This week the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for three games and then Washington for a four game set. As always the Cardinals have plenty of fantasy help and especially this week against the weaker National League opponents.
Albert Pujols hit .333 with two home runs, three RBI’s, and scoring five runs last week. Against the Pirates and Nationals this season he is batting .367 with two home runs and three RBI’s. In August Pujols is batting .412 with eight home runs, 17 RBI’s, and scoring 21 runs through 17 games. If you want to throw your league away, go ahead bench him but there is no need for that. Do the smart thing and keep him active in all formats. It is always the obvious decision week in and week out.
Matt Holliday has not hit a home run since Aug 3 against Houston. Last week he batted .190 with no home runs, two RBI’s and scoring two runs. This season against the Pirates and Nationals he is batting .347 with one home run and three RBI’s. Even though Holliday is in the middle of a slump, he is batting .317 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI’s on the road this season. This will be a week he gets back on track and should be active in all fantasy formats.
Jon Jay tore up San Francisco pitching last weekend. He batted .462 with three RBI’s. Jay continues to be a fine rookie season. He is batting .362 on the season while scoring 32 runs and hitting 17 doubles. On the road he is batting .391. He remains a low end fantasy option because he will not give you the power numbers. As long as he is batting above .350, hitting doubles, and scoring runs he is a nice option to have.
Colby Rasmus is currently injured with a right calf strain. There is no time table when he will return. He could be placed on the disabled list. No need to start Rasmus until he can come back and prove he is healthy. Bench him until further notice.
Adam Wainwright is scheduled to be a two start pitcher this week. He will pitch Tuesday against the Pirates and Sunday against the Nationals. He is 17-7 with a 2.06 ERA and 165 strikeouts this season. Wainwright has not pitched against the Nationals yet but against the Pirates he is 2-0 with 12 strikeouts and 2.08 ERA. Continue to start Wainwright through the rest of the season. He is an elite fantasy pitcher and there is no reason not to pitch him every time he starts.
Chris Carpenter is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Nationals. In his last 4 starts, he is 3-1 with 2.60 ERA, 15 strikeouts, eight walks, and giving up eight earned runs over 27 2/3 innings pitched. Back on May 18, Carpenter pitched against the Nationals taking the win over eight innings pitched, striking out five and walking none. In 11 career starts against the Nationals, he is 6-1 with a 3.03 ERA and is a must start option in all fantasy formats.
Jaime Garcia is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Nationals. He is coming off his best pitching performance on the season Sunday against the Giants. He is now 11-6 while lowering his ERA to 2.42. In his last two starts, Garcia is 1-1 with no earned runs and 12 strikeouts over 15 innings pitched. He is 6-3 on the road this season and should be a viable option this week.
Ryan Franklin has not allowed a run since August 7. Last week he only had two appearances with one strikeout. I would expect more from a closer. Franklin only has 21 saves on the season. He remains a good option in most mixed leagues but no longer a must start in all fantasy leagues.
The latest additions of Jake Westbrook and Pedro Feliz have no fantasy value right now.