Commentary

Daily Notes: Offensive doubleheader in Detroit

Updated: September 10, 2007, 7:30 PM ET
By Will Harris | Special to ESPN.com

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Fantasy Game Notes for Tuesday: American League

Comerica Park (outdoor) 1:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of showers, high of 72 degrees)
Vicente Padilla, RHP (5-9, 6.01 ERA, 1.66 WHIP) versus
Chad Durbin, RHP (8-6, 4.57 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Each of these starters pitched shutout ball in his last start, but both outings were against weak offensive teams and neither pitcher has a good track record. Durbin has logged consecutive quality starts just once this year, and Padilla hasn't done it yet. You don't want either of them, but you do want to look at several hitters from these two clubs. Playing a doubleheader gives all hitters involved greater value. Detroit's Brandon Inge is hitting .474/.524/.842 with two home runs this week. The Rangers' Ian Kinsler and Marlon Byrd are also swinging the bat well currently. All three are solid options in this matchup.

Texas Rangers @ Detroit Tigers
Comerica Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of showers, low of 54 degrees)
Brandon McCarthy, RHP (5-8, 4.79 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) versus
Jair Jurrjens, RHP (1-1, 3.60 ERA, 0.93 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: As noted above, the chance to log two games worth of at-bats is a strong endorsement for all Detroit and Texas hitters on Tuesday. As in the first game, the starting pitchers here are not to be feared. In fact, both are coming off the disabled list to start this game. McCarthy had given up only two earned runs in two August starts, while Jurrjens has shown promise in each of his three outings this year. Despite the recent success in the ERA department, however, neither pitcher has shown enough to warrant rostering him when he's fresh off an injury. Avoid these two as well and just play all your hitters.

Oriole Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 66 degrees)
Joe Saunders, LHP (7-3, 3.78 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) versus
Rob Bell, RHP (3-3, 7.75 ERA, 1.97 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Corey Patterson, OF, (ankle, day-to-day); Vladimir Guerrero, OF, (triceps, day-to-day); Chone Figgins, 3B, (wrist, day-to-day)

Game Story: Bell may get a break if Vladimir Guerrero doesn't play, but he'd need a lot more help than that to be a good pickup here. The Devil Rays torched him for six runs in just over an inning of work in his last outing, and he hasn't yet had even an average year in the majors in his entire career. Saunders is a little better, but his mediocre surface stats belie an even shakier skill set so he's best avoided too. Melvin Mora is worth a look here. He's struggled so far this year, even when healthy, but he's off to an 8-for-26 start in September and may be ready to heat up down the stretch.

Fenway Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (60 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 62 degrees)
Andy Sonnanstine, RHP (5-9, 5.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) versus
Tim Wakefield, RHP (16-10, 4.39 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Manny Ramirez, OF, (back, day-to-day)

Game Story: Sonnanstine is coming around. He's now gone three straight outings without allowing more than two earned runs. However, he was hit hard in two August starts against Boston, so use him here only if you are desperate. It's hard not to recommend Wakefield without reservation, as he absolutely owns the Devil Rays. He's an impressive 19-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 36 career appearances against Tampa Bay, and current Devil Rays hitters have compiled a career .613 OPS against the Boston knuckleballer. However, even those numbers don't make him a safe bet here. Wakefield has been out with a back injury that derailed a 22-inning scoreless streak. He didn't go on the disabled list and ended up missing only one start, but he was beaten up badly in his first start back. It may be that his back is still an issue, so use him only if you can stomach that risk. Play the hitters whom you normally would from both sides.

Rogers Centre (indoor/retractable roof) 7:07 p.m. ET
Phil Hughes, RHP (2-3, 5.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) versus
Shaun Marcum, RHP (12-5, 3.74 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Derek Jeter, SS, (knee, day-to-day); Luis Vizcaino, RP, (shoulder, day-to-day)

Game Story: Hughes has had control problems in his debut season, but his upside makes him an attractive spot starter against a Toronto team that's very weak against right-handed pitching. Pick him up and use him if you're not averse to risk. Marcum has been solid this season, but he's looked shaky in his last four outings. Given that the Yankees, unlike the Jays, excel against right-handers, it's best to avoid him here. Play the usual hitters, and give Melky Cabrera a shot if you need an outfielder.

Kauffman Stadium (outdoor) 8:10 p.m. ET (mostly clear, low of 56 degrees)
Scott Baker, RHP (8-7, 4.14 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) versus
Kyle Davies, RHP (6-12, 5.81 ERA, 1.61 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: When Baker faced the Royals last week, he threw a one-hit shutout, taking a perfect game into the ninth. It's true that he wasn't very sharp in his one outing since then, but it's still impossible not to recommend him here. Davies has been pretty good his last two times out, but he's not recommended, especially since the Twins are on a rare hitting spree, scoring 22 runs in the past three games. Given Baker's recent history against the club, you should be conservative in starting Royals hitters. Play all of your Twins against Davies.

U.S. Cellular Field (outdoor) 8:11 p.m. ET (mostly clear, low of 52 degrees)
Paul Byrd, RHP (14-6, 4.50 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) versus
John Danks, LHP (6-13, 5.41 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Danks hasn't pitched since August because the club wanted to give him 10 or 11 days off to rest his arm. He wasn't pitching very well before the time off, so he probably won't be any worse now. He's not recommended against Cleveland, but the time off at least puts some uncertainty into the equation. Danks is a better option than other known mediocrities if you are really desperate and need to take risks. Byrd gets no respect because of his age and league-average skills. He's owned in fewer than five percent of ESPN leagues despite his solid year. He shut out the White Sox just last week, so grab him for this rematch if you need a starter. Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe have been heating up lately and are decent options in this one.

Safeco Field (outdoor/retractable roof) 10:05 p.m. ET
Dallas Braden, LHP (1-7, 6.63 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) versus
Jarrod Washburn, RHP (9-13, 4.32 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Braden is back to fill in for the departed Esteban Loaiza, and while he's been excellent in Triple-A this year, he hasn't put it together during his stints in the majors. It's true that he's been victimized by a brutal schedule that has included showdowns with the Tigers in three of his last four starts, but he hasn't shown enough overall to be worth a pickup. Washburn is the better bet, and can be picked up by those really needing a starter. He has pitched better at home this year and has held the opposition to three runs or fewer in four of his past five starts. Play only the usual Oakland hitters, but look to grab Mariners outfielders Jose Guillen and Raul Ibanez for this matchup, as they've both had the hot hand of late.

Fantasy Game Notes for Tuesday: National League

Citizens Bank Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of showers, low of 69 degrees)
Franklin Morales, LHP (0-2, 6.23 ERA, 1.79 WHIP) versus
Adam Eaton, RHP (9-8, 6.28 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Willy Taveras, OF, (quad, out); Kazuo Matsui, 2B, (hamstring, day-to-day)

Game Story: Morales is a future star, but you can't use him while he's still figuring things out. Eaton's worst month in his terrible 2007 was August. He's not even for the desperate, especially since the Rockies are much better against right-handed pitching. Instead, mine the teams' lineups for help. Pat Burrell is still available in more than a quarter of ESPN leagues. He's hitting .328/.442/.661 in the second half and .316/.500/.842 during the past week. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is even more widely available. He's hitting .318 and slugging .545 this week.

PNC Park (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (partly cloudy, low of 52 degrees)
Yovani Gallardo, RHP (7-4, 4.27 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) versus
Bryan Bullington, RHP (0-1, 15.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Xavier Nady, OF, (head, day-to-day); Jason Bay, OF, (knee, day-to-day); Ryan Doumit, OF, (ankle, out)

Game Story: Bullington is making his second start for the Pirates. You'll want to stay away after the way he was treated in his debut against the Cardinals. Gallardo, on the other hand, is a worthy investment here. It's true that he has been much better at home thus far, but he shut down the Pirates two starts ago and tossed seven shutout innings his last time out. Also, the Pirates are at their best against left-handers and several of their top players are banged up. Pick up Gallardo. Play all your Brewers and grab Corey Hart, who is hitting .429 this week with four doubles, a home run, a stolen base and six runs scored.

Dolphin Stadium (outdoor) 7:05 p.m. ET (20 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 78 degrees)
Mike Bacsik, LHP (5-8, 4.65 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) versus
Sergio Mitre, RHP (5-8, 4.74 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Mitre has a solid skills foundation, but he's given up 26 earned runs in his past five starts. Worse yet, he lasted only 20.2 innings in those outings. You can't use him right now. Bacsik you can't use, period, so the only worthwhile players in this matchup are hitters. Florida's Jeremy Hermida and Washington's Austin Kearns are the guys you want. Hermida has a .345 average and .979 OPS in the second half. He's hitting .360 this week. Kearns is building on his solid August (.924 OPS) by going 9-for-25 during the past seven days.

Great American Ball Park (outdoor) 7:10 p.m. ET (mostly clear, low of 52 degrees)
Mark Mulder, LHP (0-1, 13.50 ERA, 2.25 WHIP) versus
Matt Belisle, RHP (7-8, 5.44 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: The Cardinals seemed excited about Mark Mulder's return from the disabled list this past week, but I'm not sure why. Mulder hasn't struck out more than twice the number of batters he's walked since 2003 and he had an awful 7.14 ERA last year. Oh, and he got hammered in his 2007 debut. Avoid him, even though the Reds can't hit lefties. Belisle is a more interesting case. His numbers are not good overall, but he's showing decent skills that an unlucky hit rate and strand percentage are still masking. Unfortunately, he hasn't been as solid in the second half and seems to be faltering under the heaviest workload of his career. Jorge Cantu is a great play here. First basemen Scott Hatteberg and Joey Votto are lefties, whereas Cantu is right-handed. Plus, he's 4-for-6 with a double and two home runs against Mulder, whereas starting second sacker Brandon Phillips is 1-for-9. Cantu should crack the lineup somewhere for this one, so go get him.

Shea Stadium (outdoor) 7:10 p.m. ET (30 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 64 degrees)
Buddy Carlyle, RHP (8-6, 5.21 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) versus
Orlando Hernandez, RHP (9-4, 3.32 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Hernandez is returning from a sore foot tendon to make this start, so it's unlikely that he's 100 percent. The Braves have scored 29 runs in their last four games, so it may be best to leave El Duque on the bench for a start if you have another very good option. If you don't have a good replacement, however, give him a shot, because he has a stellar 3.05 career ERA against Atlanta that's been even better the last couple of years, and current Braves players have hit a combined .143 in their careers against him. Carlyle's performance has been headed downhill for weeks now, and he lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his last start. Play all the usual hitters from both sides, and pick up a trio of hot-hitting Mets. Paul Lo Duca, Luis Castillo and Shawn Green are both hitting over .350 and slugging over .525 during the past week.

Minute Maid Park (indoor/retractable roof) 8:05 p.m. ET
Jason Marquis, RHP (11-8, 4.13 ERA, 1.31 WHIP) versus
Brandon Backe, RHP (0-1, 4.76 ERA, 1.94 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Backe hadn't shown that much in his career before Tommy John surgery, and he was pounded in his return from the injury last week. He's not to be used. Nor is Jason Marquis, who doesn't have even an average skill set but has survived on smoke and mirrors (and a lucky hit rate) all year. Marquis has a 4.86 ERA in the second half, compared with 3.67 in the first. That's not a huge drop-off, but his command and home run rate suggest it could get even worse. Play all hitters from both teams in this one.

Dodger Stadium (outdoor) 10:10 p.m. ET (clear, low of 64 degrees)
Jake Peavy, RHP (16-6, 2.43 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) versus
Esteban Loaiza, RHP (2-0, 2.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: Pitching on three days' rest for only the second time in his major league career, Peavy turned in his worst start of the season last time out, surrendering eight earned runs and 10 baserunners in four innings at Arizona. It was the first time this season he's allowed more than four earned runs, and he'll probably be back to his dominant self Tuesday, so bench all of your Dodgers. Loaiza may turn this into a pitching duel. He was solid in his first start for the Dodgers after being claimed off waivers from the Athletics, and he allowed only three combined runs in two seven-inning starts in Oakland. San Diego managed only nine runs in three games in Coors Field last week, so grab Loaiza and start only the essential Padres hitters.

AT&T Park (outdoor) 10:15 p.m. ET (partly cloudy, low of 56 degrees)
Edgar Gonzalez, RHP (7-2, 5.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) versus
Kevin Correia, RHP (4-6, 3.59 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Notable Injuries: Orlando Hudson, 2B, (thumb, out)

Game Story: Gonzalez has pitched decently for the Diamondbacks this year despite being yanked back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. He's been better as a starter than a reliever this year, but has improved in the bullpen as the year has gone on. This is his first start since before the All-Star break. He's sporting a 4.18 ERA in 12 second-half relief appearances. Correia, too, has served as both a starter and a reliever, although he didn't make his first start until Aug. 14. He's posted a 2.05 ERA in four starts, and a 4.20 ERA in 51 relief appearances. Either of these pitchers can be used if you can afford moderate risk in search of wins and strikeouts, though Correia is probably the slightly better bet. Bengie Molina might be worth a look here. He's hitting .389 with three home runs and two doubles this week, and he's 3-for-7 with a homer against Gonzalez in his career.

Waiver Wire Pickups

Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX @ Detroit Tigers
Marlon Byrd, OF, TEX @ Detroit Tigers
Brandon Inge, 3B, DET versus Texas Rangers
Melvin Mora, 3B, BAL versus Los Angeles Angels
Melky Cabrera, OF, NYY @ Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Baker, SP, MIN @ Kansas City Royals
A.J. Pierzynski, C, CHW versus Cleveland Indians
Juan Uribe, SS, CHW versus Cleveland Indians
Jose Guillen, OF, SEA versus Oakland Athletics
Raul Ibanez, OF, SEA versus Oakland Athletics
Pat Burrell, OF, PHI @ Colorado Rockies
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL versus Philadelphia Phillies
Corey Hart, OF, MIL @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Yovani Gallardo, SP, MIL @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Austin Kearns, OF, WAS @ Florida Marlins
Jeremy Hermida, OF, FLA versus Washington Nationals
Jorge Cantu, 1B, CIN versus St. Louis Cardinals
Shawn Green, OF, NYM versus Atlanta Braves
Paul LoDuca, C, NYM versus Atlanta Braves
Luis Castillo, 2B, NYM versus Atlanta Braves
Esteban Loaiza, SP, LAD versus San Diego Padres
Bengie Molina, C, SF versus Arizona Diamondbacks
Kevin Correia, SP, SF versus Arizona Diamondbacks

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