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Fantasy Baseball: Ryan Howard Or Albert Pujols??

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I know. I know. You read the headline and you think, is Ray going nuts again? He's on vacation, so maybe the ocean breeze has made him think crazy thoughts. Or, maybe he was on a bender last night, and he really isn't thinking straight.

Not so fast. My wife, who happens to be a Phillies fan, pointed out to me this weekend that Ryan Howard is hitting over .300 this season. I was shocked when she told me. I knew he was on a recent power surge, but was not aware he was hitting over. 300. So,I decided to take a look at the top NL first baseman over at Fangraphs for comparison. Here is what I found:

Ryan Howard-22 HRs. 78 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 1 SB, .302-.362-.543

Albert Pujols-23 HRs, 70 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 11 SBs, .300-.406-.561

Other than the SBs, Howard has been just as good as Pujols this season. Pujols was the #1 pick in many fantasy drafts in 2010, but for me, he has had a slightly disappointing season. His BA is well below his career BA of .322, and he is on pace to hit just 37 HRs and drive in 114, well below his 47-135 season in 2009.

Meanwhile, Howard is on pace to hit 36 HRs and drive in 128 runs, also off his 2009 season where he went 45-141. Even still, not many fantasy owners did not expect Howard to be hitting as well as Pujols on July 26th.

Is it possible that Pujols will NOT be the #1 pick in fantasy drafts in 2011?