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Fantasy Baseball: Weekend Warriors

Ivan Nova – Nova started the season in the Yankees rotation as a question mark and will finish the year as New York’s second best starter. This past Sunday Nova earned his 13th win on the season lowering his to ERA to 3.97 on the season. Over his last 10 starts Nova is 9-0 with a 3.48 ERA, while allowing three earned runs or less in that same time frame. The New York media talks about Nova’s job not being safe, but the truth is, he’s going to start every fifth day going forward With Brian Matusz opposing Nova on Sunday amd his 8.92 ERA, even a shaky performance by Nova will likely result in a win with the star studded Yankees offense.  Owned in fewer than 65% of ESPN leagues, Nova against Baltimore is as good as automatic.

John Danks - A slow start to the season left Danks on the waiver wire early in May, and while he isn’t the top 20 starter that many projected, Danks should not be available in 45% of leagues. Over his last six starts Danks has a 3.05 ERA, and has been the ace type pitcher the White Sox have needed all season long. His low 90s fastball and his changeup have picked up as the season has gone on, so all fantasy players should expect a strong finish. On Saturday evening Danks duels with the Mariners lackluster offense that is consistently bad at the plate. Seattle’s .235 BA and .348 SLG% is the worst in the majors making Danks a safe bet at Safeco Field.

Juan Pierre – Staying with the theme of disappointing White Sox, Pierre has helped Chicago get back in the A.L. Central race. Pierre through the month of August has a .326 BA, 5 SB, and 14 RBI and has been the leadoff hitter we have known and loved in previous seasons. Like his teammate Danks, the expectations on the season were high for Pierre, but letting the past go is what a smart fantasy owner would do.  Owners in needs of runs and steals should scoop up Pierre immediately as we could be looking at a top five stolen base option for the remainder of 2011.

Kyle Blanks – A sleeper in 2010, Blanks disappointed in San Diego, demoted to the minors rather quickly and started this season playing with the kiddies.  Called up to the show towards the end of July, Blanks has contributed with a .260 BA, 6 HR and 18 RBI. With eligibility at 1B and OF, Blanks is a legitimate power threat every time he comes up to the plate, but like Adam Dunn he swings and misses a lot. Unlike Dunn, Blanks is athletic and at the young age of 24 the future is still bright. The Padres head to a homerun haven in Chase Field this weekend making Blanks utility or fourth outfielder option