Daily Notes for Friday: Moyer a great spot-start in Florida
Though eight teams will return to the field Thursday, the traditional "second half" of the baseball season begins for the other 22 squads on Friday. Among the key series kicking off Friday: Red Sox-Angels, a possible American League playoff matchup; and Dodgers-Diamondbacks, a battle for the National League West lead (albeit a somewhat uninspiring one, seeing as both teams enter the series beneath .500).
Many teams shuffled their rotations to get their better starters more turns sooner; CC Sabathia, for instance, will pitch for the Brewers on Friday on exactly four days' rest. The Blue Jays' A.J. Burnett and Pirates' Ian Snell will do the same. And among the other notable starters bumped up in the rotation to pitch Friday: The Mariners' Felix Hernandez, Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, Padres' Greg Maddux and Rays' James Shields.
|7:05 p.m.||Armando Galarraga||R||7-3||3.27||1.20|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Greg Smith||R||5-7||3.43||1.25|| |
|7:10 p.m.||John Maine||R||8-6||3.99||1.32|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Jamie Moyer||L||8-6||3.95||1.39|| |
|7:10 p.m.||A.J. Burnett||R||10-8||4.96||1.46|| |
|7:35 p.m.||Tim Redding||R||7-3||3.85||1.33|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Ted Lilly||L||9-6||4.68||1.34|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Kevin Millwood||R||6-5||5.11||1.71|| |
|8:11 p.m.||Zack Greinke||R||7-5||3.48||1.26|| |
|8:15 p.m.||Greg Maddux||R||3-8||3.90||1.23|| |
|9:05 p.m.||Ian Snell||R||3-7||5.92||1.91|| |
|9:40 p.m.||Hiroki Kuroda||R||5-6||3.43||1.20|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Clay Buchholz||R||2-4||5.70||1.67|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Aaron Laffey||L||5-5||3.45||1.27|| |
|10:15 p.m.||CC Sabathia||L||8-8||3.67||1.24|| |
All times are ET.
Hank Blalock, 3B, Rangers (wrist)
Coco Crisp, OF, Red Sox (forearm)
Yunel Escobar, 2B/3B/SS, Braves (shoulder)
Brian Giles, OF, Padres (hamstring)
Bobby Jenks, RP, White Sox (back)
Magglio Ordonez, OF, Tigers (oblique)
Troy Percival, RP, Rays (hamstring)
Edgar Renteria, SS, Tigers (hamstring)
Alex Rios, OF, Blue Jays (personal)
Justin Upton, OF, Diamondbacks (oblique/rib cage)
Randy Winn, OF, Giants (knee)
Kerry Wood, RP, Cubs (finger)
Dmitri Young, 1B, Nationals (back)
Hitters: Carlos Delgado finished off his first half by batting .328 with six home runs, 17 RBIs and a 1.119 OPS in his final 18 games, and is a .324 hitter with four homers, 10 RBIs and a 1.078 OPS in eight career games in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park. Expect his hot streak to continue against the shaky Bronson Arroyo. Another case of "obvious start," though the track record is relevant: Brandon Phillips is 3-for-5 with a double, two home runs and seven RBIs in his career against the Mets' John Maine. It's an "obvious start" kind of day, with Hanley Ramirez another -- he's 9-for-27 with four home runs lifetime against the Phillies' Jamie Moyer -- but the other Marlins track record of relevance against Moyer is that of Mike Jacobs. He's 5-for-11 with a double, three homers and six RBIs in his career against Moyer, despite the lefty-versus-lefty matchup. Jimmy Rollins is a historic second-half standout, and might kick off a fifth consecutive great second half with a favorable matchup against the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco, against whom he's 4-for-11 with a double and two home runs lifetime. Another obvious "must-start": Chipper Jones, who has ripped the Nationals' Tim Redding for a 7-for-9, two-homer, six-RBI lifetime performance. The Twins routinely light up the Rangers' Kevin Millwood as a team, batting .318 (47-for-148) with an .851 OPS lifetime against him. Home Run Derby champ Justin Morneau is a standout, in particular; he's 5-for-13 with a double, three home runs, five walks and 10 RBIs in his career against the right-hander. The White Sox as a whole hit the Royals' Zack Greinke well, especially at home, where they've treated him to an 0-5 record, 6.62 ERA and nine home runs allowed in 34 innings in seven career games (five starts). You're going to want Jermaine Dye (10-for-29, 3 doubles, 3 HR lifetime against Greinke), Alexei Ramirez (2-for-6 with a double and a homer) and Nick Swisher (4-for-11 with a homer) in your lineup for this one. The one White Sox hitter who struggles against Greinke: Paul Konerko, 4-for-33 with one homer and nine strikeouts in his career against the right-hander. And yes, this does mean Greinke is a must-sit. Still more from the "obvious start" class: Adrian Gonzalez is 5-for-10 with two doubles and two home runs in his career against the Cardinals' Braden Looper. It sure helps his cause that he's a .314 hitter with a .963 OPS against right-handers this season, too. Brad Hawpe is 3-for-6 with a triple and a home run lifetime against the Pirates' Ian Snell, and remember, the game is at Coors Field, so advantage Rockies. Be aware that Hawpe's home OPS (.894) is more than 100 points higher than his road mark (.780). Another Rockie must-start: Willy Taveras, 7-for-13 in his career against Snell, and don't read too much into the fact that he has been caught stealing three times with Snell on the mound. Matt Kemp continues to mash left-handed pitching, with a .343 batting average and .915 OPS against that side for his career, and -- surprise, surprise -- he's 5-for-11 with two triples in his career against the Diamondbacks' Doug Davis. But take a look at James Loney, too, despite it being a lefty-versus-lefty matchup. Loney is 3-for-6 with a double in his career against Davis, and a scorching .475 hitter (19-for-40) with three homers and nine RBIs in 10 career games at Arizona's Chase Field. Casey Kotchman is a perfect 3-for-3 with two doubles lifetime against the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox, incredibly, have a stunningly good track record as a team against the Angels' John Lackey; they're batting a combined .315 (51-for-162) with eight homers and a .968 OPS against him lifetime. Not that this makes it an easy matchup for their hitters, but it should inspire more confidence in owners of Red Sox hitters, especially Manny Ramirez (10-for-23, 3 doubles, 4 HR lifetime against Lackey) and J.D. Drew (5-for-11 with a double and a triple). Granted, it's in limited action, but Adrian Beltre is 4-for-5 with two doubles in his career against the Indians' Aaron Laffey. It makes sense; the Mariners do hit left-handers quite a bit better than right-handers, and that very much applies to Beltre, a .351 hitter with a 1.021 OPS against that side this year. A must-sit: Mike Cameron, 2-for-22 with one extra-base hit (a double) and nine strikeouts in his career against the Giants' Matt Cain.
Hitters: Matt Joyce started each of the Tigers' final eight games of the first half against a right-hander, and is batting .261 with a .953 OPS and all of his nine home runs against that side. Keep him in there against all righties in AL-only and deep-mixed leagues, at least until Magglio Ordonez is officially activated from the DL. Not that this particular matchup is extraordinary -- at Tampa Bay against those tough-as-nails-at-home Rays pitchers -- but Adam Lind is a must-add anytime he's slated to face a right-hander. He's a .281 hitter with an .809 OPS against that side so far this year, and has considerable upside from there. Though Jim Edmonds is generally a better player at Wrigley Field than on the road, it's tough to ignore his track record against the Astros' Brian Moehler. He's a lifetime .353 hitter (12-for-34) with four doubles, five home runs, 10 RBIs and a 1.333 OPS against the right-hander. Sticking with the Cubs, check the early lineup because if Daryle Ward can sneak in a start in left field, he'd warrant NL-only and perhaps deep-mixed consideration. He's 6-for-14 with three doubles and four RBIs in his career against Moehler. Returning to that Twins-hit-Millwood thought, Jason Kubel is 3-for-7 with two doubles in his career against the right-hander. Kubel also wrapped up the season's first half batting an impressive .303 (27-for-89) with seven home runs, 15 RBIs and a 1.003 OPS in his final 28 contests. Snatch up Denard Span, too. He's playing regularly now, every inning, in fact, since his promotion June 30, and batting .375 (15-for-40) in 13 games during that span. Plus, he's a left-handed hitter who's speedy, and it's not like Millwood and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (or even Max Ramirez) represent a formidable battery in preventing opposing baserunners from stealing. Mark Teahen is a lifetime .424 hitter (14-for-33) with five doubles and three RBIs against the White Sox's Mark Buehrle, another of those rare instances of lefty-versus-lefty success. Jack Wilson is a lifetime .444 hitter (16-for-36) with two doubles, a triple and a home run without a single strikeout against the Rockies' Glendon Rusch, and a .291 hitter (25-for-86) with nine RBIs in 20 career games at Colorado's Coors Field. In an NL-only or deep-mixed format, those are trends I'd certainly exploit.
Five Friday games are weatherproof: Blue Jays-Rays, Cubs-Astros, Rangers-Twins, Dodgers-Diamondbacks and Indians-Mariners. Plus, for once, the entire northeast is scheduled to see positively brilliant weather: Temperatures around 80 degrees, clear skies, light wind. The only even moderate concern for rain is in Atlanta, where chances are 40 percent for showers and thunderstorms. There's also a 20 percent chance of rain in South Florida -- but boy, is that not shocking: a brief drizzle in South Florida.
Tristan H. Cockcroft covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.