Almost a full month of the new MLB season has passed. Like other professional sports, people are taking part in fantasy leagues once again. Everyone has eyed the big names in the fantasy spotlight, like Mike Trout and Jose Altuve. But when those big names everyone wanted got off the boards, participants needed to adjust at the draft. Now the draft is long gone, and the season is now rolling.
In this fantasy spotlight, several names have risen to the top of the boards as predicted. But some players are firing hot and grabbed attention from fantasy experts and participants alike. Whether from the pitcher’s mound or the batter’s box, here are some players catching fire this season.
fantasy spotlight: Ascending aces
This pitcher has been somewhat of a journeyman in his big league career. But last year, he was part of the World Series champion Houston Astros. Who is Charlie Morton?
Don’t let his age fool you. At 34 years old, Morton has brought blistering heat in his second year with Houston. He stands with a 3-0 record and an ERA of 0.72. Not to mention, teams have a measly .176 batting average against him.
With pitchers like Morton on board, fantasy participants, along with the Astros, should look to No. 50 to stay ahead of the competition.
Off to an equally hot start is Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old lefty has recorded a 1.89 ERA and a 4-0 record. Also, batters have only scrapped up a .140 average when facing No. 46. Fantasy players might want to look into Corbin before someone else snags him.
Staying in the NL West, Chad Bettis of the Colorado Rockies is another name to look out for. No. 35 has racked up a 3-0 record and yielded a 1.44 ERA. The Rockies will still have more work to do. Their pitching staff has an ERA of 4.83, which is just 13th in the National League. But for those fantasy participants, Bettis could be the one to give their pitching staff a boost.
fantasy spotlight: bruising batters
Stop me if you have heard this before: The Boston Red Sox are off to the hottest start in baseball this season. One of the more noteworthy components, if not the most, is Mookie Betts.
Betts, as of right now, leads the entire MLB in batting average at .366. Plus, he has belted four home runs in his last seven games. No small part due to Betts, Boston leads the AL in team batting average and RBIs. Fantasy contestants better add the 25-year-old right fielder to their rosters the second they see he is available, because by the time you blink, it is already too late.
Staying in the AL, we have another right fielder fantasy participants should keep on their radars. Meet No. 17 of the Seattle Mariners, Mitch Haniger. In 2018, Haniger has cashed in seven home runs and 22 RBIs. Not to mention his batting average has shot up in the last seven games. If anyone in the fantasy league is in need of a big bat for their lineup, Haniger is a wise choice.
Over the NL West, there is a third baseman making splashes at the batter’s box. From the San Diego Padres, it is Christian Villanueva. The 26-year-old is boasting a .355 batting average, along with seven home runs and 16 RBIs. Three of those home runs and eight of those RBIs came from his last seven games.
For the Padres, No. 22 is a bright spot in an otherwise shaky start to 2018. But for the fantasy league, Villanueva can be a valuable asset to a roster’s offensive production.
By no means are these all the players on a hot streak this season. The season is still very young, and anyone can start going on a tear at any time. But the difficult part is staying hot for the weeks to come. On top of that, fantasy league participants need to stay on alert for injuries and occurring slumps. Once more players start tearing it up, the league will take notice. Once that happens, participants will need to be to quick on the draw to bring these names on board.
Featured image by Charles Krupa / Associated Press
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