Pitcher of the Week:
NL: Kenny Ray (RP--BRAVES)
There aren't any SP's I can recommend other than the usual suspects that you would start every week anyway. Therefore, we turned our attention to the relief core for this week's pitcher of the week. Atlanta's Kenny Ray has quietly stolen the closer job for the Braves. He has 4 saves and an ERA slightly over 2 up to this point. If he is on your bench, get him in there and better yet-- if he is on your league's waiver wire, go scoop him up! If the Braves stay in contention, I expect them to go out and trade for a closer but if not, this job could belong to Ray for the rest of the year.
AL: Ervin Santana (SP--ANGELS)
Santana is a two-start pitcher for the upcoming scoring period and both match ups could be considered favorable ones. His first start will come against the lowly Kansas City Royals at home, and the second start will also come at home against the Padres. In his second start, Santana is slated to be up against Padres ace Jake Peavy, but Peavy has not exactly been lights out as of late with an ERA approaching 5.
Hitter of the Week:
NL: Lastings Milledge (OF--METS)
This kid looks like he is here to stay. Milledge took over in the Met outfield when Xavier Nady went down due to injury and has lived up to much of the hype that followed him. It isn't exactly Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp, but Milledge may have the job even when Nady comes back. The Mets have a very hitter-friendly schedule when they travel to HR paradise Philadelphia, and are at home vs. the terrible pitching staff that is the Baltimore Orioles.
AL: Gary Matthews Jr. (OF--RANGERS)
Matthews may be hitting the quitest .330 ever. He has flown under the radar in most leagues, but is capable of providing very nice production. He hits atop the Ranger lineup and will score lots of runs, but he only has 5 HR and 2 SB up to this point (owners would like to see more). The rest of that will come with some time. Matthews and his Rangers are home all week in hitter-friendly Texas to play the White Sox and D-Backs.
Pickup of the Week:
Matt Kemp (OF--DODGERS)
Another young rookie who is quickly making an impact. I was ready to hype him up before he went and hit two more HR yesterday at Colorado (giving him 6 already). Hopefully he is still available in your league, but you better go right now and check on it. Kemp is a big kid (6-4 210) who many thought would play college basketball and therefore did not take a chance on him in the draft. The Dodgers did take the chance in the 6th round and are being rewarded for it. Not only does he have power, he can also steal some bases (3 up to this point).