Fantasy Baseball: Thursday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IApril 23, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 15:  Mike Lowell #25 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum April 15, 2009 in Oakland, California. All Major League Baseball players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson day.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Unfortunately, the Rolling Stones didn't talk with me today when I heard "Time is On My Side" on the radio this morning. Just isn't going to work out that way. 
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that there are very few games today to worry about. The bad news is that you get mainly a repeat of the points yesterday.  
Let's get right to it... 
Quick Wednesday Rewind
  • Mike Lowell has five multi-hit games in his last seven, and helped rock the Twins in the early game yesterday. With Jorge Cantu's uncertainty in every day lineups, the hot-hitting Lowell could give a boost to teams that need help at third. Don't read into his missing last night's game. Remember, he's still recovering from injury last season.
  • Marco Scutaro was flying high, but now has just one hit in his last four games. Scutaro generates flexibility on your roster, but he's not going to hit .300 this season. If he settled in around the .265-.270 mark, that's about what owners should hope for. He's great to ride on a streak, but isn't a long-term solution.
  • The more Melky Cabrera hits, the more he'll be in the lineup. Joe Girardi grew frustrated with him last season, and that's the main reason behind Brett Gardner being the primary answer in center. Cabrera's two home runs yesterday will buy him some more at-bats in the short run, so watch closely.
  • I'm not saying to run out and grab Brian Bannister, but he should be able to hold a rotation spot over Horacio Ramirez. Reports indicate that he put together a lot of ground balls in the minors, and we saw that against Cleveland last night. Matchup plays are best for him, and just watch him away from home.
  • Amazing how pitchers can just enjoy a ballpark. Jair Jurrjens didn't give up a run in nearly eight full innings of work against the Nationals. He didn't get the win, but did lower his ERA at the park in impressive fashion. Jurrjens was a pleasant surprise in 2008, and should be looked at in NL-only leagues and deep mixed leagues for teams starving for pitching...or using Chien-Ming Wang.
  • Last Night's Results: Wins-Maholm, Jurrjens, Baker, Verlander; Loss-Saunders (Season: 40-25-2)
Thursday Notes
  • Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Garko have posted very good numbers against Gil Meche, while Grady Sizemore has struggled. Meche has no real hold ups as a start, especially given how he continues to pitch and improve from last season.
  • Bobby Abreu is 3-for-21 against Edwin Jackson lifetime, and the Angels haven't exactly pounded the Tigers starter. Still, Jackson hasn't had much luck against the Angels in Anaheim. He's one of very few spot options today, and he's been pitching well. Without Vlad Guerrero, the run should continue.
  • Don't be surprised to see Scott Rolen and Kevin Millar getting into the act for the Blue Jays today. Both are near .400 against Kevin Millwood in at least 45 career at-bats. Millwood has been pitching well, but these two need to be added to your lineup.
  • While the Cubs have hit .292 against Aaron Harang, Alfonso Soriano is just 4-for-22 against the Reds starter. Start all other Cubs, but if you have other options for Soriano, it's worth a shot here. He's normally a starter every night, but this does have a track record to be concerned with.
  • Cole Hamels still is having problems finding the plate and working his pitch count up. I'm not overall thrilled with the speed issues we're seeing at this point either. Still, the Brewers have rough numbers, especially Corey Hart (1-for-13). This matchup is a decent one to get him going. Sit him if you can, but if you need the start at this point in the week, go for it.
  • While James Shields is just 1-1 in four starts against the Mariners, they haven't hit him well or scored many runs. It's been mainly rough luck as much as anything. With a WHIP just over 1.00, and a 2.12 ERA, Shields is a solid start, and all unnecessary Mariners should be held out of lineups.
  • Look away from Dave Bush tonight. The Phillies have some decent numbers against him, especially the big bats. Jimmy Rollins could start to get on track tonight, as he's a .270 hitter against Bush for his career.
  • Khalil Greene is just 3-for-20 lifetime against Livan Hernandez, and Yadier Molina has had his struggles too. Even Albert Pujols is only hitting .276 against Hernandez with just one home runs and two RBI in 29 at-bats. Trust me, not saying to start the Mets pitcher, but look away from some of your Cardinals.
  • While Kyle Lohse is solid at home, the Mets have posted a .433 average against him in a total of 127 at-bats. When the only bad number you see is a .286 average from Jose Reyes, that's a good thing for an offense. Keep Lohse down.
  • It's a limited slate of games, so the starts aren't plentiful. Still, the early spot starts are Edwin Jackson, Wandy Rodriguez, and Scott Richmond.
  • Keep on the Bench: Kyle Lohse

Notes for Friday

  • The Reds have had very limited exposure to Javier Vazquez, but the players that have seen him have hit him well. Need a reach play in NL-only leagues? Alex Gonzalez is 12-for-31 against Vazquez for his career.
  • I wouldn't be afraid of Brandon Inge or Placido Polanco against Zack Greinke. While the Royals ace has been beyond tough to start the season, but of these Tigers hitters have had decent success against him. Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez, though, have had better luck.
  • Don't reach for Marlins outfielders against Brett Myers tomorrow. While your normal plays will be decent, Jeremy Hermida and Cody Ross are a combined 2-for-25 against the Philadelphia starter.
  • Keep Conor Jackson in your lineup even against Tim Lincecum, as he's 7-for-21. He's about the only Arizona starter you'll want to look at though. The team, even with Jackson's numbers, is hitting only .203 against him.
  • On the flip side, I'd start nearly every Giant against Doug Davis. Everyone seems to have a good time hitting against Davis. The worst regular is Aaron Rowand, at 5-for-19.
  • Derrek Lee is only 3-for-16 against Adam Wainwright, but I would start all your other Cubs. Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez just rake against the Cardinals pitcher. Wainwright is 2-3 against the Cubs since 2006, with an ERA north of 6.00. Earlier this season he gave up four earned in six innings against them. No concerns on your Cardinals against Ryan Dempster.
  • Early Spot Starts: Shane Loux, Rick Porcello, and Koji Uehara