The lousy weather in the Northeast is going to put a damper on the baseball being played. New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other parts all could be held at the mercy of rain. Make sure to watch closely and adjust your lineups accordingly.
To cap off yesterday, we got news of injuries and possible returns. We'll cover it all right here.
Let's get to the notes.
- Carlos Zambrano has been put on the DL with a hamstring injury. The Cubs believe that the strain should just cost him two turns in the rotation. Personally, I'm always nervous when it comes to injuries to pitchers in general, and legs aren't easy. These can linger if not given proper rest. Just be prepared. To fill in, look at Joe Saunders and Paul Maholm. Both are less than 50 percent owned and should provide decent short-term stats.
- There are rumors out of the Yankees that Alex Rodriguez could be activated as soon as Friday. Let the circus in New York return. With the release of the book and the sheer volume of questions, this could be an unwelcome distraction. Still, fantasy owners need to be excited for this one.
- Cole Hamels is on track to start for the Phillies on Friday. While he's suffered a set back earlier with the ankle injury, this is good news for the Phillies. Fantasy owners should hesitate here. Keep him down at least this start and let's make sure we see velocity and accuracy return.
- When Julio Lugo was slated to sit on the bench last night and Nick Green got the start, we officially entered platoon stage for the Boston shortstop position. Lugo's defensive struggles are certainly reason enough, but Green was hitting well enough to earn time without that. AL-only owners should grab Green, he'll provide decent enough part-time stats to fill in as an extra middle infielder.
- Kevin Youkilis left last night's game with tightness in his back. He swung awkwardly early in the game and was in obvious pain. Youkilis has had an oblique injury, and this may have triggered it again. Monitor this situation carefully in the coming days.
- Rick Ankiel was carted off the field last night after running into the center field wall. Ankiel looked to be banged up, but nothing majorly wrong at first indication. No doubt he'll be sore this morning, and owners should be prepared to update lineups accordingly.
- Zack Greinke continued his dominance to start the season. The Royals ace put together a complete game, striking out ten in the process without giving up a run. To think where he was just a couple years ago to where he is now is a remarkable story, one not talked about enough.
- The Mets have officially moved Oliver Perez to the bullpen. If you were actually holding on to him, cut him now. The bullpen isn't going to help Perez solve his problems. You don't gain confidence in those short spurts. If the Mets want him to start, he needs to spend some time in the minors working on his confidence.
- Scott Kazmir was indeed roughed up by the Orioles last night. He just can't seem to solve them, as was pointed out yesterday. Still, despite more first inning troubles, he didn't walk a batter after the first two of the game. He fell behind 3-0 early as a result. The rest of his outing was much better. He just needs to get his command down.
- Yesterday's Results: Wins-Saunders, Kazmir; Losses-Lohse, Maholm, Jackson (Season: 69-49-2)
- Nate McLouth simply has raked against Jeff Suppan. He's 6-for-14 with two home runs against the Brewers starter and Adam LaRoche is 8-for-21. No one else necessarily stands out, but starting Suppan on the road is never really a good idea. While 6-2 against the Brewers, his ERA in that time is well over 5.00 and he's 1-2 at PNC park with an ERA over 8.00.
- As poor as Prince Fielder's numbers were against Paul Maholm yesterday, he's just as strong against Ian Snell. Fielder is 8-for-17 against the starter on Tuesday. He's the only Brewers starter that stands out. Why? Snell is 4-1 against the Brewers since 2006 with a 2.38 ERA and a WHIP just over 1.00.
- Don't shy away from the Yankees hitters because of Josh Beckett being on the mound. Beckett has had some problems against enough of them to be more concerned going the other way. Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera, and Robinson Cano are all swinging good bats and all hit over .300 against the Red Sox starter. Hideki Matsui is the red flag.
- Ichiro has simply destroyed Vicente Padilla, having gone 20-for-37, good for a .541 average. The rest of the Mariners are hitting just .198 against the Rangers starter. Adrian Beltre might have the best luck, but he's feast or famine. Beltre is just 7-for-36, but four of those hits have been home runs. You can see Padilla's good fortune in the numbers, as he's 4-2 in his last ten starts with a 3.72 ERA.
- The Braves have a decent history against Livan Hernandez, and there isn't necessarily a starter that you would strongly want to consider holding back. While his opponent Kenshin Kawakami continues to struggle with his control, this looks like a decent matchup that deep-league owners could exploit.
- Aaron Cook is a bit Jekyl and Hyde against the Padres. He's got good career numbers at Petco, including a sub-3.50 ERA. While Jody Gerut and Kevin Kouzmanoff don't merit the start against Aaron Cook, all your other Padres are lineup-worthy. The Padres have hit .318 against Cook combined.
- I'm not a fan of Nick Blackburn on the road, and that's the one reason that I like the start of Rick Porcello. While Blackburn has had a decent outing against Cleveland on the road, this matchup doesn't necessarily serve him well.
- Paul Konerko is 6-for-13 against Kyle Davies and Jim Thome is 4-for-13. These two have the best numbers, as the White Sox as a team aren't very strong beyond them. The history is limited, and you can argue that this isn't the same Davies that these guys are used to facing.
- The Nationals haven't had the best of luck against Roy Oswalt. The team has hit just .242 against him. Adam Dunn has had the most experience, dating back to his days with the Reds. Yet, the slugger is just a .250 hitter in 64 at-bats. He does have four home runs, but also 19 strikeouts in that time. In his last five starts against the Nats, Oswalt doesn't have a decision, but has held the team to a .210 average. Oswalt is technically on short rest, but he only threw 17 pitches before rain kicked in on Saturday.
- Matt Garza has been lights out against the Orioles. Keep as many down against him as you can. Given his success at home and his recent performances, Garza becomes one of the better starts of the day.
- Spot Starters: Ian Snell, Vicente Padilla, and Kyle Davies
- Leave on the Bench: Brett Myers
- A.J. Burnett has largely controlled the Rays lineup. The exception? Carl Crawford. Crawford is a .359 hitter in 39 career at-bats. Even factoring in these numbers, the Rays are hitting just .236 as a team against Burnett. With Toronto, he's 4-3 in his last nine starts against the Rays with an ERA just north of 3.00.
- While most of your Milwaukee regulars are going to be just fine against Bronson Arroyo, you'll want to hold off Rickie Weeks and Bill Hall. Weeks is 1-for-20 while Hall is 3-for-19. Corey Hart isn't much better, checking in at 3-for-16. Mike Cameron, J.J. Hardy, and Prince Fielder are all good to go. Arroyo is 5-4 in his last ten starts against them.
- Zach Duke is becoming more widely owned, nearing 50 percent in ESPN leagues, but he's just 2-4 with a 4.44 ERA in his last eight starts against the Cardinals. Most Cardinals regulars have seen good numbers against the Pirates starter. He's had better matchups this season, and this is a spot to avoid him.
- Magglio Ordonez checks in at .536 in 28 at-bats against Mark Buehrle. Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen both have numbers that should keep them in your lineup as well. While the ERA may not show it (3.98), the Tigers have hit .320 against Buehrle in their last eight shots against him.
- Jake Peavy's last outing was encouraging, and he should be able to build on it based on the success he's had against Arizona. I'm a big fan of Conor Jackson in this one, as he's over .300 against Peavy.
- Spot Starts: Justin Masterson, Bronson Arroyo, Ubaldo Jimenez