I don't understand the two game series in baseball. It just doesn't make sense to me. You have a team fly in, play twice, then go somewhere else for two games, then a weekend series. In what realm does that add up?
We have plenty of them this week, as teams finished games last night and got on planes to head to another destination. When you add this to the idea of playing early April games in the northern part of the country in outdoor stadiums, the scheduling questions mount further.
I know there's a lot to consider, but this is what we're left with? If teams weren't required to play everyone in their division 19 times a year, you'd have to think it would be slightly better.
And, yes, I think Joba threw at Jason Bay last night. Between that and the fist pumps, he's going to get someone on the Yankees killed.
On to the notes.
- Jacoby Ellsbury left yesterday's game with tightness in his hamstring. Ellsbury didn't appear to injure himself on anything in particular, but was taken out as a precaution. He'll be evaluated before the game today as to if he can go. With the weather in Boston the past few days, I wouldn't be surprised to see him held out.
- Kevin Youkilis also missed last night's game against the Yankees with tightness in his back. Youkilis was hurt during a swing on Monday night, and the pain didn't allow him to go on Tuesday. I haven't heard anything to lead me to believe there are long term implications here. Wouldn't be surprised to see him back tonight.
- Josh Hamilton has tested his rib cage muscle and declared himself ready to return to the Rangers next week. They need to get his bat back in the lineup, and this is good news for fantasy owners. Those of you in weekly leagues should have him set to go.
- Matt Capps will miss the next few games. Amazing how this usually happens to a closer after a disaster of an outing. Capps is said to have elbow irritation, something that surprisingly developed over the course of two poor outings. He'll be ready to go this weekend.
- Roy Oswalt left yesterday's start after four innings with a bone bruise on his right finger. Leaving continues to have him winless on the season, and the ace still searching for answers. He hadn't exactly pitched well prior to leaving, giving up four earned runs on four hits with two walks.
- Chase Utley missed last night's game with a bone bruise on his foot. He suffered the injury over the weekend after being hit by a pitch. Utley feels he's good to go, but was held out as a precaution (recurring theme today). He should be fine in the next day or two, according to reports.
- If you're done with Kyle Davies, I can't exactly blame you. Davies failed to get out of the fifth inning last night, and has struggled in his last three appearances. He's a spot starter, and while he may go on a run, you can afford to use him as one at least in the short term.
- ESPN last night had an interesting stat. The Marlins starting pitchers have failed to be given credit for a win in team's last 18 games. The starters on this team are too good to be letting this happen. In that time, there have been some very good performances, and that can tell you how the offense has struggled as well.
- Johnny Damon has played over 100 games against the Red Sox between his various stops. In that time, he's now hitting over .310. The brief two game stint saw him power two more home runs. Even if you only have him as an extra outfielder, against Boston he's a starter.
- Yesterday's Results: Wins-Padilla, Myers; Losses-Davies, Snell (Season: 71-51-2)
Notes for Wednesday
- Manny Parra has allowed just two runs over his last 11 innings of work. After a rough start, he appears to be coming on a little bit now. Parra hasn't had much time against the Reds, and his only outing at Great American was rough. Still, in deep leagues, today's he's not a bad play.
- The Phillies lineup is looking at feast or famine against Johan Santana. Jimmy Rollins should be sat if you have another option. With his struggles early, and a one for 17 mark against Santana, you could do better. Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, and Ryan Howard are all solid against the Mets starter. Others to avoid? Chase Utley is three for 18 and Shane Victorino is just one for 12.
- 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.
- Derek Lowe continues to pitch well, but your normal Marlins are going to be fine to keep active. Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, and Jeremy Hermida are all well over .300 against Lowe.
- Jake Peavy has only gone 5-5 against the Diamondbacks in his last 12 starts. During that time, his ERA is 4.09. Overall, Arizona hasn't hit him well in these starts, but the details aren't solid. I'm a big fan of Conor Jackson in this one, as he's over .300 against Peavy.
- Roy Halladay has simpy been dominant against the Angels hitters that he's likely to face. Torii Hunter checks in at .107 in 28 at-bats and Bobby Abreu is just at .16a in 31 at-bats. The worst is Juan Rivera at 0-for-13, but he's likely only going to impact deep AL only formats. A 3-for-7 Howie Kendrick is your best option.
- 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.
- Tristan Cockcroft made a couple decent points on Ubaldo Jimenez against the Giants. He notes that Jimenez has a 2.65 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in six career starts against the Giants. He's also not afraid to pitch at home, as his ERA is a run better at Coors than on the road.
- 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 (UPDATE: Never write an article the night before. Guillen is on the DL as of last night). While the ERA may not show it (3.98), the Tigers have hit .320 against Buehrle in their last eight shots against him.
- Spot Starts: Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Bronson Arroyo
- Keep on the Bench: Andy Sonnanstine, Zach Duke
Notes for Thursday
- I wouldn't be shocked if there were a Gabe Kapler sighting against Andy Pettitte. Kapler is a .294 hitter against the Yankees pitcher, and wouldn't be a bad play if you need to reach for a couple hits. Most of your normal Rays are going to be decent starts here, as Pettitte has a 4.70 ERA against the Rays in his last eight starts.
- Expect to see Jeff Keppinger in the lineup somewhere against Ted Lilly. Keppinger is one of only two Astros hitters (Ivan Rodriguez) above .300 against the Cubs starter. I'd hold back as many others as you can, including Lance Berkman (.105 in 19 at-bats) Miguel Tejada (.194 in 36), and Carlos Lee (.222 in 27).
- Jack Wilson is 7-for-17 against Todd Wellemeyer, but the rest of the Pirates that are likely to be in the lineup have had nothing but problems. Wellemeyer's last start was largely encouraging, as he gave up just two runs in seven innings. He may not strike many out, but this is a good spot to use him.
- Chris Young the pitcher enjoys facing Chris Young the hitter. The Diamondbacks outfielder is 0 for 14 against his namesake, and should be held back if you can. Otherwise, your normal plays should be fine in this one.
- Braden Looper has done a solid job against the Brewers. Brandon Philips and Jay Bruce are a combined two for 27 against him, and only Willy Taveras would pose much of a major issue. Keep Joey Votto active, but avoid your Reds otherwise.
- Spot Starts: Looper, Jamie Moyer, Zach Miner