Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes
Last Night Rewind
- Impressive pitching is probably the only way to describe several outings yesterday. Roy Oswalt led the charge by recording a one-hitter. The Houston starter allowed one first inning single and that was all the offense that the Pirates could muster against the trade target. With every outing, Oswalt is increasing his value. With New York a potential option, it might be advised to sell high.
- John Danks took a no-hitter into the seventh inning yesterday afternoon against the Angels. He allowed back-to-back singles in the inning, but then settled down to help Chicago secure the victory. It was his first career shutout and gave him a victory over Ervin Santana in what was a complete pitching duel all afternoon.
- Justin Morneau took a knee to the head the other day and was held out of the lineup last night as a result. The injury is not considered major but is still being described as a mild concussion. Morneau owners should not panic, but they certainly should take that into account tonight if they have another option available on the bench. He is listed as day-to-day.
- Brad Lidge blew his third save in four chances last night. Lidge has now given up six earned runs in his last 4.2 innings. Charlie Manuel has said that, at least for the time being, Lidge will be the team's closer. With Ryan Madson getting healthier and being activated yesterday, it may be a much shorter leash now.
- Mat Latos worked another scoreless seven inning game last night in a win over the Nationals. Latos continues to be among the league leaders in starts where he holds teams without a run through at least seven innings. He scattered five hits and struck out eight batters last night to lower his WHIP to 0.97 and ERA to 2.45.
- Expect to see Jose Molina get the call behind the plate for Toronto. He is 5-for-13 against Jon Lester and has the only average above .250 on the Blue Jays. Vernon Wells is only 5-for-21 and Jose Bautista is 4-for-20. Aaron Hill has really struggled as well at just 2-for-20. Avoid any Blue Jays you can in this one.
- After back-to-back rough road outings, Justin Verlander rebounded with a solid home start his last time. The win improved him to 5-2 at home with a 2.63 ERA this season. It is where he will get Minnesota on Friday. Few decent numbers for the Twins. Keep Denard Span in the lineup, a .435 hitter against Verlander. Jason Kubel is at .357 and Joe Mauer is at .350. Jim Thome may hit just .244, but seven of his 10 hits have been home runs. Look to avoid the 5-for-37 of Michael Cuddyer.
- Jorge de la Rosa will get the ball coming off the DL against the Padres on Friday. He pitched well in two of his three rehab starts and had struck out 23 batters in 26 innings prior to being injured. Scott Hairston is 4-for-10 against the Colorado starter with two home runs to boot. Adrian Gonzalez is only 4-for-18.
- The sample might be big enough to say that you should sit David DeJesus against Mark Buehrle. In 72 at-bats, he has just one home run and holds a .181 average. Alberto Callaspo is no better in a smaller sample, checking in at 2-for-19. Mitch Maier should go in this one, as he is 8-for-19. Bloomquist, Butler, and Aviles are all worth the start.
- Adam Wainwright pitches well away from home but he holds only a 3-5 record. Look to avoid Carlos Lee. He is only 1-for-23 against Wainwright. Michael Bourn is 7-for-21 and Hunter Pence checks in at .310. Lance Berkman can only find his way to .240 but does have two home runs in 25 at-bats.
- Robinson Cano may hit everyone, but Cliff Lee is not "everyone." Cano is only 5-for-22 against the lefty. No major concerns for your Yankees otherwise. Alex Rodriguez and his .263 mark against Lee is the low-water mark beyond Cano and even there A-Rod has two home runs in 19 at-bats. Start them as you normally would.
- Brandon Inge is just 4-for-26 against Francisco Liriano and has struck out 13 times against him. Gerald Laird is just 2-for-12 as well. Otherwise, look to use your Tigers as you normally would in this one. Liriano is 1-1 against the Tigers this year and has struck out 16 batters in 14 innings pitched.
- You have to consider using Bud Norris against the Cardinals. Norris is 2-0 against them this season and has allowed just one earned run in 13 innings of work. In total, he has struck out 17 and allowed three walks and 10 hits. Albert Pujols is only 2-for-11 against Norris and Colby Rasmus as the collar at 0-for-9.
- Six consecutive wins for Joel Pineiro over his last six starts. He is still available in better than a third of all ESPN leagues. In his last 37.1 innings in these starts, he has allowed a total of only six earned runs and has lowered his ERA from 5.23 to 3.96. Grab him for the start here against Oakland.
- Spot Starts: Norris, Pineiro, Mike Leake
- The numbers do not look good for Nick Blackburn on the road. He is just 2-5 with a 9.40 ERA and .401 BAA on the road this season. He has lost his last four decisions away from home and has allowed nine home runs in 37.1 innings. The silver lining is that he is 2-0 against the Tigers this season, but both those wins came at home. Inge, Laird, and Carlos Guillen are the only players hitting poorly against Blackburn.
- Look to avoid David Wright against Tim Hudson. Wright is only 10-for-44 when facing the Atlanta starter. No other major concerns in this one. Jason Bay is 5-for-13 and Rod Barajas is 5-for-10. Those two have the best overall numbers. Hudson is holding batters to a .235 average away from home this season.
- Gavin Floyd has been on a complete roll. Though he is just 1-2 against Kansas City this season, the win came in his last outing and was part of this impressive streak. He has allowed just six earned runs in his last 42.2 innings of work covering six starts. No truly bad numbers against Floyd from the Royals, though. Look to use Mike Aviles, Alberto Callaspo, and Yuniesky Betancourt. All are above .300 against Floyd and could provide some offense if needed.
- Aaron Hill is only 1-for-15 against John Lackey while Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells are not much better. Neither have been able to muster an average better than .210 and both have better than the 15 at-bats of Hill. Lackey is a bit of a struggle to start. He is what he is right now - six innings, three runs, a couple walks, a couple strikeouts. Do not expect better.
- Carlos Lee is only a .250 hitter against Jeff Suppan, but he does have three home runs and 12 RBI in 72 at-bats against the starter. Lance Berkman has the same three home runs, but has done it in 40 at-bats with a .375 average. Pedro Feliz is good for a .360 mark as well in 25 trips to the plate against Suppan.
- Johan Santana has been much better in his last two outings, allowing just one run over his last 16 innings. Big winner in this one is going to be Matt Diaz. Diaz is 13-for-22 against Santana, good for a .522 mark. Yunel Escobar, Chipper Jones, and Troy Glaus are all better than .300 against Santana. Omar Infante is at the other end, checking in at .3-for-28.
- If you are getting to Jered Weaver, you need to do it on the road. Weaver is only 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA away from home. Oakland was able to do that last time out, as they pounded out six runs and 10 hits against him. Some bad numbers, though, from Oakland. Only Kurt Suzuki (.292) and Ryan Sweeney (.333) are hitting better than .238 and have at least 11 at-bats.
- A.J. Pierzynski has raked against Zack Greinke, going 18-for-43 with two home runs. Alex Rios is a .346 hitter as well. That is about as good as it gets. Paul Konerko has a .145 average in 55 at-bats and adds 15 strikeouts. Carlos Quentin is 4-for-21, but does have three home runs, and Alexei Ramirez is only 3-for-20.
- Ichiro has hit .385 in 52 at-bats against C.C. Sabathia while Milton Bradley checks in at .429 in 14 at-bats. Only other good number is the 4-for-10 of Franklin Gutierrez. Otherwise, avoid your Mariners. Chone Figgins is 5-for-20 while Jose Lopez is 2-for-18 and Russell Branyan is 1-for-10.
- Spot Starts: Clayton Richard, Madison Bumgarner, Wade LeBlanc, Vin Mazzaro, Jeremy Bonderman
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