Interleague Play Rundown
This weekend, interleague play starts all around the majors and will last for the next two weeks. With matchups like the Mets traveling across town to play the Yankees, it should make for an interesting couple of weeks.
For some of us, we may be losing a hitter or two to the loss of the designated hitter. Others may be gaining an extra player due to playing in American League ballparks. This shouldn’t be an issue as long as you are ready for what is going to happen for the next few weeks.
Schedules matchups and players that will either be affected or benefit from interleague play:
American League East
New York Yankees NYM, WAS, @FLA, @ATL, @NYM
Hideki Matsui: Matsui has predominately been the Yankees designated hitter this season, and will most likely not be in the lineup when they are playing in a National League ballpark. The only possibility of Matsui seeing time at a National League ballpark would be if the Yankees wanted to give one of their outfielders the day off or in pinch hit situations.
Toronto Blue Jays FLA, @PHI, @WASH, @CIN, PHI
Kevin Millar: Millar is now on the downside of his career and has rarely played the field this season. As expected he will be riding the bench in National League ballparks.
Boston Red Sox @PHI, FLA, ATL, @WAS, @ATL
David Ortiz: Ortiz isn’t known for his defensive skills, so if the Red Sox are playing a National League team, just take him out of your lineup. You may see him in pinch hit situations, or when the Red Sox need a left-handed batter.
Tampa Bay Rays WAS, @COL, @NYM, PHI, FLA
Willy Aybar: Aybar has been playing well as of late, but playing National League teams may mean that he will lose playing time. If Jason Bartlett doesn’t return from the disabled list as planned he may see time at second base or shortstop before his return.
Baltimore Orioles ATL, NYM, @PHI, @FLA, WAS
Luke Scott: Although Scott has 13 home runs on the season; his playing time will be decreased in National League parks. Depending on the matchups, expect the Orioles to circulate the left field position between Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold.
American League Central
Detroit Tigers @PIT, @STL, MIL, CHC, @HOU
Marcus Thames: Thames has been dealing with a nagging injury since the beginning of the season, and just came back from a rib injury. He will most likely split time with Magglio Ordonez in right field at National League ballparks.
Kansas City Royals CIN, ARI, STL, @HOU, @PIT
Mike Jacobs: Jacobs is the man out when talking about losing the designated hitter. He may see some time at first base when the matchups are right.
Cleveland Indians STL, MIL, @CHC, @PIT, CIN
Travis Hafner: After returning from the disabled list, Hafner will probably be sitting for the Indians when playing the National League. He may see some time at first base, but don’t count on it.
Chicago White Sox @MIL, @CHC, @CIN, LAD, CHC
Jim Thome/Paul Konerko: Both of these guys have an equal chance of playing when the team loses the designated hitter. Just check the White Sox lineup prior to their games.
Minnesota Twins @CHC, PIT, HOU, @MIL, @STL
Jason Kubel: Kubel has been the designated hitter for the Twins for most of the season, but I think he will be put in an outfield position at National League ballparks. If he doesn’t, he will be used in pinch hit situations.
American League West
Los Angeles Angels SD, @SF, LAD, COL, ARI
Juan Rivera: Even though Vladimir Guerrero is the team’s designated hitter, expect to see him play in the outfield over Rivera. Rivera will most likely be sued as a situational hitter.
Texas Rangers LAD, HOU, SF, @ARI, SD
Chris Davis/ Hank Blalock: Like Thome and Konerko, these two players will be splitting time at National League ballparks. Blalock is the better choice as Davis has been in his hitting slump as season.
Oakland Athletics @SF, @LAD, @SD, SF, COL
Jason Giambi: Giambi has played minimum amounts at first base this season, but should see some in the upcoming weeks. With the Athletics hitting the ball poorly as of late, this will force the Athletics to play Giambi, even without the designated hitter.
Seattle Mariners @COL, @SD, ARI, SD, @LAD
Mike Sweeney/Ken Griffey: Both players have been splitting the designated hitting role this season, and will most likely both not play at all in National League ballparks. If either one due, it will be due to matchups and situational purposes.
National League East
Philadelphia Phillies BOS, TOR, BAL, @TB, @TOR
Matt Stairs: Stairs is known for his pinch hitting ability, but will be the Phillies designated hitter in American League ballparks. Having played for most of his career in the American League, this gives him an edge that no one else on the team could give the Phillies batting lineup.
Florida Marlins @TOR, @BOS, NYY, BAL, @TB
Ross Gload: The Marlins have not yet released who will be the designated hitter for the next few weeks, but it looks like Gload. He has had a pretty good season thus far and may be worth a look, for a boost in the offense, but only on a limited time basis.
Atlanta Braves @BAL, @CIN, @BOS, NYY, BOS
Garret Anderson: I think that the Braves will place Anderson in the designated hitter role when playing in the American League. It only makes sense, since he has had injury problems in the early part of the season. This means that Matt Diaz will see more time in left field.
Washington Nationals @TB, @NYY, TOR, BOS, @BAL
Austin Kearns: Kearns is the odd man out in the Nationals lineup. He should get time in right field, with Adam Dunn receiving the designated hitter role in American League ballparks.
New York Mets @NYY, @BAL, TB, STL, NYY
Gary Sheffield: Sheffield should return to his natural position, as the designated hitter. Expect to see Fernando Martinez take over left field while Sheffield can rest his legs as the designated hitter. Also, Daniel Murphy may see some more time if the matchups are in his favor.
National League Central
Pittsburgh Pirates DET, @MIN, @COL, CLE, KC
Eric Hinske: Hinske seems to be the best fit to play designated hitter for the Pirates. He is worth a look if you need to add a little power to your fantasy team, but only for a limited amount of time.
Chicago Cubs MIN, CWS, CLE, @DET, @CWS
Milton Bradley: Bradley is a stereotypical designated hitter, which happens not to play in the American League. He isn’t known for his defensive skills, but always had the ability to be a great hitter. Expect to see Bradley at the designated hitter position, with Kosuke Fukudome playing a more permanent role in the outfield at American League ballparks.
Milwaukee Brewers CWS, @CLE, @DET, MIN, SF
Mat Gamel: Gamel, who isn’t the best defender in the world, will be used as a designated hitter in American League ballparks. This great prospect is known for his hitting, so this should help him get acquainted with playing at the major league level.
St. Louis Cardinals @CLE, DET, @KC, @NYM, MIN
Rick Ankiel: Ankiel should be the one used as a designated hitter on the Cardinals. If this is true, Cody Rasmus will see significant time in center field, making him a great fantasy option.
Houston Astros @ARI, @TEX, @MIN, KC, DET
Darren Erstad: Erstad is over the hill, but can still hit the baseball. A designated hitter rile would be great for him, which may be what is to come for him within the next couple weeks. He can be picked up, but only for the away games at American League ballparks.
Cincinnati Reds @KC, ATL, CWS, @TOR, @CLE
Lance Nix: Nix has played a limited role with the Reds this season, but that may be changing shortly. He is in line to be the team’s designated hitter during interleague play, which makes him a good fantasy option. Another option may also be Micah Owings, who has been used in pinch hit situations throughout the season.
National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers @TEX, OAK, @LAA, @CWS, SEA
Jamie Hoffman: Without Manny Ramirez in the lineup, Hoffman will most likely be the designated hitter for interleague play. He has had a good season thus far and should enjoy the designated hitter role for interleague play.
Arizona Diamondbacks HOU, @KC, @SEA, TEX, LAA
Gerardo Parra/ Eric Byrnes: Both of these players should play throughout the next few weeks, so don’t expect their playing time to be an issue. One should be used as a designated hitter, while the other plays left field.
San Diego Padres @LAA, SEA, OAK, @SEA, @TEX
Cliff Floyd: Floyd has been waiting all year to be able to play the designated hitter role. He is getting up there in age, and is starting to decline as a player. This will actually give him some fantasy value if you are looking for a short term fix.
Colorado Rockies SEA, TB, PIT, @LAA, @OAK
Ryan Spilborghs/Brad Hawpe: Most likely Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith will play the corner outfield spots during interleague play. Expect to see Spilborghs or Hawpe as the designated hitter, with a long shot of Garret Atkins if the management wants either of the players to have a day off.
San Francisco Giants OAK, LAA, TEX, @OAK, @MIL
Rich Aurilia: Aurilia has been used in limited amounts this season thus far. With his experience with batting at American League ballparks, this should be a great time to pick him up for short term help with your fantasy lineup.
Be sure to check back for the weekly rundown on Monday for more up to date information on all your fantasy players.
This article was originally published at www.rotoinfo.com.