Who is the most valuable fantasy player going? Are saves "worth" more or less than stolen bases? How do you compare a hitter to a pitcher on an equal playing field? We at Rototimes.com have a tool called the Player Rater, and each week I will discuss the top-50 fantasy baseball players based upon the rankings provided by this tool using the following parameters: a 12-team mixed league using standard 5x5 scoring with 14 hitters, nine pitchers and a $260 salary cap.
1. Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, HOU: Over his last 12 games he has hit .211 without a single home run, though his overall production is still staggering (.347-22-73-79-15).
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: If he didn't play another game this year this would already be the best season of his young career (.337-14-58-84-23).
3. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: Amazingly he just keeps getting better. His steals might be down a bit (23), but the power (23 home runs) is growing.
4. Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX: The amazing story appears to have no end in site for Hamilton, who leads baseball with 95 RBIs, putting him on pace to push 160 RBIs.
5. Jose Reyes, SS, NYM: Since the calendar flipped to May, Reyes has been hitting the ball hard leading to a .321 average in 290 AB.
6. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: Still in a bit of a funk at the plate hitting just .255 with only two home runs over his last 51 AB.
7. Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL: Over his last 31 games Chipper is batting .304, just slightly below his .310 career mark but well below his .376 season long average.
8. Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE: Sizemore has 15 home runs and a 1.028 OPS at home but only eight home runs and a .800 OPS on the road.
9. Matt Holliday, OF, COL: Though he is hitting .301 on the road, he has only 14 RBI in 38 games on the road.
10. Roy Halladay, SP, TOR: He has been dynamite all year including his last four starts when he has gone 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.
11. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY: This is one Yankee that loves hitting at home (.355-12-32 with a 1.123 OPS).
12. Cliff Lee, SP, CLE: You simply can't call it a fluke anymore as every time you are about to write him off he rebounds like the All-Star he is (1.86 ERA, 0.90 WHIP over his last four starts).
13. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, SEA: The juice has returned over the last 74 AB as he is hitting .378 on the strength of 28 hits in 19 games.
14. Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY: With a 0.64 WHIP, 11.84 K/9 and an amazing 12.5 K/BB ratio, has this been the best half season of the Hall of Famers career?
15. Nate McLouth, OF, PIT: July has seen a rebirth of the power with four home runs, 13 RBI and 11 runs scored over his last 11 games.
16. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: You are extremely good when you bat .307 over a 26 game stretch and people ask 'what's wrong?'
17. Carlos Lee, OF, HOU: In the last seven games Lee has multiple hits five times leading to a .400 average over 30 AB.
18. Ryan Braun, 3B/OF, MIL: His splits make it look like he plays his home games at Coors Field - .332-17-38 at home and just .241-6-28 on the road.
19. Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL: He has been amazingly consistent this season hitting .306/.370/.500 against lefties and .291/.378/.862 against righties.
20. David Wright, 3B, NYM: Wright failed to record an RBI in his last six games before the break but still leads all third basemen with 70 RBIs.
21. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, LAA: Despite 38 saves, he hasn't been as efficient as in the past with a terrible 1.58 K/BB ratio (2.90 career).
22. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS: Batters are hitting .165 on pitches 1-15 off of Papelbon but that number swells to .341 on pitches 16-30.
23. Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN: Only the fourth rated second baseman despite a marvelous all-around line (.280-15-58-53-19).
24. Justin Duchscherer, SP, OAK: In 16 appearances Duchscherer has produced a 1.82 ERA thanks to allowing more than three earned runs only once.
25. Edinson Volquez, SP, CIN: In 20 appearances Volquez has produced a 2.29 ERA thanks to allowing more than three earned runs only once.
26. Jermaine Dye, OF, CWS: Dye mashes the ball at home (.346-12-35 with a 1.052 OPS) while struggling somewhat on the road (.274-9-21 with a .820 OPS).
27. Milton Bradley, OF, TEX: Bradley's overall numbers are tremendous (.316-9-57-55) but he has fallen off the pace of late hitting .245 with only eight runs and nine RBIs in his last 16 games.
28. Justin Morneau, 1N, MIN: The Home Run Derby champ is well off the pace with only 14 home runs during the regular season, this after hitting 34 and 31 the past two years.
29. Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM: Beltran is hitting a nondescript .274 over his last 40 games though he has gone deep 10 times with 34 RBI and eight SB.
30. Carlos Quentin, OF, CWS: Quentin is hitting only .263 with a .314 OBP over his last 19 games, but during that time he has gone deep five times and produced 27 runs (13 runs, 14 RBI).
31. Derrek Lee, 1B, CHC: It's been 21 games since he went deep and he has only hit one ball over the fence in 30 games.
32. Ryan Ludwick, OF, STL: This breakout star has gone deep five times in his last seven games, pushing his total to 21 long balls.
33. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS: Pedroia is 35-for-79 over his last 18 games and that is some serious balling (.443).
34. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS: Only one home run off his career-high of 16, Youkilis has an OPS of .933, almost .100 points above his career mark (.840).
35. Dan Uggla, 2B, FLA: Back from his injured ankle, Uggla has but 2 RBIs in his last 10 games.
36. Tim Lincecum, SP, SF: Lincecum has and 11-2 record at the break, and 10 of his victories have come after Giants loses.
37. Joakim Soria, RP, KC: Get this. Over his last 14 appearances, spanning 15 innings, he has allowed five hits.
38. Kerry Wood, RP, CHC: A blister will keep him out of the All-Star game, but it hasn't stopped him from racking up 24 saves with a 4.23 K/BB ratio.
39. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS: Though he has 35 steals, a huge total for a Red Sox, he has but one steal in his last 23 games while he has been caught stealing four times.
40. Brandon Webb, SP, ARI: Webb leads the league in victories since the All-Star break last season with 23 (against eight loses).
41. Cole Hamels, SP, PHI: Since the start of June Hamels has 57 K against just 11 BB leading to a 0.91 WHIP in 60.2 IP.
42. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL: Over the past three weeks this Orioles outfielder is hitting .360 with 20 runs and 17 RBI.
43. Dan Haren, SP, ARI: Over his last eight starts Haren is only 3-1 but his is sporting a 0.82 WHIP and 1.45 ERA with 52 K and only 11 BB in 56 IP.
44. Jason Bay, OF, PIT: Bay continues to produce after a down '07 with three home runs and nine RBI in his last eight games.
45. Corey Hart, OF, MIL: Enters the break in a 2-for-19 slump that has dropped his average to .289.
46. B.J. Upton, 2B/OF, TB: Since the start of June he is batting a mere .235 over 136 AB to drop his season long average to just .276.
47. Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: Though everyone is focused on Ryan Howard and his strikeouts, few seem to have taken notice of the fact that Kemp is third in the NL with 104 K at an unhealthy rate of one per 3.25 AB.
48. Joe Nathan, SP, MIN: The Twins All-Star has converted nine save chances in a row and 27 of 29 on the year.
49. Ervin Santana, SP, LAA: Has allowed only 111 hits in 129.1 IP during which time he has struck out 122 batters.
50. J.D. Drew, OF, BOS: Drew has 17 home runs on the year, a total he has exceeded only once in the past three years (20 in 2006).