All-Star week is over, and it is back to a full week of fantasy baseball. The Royals match up at home with Toronto for three games and then travel to take on the Yankees for a four game set. Let’s look at the Royals roster to see who should start, who should sit, and who to watch this week.
Zach Greinke got lucky this week, pitching against the Blue Jays instead of pitching at Yankee Stadium. If he was pitching at New York I would suggest putting him inactive but since he will pitch at home, he should be active in all formats. In his last outing against Toronto, he got a no decision and gave up two earned runs. He has pitched much better of late and I expect that to continue. Joakim Soria has been very consistent this season. When the save opportunity has called, he has delivered 25 of 27 chances, up to last Saturday, which also includes 18 straight. Soria has only allowed 3 earned runs in the last 23 innings and needs to be active in all formats. When facing Toronto and New York, Billy Butler has a .267 career average (BA), 12 2B’s, 2 HR’s, 13 RBI’s in 40 games. His power still hasn’t taken off as owners would like but as long as his BA is .321, he should be active in all formats. Jose Guillen has had decent career numbers against Toronto and New York. He could be set for a productive week. Guillen has a career .247 BA, 24 2B’s, 19 HR’s, and 59 RBI’s in 122 games. I would not start him if your outfield is set but if you are looking for a bat to fill a spot this week, Jose could be your guy. If you are in a fantasy league which awards stolen bases, Scott Podsednik should be active only if your lineup has enough offense to give you the power numbers. Other than that, he should be inactive.
As I mentioned last week, David DeJesus has had zero production as of late. He has a career .228 BA vs Toronto and .242 BA vs New York. Until DeJesus shows signs of life, he needs to continue being inactive. Alberto Callaspo has a career .302 BA in the second half. Not sure if that means much going into All-Star break cold as he still has not produced lately. Callaspo does have a .304 career BA against Toronto, but it is not enough to get through the week. The only thing that benefits him now is that he qualifies at second and third base. He holds a similar situation as DeJesus so until he starts to produce, he needs to be inactive.
Put Yuniesky Betancourt (SS) on the watch list. I’m not recommending picking him up at the moment. He has little value in mixed leagues but there is a value in AL only leagues. Betancourt currently has 41 R, 7 HR, 40 RBI’s, 0 SB, and .263 BA. Watch how he performs this week, and he could be a pick-up if your team needs shortstop help.
Fantasy Minor League Profile of the week:
The Fantasy Profile of the Week is Eric Hosmer. He was selected in the 1st round (No. 3 overall) of the June 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Hosmer was just promoted from Single-A Wilmington and is currently playing First Base (1B) for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals in The Texas League. He had a depressing first season after being drafted and did not live up to expectations but once he had lasik eye surgery, everything seems to be turning around. The Royals drafted him hoping he would turn into a power hitting first baseman. All the tools are there and the power will eventually come. He’s a big kid (6’4” – 215 lbs) with initial plans to stay at first base, but there is an outside chance he could be converted to play outfield. Hosmer is not expected to crack the big leagues until late 2012 at the earliest but if he’s available, he is one to pick up immediately. He’s a prospect worth holding onto. Side Note: In his first at bat in Double-A on Saturday he hit a home run. He hit three over the weekend.