Daily Notes: Seattle and Cleveland make one up
Javier Vazquez, RHP (3-4, 4.13 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) versus
Adam Eaton, RHP (6-4, 5.99 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)
Notable Injuries: Jerry Owens, OF (hamstring, day-to-day)
Game Story: Vazquez has been considerably better on the road (3.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) than at home (4.60 ERA, 1.24 WHIP), which makes sense when you consider his home park is one of the most favorable hitters' parks in the majors. Citizens Bank, however, is also a hitters' park, and the Phillies hit righties (.794 OPS, fourth in the majors) hard, so in this case, ignore the home/away splits and bench him. Citizens Bank hasn't been too kind to Eaton -- his ERA is north of 7 and his WHIP is pushing 2.00 while pitching at home, but against the Sox -- one of the worst offenses in the majors -- you don't need to be much more than competent to be worth consideration.
Josh Towers, RHP (2-3, 5.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) versus
Matt Morris, RHP (6-3, 2.51 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: The Giants have been in the bottom third of most offensive categories all year, but Towers is not worth the risk as a spot start, especially as this is his first start since April. Eight home runs allowed in 36 2/3 innings is outrageous and shows that Towers is as hittable as ever. Randy Winn has been flying under the radar but was on fire in May and has kept it up in June (.353 average). Morris has been significantly better pitching in AT&T Park for his career, and the Blue Jays are banged-up, making Morris one of the day's best spot starts.
Cha Seung Baek, RHP (3-2, 4.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) versus
Paul Byrd, RHP (6-2, 3.80 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Notable Injuries: none
Game Story: There aren't many pitchers in the majors right now on whom I would put my money that they would do well against the Indians offense, and it goes without saying that Baek isn't on that short list. The Indians are first in OPS against right-handers (.818); Ryan Garko and Casey Blake (who is in the midst of an 18-game hitting streak) are still hitting well; and Josh Barfield, who is hitting .367 in June, might even be coming around. The Mariners' offense has come alive, too, and Raul Ibanez, who was in the midst of a power shortage, hit his first home run in 159 at-bats -- in Petco Park of all places. The well-balanced lineup of the Mariners should prove too much for Byrd.
Woody Williams, RHP (2-8, 5.79 ERA, 1.58 WHIP) versus
Carlos Zambrano, RHP (6-5, 5.38 ERA, 1.56 WHIP)
Game Story: Williams has been every bit as bad as his stats suggest, if not worse, and there's nothing to suggest a turnaround. Most of the Cubs regulars should be used, including Mark DeRosa and Felix Pie, who -- albeit in a small sample size -- has shown much more since being recalled from Triple-A on June 3. Zambrano hasn't been significantly better since his early-season troubles -- he has allowed 14 home runs through 80 1/3 innings after allowing just 20 home runs in 214 innings in 2006 -- but should be safe here despite being prone to seemingly random blowups. The Astros might be out one of their best hitters in Pence and offer little resistance against solid right-handed pitching.
Orlando Hernandez, RHP (3-1, 1.94 ERA, 0.92 WHIP) versus
Randy Wolf, LHP (7-4, 4.03 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
Game Story: Hernandez has been rather hit-lucky, although it is easier to be the beneficiary of luck when the defense behind you is, to this point, the best in the majors. Hernandez also has been feasting on poor offensive teams, and with the Dodgers as his opponent Monday, not much should change. He also will receive some nice run support, as the Mets demolish left-handers (.852 OPS, second in the majors). Wolf has been quite the pleasant surprise, with an 80-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio and seven homers allowed in 76 innings. He's been much better than his ERA and WHIP might suggest. However, you have to play the matchups and leave him on your bench for this one.
Adam Eaton, SP, PHI vs. Chicago White Sox
Randy Winn, OF, SF vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Morris, SP, SF vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Casey Blake, 3B, CLE vs. Seattle Mariners
Felix Pie, OF, CHC vs. Houston Astros
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 stints 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
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