Fantasy Baseball: Week Seven Rundown

Matthew BeckCorrespondent IMay 18, 2009

Week Seven Rundown

With six weeks down in the season, you pretty much know where you stand with your fantasy league.  If you aren’t doing too well, this week could be a good opportunity to turn things around.

With interleague play starting at the end of the week, your fantasy team may take a turn for the best or the worst.

Some of your fantasy teams may be losing a hitter or two, due to the loss of the designated hitter in National League ballparks, while others may be able to use hitters that don’t usually use since they are playing in American League ballparks.


Players that will be affected by interleague play this weekend:

·    Mike Jacobs:  Jacobs will be splitting time with Billy Butler at first base, since they will be playing a three game series in St. Louis.  Expect the Royals to use favorable matchups in deciding who plays first base.


·    Chris Davis:  Davis has been swinging a hot bat, but so has the Rangers designated hitter Hank Blalock. If you are a Davis owner, expect Blalock to take over first base in Houston this weekend.


·    Travis Snyder:  Snyder hasn’t really lived up to the hype this season. Expect to see the hot hitting Adam Lind replace Snyder in the outfield this weekend in Atlanta.


·    Pat Burrell:  Burrell is expected to be place on the disabled list this week.  But if he isn’t, expect him to get minimal playing time since the Rays are playing in a National League ballpark.


Players to pick up for interleague play this weekend

·    Matt Stairs: Stairs could potentially be the pickup of the week. The Phillies will be playing a weekend series at the New York Yankees, in which he should be used as the designated hitter. New Yankee Stadium is perfect for a power hitter like Stairs to potentially have a huge weekend. Pick him up if you are lacking power, but he should only be used for short term purposes.


·    Gary Sheffield:  Sheffield will most likely be used in the designated hitter slot this weekend in Boston.  Sheffield has had success hitting at Fenway Park over his long career.  The Mets are probably happy that they don’t have to platoon Sheffield with Daniel Murphy.  Like Stairs, if you are lacking power numbers, give Sheffield a look but probably only for a short term fix.


·    Mat Gamel:  This young slugger was called up last week but has yet to find a place in the lineup. With an upcoming series in Minnesota this weekend, expect Gamel to be the designated hitter. He should start to get more playing time after this weekend, so expect his playing time to start to increase in the near future.


·    Gerardo Parra:  Parra was promoted from Double-A Mobile last week and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup. Not being known for his fielding, he will be the team’s designated hitter this weekend in a series with the Oakland Athletics.  He should put up good power numbers in Arizona’s struggling offense.


Two-Start Pitchers for Week Seven


Must Start

·    Dan Haren:  Haren is always a must start, but with matchups against Florida and Oakland it makes him a great stat filler this week.


·    Ted Lilly:  Lilly has matchups with two slumping pitchers this week, in Joel Pineiro and Chris Young.  Expect two wins this week from Lilly.


·    Felix Hernandez:  King Felix has received almost no run support this season.  If he continues to pitch the way he is and receives some run support, he would be in the top tier of pitchers. He should have a good week against the Angels and the Giants.


·    Josh Johnson:  With favorable matchups, Johnson should put up good numbers this week. He is facing Arizona and Tampa Bay.


·    James Shields:  The ace of the Rays staff will be going twice this week. Facing the Athletics and the Marlins, Shields should be able to get a lot of strikeouts and post a low ERA.



Should Start


·    Cliff Lee:  If Lee wasn’t facing the Royals and Reds this week he would be in the must start category.  Both teams have good offenses, that Lee might not be able to control.  He might put up a good ERA, but I don’t expect him to get any victories.


·    Mark Buerhle:  He has pitched great this season, but the White Sox as a whole have not.  He will give you a good ERA and WHIP, but like Lee, you shouldn’t expect him to post two wins.



Other notable two pitch starters


Brian Bannister : CLE (Lee), @STL (Pineiro)

Barry Zito: @SD (Young), @SEA (Hernandez)

Ricky Nolasco: ARI (Haren), TB (Niemann)

Joel Pineiro: @CHC (Lilly), KC (Bannister)

Braden Looper: @HOU (Hampton), @MIN (Baker)

Scott Baker: @CWS (Richard), MIL (Looper)
Tim Wakefield: TOR (Richmond), NYM (Niese)

Jarrod Washburn: LAA (Palmer), SF (Sanchez)
Andy Pettitte: BAL (Guthrie), PHI (Moyer)

Jamie Moyer: @CIN (Owings), @NYY (Pettitte)
Randy Wolf: NYM (Niese), LAA (Saunders)
Mike Hampton: MIL (Looper), TEX (McCarthy)

Jordan Zimmermann: PIT (Ohlendorf), BAL (Bergesen)
Chris Young: SF (Zito), CHC (Lilly)





Injury Updates


·    Kevin Youkilis:  Youkilis is expected to play in two rehab games early this week before being activated for the weekend series with the Mets.


·    Frank Fransisco:  The Rangers best bullpen option was placed on the 15 day disabled list with biceps tendinitis over the weekend.  Expect C.J. Wilson to receive all save opportunities for the Rangers.


·    Edinson Volquez:  Volquez left the Red’s game on Saturday night with back spasms in the sixth inning.  He is listed as day-to-day.


·    Travis Hafner:  Hafner had his first rehab start over the weekend, and is expected to have a few more before being activated by the Indians


·    Chien-Ming Wang:  Wang pitched in his second rehab start for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre on Sunday and pitched great.  Expect Wang to return to the rotation later this week. He will likely replace Phil Hughes, who will be making a start on Wednesday against the Orioles.


·    Pat Burrell:  Burrell was placed on the disabled list on Sunday with a neck strain.  There is no timetable set for his return.


·    Chris Carpenter:  Carpenter will be getting the start Tuesday versus the Cubs in Chicago.  Expect to see the electric stuff we all know he is capable of having.


·    Rickie Weeks:  The Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will travel to Phoenix on Monday to see a hand specialist after exiting Sunday's game with soreness in his left wrist. 


·    Magglio Ordonez:  He is expected to miss at least Tuesday and Wednesday’s games and was placed on the bereavement list. 


·    Joey Votto:  Votto was removed from Cincinnati’s game early on Saturday due to dizziness.  He is still trying to get over a flu that pasted through the Reds’ clubhouse earlier in the week and will be examined on Monday.



Other things to know for week seven


·    With the rain-out in Atlanta on Sunday, it means that Derek Lowe will now become a two start pitcher.  Also, the season debut of Kris Medlen will now be pushed back from Tuesday to Thursday. 


·    Tim Redding will be making his first start of the season on Monday against Randy Wolf and the Dodgers.


·    David Ortiz should be returning to the lineup this week, in the hopes that the time off will help him get out of his slump.


·    Phil Hughes will most likely be pitching in his last major league game on Wednesday.  Hopefully he can leave on a high note.


·    Rich Hill should be making another start of the week.  If he pitches well, expect to hear talks about him returning to his former self, that was once an up and coming star.


·    Carlos Zambrano will be making his first start since returning from the disabled list on Friday against the Padres.



Great pitching matchups of the week




Dan Haren vs. Ricky Nolasco




Cliff Lee vs. Brian Bannister

Ted Lilly vs. Joel Pineiro

Scott Baker vs. Mark Buerhle

John Maine vs. Chad Billingsley




Jorge De La Rosa vs. Javier Vazquez

Yovani Gallardo vs. Wandy Rodriguez

Francisco Liriano vs. John Danks




Kevin Millwood vs. Edwin Jackson

Dallas Braden vs. Matt Garza

Joe Saunders vs. Erik Bedard




Johan Santana vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka

Brett Myers vs. A.J. Burnett


Saturday and Sunday


Not listed



Good luck to all this week and check back again next week for the weekly rundown!


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