Commentary

Daily Notes: Bench Schilling, Wang

Updated: August 30, 2007, 10:44 AM ET
By Will Harris | Special to ESPN.com

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Fantasy Game Notes for Thursday: American League
Yankee Stadium (outdoor) 1:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of thunderstorms, high of 84 degrees)
Curt Schilling, RHP (8-5, 4.11 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) versus
Chien-Ming Wang, RHP (15-6, 3.95 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Wang has been a solid fantasy producer again this year, racking up 15 wins so far while posting decent ratio stats. He's not had much success against the Yankees' biggest rival, however, compiling an ERA of 4.78 in 10 games versus the Red Sox while striking out 21 and walking 27. That includes three subpar outings against Boston this year, so Wang might be better off on your bench for this one. The Yankees have tortured Schilling this year as well, so bench him, too, and expect lots of runs. What does Eric Hinske have in common with BoSox teammates David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez? At first glance, not very much, but Hinske, like the team's two big sluggers, has a .500-plus batting average against Wang in at least 20 at-bats. He'll likely get a start here, and you might want to consider him, especially since 40 percent of his hits off Wang have gone for extra bases.

Kauffman Stadium (outdoor) 2:10 p.m. ET (mostly sunny, high of 84 degrees)
Jeremy Bonderman, RHP (10-7, 4.87 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) versus
Leo Nunez, RHP (2-1, 3.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Gary Sheffield, OF, (shoulder, DL)

Game Story: I wish I could tell you what's wrong with Bonderman, but if I knew that I would be charging the Tigers a few hundred thousand dollars in consulting fees. What I do know is that Bonderman has surrendered a staggering 42 runs in his past six starts. Granted, his hit rate has been way up, and an unusual percentage of his fly balls have been leaving the yard. But he's been so bad lately that it's hard to attribute it all to bad luck. While I have no reservations whatsoever about Bonderman's long-term outlook, there's clearly something wrong with him right now, and until somebody figures it out he belongs on your bench. Play all the hitters whom you normally would for both teams. If you're in need of an outfielder, grab David DeJesus. He's hitting well of late and does well against right-handed pitching.

Oriole Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 70 degrees)
Scott Kazmir, LHP (10-8, 3.64 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) versus
Jeremy Guthrie, RHP (7-4, 3.46 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: This matchup is a tale of two pitchers headed in opposite directions. Kazmir has turned it around after a rough start to the season, posting a 2.16 second-half ERA with 74 strikeouts against only 19 walks. Guthrie, on the other hand, has started to come back to earth a bit. He's capable of better than the 5.97 ERA he's put up so far in August, but that figure is more indicative of his true skills than the 2.74 ERA he recorded in the first half. Delmon Young is hitting .370/.393/.556 the past week and offers a fine outfield option in this matchup. Otherwise, play the Devil Rays hitters you normally would and bench all possible Orioles against Kazmir.

Jacobs Field (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (mostly cloudy, low of 61 degrees)
Horacio Ramirez, LHP (8-4, 6.67 ERA, 1.79 WHIP) versus
Aaron Laffey, LHP (2-1, 4.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Laffey has been decent in three outings for the Indians, but he's still not someone you want to count on. Ramirez has been simply dreadful. Don't be tempted by the fact that he didn't allow an earned run in his most recent turn; his 11 walks and 10 strikeouts in five August starts tell the real story. Raul Ibanez is still hot for the Mariners. He belted nine home runs in 13 games during one August stretch, and is hitting a robust .406/.473/.750 for the month. He's up to a season-high of nearly 75 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, and should be grabbed if possible. Also worth a look is Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, who's been swinging a hot bat recently as well.

Rangers Ballpark (outdoor) 8:35 p.m. ET (40 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 72 degrees)
John Danks, LHP (6-12, 5.51 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) versus
Kevin Millwood, RHP (8-11, 5.31 ERA, 1.61 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Alex Cintron, 2B, (bereavement, out); Scott Podsednik, OF, (ribs, day-to-day);

Game Story: This battle of last-place teams features two starters that you'll want to avoid and very little hitting talent worth a pickup. The best bets are a pair of Rangers right-handers. Ian Kinsler is having his most productive month since April and is hitting .400/.483/.680 during the past week. Travis Metcalf is seeing plenty of time at third base and could be a solid producer against left-handed pitching the rest of the way. He's an option in deeper leagues.

Fantasy Game Notes for Thursday: National League

Citizens Bank Park (outdoor) 1:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of thunderstorms, high of 87 degrees)
Orlando Hernandez, RHP (9-4, 3.07 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) versus
Kyle Lohse, RHP (7-12, 4.47 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Shane Victorino, OF, (calf, day-to-day);

Game Story: El Duque is forcing fantasy owners to recognize his efforts. He hasn't allowed more then three runs in any of his past six starts. He's also gone at least six innings in each of those outings and notched at least seven strikeouts in five of the six. He's worth a look, even in Citizens Bank Park. Lohse has been pretty good lately as well, but isn't recommended against the Mets. Jayson Werth continues to rake. He's been taking full advantage of the playing time he's getting due to Victorino's slow recovery, plus his .619 average during the past seven games is the best in the majors.

Minute Maid Park (indoor/retractable roof) 2:05 p.m. ET
Joel Pineiro, RHP (4-2, 4.50 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) versus
Matt Albers, RHP (3-6, 5.71 ERA, 1.56 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Both starters have had some promising performances recently. Astros rookie Albers tossed seven innings of two-run ball (only one earned) against Pittsburgh last time out, striking out six without walking a batter. Pineiro has a 3.86 August ERA and has struck out 18 batters this month while walking only four. If you need a spot starter, he's probably the better bet here. The Astros have managed only six runs the past three games while St. Louis has won three straight, scoring 16 runs during that span. No potential hitting pickups stand out, so play the hitters whom you normally would from both sides.

PNC Park (outdoor) 8:35 p.m. ET (40 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 61 degrees)
Matt Belisle, RHP (7-8, 5.39 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) versus
Matt Morris, RHP (8-8, 4.40 ERA, 1.48 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Jack Wilson, SS, (shin, day-to-day)

Game Story: Belisle has allowed at least four runs in 15 of his 24 starts. He's naturally not recommended here. Nor is Morris, despite the fact that he's pitched well in his past two turns. Cincinnati feasts on right-handed pitching, so don't hesitate to get your Reds in the lineup. As for the Pirates, they're not as happy as most teams to see Belisle coming to town. He's performed well in three starts versus the Bucs this year. Stick to the hitters you would normally play from the Pittsburgh side, and pick up Adam LaRoche. He's is hitting well and is recommended against most right-handers right now.

Wrigley Field (outdoor) 8:05 p.m. ET (mostly clear, low of 62 degrees)
Manny Parra, LHP (0-1, 3.09 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) versus
Ted Lilly, LHP (13-7, 3.85 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: This one looks like it has the makings of a pitching duel, but upon closer inspection it appears that one of the combatants may not be able to hold up his end. Surprisingly, that pitcher is Ted Lilly, who while in the midst of a fine season, had struggled mightily in two starts before his solid performance against Arizona on Saturday. Lilly is approaching a career high in innings, and he still might be feeling the effects of a 127-pitch outing in Coors Field a week ago. The well-motivated and lefty-bashing Brewers are not the team to take risks against here, so if you have another viable option it might be best to give Lilly a day off. Parra might be the better pitcher Thursday, and is definitely worth a pickup. The talented rookie performed very well in his only other start this year. Play only the better hitters from both sides in this one.

Petco Park (outdoor) 10:05 p.m. ET (patchy fog, low of 69 degrees)
Doug Davis, LHP (11-11, 4.09 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) versus
Chris Young, RHP (9-4, 2.12 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Marcus Giles, 2B, (knee, DL)

Game Story: Young missed his most recent turn with an ailing back, but you shouldn't hesitate to get the ace back in your lineup for his return against Arizona, even though the Diamondbacks are far better against right-handed pitching. The Padres are exactly the opposite, much preferring to face lefties, which is why you should avoid Doug Davis despite the fact that he was excellent last time out against the Cubs. Bench all possible D-backs versus Young, but don't be shy about loading up with Padres in this one. Milton Bradley is an excellent addition here. He's hitting .310/.375/.759 with four homers in his past seven games.

Waiver Wire Pickups

Eric Hinske, OF, BOS @ New York Yankees
Delmon Young OF, TB @ Baltimore Orioles
David DeJesus OF, KC versus Detroit Tigers
Kenny Lofton OF, CLE versus Seattle Mariners
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX versus Chicago White Sox
Travis Metcalf, 3B, TEX versus Chicago White Sox
Jayson Werth, OF, PHI versus New York Mets
Orlando Hernandez, SP, NYM @ Philadelphia Phillies
Adam LaRoche, 1B, PIT versus Cincinnati Reds
Milton Bradley, OF, SD versus Arizona Diamonbacks
Manny Parra, SP, MIL @ Chicago Cubs

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.

Will Harris is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and TalentedMrRoto.com. He can be reached at willharris@TalentedMrRoto.com.