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Monday, August 2, 2004
Updated: August 10, 1:12 PM ET
FLB '04: Who's hot, who's not?

By Eric Karabell
Fantasy Games Senior Editor

You know it, you love it, you can't live without it. Which players are smokin', while others are stinkin'?
Jim Edmonds
Center Field
St. Louis Cardinals
100 28 76 71 3 .303

  • Jim Edmonds, Cardinals: Talk about a guy on a hot streak. Edmonds hit four home runs last week and knocked in 12, not a bad six games at all. He also hit .591 and scored 10 runs. Oh, to be a Cardinal and on fire. In fact, quite a few Cardinals are very hot, led by Edmonds, but including Tony Womack (.440, 4 steals last week), Jason Marquis (NO runs in last two outings) and usual suspects Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols.

  • Jeromy Burnitz, Rockies: So, you thought this power only guy would slow down as the season went on? Well, Burnitz has had a tremendous season, even if virtually all the damage has happened at Coors Field. Last week this guy had five homers and 12 RBI, and his .524. He is on pace for 43 homers and 125 RBI. And just for giggles, at home he's got 19 homers and 54 RBI and hits .363. On the road, it's 9-27 and .249. It's a good thing the Rockies have plenty of home games left.

  • Johan Santana, Twins: Look, this is the best player in fantasy baseball right now. Bar none. I know Edmonds hit all those homers. I know the Player Rater says that Randy Johnson is the best pitcher and Bobby Abreu the best player. Santana is the best. He is changing the most fantasy leagues with his unreal pitching. His ERA in 12 starts is 1.50. In every outing he seems to strike out 12 guys. He's even winning games. He's dominant.

  • Mike Cameron, Mets: Well, I'm sure glad I traded this guy a month ago. I did know that Cameron would get his average up a bit, but the fact that he's supplying this power is a bit surprising. Cameron ended July with 10 home runs, which really isn't like him. He hit .273 and stole three bases, which is. Cameron is a darkhorse 30-30 candidate still (on pace for 33 and 23), but he's raised his average to .232. If he can get it to .250, that would be great.

  • Jaret Wright, Braves: Meanwhile, the hottest NL pitcher over the last month was arguably this retread, who was 4-0 with a 1.42 in July and now has a staggering 3.05 ERA. We worried for the early summer months about this guy, for his ratio was 1.50 as late as June. Now it's 1.31. He's hot, and showing no signs of slowing down. Nice work, Atlanta.

    Jose Valentin
    Chicago White Sox
    84 22 57 56 5 .229
  • Jose Valentin, White Sox: Just a slump for this power hitting shortstop, who entered last week with a .247 average and finished with a .229 average. Going 1-for-24 will do that to an average. Valentin hasn't forgotten how to hit, he'll probably be fine this week. But if you owned this guy last week, you can't be pleased.

  • Matt Morris, Cardinals: Interesting three start run for this fella, who has really been all or nothing. And we can't stress that enough. On July 20, Morris got five outs, and allowed the Cubs seven earned runs. The next start, Morris threw a complete game, seven-hit shutout against the Giants. SO what does Morris do over the weekend? He doesn't even get out of the first inning, allowing eight earned and getting two outs. Morris had a 4.20 ERA before the three-start stretch. Now it's 4.82. Not good.

  • Adam Eaton, Padres: Like the Cards' Morris, you don't know what Eaton will do from start to start. He's got great stuff, and could be a big winner in this league. Or he can throw a stinker out there. Eaton threw seven innings of one-hit ball against the Dodgers two starts ago. He was dominant. On July 3rd, the Royals managed only two hits and struck out 10 times in seven innings. Then there's back to back July starts against the Rockies, in which there were nine earned runs in 11.2 innings. Eaton makes this list not for inconsistency, but for not getting out of the fourth inning over the weekend against the Dodgers, giving up seven earned. Like Morris, he'll probably be great in his next start.

  • Karim Garcia, Orioles: For the 75 percent of AL owners who saw what this guy did in his first game with Baltimore (two homers, five RBI) and added him, punt! Garcia has been horrific since then, and it wouldn't be a shock to see the Birds cut him at some point when/if Jay Gibbons comes off the DL. Garcia has all of four hits in 33 at-bats since that great day. That's not good.

  • Eddie Guardado, Mariners: This guy was having a very nice season until last week. That's when Eddie's valuable left arm started to hurt - he says - and he started to get hit. His ERA was 1.87. He had 18 saves for a bad team. Now his ERA is 2.78 after three straight outings with earned runs. The Angels got a pair of runs on Thursday, and two more on Saturday without Eddie getting an out. Now Eddie's on the DL. Oh well.