Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes
After racking up six wins to start the season, Jered Weaver has gone winless in his last six starts. In his last two, he has pitched much better, giving up just one earned over the last 16 innings in that stretch. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano are your best options against him, both hitting .400 or better in a combined 29 at-bats. Russell Martin's 7-for-19 is solid as well, as is Alex Rodriguez's 5-for-15. Avoid the rest of your Yankees, specifically Jeter and Posada who are both below .200 against Weaver.
Would you really start Josh Thole against anyone? He is 5-for-11 against Derek Lowe, so this would be the spot to give it a go. Dan Murphy and Scott Hairston are your other decent options. Carlos Beltran has had his problems with Lowe, hitting just .216 against him in 38 at-bats. Jason Bay is worse at 0-for-15 while Angel Pagan is 5-for-21.
Mark Buehrle has only lost once in his last five decisions but was hit hard by Detroit earlier this year. Still, he is 4-1 with a 3.30 ERA against them in his last seven starts. Victor Martinez is a .333 hitter in 66 at-bats against him while Jhonny Peralta checks in at .284 in 74 at-bats. Look to avoid the 2-for-20 of Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge at .237 is no better.
Matt Cain has given up nine runs in 11.2 innings pitched this season against the Rockies, not a good mark. Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Iannetta, and Troy Tulowitzki are your only regulars better than .300 against Cain. Carlos Gonzalez has had his problems, going only 3-for-25 and Seth Smith is only 1-for-18. Avoid most your Rockies where possible.
There should be mild concern over Clay Buchholz though it does appear he will start against Oakland. Buchholz had a stiff back on Sunday and says he has felt it throughout the season at various points. He has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last six starts and has not picked up a loss in any of those outings. Only the 6-for-16 of Hideki Matsui and 4-for-9 of Mark Ellis stand out as numbers to start.
Cole Hamels has been dominant on the road, posting a 0.94 WHIP and 2.31 ERA in 35 innings pitched away from home thus far. Matt Diaz has the most at-bats against Hamels, hitting .286 with a home run in 35 at-bats. Andrew McCutchen is 3-for-9 with a home run while Garrett Jones is 2-for-10. No other numbers have any relevance.
Albert Pujols is hitting .319 with six home runs in 47 at-bats against Ryan Dempster, but his numbers are only second-best. Skip Schumaker is hitting .450 in 18 at-bats against the Chicago starter. Lance Berkman has four home runs in 55 at-bats, but just a .255 average to go with 17 strikeouts. Dempster is 3-2 in his last 10 starts against the Cardinals.
Mitch Maier and Billy Butler have both looked good against Carl Pavano. Maier is a .313 hitter in 18 at-bats but Butler just mashes. He is hitting .457 with two home runs in 35 at-bats against the Minnesota starter. Avoid the 3-for-19 of Alex Gordon in this one.
It should not matter how young a pitcher is. If you have a 1.49 ERA and have not allowed more than two earned runs in a start over your last 10 outings, you need to be started. Josh Collmenter is doing just that. Do yourself a favor and start him today.
Spot Starts: Collmenter, Nicasio, Duffy
Aramis Ramirez is 7-for-15 and Geovany Soto 3-for-10 against Saturday starter Kyle Lohse. Look to avoid Kosuke Fukudome in this one given his 3-for-14 mark. With what owners normally get from Carlos Pena, his .258 average in 31 at-bats is actually a good mark. Lohse is 0-3 with an ERA over 8.00 in his last six starts against the Cubs.
A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin are your only White Sox regulars better than .300 against Justin Verlander. Quentin has eight hits in 21 at-bats while Pierzynski adds three home runs in 52. Juan Pierre is not a bad bet either at 4-for-14. Otherwise, given Verlander's dominance of late as well as the numbers, you will want to avoid the bulk of your White Sox.
Maicer Izturis is one of those guys that comes as a surprise here. He is 5-for-10 against C.C. Sabathia lifetime. Torii Hunter is at .294 in 68 at-bats and adds three home runs. Bobby Abreu with limited at-bats, but is 3-for-9 against him. Sabathia is slightly more hittable on the road with a 1.34 ERA away from home, but his ERA still falls at 2.53, so it is not THAT much better.
Ricky Romero has allowed four runs in his last four starts, covering 29.2 innings. That says dominance. Start Vlad Guerrero against him though. Vlad is 8-for-13 against him! Good numbers from Nick Markakis and Adam Jones as well, both hitting better than .300. Matt Wieters has struggled at 2-for-13 and Luke Scott is only 1-for-12.
Struggles of late for Luke Hochevar, who has given up 11 runs in his last 12 innings pitched. Minnesota, though has had their problems with him. While Alexi Casilla is 4-for-10, Denard Span is 3-for-22 and Justin Morneau just 2-for-11. Delmon Young is 3-for-18 as well. The second-best mark is the .250 in 20 at-bats for Michael Cuddyer. Hochevar is 3-2 in his last eight starts against Minnesota.
John Lackey will take the ball as he comes off the DL on Sunday. The A's have seen plenty of him. Daric Barton and Ryan Sweeney are the only regulars with averages better than .300 against Lackey. Look to avoid Cliff Pennington and his 1-for14. Kurt Suzuki and Coco Crisp are both hitting below .200 against Lackey.
Worth noting that Tim Hudson's road ERA this season is 5.33 and he gives up a hit an inning to go with it. Angel Pagan is 7-for-15 against Hudson, putting up the best numbers on the team. Carlos Beltran has four home runs in 70 at-bats to go with a .357 average. Jason Bay adds a 5-for-15 mark as well.
Plenty of numbers from the Yankees against Ervin Santana. Derek Jeter is at .357 with four home runs in 31 at-bats. Both Robinson Cano and Russell Martin are better than .300 as well. Struggles come from Posada, Swisher, and Gardner. Avoid them where possible. Otherwise, start your Yankees as you normally would.
Kosuke Fukudome is just 2-for-20 against Chris Carpenter. Geovany Soto's .250 in 12 at-bats is not impressive, but it is the only other concern. Otherwise, the Cubs have relatively solid numbers against the St. Louis starter. Keep them active.
Lance Berkman is hitting just .155 in 71 at-bats against Carlos Zambrano while Yadier Molina is at just .211 in 28 at-bats. No major concerns otherwise for your Cardinals.
Spot Starts: Hochevar, Lohse, Lyles, Dickey
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