Astros' Altuve off to surprising start 

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
1:16
PM ET


It's a bit early to pay extra close attention to the ESPN Player Rater and decipher meaningful results, but certainly there are some surprises. Entering the weekend, the top pitcher is St. Louis Cardinals fill-in Lance Lynn, edging out Chicago White Sox reclamation project Jake Peavy. The top Boston Red Sox option, and among the top 10 overall, is shortstop Mike Aviles. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart, who was supposed to start the season on the DL after knee surgery, is in the top 10. And of course, there's no sign of consensus top-three option Albert Pujols.

Then there are the Houston Astros. OK, so there's not a whole lot of discussion these days about the sad-sack Astros, coming off a 106-loss season and planning a move to the American League in 2013 with likely another 100 losses pending. No Astros player was chosen in the first 14 rounds on average of ESPN live drafts, and only two in the top 200 (Carlos Lee at pick 140, Wandy Rodriguez 186). That's it. However, three weeks into the season, the Astros enter Friday's game sixth in baseball in runs scored, and the top of the lineup has sparked things and piqued the interest of fantasy owners.

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