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Like it or not, it’s all about interleague matchups now, as the next two weeks will exclusively be all interleague contests.
In this week’s players to watch, we will take a look at two unsuspecting players amidst torrid hitting streaks while giving some love to a few undervalued pitchers who are not getting their due.
So lets’ look at some hot, intriguing and trending names to watch this week.
Paul Goldschmidt: Arizona Diamondbacks
Talk about coming alive!
Goldschmidt is making up for a slow start and is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Goldschmidt is riding a 17-game hitting streak, in which he has gone 26-63 with five home runs, nine doubles and 10 runs driven in.
Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks will get some good matchups-albeit on the road-against the Rangers (Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Scott Feldman) and the Angels (Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Garret Richards).
Michael Brantley: Cleveland Indians
Goldschmidt isn’t the only one riding a lengthy hitting streak as the Indians’ Brantley is also swinging a hot bat and is in the middle of an 18-game hitting streak.
During the streak, Brantley has gone 25 for 70. As such, Brantley has become a popular pickup off the waiver wire. Brantley won’t hit for much power but he can be good for hits and a few stolen bases.
Brantley will try to keep up his hitting streak with matchups against the Reds on the road (Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos) and the Pirates at home (James McDonald, A.J. Burnett and Brad Lincoln).
Brian Roberts: Baltimore Orioles
After almost a year off from baseball due to concussion-related issues, Roberts will likely return to the diamond this week.
Roberts is due to come off the DL on Tuesday and how much he plays will be in flux considering how well Robert Andino has been playing. Regardless, it will be great to see Roberts back.
Roberts and the Orioles will go up against Pittsburgh at home (Brad Lincoln, Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard) and the Braves (Brandon Beachy, Tommy Hanson and Randall Delgado) on the road.
Pablo Sandoval: San Francisco Giants
After a prolonged stay on the DL, Sandoval was activated off the DL this weekend, going 1-7 in his return.
Sandoval has never been one to be in tip-top shape, so this may be a week to assess where he is at physically.
On the flipside, though, is the fact that the Giants have a couple of decent matchups at home against the Astros (Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez) before finishing the week with the Mariners (Jason Vargas, Blake Beavan and Felix Hernandez).
Mark Trumbo: Los Angeles Angels
There is no sophomore slump affixed to Trumbo, as there may be no hotter player in the league than the Angels’ budding slugger.
Trumbo is 21-60 in his last 15 games while smashing eight home runs and driving in 20 runs in the process.
Trumbo and the Angels will look to keep it going against their intra-city rivals, as they take on the Dodgers on the road (Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Nate Eovaldi) before making the short trip back home to face off against the Diamondbacks (Trevor Cahill, Joe Saunders and Ian Kennedy).
Felix Hernandez: Seattle Mariners
Hernandez is on this list for the second consecutive week, but after a week off of pitching, the “King” looks healthy enough to be activated once again.
With great matchups against San Diego and San Francisco at home, now would be the time to trust Hernandez.
Johnny Cueto: Cincinnati Reds
As one of the most under-appreciated pitchers in baseball, all Cueto does is go out and produce.
Cueto is a very respectable 6-3 on the year with a commendable 2.63 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. While he doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, he pitches to contact and always limits the damage.
Cueto is in line for two starts this week with the first matchup on Tuesday at home vs. the Indians before ending the week on Sunday with a road matchup against the Mets.
Zack Greinke: Milwaukee Brewers
There is some talk that if the Brewers fall out of contention fast, they may shop Greinke for the right price.
Well, with two great matchups this week, including a homecoming to Kansas City on Tuesday plus a Sunday matinee at Minnesota, Greinke should no doubt increase his value and be in line for a huge week.
Brandon Morrow: Toronto Blue Jays
After toying fantasy players for years with his potential, Morrow is finally harnessing his stuff en route to stellar campaign.
Morrow is now 7-3 on the year with a 2.90 ERA while also amassing 67 strikeouts to just 24 walks. The improved control has led to a pristine 0.99 WHIP.
Morrow will also have two home starts this week with matchups against the Nationals and the Phillies.
Bud Norris: Houston Astros
Much like Morrow, Norris has teased many with his stuff but could never put it all together.
While his ERA (4.65) and WHIP (1.41) is not where you would like it to be, Norris is striking out batters at a great pace (76 K’s in 69.2 innings pitched) and has five wins to his credit.
With two starts (@ San Francisco and @ Texas), Norris should be a pitcher to take a gamble on this week, even if the matchup in Texas is worrisome.
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