Fantasy baseball category killers: steals

Fantasy baseball category killers: steals

Lorenzo Cain, Royals: He's finally returned from his lengthly disabled list trip, but also has the threat of Jarrod Dyson and a looming Wil Myers to worry about. Cain was inserted into the cleanup spot Sunday, which is comical, and shouldn't be anything we see with regularity. Cain has 30-steal speed, so let's set the half season total at 12-15, given regular playing time.
Jose Altuve, Astros: He's still one of the more unheralded players in the majors, and hopefully his All-Star berth this year will begin to change that. As an opportunistic fantasy gamer though, this is your time to capitalize. Altuve has 15 steals on the season, and looks good for 25-30 at his current pace. He'll provide modest power and a strong batting average too, making him a nice little package, pun unintended.
Ben Revere, Twins: The Twins have a bunch of rabbits on their roster, and we're back to Revere this week, who has been highly effective by stealing eight bases during the past month. You'll get a strong batting average, but zero power as he's now gone 701 at-bats without a home run. As long as he's killing the steals category though, you should be pleased.
Alexei Ramirez, White Sox: After only tallying one steal in April, Ramirez has stolen 10 bases since and appears to be closing in on the 20-steal plateau for the first time in his career. He's been one of the better middle infield plays over the past month (.393, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 17 R, 3 SB). And at only 66 ownership in the Yahoo! Game, he could be available on your league waiver wire.
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: This seems crazy, but A-Rod is running more this year than he has since '09, when he stole 14 bases. The power hasn't completely evaporated either, and you're sure to get strong run production from him being in a potent Yankees lineup. He currently has 10 steals on the year, and should approach 18-20 if this pace continues.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Scott Darling gets the nod.

Joel Quenneville is giving a struggling Corey Crawford a breather tonight, electing to go with Darling in the final game of the father's road trip. Darling is 11-4-2 with a 2.34 goals against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 20 games this season. His numbers aren't as great on the road, where he is 4-2-1 with a 2.83 GAA and .901 save percentage compared to a 7-2-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage at home, but he fared well against Boston last season. The Lemont native stopped 42 of 46 shots, good for a .913 save percentage, in a 6-4 win at the United Center last April.

2. The Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line.

The Blackhawks' trio of Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin had a rare zero points in Tuesday's 6-4 win over Colorado, but don't expect to see that again. In fact, it could be the opposite. In their last meeting against the Bruins, a 6-4 win on April 3 during the 2015-16 season, they combined for 11 points (five goals, six assists), highlighted by a Kane hat trick that put him at 100 points on the season for the first time in his career. 

3. How the rookies build off a monsterous game.

In arguably the most well-rounded victory of the season Tuesday in Colorado, the Blackhawks had three rookies that had multi-point efforts. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals, including the game winner. Tanner Kero had two goals and one assist, while Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. It was the top-six that was doing the heavy lifting earlier in the season, now the bottom-six is slowly starting to contribute on a consistent basis. The Blackhawks will be in great shape if they can confidently roll four lines that have the potential to find the back of the net on any given shift.

4. Patrice Bergeron vs. Jonathan Toews.

Two of the best two-way centers in the league will go head-to-head, and it's always a fun matchup to watch. Bergeron leads the league with 597 faceoff wins, and is ranked fifth with a 58.4 percentage at the dot while Toews ranks eighth in wins with 473 — despite missing nine games with a back injury — and sits at sixth with a 57.5 percentage. Both of the perennial Selke Trophy candidates have struggled offensively this season, with Bergeron recording only 21 points in 45 games and Toews with 22 points in 38 contests. Bergeron has been heating up as of late, though, scoring three goals and six assists in his last eight games. Bergeron also leads the league in possession numbers, with the Bruins controlling 61.9 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when he's on the ice.

5. Brad Marchand.

In September, Marchand inked an eight-year, $49 million deal and it's already paying dividends for the Bruins. He has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last eight games, and 45 points total, which is by far the most on his team and tied for sixth in the NHL. He's 16 points away from tying his career high of 61 set last season, with a little less than half the year to go. He's also had great success against the Blackhawks. In his last six games against Chicago, dating back to the 2013-14 campaign, he has registered at least a point in all of them, scoring four goals and adding five assists. To make life more difficult, he's a player that enjoys getting under people's skin, so expect him to be a big factor tonight.

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