With so many storylines, whether it be Stephen Strasburg or the influx of great young talent, Week 12 has plenty of headlines to gather attention.
Starting Pitcher to Start
Fantasy owners have been salivating about rookie OF Michael Stanton of the Florida Marlins, who finally was called up last week, yet SP Anibal Sanchez has been astounding all year long, in particular in his last six starts, where he is 5-1 with a ERA of 2.72.
In his last 39.2 innings pitched, Sanchez has six quality starts and has struck out 34 hitters. His WHIP during that span is 1.26, and he has only allowed more than four earned runs once this season. He is on track to pitch twice in Week 12 and is a must start.
Hitter to Start
Once a highly touted prospect for the Philadelphia Phillies, OF Marlon Byrd has found a home in Chicago and is having a career year. In June, he is hitting an even .500, with two home runs and seven RBI.
On the year, Byrd is hitting .333 with nine home runs and 34 RBI. Byrd has an OPS of .918 on the season, and in June he has an OPS of 1.345. Fantasy owners should continue to plug him in for Week 12.
Reliever to Start
Fantasy owners who drafted RP Matt Capps were pleased with his performance over the first two months of the season. At one point, Capps was 16-of-16 in save opportunities. However, Capps has been shaky of late, leaving the door open for RP Tyler Clippard.
Clippard on the year is 8-3 with an ERA of 1.51 and is holding opponents to a batting average of .174. In June, he has not allowed a run in seven innings pitched and recently saved a game for the Nationals. With Capps hanging on by a string, it is only a matter of time until Clippard is given the closer job.
Youngster to Start
The Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled all year long to score runs, and the OF Lastings Milledge experiment has failed miserably. The Pirates have called up OF Jose Tabata from Triple-A to try to be a spark plug for an anemic offense.
Before his call-up, Tabata was hitting .308 with three home runs and 19 RBI. What fantasy owners should be salivating about is his stolen base potential. He had 25 steals on the year and an OPS of .797 in the minors.
It's time for this week's "Bonus Start"! This week, we will have the Giants' stellar rookie C Buster Posey step into the spotlight. In 15 games, Posey is hitting .368 with one home run and seven RBI. The Giants are plugging him into the lineup wherever they can, and Fantasy owners need to keep his hot bat in for Week 12.
Starting Pitcher to Sit
Over the first two months of the season James Shields was pitching very well. He ended April 3-0 with an ERA of 3.38. In May, despite a 2-3 record, he had a respectable 3.80 ERA, yet June has been a disaster.
In June, he has an ERA of 11.32, and opponents are hitting .396 against him. To make matters worse, over his last six starts, Shields has not been the same pitcher he was the first two months of the season. During that span, he is 1-4 with a 6.23 ERA and has a WHIP of 1.44. Fantasy owners should definitely sit him for Week 12.
Hitter to Sit
3B Casey McGehee started the season on a tear for the first two months. He ended May with nine home runs and 41 RBI. How things have changed since the start of June. He is hitting only a mere .159 and has only one home run. His production has stymied to only driving in five RBI, and he has an OPS of .464 so far in June.
Needless to say, Fantasy owners need to sit the struggling hitter for Week 12.
Reliever to Sit
Last year, RP David Aardsma was a complete surprise for Fantasy owners and had an incredible year. This year, he started off very well and ended April with an ERA of 2.79 and had locked down nine of 10 save opportunities.
In May, Aardsma blew two save opportunities and had an ERA of 6.75. June has been a particularly rough month for Aardsma. He has an ERA of 12.27 and has blown two more save opportunities and has blown four saves opportunities overall, matching his grand total of 2009. His ERA has ballooned to 5.85, and Fantasy owners should sit him this week.
Youngster to Sit
Rookie sensation OF Jason Heyward has seen his production suffer in the month of June. In 54 at-bats, he is hitting .185 with no home runs and only five RBI. His OPS is a meager .545, and on the season his OPS is .876. Heyward is in a rookie funk, and Fantasy owners need to sit him until he can hit himself out of his slump.
Finally, it's time for our weekly "Bonus Sit." This week, we will focus on Oriole infielder Ty Wigginton. He ended the first two months of the Fantasy season with 13 home runs and 32 RBI.
However, how things have changed in June. He is hitting barely over the Mendoza line (.209) with no home runs. He only has scored three runs and three RBI. He is in a 9-for-43 slump, and Fantasy owners should bench him for Week 12.
By John Arias, analyst at Fantasy Baseball Maniaxs