Daily Notes: Will Red Sox, Braves play two?

Updated: May 18, 2007, 10:59 PM ET
By Adam Madison | Special to ESPN.com

Fantasy Game Notes for Interleague Games in AL Parks for: Saturday
Fenway Park (outdoor) 1:05 p.m. ET (100 percent chance of rain, high of 49 degrees)
Game 1: Anthony Lerew, RHP (0-1, 6.52 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) versus
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP (5-2, 4.17 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
Game 2: John Smoltz, RHP (5-2, 3.19 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) versus
Devern Hansack, RHP (0-0, 13.50 ERA, 6.06 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Mike Gonzalez, RP (elbow, DL); Josh Beckett, SP (finger, out); J.D. Drew, OF (back, day-to-day)

Game Story: Good luck getting both these games played, as there is more threatening rain in the forecast. If they do go, the rotations have been shuffled so that Smoltz and Matsuzaka will not face each other, instead facing the other team's emergency starters. Hansack was recalled from Triple-A for this start, but if they don't go, he'll likely be skipped. His numbers are gaudy, but they came over just 2/3 of an inning. Lerew's are over 9 2/3 innings, so neither sample size is significant. However, neither rookie pitcher has had much success in the majors yet, so they offset the start/sit dilema you might have with your hitters going up against Smoltz and Matsuzaka. If you're going for it, Braves left-handers like Kelly Johnson, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Scott Thorman, and perhaps even Willie Harris in NL-only formats, warrant consideration. For the Red Sox, Eric Hinske's left-handed bat should find its way into the game, especially after Thursday night's heroics.

Jacobs Field (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (40 percent chance of rain, high of 66 degrees)
Matt Belisle, RHP (3-3, 4.38 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) versus
Jeremy Sowers, LHP (0-3, 6.56 ERA, 1.63 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: The Indians' offense is always scary -- especially when you have to worry about players like Casey Blake and Ryan Garko -- but Belisle is worth thinking about as a spot start if you're desperate. It's not a good matchup, but Belisle's home run and walk rate are among the best in the majors. With a batting average on balls in play of .336, he deserves to have a better ERA and WHIP, too. He deserves ownership in more than 1.9 percent of leagues. Sowers has been lit up lately, but the Reds can't hit lefties. Outside of Ryan Freel and Brandon Phillips, don't dig too deep for Reds, but don't interpret that as vindication for Sowers, either.

Comerica Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (40 percent chance of rain, high of 69 degrees)
Anthony Reyes, RHP (0-6, 5.08 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) versus
Nate Robertson, LHP (3-3, 3.62 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Reyes has hovered around mediocrity for most of the year, and the fact that he has yet to last longer than six innings in a start is also depressing his value. The Tigers are still first in OPS this month with a .857 mark, and Saturday's game should be seen as a good opportunity to get the likes of Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge in your lineup, as both are white-hot this month. Robertson gets a superb matchup against the Cardinals, who are 29th in OPS versus lefties, putting up an atrocious .588 mark. With the Tiger offense setting him up for a win, there are few better spot starts than Robertson.

Tropicana Field (indoor) 7:10 p.m. ET
Dontrelle Willis, LHP (5-3, 5.14 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) versus
Jae Seo, RHP (2-3, 7.26 ERA, 1.76 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: It is pretty hard to hit below the Mendoza Line while still hitting four home runs in 53 at-bats, but that's what Elijah Dukes has done this month. Rocco Baldelli's stint on the DL gives Dukes some more guaranteed time in the lineup, so once his batting average rises even a little, be ready to pounce. As a team, the D-Rays hit lefties pretty well, especially Brendan Harris and Ty Wigginton, so Willis' struggles may continue. Chances are when a pitcher has an ERA north of 7 six weeks into the season, they're pretty bad, so consider it open season on Seo and start all your Marlins.

Angel Stadium (outdoor) 9:05 p.m. ET (sunny, high of 72 degrees)
Mark Hendrickson, LHP (2-0, 2.61 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) versus
Jered Weaver, RHP (2-3, 3.62 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Outside of Vladimir Guerrero and Reggie Willits, the Angels' offense is pretty bare against left-handers. Robb Quinlan kills lefties for his career (.880 OPS), although he is struggling this year against them in a small sample size. He does have a .842 OPS this month, though, and is an option in AL-only leagues. So even though Hendrickson isn't nearly as good as his ERA says, he has to be considered a nice spot start against an inept offense. Much of the same applies to the Dodgers, who are 22nd in OPS; count on Weaver's fourth straight quality start.

McAfee Coliseum (outdoor) 9:05 p.m. ET (sunny, high of 66 degrees)
Matt Cain, RHP (2-3, 3.18 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) versus
Dan Haren, RHP (3-2, 1.64 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Milton Bradley, OF (hamstring, day-to-day); Justin Duchscherer, RP (hip, day-to-day); Rich Aurilia, 1B (neck, day-to-day); Ray Durham, 2B (groin, day-to-day)

Game Story: Yes, this will be a pitcher's duel, as if the ERA of the starters, or the litany of injuries, or the OPS of the two offenses (the A's rank 18th and the Giants 19th, respectively) wasn't enough to inform you. The pickings for batters are obviously slim, but I'll make a case for Bobby Crosby, who is hitting .310 this month with three homers with pretty much all his damage occurring since May 9th. For the Giants, Randy Winn is hitting .397 for the month. Really, though, Cain and Haren are the stars of the show here.

Safeco Field (outdoor/retractable roof) 10:05 p.m. ET (cloudy, high of 58 degrees)
Greg Maddux, RHP (3-2, 3.20 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) versus
Horacio Ramirez, LHP (3-2, 6.40 ERA, 1.95 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Maddux has been great in his last four starts, accumulating a 2.32 ERA, including three very good outings against three above-average offenses in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Florida. Compared to that competition, the Mariners should seem like a cake walk. For the most part, it should be, though it should be noted how well Jose Guillen and Yuniesky Betancourt (identical .327 averages in May) are playing. Maddux becomes an even better spot start when you consider he should definitely get a win, since Ramirez is allowing nearly two baserunners per inning, and the Padres have a .777 OPS against lefties. Khalil Greene (.892 OPS versus lefties) and Kevin Kouzmanoff get thumbs up for Saturday's game.

Fantasy Game Notes for Interleague Games in NL Parks for: Saturday

Wrigley Field (outdoor) 3:55 p.m. ET (sunny, high of 71 degrees)
Javier Vazquez, RHP (2-2, 3.86 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) versus
Jason Marquis, RHP (5-1, 2.22 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Derrek Lee, 1B (neck, day-to-day)

Game Story: Vazquez has his fingers crossed that Lee sits out on Saturday, as that makes the Cubs lineup much easier to handle. Vazquez is pitching well enough that he should likely have a good start either way. Jim Thome is apparently healthy enough to play now, but the White Sox will hold him out until after this weekend series, which makes sense since this will be played under NL rules. That's great news for Marquis, since the Sox are 27th in OPS with a .655 mark.

Shea Stadium (outdoor) 3:55 p.m. ET (80 percent chance of rain, high of 59 degrees)
Darrell Rasner, RHP (1-2, 3.28 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) versus
Tom Glavine, LHP (4-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Jason Giambi, 1B (heel, limited to pinch-hitting); Johnny Damon, OF (calf, day-to-day)

Game Story: With eight walks to 11 strikeouts, four home runs allowed in 24 2/3 innings, and an average of less than five innings per start, Rasner is the definition of living on the razor's edge. Good hitting teams like the Mets kill mediocre pitchers, so expect a short outing, which doesn't bode well for the Yankees' bullpen. Shawn Green and Damion Easley (four homers in May with a .912 OPS) are two under-the-radar players who deserve a spot in your lineup. Left-handed pitchers are the Yankees' weakness (,738 OPS, 18th in the majors), with much of their lineup swinging from the left side; in other words, this matchup isn't as difficult as you would think for Glavine.

RFK Stadium (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (cloudy, high of 58 degrees)
Jeremy Guthrie, RHP (2-1, 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) versus
TBD

Notable Injuries: Jason Bergmann, SP (elbow, out); Dmitri Young, 1B (foot, limited to pinch-hitting)

Game Story: Bergmann is a late scratch, and the Nationals will either call up someone from the minor leagues or use Billy Traber. If Traber is the choice, he is not a total nonfactor; he keeps the ball down and has a solid walk rate. With the help of RFK Stadium, can be serviceable against the Orioles for five or so innings. He's also a lefty, which hurts Aubrey Huff, Jay Gibbons, Corey Patterson and Nick Markakis. Guthrie is nothing special -- he's sporting a 16-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- but the Nats are last in OPS versus right-handers, with only Ryan Church being a significant threat at this point.

Miller Park (indoor/retractable roof) 7:05 p.m. ET
Scott Baker, RHP (First start of the season) versus
Dave Bush, RHP (3-3, 5.47 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Baker is the choice to fill in for Sidney Ponson, even though he was horrendous in 16 starts last season. His minor league career is superb, though, with a 2.97 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and superb home run (0.59) and walk (1.91) rates. This is not a good matchup though, as the Brewers are third in OPS against righties on the season. The Brewers don't have many weak spots in their lineup, especially with Geoff Jenkins (.345/1.045 rates versus righties) and Johnny Estrada hitting well. Bush has been unlucky in terms of balls in play, but allowing six homers is inexcusable; luckily, the Twins are 25th in home runs hit.

Minute Maid Park (indoor) 7:05 p.m. ET
TBD versus
Wandy Rodriguez, LHP (1-3, 4.33 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Hank Blalock, 3B (forearm, out 10-12 weeks); Jerry Hairston Jr., OF (shoulder, day-to-day); Kevin Millwood, SP (hamstring, DL)

Game Story: The Rangers have yet to decide who will take Millwood's turn in the rotation. Considering whoever it is will basically be a sixth starter, it should be safe to start your standard Astros. Morgan Ensberg has essentially lost his job to Mike Lamb, who is hitting .340. For the Rangers, Kenny Lofton was given Wednesday and Thursday off since the team was facing left-handers; Rodriguez is a lefty, so it will be interesting to see if it will turn into a platoon since Lofton can no longer hit lefties. Sammy Sosa, Victor Diaz, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler all hit left-handers well, and Minute Maid Park is very friendly to right-handers; play it safe and bench Rodriguez.

Citizens Bank Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (60 percent chance of rain, high of 62 degrees)
Shaun Marcum, RHP (1-2, 4.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) versus
Jamie Moyer, LHP (4-2, 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Marcum has had his fair share of success as a starter in the minor leagues -- for his minor league career, he has a ridiculous 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- but does allow home runs. The Phillies have the best OPS versus right-handers in the majors (.796) and the game will be played in homer-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Suffice to say that you should play the regular ensemble of Phillies and profit. Equally bad news for Moyer, too, since the Blue Jays have a .847 OPS against lefties, good for third in the majors. Frank Thomas, Aaron Hill and Alex Rios are all great options as a result.

Coors Field (outdoor) 8:05 p.m. ET (30 percent chance of rain, high of 74 degrees)
Gil Meche, RHP (3-1, 1.91 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) versus
Taylor Buchholz, RHP (1-2, 7.52 ERA, 1.82 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: It is going to be interesting to see how long Meche can keep this run up. Even though for the most part he has faced mediocre teams, his peripherals are definitely the sign of a pretty good pitcher. The Rockies have struggled in May (.704 OPS, 21st), although Brad Hawpe (.294 average, .839 OPS in May) is solid. For the most part, it's another offense that lets Meche look a bit better than he is. With Buchholz on the mound, the Royals should be able to score enough to get Meche a win; it's hard to believe a pitcher with a 1.91 ERA through nine starts could have just three wins.

Fantasy Game Notes for Saturday: National League

PNC Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (partly cloudy, high of 67 degrees)
Micah Owings, RHP (2-1, 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) versus
Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (5-2, 2.36 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Owings has been pretty lucky so far -- his .250 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) is about fifty points below the average -- but his best asset, not allowing home runs, gives him more margin for error than most. In his brief minor league career, Owings allowed 0.39 home runs per nine innings, including a 0.41 rate last year in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Owings has allowed three home runs this year in 30 innings, but they came against the Phillies and the Mets, two elite offenses. The ability to keep the ball down should let him challenge Gorzelanny for a pretty good representation of a pitcher's duel.

Waiver Wire Pickups

Ryan Freel, 3B, CIN @ Cleveland Indians
Brandon Inge, 3B, DET versus St. Louis Cardinals
Nate Robertson, SP, DET versus St. Louis Cardinals
Ty Wigginton, 3B, TB versus Florida Marlins
Jeremy Hermida, OF, FLA @ Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Mark Hendrickson, SP, LAD @ Los Angeles Angels
Bobby Crosby, SS, OAK versus San Francisco Giants
Greg Maddux, SP, SD @ Seattle Mariners
Khalil Greene, SS, SD @ Seattle Mariners
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B, SD @ Seattle Mariners
Damion Easley, 2B, NYM versus New York Yankees
Jeremy Guthrie, SP, BAL @ Washington Nationals
Ryan Church, OF, WAS versus Baltimore Orioles
Geoff Jenkins, OF, MIL versus Minnesota Twins
Dave Bush, SP, MIL versus Minnesota Twins
Victor Diaz, OF, TEX versus Houston Astros
Micah Owings, SP, ARI @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Please Note that the notable injuries are not meant to be a comprehensive report of each team's disabled list. For brevity, we include only day-to-day injuries or new DL additions for players you might otherwise consider using in these games. Long-term DL or day-to-day injuries to starting pitchers who were not scheduled to appear are omitted.

Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and TalentedMrRoto.com. He can be reached at Adam@TalentedMrRoto.com