Red Sox Rise in Week 23

This week’s top fantasy baseball players both play for the Boston Red Sox, and a third teammate ranked 7th overall, in a shallow 5×5 Mixed League.
Will Middlebrooks was the clear fantasy MVP for the week, batting .464 with 4 HR, 8 R, 9 RBI, and 1 SB – worth $71.76 in the mixed league. Teammate Mike Napoli had an almost identical line – .476, 4 HR, 7 R, 9 RBI, to earn $62.84. For fantasy purposes, Middlebrooks was tied in 2 categories, and better in the other 3: obviously runs and SB, but also average. While Napoli’s average was slightly higher, Middlebrooks had 28 AB to Napoli’s 21, going an extra 3-7 and thus helping raise a fantasy team’s average more. So those three small edges added up to nearly $9 more in value. Shane Victorino,  runner-up for last week’s fantasy MVP, continued his hot streak hitting .292 with 2 HR, 6 R, 6 RBI, and 2 SB to earn $38.50.
Toronto’s Esmil Rogers was the week’s best pitcher in the mixed league, and ranked 3rd overall with a $50.07 RotoValue, after two outstanding starts, holding Arizona to one hit last Monday, and giving up just 3 hits to the Twins yesterday. His line for the week was 2 wins, 9 Ks, a 0.429 WHIP, and a 0.00 ERA in 14 IP. In the deeper 5×5 AL League, Victorino’s week ($35.41) edged out Rogers’s ($34.67) for third best, behind Middlebrooks ($54.96) and Napoli ($46.22), giving the Red Sox the league’s 3 best players in that format. In the 4×4 AL Only, Middlebrooks ($55.86), Napoli ($47.02), and Rogers’s week ($37.50) were the top 3, with Alex Rios (.429, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, but just 3 R; $35.93) ahead of Victorino ($33.95) for 4th.
Among AL pitchers, Rogers was clearly most valuable, followed by Dan Straily (2 W, 0.750 WHIP, 1.50 ERA, 11 Ks) and Garrett Richards (2 W, 1.333 WHIP, 1.50 ERA, 11 Ks). Greg Holland was the most valuable AL closer, with 4 saves, a 1.80 ERA, 6 Ks, a 0.600 WHIP, and a 1.80 ERA in 5 IP, earning $20.39 in the 5×5 AL Only and $22.98 in the 4×4 AL Only.
In the NL, the MVP depended on format. Cole Hamels was the most valuable player in the 5×5 NL Only format after two stellar starts, a 0.400 WHIP, 1.80 ERA, and 17 Ks in 15 IP, but just one win, as he dueled Stephen Strasburg to a scoreless tie through 6 when both were pulled, and later pitched a complete game win over Atlanta. Hamels’s week earned $41.63 in the 5×5, ahead of Pablo Sandoval ($39.92; .360, 3 HR, 4 R, 8 RBI) and Homer Bailey ($38.86; 0.643 WHIP, 1.29 ERA, 17 Ks, 1 W).
In the 4×4 NL Only, Sandoval was the clear MVP, earning $44.76 ahead of Padres closer Huston Street ($41.29; 1 W, 4 Sv, 1.80 ERA, 0.600 WHIP) and Braves SS Andrelton Simmons ($40.36; .350, 3 HR, 8 RBI). When strikeouts didn’t count, Hamels ($32.93) dropped to the 12th highest RotoValue in the league, and Bailey ($29.30) fell to 20th. The NL’s only 2-game winner on the week was Cubs reliever Carlos Villanueva ($29.88 in 4×4), limiting the value of starters in that format.