Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IMay 1, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 30: Pitcher  Matt Garza  #22 of  the Tampa Bay Rays throws a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox April 30, 2009 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

I'm mentally exhausted today.

Last night, the Celtics picked me up and dropped me more times than I can count. I still don't think that I've fully recovered from what was a truly an amazing three overtime game. 

I hope that Chicago fans enjoy this one. It took you three overtimes to beat an undermanned team. We'll get you on Sunday. I keep telling myself this. 

Let's get to the good stuff. 

Thursday Rewind

  • Aramis Ramirez will avoid the disabled list. Ramirez went through a fair amount of exercises yesterday, and the Cubs expect him to be back in the lineup this weekend. I'd wait until you actually see him in there before activating him for fantasy, especially if you're satisfied with other options.
  • Matt Holliday, welcome to 2009! Holliday decided that the last day in April would be a good time to hit his first home run of the season. He's still in the low double-digits as far as RBI go, but maybe this is the start of something. After all, he finally upped David Ortiz in the power category.
  • Matt Garza was nearly perfect last night, simply dominating the Boston bats. Garza gave up just one hit while striking out ten on the night. He's been pretty good against Boston, overall, and has been strong at home since the start of last season. The Red Sox, as a team, are now hitting just .178 against him.
  • Huston Street and Manny Corpas are going to be in a fluid situation all year. The fact is that, if you're looking at this situation, then dropping one for the other isn't likely going to help. The ninth is going to be thrown by the pitcher who is hot at the time.
  • Max Scherzer actually pitched well, despite not getting the win. He was able to hold the Brewers without a run over six innings of work. Scherzer gave up just five hits and a walk. He looked dominant at times, and this is the type of outing that owners are looking for out of him.
  • The performance of Michel Hernandez last night was impressive, but Dioner Navarro is still going to be the catcher here. Hernandez provided more offense than we've seen out of Navarro basically all season, but Navarro should be in there Saturday. He hits Wakefield and the knuckleball well.
  • Billy Butler added two more hits last night, and is now six for his last eight. Butler can be a source of cheap power, and getting hits like this are going to help his value. Keep with him and he'll reward you in the long run.
  • Don't give up on Troy Tulowitzki just yet. In fact, if you can get him on the cheap, I'd make the move. Yes, he's struggling, but he's had bad April numbers before. He's just a .193 hitter for the last three years during the month. Tulo gets better as the weather gets warmer.
  • If Brad Lidge is sidelined, Ryan Madson will get the first shot at the closing job for the Phillies. Madson is already being picked up in many leagues, so if you're looking for him to help, it is likely worth reaching earlier rather than later.
  • Yesterday's Results: Wins-Boggs (I'll take nine strikeouts over six), Davies; Loss-McDonald (Season: 60-42-2)

Notes for Friday

  • Andy Sonnanstine pitches well at home and has held down most of the Boston lineup. While Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew have hit the Rays starter well, Kevin Youkilis is just one of twelve, and both David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia are three-for-16.
  • Adam Jones has been good this season, but the young player is just one-for-11 against Halladay. Nick Markakis hits .233, but I wouldn't go out of my way to bench him. Halladay is 7-0 in his last nine starts against the Orioles with a 2.69 ERA.
  • Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo have put together solid numbers against Armando Galarraga. Galarraga is still struggling with some of his command, and could be viewed as a risky start in this one. The benefit is that he pitches at home, holds the rest of the lineup in check, and is facing Carl Pavano. Asdrubal Cabrera, hot as he is, is zero-for-11 against the Tigers starter.
  • As hot as Nick Swisher has been, he's only three-for-19 against Jered Weaver. Mark Teixeira has some rough numbers against Weaver, as well. If you can avoid Swisher, then do so. You likely don't have a better option for Teix.
  • I don't think that I would touch Derek Lowe against Houston. Six of Houston's starters are hitting over .300 against Lowe, and the power numbers are very solid. Yes, Lowe has been good to start the season, but every Astro referenced (Lee, Berkman, Tejada, Blum) all have more than 20 at-bats. Kaz Matsui only has 11, and Erstad might be a reach play, but the numbers are there.
  • I'd make sure to start Orlando Cabrera against Carlos Silva, as he's 12-for-28 against the Mariners starter. Silva, for his part, has largely pitched well against Oakland. Even in a disaster of last season, he was still 1-1 against Oakland with an ERA under 3.00 and a BAA of .224 in three starts.
  • From the "buyer beware" category, I'm not starting Ublado Jimenez until I get some confirmation that his mechanics are back on track. The Rockies are tinkering with his motion, and that's never a good thing for a young pitcher. I'd avoid Dana Eveland on the road, as well, and the Mariners offense has good numbers against him. Start them all.
  • You have to continue to enjoy throwing out the Minnesota starters at home. Kevin Slowey is a much better play than the back end of the rotation, and his numbers against the Royals are solid, overall.
  • I'd look for more of a pitching duel in the Cardinals-Nationals matchup. The Nationals aren't hitting well, and Todd Wellemeyer is throwing the ball well. While Jordan Zimmerman hasn't seen an offense like St. Louis yet, the Cardinals have no book on him at all. That's to his advantage.
  • While I wouldn't play Russell Martin (.138) or Andre Ethier (.156) against Jake Peavy, there are some good options for the Dodgers against the Padres starter. Peavy has really struggled to start the season, and the offense is there to help them capitalize in this one.
  • Spot Starts: Bronson Arroyo, Jordan Zimmerman, and Justin Masterson
  • Keep on the Bench: Ubaldo Jimenez, Jake Peavy

Notes for the Weekend

  • As good as Tim Wakefield's knuckleball has been, he has trouble against the Rays. Nearly every starter represents a decent play against Wakefield, as the team is right around the .300 mark against him. He's just 3-3 in his last seven at Tropicana Field, with an ERA at 4.46.
  • Keep riding Russ Ohlendorf until he falters. Ohlendorf may just have the two wins, but his work has been solid. One loss came in a solid duel with Chris Carpenter. Against the Reds at home, it's a good start.
  • Historically, only a handful of Dodgers have put up decent numbers against Chris Young. Rafael Furcal (.161 in 31 at-bats) and Orlando Hudson (.238 in 21 at-bats) are the worst offenders. Keep Andre Ethier and James Loney active for certain, and other Dodgers shouldn't hold you back.
  • With Mark Ellis slated to hit the DL, there are no Oakland starters with great numbers against Jarrod Washburn. While he hasn't had great luck against Oakland, the numbers here play out pretty effectively. In AL-only leagues, he's a decent play. Deep mixed leagues could look his way.
  • While Carlos Beltran has struggled with Jamie Moyer, the Mets have hit over .300 against him as a team. Every other Mets regular has decent stats, and should be started in this one. Need a couple of hits? Look to Gary Sheffield, a .438 hitter with four home runs against Moyer. Moyer's problems have come more at home than on the road, and the two wins that he recorded last season against them were both at Shea.
  • Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe have both struggled against Matt Cain. The Giants starter is 6-3 since 2006 against the Rockies, and has held them to an average below .220. While you'll want to keep Garrett Atkins around, the Rockies offense doesn't present many options in this one.
  • While keeping your regular Indians in the lineup against Justin Verlander should help you out, don't reach beyond the givens. The Indians hit just .243 against Verlander as a team. Choo, Victor Martinez, and Sizemore will help. Avoid Ryan Garko. Verlander has decent numbers in the average department, but was killed by Cleveland last season. His record was a disastrous 1-5.
  • Ricky Nolasco has done nothing to give owners any confidence that he'll be able to rebound against the Cubs. I'm holding him back until he gives me an outing where I don't cringe at the stat line. I'd suggest that you do the same.
  • Alex Rios has struggled, and he's only had limited luck against Jeremy Guthrie. Unless you're starting Vernon Wells or Lyle Overbay, the Blue Jays aren't going to help much based on history. Guthrie is just 1-2 against Toronto in his last seven, but his ERA is 3.09 and BAA is .239.
  • Barry Zito has done a good job of keeping the Rockies in check over his career. The team has a .190 average against him in 121 at-bats. While you should look to start Todd Helton, I'm holding back on others for which I have better options. Brad Hawpe, at zero-for-11, could be in for a rough weekend.
  • Kevin Youkilis got his first hit off of James Shields earlier this season, but is still two-for-20. Jason Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury aren't much better. At home, Shields is still a good start. This could be where David Ortiz wakes up, as he's eight-for-17 with two home runs against the Rays starter.
  • Spot Starts: Joel Pineiro, Joe Saunders, Wandy Rodriguez, Kyle Lohse, Glen Perkins, and Russ Ohlendorf
  • Leave on the Bench: Brad Penny, Ricky Nolasco

Collin Hager writes The Elmhurst Pub fantasy blog. You can get your questions answered by sending an email to elmhurstpubroundtable@yahoo.com. He's also on Twitter @TheRoundtable.

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