Hart beating with power again
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OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (April 15-17)
While only hitting .267 for his career at Comerica Park, the stable Brantley attacked the Tigers staff at a .333/.387/.515 with two homers, 11 RBI, 11 runs and three steals in 66 at-bats last year. Note his career OPS of .913 versus Justin Verlander. The borderline fantasy starter has more cred than you think this week.
SP Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees (April 15-16)
Hammel sports a 2.63 ERA over his first two starts of the season, with fine command to boot (7.24 K/9, 1.32 BB/9). His trip to the Bronx will be surprisingly solid. He re-worked himself as a pitcher in 2012 and in the last two years, despite overall mixed results, has brought it against the Bombers: He's worked around a 1.49 WHIP to post a 3.21 ERA with 29 K's in 33 2/3 IP (six starts.) That 2.65 ERA in three starts at the Stadium in that time bolsters his case.
Busts of the week
1B/OF Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals (April 17-20)
Talk about a slow start to 2014: His timing has been off while he's accrued just three hits in his first 31 at-bats. Craig may have time to fix things at home and at Milwaukee, and he boasts a .292 career clip against the Nats. But in 34 AB at the Potomac, he's hitting just .235 with a .572 OPS. This may not be the best opportunity to turn things around.
SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants (April 18-20)
The South Korean import posted a 2.48 ERA against them last year, but he already was tagged by the Bay men for eight runs (six earned) on eight knocks in just two frames April 4. The road matchup doesn't bode well, either, considering San Fran has sat near the top of the league in OPS and runs scored against left-handed pitching this year.
Injury news, including Beltre, Mat Latos....
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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