Fantasy Baseball: Monday's Matchups

Shaun CopseyCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2008

  • The day starts off in Pittsburgh at 12:35 EDT, as John Maine takes the mound for the NY Mets, facing off against Paul Maholm. The last time each pitcher faced the opposing team, they earned the win. This looks like a pitching duel on paper, and I won't argue against that until I'm proved wrong. If you're looking for a spot start at SS, try Jack Wilson; he has the most experience vs. John Maine, going three for 10.
  • Next up, the San Francisco Giants take on the Atlanta Braves at 4:35 EDT. Giants' SP Barry Zito may prove to be a sleeper, as only one player in the Braves' lineup has prior experience against him: 1B Casey Kotchman. The Braves' first baseman went one for three, and his only hit was a long shot that drove in two runs and contributed to Zito's loss, as the Giants fell 2-0. Taking the mound for the Braves is Jorge Campillo, despite having a 3.09 ERA this season, he's allowed five ER in each of his past two starts. Will it just be a bump in the road, or is Campillo beginning to show the wear and tear of being a full-time starting pitcher?
  • The evening starts off at 7:05 EDT when Boston's Jon Lester (11-4, 3.25 ERA) takes on Baltimore's Mark Guthrie (10-8, 3.18 ERA).  Lester is 4-0 in his career against Baltimore. Guthrie easily counters with a 4-0 record in his past four starts, having only allowed one ER in each and sports a phenomenally low WHIP of .72! If you're looking for a spot start at catcher, consider Ramon Hernandez.  Ramon is five for 14, with a HR, vs. Lester.
  • Jon Garland takes to the mound for the best team in baseball, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Garland is 5-1 in 10 GS against Tampa Bay. In his last outing against Tampa Bay, Garland threw eight shutout innings but earned a no-decision, due to his run support showing up one inning too late. Consider 1B/OF Eric Hinske for a spot start, as he is 12 for 35 with two HR and six RBI against JG. Opposing the LAA is Andy Sonnanstine, who might be a candidate to ride the bench Monday evening. Sonnanstine was tagged for eight hits and five ER in five innings pitched the last time out vs. the Angels. Consider OF Garrett Anderson for a spot start, as he is three for six with four RBI vs. the southpaw.
  • Detroit faces the Rangers in the Texas heat. Kenny Rogers takes on Seth Feldman, in what appears to be a likely slugfest. Seth Feldman was pummeled for 10 H and six ER the last start out vs. Boston, and he didn't even complete three innings. His counterpart, Kenny Rogers, was blasted the last time out vs. Texas for nine H and six ER, failing to complete four innings. Looking for a spot start at catcher? Consider Gerald Laird, who is an unthinkable nine for 15 against Rogers.
  • Two lefties face off in Milwaukee—Randy Wolf vs. CC Sabathia. Randy lasted four-and-one-third innings after throwing 105 pitches his last time out vs. Milwaukee. Even for compulsive gambles, Randy doesn't look like a good bet against CC Sabathia's Milwaukee Brewers. CC, since joining the NL, is 7-0 with four complete games. Expect the trend to continue in front of the home crowd Monday night vs. Houston.
  • Justin Duchscherer of the Oakland Athletics vs. Nick Blackburn of the Minnesota Twins. These are two of the better, young pitchers in the game. Both need to keep the ball inside the ballpark while scattering hits, and this could turn into a rare pitching duel.
  • The night caps off with two southpaws facing off in Chi-Town. In this case, the 5-12 Jarrod Washburn of the Seattle Mariners might be staring at his 13th loss against the high-powered White Sox offense on the road. Look for a spot start from 1B Paul Konerko. In turn, you'll get the experience of a .333 hitter in 48 at-bats, with four HR and 11 RBI against Washburn. SP Mark Buehrle looks to continue his hot streak after going seven innings and allowing only one ER in each of his past two starts. Facing off against the Seattle Mariners, I believe he's a no-brainer to pick up his 11th win of the season.

Don't believe "spot starts" work?

Shaun Copsey currently manages 7 fantasy baseball teams, 1 in 4th, 1 in 3rd, 1 in 2nd, and the final 4 in 1st.