And now the National League...
Catcher- Brian McCann, Braves
He's one of the league's bright young stars. McCann would be leading the National League in hitting if he had a few more plate appearances. Atlanta's catcher is currently battling an ankle injury, but is batting .347. He is certainly a player to hold on to if you are in a keeper league.
First baseman- Albert Pujols, Cardinals
You probably haven't been this surprised since the 24 season finale (Speaking of which, what are we supposed to do on Monday nights all summer? Can't they rename the show 52 and just never have it end? Someone get on this.) You know all about his numbers--.315, 24 homers, 61 RBIs. He was supposed to be the best fantasy player far and away going in to this season, and he has been. Baseball fans everywhere should be rooting for Pujols to hit 74 bombs this season and finish his career with more homers than Barry Bonds. Can we officially move from the Steroids Era to the Pujols Era?
Second baseman- Chase Utley, Phillies
Fans in Philadelphia love him...and he didn't even have to ram his face in to a wall. Depending on your league, you might be allowed to start Washington's Alfonso Soriano or Cincinnati's Felipe Lopez at second, but neither guy has played a game there all year. Meanwhile, Utley is hitting .319 with nine homers and 31 RBIs. In May, he's batting .359 with five homers, 15 RBIs, 25 runs scored and five steals.
Shortstop- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
He's batting .324 and leads everyone at the position with 43 runs scored. Jose Reyes is the only shortstop with more stolen bases than Ramirez's 16. Not bad for a 22-year-old playing in his first full season in the majors. As always, the kicker here is value. If you are in an auction league and ended up with Ramirez, you probably got him for next to nothing.
Third baseman- Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
Another Marlin? Now we know why they call it fantasy baseball. Florida is 15-33 on the season. Cabrera ranks second or better among NL third basemen in runs, hits, doubles, RBIs and stolen bases. I'm not sure I understand the trade rumors surrounding Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Aren't they the type of young talents you want to start with when rebuilding?
Outfielder- Alfonso Soriano, Nationals
Forget about the spring training hoopla about him not wanting to play in the outfield. Soriano exemplifies the essence of fantasy sports. It's not about being a good teammate. It's about putting up big numbers. Soriano leads all NL outfielders in hits and home runs. He has also stolen 12 bases and scored 38 runs.
Outfielder- Jason Bay, Pirates
One of the few bright spots for Pittsburgh this year, he has been on a tear over the last week. In his last six games, the Pirates' outfielder has hit seven bombs, knocked in 15 runs and scored 11 times. On the season, Bay is hitting .309 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs.
Outfielder- Carlos Lee, Brewers
He is the only NL outfielder to rank in the top-five in home runs (17) and RBIs (43). Perhaps even more impressive is that Lee has struck out only 19 times all season. He has been a productive fantasy player for years. Lee has averaged more than 31 homers and 108 RBIs over the past three seasons.
Note: Pitchers are listed from both the AL and NL
Starter- Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
He leads the league in wins (8), ERA (2.18) and innings pitched (82 2/3) for the first place Diamondbacks. Webb has walked nine batters all season and tossed back-to-back complete game shutouts in his last two outings.
Starter- Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays
The 22-year-old lefty has allowed more than two earned runs just three times in 11 starts. Kazmir trails only Johan Santana in the AL with 73 strikeouts. On the season, he is 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA.
Reliever- Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox
He recently set the rookie record by converting his 17th consecutive save. Papelbon has allowed a run just once in 25 appearances, giving him a 0.35 ERA. He's also surrendered only three walks in 26 innings.
Reliever- Tom Gordon, Phillies
At 38-years-old, nobody expected him to replace Billy Wagner in such impressive fashion. Gordon has notched 14 saves and struck out 30 batters in 22 innings.