Last week's Astros Fantasy Output can be summed up in two words: "Middle Infield". Jose Altuve was the 4th-ranked baseball player on the Earth last week, posting a monster .481 Batting Average and 1.278 OPS. The only players more valuable than Altuve last week were Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, and Wade Miley (who??). Jed Lowrie was the 3rd-most valuable shortstop last week, behind only Mike Aviles and Elvis Andrus.
Brian Bogusevic also provided some usefulness, mostly due to his small contribution to the Stolen Base category.
In pitching, Brett Myers finally posted a 2-save week, which boosted his value despite a limbo-low 3.37 strikeout per nine-inning number. Wandy Rodriguez' great start against the Reds made him a very valuable pitcher last week, and Rhiner Cruz continues to prove that he belongs in the discussion as the Astros' best Fantasy Reliever.
More after the jump.
Owners should start Altuve and Lowrie in all formats for the rest of the season as long as they are healthy, as 2B and SS are shallow enough that there probably aren't twelve better options right now in the fantasy game at those positions. Trade-savvy owners might want to consider offering low-ball deals for those two players, as there's no reason to think they won't continue to post numbers among the top-10 at their positions, but are still undervalued because they play for the Houston Astros. Jordan Schafer should still be in lineups despite his poor week due to his ability to generate runs and stolen bases. J.D. Martinez and Carlos Lee deserve spots in deep Fantasy Leagues, though shallower leagues should only be using them as filler right now until they prove some consistency. Other Astros hitters should be used with caution.
Pitching outlook for the week is good as well. Wandy Rodriguez is a definite play when the Mets and Cardinals come to town, and Norris is a tasty bid to rack up some K's against New York as well. If in need of innings, Happ is a good bet to perform against the Mets. I would hesitate to start any Astros pitcher except for Wandy against the Cardinals later in the week, unless you believe in Norris' "good luck" against them in previous seasons.
In leagues that value middle relievers or for managers needing to fill an RP spot, it's time to take a hard look at Rhiner Cruz. He'll likely never pick up a save this season, but he's now carrying a 2.00 ERA on the season, with a 1.15 WHIP and a 9.00 K/9. Owning three relievers of Cruz' caliber is like having Roy Halladay pitch nine innings for your Fantasy team. So at this point, Rhiner Cruz looks like 1/3 of a Roy Halladay, which is a sneaky way to make your Fantasy pitching numbers better than your opponent realizes.
In The Crawfish Boxes Leagues...
- My lead in The Crawfish Boxes is now increased to 4-1/2 games out in front, though several teams posted good records last week, including Stros and Hoes at 11-0-1 over BustaPozee and Padron Aficianados over Cocamos by 11-1-0. For what it's worth, Sean is in 2nd place but can't seem to catch me!
- Joe Morgan's a Fool is leading in TCB Fantasy Baseball Madness, but Killer Steve and AlwaysSunnyInSeattle are only 0.5 games behind. Nobody had a blow-out week, but The Beers and Kevin Bass finished at 9-2-1.
- Riddle's Reavers is in front in Boxes O' Crawfish. Best performers of the week were Rock Flag and Eagle who crushed me 10-2-0, and Oklahoma City 89ers 10-2-0 over Farmer.