Daily Notes for Monday: Guthrie, Buehrle very underrated
A shortened schedule (eight games) leaves pitching options inherently limited, but a number of productive but overlooked hurlers take the mound Monday. It's rare you see a pitcher with a 3.15 ERA widely available, but Jeremy Guthrie is still a free agent in more than 40 percent of ESPN standard leagues. Fantasy owners bailed on Mark Buehrle early in the season after a disappointing start, but even a 2.74 ERA in 14 starts since June hasn't been enough to get back in owners' good graces. Finally, Nick Blackburn has a sub-4.00 ERA as a rookie, but just 76 strikeouts in 144 2/3 innings have left him free in 90-plus percent of leagues. Astute owners should take note.
|12:35 p.m.||John Maine||R||10-7||3.97||1.32|| |
|4:30 p.m.||Barry Zito||L||6-15||5.73||1.74|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Jon Lester||L||11-4||3.25||1.30|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Jon Garland||R||11-7||4.26||1.44|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Kenny Rogers||L||8-10||4.95||1.55|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Randy Wolf||L||8-10||4.56||1.45|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Justin Duchscherer||R||10-8||2.59||0.99|| |
|8:11 p.m.||Jarrod Washburn||L||5-12||4.58||1.45|| |
All times are ET.
Hitters: In 120 at-bats versus southpaws, Melvin Mora is hitting .317 with 10 home runs, compared to .264 with eight home runs in 318 at-bats against righties. Chris Davis is just 5-for-35 in his past nine games, with 10 strikeouts and one walk. While his average was never likely to stay anywhere near .300, it seems pitchers have figured him out. Until Davis adjusts, you might want to bench or even drop him. Five of Marlon Byrd's eight home runs have occurred against southpaws even though he has 80 fewer at-bats against them. Also, he's hitting .320 in Rangers Ballpark, and hitting behind Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley in the lineup, he's in a prime spot to contribute. The surging Mike Cameron is 8-for-19, with two homers, in his past five games, and he usually crushes left-handed pitching. Seattle's Jose Lopez is hitting .336 with four home runs in 128 at-bats against lefties. Adrian Beltre (.339 average) hits them well, too, but is just 2-for-15 off Mark Buehrle for his career.
Hitters: Adam LaRoche was in the midst of a scorching hot streak (.390 average, seven home runs in July) before a rib injury forced him to the disabled list. LaRoche missed only the minimum 15 days, went 6-for-10 on a rehab assignment and has four hits and a walk in three games since returning, suggesting he hasn't had a problem refinding his stroke. He should be picked up in fantasy leagues in which he's still available. Since taking over as the everyday third baseman since Evan Longoria went down, Willy Aybar has three home runs, three multihit games and five walks to two strikeouts. He's even hitting fifth in the lineup, so he's a decent fill-in.
Pitchers: The A's are the only team in baseball with an OBP below .300 (the Mendoza Line equivalent of on-base percentage) since the All-Star break. That makes Nick Blackburn a pretty easy call for a spot start. Mark Buehrle is on pace for his sixth season with a sub-4.00 ERA, and consistent inning-eaters with low ERAs deserve to be owned in more than half of fantasy leagues, especially with an elite offense backing him. He's more than just a spot start, although his matchup against the Mariners on Monday is favorable, too.
Showers will continue to plague any games in Arlington (Tigers-Rangers), with thunderstorms expected all day that could easily postpone, delay and/or shorten the game. Fortunately, that is the only concern of the day. Domes in Tampa Bay and Minnesota are weatherproof, of course, and otherwise the skies should be clear.
Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com
FANTASY TOP HEADLINES
- Fantasy Football Week 16 quarterback rankings
- Harris: Week 16 free-agent finds
- Matthew Berry's fantasy football top 200 for Week 16
- Clay: 32 fantasy tips to win in Week 16