Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner for Week of August 29th, 2011

There aren’t as many close division races as there were about a month ago, but there is still some competitive baseball going on.  Depending on your specific league and format, playoffs are just around the corner.  Hopefully everyone reading this is still sitting pretty for the post season.

There are plenty of injuries that are plaguing some of the league’s best players.  It is important to stay on top of every player’s health and make adjustments at the right time.

With that said, let’s get to this week’s Hitting Planner. Read, digest, and set your lineups accordingly.

Catcher

Among those with catcher eligibility who are heating up, none are hotter than teammates Victor Martinez and Alex Avila.  Owners have the luxury of keeping one of these guys on the team because even though they play on the same team, neither player is going to take away from the other’s playing time. 

Nick Hundley is another player gaining the trust of the owners out there this week with his strong play over the last week with a four-hit game and an overall spike in his production.

There are two players that we want you to bench because the production is way down.  Miguel Montero has suffered a slump that has him striking out a lot with almost no power.  The second is J.P. Arencibia, with an average well below .200; but there is a possibility that he could rebound with a weak schedule on the way.

First Base

Gaby Sanchez doesn’t look to have his best week as a fantasy player, as he goes through some tough pitchers, so it is time to look in another direction.  That direction could be in the way of Mike Carp.  His series against Cleveland wasn’t anything to drool over but the hit-streak he had was no fluke.  Get him in your lineup as soon as you can.

Some other hot players include Mitch Moreland, James Loney, and Garrett Jones.

First base is somewhat boring this week.  As expected, runaway AL MVP Adrian Gonzalez heads the list of fantasy 1st basemen but Joey Votto is not far behind with multi-RBI games.

Second Base

Who is Orlando Hudson?  Probably the person who is killing you week-to-week as of late.  The San Diego Padre has solid stats all across the board and his availability is still high.

Time is running out, so bold moves are necessary.

Everyone was so excited for Jason Kipnis and his outbreak a couple weeks ago, but he just cannot seem to get healthy under any circumstance.  At this point of the season it is better to just let him go. 

Kelly Johnson is only hitting .150 over the last 20 games.  Keeping him on anywhere near your team is not a good idea.

Continuing 2nd basemen struggles, added to the list are Justin Turner and Howard Kendrick who have not had their early season form.

Third Base

Mark Reynolds has streaky player written all over him.  When he’s hot, he is almost an elite option, but when he is cold, then he is simply painful to watch.  Same goes for Edwin Encarnacion.  Right now he is on the hot side of his streaky play and benching him right now would not be an ideal situation.

Must starts include David Wright, Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Zimmerman.

A lot of people want to jump back on the Chipper Jones bandwagon, but it is better to think with your head on this one and not with your fantasy heart.

The real news is about Alex Rodriguez.  He has just returned the Yankee lineup and it is better to monitor his play before you thrust him back into the lineup.  For the year he is only ranked as the 11th 3rd basemen.  Does that sound like an elite player to you?

Shortstop

Not that it means much, but I saw Asdrubal Cabrera out among the young crowd this week and it looks like he was in high spirits.  It could be a hunch, but a big week could be in store for all the lucky Cabrera owners.

The veteran poise of Derek Jeter is showing through as his late season numbers are looking good.  He is batting almost .500 over the last 10 games, and since he had hit number 3,000 the numbers have been through the roof.  Hitting at a clip of .345 with a slew of runs and RBIs has owners a lot to be happy about.

Just a friendly reminder to those who may not know, but two of the top 5 shortstops, Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes, are both on the DL.  We might not see much of these guys for the rest of the season so get your eggs out of these baskets now. 

Ian Desmond still doesn’t have the elite batting average that owners want out of their shortstop but his runs scored and stolen bases keep him afloat.

Outfield

It seems like the Indians have trouble with their most important players.  Shin-Soo Choo came back from injury with a bang but he has problems again.

In a down year, Ichiro Suzuki hasn’t been like himself but a small hit-streak with a bunch of runs and stolen bases sure sounds nice.

Some players who are heating up include Casper Wells, Adam Jones, Angel Pagan and Carlos Gonzalez.  Then we have some players who are down on their luck including Vernon Wells, Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, Corey Hart and one of the worst slumps goes to Andre Ethier who is hitting .059 over the last 7 games.  Not something you want to deal with.

Even though Joe Mauer is a must start for catchers, he could gain eligibility in the outfield by the end of the season.  That probably will not mean a lot to you owners but it is something to know.    

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