With only two weeks left in August, the baseball season will soon be approaching the best time of the season: September. Many teams are still in the playoff race, and there are plenty of games left to either make or break a team.
Heading into this week, the Yankees are the best team in baseball. They once again meet up with the Red Sox this Friday, in what should be another great weekend for baseball.
There are two more series that have playoff implications on them, and they are the Giants versus Rockies and the Braves versus the Marlins. With all four of these teams in the chase for the Wild card, the standings could really be shuffled after this weekend.
Players to Pick Up for Week 20
Mark Ellis, 2B (OAK)
Ellis has been on a tear as of late, raising his batting average from .219 to .283 over his past 19 games. Since returning from the disabled list June 28, he has recorded six homers and 33 RBI with a .315 BA.
It is up in the air how long he will continue this hot streak, but ride him now while you can.
Tommy Hunter, SP (TEX)
A few weeks ago, I put Hunter on my pick-ups for the week, but never expected him to perform the way he has been over the last month of the season: four wins, 22 strikeouts while posting a 2.20 ERA.
This kid is for real, so if you didn’t pick him up the last time I put him on this list, do it this time!
Miguel Montero C, (ARI)
Montero is the second best catcher in all of fantasy baseball over the last month of the season, only trailing Twins catcher Joe Mauer. He is batting .352 with six homers and 21 RBI over that span.
He seems to be looked past in most fantasy leagues, so go out there and pick this guy up if you are in need of help in your batting average and RBI categories.
American League Injury Updates
Vladimir Guerrero was a late scratch from the Angels games on Sunday due to leg stiffness, but should return to action Monday.
The Athletics have seen Dallas Braden’s mobility improve in his infected left ankle, but he still has swelling, which is a concern.
Justin Duchscherer threw five innings in a rehab start August 13 and is expected back in the Athletics rotation within the week.
The Blue Jays are hoping to have Brett Cecil back August 20 after he missed his last start due to left knee problems.
Mariners’ pitcher Erik Bedard underwent season-ending surgery on August 14 in hopes of returning for Spring Training in 2010.
The Mariners have placed third baseman Adrian Beltre on the disabled list with a testicle contusion, and should return to baseball activity August 23.
Nelson Cruz has been placed on the disabled list with a left ankle sprain and is likely to play to for the Rangers Triple-A affiliate August 17.
The Rays have set a return date of September 1 for second baseman Akinori Iwamura, after missing significant time due to a torn left ACL.
Tim Wakefield may possibly return to the Red Sox August 20 after making a successful rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket August 15.
The Tigers have listed Brandon Inge as day-to-day after sitting him out of Sunday’s game with left knee problems.
The White Sox hope to have Jake Peavy make his debut with the team August 28, after pitching three scoreless innings in Triple-A August 13.
Hideki Matsui is listed as day-to-day after sitting out of Sunday’s game, due to getting fluid in his knee drained.
National League Injury Updates
The Astros hope to have Mike Hampton back August 18, after he left his August 13 game in the fifth inning due to a strained left shoulder.
Tim Hudson is scheduled for another rehab start August 18, and should only need one more rehab start in order to return to the Braves rotation.
The Braves have listed Rafael Soriano as day-to-day, after he was said to have muscular discomfort behind his throwing shoulder.
The Cardinals are hoping to have pitcher Todd Wellemeyer back in their rotation within the next week, as he was cleared to throw August 16.
Ted Lilly is expected to return from the disabled list August 17 when the Cubs take on the Padres.
The Cubs hope to have pitcher Carlos Zambrano back next week, after he was able to throw a successful 45-pitch bullpen session on August 16.
Justin Upton was able to hit off of a tee August 16, but isn’t expected back in the Diamondbacks lineup until at least early September.
Chad Billingsley is expected back early this week, after missing his starts last week due to a right hamstring strain.
Dodgers’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is unlikely to make his next scheduled start after being struck in the head by a line drive over the weekend.
The Mets have placed third baseman David Wright on the disabled list, after suffering from post-concussion symptoms.
Nationals’ rookie Jordan Zimmermann is slated for season-ending elbow surgery August 19.
After missing the last few months with a torn hip labrum, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers will begin to throw long toss sessions in the hope of returning to action within the next two weeks.
Josh Beckett (BOS): @TOR (Romero), NYY (Sabathia)
Chris Carpenter (STL): @LAD (Haeger), @SD (Correia)
CC Sabathia (NYY): @OAK (Duchscherer), @BOS (Beckett)
Tim Lincecum (SF): @CIN (Arroyo), @COL (Jimenez)
Felix Hernandez (SEA): @DET (Porcello), @CLE (Carmona)
Tommy Hanson (ATL): ARI (Scherzer), FLA (Volstad)
A.J. Burnett (TOR): @OAK (Mazzaro), @BOS (Tazawa)
Derek Lowe (ATL): @NYM (Perez), FLA (Nolasco)
Mark Buehrle (CWS): KC (Bannister), BAL (Berken)
Ubaldo Jimenez (COL): @WAS (Stammen), SF (Lincecum)
Chad Billingsley (LAD): STL (Boggs), CHC (Dempster)
Ricky Nolasco (FLA): @HOU (Norris), @ATL (Lowe)
Max Scherzer (ARI): @ATL (Hanson), @HOU (TBD)
Ryan Dempster (CHC): @SD (Carrillo), @LAD (Billingsley)
Tommy Hunter (TEX): MIN (Liriano), @TB (Garza)
Ricky Romero (TOR): BOS (Beckett), LAA (Bell)
Ervin Santana (LAA): @BAL (Hernandez), @TOR (Rzepczynski)
David Price (TB): BAL (Berken), TEX (Feldman)
Bud Norris (HOU): FLA (Nolasco), ARI (Garland)
Scott Feldman (TEX): MIN (Pavano), @TB (Price)
Pedro Martinez (PHI): ARI (Garland), @NYM (Perez)
Jon Garland (ARI): @PHI (Martinez), @HOU (Norris)
Manny Parra (MIL): @PIT (Ohlendorf), @WAS (Stammen)
Other two-start pitchers
Fausto Carmona (CLE), Ted Lilly (CHC), Francisco Liriano (MIN), David Hernandez (BAL), Craig Stammen (WAS), Oliver Perez (NYM), Kevin Hart (PIT), Homer Bailey (CIN), Vin Mazzaro (OAK), Kevin Correia (SD), Carl Pavano (MIN), Trevor Bell (LAA), Brian Bannister (KC), Jason Berken (BAL), Carlos Villanueva (MIL), Mitchell Boggs (STL), Joe Martinez (SF), Caesar Carrillo (SD), Livan Hernandez (NYM), Charlie Haeger (LAD).
Good luck to all this week, and check back next week for the weekly rundown!
This article was originally published at www.rotoinfo.com.