We're still in the very early parts of the 2014 fantasy baseball season, but the Marlins are suddenly one of the hottest lineups in baseball, causing fantasy owners to seriously look at some of the available players.
It all starts with Giancarlo Stanton, who was an early second-round pick in most fantasy baseball drafts. Stanton hit a towering shot Friday night over the Budweiser deck in left field at Marlins Park, and at an estimated 484 feet, ended up being the longest home run ever hit in that park, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Stanton was pushed out of the first round in most drafts because no one believed in his supporting cast. But for the most part, they stepped up -- at least for the first week of the season -- as five batters, including Stanton, are batting over .300. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria leads the team, hitting .393, and should be a hot waiver-wire pickup this week, along with Marcell Ozuna. The additions of Casey McGahee and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have done their share, also.
McGehee, on his fifth team in six major league seasons, greatly benefits from hitting behind Stanton in some games, as he's put up a .462 average in the cleanup spot. McGehee played in Japan last season, and it appears as if he figured a few things out. The fact he was in the cleanup spot for the opener tells us that Marlins management saw something positive this spring. As a corner infielder, it might be tough to find a spot for him in fantasy lineups outside of non-mixed leagues, though.
Before spending too much FAAB on some of these Marlins hitters, remember that they had one of the best hitting schedules in the majors this past week. They played a rebuilt Rockies staff and a Padres team that isn't what it once was.
Other players off to a hot start:
• Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Had his first two-HR game since 2012 and his power appears to be back for real.
• Josh Hamilton, OF, Los Angeles Angels -- With a base hit in all but one game this week, Hambone has owners excited again. Then you see, most of the damage was done in the second series against Houston.
• Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, Seattle Mariners -- Moving out to center field has worked out well, so far, but the fact he still has 2B-eligibility makes him a worthy pickup.
Hitter of the week
• Mark Trumbo, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks: It's a little unfair, as Trumbo had a couple extra games than most other hitters, but the fact he has five home runs in his first 35 at-bats of the season just beats out Stanton for top honors. Through Sunday, he has a home run in four consecutive games, but three of those games also came in the thin air of Colorado. It's good to see he's taking to National League pitching well, but don't be surprised to see his season rise and fall during streaks.
Hitter of the weak
• Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles: Has anyone else noticed that Crush doesn't have a home run yet this season? Nothing to see here, he's fine -- he just ran through a rough patch of pitching between the Red Sox and Tigers. The Orioles as a team are batting just .229, so let's not hit the panic button just yet. Remember, if this past week were in the middle of July, you wouldn't notice as much.
Rookie hitter spotlight
• Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies: The outfielder became just the 63rd player in major-league history to go 6-for-6 in a game Friday night. He's expected to platoon with Drew Stubbs, but the Rockies will have to keep playing him while he's hot, no matter who he's pitching.
The hitting planner
Each week, this section will offer up five teams that have favorable hitting matchups in the coming scoring period, and then we'll also discuss five teams with unfavorable hitting matchups. While these aren't meant to suggest you should definitely start/sit players in these lineups, they should help you make tough lineup decisions. Also, this planner should help you with upcoming Daily Fantasy games you might be playing.
Teams with seven games this upcoming scoring period: Boston, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Houston and N.Y. Yankees.
1. Chicago White Sox (Three at COL, Four vs. CLE): With a set at Coors Field and four games at U.S. Cellular, the White Sox batters should get a boost this week.
2. Philadelphia Phillies (Three vs. MIL, Three vs. MIA): Six home games at a happy hitter's park is just what the Phillies needed.
3. N.Y. Yankees (Three vs. BAL, Four vs. BOS): Seven games in the Bronx (albeit against tough divisional opponents) is still a good thing for those wearing pinstripes.
4. Atlanta Braves (Three vs. NYM, Three vs. WAS): Six home games for the Braves, but they'll still draw Stephen Strasburg on Friday.
5. San Francisco Giants (Three vs. ARI, Three vs. COL): The Diamondbacks and Rockies were among the bottom-15 pitching staffs last season, and they're already sitting with staff ERAs north of 5.00 this season.
Teams with just five games this upcoming scoring period: Detroit Tigers.
1. Detroit Tigers (Three at LAD, Three at SD): The Tigers get just five games this season -- all on the road -- all at great pitcher's parks. You're not sitting the stars in Head-to-Head leagues, but some of the secondary hitters, definitely.
2. Oakland Athletics (Three at MIN, Three at SEA): Six road games are never fun, and when all six are in notorious pitching-friendly stadiums, it's even less fun.
3. Houston Astros (One vs. LAA, Three at TOR, Three at Texas): While a game in Arlington is nice to wrap up the week, six road games are still six road games for an unstable offense.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (Three at KC, Three at CIN): Great American Ball Park is a sweet hitter's park, but the Rays will be facing two of the top six pitching staffs in ERA from 2013.
5. Miami Marlins (Three at WAS, Three at PHI): The hot-hitting Marlins leave their home park to play division rivals in Washington and Philadelphia. They'll face the Nationals, who have one of the best rotations in the NL, before wrapping it up in Philly.
David Gonos is a fantasy sports veteran of over 20 years and over 100 fantasy leagues. You can also follow him @davidgonos on Twitter.