A look at what took place this past weekend on the fantasy baseball diamond.
Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2013 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire report every Monday. Our fantasy junkies cover the hottest hitters, best waiver wire pick ups, top starting pitching spot starts and sift through bullpens from around the league each week.
Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters of last week (May 27-June 2):
* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Weekly Waiver Wire:
Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL (49% owned in Yahoo! Leagues)
After just missing out on finishing as a top-10 fantasy catcher in 2012 (.320-12-58), Lucroy stumbled out of the gates this season, hitting just .235 in April. However, as the weather has gotten warmer so has his bat, as he bashed three home runs over the weekend and he has hit .429 over the last seven days.
Matt Joyce, OF, TB (36%)
Another slow starter (.225 in April), Joyce turned things around in May, posting a .299-5-17 line. Not afraid to take a walk (21:29 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far), Joyce could provide valuable fantasy contributions across the board, especially if he remains in the No. 2 hole in the Rays' lineup.
Kendrys Morales, 1B, SEA (62% )
It has taken some time, but Morales may finally be getting back to where he was before he broke his leg back in 2010 with the Angels. Morales was one of the AL's best hitters (.343-5-23) in May and if he keeps this up, he could finish the season with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD (41%)
Injuries continue to plague the Dodgers, as both Matt Kemp (DL) and Carl Crawford are dealing with hamstring injuries. This has opened the door for Puig, the 22-year-old Cuban outfielder who impressed (.517) during spring training and was batting .313 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs at Double-A Chattanooga. There's no reason for the Dodgers to not give Puig a shot, as he's drawn comparisons to Bo Jackson because of his size (6-3, 245), power and speed. As with any rookies, expect plenty of up and downs. This may especially be the case for Puig, who has already dealt with maturity and behavior issues both on and off (arrested for reckless driving in late April) of the field.
Eric Chavez, 1B/3B, ARI: .000, RBI (went on DL on May 31 with oblique injury)
Kelly Johnson, 2B/OF, TB: .296/.948, 6 R, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 2 SB
James Loney, 1B, TB: .192/.959, 5 R, 3 HR, 6 RBIs
Daniel Nava, OF, BOS: .286/.855, 4 R, 2 HR, 5 RBIs
Top 20 fantasy Starting Pitchers of last two weeks:
* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Top 5 Spot Starts for the Week (Mon. - Sun.):
1. Jorge De La Rosa, COL (Fri.) vs. San Diego (38% owned)
The left-hander has given up two earned runs or fewer in each of his last three starts and has won his last five decisions overall. He's been very reliable at home (5-0, 2.45 ERA in five starts at Coors Field) and the Padres are hitting just .234 against southpaws.
2. Francisco Liriano, PIT (Fri.) at Chicago Cubs (63%)
Liriano's ownership has been on the rise since his strong return from the DL. He's 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA, thanks in large part to his 39:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. How long this lasts is anyone's guess, but hoping his success will continue this week against the Cubs (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 9 K against them on May 22) isn't a stretch.
3. Dan Straily, OAK (Thurs.) at Chicago White Sox (17%)
Straily has been near lights-out (19 IP, 2 ER) over his last three starts, including holding these same White Sox to one run over six innings on Saturday. Opposing hitters are batting just .225 against the 24-year-old righty and he's walked just one and struck out 14 in his last three outings.
4. Eric Stults, SD (Mon.) at Los Angeles Dodgers (12%)
The left-hander has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts and he is coming off his best performance (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 12 K) against Seattle on Wednesday. Dodger Stadium has always been a pitcher-friendly park and he'll get to face a lineup that is already without Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp, and may not have Carl Crawford (hamstring) in there either.
5. Justin Grimm, TEX (Sun.) at Toronto (17%)
Grimm has won his last three starts, going at least six innings and allowing three or fewer earned runs in each of these outings. The young Rangers' right-hander (24) has put together a respectable 44:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first nine starts and has only allowed more than three earned runs twice (at MIL, at OAK).
Colorado's Rafael Betancourt was placed on the DL on Saturday with a groin injury, after trying to pitch through the issue the past two weeks. He originally injured it on May 21 against Arizona and made three more appearances, including his last one on Friday when gave up two runs in one inning and took the loss against the Dodgers. Lefthander Rex Brothers will get the first shot at the closing opportunities with Betancourt sidelined. The 24-year-old has tossed 23 consecutive scoreless appearances with his only run allowed this season coming back on April 6 ... San Diego closer Huston Street also went on the DL on Saturday because of a strained left calf. Street spent time on the DL last season for the same reason, but this time the injury is not believed to be as severe. Setup man Luke Gregerson (3-2, 1.05 ERA) is expected to assume closer duties with Dale Thayer (0-2, 2.92 ERA) also a late-inning option for Padres manager Bud Black.
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