Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FBAs: Week 5

By: Russell Sandman

This past week in the National League, the changes atop the leader board were sweeping. While reigning NL fantasy MVP Hanley Ramirez continues to hold the top spot, new entries Lance Berkman has thrown his hat into the mix, ending the week with a whopping 16 long-balls. As the Major League’s only 8 game winner, Brandon Webb continues to out-pitch not only opponent batters, but other competitors for NL fantasy Cy Young. For the first time, Juston Upton was relegated to the bench in favor of projected NL fantasy Rookie of the Year finalist Joey Votto, whose 8 homers (3 of which came in the same game) top all major league rookies. Surprisingly, NL fantasy Relief Man of the Year candidate Brandon Lyon was catapulted from relative obscurity among stoppers to top contender, ousting Milwaukee’s on-again, off-again closer Eric Gagne from the top-spot.

In the American League, former Red turned Ranger Josh Hamilton went on a tear this past week to claim the top spot among AL contenders for fantasy MVP. Hard to believe that this is the same Josh Hamilton who was released by Tampa after numerous battles with substance abuse, but it appears Hamilton is for real, and his 10 homers and major league best 49 RBI certainly testify to his legitimacy. Matsuzaka continued his sophomore dominance among all AL starters, while Mo nudged aside Joe Nathan and all other AL closers to take the top spot among relief men. AL Rookie of the Year still remains wide open, so we expect more flip-flopping here than most other categories, but stay tuned for more as the season unfolds. Here’s how the leader board is shaping up so far:

National League
1. Fantasy MVP in 2008: Hanley Ramirez
i. Runners-up: Chipper Jones, Chase Utley, Lance Berkman, Derek Lee, Pat Burrell, David Wright
2. Fantasy Cy Young in 2008 – Brandon Webb
i. Runners-up: Edinson Volquez, Jake Peavy, Ben Sheets, Dan Haren, and Johan Santana
3. Fantasy Rookie of the Year – Joey Votto
i. Runners-up: Justin Upton, Johnny Cueto, Max Scherzer, Kosuke Fukudome, Hiroki Kuroda
4. Fantasy Relief Man of the Year – Brandon Lyon
i. Runners-up: Brian Wilson, Matt Capps, Billy Wagner, and Kerry Wood

American League
1. Fantasy MVP in 2008: Josh Hamilton
i. Runners-up: Carlos Quentin, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Markakis, B.J. Upton, and Alexis Rios
2. Fantasy Cy Young in 2008 – Daisuke Matsuzaka
i. Runners-up: Cliff Lee, Ervin Santana, Zack Greinke, Joe Saunders, and Javier Vazquez
3. Fantasy Rookie of the Year – David Murphy
i. Runners-up: Evan Longoria, Joba Chamberlain, and Clay Buchholz
4. Fantasy Relief Man of the Year – Mariano Rivera
i. Runners-up: Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, George Sherrill, Joakim Soria, Troy Percival

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