Look to avoid Miguel Tejada and his 4-for-18 mark against Doug Davis. Otherwise, there are a few Giants with some good numbers here. Pablo Sandoval is a .429 hitter in 21 at-bats while Cody Ross checks in at .353. Aaron Rowand's numbers are not bad, showing a .281 average and six walks in 32 at-bats. Davis overall is not a start to look at, even in a reach.
Barry Zito will come back from the DL to start the second game of the double-header against the Cubs. It will probably be his only one for a while as the Giants are expected to move him into a bullpen role. Alfonso Soriano has had no luck against the lefty, striking out 14 times and hitting just .146 in 41 at-bats. Aramis Ramirez is 4-for-10 with a home run and Carlos Pena is 6-for-19 with two.
While it is never really a GOOD idea to start players that are facing a pitcher who has given up just one earned run in his last 33 innings, Adrian Gonzalez may still be the right choice against Cliff Lee. Gonzalez is 7-for-10 against him overall. Dustin Pedroia and Marco Scutaro both hit better than .300 against Lee as well. Remember, it is very likely David Ortiz is out again.
Curtis Granderson has had his struggles with Zack Greinke, going only 6-for-37 and adding 10 strikeouts. Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Brett Gardner are all hitting better than .300 against the Milwaukee starter. Cano and Teixeira are hitting north of .400. While Greinke has been good, might be a spot to sit him down here.
Do not judge Clayton Richard by the wins and losses at home. Richard has a 2.25 ERA in his home ballpark and batters are hitting only .224 against him to boot. He has to be considered one of the best spot starts available in any league by the numbers. Grab him for this outing against the Royals.
Ted Lilly has given up 11 earned runs in his last 10 innings pitched and allowed three home runs in his last time out. The Twins, though, are hitting just .249 against lefties this season with an OBP that barely rises above .300. The .312 OBP is good for 25th in all of baseball. While Lilly has struggled, this is a good place for him to get on track.
Josh Beckett will take the ball today for the first time in better than a week. Beckett has done relatively well against the Phillies. You will want to start Chase Utley, who is hitting .320 with two home runs in 25 at-bats, and Ryan Howard, who checks in at 4-for-13. Jimmy Rollins checks in at only .255 while Placido Polanco is only 4-for-24.
Kyle Lohse has watched his ERA rise nearly a run over the month of June as he has given up 15 earned runs in his last four starts covering 24.2 innings. Derrek Lee is hitting .391 in 23 at-bats with two home runs. Vladimir Guerrero and J.J. Hardy are both hitting at least .300 as well.
Spot Starts: Richard, Correia, Marquis
Todd Helton is hitting .417 against Ryan Dempster. Helton has added three home runs against him in 24 at-bats. Troy Tulowitzki is just 2-for-9 while Carlos Gonzalez is 5-for-9. Seth Smith has four hits in 11 at-bats himself. Dempster has struck out 30 in 29.1 innings this month but does have a 1.50 WHIP in this stretch.
Ichiro checks in at .381 against Derek Lowe while teammate Adam Kennedy is in at .325. Ichiro has not struck out in 21 at-bats against the Atlanta starter. Tough numbers for Miguel Olivo and Jack Wilson, both hitting below .200 while Chone Figgins checks in at .261.
Very few reasons to sit anyone against John Lackey given how effectively he has pitched lately. That said, Placido Polanco is hitting .174 in 23 at-bats against him. Limited numbers for most of your other Phillies. Keep Raul Ibanez active and start the rest of your Phillies as you normally would here.
A.J. Burnett has had struggles off and on this month. While he has struck out 29 in 32 innings, he has a 4.50 ERA and a 2-3 record to show for his efforts. Three outings have been strong, but the other two have been complete disasters. Milwaukee should be a decent place for him to get turned around, but the fact he has given up five home runs this month makes it a tough play beyond the strikeout potential.
Jorge Posada is 7-for-18 with four home runs against Shaun Marcum, so get him active in this one as you would think the Yankees would find a spot for him here. Robinson Cano is at 5-for-14. Look to avoid Nick Swisher and his 2-for-12 mark and note that Alex Rodriguez is only 5-for-20 but does have two home runs against Marcum.
Spot Starts: Stauffer, Carrasco, Worley