Are the Twins for real? As much as I don’t like their pitching staff, the offense continues to put up huge numbers, and so far that’s carrying them. They’re off to their best start since they made the playoffs in 2010. The rest of the division should be on alert as the Twins not only have momentum, but they believe they can beat anybody. The Tigers have been struggling lately and with the Royals extra innings win on Sunday night, they enter the week with a one game lead. The White Sox and Indians continue to play poorly, and currently they’re looking up at some pretty talented teams. It is only May, however the division is not playing out how many would have expected before the season started.
Carlos Rodon: Chicago White Sox:
I’ve discussed the young White Sox lefty a number of times already this season and he finally had his first career start on Saturday. He took the mound in the 2nd game of the double header with the Reds. He had 6 IP, 8 K and got the win. He gave up a couple of runs and struggled with his command at times, but was able to rely on his put away slider and mid-high 90’s fastball to squeeze out of jams. Entering the week there has yet to be an official announcement regarding a next start for Rodon, however, he was impressive and fellow rotation mates Jon Danks and Hector Noesi have struggled all season. He should claim one of their spots soon.
Corey Kluber: Cleveland Indians:
He struggled mightily in his last start and continues to be a bust in fantasy leagues thus far. To the owners who took him in the 1st/2nd round or kept him, I feel for you. I spent one of my four keeper selections on him, and so far I have nothing but regrets. He has allowed 19 ER is his last four starts and is still winless on the season. To add insult to injury, the Indians as a team are winless in his starts. I spoke last week about him being a buy low candidate, but at this point he’s done nothing to warrant acquiring him in any format. Some people are crazy and may have dropped him. If that’s the case, then he’s obviously worth the add. He will get the start at home this week, and I’m debating sitting him against the NL Central leading Cardinals. Until he proves to me that he can regain his form, I don’t want him in my lineup. Use at your own risk.
Anibal Sanchez: Detroit Tigers:
Even with Sanchez struggles, his WHIP is still of no concern. It’s his high ERA that is startling. He has allowed 5 or more ER in three starts already this year, and his strikeouts have been down in each of his last four starts. Currently his ERA sits just shy of 5.50. He has been a pretty big disappointment thus far, especially after leading all pitchers in strikeouts during spring training. With the big ball park in Detroit and the power house offense the Tigers feature, I expect Sanchez to get it going very soon. He can be streaky at times, so if you’re patient enough, he will reward you down the road.
David Price: Detroit Tigers:
He’s been his CY Young caliber self this year with the exception of his start vs the Yankees and his latest start vs the Royals, in which he allowed a whopping 13 hits. It was likely just a poor start for Price, however, 13 hits is an alarming number and makes you wonder if something is wrong. He did injure his ankle in the start so it’s worth keeping an eye on his status this week. The injury reports suggest that it’s minor and he isn’t in jeopardy of missing his next scheduled start against the Cardinals over the weekend.
Mike Pelfrey: Minnesota Twins:
This man is on fire. Call the fire department because he’s outta control! He’s undoubtedly been the Twins best SP over his last few starts. In three of his last four games he has gone 7 IP, and won all of them. He has been a pleasant surprise in the early going for the Twins. Unfortunately, it’s likely just a phase. I wouldn’t buy into the success, he doesn’t have the track record to make me believe he can keep this up all season long. He should continue to get solid run support though, and is someone that could be used as a spot starter when he’s pitching in Minnesota.
Alex Avila/James McCann: Detroit Tigers:
The Tigers have been getting little to no production out of the catcher position, and with Avila now on the DL, they will be relying on McCann who has had very little success in MLB. Although McCann really can’t be much worse offensively than Avila has been in 2015, it’s his ability to call the games and manage the pitchers that I question. Avila is a veteran who has worked with incredibly talented pitchers, in big games, and at least has value to his team in that regard. If Avila’s injury keeps him on the DL longer than the expected 5-6 weeks, don’t be surprised to see the Tigers make a trade to strengthen the position in the season’s second half.
Torii Hunter: Minnesota Twins:
This fan favorite in Minnesota is what I like to refer to as the wily vet. Funny enough, this past week he played like a man in his prime. He was absolutely on fire and it seemed like he was impossible to get out. Over the last ten days he has 18 H, 4 HR, 12 RBI and 12 R. I had to check these stats three different times just to make sure I was seeing them right. No one can keep up that pace, but it’s certainly encouraging that he’s showing life at the plate. The entire Twins lineup is on a complete tear right now, so expect Hunter to be right in the middle of it all, while it lasts.
Anthony Gose: Detroit Tigers:
I spoke about Gose a few weeks ago after his extremely hot start to the season. Depending on how deep your leagues are, he’s likely been back and forth between the waiver wire and rosters all season long. If he were playing every day, his value would be much higher when you consider his ability to steal bases and that he hits a top the Tigers lineup, in front of four All-Stars. He’s recorded 10 H in his last six games to go with 2 SB and 5 R. Deciding how/when to utilize him on your roster can be difficult because he’s still platooning with Rajai Davis, however, if you have a big bench he is worth stashing on it so you can plug him in when he does get the start.
Adam Eaton: Chicago White Sox:
How much longer can the White Sox afford to wait for him to hit? Entering the 2015 season they were a favorite to make the postseason. Statistically speaking, they have one of worst offenses in all of baseball. Eaton entered the week hitting under .200 with 0 HR, 0 RBI and only 1 SB. He is still playing every day, but considering their overall struggles, it may not be too long before he is either benched or moved down in the order, on a permanent basis. He better get it going sooner rather than later. He had a strong outing Monday night in Milwaukee so hopefully he can string together a few more games like that.
The AL Central may be the deepest division in all of baseball this year. Based on pre season projections and what I have seen so far through 6 weeks, any of these 5 teams can make the postseason and it should be an exciting race all season long. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Major League Fantasy Sports Radio Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday May 17th from 7-9pm est for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. We will take live callers at 646.915.8596. Our topics this week will be the A.L. East, A.L. West, and everything fantasy relevant within those divisions. Feel free to jump in the conversation.