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Daily Notes for Monday: Time for a Markakis breakout

6/2/2008

A decently full Monday slate of games, with a number of good young pitchers on the hill. No reason to beat around the bush; let's get right to the games.

Matchups for Monday, June 2

All times are ET.

Injury report

Out
Mark Kotsay, OF, Braves (back)
Chone Figgins, 3B, Angels (hamstring)
Frank Thomas, DH, Athletics (quadriceps)


Day-to-day
Rich Aurilia, 1B, Giants (kidney)
Luis Castillo, 2B, Mets (hip)
Ryan Church, OF, Mets (concussion)
J.D. Drew, OF, Red Sox (vertigo)
David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox (wrist)
Ryan Spilborghs, OF, Rockies (wrist)

Start 'em, sit 'em

Hitters: Although he hit just .230 in May, Nick Markakis had 12 extra-base hits, including six in his past five games. His power is coming along, and he faces Tim Wakefield, who has already served up 10 home runs in 67 innings this season. … With six stolen bases during his seven-game hitting streak, Jerry Hairston Jr. has had a large impact immediately. He's strictly a short-term add, but he's leading off or hitting second in front of Adam Dunn, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, so keep him plugged in your lineups. … Small sample size does apply, but Rick Ankiel is 3-for-3 with a home run off Tom Gorzelanny. Ankiel has shown an aptitude for hitting left-handers, and Gorzelanny has been awful, having allowed seven home runs in his past seven games. Ankiel is in the midst of a slump, but his last three hits have all gone for extra bases. … Andre Ethier is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak and is hitting .346 against righties this season. He's now an everyday player, and should be owned in all league setups.

Pitchers: Only an unlucky BABIP of .341 has kept Andy Pettitte from much better raw stats; with 50 strikeouts, 17 walks and seven home runs in 65 2/3 innings, Pettitte has pitched quite well. With Alex Rodriguez healthy again and Jason Giambi in the midst of a hot streak, the Yankees' offense is scoring again, and should provide ample run support against the Twins to give Pettitte a strong shot at his third win in a row. … Aaron Laffey's strong start essentially dictates a start if you have the space; the Rangers aren't great against southpaws and Laffey has allowed just three earned runs in his past five starts. … Ervin Santana's 64-15 strikeout-walk ratio strongly suggests his performance is for real. His prior struggles on the road can be tossed out. The Mariners have been putrid offensively in May, so Santana should have one of his better starts of the season. However, it's worth noting that the only offense that was worse than the Mariners' in May was the Angels', so the run support might be lacking.



Waiver-wire pickups


Hitters: Bill Hall has three home runs and a .404 average in 47 at-bats against southpaws this season, and he has hit seven of his nine home runs at home. He should have a good day against the hittable Doug Davis. … Blake DeWitt didn't go more than two games without a hit in May, and has five hits in his past 12 at-bats. He hasn't slowed down yet, so ride the hot hand.

Pitchers: Outside of two poor starts against the Diamondbacks and Phillies, who both rank in the top three in team OPS against lefties, Jo-Jo Reyes has been quite effective, with 30 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. The Marlins are prone to strikeouts (fourth in the NL with 125) and susceptible to left-handers (.684 OPS, 24th), so Reyes could surprise. … Jeremy Guthrie has four quality starts in a row, and that includes performances against the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees. He faces the Red Sox again, but their offense has inexplicably struggled recently (.510 OPS the past week, last in the majors), so there's reason to believe Guthrie can be effective again. … With seven wins on the season and 10 strikeouts against a solid Rays offense in his last start, Vicente Padilla is worth a second look. He has a 2.85 ERA in his past seven starts, and even though he has allowed six home runs in that span, too, you can't expect the underachieving Indians to make Padilla pay. … After getting bombed by the Angels for seven runs in five innings, Derek Lowe has bounced back with just two earned runs in his past two starts (14 innings). Facing a banged-up Rockies team that struggles on the road should be an easy target for Lowe to make it three strong starts in a row.



Weather concerns


St. Louis is expected to see some scattered thunderstorms throughout the day and into the evening, and is the only area that could be threatened by rain Monday. … Yankees-Twins and Angels-Mariners are weather-proof.

Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com