Fantasy Game Notes for Wednesday: American League
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: By his third start, a lot of fantasy players were ready to write off Garland as a two-year wonder. Since then he has brought his ratios down and evened his record. His overall numbers against the Twins the past three years have been good, but this year's team hits righties very well. Start all your Twins. Chicago has been awful against righties, and Baker has good numbers against the current Sox. Only start the big name Sox, and add to the list Darrin Erstad. If Baker is available, this is a good spot start for him.
Notable Injuries: Brandon McCarthy, SP (finger, DTD)
Game Story: McCarthy has Beckett Blisters and Koronka is subbing for him. A friend suggested that Koronka is the noise made by bats as they hit his pitches into the stratosphere ("Here's the pitch … Koronka!"). Start your A's except Jason Kendall and Mark Ellis. As good as Haren has been this year, the current Rangers batters have good numbers against him. Start your Rangers, especially Marlon Byrd.
Notable Injuries: David Ortiz, DH (hamstring, DTD)
Game Story: Byrd is like the person you enjoy dating but are embarrassed to be seen with in public. Despite his meager strikeouts, all of his other numbers are better than most of the guys you drafted in front of him in the middle rounds. However, there are times when he gets beat up and this will be one of them. Start all your Red Sox, especially Mike Lowell, Julio Lugo and Coco Crisp. Matsuzaka appears to be over his mystery ailment, and this is the Indians first time to see him. However, they club righties. Start at least your big-name Indians.
Notable Injuries: Jason Giambi, DH (heel, DTD)
Game Story: When Clippard and Litsch go against each other, you throw away the record books. Look, these guys have 27 innings between them, and so far I've been more impressed with Clippard. The one time Litsch won, he induced 21 (21!) ground-ball outs. The odds of that happening again are low. Plus the Yankees hit righties much better than the Blue Jays do, so start your Yankees and your big-name Blue Jays, and go ahead and start Clippard.
Notable Injuries: Placido Polanco, 2B (ribs, DTD)
Game Story: Robertson has a 6.00 ERA this month and got beat up by three AL teams that love lefties. Wanna know who else loves lefties? The Devil Rays do. Start all your Devil Rays except Carlos Pena. And while we're on the subject of love, the Tigers love righties for power more than any other team. Shields is a tough draw for them, and he'll get his fair share of strikeouts, but the Tigers should also make contact. Start all your Tigers except Craig Monroe and Brandon Inge.
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: In general, Bedard should have no trouble with the Royals, who are mediocre-to-bad against lefties, but there are three batters you can play safely against him: Emil Brown, Esteban German and John Buck. In general, Meche should have lots of trouble with the Orioles, who are mediocre-to-good against righties, but there are three batters you can bench safely against him: Kevin Millar, Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis.
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: King Felix has given up at least two runs in each of his last four starts, and that WHIP means he has been hittable since that one-hitter against the Red Sox. Start your big-name Angels, and be sure to include Gary Matthews Jr. and Orlando Cabrera. Weaver's WHIP has stayed around 1.50 all season, but he's also logging about a strikeout per inning. His sub-4.00 ERA means he (and his relief staff) have been pitching out of his jams. His luck might run out Wednesday as Seattle hits righties well for power and average. Start your big-name Mariners (plus Ben Broussard), but sit Richie Sexson and Yuniesky Betancourt (which is a very big name).
Fantasy Game Notes for Wednesday: National League
Notable Injuries: Chipper Jones, 3B (thumb, DTD)
Game Story: Hudson gave up 11 runs in his last two starts, but he still has excellent numbers. He does well against the Brewers, and in 131 at-bats against him, their current hitters have only one home run off of him. Don't expect any power against him, and make sure to sit Kevin Mench and Rickie Weeks, who are a combined 1-for-22 with nine strikeouts against him. In fact, sit all of your Brewers except perhaps Prince Fielder, Craig Counsell, Bill Hall and Gabe Gross, who might get a start based on his numbers against Hudson. Bush has been throwing underhand lately, so start all of your Braves.
Notable Injuries: Dmitri Young, 1B (back, DTD)
Game Story: Your best bet against Lowe on the Nationals is Young, who may or may not play. Start Felipe Lopez and Ronnie Belliard and sit the rest of the Washington crew. The Dodgers hit lefties for average, and Bacsik is just good enough to start for the Nationals. Play your Dodgers.
Notable Injuries: Mark Reynolds, 3B (neck, DTD)
Game Story: Johnson returns after missing one start due to a stiff back. He faces a Phillies team that struggles against him, with the exception of Aaron Rowand (4-for-10 1 HR). Keep in mind that this game is in Philly where home runs are plentiful and if there's one thing Johnson has struggled with the last two years, it's the long ball. Moyer won his last decision against the Diamondbacks, but he did give up two homers. Considering how bad Arizona is against lefties, that may be their moral victory of the month. Sit your Diamondbacks except for Eric Byrnes, Orlando Hudson, Conor Jackson and Mark Reynolds.
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: In 50 at-bats against Young, the Pirates have managed three hits, for a .060 batting average against him. Sit your Pirates. Please. San Diego hits lefties well for power, and Maholm has given up eight home runs in his last four outings. Start your Padres, especially Jose Cruz Jr.
Game Story: Every time I see Zito pitch for San Francisco my first thought is, "Didn't anyone in the Giants' front office watch baseball last year?" Zito has only been a disappointment to those that look at his contract. While his strikeouts and ERA are worse than last year, his WHIP, batting average and slugging percentage against have all improved. However, the Mets love lefties (and Zito). Start all of them. Speaking of love that's the emotion Barry Bonds, Rich Aurilia and Omar Vizquel have for Glavine. Start them. Sit Glavine haters Randy Winn, Ryan Klesko, Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz.
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: I've been saying nice things about Mitre all month and people are finally starting to pick him up. He's a ground-ball pitcher that also has a K/9 above 5.00. That's a nice combination. Only start your big-name Cubs. Florida loves lefties and how Miguel Olivo feels about Lilly (4-for-5, 3 HR) is downright criminal. Start your Marlins and if Mitre is available, pick him up for the spot start.
Notable Injuries: Ryan Freel, 3B/OF (neck, DTD)
Game Story: Harang may have five wins, but he has also been hit hard. Don't be afraid to start your Astros against him. In particular, start Mike Lamb (over Morgan Ensberg), Adam Everett (two HR against Harang), Jason Lane and Luke Scott. Okay, so perhaps the way the Diamondbacks hit Rodriguez last week was their real moral victory of the month. Rodriguez should bounce back from that outing, but the Reds are decent against lefties. Start the big-bat Reds, especially Ken Griffey Jr. (8-for-10, 2 HR).
Game Story: St. Louis is banged up and losing, but none of that is an excuse to start Wellemeyer over Anthony Reyes, who got sent down. I've learned not to doubt Dave Duncan, and Wellemeyer has good numbers against the Rockies, but he hasn't pitched in Coors Field, so you should start all your Rockies. Hirsh has a lower ERA at Coors Field than on the road, and hasn't shown any problems pitching there. Only start the biggest name Cardinals. Okay, only start Albert Pujols.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Darrin Erstad, OF, CWA @ Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker, SP, MIN versus Chicago White Sox
Marlon Byrd, OF, TEX @ Oakland A's
Tyler Clippard, SP, NYY @ Toronto Blue Jays
John Buck, C, KC versus Baltimore Orioles
Ben Broussard, 1B/DH, SEA @ Los Angeles Angels
Jose Cruz Jr., OF, SD @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Rich Aurilia, 1B, SF @ New York Mets
Omar Vizquel, SS, SF @ New York Mets
Sergio Mitre, SP, FLA @ Chicago Cubs
Miguel Olivo, C, FLA @ Chicago Cubs
Adam Everett, SS, HOU versus Cincinnati Reds
Mike Lamb, IF, HOU versus Cincinnati Reds
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.
David Young is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and TalentedMrRoto.com. He can be reached at MrSnappy@TalentedMrRoto.com