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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: May 8

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Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2012 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire every Monday and a Weekend Rundown every Thursday.

As we enter our second month of the 2012 season, these weekly rankings updates will switch gears a bit. Thus far, we have looked at the best players across the board for the season up until this point. Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton are still pacing the field and have justified thier lofty draft status. Yet, starting next week, we will only be ranking the best players of the week to show owners excatly what has taken place over the last weekend. So you Bryan LaHair and Jose Altuve owners will have one more list to gloat about...

Here are your current Top 25 fantasy baseball hitters:

 

Name

Team

Pos.

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Matt Kemp

LAD

OF

29

12

27

2

.406

1.320

2.

Josh Hamilton

TEX

OF

21

10

28

2

.376

1.138

3.

Carlos Gonzalez

COL

OF

22

7

26

5

.320

.998

4.

David Ortiz

BOS

UTL

21

7

23

0

.380

1.128

5.

Adam Jones

BAL

OF

23

8

17

5

.297

.917

6.

Derek Jeter

NYY

SS

22

5

15

1

.397

1.034

7.

Edwin Encarnacion

TOR

1B/3B

17

9

25

4

.279

.931

8.

Carlos Beltran

STL

OF

21

8

20

5

.280

.925

9.

Starlin Castro

CHC

SS

15

1

19

11

.350

.825

10.

Jay Bruce

CIN

OF

18

9

21

3

.298

.980

11.

Ryan Braun

MIL

OF

18

9

19

4

.288

.974

12.

Ian Kinsler

TEX

2B

29

5

17

2

.287

.884

13.

Rafael Furcal

STL

SS

22

2

15

6

.342

.905

14.

Freddie Freeman

ATL

1B

21

6

26

0

.291

.848

15.

Jason Kipnis

CLE

2B

19

5

19

6

.287

.875

16.

Bryan LaHair

CHC

1B/OF

14

8

17

0

.388

1.279

17.

Curtis Granderson

NYY

OF

20

9

18

0

.284

.973

18.

David Freese

STL

3B

14

7

26

0

.307

.933

19.

David Wright

NYM

3B

18

3

16

3

.374

1.031

20.

Michael Bourn

ATL

OF

20

0

7

11

.333

.809

21.

Andre Ethier

LAD

OF

15

6

30

0

.278

.880

22.

Jose Altuve

HOU

2B

18

2

13

5

.351

.920

23.

Hunter Pence

PHI

OF

18

6

20

3

.267

.780

24.

Jason Heyward

ATL

OF

17

4

13

9

.269

.849

25.

Mike Aviles

BOS

2B/SS

20

5

19

4

.261

.750

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

DL Watch

-Ryan Zimmerman has been activated from the DL while Jayson Werth will miss roughly 12 weeks after having surgery on his broken wrist. I guess Bryce Harper isn't headed back to Triple-A ball anytime soon.

-Nolan Reimold continues to frustrate with solid numbers and missed at-bats. He landed on the DL with a bulging disc in his neck. He was hitting .313 with a .960 OPS and five homers in 67 ABs so he might be worth stashing if you have the space. 

-The Giant's Kung Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval, was hitting .316 when he broke his left hand. He had surgery and is supposed to miss at least four weeks.

-Josh Beckett is questionable for his start on May 9th against Kansas City.

-Brett Gardner is slated to make his rehab starts in Triple-A this week and could be ready shortly thereafter for the Yankees.

-Jemile Weeks is questionable for Tuesday's start after tweaking his groin injury recently. The A's two-sacker has struggled mightily this season thus far. 

-Cliff Lee is schedule to come of the DL on Wednesday against the Mets. BE SURE TO ACTIVATE HIM TODAY IF YOU HAVE TO!

- The Cardinals are supposed to welcome back Lance Berkman this weekend. Be sure to monitor closely and adjust your line-up accordingly.

-Kevin Youkilis is on the disabled list for the forseeable future. Will Middlebrooks might be the long-term solution at the hot corner for Boston.

-Scott Downs didn't last too long in the closers' role in L.A. He underwent an MRI on his knee on Sunday but the test showed little damage. He should be held back for a week and could be ready by the weekend.

-Justin Morneau has finally landed on the DL — again — with a wrist issue. The tendinitis is on his left wrist, the same one which needed stabilization surgery last September. He may never return to his AL MVP form.

Recommended Articles

-Desmond Jennings is questionable for Wednesday's game with a knee injury.

-Rueben Tejada is DLed with a quad injury for the near future. 

Current Top 20 fantasy starting pitchers:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Jered Weaver

LAA

50.2

5

47

1.60

0.79

2.

Lance Lynn

STL

38.2

6

37

1.40

0.85

3.

Felix Hernandez

SEA

52.1

3

51

1.89

0.94

4.

Jake Peavy

CHW

45.1

3

39

1.99

0.75

5.

Gio Gonzalez

WAS

36.2

3

41

1.72

0.90

6.

Johnny Cueto

CIN

41.1

4

26

1.31

0.99

7.

Stephen Strasburg

WAS

38.0

2

38

1.66

0.84

8.

Jason Hammel

BAL

38.2

4

38

2.09

0.98

9.

Matt Cain

SF

45.1

1

40

2.38

0.73

10.

Cole Hamels

PHI

40.1

4

44

2.45

1.02

11.

Justin Verlander

DET

45.1

2

42

2.38

0.86

12.

Ted Lilly

LAD

32.0

4

21

1.41

0.88

13.

Brandon Beachy

ATL

39.0

3

27

1.62

0.95

14.

David Price

TB

38.1

5

35

2.35

1.12

15.

Kyle Lohse

STL

38.1

4

24

2.11

0.94

16.

C.J. Wilson

LAA

41.1

4

39

2.61

1.04

17.

Chris Capuano*

LAD

36.2

4

36

2.21

1.12

18.

Brandon Morrow

TOR

41.2

3

29

2.38

0.91

19.

Madison Bumgarner

SF

39.0

5

22

2.31

1.08

20.

Matt Garza

CHC

33.2

2

36

2.67

0.89

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Top 5 Spot Starts for the Week (Wed. - Sun.):

1. Doug Fister, Detroit: at Oakland (Sat.)
Ho-hum seven scoreless innings on Monday debut off DL.

2. Carlos Zambrano, Miami: at NY Mets (Sun.)
Lowered ERA to 1.98 after complete game, three-hit shutout on Monday.

3. Eric Bedard, Pittsburgh: Washington (Wed.)
Posted 11 strikeouts against Cardinals last time out.

4. Jonathon Niese, NY Mets: at Miami (Sun.)
Has 29 Ks in 33.2 IP with five quality starts in six trips to the mound this year.

5. Ricky Nolasco, Miami: at NY Mets (Sat.)
Picked up fourth win on Monday, dropping ERA to 2.72 and WHIP to 1.11

Current Top 15 fantasy relief pitchers:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

SV

K

HLD

ERA

WHIP

1.

Fernando Rodney

TB

13.2

1

9

12

0

0.66

0.66

2.

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

14.2

2

0

25

3

0.00

0.61

3.

Jim Johnson

BAL

12.2

0

8

11

0

0.00

0.87

4.

Steve Cishek*

MIA

14.1

4

0

15

3

0.63

0.91

5.

Alexi Ogando*

TEX

15.2

1

1

16

6

0.57

0.38

6.

Pedro Strop*

BAL

17.0

3

2

15

2

1.59

1.00

7.

Henry Rodriguez

WAS

12.1

1

6

16

0

1.50

1.00

8.

Robbie Ross*

TEX

11.2

4

0

10

1

1.54

0.69

9.

Kenley Jansen

LAD

16.2

2

2

27

7

2.70

0.96

10.

Chris Perez

CLE

12.2

0

11

9

0

2.84

1.11

11.

Duane Below*

DET

13.1

2

0

9

0

0.00

0.60

12.

Jonathan Papelbon

PHI

12.0

0

9

13

0

3.00

1.00

13.

Brett Myers

HOU

8.2

0

7

6

0

1.04

0.58

14.

Logan Ondrusek*

CIN

13.1

2

0

11

3

0.00

0.83

15.

Huston Street (DL)

SD

9.2

0

4

13

0

0.93

0.52

* - less than 70% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Closing Carousel

Heath Bell. Carlos Marmol. Jordan Walden. Javy Guerra. Huston Street. These are all highly-thought of closers who entered the season with the ninth inning in their hands. And for a variety of reasons, all of them are now sitting on the pine when the ninth frame rolls around.

Bell and Walden are likely to return to the closer role at some point in the near future. They are their teams best options and simply need to iron out the current control issues that have plagued each in the early going. For the time being, Steve Cishek will get the ninth in Miami while look for recently acquired Ernesto Frieri — and his 22 strikeouts in 13.2 innings — could be the sneaky pick-up out in Anahiem.

Marmol and Guerra may have a tougher time returning to the ninth inning. Marmol has been downright atrocious. He has blown two of his three save chances and has 15 walks in 10.2 innings. Look for Rafael Dolis and James Russell to get the call in the ninth inning. Guerra started hot but Kenley Jansen has way too much ability to keep in the eighth. Guerra and Marmol may never see the ninth inning again — at least, not in 2012.

Street, shockingly, went on the DL this weekend. Andrew Cashner, Dale Thayer and Luke Gregerson could all get chances to close while Street is out. Cashner has a closers' pedigree and strikeout stuff but has struggled with control thus far. Look for a day-to-day decision process for Bud Black.

Keep this link handy as Athlon keeps its Closer Grid up to date all season long.

-by Braden Gall

Follow @bradengall