The Redbirds have squandered away several wins and sit at 3-6. Let’s see what’s in store for your fantasy needs in week 2.
The Cardinals are doing a little west coast swing. They will visit Chase Field in Arizona for three and then head to Chavez and visit the Dodgers for four. In Arizona, the Birds draw Barry Enright, Armando Galarraga, and Ian Kennedy. In L.A., they get to face Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland, Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley.
Matt Holliday returned from his appendectomy on Sunday and should be good to go for period 2. Expect Allen Craig and John Jay to return to the bench and offer little fantasy value. The Redbirds offense has had a hard time getting going early on. Facing the Dodgers pitching staff might deter you from playing their better bats. However, the lineup has actually fared pretty well against them.
Both Chris Carpenter and Kyle McClellan are two start pitchers this week. They both have been sharp this spring and now into the second week in the season. Feel free to go with both of them, especially Carp.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not:
Even though he botched a play that cost the Cardinals a game on Saturday, Colby Rasmus has been the best bat for the Redbirds thus far into the 2011 season. He’s 11-31 for a .355 average including a monstrous home run Saturday. He has a career .371 average hitting at Chase with a 1.177 OPS so that hot hitting should continue.
Jaime Garcia is still sizzling. This week he stymied the Giants striking out 9 through six innings. What’s even better is that LaRussa kept his pitch count at 82. Little things like this will help ensure Garcia has gas in the tank at the end of the season.
Jake Westbrook has surrendered 11 runs in 10 innings through two starts. His control is to blame as has walked 9 and struck out 5. He should turn things around but you’ll want him sitting until he does.
After blowing only 2 saves all last season, Ryan Franklin has already blown three in the first 9 games. If Motte or any other viable option were ready to take over, Franklin would have lost his job. However, LaRussa, Mozeliak and the leadership still have confidence in him. It may take 2-3 more blow ups for him to lose his role.
Albert Pujols hit into his 6th double play Sunday. He has five hits in 9 games. Matt Holliday has four hits in two games. Albert is suffering from terrible luck with a .143 BABIP. He also is hitting a ton of ground balls. He has a 1.60 GB/FB rate nearly doubling last years average. At the plate he seems to be lunging a bit and he is rolling over on a lot of outside pitches. As soon as you see him correct it by hitting the ball the other way, then this slump will come to an end. There is no way you can consider benching him. If there ever were a time you could wrestle him away from another owner, this would be it.