Fantasy Baseball: Thursday News and Notes
When Jack Cust's .290 average is the highest against you, you know you have done some damage against a team. Jered Weaver has that going for him. Ichiro is hitting .262 with a home run in 61 at-bats while both Figgins and Kennedy are 4-for-18. No help from the 3-for-20 of Justin Smoak or the .208 mark of Franklin Gutierrez.
The Cardinals have made it clear that Kyle McClellan will not be moved to the bullpen, but there is not much to like for fantasy owners right now. He has been shelled in each of his last two outings, yielding a combined 10 earned runs in 11 innings of work. McClellan had been good at home, but has been torched in two of his last three starts even there. Since lowering his ERA to 3.11 on May 24th, it has risen better than a full run in his last five starts.
Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder have done the most damage against Homer Bailey, but the whole team has enjoyed facing him. Weeks is 8-for-15, good for a .533 mark. Fielder checks in at 5-for-14. Even Casey McGehee gets into the act at .333 in 15 at-bats. No concerns about starting your normal Brewers in this matchup.
Though the numbers are slightly limited, Niemann has done a solid job at holding the Yankees in check. Mark Teixeira is only 2-for-11 while Nick Swisher is 2-for-12. Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano have one and two hits respectively against Niemann, each doing so in 10 at-bats. Jeter's continued quest for 3,000 hits could get a boost given his 5-for-9 mark against the Tampa starter.
Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski are your best options against Carl Pavano. Konerko is hitting .344 in 32 at-bats and adds three home runs to the mix. Pierzynski checks in at .379. Gordon Beckham at .353 in 17 at-bats and Juan Pierre at .333 in 21 are the only other regulars north of .300. Be careful with Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez. Both have more than 20 at-bats and sub-.240 averages against the righty.
Time for everyone to once agains get excited about Rich Harden. The Oakland starter is ready for his second appearance since returning from the DL. If healthy, he adds strikeouts and nice peripheral numbers. That is a big "if" though. Adrian Beltre is just 2-for-13 against Harden and Michael Young is at .258 in 31 at-bats against the righty.
Aramis Ramirez has raked against Livan Hernandez. Ramirez is a .364 hitter in 33 at-bats against Hernandez and has four home runs to boot. Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson, and Marlon Byrd all check in better than .300 against the Washington starter. I still like Hernandez at home. Inclusive of a disaster against the Marlins, he has a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts and two wins to go with it.
Barry Zito has given up just two runs in his last 13 innings, but he is 2-6 in his last 11 starts against the Padres with a 4.76 ERA. At Petco, his ERA is better (3.60) but he is still 1-2 in his last five. Will Venable is 4-for-10 against Zito and is the only regular above .300, but numbers can be deceiving. Ryan Ludwick is not a bad reach play here either.
Spot Starts: Luebke, Miller, Hernandez
A few interesting numbers for the Orioles against Josh Beckett. Derrek Lee is 5-for-9 with two home runs while Adam Jones checks in at .308 in 26 at-bats. Vlad Guerrero hits just .233 against Beckett in his 43 at-bats. Nolan Reimold is hitless in nine trips to the plate while Nick Markakis hits .286 but has 12 strikeouts in 42 at-bats. Beckett is 2-0 at home with a 1.17 ERA in six starts (5 ER over 38.1 IP).
Ty Wiggington is hitting .429 in 21 at-bats against Jason Marquis. Todd Helton adds two home runs in 30 at-bats to go with a .300 average. Marquis has been relatively solid at home but was lit up by the Pirates there his last time out. Overall, he is 4-1 at home with a 3.30 ERA. Not bad numbers if you are in need of a deeper spot play.
Some good numbers for the Braves even against Roy Halladay. Chipper Jones is 5-for-10 with two home runs while Brian McCann is a .353 hitter in 17 at-bats. Dan Uggla has been abysmal, but even he has a .409 average in 22 at-bats against the righty. Avoid the 1-for-14 of Nate McLouth.
Not a large overall sample size, but many of the Rangers regulars have double-digit at-bats against Gio Gonzalez. Adrian Beltre is 7-for-16 with two home runs and Josh Hamilton matches the two home runs to go with a .357 average of his own. David Murphy and Ian Kinsler add averages north of .300 as well. Michael Young's 4-for-19 is the only real trouble spot in this one.
Nothing good to report for Oakland against Texas starter C.J. Wilson. In 82 combined at-bats, the A's have hit a sparkling .146 against Wilson. Landon Powell, Pennington, Suzuki, and DeJesus are all 1-for-12. Hideki Matsui is just 2-for-13 while Coco Crisp has just one hit in eight at-bats.
Any Twins you would start against Gavin Floyd make sense in this one as the regulars all have averages better than .294 against the Chicago starter. Floyd is 4-7 in his last 12 starts against the Twins and in that stretch posts a 4.83 ERA. There are much better options available for fantasy owners than attempting to go down that path.
Ichiro has hit .364 against Ervin Santana, but the rest of the Mariners should be left on your bench for this one. Franklin Gutierrez has hit only .188 and has 11 strikeouts in 32 at-bats. Jack Cust is hitting .200 while Chone Figgins is only 5-for-20. Santana has given up 10 home runs in 72.2 innings at home this season but does have a 3.34 ERA in his own park. He is 6-3 with a 3.09 ERA in his last 14 starts against the Mariners.
Orlando Hudson is the only regular to look to start against Chad Billingsley. Hudson is a .350 hitter in 20 at-bats. Look to avoid Chase Headley who has struck out 10 times in 30 at-bats to go with a .233 average. Hundley, Venable, and Ludwick are all hitting south of .240 against the Dodgers starter.
While I would bench the 3-for-14 of Austin Jackson, the rest of your Tigers need to be in the lineup against Kyle Davies. Ryan Raburn is the big winner at 7-for-14 while Jhonny Peralta checks in at .455 in 22 at-bats. Davies was roughed up by the Rockies and this does not look like a promising start given the volume of .300 average against him that he will face.
Spot Starts: Porcello, Blackburn, Lyles
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