Fans love offense, and that is exactly what the Yankees are providing in that new ballpark. With the five home runs hit yesterday, the new stadium has far eclipsed the pace that home runs have been hit at nearly every other ballpark in history through the first 29 games.
Fantasy owners need to treat this ballpark like Coors Field prior to the humidor. The power surge being experienced by nearly every player that steps foot on the field can be exploited. Fringe starters that provide power (think Mike Jacobs) are good plays against the Yankees in that park.
The concern has to be raised on the pitching end. Yes, there will be a lot of good performances, but Yankee Stadium is now a place to avoid spot starters almost entirely. If a pitcher is not in the regular rotation of a fantasy roster, reaching to start him here is not going to benefit owners in most cases.
Keep that in mind as the season enters the summer.
On to the notes.
- Josh Hamilton will undergo surgery on a sports hernia that will keep him out of the lineup at least 30 days. Hamilton has struggled with injuries all season long, and this latest setback should open more eyes in this regard. He was such a high pick that it will be tough to replace his entire production. Still, with his stint extended on the DL, look to Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold in Baltimore. They will provide a boost to the power numbers lost through Hamilton.
- So obviously everyone expected that Jose Contreras was going to throw a one-hit gem against the Tigers right? Of course. That is exactly what happens when a guy that couldn't find the plate if you spotted him the first 60 feet returns from the minors to face a division leader. Sometimes it just needs to be written off to a bad day. Contreras was pitching for a spot in the rotation, but it remains highly likely the White Sox use him out of the bullpen in the short-term.
- It has been discussed that teams are going to stop pitching to Adrian Gonzalez, and it looks like that is starting to happen more regularly. Gonzalez stepped to the plate four times last night. He registered one hit and three walks. That makes seven straight games and eight out of 10 where he has had at least two, and nine out of 10 where he has drawn at least one.
- Jake Peavy was able to work through seven innings last night, but certainly had trouble with his ankle. Peavy has been dealing with tendinitis in the right ankle, and it caused him to have issues in the final inning last night. Reports say he was walking with a noticeable limp. This is going to be a constant process of evaluation, because this type of injury only goes away with full-on rest.
- Josh Outman improved to 4-0 on the season with a solid six inning outing against the Twins that saw him strike out seven. He gave up three runs, but did only allow four hits and two walks. He continues to be strong at home, and certainly a good matchup play against struggling lineups. Minnesota is exactly that right now.
- Ian Stewart is simply raking in June. Even with an 0-for-5 last night, Stewart has settled in at .400 for the month with four home runs and 19 RBI. Stewart is a stretch in most leagues, but does have eligibility at second and third. NL-only leagues should take a look, as well as owners that need a very short-term boost in average.
- Adam Lind had another solid game, hitting a pair of two-run home runs. Lind has picked his pace up in June as well, hitting .483 for the month, sparked by the 5-for-5 performance against the Angels. While he's had his struggles away from the dome this season, hitting .259, owners should always ride a hot streak like this one. He has raised his average 25 points since starting the month at .288.
- Do not read too much into the struggles of Jeremy Bonderman yesterday. Bonderman is certainly still looking to build up to where he was, and simply tired out by the fifth inning. He threw 31 pitches in the first inning, and allowed eight hits overall. It will get better, and his ability to throw 85 pitches should be taken as a good sign.
- Sean West took a no-hitter into the latter innings last night against the Giants, eventually settling for a two-hit, eight inning effort. West has looked good in two starts this season, and pitched well in his opener too. He still remains NL-only fodder for the time being, but the effort should not go unnoticed by daily owners that could leverage him for a spot play. That likely will not be this week, as he will draw a hot-hitting Toronto team on the road.
- It is a tough proposition for Yankees owners. Josh Beckett has been nothing short of dominant in his last four starts, including an impressive performance against the Tigers last week. The regular Yankees starters have all hit him well, most over .300. Start them as usual, but temper expectations based on how Beckett has been throwing of late.
- A.J. Burnett has never lost to the Red Sox in any uniform. That does not mean he has always pitched well. Burnett took a no-decision against Beckett earlier this season after he allowed eight runs on 11 hits through five innings at Fenway Park in late April. Burnett has allowed at least three earned runs in seven of his last ten starts, and has allowed five or more in three of those.
- Kevin Youkilis hits just .227 and Mike Lowell only .200 against Burnett. Expect Mark Kotsay to get the start in center if Jacoby Ellsbury cannot go. Kotsay is 3-for-10 against Burnett, while the other option of Rocco Baldelli is 2-for-13. It is possible to still see Baldelli based on the availability of J.D. Drew.
- Mark Teahan and John Buck have both pounded Cliff Lee in the past. Teahan has hit .366 in 41 at-bats with two home runs and 12 RBI. Buck checks in at .353 with three home runs and six RBI in 34 at-bats. Look to use Jose Guillen as well. Not that there is a reason to sit Lee while he is pitching so well, but certainly look to use these Royals based on track record.
- Backing out Grady Sizemore's numbers against Brian Bannister, the Indians have hit just .228 against Brian Bannister. Travis Hafner should be kept in the lineup based on his 5-for-12, but most Indians starters should be avoided if there are better options available. Bannister is 2-0 against Cleveland this year, but he has been destroyed in his last two outings overall against Chicago and Tampa Bay. He is certainly a risky start, having given up at least five earned runs in three of his last four outings.
- Since it was mentioned how well Mark Buehrle has pitched at home, he has suffered two rough outings. The Tigers pose as much of a threat, if not more. Looking at the stats, the numbers are not in favor of the White Sox starter. While Miguel Cabrera may be 0-for-9, Ordonez is 15-for-33, and Placido Polanco checks in at .406 in his appearances.
- Matt Cain has been strong against all Diamondbacks, and has been even tougher to hit on the road. While his strand rate is still abnormally high, batters are hitting just .235 against him on the road. Away from home, he's 3-0 in five starts. Based on history, this still represents a good matchup.
- Expect Jeff Keppinger to be in the lineup against Ted Lilly. Keppinger is a .350 hitter in 20 at-bats, including a home run. Ivan Rodriguez is 6-for-22, but does have three home runs in those six hits. The Astros, otherwise, have struggled against the lefty starter.
- After talking about how well Andre Ethier has been hitting, he draws a favorable matchup against Chris Young. Ethier is 10-for-26 against Young with four home runs. Other Dodgers to keep active are Russell Marting and James Loney, hitting .304 and .400 respectively. Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal have both had issues, checking in at under .200 against the Padres starter.
- Johan Santana has been strong against Shane Victorino, holding him to 1-for-15. Jimmy Rollins is no better, posting just two hits in 20 at-bats against Santana. Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard have both done well against Santana and represent no issues.
- Spot Starts: Braden Looper, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Ohlendorf
- Keep on the Bench: Chris Young
- Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano have all hit Tim Wakefield well in the past. Melky Cabrera has been back in the lineup for the Yankees, and is 5-for-11 against Wakefield. Look to avoid Hideki Matsui if you can.
- Jhonny Peralta, Shin-Soo Choo, and Ryan Garko all need to be in the lineup against Gil Meche. Peralta is 14-for-38 with two home runs, while Garko is 9-for-28 overall. Choo has not had as many at-bats, but is 5-for-11 against Meche. For his part, Meche has only allowed three earned runs in his last 13 innings, and has pitched much better after a rough patch.
- While Justin Verlander continues to pitch well, he has had problems getting Jermaine Dye and A.J. Pierzynski out. Dye is hitting .350 in 40 at-bats with four home runs and eight RBI. Pierzynski checks in .314 with three home runs and 12 RBI. Verlander should never be benched with how he is throwing currently, but get these two active.
- Expect to see Chris Snyder behind the plate against Barry Zito. Snyder is 8-for-16 against Zito, showing the best numbers of anyone on the Arizona roster. Zito has had two tougher outings on the road, giving up four runs to Seattle and five to the Dodgers. Otherwise, he has been nothing if not solid. As a spot play, he remains a decent option in this one.
- Wandy Rodriguez has had problems in his last two outings, but still has kept his ERA under 3.00 this season. Keep Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot active, as both are hitting .500 against Rodriguez, but do not shy away from the Astros starter. Rodriguez has posted a 3-2 record and a 2.31 ERA at home this season.
- Spot Starts: Doug Davis, Dallas Braden, Carl Pavano