A number of shortstops are going down with injuries, leaving the free agent pool rather thin. Most notably, Jimmy Rollins, Yunel Escobar, and Jose Reyes have spent quite a bit more time watching games than playing in them.
If you have a struggling Alexei Ramirez, or a disappointing (and aging?) Derek Jeter, you have probably been to the free agent pool with your fishing pole to see what you can hook.
Sometimes you can find your answer by playing a super utility player like Jeff Keppinger or Omar Infante, but sometimes even super utility types spend too much time on the DL (like Maicer Izturis) so fish frequently until you find the guy who can help your squad.
Interleague play will take a hiatus for a few weeks, so all players are back to normal designated hitter status. With only three teams playing seven games and another three only playing five games this week, you should pay close attention to your matchups.
Now, the projected two-start pitchers for this week.
For those of you in leagues who require you to set your lineup at the beginning of the week, these are guys you should strongly consider:
BAL Jeremy Guthrie; BOS Clay Buchholz; BOS Jon Lester; CWS John Danks; CWS Jake Peavy; CLE Justin Masterson; KC Gil Meche; LAA Joe Saunders; MIN Scott Baker; NYY A.J. Burnett; OAK Dallas Braden; TB Wade Davis; TB James Shields; TOR Brett Cecil.
ARI Ian Kennedy; ATL Kenshin Kawakami; CHC Ryan Dempster; CIN Aaron Harang; CIN Mike Leake; COL Jhoulys Chacin; FLA Anibal Sanchez; HOU Felipe Paulino; LAD Clayton Kershaw; MIL Randy Wolf; NYM R.A. Dickey; PHI Jamie Moyer; PIT Brian Burres; PIT Paul Maholm; SD Jon Garland; SF Todd Wellemeyer; STL Jaime Garcia; WAS Livan Hernandez.
Five best bets for double-start pitchers this week:
1. James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays
Shields gets two home games against two underachieving offenses (vs BOS, vs CWS). Neither is likely to find their stride against Shields and the Rays will likely provide plenty of offense to give him the cushion he needs to coast.
2. Randy Wolf, Milwaukee Brewers
I’m not a Randy Wolf fan, but the Mets and Astros are both scuffling right now and Wolf gets them both at home. The matchups are very favorable and the crafty veteran should find a way to win them both as long as he doesn’t have to rely on Trevor Hoffman to close either game out.
3. Aaron Harang, Cincinnatti Reds
Playing Aaron Harang is always a crapshoot, but home games against Pittsburgh and Houston are too good to pass up. Play him this week but don’t be surprised to see one of them blow up in his face.
4. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
Lester gets the best and (arguably) the worst teams in the American League. The matchup at Tampa Bay looks like a tough test for Lester, but the home game against the Royals should be a breeze.
5. Rich Harden, Texas Rangers
Harden is going on the road for two games (at KC, at MIN). He has the ability to mow down any opponent on any given night and he has an equally good chance of walking off the mound with another injury. He’s too good to sit, but road games are never safe bets.
Rick Milleman is the head fantasy baseball contributor at DraftBuddy.com . Check his annual player projections included in the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy to help draft your championship team.