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Fantasy Baseball: Weekend Warriors

Ryan Ludwick – In the last seven days of baseball, Ludwick has a .440 BA, 3 HR and 10 RBI making him a fantasy stud.  Currently on an eight game hitting streak, the powerful right handed bat has raised BA 39 points and for the first time all season the Padres have a presence in the middle of their order. While his 2008 all star campaign is in the rear view mirror, a 20 HR 80 RBI season is realistic even playing in San Diego. Ludwick is a must add in NL Only Leagues, and could hold down your last outfield spot as you wait for Delmon Young and Alex Rios to turn it around in mixed leagues.

Mark Buehrle – Buehrle has been far from spectacular, but his splits scream start me at home. This season at U.S. Cellular Field Buehrle has a 1.66 ERA in just over 21 IP, and has now had four quality starts in a row. With the Dodgers on deck, start the lefty vs. a Los Angeles offense that lacks punch. (26th in runs scored as well as RBI) In h2h leagues, where whip isn’t a concern start the veteran who should continue to roll into the humid Chicago summer. Buehrle will continue to be a matchup play all throughout the season, and this is an example of where you get him in your lineup.

Joel Pineiro - Since coming off the dl, Pineiro has solidified the Angels rotation, making it arguably the best in the American League. In four starts Pineiro has a 1.90 ERA to go along with a very respectable 1.10 WHIP. A big change for Pineiro has been his changeup; he’s throwing it 10.2% of the time which is double from a year ago. With opponents hitting .172 in his last three starts against his changeup expect a heavy does vs. the Braves this weekend. While the K’s will be lacking, Pineiro has the ability to go deep into games, making him worthy in h2h leagues if you need a win.

Tim Stauffer - A pre season favorite, Stauffer was on the radar of fantasy players everywhere because of his strong 2010 finish. Stauffer’s 2011 has been disappointing with an 0-2 record through nine starts, as the Padres struggle to score when he takes the mound. Behind that 0-2 record is a solid 3.81 ERA and a starter with a knack for the ground ball. Last year his 54.5% GBR was outstanding and with his improved 2.08% BB/9 I believe Stauffer will be worth owning in 12 team mixed leagues going forward. Start him this Sunday against the Mariners as Seattle ranks 29th in HR and XBH.