- Sean Allen
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Johnson will be making his 564th career start while Campillo makes his third. As Will Harris pointed out in Tuesday's notes, Campillo made just one start before this season, lasting one inning in August 2005 and coming out with an injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery. Campillo picked up his first career win in his last outing; Johnson his 288th.
Although with youth on his side, Campillo might be the more intriguing pitcher to watch for fantasy purposes, one has to wonder if Johnson can recapture some of the magic from his last start against the Braves in a Diamondbacks uniform, on May 18, 2004. You might remember that game as being "perfect."
Matchups for Saturday, May 24
All times are ET.
Moises Alou, OF, Mets (calf)
Erick Aybar, 2B/SS, Angels (finger)
Josh Bard, C, Padres (ankle)
Adam Everett, SS, Twins (shoulder)
Eric Gagne, RP, Brewers (shoulder)
Austin Kearns, OF, Nationals (elbow)
Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (calf)
Juan Uribe, 2B/SS, White Sox (hamstring)
Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals (shoulder)
Hank Blalock, 3B, Rangers (hamstring)
Ryan Church, OF, Mets (concussion)
Mark Ellis, 2B, A's (hamstring)
Yunel Escobar, 2B/SS/3B, Braves (knee)
Chone Figgins, 3B, Angels (hamstring)
Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers (back)
Jerry Hairston Jr., OF, Reds (illness)
Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies (calf)
Andruw Jones, OF, Dodgers (knee)
Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves (shin)
Kevin Mench, OF, Blue Jays (knee)
Melvin Mora, 3B, Orioles (hand)
Jayson Werth, OF, Phillies (oblique)
Jack Wilson, SS, Pirates (calf)
Marlon Anderson, OF, Mets (hamstring)
Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox (hand)
Matt Stairs, 1B/OF, Blue Jays (neck)
Victor Martinez, C/1B, Indians (finger)
Clint Barmes, SS/2B, Rockies (knee)
Willy Taveras, OF, Rockies (knee)
Elijah Dukes, OF, Nationals (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Hitters: Start all your Brewers right-handed hitters. Milwaukee's lineup feasts on lefties (like John Lannan) and is rolling over the past week (.816 OPS). Bill Hall and Mike Cameron are two options that are still available in some leagues. Check Friday's lineups for sign of Brad Hawpe, Chone Figgins, Mark Ellis, Andruw Jones, Rick Ankiel, Yunel Escobar, Rafael Furcal and Melvin Mora before considering them for Saturday. They all have a chance of returning to action this weekend after missing anywhere from one game (Figgins) to over a dozen (Furcal). Watch Andruw Jones' status with extra scrutiny as he is 5-for-10 with a pair of homers against Kyle Lohse. ... Have all your regular Phillies active versus Brian Moehler. That includes Pat Burrell (7-for-15, .467) and Shane Victorino (5-for-8, .625) who have a good history against him. Jason Marquis has been decent at keeping the Pirates' hitters in check during his tenure in the NL Central, but Jason Bay defies him. Bay is 14-for-40 (.350) with four home runs against Marquis. Your Cubs hitters are all must-start with another lefty on the mound in Phil Dumatrait. Chicago is second to Boston is OPS versus southpaws (.848) and enjoyed seven walks in a May 18 game against Dumatrait. Although he remains an intriguing option based on his skill set, Wilfredo Ledezma looks as though he'll be hit pretty hard by a Reds team that enjoys facing lefties. The Reds have an .821 OPS versus southpaws this season. If you have outfield depth to sub in for him, Torii Hunter might not have his best game based on his 0-for-11 record against John Danks. Nick Swisher (2-for-17), Jermaine Dye (1-for-9), Paul Konerko (1-for-9), Jim Thome (0-for-4) and Orlando Cabrera (0-for-3) are all hitting below the Mendoza Line against Jered Weaver. Consider other options in your lineup (and definitely start Weaver). Ken Griffey Jr. has a home run in his only career at-bat versus Wilfredo Ledezma, but is only 3-for-his-last-28 (.107) in Petco Park; with one home run in that span. The watch for No. 600 might be put on hold despite snapping his second-longest homerless drought in his career on Thursday. Paul Konerko can ride the pine on your team as the best you can expect is a pinch-hit appearance while he nurses a sore hand. Look for the Yankees to go nuts against Carlos Silva. The heart of a tough Yankees lineup has incredible numbers against Silva. Bobby Abreu 8-for-10, .800), Derek Jeter (7-for-11, .636), Alex Rodriguez (5-for-12, .417), Johnny Damon (5-for-16, .317) and Robinson Cano (3-for-9, .333 with all three hits leaving the yard) will torch Silva.
Pitchers: Not to dismiss his amazing season after one bad start, but I'd think long and hard about rolling out Cliff Lee, especially in head-to-head leagues where you are fighting a tight ERA battle. The Rangers are the hottest offense in baseball over the last week (.949 OPS) and their top two run producers (Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley) are hitting better than .300 versus lefties this season. Lee has sparkled in other tough matchups this season, but his confidence won't be at its peak after being spanked by Cincinnati. To add to the argument, Michael Young and Hank Blalock (who is expected to be activated from the DL Friday) both hit .400 off Lee in their careers. Whether his arm troubles are serious or trivial, there is no denying that Brad Penny has struggled mightily in his most recent starts. Considering the Cardinals are a top-10 offense against righties, give Penny a day off from your team. Note that Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Troy Glaus and Chris Duncan all have career averages better than .400 versus Penny as well. Duncan, in particular, is 4-for-7 with a home run. The Braves may be first in OPS versus righties (.834), but they plummet to 18th against lefties (.730). If Chipper Jones ends up missing the game with his sore shin, Mark Teixeira and Matt Diaz (thanks to his numbers versus lefties) might be the only Braves worth starting against Randy Johnson. Not that I am expecting Johnson to have another perfect game versus Atlanta, but he should have a quality start with his offense getting him a win. The Marlins' impatience should play into the hands of Matt Cain, who sometimes has trouble with walks. Florida leads the league in strikeouts versus righties (283) and is third-last in drawing walks against them (95). With his ownership just now hitting the 50 percent mark, you might find Justin Duchscherer on the wire in your league. If he's there, grab him and start him. Boston may be the toughest offense in the league lately, but against Duke, the Red Sox's lineup is a measly 4-for-34 (.111) in their career. Duchscherer is also a threat to go deep enough into games to be even more effective, having topped triple digits in his pitch count for the first time in his May 13 outing.
Hitters: The Pirates might have shortstop Jack Wilson (calf) back by Saturday, but that doesn't mean you want to activate him yet. He's 7-for-37 (.189) lifetime versus Jason Marquis. As Josh Bard hits the DL, Michael Barrett might be rushed back from a rehab assignment. He is definitely someone to pick up right away in two-catcher leagues (if he is still available there). In NL-only formats, Paul Janish might be a decent shortstop play if you have a hole at that position thanks to lefty Wilfredo Ledezma pitching for the Padres. With Jerry Hairston Jr. ailing, Janish has batted second in the lineup (a good run-scoring spot considering the bats behind him) and has gone 3-for-6 against left-handers this season. Geoff Jenkins is a great outfield option off the wire. With Jayson Werth coming out of Thursday's game, Jenkins is almost assured a start against Brian Moehler. Jenkins is 4-for-11 (.364) with a pair of home runs off the Astros' veteran righty. Endy Chavez and Fernando Tatis are both deep NL-only options with Moises Alou, Ryan Church and Marlon Anderson banged up in the thinning Mets outfield. Chavez is a career .290 hitter versus lefties (like Jeff Francis) and has speed on the bases, while Tatis homered in his first trip to the plate after filling in for Anderson Friday. Despite his flashes on defense since joining the Cubs, Jim Edmonds is a candidate to sit versus lefties as Reed Johnson -- and his career .305 average versus southpaws -- remains an option. However Johnson is hitting only .255 against lefties this season, so he may not be much of a candidate for a spot start in your outfield. Ryan Freel looks like your best waiver-wire bet for a stolen base. He should start against Ledezma based on his .377 average this season versus lefties and the Padres have allowed a major league-worst 51 stolen bases. Much of that may be the fault of the now-injured Josh Bard, but the fact remains that San Diego is the best team to run on. Brenden Harris should start with Adam Everett on the DL, and Harris is 3-for-8 with a home run off Detroit's Nate Robertson. Eric Hinske continues to crush righties this season (1.006 OPS) and is an option versus Steve Trachsel despite his 0-for-5 career numbers against the veteran. Cliff Floyd, however, is just 5-for-27 (.185) against Trachsel and should not be considered. Ty Wigginton can be considered for a lineup spot at second or third base as he is 8-for-20 (.400) with a home run against Brett Myers. The same can be said for the normally useless Brad Ausmus, who is 5-for-11 (.455) versus Myers. Brian Giles is 4-for-10 with a pair of home runs against Bronson Arroyo, to go with four walks. Not a bad option if you are light on outfielders. Scott Podsednik has broader appeal to shallow leagues if we know Willy Taveras is out of the lineup, so watch for updates on Taveras' knee.
Pitchers: Jeff Francis may have had a few nice outings this season, but he has struggled against top offenses. The Mets still qualify as a dangerous lineup and any thoughts of starting Francis should be dismissed with the knowledge that even if no one else does, David Wright will punish him. Wright is 5-for-8 with two home runs off the Canadian lefty. Have Salomon Torres and Guillermo Mota active in deep leagues if you need to take a chance on saves. Torres is said to have first opportunity, but I like Mota better if Gagne misses significant time. Edwin Jackson has only three subpar outings in nine starts this season and his Rays should give him an opportunity for a win as they tee off on Steve Trachsel. He is a good play in deeper formats. The defense has to shoulder some of the blame for Mike Mussina's torching by the Orioles in his most recent start. Note that only one of the runs was earned in a seven-run first inning, where Mussina made only two outs before being lifted. The Moose already has a quality-start win against Seattle this season and has been rolling along quite well with his changeup working effectively against lefties (like Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki). He's worthy of a start in deeper mixed and AL-only leagues. I'm willing to forgive Luke Hochevar for a rough outing against the league's best offense and give him a thumbs-up for a spot start against the Blue Jays. Hochevar took on Toronto in his second start of the season and fared well against the Jays (one run in six innings). He has kept his mechanics in check lately and should get a quality start in this outing. Look for a low-scoring affair in Toronto as Jesse Litsch should equal Hochevar's effort on the mound against the hapless Royals offense. Kansas City ranks last in OPS versus righties (.662) and Litsch already has a quality-start win on the books against the Royals this season. The Angels' OPS versus lefties has plummeted in recent weeks from near the top of the league down to 20th. John Danks has already helped that number fall, with a 6 1/3-inning shutout of L.A. on May 13. Consider him a solid spot-start candidate. Jorge Campillo fooled a pretty good offense in the Mets in his first start of the season (since 2005 actually), but the Diamondbacks are a little tougher to handle than the Mets. I wouldn't be shocked by a quality start and he should be considered in deep leagues.
There's a 50 percent chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms in Florida, so watch the Giants-Marlins game closely. Matt Cain should be in your lineup anyway as his start looks to be a good one (see above). Just a 20 percent chance of scattered showers in Denver, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Don't sweat too much over starting your Mets, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Braves, Cardinals or Dodgers because of it. Weatherproof games will be played in Toronto (Royals-Blue Jays), Tampa (Orioles-Rays) and Houston (Phillies-Astros).
Sean Allen is a fantasy baseball and hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.
15hTristan H. Cockcroft