Surprisingly limited at-bats for the Tampa Bay Rays against Daisuke Matsuzaka. B.J. Upton has struggled to a 2-for-15 number against him, while Matt Joyce is just 1-for-8. Johnny Damon is at .278 while Ben Zobrist is 4-for-12—these two having the best and only other numbers necessarily worth noting. Matsuzaka, regardless of the numbers against him, is still too risky to start even at home.
Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee have raked against Ryan Dempster. Pence is at .294 with two home runs, while Lee is at .361 with two home runs as well. Even Michael Bourn checks in with eight hits in 22 at-bats. Bill Hall has struggled to a 3-for-18 mark.
Miguel Tejada and Freddy Sanchez both are better than .300 against Clayton Kershaw, but they are the only two numbers worth putting out there. Aubrey Huff is 2-for-14 while Buster Posey and Andres Torres are just 2-for-12. Even Pablo Sandoval is only 3-for-15. Kershaw is largely filthy and starting him here is of no concern.
Mark Buehrle has been around long enough that he has faced the Oakland hitters relatively frequently. Look for Kurt Suzuki to get on track here given his 7-for-18 mark against the lefty. Coco Crisp has gone off to a .366 clip in better than 40 at-bats. David DeJesus has had 75 at-bats but is hitting just .173 against him while Mark Ellis is just at .163.
Mat Latos is going to make his debut tonight against the Cincinatti Reds at home. His shoulder injury is certainly something that should make owners somewhat nervous and it is tough to hold him back in a two-start week. That said, if you can watch what he does tonight, holding him down in non-weekly formats is likely the better call just to see how his velocity and location comes out of the gate.
Only Josh Hamilton, at 3-for-8, has an average better than .300 against Justin Verlander. Adrian Beltre is at .286, and he has the second-best mark. Michael Young is just 4-for-22, while Ian Kinsler is 2-for-14. David Murphy's 3-for-13 and Mike Napoli is 3-for-15, both numbers that can be avoided in most cases.
Aaron Hill has good numbers against Felix Hernandez, posting a .313 average in 16 at-bats. Otherwise, there is nothing good that will come from playing your Toronto Blue Jays. Adam Lind is only 1-for-10 while Jose Bautista is 1-for-9. Keep these numbers in mind as you set your lineups today.
Spot Starts - Talbot, Hammel
Kevin Youkilis is 4-for-10 against David Price, and those are the only numbers you want to start. Look to avoid most of your Boston Red Sox against the lefty. Marco Scutaro, David Ortiz, and Jed Lowrie have had no luck. Darnell McDonald could be an intriguing option in AL-only leagues here as he is 3-for-9.
Johnny Damon has the best numbers against John Lester with his 7-for-24 mark. Otherwise, you will want to avoid your Rays against the lefty. B.J. Upton is just 7-for-39 while Ben Zobrist is only 4-for-20. Lester looked much better in his last outing and gets a struggling lineup at home in this one. No concerns here.
Limited numbers for the Atlanta Braves against Chris Volstad, but it is still worth noting that Brian McCann is only 2-for-15. Volstad is 2-1 in his last three starts at Turner Field. He has held the Braves to a .217 average against him in those starts while posting a 2.84 ERA.
Ian Desmond is 6-for-14 against Joe Blanton and Ryan Zimmerman, if healthy, is 8-for-24 against the Philadelphia Phillies starter. No major concerns amongst the players you would likely have in your lineup for this one. Unless you are starting Matt Stairs. But then you have a different set of issues.
The best number the Baltimore Orioles could have seen against A.J. Burnett will be riding the bench, as J.J. Hardy is likely out with an oblique issue. Brian Roberts and Felix Pie are both better than .300 and should be in your lineup here. Adam Jones is ok as is Nick Markakis, but neither have numbers that scream they should start here.
Spot Starts: Kevin Correia, Volstad, Burnett