Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Banana Stand - Week 7

The Banana Stand is a weekly look back at the fantasy week that was.

Week 7 saw some big offensive outbursts that fantasy players have been craving since week 1. After signing an 8 year, $45 million contract earlier in the week, Ryan Braun decided to show Brewer management why he is worth that much money. In 33 ABs this week, Braun went yard 8 times. He's already got 10 HRs in May and is making up for his slow start in a big way.

It's hard to think that anyone could have been hotter than Braun last week, but Alfonso Soriano was. While hitting 7 HRs and racking up 14 RBIs, Soriano hit well over .500 for the week. This, after rumors were swirling that Soriano and his season opening slump should be moved down in the lineup. So much for that idea.

While his week wasn't as impressive as Braun's or Soriano's, Lance Berkman kept up his great start. In what can be classified as just an average week for him this year, Berkman hit .461 with 4 HRs and 9 RBIs. He even threw a couple of stolen bases in his stat line for good measure. Berkman has undoubtedly been the best fantasy player so far. He's hovering around .400 with 16 HRs, 44 RBIs and 8 SBs. It's hard to imagine him keeping up this pace, but Berkman has quietly been one of the most reliable fantasy players over the last 7 years. It's safe to say that at the very least, he'll produce better than average numbers for the rest of the season. While it's no guarantee, think ARod from last year where his great start propelled him to an MVP season.

On the pitching side, Cole Hamels finally threw the first CGSO of his career against the Braves on Wednesday. Hamels bounced back from a couple of rough starts in which the Phillies offense bailed him out a bit, but he is well on his way to putting together a top 10 year.

The most interesting matchup came Sunday, when 2 of the best fantasy pitchers to date, Cliff Lee and Edinson Volquez, faced off. Even though Volquez struggled a bit with his command, he still managed to get a win while tossing 6 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out 5. The suddenly unhittable Cliff Lee finally showed that he is really the same Cliff Lee we'd seen the past few years. Both should be fine going forward, but not likely to be as good as they've been so far.

In other big fantasy news, the boys at Greener on The Other Side took it to the big time this week, unleashing their website Fantasy Phenoms on the fantasy community. Expect the same sabermetrical analysis and more (including football), with an expanded staff of writers. Fantasy Phenoms will feature a weekly piece from Pseudo Sports. Check it out & let us know what you think.

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