Found May 15, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Confusing numbers The Seattle Mariners are in the midst of a hot streak right now, dominated by solid pitching performances and perfectly timed run support. While we all wait and see if the team can crack .500, we have our own teams to worry about…our fantasy team. If you have been gun shy in the past about Mariners on a fantasy team, I hear you loud and clear. This time around, things seem to be looking up. While this week’s hitting numbers aren’t spectacular, it still allowed the team to pull of some pretty nice wins in the process. 2 players hit above .250 this week. Yes, just 2. Let’s take a look, shall we? Who’s Hot Felix Hernandez This is a no-brainer. Even on a bad day, Felix Hernandez puts up numbers better than most pitchers in the majors. This week was no exception, with Felix getting 2 chances to improve those numbers of his. He did that and more. In his 2 starts, Felix went 16 innings, giving up 11 hits, 1 run, and 1 walk. He struck out 12 and picked up both wins. He is now 5-2 on the year. Needless to say, Felix is a must have player. And if you’re a homer like I am, it’s worth trying a trade for him. That way you can bask in the same glory as King Felix when he dominates. Tom Wilhelmsen has been automatic in his closer role going a perfect 10 for 10 so far Hisashi Iwakuma Hisashi Iwakuma has been a surprise to some around the country, but not to us here in Seattle. This week was a good indicator why. You would think filling in for a guy like Jason Vargas would be slightly difficult, but Iwakuma may exceeded expectations and then re-wrote them for whoever tries to follow suit. In 2 starts, Iwakuma threw 12 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 runs and 3 walks. He struck out 14 batters and racked up 2 more wins, bringing his 2013 record to 4-1. If Iwakuma is available in your league, you must first ask yourself if anyone in the league knows baseball at all. Then scoop him up. You’ll thank me later. Tom Wilhelmsen I’ll make this quick, because you can’t say too much about a closer. Tom Wilhelmsen has had 10 save opportunities and converted them all. He is a top 10 closer in baseball. If that doesn’t compel someone to get him, I don’t know what will. If you need saves, you could use The Bartender serving some up for your team. Michael Saunders When healthy, Michael Saunders is an underrated talent. That’s when he stays healthy, though. Saunders was healthy this week and it definitely showed. With Franklin Gutierrez out with injury, Saunders is a lock to start nightly so the platoon outfielders can fill Guti’s shoes. This is where Saunders is thriving. In his last 8 games, Saunders is 8 for 28. He racked up 6 runs, 3 RBI, 6 walks, 2 home runs, a double and 2 stolen bases. The only drawback was the strike out total, 8. If Saunders is available, I highly suggest snagging him. He’s a fixture in the lineup and doing well. You can’t have a better combination. Michael Saunders has been a force at the plate when he’s stayed healthy. This week was no different Who’s Cold If I pinpointed people for the cold list, it would be over half the lineup. Yes, almost every player has contributed in certain situations, but the stats don’t tell stories of heroism or a clutch gene. Instead of making a list, I’m grouping them up and calling them out as a group. The Infielders Robert Andino, Brendan Ryan, Kelly Shoppach and Jesus Montero all had rough weeks. These 4 guys combined to go 7 for 57. They wound up driving in 6 runs via 2 doubles and a home run. They scored 6 times between them while striking out a whopping 15 times. The stats speak for themselves, folks. The Outfielders Endy Chavez and Jason Bay has pretty bad weeks. While Bay smacked 2 home runs, he only had 1 more hit over the 8 game span. These 2 combined to go 5 for 30. Bay provided any offense of the 2, scoring twice and drawing 4 walks. The 2 combined to strike out 6 times. Watch List Kyle Seager One of the surprising players this season has been Kyle Seager. While we know he was streaky last year, he’s held his own so far this season and could get some consideration as top hitter on the team overall right now. This week, Seager went 7 for 27 with 5 runs, 4 RBI, 2 doubles, a home run, 5 walks and a stolen base. He struck out 6 times. While Seager may not be an automatic starter in a fantasy lineup, he warrants a look in deeper leagues. Even as a bench player, you can ride his hot streaks as they pop up. Michael Morse Michael Morse had a bad week. He was 4 for 25 with a run, 2 RBI, 2 walks, a double and NINE strikeouts. Morse is worth a spot because of his potential alone. He is going to be a swing for the fences guy…he will hit quite a few home runs, but will also strike out A LOT. Jason Bay and Brendan Ryan had a rough week, combining for very few hits and production He’s worth the risk, because when he’s at the top of his game, he racks up singles and doubles like none other. Kendrys Morales While 6 for 25 isn’t a bad week, it’s also not a great one either. Kendrys Morales is swinging the bat well, but it’s not translating exactly how he’d like. For now, at least. His 4 runs and 4 RBI were the highlight of his week to go with a walk, 2 doubles and home run. He also had 6 strike outs. Dustin Ackley I never thought I’d see the day where I could give Dustin Ackley any kind of props. He looked good this week, but I’m not sold just yet. Consistency has been the team’s biggest problem and Ackley is at the forefront of it along with his buddy Justin Smoak. Ackley went 5 for 27 this week with 4 runs, 6 RBI, a walk and a homer. He struck out 8 times, though. He’s worth a look, but not quite sure he’s worth the risk just yet. 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