Daily Notes for Monday: Pitchers are the story
Two division-series battles kick off Monday in both the AL and NL Central, as the two best teams in each respective division duke it out. CC Sabathia is going for his fourth straight complete game but this time will face the NL's best offense in the Cubs (5.19 runs per game). The Twins will try to make up ground on the White Sox as they face an elite left-hander of their own, Mark Buehrle, who could take over as the AL's premier southpaw after Sabathia's defection to the NL. In fact, pitching should dominate the landscape for the day, as a number of high-quality or streaking hurlers will take the mound Monday.
|7 p.m.||Braden Looper||R||9-8||4.49||1.42|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Jered Weaver||R||8-8||4.08||1.27|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Jeremy Guthrie||R||6-8||3.58||1.24|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Jason Hirsh||R||0-0||0.00||0.00|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Kenny Rogers||L||8-6||4.48||1.52|| |
|7:07 p.m.||James Shields||R||9-6||3.66||1.11|| |
|7:10 p.m.||John Maine||R||5-4||2.83||1.05|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Ted Lilly||L||10-6||4.49||1.34|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Johnny Cueto||R||7-9||4.90||1.36|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Felix Hernandez||R||7-6||2.95||1.26|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Mark Buehrle||L||8-8||3.56||1.27|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Micah Owings||R||6-8||5.40||1.35|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Zack Greinke||R||7-7||4.06||1.35|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Kevin Correia||R||1-5||5.71||1.68|| |
All times are ET.
Joe Crede, 3B, White Sox (back)
Jeff Clement, C, Mariners (hand)
Jim Edmonds, OF, Cubs (knee)
Carlos Gomez, OF, Twins (back)
Jose Guillen, OF, Royals (groin)
Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves (hamstring)
Mark Teahen, 1B/OF, Royals (back)
Hitters: In raising his batting average from .216 on June 21 to its current .264, Adam LaRoche has hit .376 with eight home runs and seven doubles. LaRoche did similar things last season in late June to save his season, and the trade of Xavier Nady means LaRoche now will hit fifth behind Jason Bay, which should boost his RBI total. Orlando Hudson isn't much of a hitter on the road away from Chase Field (.287 BAVG/.332 OBP/.390 SLG with two home runs), and he's only 4-for-17 against Greg Maddux.
Hitters: Freddy Sanchez has six multihit games in his past seven starts, and after hitting .314 from 2005 to 2007, it won't be surprising at all if Sanchez has found his stroke and continues his hot hitting. Chris Davis continues to rake his first time through the league, with an outrageous .730 slugging percentage powering his .303 batting average. There is risk -- will Davis hit for enough average to remain productive? -- and 22 strikeouts in 25 games is worrisome, but power is power, and he's not just an Arlington creation, considering he's hit .296/.333/.648 in 54 road at-bats.
Pitchers: Battling mechanical problems, Micah Owings has basically been nonexistent for the past couple of months, yet his 7.55 strikeouts per nine innings rate is a testament to his raw stuff. Owings has made it past the sixth inning just once since June but has a favorable schedule in August, so if he shows some growth in what is a particularly favorable matchup against one of the league's offensive punching bags, the Padres, Owings should regain some of his early-season value. The 27 percent of fantasy leaguers who own Greg Maddux assuredly know Maddux's 2.51 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in the comfort of Petco Park, and the other 73 percent still have ample time to jump on the bandwagon. The paltry three wins Maddux has on the season is simply bad luck (and poor run support), but as long as he has such predictable and exploitable splits, there's nothing to do but, well, exploit them. Hiroki Kuroda's 2.63 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in eight starts at Dodger Stadium is eye-popping, and he even shut out the Cubs in a complete-game, 11-strikeout outing back in June. If Kuroda can hold his own against one of the toughest offenses in baseball, it's a trend worth exploring against the hapless Giants, who rank 27th in runs scored.
The Orioles-Yankees (30 percent chance of precipitation) and Mets-Marlins (30 to 40 percent) are the day's only games that weather could impact. Rays-Blue Jays, Cubs-Brewers, Reds-Astros and White Sox-Twins are weatherproof.
Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com
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