Daily Notes for Monday: A look at the AL's finest
Some of the American League's finest pitchers take the mound on Monday, with left-handers Cliff Lee and Joe Saunders both looking for their 15th win, Joba Chamberlain facing the top offense in the majors and Roy Halladay trying to remain on pace for his second sub-3.00 ERA season of his career. But the most intriguing starter to watch would be the guy expected by many to be one of those aces, Clay Buchholz, who takes an ERA near 6.00 into Kansas City. From a fantasy perspective, it's an odd matchup in that Buchholz is owned in nearly as many leagues (21.4 percent) as Royals ace Gil Meche (21.8 percent) despite the latter pitcher being in the midst of an extended run of near-domination.
|6:07 p.m.||Greg Smith||L||5-10||4.04||1.29|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Brian Moehler||R||6-4||4.23||1.36|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Cliff Lee||L||14-2||2.58||1.06|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Manny Parra||L||9-4||3.93||1.51|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Joba Chamberlain||R||4-3||2.24||1.21|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Clay Buchholz||R||2-6||5.94||1.68|| |
|9:05 p.m.||Tim Redding||R||7-6||4.34||1.38|| |
|9:40 p.m.||Yoslan Herrera||R||1-1||9.00||2.35|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Dennis Sarfate||R||4-2||4.00||1.46|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Glen Perkins||L||8-3||4.20||1.43|| |
|10:15 p.m.||Jair Jurrjens||R||10-6||3.06||1.28|| |
All times are ET.
Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals (abdominal)
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS, Mariners (elbow)
Michael Bourn, OF, Astros (ankle)
Rafael Betancourt, SS, Mariners (elbow)
Milton Bradley, OF, Rangers (quadriceps)
Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees (hand)
David DeJesus, OF, Royals (ankle)
Cristian Guzman, SS, Nationals (thumb)
Freddy Sanchez, 2B, Pirates (back)
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals (hand)
Hitters: Hunter Pence is really raking right now; he has an eight-game hitting streak, including five multi-hit games during that streak. While Pence has put up disappointing numbers for much of the season, that doesn't mean he shouldn't be in your lineup when he's at his best. Not that you need to be told to start Prince Fielder on Monday, but the first baseman has a six-game hit streak going, including a four-game home run streak. Plus, he faces Bronson Arroyo, who has served up many beach balls to left-handed batters (.317 average, .352 OBP and .583 slugging, with 12 home runs allowed, against lefty hitters this season). Edwin Encarnacion is 2-for-24 his past seven games, but he's worth starting with a left-hander on the mound. He's hitting .313 versus left-handers this season compared to .229 against righties. Dan Haren is just mowing down hitters; during the past two months, he's sporting a sub-2.00 ERA. That means your Pirates hitters, such as Nate McLouth and Ryan Doumit, are probably in for a rough day, so look for other options.
Pitchers: Outside of a five-inning, 11-hit, seven-run meltdown against the Indians on July 12, Matt Garza has been relatively consistent during the past six weeks, culminating in a complete-game shutout of the Blue Jays his last outing. You can chalk up that performance against the Indians as a fluke and keep riding Garza, who has a 3.08 ERA since May. The Rangers have been the only team to make Joba Chamberlain look human the past six weeks; he was knocked out in four innings after tossing 91 pitches against them July 1. Chamberlain has 32 strikeouts to just two walks his past four starts (25 2/3 innings), though, and while the safe thing to do would be to bench any right-hander against the lethal Rangers, the way Joba is pitching now, he deserves to be the exception. Matt Cain has allowed only one home run since the start of June, and he's in line for a superb start against Atlanta. The Braves' offensive output went kaput about the same time Chipper Jones' quest for .400 officially became a non-story. While Brian McCann is expected back in time for Monday's game, with the loss of Mark Teixeira, he's really the only impact bat in the team's lineup, so Cain should cruise.
Hitters: Hitting .404 since the All-Star break, Garret Anderson has been white-hot, and he's on an 11-game hitting streak as well. Hitting behind Teixeira, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter should mean a lot of RBI chances, and accordingly, Anderson's ownership is up 11 percent the past week. Consider this a notice for the 45 percent of leagues who are still behind the ball.
Chicago has a fairly decent chance of thunderstorms storms at 40 percent, which could disrupt the Astros-Cubs. The Nationals-Rockies contest might see some rain, as the area has a 30 percent chance of showers, but it doesn't sound too threatening. A's-Blue Jays, Indians-Rays, Pirates-Diamondbacks and Twins-Mariners are weatherproof.
Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com
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