position.
Garret Anderson (LF), Los Angeles Angels: Here’s a man who was as consistent as they came until Sports of Boston’s KC drafted him in 2004. But that’s another story for another time. Anderson had 3 HR and 10 RBI last week. Those 3 long balls brought his total up to 5 on the season, don’t take this surge as a sign of a turn around.
Ian Kinsler (2B), Texas Rangers: Another 2B on the list. Kinsler had 11 hits, 4 doubles, 7 runs, 2 SB, and he threw in a HR to boot. Last year, Kinsler started off hot and fizzled out. This year he is taking a more consistent approach and has become a reliable player to have.
Daniel Cabrera (SP), Baltimore Orioles: Cabrera is a control freak, as in no control. Get it? Well bad humor aside, Cabrera lowered his ERA to a more than respectable 3.54 by allowing 1 run en route to a complete game. OK, the game was against Kansas City, but come on, you have to find a silver lining somewhere. In fact, in his last 6 starts, Cabrera has an ERA of 2.30 in 43.1 innings.
Vicente Padilla (SP), Texas Rangers: Padilla has been great this season with an ERA of 3.02 and a 5-2 record. This past week he made one start where he struck out 8 in 7 innings of work. Padilla has allowed one earned run in his last 21.2 innings.
Kerry Wood (RP), Chicago Cubs: Wood’s tenure as closer has been up and down. Last week it was up. Wood collected 3 saves and struck out 4 in 4 innings of work. It would take a monumental collapse for Wood to lose his job as closer, so owners can rest easy for now.
J.P. Howell (RP), Tampa Bay Rays: A reliever who is not a closer in the wrap-up? Yes, it is true. Howell gets a mention because he threw 6 scoreless innings in 2 appearances and got the win in both of those games. Howell has a career ERA of 5.89, so I wouldn’t advise giving him a look.
Ryan Dempster (SP, RP), Chicago Cubs: The second cubs pitcher to be mentioned, Dempster was 0-1 this past week. Don’t let those numbers fool you. Dempster allowed 7 runs, but only 2 were earned. In 12 innings, he struck out 14 batters and lowered the ERA to 2.76 in the process. Dempster has been a nice surprise this season if you were lucky enough to draft him or claim him in your free agent pool.
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