The Early Season Fantasy Baseball MVP is awarded to ... Justin Morneau. An afterthought in most leagues the late-round pick or waiver wire pickup has produced among the league's best thus far. Morneau has eight bombs, 19 runs and 29 RBIs to go along with his .336 batting average. That is excellent fake baseball, first-round fake stats in fact. Morneau has to regress right? But in this case, there is no reason to sell high. It is unlikely the return is worth the potential he maintains similar production. The .342 BABIP is unsustainable and Morneau's ISO is .256. However, this isn't a 'Never has' player. Morneau is playing in a hitter-friendly ball park and is a former MVP. Health is another concern, but Rockies manager Walt 'Heisenberg' Weiss has already taken precaution with Morneau's playing time, something fantasy owners should endorse. There is no downside at this point, so get every last contacted ball out of Morneau and hope he keeps finding green and clearing fences.
It is time to add Will Smith to your roster. The Brewers reliever has been unhittable to date and boasts a dazzling 13.22 K/9. Regardless of your league's format you can find room for strikeouts, or at least in Roto and especially if there is an innings cap. Smith has also picked up a save on the season; although with the way Francisco Rodriguez has been dealing Smith will be reserved to spot duty at best. His strikeout total sits at 24 though just 16.1 innings pitched. Smith does offer up more free passes than most, but has only allowed a single earned run on the season. His 0.55 ERA will also play. A reliever who can stabilize ratios and pad your strikeout totals is worth a roster spot and Will Smith can do just that. He'll grab a win here and a save there too.
Returning with a bang is Chase Headley. After a breakout campaign in 2012 Mr. Headley has been chasing a contract and good health, tonight's round tripper fresh off the DL was a great sign for fantasy owners. Headley slipped into fringe-fantasy-starter range on draft day and could provide a huge profit if he can get anywhere near his breakthrough season's counting stats. Expecting anything north of 20 home runs is unwise and a slow start will limit his year-end RBI and run totals, but going forward he can produce CI-starter numbers. Don't underestimate the steal potential and solid batting average and make sure Headley isn't sitting around for free on waivers in your league.
David Wright had a nice day for the Metropolitans. He jacked his second home run of the season and parlayed it with a double and three RBIs. Wright is no longer the power threat he was when he first arrived on the scene, but his .103 ISO is low. It is extremely low; especially considering Wright's career mark is above .200. The Mets are horrific offensively and lineup protection is an issue, but hitting isn't and Wright's counting stats attest to that. He has 16 runs and 21 RBIs on the season. But back to stats due to improve, Wright's 6.3 BB% and 21.9 K% are low and high respectively when compared to his past two season's marks. Wright was a consensus top-30 fantasy pick and everything points to improvement from here on. Test the waters and if you're fortunate to be an owner hold tight.
Last night Jordan Lyles fanned eight batters. Entering the game he had 24 strikeouts on the season over seven starts. The Rockies offense is potent and Lyles has limited opponents to the tune of a 2.66 ERA and a 5-0 record. Lyles has lasted 5 innings in each start of the season and allowed 4 earned runs just a single time, in his first start of the season. The 23-year old doesn't miss many bats posting just a 5.68 K/9 this season, but he has excellent control averaging just 2.49 BB/9. The Astros' former first rounder has never fanned many batters, likewise he has never walked many either. The good news is the Rockies are the best offensive team in baseball and it isn't close. Pair that with wins being arguably the most difficult fantasy category to predict and Lyles has been a plus contributor in 3 categories.
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