Daily Notes for Saturday: Harden makes Cubs debut
The National League debut of Rich Harden certainly sticks out as a story line to follow, but on second glance, does it really matter to fantasy baseball where Harden pitches? He is one of those talents who could pitch in the toughest division and still have gaudy numbers; he is just that good. With Harden, the bigger concern will always be his health, and not necessarily the matchups he draws. But if you are curious, the matchup for his first start as a Cub is a tasty one.
Also keep an eye on the matchup in Los Angelesg as Hiroki Kuroda comes of two complete-game shutouts at home, including his near-perfect game, while Ricky Nolasco comes in as the winner of nine of his past 10 decisions.
|1:05 p.m.||Kevin Correia||R||1-5||4.96||1.49|| |
|1:07 p.m.||Darrell Rasner||R||4-7||4.94||1.50|| |
|3:55 p.m.||Scott Baker||R||5-2||3.32||1.18|| |
|3:55 p.m.||Randy Johnson||L||5-7||5.18||1.43|| |
|3:55 p.m.||Ubaldo Jimenez||R||4-8||4.21||1.52|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Radhames Liz||R||3-1||5.94||1.59|| |
|7:05 p.m.||John Danks||L||6-4||2.52||1.17|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Matt Garza||R||7-4||3.51||1.20|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Todd Wellemeyer||R||7-4||3.94||1.30|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Edinson Volquez||R||11-3||2.36||1.25|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Jarrod Washburn||L||4-8||5.03||1.48|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Wandy Rodriguez||L||3-3||3.23||1.25|| |
|9:05 p.m.||Ervin Santana||R||10-3||3.53||1.13|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Charlie Morton||R||1-2||6.84||1.68|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Ricky Nolasco||R||10-4||3.74||1.20|| |
Aaron Boone, 1B/3B, Nationals (calf)
Ryan Church, OF, Mets (concussion)
Elijah Dukes, OF, Nationals (knee)
Bobby Jenks, RP, White Sox (shoulder)
Ryan Spilborghs, OF, Rockies (oblique)
Justin Upton, OF, Diamondbacks (oblique)
Vernon Wells, OF, Blue Jays (hamstring)
Jeff Baker, 1B/2B, Rockies (wrist)
J.D. Drew, OF, Red Sox (back)
Kosuke Fukudome, OF, Cubs (leg)
Brian Giles, OF, Padres (hamstring)
Kevin Millwood, SP, Rangers (groin)
Edgar Renteria, SS, Tigers (hamstring)
Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners (hamstring)
Ryan Sweeney, OF, A's (finger)
Hitters: Look for J.D. Drew in Friday's box score before using him Saturday. It's hoped he can return Friday after two days rest, but keep in mind that this is J.D. Drew we are talking about. ... Chase Utley is a big 0-for-9 in his career versus Randy Johnson, while Pat Burrell has struck out 14 times in 22 at-bats against the Big Unit. ... Edgar Renteria is expected back Friday, but keep an eye on the situation as hamstring injuries can linger. ... He hasn't been DL'ed yet, but Justin Upton is not expected to play at all this weekend. ... Brian Giles isn't expected to do anymore than pinch hit all weekend because of a strained hamstring. ... Ichiro Suzuki was able to pinch hit late in Thursday's contest, so his hamstring issues should allow him to play by Saturday. ... Kosuke Fukudome fouled a ball off his leg Thursday, but he's not expected to miss time. He should definitely be back by Friday. ... Marcus Thames and Curtis Granderson each have three home runs against Scott Baker. Granderson has managed that in 28 career at-bats, but Thames in only 12. ... Kevin Millar is easily the Orioles' biggest threat against Tim Wakefield. Millar is 11-for-28 (.458) with three home runs versus the knuckleballer.
Hitters: Jeff Baker's jammed wrist is looking better as he was available to pinch hit on Thursday. He should get quality playing time at first and second base with Todd Helton out. ... Ryan Sweeney came out of Thursday's game with a dislocated finger, meaning the speedy Rajai Davis should get some more at-bats. ... If you have been using Chad Tracy against the occasional righty, feel free to stray from that plan on Saturday. Tracy is just 2-for-14 (.143) with six strikeouts against Adam Eaton. ... If you need a sub at catcher, try Yadier Molina. He is 4-for-7 with two doubles and a home run against Phil Dumatrait. It should also be Chris Iannetta's turn in his rotation with Yorvit Torrealba. Iannetta has two homers in the past week, despite playing only every other game. ... For a first-base fill-in, try Ross Gload, who is 11-for-his-past-25 (.440), or Wes Bankston, who has gotten on base in all but two of the nine games he has played for Oakland. ... At second base, Mike Fontenot doubled and homered in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday. A lesser option would be Esteban German, who is 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles against Jarrod Washburn. ... At shortstop, Jack Wilson is a second-half hitter, and he could start things a little early with his 4-for-10 history against Todd Wellemeyer. Nick Punto would be another option, as his hot bat has managed 12 hits in his past 28 at-bats (.429). ... Third-base options include: Fernando Tatis, who has three home runs in his last five games, and Bill Hall, who has 11 hits in his past 23 at-bats (.478). ... Scott Hairston should be your first choice for outfield off the wire, as he continues his recent hot streak with five home runs and a .550 average over the previous week. Cody Ross and his RBIs binge are another option. He has a .443 average and 14 RBIs in his past 30 at-bats. I'll mention Denard Span again, as he continues to get on base with eight walks and a .500 average in the previous week.
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There is at least a slight chance of precipitation in every city hosting baseball on Saturday, but except for a few cases, the chance of significant showers is minute. ... The most ominous forecast is in Chicago, where the Giants-Cubs game has an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Definitely give the edge to any other player when making lineup decisions. ... Minnesota (Twins-Tigers) has a 40 percent chance of rain and Kansas City (Mariners-Royals) has a 30 percent chance. ... Weather-proof games include: Yankees-Blue Jays and Reds-Brewers.
Sean Allen is a fantasy baseball and hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.
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